This morning, as a June rainstorm poured down outside, Meredith and I started a project that took us down memory lane.
We sorted through 200 pounds of family photos that Dad has taken over the past 30 years.
Oh yes we did.
We came across some good memories, along with some awkward and embarrassing ones, and some photos that captured our attention so entirely that our hearts paused to linger.
The treasure trove of photos contain pictures of several generations of Forneys, from old black and whites….
to siblings we call aunts and uncles….
to siblings we grew up with….
and much much more.
The pictures also document the fashion trends we subjected ourselves too (wayfarers, side ponytails, shoulder pads — you name it, we probably wore it).
We also salvaged a huge archive of negatives and we plan to have the prints and negatives digitized, so that all the Forneys can have access to these beautiful photos and memories.
For now, enjoy these select few!
Wishing a very Happy Mother’s Day our mom, and all the other moms out there!
Mom, all the kids have made donation to Magee Women’s Research Institute & Foundation in honor of you! We couldn’t think of a better way to honor you on a day that celebrates mothers and women than by giving back to the place where four out of five of us were born: a place that focuses on advancing the field of health and medicine for women and their babies everywhere.
This year the donation went to Womancare International, which organizes educational programs and technical assistance for women across the globe and right in Pittsburgh, including an outreach program for Somali refugee women in Pittsburgh called Healthy Girls’ Circle. It was you who taught us to be generous, charitable, to value our roots, and to contribute to the global community. So we honor you in this way every Mother’s Day! We hope that future generations of women in our family benefit from the advances in health and medicine that Magee is working on today. And we hope to instill in these future generations the same values you’ve instilled in us.
We love you mom!
I was writing a comment on Sarah’s Cookie Cutter post when I realized that my response was going to be in depth and might be better in a post.
I too have no cookie cutters but, on a recent trip to Sperryville, VA, I was reminded of Heidi Swanson’s idea to rummage at flea markets or antique shops for things like cookie cutters. At an antique shop we happened upon in Virginia, there were lots of dishes, silverware, and other kitchen knick-knacks like those copper pots above. (There was also a 2 qt. cast iron dutch oven for just $15! If I didn’t already have a 3 and 5 qt dutch oven, that sucker would have been mine!) I hunted for some cookie cutters but came up empty. Anyway, some of the best metal cookie cutters are probably found at places like these – not to mention that they could be a steal.
In place of cookie cutters, things like a pastry wheel or pizza cutter are quick easy substitutes. You may not get the fanciest shapes but it gets the job done.
As for homemade crackers, I love this idea and have a number of recipes logged to try. Here are just a few:
Whole Wheat Goldfish Crackers by Smitten Kitchen (she uses a drill bit for the eyes and mouth – too funny!)
Graham Crackers by Smitten Kitchen
Oatmeals Crackers by 101Cookbooks
Whole Grain Animal Crackers by The Cilantropist
If anyone makes any of these, or comes up with innovative cookie cutter replacements, fill us in here!
This is a little thought bubble that I’m having as I sit here. Andy and I are planning a wedding 3,000 miles away. To get there, we use a lot of planes, trains, automobiles, and these days we do it all with the help of internet tools like yelp, etsy, weddingchannel, google docs, you name it! And guess what! We are even doing our pre-marital counseling over Skype! That’s right! Pastor Tom is conducting our first counseling session tomorrow morning at 7am (PDT) over skype! How amazing is that?! We live in an age where planning a wedding and preparing for marriage can be done mostly from the comfort of our own homes. Crazy! My mind is just a little blown by this so I wanted to get it out there in the universe. Any thoughts?
The other night Adam and I, along with a few friends, took part in Dining Out for Life in D.C. On this particular night, restaurants around the city agree to donate a portion of their proceeds (from 25% to a generous 110%) to the local agency supporting the fight against AIDS.
We chose do dine at a local restaurant, Posto. This is a place we’d normally visit for some delicious Italian food. Posto annually participates in Dining Out for Life and donates 100% of the proceeds from that night to Food & Friends, the local D.C. charity that benefits from this event. Food & Friends provides meals to families who are coping with AIDS, cancer, and other life threatening illnesses who cannot go to the supermarket or physically cannot make these meals themselves. What better excuse do you need to go out to eat and drink when that cash is also buying other people food! So find your city, gather some friends who enjoy eating and drinking, and dine out for life!
As spring draws ever nearer, I am making the most of the end-of-winter seasonal vegetables before they are gone!
Tonight I put together a pilaf using some red winter kale that resulted in a warm hearty dinner on a rainy San Francisco evening.
- 1/4 white onion, chopped
- 1 tsp. garlic, chopped
- 1 cup dry quinoa (I used Pereg Italian style Quinoa, which contains dried Italian vegetables)
- 1 large bunch of kale, chopped
- 1 cup sliced sun-dried tomatoes (mushrooms instead of, or in addition to, would be great too!)
- 1 lb. scallops
- 1 1/2-2 cups chicken or vegetable soup broth
- 1 handful pine nuts or walnuts
Saute the onions and garlic in a lightly oiled pan.
Add in quinoa with about 1 cup of chicken broth.
Cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes. The quinoa will absorb the chicken broth.
Next, add in the kale and sun-dried tomatoes with another 1/2 to 1 cups of chicken broth.
Cook the kale and veggies on medium heat approximately 4-5 minutes.
Then, add in the scallops and the pine nuts.
On this initial attempt at the recipe, I added in the scallops first, but realize this probably was a mistake. Scallops cook very quickly, in about 5 minutes! Add the scallops only after you have cooked the veggies for about five minutes. Once you have added your scallops to the quinoa-kale pilaf, cook approximately another 5-6 minutes, on medium heat.
Remove from heat and add salt and pepper and herbs to taste.
Torre also suggested that next time, we marinate the scallops in a little lemon and lime for about 1o minutes before cooking. That will bring an extra fresh flavor to the dish!
As the parenthetical portion of this post’s title suggests, there was a mini-sibling reunion this weekend on the West Coast! Michael and Becky came to San Francisco, for Becky’s interview at the Wright Institute (our fingers are crossed for Becky!). Meredith and Andy were the tireless drivers and joined for a fun weekend too.
On Saturday, while Michael and Becky explored the Berkeley area, Meredith and Andy joined us for a Mexican lunch in the Mission. Meredith ordered in Spanish! We learned that the only thing that beats a burrito is a super-burrito. We also watched a guy whose job title appeared to be “Official Onion Chopper,” and we decided that the sole requirement for the job had to be the inability to cry.
After we had wandered the alley, we picked up Torre and began to make our way home. On our way, we stumbled across a small gathering of food trucks, musicians, and people, sponsored by San Francisco’s Off the Grid food truck project. Of course, we had to stop.
I captured Meredith’s proud moment of her first food-truck ordering experience! Mmmm.After an afternoon of relaxing, playing games, and visiting, the six of us headed out for a special evening with two local celebrities: Uncle Pete and Aunt Meredith!
We enjoyed a casual Italian dinner in the neighborhood, replete with wine, appetizers, lots of bread and plenty of sharing stories! (Note to self: bring a better camera to these family gatherings.)
It was just delightful to have a family of 8 together for dinner. And it’s a special occasion when that many Forneys are assembled at one table!
Sunday started with a great home-cooked family brunch (Torre and Andy were the masters of the kitchen!) followed by a restful day of visiting, with a quick trip to the local Jewish deli as the major outing.
We were so glad to host the younger siblings and had a great time. Come back soon, please! 🙂
Happy March! Every time I flip my calendar to March, I’m reminded of the phrase we were taught in grade school: “March is in like a lion, out like a lamb.” Out of sheer curiosity, I did some searching to see if I could determine the origin of the phrase. The answers were as varied as the weather in March.
The Farmer’s Almanac explains that the phrase originates from more ancient times, when weather was unpredictable. I’ll rephrase: when weather was less predictable. Back then, because they did not have Doppler 5000s, many held the belief that there should be a balance in weather and life. So, if March began with bad weather – like a lion – then, according to lore, it would end with pleasant weather – like a lamb. The Farmer’s Almanac confirms, however, that this phrase is not a true weather predictor (surprise!). The phrase is still used today to reflect hope that better weather will be coming soon! Other sources claim the phrase is related to the stars and astrological signs, including the relative positions of the constellations Leo and Aries in the Spring in the Western sky as the month of March progresses. I’ll let the stargazers in the family weigh in on this interpretation.
“I would chuse March, for I would come in like a Lion…But you’d go out like a Lamb when you went to hanging.”
Regardless, there are many things to look forward to in March!
On March 13th, Daylight Savings Begins! We’ll spring ahead one hour and have lighter evenings.
On March 17th, we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Erin Go Bragh and top o’ the mornin’!
On March 20th, Spring officially begins. Bring on the crocuses!
Yesterday I had the opportunity of a Forney lifetime . . . to visit Forney, Texas! I had this opportunity while I was driving to the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport from Marshall, Texas. This little town is on the outskirts of Dallas, just east of the city.
I managed to grab a few shots from the driver’s seat as I was passing through.
In case you’re interested, here’s a little additional history about Forney, Texas. Originally called Brooklyn, Texas, the name of the town was changed to “Forney” in 1873. It was named in honor of our ancestor, John W. Forney, who was born in Lancaster, PA in 1817. He was the director of the Texas & Pacific Railway company, in addition to being a politician, diplomat, and journalist. John Forney is reported to have been instrumental in establishing the railroad through the town of Brooklyn. When the town applied to the federal government for a U.S. post office, it learned that another town in Texas also had the name of Brooklyn. The name was then changed to Forney, in honor of John Forney, and has been Forney, Texas ever since!
It may not be a town to write home about for most, but I’m writing home about it anyway because it is our namesake! For additional information on the history of Forney, Texas definitely check out this site and the Forney Historic Preservation League. And more on John Forney’s biography is available here!
Well we’re approaching one week until Christmas and New Years is not far behind. Some of you may have already finished all of your holiday shopping – if so, congratulations, now all you have to do is wrap your gifts and wait to give them away! If you’ve already finished wrapping your gifts, that’s a little intense and maybe you should take a break.
There are, however, others who are not finished. Perhaps you have that last straggler person who is just so hard to find gifts for, or you are half way through your list or you haven’t started at all – eek! For the last minute shopping, here are some websites that compile great gift ideas for those hard to shop for, ok maybe easy to shop for but I have a week and need to expedite shipping, people.
Proclaiming itself as “The Buyer’s Guide for Men,” this site provides creative, classic, edgy, and humorous gift ideas of all price ranges.
From style recommendations for holiday travel, to leather shoe care kits, to gifts for bacon enthusiasts (I’d like to get the peanut butter bacon cups for myself), Uncrate delivers. I search on here for people like Adam, friends, and for our Michael. The website opens the world of male shopping behavior and culture.
But it of course isn’t limited to males. Though the fashion is gendered, anyone can be a bacon enthusiast! It offers movie and phone recommendations, and highlights some awesome accessories like trigger point foam rollers for sore muscles and a snazzy looking sake bomb set. These ideas are certainly not gender biased. But when it comes to your brothers, boyfriends, husbands, male whatever – get to uncrate for some creative, sometimes unexpected gift ideas.
DailyCandy is geared more towards the female gender. The website has a special Gift tab that, at this time of year, is chock full of helpful lists like:
- Gifts you want to Give and Get;
- Stylish Gifts that Give Back;
- 30 Gifts under $30; and
- Cookbooks for Foodies.
The writers for this website go above and beyond the average list. There are gift guides for your girlfriends, moms, and sisters by city! You could also refine your search for lists by item (jewelry, fashion, decor). There are lists for bakers, fitness gurus, gadget lovers, and relentless party planners.
Of course just as Uncrate is not gender locked, DailyCandy does well in coming up with lists for men.
Refinery29 is also city specific and everywhere like DailyCandy. Rely on this site to stay up with the latest trends, male and female, if you’re itching to get your fashion forward friends some new wardrobe items. Not to be left out of the gift guide monopoly, Refinery offers the What Men Really Want for the Holidays list and the 10 Best Holiday Beauty Sets. And you have to love them for their Sexiest Lingerie list for keeping things hot even in the winter and Donald Trump’s Holiday 2010 Gift Guide for the uber excessive, you can’t take it with you, what the hell gifts.
For discounts on hot designers check out Bluefly, Piperlime, Solestruck, and Yoox. If you’re a GiltGroupe member, there are lots of great gift list pages this time of year. Sort by person or by price range. The deals are hot and the ideas are nearly endless.
So now that you are strapped with ideas galore, its time to get that fire lit under your butt and get shopping!