Eat/Shop, Shop/Eat: Places to nosh near Ohio City’s Market Square Park

Market Square

The view we’ll have from our booth at the Cleveland Bazaar in Market Square Park

As we’ve mentioned before, we’ll have a booth at the Cleveland Bazaar in Market Square Park tomorrow. Checking out our selection of fine, handcrafted soaps sometimes leaves people feeling famished. Luckily, there are lots of great places to grab a meal or a snack just a short walk away!

Here’s a sampling:

Now that you know where you can find fuel you need to keep you going during the bazaar, you can stop by the Emmet Street Creations booth and browse our offerings with a worry-free mind. See you at the bazaar!

The internet has not yet perfected its sense of smell… so come to the Cleveland Bazaar and smell our creations!

Bazaar Collage

Don’t miss your chance to smell Emmet Street Creations’ creations! On September 20, we’ll be at the Cleveland Bazaar.

Starting at 10 a.m., we’ll have a market tent set up in Ohio City’s Market Square Park (conveniently located across from the West Side Market) and we’ll be hanging out until 4 p.m. (or sell out).

Take advantage of this opportunity to see and smell the goodies Emmet Street Creations offers in our Etsy store (rumor has it there will be premier of some new, fall-inspired scents!). Come by to say howdy and stock up on your favorites (an added bonus–you’ll save on shipping costs)!

Like Emmet Street Creations or know someone who would love to see (and smell) our products in person? It’s easy to spread the word! Simply use one of the sharing buttons below (Note: If you’re reading this via e-mail or reader, you’ll need to link to our website to use the sharing buttons).

Northern Ohio road trip: Schoepfle Gardens

When Matt and I are looking for something to do, we often search for botanical gardens in the area. There’s no better way to get inspiration for my own garden than to check out what the pros do. The other day, I ran across Schoepfle Gardens, a 70 acre park that is part of the Lorain County Metro Parks system.

The founder, Otto Schoepfle, sounds like my kind of guy. He had a passion for continued learning throughout his life and according to the information on the Metro Parks site, he went to Europe several times to learn about new plants and then came home to apply what he had learned in his garden.

I imagine Otto as a great lover of nature and this statue of him conveys that perfectly. Look closely to the left and you can see a butterfly flitting above the flowers. It’s as if his outstretched hand is summoning the butterflies and woodland creatures to him.

Otto Schoepfle

Yellow swallowtail on marigolds

Otto lived and worked on the grounds from 1936 until his death in 1992. That’s 56 years of hard work, sweat and dedication. He set up a trust and donated the acreage to the Lorain County Metro Parks in 1969 but he continued to live in the family home, located on the grounds, until his death.

Schoepfle Gardens - Formal Path

Schoepfle Gardens

One of the most impressive specimens on the property is the Dawn Redwood tree.

Schoepfle Gardens redwood tree

According to the placard, the Dawn Redwood was once thought to be extinct. It was rediscovered in China in the 1940s. Otto went to China and brought back two seeds. This tree is from one of those seeds.

Over the years, Otto received help from volunteers in the community and he loved working with local children. In 2007, a music themed children’s garden was added along with a carousel. The horses and animals were refurbished by local artists and are stunning.

Schoepfle Gardens - Carousel

Restored Carousel

 If you live in Ohio and love nature and gardening, Schoepfle Gardens is a must see. If you don’t live near by, you can take a virtual tour, narrated by legendary Cleveland newscaster Leon Bibb, here.

Want to read more about the history of the Dawn Redwood? There’s a short yet fascinating story here courtesy of the good people at dawnredwood.org.

Know of any must see botanical gardens in your own state? Share the website in the comments below. I’m always looking for new inspiration!

Loofah soap experiment: Update #4

My loofah plant is exceeding all of my expectations for what a plant grown in a shady Ohio yard can achieve. It is the largest plant I have ever grown from seed. I garden for the simple joy of watching plants grow and this plant has been thrilling to watch as it takes over my fire pit, kindling pile and everything else that gets in its way.

Loofah plant

When I planted the seeds earlier this year, I hoped for at least one loofah that would be big enough to dry and use in a soapy creation. At last count, I have nine loofah and the largest currently measures 18 inches!

Loofah

The fruit of the loofah is edible when it is young and tender, before it has developed the exfoliating fibers most people are familiar with. It is similar in texture and taste to zucchini and can be used in any recipe that calls for zucchini. If Bubba had been a loofah farmer instead of a shrimper, he would have said, “You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, sauté it. There’s uh, loofah-kabobs, loofah creole, loofah gumbo.” You get the idea. (And, I may have seen a certain movie a few too many times.)

Bubba may have found a million different ways to prepare loofah but when it comes to home-grown veggies, I prefer a simple preparation with very few ingredients. I want to experience the flavor and character of the vegetables that I grow. When I cook zucchini, I sauté it with olive oil and a pinch of garlic and then season it with salt and pepper.  That preparation seemed like the easiest choice for my first foray into eating loofah.  The first chance I had, I picked a tiny baby loofah, cut it up into chunks and sautéed it just like I would a zucchini.

Tiny loofah

Four ingredients turned this tiny little vegetable into a tasty appetizer. (And I had fun stomping around the house and pretending I was a giant eating a full sized zucchini that I cut with my giant knife and served on my giant plate. I have an active imagination. Don’t judge.)

Loofah

 

My only regret is that I didn’t pick more so that I could try other recipes like this Thai stir fry called Buab Pud Kai.

Have you seen loofah sold in markets where you live? Have you tried it in a recipe? Tell me all about it in the comments and share your recipes!

 

Create a DIY spa day with a cucumber yogurt face mask

This year I’ve had a bumper crop of cucumbers and I’ve used them to make soap and infused water. I still had some cucumber pulp left over from juicing so I decided to give myself a DIY spa day by making a soothing yogurt and cucumber face mask.

I kept this recipe simple because my skin is extremely sensitive and breaks out at the slightest provocation.

Yogurt and cucumber pulp

Fat free greek yogurt and cucumber pulp left over from juicing.

My first batch was a colossal failure. I used equal parts yogurt and cucumber and the result was a messy goo that slide off my face and into the sink. The cucumber pulp was very wet and watered down the yogurt.

My second attempt turned out much creamier. I used 4 tbsp of greek yogurt and 1 tbsp of cucumber pulp. (If you don’t have a juicer, you can add a few chunks of cucumber and the yogurt to a blender and mix until smooth.)

I slathered the mixture on my face and laid on my back to relax for 20 minutes. What a great way to relax!  The cucumber had a wonderful cooling effect on my skin. It felt great!

Facial selfie

 Spa day selfie. It may be the best picture of me ever taken.

After 20 minutes, I rinsed my face and washed with a bar of Emmet Street Creations  Banana Soap to moisturize my skin and give it an extra hit of antioxidants. My pores looked and felt tight and my skin was soft and smooth. I’ll add honey to the next batch I make–its antibacterial properties help fight off pesky acne.

I ended my spa day with a soak in the tub using a bag of Aromatherapy Lavender Bath TeaThere’s no better way to escape from the every day grind than a warm soak in the tub surrounded by the soothing scent of lavender. 

Like this facial recipe or know someone who could use a pick-me-up? It’s easy to spread the word! Simply use one of the sharing buttons below (Note: If you’re reading this via e-mail or reader, you’ll need to link to our website to use the sharing buttons).

What I did on my summer vacation: The Columbus Zoo

Camel Warning

You can’t say they didn’t warn you…

This summer, my baby brother made the trek home from Colorado for a visit. We had a couple of days free of family obligations and we were looking for something to do. My brother and I have wildly different ideas of fun. He’s a computer scientist and an avid runner. I’m a writer and I avidly avoid running. But, we do share a love for learning new things and walking in nature, so there was hope we could find something.

On a whim we decided to go to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, made famous by the still-sexy-at-67, Director Emeritus Jack Hanna. (I kept my eyes peeled for him while I was there, but no luck.)

I haven’t been to the Columbus Zoo since I was very young. I don’t really have much memory of it, but I’m certain it was not nearly as cool it is today. It is a sprawling property, containing an aquarium and representing five different areas of the globe: Australia, Asia, the African forest, the newly opened Heart of Africa and North America. There were so many things that left me mesmerized!

I saw flying things:PIcture collage of rainbow lorikeet, black swan, flying fox bat, flamingos

Shown (clockwise, starting top left): Rainbow lorikeet, black swan, flamingos, flying fox bat

Frightening things:

Photo collage of Burmese python and alligator

Shown (left to right): Burmese python, alligator

Four-legged things:

Photo collage of Greater Kudu, giraffe, dromedary camel and tiger

Shown: Left, Greater Kudu; Right (top to bottom), giraffe, dromedary camel, tiger

Furry cousins:

Photo collage of orangutan and siamang

Shown (left to right): Orangutan, siamang

And fun rides!

Mangels-Illions Carousel

Mangels-Illions carousel – A 1914 carousel restored by the zoo and providing rides to visitors

Not only did I see a lot of cute (and not so cute) animals, I learned a lot. The Zoo works with several conservation programs as part of its mission. While exploring the regions represented, there were displays in the exhibits discussing how the animals in these areas are threatened and how we can help. We managed to get in a good walk, too. We got in over 8,000 steps while walking the property!

If you have more time and happen to visit on one of Ohio’s hot and humid summer days, the Zoo has a water park, Zoombezi Bay. Judging by the sounds I heard while walking past on my way to the car, it’s a lot of fun! Maybe we’ll check it out next time.

Have you been to the Columbus Zoo? What was your experience like?

We’re on the road again! See us at the Cleveland Bazaar on 9/20

Emmet Street Creations is going to be at the Cleveland Bazaar!Emmet Street Creations is taking a late summer road trip to Market Square! On September 20, we’ll be at the Cleveland Bazaar.

Starting at 10 AM, we’ll have a market tent set up in Ohio City’s Market Square Park (conveniently located across from the West Side Market) and we’ll be hanging out until 4 PM (or sell out).

Take advantage of this opportunity to see and smell the goodies Emmet Street Creations offers in our Etsy store (rumor has it there will be premier of some new, fall-inspired scents!). Come by to say howdy and stock up on your favorites (an added bonus, you’ll save the usual shipping costs)!

Like Emmet Street Creations or know someone who would love to see (and smell) our products in person? It’s easy to spread the word! Simply use one of the sharing buttons below (Note: If you’re reading this via e-mail or reader, you’ll need to link to our website to use the sharing buttons).