Sunday, July 31, 2011

Labbit Travels: Toronto Shenanigans

After brunch at The Beast, Pipkin, Joel and Domo found themselves among new friends in the shop window at Magic Pony and Domo got himself in a topsy turvy kind of situation.

Labbit Travels: Toronto, Canada

Freshly arrived in downtown Toronto, Joel brought Pipkin and Domo to The Beast for Sunday brunch.
Mau5e5 will eat about anything, but Pipkin would appreciate it if his friends stayed away from the "poutine" that features braised rabbit.

Pipkin also understands that sharp toothed creatures are meant to eat meat (again, please no rabbit!), so he tried to look the other way when Domo ordered the infamous maple bacon doughnuts. They're a must-have at The Beast, and Domo was not disappointed.

Pipkin stuck with a vegetarian southern egg scramble. The boiled peanut hummus was a treat with the buttermilk biscuits, and of course, the greens are the best part!

The Beast prides itself in using local and sustainable Ontario farmed ingredients where possible, and almost everything is made fresh in house. There is something for vegetarians and sharp-toothed eaters alike, as you can see from their online menu here.

(But please, for the love of labbits, stay away from the rabbit!)

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Labbit Travels: Pittsford NY

After last night's very dark and stormy night travel, Domo, Pipkin and Joel enjoyed blue skies and hot temperatures in upstate NY. They stopped at the Pittsford NY location of Simply Crepes for brunch.

Located on the historic Erie Canal, it's a great place to take a stroll or ride bikes along the canal and check in on local artist's shops. Once you've got your appetite, grab a table outdoors or cozy up inside at Simply Crepes for freshly cooked crepes with quality, seasonal ingredients. First, two monstrously sized real fruit smoothies showed up, one mango and the other raspberry. Next, the entrees, one sweet and one savory.

The savory crepe was filled with warm Brie and apples, with apple butter on top and caramelized onions, tomatoes and more sliced apples. Yum! The sweet crepe in behind was a berries and banana filled crepe with berry and chocolate drizzle and confectioner's sugar. Soo delish! Check out the menu online here.

Once Domo had his fill of food he sat out in the sun to soak up some vitamin D. Ahhhh, summer!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Labbit Travels: Syracuse NY

Domo, Pipkin and Joel Mau5 traveled at night to Syracuse NY, and being a dark and stormy night, this is pretty much what it looked like. Yup. It was only the I-90 anyway. Nothin' to see here.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Labbits Don't Pack Light

It's been nearly a year since Domo found Pipkin in a little boutique toy shop in Port Townsend, Washington, and freed him from box life. Since then, they have done a little tour of northwest Washington and Oregon, and a little trip to Vancouver, Canada, before moving to Bellows Falls, Vermont. They did fly from Vancouver to Toronto, but Pipkin and Domo had hitched a ride in a woman's purse and didn't see all that much of Toronto. Joel Mau5 is himself from Toronto and says there is much to see and do in Canada's largest city.

So Domo and Pipkin are going on a road trip to Toronto, and the bickering has begun before they've even left. Domo insists they pack light, but Pipkin's pretty psyched and wants to make sure he's prepared for anything. That means bringing all his labbity accessories, and some of his red and white toques. Joel has already explained that crossing the Canadian border doesn't automatically place you on arctic tundra, but Pipkin won't listen. He may concede to leaving the smorks and bone behind (good to leave your vices out of your baggage) but he's certain Canada's cool climes will call for candy canes and elf legs. By that logic, Domo thinks the ice cream and popsicle should stay behind but nooooo. Pipkin doesn't want to miss any photo ops. Domo thinks Pipkin's front page feature in The Commons this week may have gotten to Pip's hollow vinyl head.

Hopefully Pipkin can pare down to the essentials and Domo will leave behind his bossypants so they can have a good road trip. Bon voyage, boys!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Labbits In the News

Pipkin's both proud and embarassed to have been featured in this week's local paper, The Commons.  The Commons is an independent, non-profit newspaper for Windham county, Vermont, and the editor, Jeff Potter, happened to discover the labbit blog recently. Intrigued, he sent Bellows Falls correspondent Allison Teague to get the inside scoop about the Year of the Labbit blog. Pipkin and the other labbits were surprised to see they made the front page, with a whole back page full of "the story" and photos, too!

Clover and Theodore donned their reading specs to read the article. Pipkin blushed because he was embarrassed to see himself posing in the photo on the front page. Look closely, and you can see Pip is licking the packaging covering a slice of carrot cake at Vermont Pretzel.

You can find the article here at the Commons' website, and you can download a copy from their site as well. Best of all, you can grab a copy if you live in Windham county. Thanks so much to Allison for her lovely feature on the blog, and thanks to YOU for visiting the labbits here!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Peer Pressure

Mostly, labbits are vegetarian. Mostly. But sometimes their saw-toothed friends (like the cat, Domo and Zim Mau5) peer pressure him into things like nomming on this bone. Pipkin, just because some arty labbit does it, and all your friends do it, doesn't mean you have to, too!

Monday, July 25, 2011

No Bones About It

Labbits are mostly vegetarian. Mostly.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

A Berry Good Day to PYO

Mother Nature finally turned down the sizzle in southern Vermont and blessed the labbits with mid 80s temperatures with little humidity. Clover hopped on down to Green Mountain Orchards in Putney Vermont for some PYO (Pick Your Own) berries. First she visited the raspberry bushes which were just dripping with luscious red berries. She loves filling the orchard's plastic milk jugs.

From the look of those lips she may have been sampling a few while she picked!

She then dropped off her bucket of raspberries and moved to the blueberry bushes. Picking was excellent today, and it looks like there will be a few more weeks of good pickin'. Clover finds the best ones really deep inside the bush, so she climbs in and picks the little berries (sampling some, of course). One of Clover's favorite sounds is hearing ripe blueberries plunk! as they are dropped into a berry jug.

When you're done filling your berry buckets, you gotta sneak in a taste...just one!

Some of the berries will be frozen, others eaten right away by the labbits. Clover may just share a recipe or two for berry season. Happy pickin'!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Friday, July 22, 2011

Night of 1000 Cupcakes

Pipkin's friend Kelly from Hot Mustard invited him to listen to the band play at the Cupcake Festival in Jaffrey NH yesterday. It was a really, really hot day, and Pipkin wasn't sure how fondant or cream frosting was going to hold up in the heat (or the band members for that matter!) but figured a night of 1000 cupcakes might be something quite interesting to see.

Underneath several tents there were tables and tables of cupcakes, made by locals and donated to the event. The event this year had over 4000 cupcakes. All colors of frosting were used, and there were a wide range of toppings, like sprinkles, chocolate chips, berries, goldfish crackers, more icing, gummy bears and m&ms.

The best cupcakes won awards in categories such as Most Decadent, Most Civic, Most Un-cupcake, and Most Likely to Succeed. Pipkin doesn't even know how a cupcake succeeds, or what it succeeds at doing. Being a cupcake? Hmmm. Whatever it means, the winning Most Likely To Succeed entry above with the sheep certainly wins for cute presentation. 

This gorgeous hydrangea entry was one of Pipkin's favorites! Tucked inside the giant blooms were cupcakes decorated with little icing hydrangeas. Nicely done!

 This giant owl ditches the cupcake form entirely. Pipkin would say it's a shaped cake, and not a cupcake. He's certainly too cute to eat, in Pipkin's opinion.

This entry was one of Pipkin's favorites, mostly for the fresh berries in the center of the sunflower. Pipkin admits that while the cupcakes were pretty to look at, he couldn't make his way through even one because they were just too sweet. He'd prefer to eat just the pile of berries here.

Hot Mustard, from L-R: Bill Jubett, April Hobart, Kelly Stockwell, Bruce Stockwell
The best part of the Cupcake Festival for Pipkin was seeing his friend Kelly Stockwell playing bass in Hot Mustard. It's the second time he's seen them play live, and they put on a great show. Visit their website for music, show dates, video and more.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Labbits Like To PYO

This picture of Pikpin was taken by the railroad tracks under the Astoria Bridge in Astoria, OR, almost a whole year ago. It reminded Pip that it's time to go raspberry and blueberry picking in southern Vermont! Hmmm, actually, he may hop over the Connecticut River to Alyson's Orchard in Walpole NH for the wonderful views and ripe berries. Then...oh boy...are there gonna be some lovely berry baked goods on the labbit blog: Lemon Raspberry Tarts, Berry Shortcake, Blueberry Buckle. Mmmmmm mmmm!

If you'd like to find a place to PYO (pick your own) berries and other fruit (peaches, apples, etc) visit the Pick Your Own website and search by county for what's in season and where to pick! Happy gathering!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Labbits Like: Summer Chili/Summer Veggie Salsa

The labbits are thrilled to be getting summer squash, onions, tomatoes, scallions and zucchini from Deep Meadow Farm, their local CSA, and a regular booth at the Bellows Falls Friday Farmer's Market.

It's too bad that corn isn't in season yet, but Clover cheated a little and threw in some cooked up frozen corn into the pot, along with some chickpeas (from a can), and then served it up with chopped scallions, diced avocado and a dollop of sour cream. The only problem is, Clover has no idea what to call this dish. Is it a chili? It seems not soupy enough to be chili. Is it a goulash (which, according to Clover's friend Maggie Whalebutt, has onions and paprika) or is it not "stewey" enough? Is it a salsa? Served cold with some Red Hot Blues it's a fantastic salsa. It could also be served cold as a leafless salad, thinking along the lines of other leafless salads like bean salad or potato salad.  Whatever you decide to call it, it's a delicious way to celebrate the harvest of seasonal summer veggies. Print the recipe here.

Summer Chili/Summer Salsa

1/2 Tbsp EVOO
1 cup diced red onion
1 or 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 zucchini, diced
1 summer squash, diced
1 cup frozen corn kernels (or fresh, if you are so lucky!)
1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed well
2 tomatoes, diced
1/2 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp hot paprika
S+P to taste

Sour cream
Freshly chopped scallions
1 avocado, diced
Garden of Eatin's Red Hot Blues or other tortilla chips

Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute for a minute, stirring constantly.

Add the zucchini, summer squash, corn, chickpeas, tomatoes, and spices and cook, stirring frequently, until the tomatoes have softened but the summer squash is still crisp, about 3 or 4 minutes.

Serve hot with a spoonful of sour cream, a sprinkling of chopped scallions and a generous helping of diced avocado, with tortilla chips on the side. You can also serve this cold like a salsa.

Serves: 4 labbits as a main; several labbits as a salsa.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Year of the Labbit Custom Labbit Show

If you are lucky enough to live in the Los Angeles area, and you are a fan of custom toys and labbits, you must visit the Japanese American National Museum. The Year of the Labbit Custom Show runs July 14, 2011 - September 11, 2011 and is not to be missed! Nearly 50 artists contributed their custom labbit creations to the show, and some are still available for sale through the museum's online shop. Here are a few of Clover's favorites:

Higashi Glaser "Stumped"

Donna Ikkanda "Desert Bloom"
Lou Pimentel "When Love is Deep, Much Can Be Accomplished"
David Kawano "Mutant Labbit Wandering Through the Aftermath"
Konatsu "Usagi Harico"
This is only a small sampling of the fantastic custom labbits you can see at the exhibit. If you live in the Los Angeles area, please visit the Japanese American National Museum to see this show while you can. For the rest of us, go online to see these wonderful labbits!

Something New and Shiny

Captain Holly gave warning that there were strangers in the warren, but Clover and Ted felt safe enough with the pfeffa (that's the cat) to peek around a corner and check out what was going on. It was hard to tell at first what was happening. Something large and oddly triangular came into the warren, wrapped in a big blue blanket...

Turns out it's a new piano! Ted loves to play the piano, so this will make him very happy. Now, if only he can manage to keep the mau5e5 out of the soundboard.

The labbits were kind enough to let the mau5e5 live with them in the warren, but since then, they've taken to playing in the violin case or in the piano and nomming on strings.

 Ted's had to chase them out of the piano several times. I guess you just can't keep the mau5e5 away from music.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Black Eyed Susan

Mmmmm, Black Eyed Susan. Another tasty treat for Pip. Om nom nom nom nom.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A Day at the Races

Pipkin, just back from Hunter Mountain, headed to Okemo to watch cars and motorcycles race up Okemo in a hill climb day sponsored by the New England Hillclimb Association, a sports car organization that holds automotive races on twisty roads in New England. They like Okemo because the road is "smooth, very fast (especially the long straight), with some sweeping turns at the bottom and fast tight turns at the top."

A warning sign on the caution tape marking boundaries for spectators
The route is 2.7 miles long and the average racer completed it in 2:42.96 with an average speed of 60 mph. It's not formula 1, but these racing enthusiasts are out to have a good time in their own race cars and bikes.

Pipkin loves watching the bikes lean around the corners
Pipkin hopped up to the sugar house to watch people race by. There were all sorts of home-made racers: lots of Subarus, a Porsche, a Trans Am, cars that looked like dune buggies, a pick up truck, a team of BMW motorcycles from Max BMW, and everything from Dodge Neons to Saabs to 4 door Beemers. The cars are all outfitted with the proper roll cages and window netting, and the drivers all wear helmets. Cars and bikes have to pass technical regulations before they can race, so this isn't an event open to just any vehicle! It's a lot of fun to just hop around the pit area and take a look at how people have modified their cars to race.

Team Max BMW makes their way down for another run
 Pipkin even had a video of one of the cars going by. You'll see him shake with excitement as they pass by.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Labbit Travels: Hogback Mountain, VT

On his way back to Vermont from the Catskills, Pipkin hitched a ride with a girl on a Ducati Monster. They stopped for an ice cream break at Hogback Mountain and took in the blue skies and green mountains of Vermont. Pipkin wasn't so sure what these metal contraptions were, until someone put in a coin, turned the handle, and gave Pip a boost.

Wow! He can see his house from here!

Pipkin thought he'd show you "Labbitback Mountain". Yeah. It's not that funny.

Sorry Pipkin, you'll have to have a helmet and goggles if you want to ride up front. Back in the sidebags for you...