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NOVEMBER 15, 2009   

On the Towpath

Headed south on Towpath TrailAfter yesterday's sun and warm temperatures we planned a bike ride along the Towpath Trail to Peninsula today. Might be the last nice weekend we get this year.

It was pretty cloudy when we left home but there was at least a hope of sun. We started from the Visitor's Center south of Rockside, and rode south for about a half hour. Joanne easily outdistanced me: she's the tiny black speck at the end of the trail above. Somewhere around the six mile mark I figured out why.

That tire I fixed yesterday? Not fixed. It had a slow leak, got softer and softer, which made pedaling harder. Eventually I could feel that I was riding on the rim. I pumped it up and we set off again, but before I'd gone 50 feet it was clear that the slow leak had become fast. I was pretty sure we were only a mile or two from Peninsula—sure seemed that way—so we could walk in and get the tire fixed.

I checked the map on my iPhone to be sure. Good thing, since we actually were close to eight miles away. We turned back north and walked to Station Road. I hopped on Joanne's bike, rode to where we'd parked the car and picked her up about a half hour later.


Basket of fried eggplant stripsWe—and by we, I mean I—had our heart set on lunch at Fisher's, the little restaurant along the Towpath in downtown Peninsula.

The fried eggplant strips sprinkled with Parmesan were great. Don't miss 'em if you visit Fisher's.

On the other hand, my Strawberry, Mandarin Orange, and Walnut Salad was disappointing. It was California-inspired but pure Ohio in execution: the strawberries were frozen, the mandarins canned, the lettuce iceberg, and the dressing too sweet. I'm going to try to make this some time with better ingredients.

Local business

After lunch we walked up Main Street to Ohio Hardwood Furniture, a place I first noticed a couple weeks ago. They have beautiful locally made tables, chairs, cabinets, etc. at prices that seem pretty reasonable for the quality. The owner described their style as "heirloom," meaning pieces you'd like to hand down from generation to generation.

Further up the street we bought a couple of books and drank lemon-ginger tree at Fire and Water Bookstore and Bakery, then couldn't resist the hand-lettered sign next door that said "Jam Tasting."

Jar of Lyons Pomegranate JellyInside a genial middle-aged man and an awkward teen stood side by side behind a table filled with jars of jam. I sampled a couple of the jellies, then talked with—I guess—Mr. Lyons, of Lyons Market Jams & Jellies.

In a soft voice he told me about his family's forty-year-old tradition of making batches of jam and jelly every year. When he lost his job a year ago, he and his wife decided to try to make the tradition into a business. He talked about their recipes and quality ingredients with great pride.

The pomegranate jelly was my favorite, and this jar is destined to be a Christmas gift for one of my family members. I hope the Lyons family sells lots and lots of it.

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