Anna and Elizabeth: 12/15 House Concert at Blacksburg's Trad in the Attic

Screenshot of video of Crankie for Lord Bateman and the Turkish Lady, sung by Elizabeth LaPrelle.

There will be Crankie Show with  Anna and Elizabeth  at Mark's (up the spiral staircase at 314 Clay Street SW, Blacksburg VA). Doors open at 6pm this time and the music starts at 6:30pm.  The $10 suggested donation goes entirely to Anna Roberts-Gevalt and Elizabeth LaPrelle. Folks often bring drinks and/or snacks to share.  You can park in the lot for the Blacksburg Library.

This will be the second house concert for the duo at Trad in the Attic.  I got to see them two years ago at that venue, the Swoop House and elsewhere.

Here's the video pictured above.  I'll be putting up others here, but wanted to give folks as much advanced notice as possible.


The gig is the final performance (at least as of now) in a December tour:

12.07 The Floyd Radio Show Episode 22!
12.09  Home concert, Charleston WV (email hysmith@ohio.edu)
12.11  Home concert,
Pittsburgh, PA (email amtrimble@earthlink.net)
12.12  Darden Mill, Elkins, WV  7 pm
12.13 Pocahontas Opera House, Marlinton, WV 7:30 pm
12.14 The Spring, Lewisburg, WV 7:30 pm (inaugural performance at the former
Fort Savannah 



Photo from Kate Briddle who posted a similar recipe to her blog A Dash of Sass in November 2011.


The November 26 (and last 2013 ) farm share from Glade Road Growing is expected to include Hubbard winter squash, spinach, baby arugula, carrots, purple top turnips, other roots medley. Here's a recipe for arugula and/or spinach and ricotta calzones.  You can adapt this recipe for calzones (or pizza) with any combination of cooked veggies you enjoy.  Vegan can substitute my recipe for vegan sour cream for the cheese and eggs in the filling.

You can you can make this recipe with 1 pound of commercial frozen pizza dough defrosted (or if you want to be really decadent use puff pastry) and a bottled marinara sauce for dipping.

Or, if you want to make this  recipe from scratch,  I've included at the bottom my recipe for a dipping sauce and dough.  You'll want to make the sauce night before and refrigerate to let the flavors combine. The night before you'll  also want to start the dough and then remove it from the refrigerator and let rise for two hours.

I use whole wheat flour made from white rather than the more common red wheat.  It has the nutrition found in other whole wheat flours because it includes  the bran, germ and endosperm.  Since it has a milder taste and sufficient gluten, it doesn't have to be mixed with all-purpose flour.  I have a killer blender, so  I make my own flour from the white wheat berries, but you can buy it in flour form.

Serves 4

Prepare the already-made dough and oven:

Quarter dough, form into balls and roll out each  into an 8-inch round using a rolling pin. Put your oven rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees and then make filling:


Smash, peel and mince. 1 large or 2 small cloves fresh garlic.

Measure out 8 cups of baby arugula and or spinach.  Rinse greens and pat dry.  Depending on what's in season this will also work with broccoli or kale.

Saute  garlic in a cast iron skillet lightly greased with extra virgin olive oil until golden.  Add  greens and cook, stirring frequently, until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a sieve and press hard on greens to squeeze out as much excess liquid as possible, then coarsely chop.

Coarsely grate 3 oz whole-milk mozzarella
Finely grate 2 tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano

Stir together until blended with:
6 oz whole-milk ricotta (2/3 cup)
1 large egg yolk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Stir in greens.

Put one fourth of  filling (about 1/3 cup) in center of 1 round and fold dough in half to enclose filling and form a semicircle. Press edges together to seal. Beginning at 1 end and working toward the other, stretch sealed edge outward, pinching and rolling edge to form a rope. Transfer to an oiled 17- by 12-inch heavy baking sheet. Make 3 more calzones in same manner, transferring to baking sheet. Bake calzones until golden and puffed, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on baking sheet 5 minutes before serving. If you are going to serve later, continue cooling on rack to keep crust flake. 

Dipping sauce:

Smash, peel and finely mince 3 to 5 cloves fresh garlic
Finely chop 1 TB fresh basil or subsitute 1 tsp. dried if not in season 

Combine with 2 cans diced tomatoes (or four cups chopped vine-ripened tomatoes, if they are in season),  2 TB balsamic vinegar and salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.  Refrigerate overnight to let flavors meld.

Homemade dough:

Combine and allow to rest for 30 minutes to allow the whole wheat flour to absorb the liquid:

3 cups white whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons dry active yeast
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
7/8 cup lukewarm water

(If you want to make the taste even milder, you can substitute 2 TB of lukewarm orange juice for water.  If you are a vegan and don't use honey,  you can subsitute 2 TB agave syrup or 2 TB of water and 2 TB Demerara or Sucanet.)

Knead to make a smooth, soft dough.  Transfer to a large bowl, cover and let it rest  at room temperature for 30 minutes. Refrigerate overnight or up to 24 hours.  Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Divide into four balls, coat lightly with olive oil  and let rise, covered, for another two hours.


John Egerton, ¡Presente!

Screenshot from a video of historian and activist John Egerton as he demonstrate how make to cabage slaw, along with Hoppin' John and rice, stewed tomatoes and cornbread, all in an hour (except the beans started the night before) at his home in Green Hills, April 28, 2010 for the inaugural episode of Nashville Cooks hosted by the Tennessean's Jennifer Justus (video by Steven S. Harman).


I just found out from the Appalachian Studies email list that John Egerton died Thursday morning of an apparent heart attack.  He was 78. I was hoping he's have at least another two decades in good health.

Born in Georgia and raised in Cadiz, KY (northwest of Nashville, TN), Egerton went to the University of KY and was the kind of white Southerner our Northern detractors often ignore when they just know we're all flaming racists.  (I learned this when I went to William & Mary from a New Yorker who told me he wasn't going to date rape me since he knew I was a Southern belle, say what?) I knew Egerton the author of the classic Speak Now Against the Day: The Generation Before the Civil Rights Movement in the South and as the good friend and "partner in shenanigans" of the late Reverend Will D. Campbell.

What I didn't know is that he was probably more famous for his book, Southern Food, named the 1987 book of the year by the International Association of Culinary Professionals.

Chas Sisk explains the connection, Egerton

observed that, despite their differences, all Southerners shared a common cuisine and that their stories could be found in the recipes themselves.

 Here's a description by one of the southern journalists Egerton mentored, Tom Elben, who reviewed the book for the Atlanta Journal-Constituion:

John had spent more than a year eating his way across the South without adding much weight to his tall, lanky frame or, he said, raising his cholesterol. His book chronicled the evolution and role of food in Southern culture, including the substantial contribution of black culture...We met for the interview at Hap Townes, a long-gone Nashville "meat and three" where musicians, executives and factory workers sat elbow-to-elbow enjoying house specialties that included stewed raisins. "If I had been braver, I would have called the book The Stomach of the South; I think W.J. Cash would have understood," he told me, referring to the author of the 1941 classic, The Mind of the South.

I really can't explain the role of Egerton better than his friend Elben, so I'll quote him again:

John's soft voice, gentle humor and modest demeanor masked a moral compass that compelled him to speak out against things he believed were wrong.

John's most popular writing celebrated what was good about the South, but his biggest contribution as a journalist and historian was his examination of what held the region back: race, class, poverty, inequity and corruption. He was a masterful storyteller who had the courage to not only report facts, but explain what those facts added up to.
I like to think that if there's an afterlife, Egerton is again a "partner in shenanigans"  with Reverend Campbell.  May y'all's memory be for a blessing and give the rest of us an inspiration to carry on.

Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/2013/11/23/2949766/tom-eblen-paying-tribute-to-a.html#storylink=cpy


Alex Caton & Pat Egan: 11/22 House Concert at Blacksburg's Trad in the Attic

Cover art of Fiddle Tunes and Ballads by Alex Caton on fiddle and banjo  and Pat Egan on guitar.

Shawn Brenneman has organized another house concert at Mark's (up the spiral staircase at 314 Clay Street SW, Blacksburg VA) Doors open at 7pm and the music starts at 7:30pm.  The $10 suggested donation goes entirely to Caton and Egan. Folks often bring drinks and/or snacks to share.  You can park in the lot for the Blacksburg Library.


There are three cuts off of the 2011 album at Caton's website and they are gorgeous!

Fisherman's Island is a reel I first heard played by Wild Asparagus.  It's on album "Call of the Wild."

Pretty Green Island is a ballad I first heard sung by George Tucker on the Rounder record George Tucker, Kentucky Coal Miner (#0064, 1975) collected and recorded by Guy Carawan in Beaver, KY. Tucker is probably better known for Come All You Coal Miners, recorded on the same label with Sarah Gunning, Hazel Dickens and Nimrod Workman.  Here's his version.

Night Flyer by the late Johnny Mullins (see also here)  is a song I first heard on the 2004 remaster of Emmy Lou Harris Luxury Liner.  (I like Caton's version better.  BTW, here's Mullins singing one of his own songs.  Listening to him,  I think Caton's performance may be closer to how he conceived it.  Sort of like the difference between Whitney Houston and Dolly Parton singing Parton's "I Will Always Love You."  or between Roberta Flack and Peggy Seeger singing Ewan MacColl's "The First Time." )

The window is open - so why don't you fly?
Could it be you have lost all the yearning to try?
Your cage is a prison - they've kept you so long
But wings are for flying - the throat's for a song

So fly like an eagle and land like a dove
Go find all the places you must have dreamed of
Fly away with your troubles and drop them somewhere
And if you're only dreaming I don't really care.

They won't even miss you - or ask where you've been
They'll feed you and listen for a song now and then
Fly over the mountain and come back to me
And tell in your song what it's like to be free

So fly like an eagle and land like a dove
Go find all the places you must have dreamed of
Fly away with your troubles and drop them somewhere
And if you're only dreaming I don't really care

God gave us the places to labor and strive
But if living ain't nothing but staying alive
Then give me the dying if that's what you found
Don't sing on my grave or drop flowers on the ground

So fly like and eagle and land like a dove
I'll find all the places that I have dreamed of
Fly away with my troubles and drop them somewhere
And if I'm only dreaming I don't really care.

But you be the judge.  Here's Emmylou...

Other on the album tracks include:
Pink (mp3 from Reverbnation--this is a longer version with more verses of  what John McCutcheon
  calls "Little Pink" on Barefoot Boy with Boots On)
Peeler Roland's/ John Doherty's / Man of the House (video)
Farewell to Milltown Malbay / Bunch of Keys
The Eagle's Whistle / Crackling Radio
Scully Casey's / The Tidy Woman
 Miner's Song   (This may be what she performs it in this video with other musicians as "Coal
   Mining  Song.")
Mulingar Races/ Jenny's Welcome to Charlie / The Steeplechase (the latter, a west Clare reel, is in this video of Egan playing with Chulrua in 2008)
Wayside Tavern
Nancy Rowland's (video)

The CD was recorded in Caton's home studio in Gordonsville, Virginia and mixed and mastered by the NRV's Joe Bass (Joseph Dejarnette) at his studio 808a in Floyd.

UPDATE  11/24:  At the House Concert, Caton and Egan played selections from their new collaboration with old time guitarist and singer Dick Harrington,  also recorded in Caton's home studio in mixed and mastered by Joe Bass at 808a in Floyd.

 Cover Art from Swimming to Lindsay

Swimmng to Lindsey (featuring Patrick Egan)
Who Will Sing for Me (f. Dick Harrington)--see below
Ora Lee (f. Patrick Egan) (video of Caton playing solo for the 2011 WTJU fundraiser)
Preparing for Him (f. Dick Harrington)
Valley (f. Dick Harrington)
Yew Piney Mountain
Beauty Abounds (f. Dick Harrington)
Morning Glory (f. Dick Harrington)
I'm Thinking, Ever Thinking (f. Patrick Egan)
Polka Johnny / Polka Neilli / Possum Up A'simmon Tree (f. Patrick Egan)

Here's a video of "Who Will Sing for Me" that Caton performed with Dick Harrington in the same "scratchy low tuning" for the fiddle we got to hear Friday night from an October house concert at Charlottesville Friends of Old Time Music (C-FOOT).


Parsnip, Carrot, Winter Squash and Apple Stew

Photo by NYC chef Robbi Geane for  the October 8. 2013 post on her blog Pick Up the Whisk.  I found her photo when I was looking for one that approximated my recipe.  Hers uses sweet potatoes instead of the squash, omits the onions and cumin and uses red apples rather than the Granny Smiths.


Glade Road Growing plans for its November 19 farm share to include garlic, winter squash and parsnips, which I plan to make into this winter stew.

Serves 4

Cut winter squash in half, remove seed and pulp, peel and chop into cubes (Depending on the variety, it will be easier to cut the squash and peel it if roast it a bit first to soften it.  Or you can roast all the veggies to develop their sweetness, rather than saute them.)  You will need 1 - 2 cups for this recipe.  Reserve any extra for another use.  You can salt and roast the seeds.

Peel and chop 1 or 2 parsnips
Chop 1/2 pound carrots
Chop one medium onion.
Chop 3 celery sticks
Chop 2 small or 1 1/2 medium granny smith apples (reserving one cup, tossed in lemon juice to preserve color, for garnish)

Smash, peel and finely chop 2 cloves fresh garlic

If you have a dutch oven, you can saute the veggies and then make the soup in the same pot.  I don't, so I use a cast iron skillet and transfer the veggies to a heavy bottom stainless steel pot.  If you want this to be a main dish, you can add 2 cups cooked white beans to the soup before you puree it.

Saute in a skillet lightly oiled with extra virgin olive oil the parsnips, sweet potato, carrots, onion and celery until softened, about 10 minutes. Transfer to pot.  Saute garlic and apples for about 5 minutes until apples begin to soften and transfer to pot.  De-glaze skillet with a bit of water and add to pot with enough addition to measure 3 cups of liquid.  Add 2 TB miso paste, 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ground cumin and 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes.  Cover and cook for about 30 minutes until all vegetables are fork tender.  Transfer to a blender and puree (in batches, if necessary, thinning with water, if your blender requires) until smooth and creamy.  When ready to serve, return to pot, taste and add additional seasoning, if necessary and reheat.  Divide among bowl.  Garnish with raw apple, and if you like parsley.


Sally and JP also plan to include cabbage and a root roasting mix of beets, purple top turnips, black Spanish radishes, and/or hakurai turnips.  I'm hoping that it will include the black radishes, which will be delicious peeled, but leaving strips of the skin in places, sliced, lightly salted  and sauteed in butter.

Photo by Mimi Kresh for the  February 9, 2012 post on her blog, The Israeli Kitchen.  Although referred to as Spanish, the black radishes are common in Russian cooking.


Why the ACA Fixes (even Obama's) are No Fix

Cartoon by Tom Tomorrow, 9/30/13  "Tea Party Freedom Fighters."

Amid the continuing frenzy to discredit it and dismantle the Affordable Care Act (ACA, AKA Obamacare), I had until now decided not to write on the topic. I am one of those who thinks the act didn't go far enough and yet recognizes that it's better than nothing.   Then this week I read misinformation being spread by a woman I know and respect, whom I suspect is one of those cancelled. And yesterday, the President retrenched yet again.  Today, the House passed Fred Upton's "fix."

Let me tell you, sister, just because you weren't screwed by your insurance company in the past and want to keep a substandard policy, doesn't mean it's a good idea to let the insurance industry blackmail the President.  They are screwing you now and without the ACA they would be completely free to do so in the future.  Or as Ana Marie Cox has already written in The Guardian,

The junk plans the companies offered did not come into existence because they were interested the long-term well-being of the clients. Those plans were the product of a rigged game that allowed insurance company to exclude for the sick and high-risk from more reasonable policies.
I can tell you this from my experience with Blue Cross Blue Shield (now Anthem since changing its status from non-profit to for profit.)  I was first covered by my father's federal Blue Cross Blue Shield policy, then by a BCBS State Employee policy and then by a BCBS large group policy. When I became Executive Director of a non-profit, I chose the BCBS small group plan for our whole workforce as the best available.  Despite such "brand loyalty"  I received no special protection.  Each time I had to qualify and have my premium determined anew.  When I lost my job,  the BCBS COBRA policy amounted to extortion.  As a "Healthy Virginian," I qualified for a comprehensive, affordable individual BCBS policy--albeit with a large deductible--that couldn't be cancelled until I reached a ceiling.

But then I used the insurance and thus had a pre-existing condition. Instead of cancelling, Anthem, over the years, quintupled the price, while offering identical policies to the new suckers at close to my original premium.  If I wanted to take advantage of the "bargain" I could quit my current plan (and its protections). So as "my" policy premium went up, those who hadn't used their insurance yet switched to the "new" identical policy, which left "my" pool sicker and sicker, thus justifying the huge premium.  If this were too much of a burden, Anthem, "helpfully" offered to switch me to a junk plan.

Let me add, that in doing research, I've learned that those "healthy" folks who got sick enough to qualify for medicare disability insurance, but elected to keep their policy to protect their assets, often got nothing for their premiums.  Although they paid the premium for primary insurance, once they received Medicare, Anthem became secondary.  Oh, and a disability policy from Anthem cost quintuple the regular medicare policy, even if the disability required no additional medical treatment, but just made it hard or impossible to work.

Make no mistake, those ACA critics who shut down the government and are now proposing fixes, want to fix nothing: they want to kill the ACA before it can take effect. Because, as bad as the ACA may be (as a result of pandering to the industry), it IS better than nothing. And once US citizens get a taste of some improvement, they might want a real fix.


Pecan-Topped Winter Squash Pie (Pumpkin and Sweet Potatoes Work, Too)

Photo from  November 2003 Gourmet Magazine.


The November 12 farm share from Glade Road Growing includes winter squash and since it's getting close to Thanksgiving, I thought I'd diverge from stews and salads and casseroles and provide one for my favorite pie.

Not having much of a sweet tooth--except for dark chocolate or vanilla bean ice cream--I found the Kayro syrup base WAY too sweet---all I really liked  was the pecans. Decades later, I had a brainstorm: why not top a pumpkin (or sweet potato or squash) pie with maple syrup-glazed pecans? This recipe started with the "famous" one you'll find on the Libby's canned pumpkin, but I tweaked it (a word which has been ruined by sounding something from Breaking Bad or Miley Cyrus), including cutting back on and changing the form of the sweetener.

I'm not much of a pie crust fan, either, finding it a waste of fat calories, unless it's made with butter and finding that the bottom layer always seems to get soggy.  But tomorrow, I'll include my recipe for a flaky, press-in whole wheat olive oil crust--an update of another recipe in the book.

Serves 8

Make pie crust in 10 inch glass pie pan and store in refrigerator. If you are not using a crust, butter and flour the pan.

Measure out 1 cup of pecan halves and toss in 2 TB pure maple syrup to coat.

Roast, peel, cube and mash a winter squash, two sweet potatoes or a pumpkin.  Measure out 2 cups to use in this recipe and reserve the rest for another use. Due to how these options vary in sweetness, you will be using the following amounts of pure maple syrup respectively:

1/3 c. for pumpkin
1/4 c. for squash
2 TB  for  sweet potatoes

If  you like a sweeter (i.e. traditional) pie, you can use up to 1/2 a cup for the pumpkin, and adjust the recipe proportionately for the others. Since the syrup is a liquid, rather than using evaporated milk, you will be using 1 cup powdered milk and mixing with enough water to make make 3/4 of a cup.  If you're a vegan substitute a cup of coconut cream and 4 TB cornstarch and 1 TB vanilla for the evaporated milk and the eggs.

Measure out:
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon whole wheat flour

Preheat oven to 425° F

To make custard, in a large bowl, beat 2 large eggs.  Stir in the squash (or pumpkin or sweet potatoes)  and the dry ingredients.  Gradually stir in the syrup/milk mixture.

Pour custard into pie pan (with or without pre-made chilled crust).  Arrange coated pecans on top of custard.

Bake at 425 for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Top with whipped cream, if desired, before serving.

 The farm share is also slated to includ carrots, spinach, kohlrabi, and a rose roasting radish .  In case you're wondering, the latter is also known as a watermelon radish.  Here's a photo from Sally via a seed catalog:

She wrote me to say, "They can be roasted, but honestly we think they are pretty crisp and sweet (minus the tough skin), a lot like regular small radishes but slightly more fibrous."


The history of this recipe starts when I took home-economics and my teacher Mrs. Altice was selling a 1960's series of cookbooks Favorite Recipes of Home Economics Teachers, published in Montgomery, Alabama.  I bought my NYC-born mother the whole set and what she became famous for, thereafter, was her made-from-scratch Southern Pecan Pie from the 1963  Desserts Including Party Beverages volume.

Made-from-scratch from Mom was a big deal, because she made many other desserts from mixes. Every Thanksgiving dinner she would bake a pecan pie, as well as a pumpkin (using canned pumpkin and milk) for my father. Every New Year's Eve dinner, she would bake another pecan pie, as well as as lemon meringue (using Royal pudding and pie filling laced with extra lemon juice) for Yishe Finck, my pediatrician and her childhood friend.
 After college, I would bake a similar recipe, but in industrial quantities, with the syrup mixture literally ladled from a (clean) 50 or more gallon rolling plastic trash can,, as I sweated in front of the ovens of Colonial Williamsburg's (AKA CW) commissary.

You can find the  1964 version of Salads Including Appetizers, as well as the  1965 version  Casseroles, Including Breads book Virginia Tech's in Special Collections.  Neither of these are even in the catalog for the Library of Congress, despite having an LC number.  There is however a "new" 1979 combined salads and vegetables  edition. The Vegetables Including Fruits book came out in 1966.  I've also found that the Meat Including Seafood and Poultry volume dates from 1962 ...I can't recall the others, since the LOC isn't cooperating.

The press has since moved to Nashville and continues to update and expand the series.


Election Day in Montgomery County and Elsewhere in Virginia

Editor's note:  After Monica Daly of Eats has her registraton purged, Dan Casey asked to publish my comments on provisional ballots as a letter to the editor.  It appeared here.


Looking at the Virginia Code regarding provisional ballots,  I'm not sure if someone shows up at the wrong precinct and votes by provisional ballot, that the ballot will even be recorded in the correct precinct...i.e. you may have lost your right to vote.

So, check the Election Registration and Information System page (ERIS) of the Virginia State Board of Elections to make sure your registration is in order and find out your precinct number and voting location.  It's important. As I wrote last year in "Voter Suppression Close to Home," our registrar has mailed cards (including to me) which show the wrong precinct and polling place. The voting rolls correspond not with the card, in that case, but with your page on the ERIS.  THAT's where you need to show up to vote.

Once you know your precinct you can find out the official slate of candidates for the House of Delegates, unless you live in E-1.  In that case, insert your exact address into the General Assembly's Who is My Legislator's Service page.  As I no longer have a 911 address,  using the county real estate map,  I found the address for several neighbors both on Derby Road (my old address) and Coal Hollow Road (my un-numbered current address on the tax rolls.)  Both show that my actual property, if I had been allowed to register there, would have put me in the Seventh District rather than the Twelfth District.  This is also confirmed by the 2011 map on the County Registrar's page.

After the polls close, the Virginia State Board of Elections posts election results for local races in Montgomery County, where mayors of both Christiansburg and Blacksburg are running unopposed, but some of the seats are in contention for the Board of Supervisors and the Town Councils of Blacksburg and Christiansburg and the school board.  Or or if you live elsewhere, find the link here.  You'll also find links for election results for the statewide races for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general and for the House of Delegates.

So which House of Delegates District will you vote in?

Democrat-leaning Montgomery County has been divided (gerrymandered?) among three districts ( estimated 2012 population  95,194, of which 29 k in 2013-14 is Virginia Tech students---which of course often vote elsewhere).  Pulaski is also divided.  As Nate Cohn wrote about Congress--not the House of Delegates, but then his focus is national)
In Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida, Virginia, Michigan, and North Carolina, GOP-led redistricting packed Democrats into a small number of heavily Democratic, urban, non-white districts, leaving the majority of districts to lean Republican. In those states, Republicans won a clear majority of districts, despite far closer tallies in the statewide popular vote. How much did partisan gerrymandering help the GOP? The estimates vary, in part based on the presumed alternative. But there’s no question that partisan redistricting efforts yielded additional GOP seats.

Here's the breakdown from the General Assembly's Legislation Information page

In the Seventh District, Democrat Michael S. "Mike" Abraham (mike@abrahamfordelegate.com) is
running against Republican incumbent Larry N. "Nick" Rush (nickrushva7@gmail.com).  You live in the seventh if you are within in B-3 (203), B-4 (204), C-2 (302), D-1 (401), D-2 (402), D-3 Part 1 (403), D-4 (404), and D-5 (405) Precincts and part of the E-1 (501) Precinct.  You vote with Floyd, part of Pulaski County (Draper (201), Dublin (301), Hiwassee (302), Massie (401), Newbern (203), Robinson (501), Snowville (304), South Pulaski (202), Walker (402), and West Cloyd (103).

In the Eighth Distict, incumbent Republican Gregory D. Habeeb is running unopposed. You live in the eighth  if you are within A-1 (101), B-2 (202), C-1 (301), C-3 (303), and C-4 (304) Precincts.  You votes with all of Craig County, all of the City of Salem,  part of  Roanoke County  (Bennett Springs (107), Bent Mountain (301), Castle Rock (305), Catawba (101), Cave Spring (503), Cotton Hill (501), Glenvar (103), Green Hill (106), Mason Valley (102), Oak Grove (304), Poages Mill (302), and Wildwood (108) Precincts and part of the Penn Forest (502) Precinct.)

In the Twelfth District, Democrat James D. Harder (harderva@gmail.com) is running against incumbent Republican Joseph R. Yost (campaign@yostfordelegate.com).  You live in the twelfth if you are in A-2 (102), A-3 (103), B-1 (201), D-3 Part 2 (4032), E-2 (502), F-1 (601), F-2 (602), G-1 (701), and G-2 (702) Precincts and part of the E-1 (501) Precinct.  You vote with all of Giles County; all of the City of Radford and part of Pulaski County (Belspring (101) and New River (102) Precincts).


Whole Wheat Pasta with Arugula, Walnuts and Cheese

After I developed this recipe, I found a photo from Colleen McConnell AKA Culinary Colleen (twitter, website) which pretty much looks like what I had in mind.


Sally wrote me this evening that the November 5 farm share from Glade Road Growing will  "0.38 lbs of arugula (large leaf but still tasty for wilting)" and a bulb of garlic--which made me think "Pasta!"  In a way, this is a deconstructed pesto. If you want more protein, you can add 2 cups of  cooked white beans or garbanzos. 

BTW, we can also expect

1 bunch of bok choy
1 bunch haukerai salad turnips with greens
0.8 lbs broccoli (last of the season, small crowns)
3-4 green Carmen peppers
2 small poblanos (last of the season)


Serves 4

Wash, drain and coarsely chop arugula.

Smash, peel and mince 3 cloves garlic

Zest 1/2 fresh lemon and reserve.  Squeeze juice (remove any seeds) into a spouted measuring cup

Shave 4 oz. Asiago cheese into curls with a vegetable peeler

In a seasoned cast iron skillet lightly coated with extra virgin olive oil toast 1 cup of walnuts and remove to a bowl.

Saute garlic with 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes until garlic in 2 TB extra virgin olive oil until lightly browned,  Stir in lemon zest and remove from heat.

Bring 1 1/2 quarts of salted water to a boil in a stainless three quart pot with a built in steamer  of and cook 1/2 # spaghetti or angel hair whole wheat pasta until al dente.  If you are using beans add to pasta to warm through.  Drain through arugula to wilt.

Divide among 4 bowls.   Season with salt and  freshly ground pepper and lemon juice  to taste.

Top with the seasoned oil, walnuts and cheese.