First notes...

226.6 lbs

… five days of weight loss… three while pursuing the No S diet approach… also meals low in refined carbs like pasta…

… it is the one year anniversary of the riot at the Capital Building… the facts available point to it as an insurrection and are beginning to detail a planned overthrow of the government… that planning continues and it is uncertain what, if anything , will be done to counter the efforts happening around the country to suppress the vote and rig the voting system… the most likely action is one flying under the radar screen, mostly… a reform of the Electoral Count Act of 1887… 45’s attempt to seize power in a way that would have the pale varnish of legitimacy was built around weaknesses in the ECA… the lack of clarity on the powers of the VP to certify being one of them… there appear to be bi-partisan efforts to shore it up… the most widely publicized efforts are a number of voting rights bills that have passed the house but are stalled in the Senate with no Republican support… some change in the filibuster rules will be required to pass any voting rights act which, at the present moment, seems unlikely… i have given up hoping on that one… and then there is the work of the January 6 Commission… it appears they will be able to demonstrate conspiracy to overthrow the government but the question is, can they do it compellingly enough to shift the narrative?… and, if so, will it shift enough?… time will tell…

… in all of this, Liz Cheny continues to be my hero for the stand she is taking… she is attempting to take down 45 and his cronies before the rabid conservatives of her state vote her out of office… she appears to be one of the few Republicans with …a spine…

… yesterday i spent much of the day trying to free the castor wheels of my office chair… so much animal and human hair was logged in them that they have become immobile and are scratching the finish of the floor in my studio… i was only able to return three of five to fully spinning order… i found replacement castors on Amazon and ordered a set with rubberized wheels designed for hard floor surfaces… if i had known when i started where i would end, i would have jumped to the end…

… we watched Matrix Resurrection last night… or, rather, H watched it and i slept through the bulk of it… alcohol has been doing me in for the last many nights… slow down on that and i might make it through an evening’s worth of viewing… my sense of it was that it wasn’t as good as the first three…

… news, via Heather Cox Richardson, that citizens are revolting in Kazakhstan… Russia and Belarus have agreed to send “peacekeeping” troops to assist… the people are fighting the corruption and poor service of their government, which is authoritarian… there appears to be worry that the protests will spread to Russia and Belarus… the internet has been shut down and there are reports of clashes between government security forces and citizens with casualties…

… ordered a cast iron pot/pan to replace the last non-stick coated pan i have in the kitchen… i am looking forward to its arrival… i am hoping to be able to make Persian rice with Tadigh in it… one needs a good non-stick surface to do that… cast iron can be mostly non-stick, but usually not completely… the advice is to use extra oil when making the tadigh… i used gift card money sent by R to purchase it… i also bought traction devices for my shoes… i had to curtail my walk yesterday because the sidewalks were slick…

… i don’t expect to be encumbered by any household tasks today… hopefully just photo editing, reading, writing then cooking will be the order of the day…

… this morning i lay in bed and tried to count my breaths up to ten… its remarkably hard to do… after about half an hour i managed it and then got out of bed… the usual routine… put water on to boil, grind coffee beans, feed the cat, take meds, let the dogs down and out… because Fiona is a clever and determined escape artist i have been escorting her out into the brisk darkness and watching her closely… i have all the holes in the fence repaired, but we have thought this so many times only to learn she has found and exploited a new weakness apparent to her but not us… it was fun to watch her sniffing along the ground, following the trails of night critters across or under the leaf litter… we all came back in and i gave them treats, which is what they are up for anyway… then they went back to bed and i prepared my coffee and came up to start the writing/reading part of my day…

What i read today…

Heather Cox Richardson, Letters from an American, December 07, 2021… the heroism and death of Messman Doris Miller, a black man, in WW II… he was on board the U.S.S. West Virginia in Pearl Harbor when the Japanese attacked… he survived the sinking of the West Virginia but later perished when the U.S.S. Liscome Bay was sunk by a Japanese Torpedo, November 24, 1943…

I hear a lot these days about how American democracy is doomed and the reactionaries will win. Maybe. But the beauty of our system is that it gives us people like Doris Miller. Even better, it makes us people like Doris Miller.

In Defense—God Help Us—of Lauren Boebert, Chris True… i read the article and understand the point being made, but on the fence about whether i agree… my great frustration is that individuals that “no decent person … should give the time of day” get the time of day, get traction, take cover behind the protections of the system they are working towards dismantling… it puts those of us who want to stop them at a great disadvantage… we may be at a place where lines have to be drawn… on the other hand, it is a slippery slope…

No decent person should give Lauren Boebert the time of day. Congresswoman Boebert, however, is a different story. Congresswoman Boebert is representing over 700,000 people and those 700,000 people deserve the same representation in Congress as everyone else, even if that makes Democrats feel unsafe. Sticking to your principles often does._  International Court of Justice Rules Azerbaijan Must Stop Destroying Armenian Cultural Heritage in Artsakh, Yelena Ambartsumian… the ICJ apparently has the authority to refer its decisions to the UN Security Council which has the authority to do something about it… i am in sympathy based on what the article tells me, but wonder how straightforward the issue really is… last night Rachel Maddow’s opening monologue talked about the taking down of monuments to war heroes of the Confederacy… would the Confederacy, such as it exists today, have the right to appeal to the ICJ for relief?…

… a cartoon by Guy Richards Smit in Hyperallergic… last week, on Deadline Washington, Donny Deutsch lamented that the people he talked to in his crowd (he’s pretty wealthy) weren’t particularly concerned with whether democracy survives or not…

The Power of the Dog Is a Different Kind of Western Film, Ela Bittencourt, Hyperallergic…

In Jane Campion’s elegant adaptation of Thomas Savage’s novel The Power of the Dog, nature is an instrument of both wonder and violence.

The audacity of the original book comes from Savage combining a heated sibling rivalry, an illicit love story, the Western myths of male virility, and a murder mystery all within its slim pages.

How Marisol, “the True Trailblazer,” Paved the Way for Andy Warhol, Karen Chernick… “Behind every great man there’s a great woman.”… Marisol was quite well recognized at the time, so, not living in the shadows… but… an interesting exhibition…

Marisol, “Andy” (1962–63) (Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, image © Acquavella LLC (1962-63), © 2021 Estate of Marisol / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York)

The Hungry Eye: Eating, Drinking, and European Culture from Rome to the Renaissance, Leonard Barkan, review by Lauren Moya Ford, Hyperallergic… for art lover epicureans… there don’t appear to be recipes, but i suppose we can find our own…

… this image from the book catches my attention in particular… so many layers to dig through…

Joos van Cleve, “The Holy Family” (c. 1512-13) (the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York)

New Study on NFTs Deflates the “Democratic” Potential for the Medium, Jasmine Liu, Hyperallergic… yesterday i upgraded my micro.com subscription to premium to take advantage of the new email signup feature and begin posting short videos which i call video stills… i was ambivalent about doing this because i have viewed these video stills as ideal for the NFTA world… it is interesting to see that the market is shaping up to be a reflection of the physical art world system of value creation and art distribution, where there are taste makers serving as intermediaries advising the well to do on their art purchases… i struggle with this system because it is exploitative and elitist and a direct reflection of the power structure in which art is created… artists don’t often make out well trying to participate in this system… i don’t have to make money from my art at present, so i don’t have to participate in the system if i don’t want to, and lately, i don’t want to… right now, i create my art and offer it for free on a platform that isn’t profiting from my free content…

First thoughts…

229.8

… i am in a run where 6 to 6 ½ hours of sleep is sufficient… at some point i will need more, but for now, it’s good… i like getting up a little earlier… being at my desk by 4 AM…

… hotel bookings for the trip to Florida are complete… we found a cheap Red Roof Inn room in Savanah Georgia and booked it for two nights on the way back so we have a chance to see a little something of the city… looking forward to that…

… looking forward to visiting M except that i am increasingly anxious and angry about efforts of the far right to undermine democracy… lots of news stories yesterday proclaiming we are nearing the “break glass in case of emergency” point… some are saying we are past that… returning to M, as far as i can tell, they get their information entirely, or almost entirely from Fox News… i won’t be able to have a conversation with anyone who gets their information solely from Fox… most of my knowledge of the news comes from reading and i have both liberal and conservative sources…

… made a delicious mushroom cream soup last night… it turns out to be H’s favorite…

… after dinner we watched LoveHard and agreed it gets added to the Christmas rotation… it’s plot is predictable, it spoofs Love Actually a bit and is not as good, but, in the end, a satisfying Christmas romcom… i told H i was feeling a jones to watch Lars and the Real Girl and Hugo… she agreed with Hugo, was skeptical about LATRG as Christmas fare…

Thanksgiving Part II

… we almost always go to someone else’s house for Thanksgiving so we like to make ourselves another one the weekend following so i can strut my cooking stuff and H can have leftover turkey sandwiches and soup…

The menu:

First Thoughts, remembering Thanksgiving…

… a good Thanksgiving… in attendance, H and me, M, L, S, B, J, M, W, G, and L, a friend of B’s(?)… L is a star of the afternoon show… vivacious, outgoing, attractive… we learn later in the evening that they are gay and recently out of a relationship that, i surmise, didn’t end well… L and B have a very warm connection to one another and spend part of the afternoon rendering show tunes, mostly from Rent… in fact, show tunes figure prominently throughout the afternoon…

… we brought the dogs with us but had to leave them crated in the car as no pets were allowed in the rental house… the dogs were very cooperative though not entirely happy about the situation… we did find out that they will stay nicely in the crates in the car for extended periods of time which might be useful Christmas Eve in Florida when we are scheduled to go out to dinner…

… L brought herbs they grew in their garden and everyone got some…

… i find out M is concerned about extremism (on both sides) but believes the population in the middle will get things back on the middle track… this conversation comes up as the result of their statement about how scary The Sound of Music was to them… M is Jewish and TSOM is about a Jewish family escaping Nazi Germany just before they are hauled off to a concentration camp… i asked M if they worried about fascism in this country which is when the middle-will-rescue-us thought was expressed… i think that would be true if the voting machinery wasn’t being bent to favor the extremist right… i think there is a very strong possibility for an authoritarian government to arise, possibly even fascist… the extreme right which is currently stacking the voting deck is, in significant portion, a white supremacist extreme right…

… the food was the standard American Thanksgiving fair and possibly a little less well prepared than in years past, but we were in a rented house and so not in anyone’s natural cooking environment… it was good enough… there was turkey of course, mashed potato, mashed sweet potato, rutabaga (i think), bread stuffing, sautéed fennel and leaks, green beans almandine, brussels sprouts with pomegranate, gravy… for desert, pumpkin, apple and pecan pies… i found myself wishing for some vanilla ice cream to go with the pumpkin pie i had…

… M wanted us to do a recognition of the fact that the land we were currently having our dinner on was originally Native American land and taken from them by the European settlers… i had mixed emotions about it… land has been ceded by weaker populations to stronger populations since the beginning of time, and i am not only talking about people… as Bertrand Russel once said, the goal of every living thing is to turn as much of the planet into itself as possible… my broad view is that the Euro descendent white patriarchy sucks and that the sooner we kill it and bring forth the multiarchy the better… M reminds me of J… so in earnest…

… i managed to escape a big weight gain, partly because i had no alcohol (i had to drive us back) and partly because i took small portions of everything and didn’t have seconds of anything, though i did have way more cheese, pate and crackers than i should have before dinner…

… i got very tired during the afternoon… to the point i could barely think straight and had trouble remembering the names of the most common things i might be talking about… later, when we were home and i had a brief cat nap, my lucidity came back to me… will have to remember to sneak off and do a quick nap in future… i found myself wondering if Prevagen, an over the counter product marketed as a brain function enhancer, works and whether i should try it… i don’t generally have trouble with my memory early in the day, so i am thinking it really is a function of being tired to the point of not remembering things…

… during the day i find myself wondering if S has a drinking problem and B is a little too fond of L…

… a slightly awkward conversation with M who wanted to know what H and I thought of Dia Beacon… they apparently went their and found it didn’t do a very good job of making the art “user friendly”… they had been a docent in a Chicago Museum and thought that museums had an obligation to make art accessible… it was really difficult to talk about it across the table… there was so much to say in answer… i pointed out that there were the equivalent of docent tours, (which they had not taken advantage of), that i personally did not require translation of what i was looking at (though i don’t object to getting other ways of thinking about the art i am looking at) and that their experience was their experience, neither right or wrong… there is a lot more i could have said… i would have liked to have the conversation with them… of note is that to the extent i understand what M does for a living, it involves the design and implementation of user experiences on the internet… so, you might say, that is their thing and possibly of more interest to them than the art itself?…

… the drive home was in the dark and on the Taconic Parkway… i was concerned about deer, it’s the time of year they are mating and more reckless, and there was at one point a buck grazing just feet from the edge of the highway, cars whizzing by… that was the only deer i saw and we arrived home safely…

First Thoughts

… i was hoping for a turkey icon to label this day’s folder, but alas, there was none…

… we drive north with the dogs to hook up with L, M, S, B, and five other family members… 11 of us all together… the dogs won’t be allowed in the house (rental, no pets) so we will keep them in the car with regular visits to be sure they are ok… don’t really like this but don’t like leaving them home either…

HCR meter, instructive, maybe hopeful… she gives us the history of Thanksgiving, which, in the most tenuous way, does go all the way back to the Pilgrims and Native Americans having diner together in the 1600’s… however, it didn’t become a thing until the Civil War when, in the states of the Union, it became a way to remember the sacrifices on the battlefield and give thanks for the strength and fortitude being shown by citizens of the Union in their struggle to preserve Democracy…

… i made two versions of the fiskepudding yesterday… i am perfecting my technique… perhaps we will have some for Christmas…

… i dived down a rabbit hole on the fiskepudding… was trying to find some historical information but none to be had easily… then i moved on to pickled herring and a search for salted herring which is used to make pickled herring… i will look for it in the local groceries first… Adam’s might have it… maybe fresh market…

… such a rabbit hole this AM… trying to find recipes for fiskepudding, i buy two cookbooks, one on Scandinavian cooking, the other on Norwegian cooking… the Norwegian one has the fiskepudding…

… time to move on to other things…

Japanese Style Salted Salmon in the works…

The Journals of Denton Welch

… i read about ten pages… the book is long, almost 400 pages… i am a little beyond half way done… the entries have become more extended which i attribute to the happiness he has found with Eric… at times it seems endless, but mostly it is satisfying reading the relatively unpolished thoughts and observations… i have a desire to read some of his more polished writing and story telling, but i also have a long line of books waiting to be read… i keep buying them because they seem interesting… i am not a fast reader, especially because i make notes as i go…

… it’s later in the day… more reading in the Journals… i come across this:

Last night in the moon — head on my shoulder, and the screeching owl flickering across the lawn, through the trees and back again; while the cow mooed sadly for its bull. All stillness in the room, only the arch of grey light from the Gothic window living across the polished floor and the end of the bed. Moment that can never be made again, only known in years afterwards.1

… and this:

I suppose money is so fascinating, so repelling and so tiring because it has the power to draw all forms of ingenuity out of people.2

… fish pudding is mentioned as part of a meal… i look it up and find a recipe for Fiskepudding, Norwegian Fish Mousse… i save it to Paprika…

… he complains he has nothing to write or is not writing well, but since Eric came into his life he seems to write more and more completely… there is a gradual maturing goin on… he is having success, settling down… if only his health would improve, which we know it doesn’t…


  1. The Journals of Denton Welch, p 220. [return]
  2. Ibid. [return]

The Journals of Denton Welch

… before i am done with Denton Welch completely i will have to read one of his books… they were well received in his lifetime and i wonder if that is where the “profound’ content winds up… or, perhaps i have to recalibrate my concept of profound, which is an epiphanic thought or idea that represents a deep insight into the meaning of being alive in this cosmos… such an idea would make death seem reasonable… if we just got to grasp such an insight before we melt back into the cosmic fabric, all would be ok… or so i like to imagine…

… another odd menu… tomato soup, egg and celery pie, melba toast and minced pie1

… interestingly, the Journals come more alive with the arrival of Eric as a permanent fixture in his life…

… it occurs to me to look up egg and celery pie and i find a quiche recipe… then, because i have some cardoon in the refrigerator, i look up cardoon quiche, don’t find anything so then look up cardoon and eggs, do find something, and then resolve to make a cardoon quiche because cardoon, plus egg, plus gruyere cheese might be interesting… i think we will skip eggs this morning and make that tonight for dinner… while Fiona is recovering…

… DW talking about an 18th century doll house he is restoring… quite a lot of detail… remembered from years ago, though the object is in front of him to provoke the memories…


  1. The Journals of Denton Welch, p 180 [return]

Cafe Mutton…

… after the family zoom meeting we drive up to Hudson for a late lunch at our niece’s restaurant… lunch turns into a feast when they bring out a few extras because we are family… no need for dinner tonight… we love that they have a restaurant which requires their presence… we always now where to find them Wednesday to Sunday… we don’t get a lot of time with them but i am learning that small moments of contact can be very rewarding… hello, are you there?… yes, we are here!…

… a few of the dishes we enjoyed…

… tomato soup…

…country pate (made on premises) sandwich…

Baguette with butter and salami (made on premises), sautéed ham steak with garlic/parsley butter…

… i need to get better at making photos of the food…

… woke up at about 2:30 AM… tried to go back to sleep… stayed in bed until about 4:30 AM… not sure how much of those two hours was sleeping…

… my weight is up… a steady trend now… i have to turn it around… fewer carbs will do it… hard to do when your spouse’s pandemic skill is baking…

… dogs in a tizzy this AM… all ready to hunt… made me think they smelled something… they ran out barking and tonguing, but settled down quickly… i think the cat playing hide and seek with them got them going… glad there wasn’t anything in the back yard… they have been skunked before, though it’s a bit late in the season for skunks to be out and about…

… i reread something i wrote yesterday and think, yup, got that one right… well written too… i am getting good at leaving a record behind… a somewhat compelling one too… though the evidence that anyone reads it is slim…

… S’s swim team won the Washington State high school championship… they qualified for one of the race finals and came in 16th but still scored a point for their team which was, apparently, their goal… they are only a freshman and will get increasingly competitive as they progresses through the grades…

… we are thinking to go for a drive this afternoon… maybe stop at our niece’s restaurant for a late lunch…

… HCR crapped out, but not before relating disgraced General Michael Flynn’s statement questioning why we shouldn’t be a Christian nation, what is so special about our vaunted separation of church and state… we are being overrun by nitwits… i believe more than ever before that religious belief is a blight on humanity…

… we made progress on the house this past week… we ordered a new storm door for the front… been wanting to do this for some time but struggled to get clear pricing from the various lumber yards we went to… we found one yard in Newburgh that simply looked it up in a catalog that all of them must have, should have had… everyone else had to call their distributor to get pricing… the sale goes to the one who can tell us how much on the spot… H says the lumber yard has good reviews from its customers… so far, we are satisfied…

… Fiona will undergo spay surgery this week… we had been worried she was heading into heat, but that doesn’t seem to be the case… it’s hard to think about such a sweet and loving dog going under the knife, but we are obligated to the breeder to do it, it’s better for her long term health, and perhaps she will be a bit less of a flight risk going forward… she is quite the escape artist, finding holes in the back yard fencing as if it were swiss cheese…

… bought some haddock yesterday… going to make baked haddock in tahini sauce with golden onions… i take a detour to look up the author of the recipe i have settled on, Helen Graves… she doesn’t call herself a chef… she is a “freelance food and travel writer, recipe developer and editor”… doesn’t quite fit with a site titled Great British Chefs… whatever… i install her blog feed into feedbin… also the Great British Chefs feed…

… I came to dinner last night… i served a roast chicken (one i helped raise and slaughter), Emily’s English roasted potatoes, salad of frisée and lardon with bacon vinaigrette dressing… H made oatmeal cookies for desert… we had a good time trying to solve I’s struggles finding a suitable love interest… they are a particular sort of person… they are possibly commitment phobic… but they don’t want to be alone either…

… as generally happens when there is company, i had a little too much to drink… not feeling too much “the worse for wear” this AM… having climbed into bed at 10:00 PM i had hoped to sleep in a little but i came awake at 4:00 AM and never really got back to sleep… out of bed at 4:45 AM

… fog this morning… i wonder if it will persist past sunrise…

… i keep thinking we may be heading for authoritarian rule, or oligarchic rule… people around the world live their lives under such systems… does the average person do ok?… i don’t know…

… HCR meter this morning suggests the noose is tightening around 45 Administration officials… we are getting to the point of holding individuals accountable and i wonder if we will be able to… to this point, we have not… i fervently hope people start going to jail…

First Thoughts

… up at 5 AM… an hour later than i like… this jams me up on the things i like to do prior to heading out for a walk…

… there is research that suggests there are heart benefits to going to bed between 10 and 11… i have been trying that but i am not sure it is working for me… i had been going to bed between 9 and 10 with the desire to be up by 4 AM… this gives me a good amount of time to write and read in the morning… so maybe that is my rhythm… i’ve always been early to bed and early to rise…

… an exhausting day devoted to errands for the household… i have been very frustrated with the way activities that are not photography, reading and writing are intruding an hours devoted to those things… it has been a real struggle lately to keep that from happening… today, J will claim a certain amount of my time… tomorrow, a friend for dinner, which will require an early start on dinner prep… sigh… there are times when i’d like to take off to a cabin in the woods and hibernate… i’m quite good at being alone…

HCR meter, ominous rumblings in Europe… Russia threatening Ukraine… Russia and Belarus pumping immigrants into Poland in an effort to inflame right wing dissidents and destabilize the region…

… i was thinking about the benefits of having lived in a pretty stable country… there have been times of unrest, but generally speaking, the average citizen could go about their business and depend on the world around them to behave pretty much the way it did the day before… there are so many people around the world for whom that isn’t true… what must be the loss in human product and accomplishment?… are we heading into a time where the world will twist and turn in ways we can’t possibly predict?… where faith in anything is impossible?…

… Cape Malay Pickled Fish for dinner last night… two days of marination in pickling juices… it was tasty… not clear that i would go to the trouble again… maybe…

… i did a search for recipes for CMPF and discovered a bunch of them… it appears i used the only recipe (from Martha Stewart), that fries the fish after marinating in the pickling juices for a couple of days… every other recipe cooks the fish before marinating… hmmm… i now have to cook this again…

Cafe Mutton!

a sterling review of my niece’s new restaurant!

First Thoughts

HCR meter, encouragement to progressives… all about the stock market crash, subsequent Republican attempts to pound the people even further into poverty, the election of FDR and the New Deal, which sparked recovery and American prosperity for multiple decades following, enabling the nation to prevail in the Second WW… the thought that immediately flows through my mind, why are conservatives so bent on pounding the people back to the place of the Great Depression?… why are they so keen on dismantling the social safety net system?… is it all about greed?… about wanting as much money and as many toys as possible?… it doesn’t really make sense to me… but then, i come from a place where i don’t want much more than supports a relatively humble existence… well, we are a little better off than humble existence, but we are solidly middle class and i like it that way… i am not a fan of unfettered capitalism, which is brutal… and, in any case, wealth distorts even that playing field… it is difficult to impossible to hold wealthy people accountable… what passes for justice in this country is what keeps the masses in line… this will get worse if conservatives have their way…

… economics as if people mattered… Buddhist economics… there has to be a better way…

… made a nice vegetarian dinner and even used the Instant Pot… i don’t like the IP that much… it’s a time saving device mostly designed to help one be a last minute cook… still, it did make a lovely dish in perhaps a little less time than cooking with normal pots and pans… chickpeas and tomatoes with Indian type spicing… cumin, turmeric, Cinamon… i served it with basmati rice and a salad of radicchio, fennel and radish…

… no alcohol last night… the usual feeling much better this morning…

… we are steadily making our way through The Haunting of Hill House… we are more than half way through and just now getting to the place where scary stuff happens… so far, i am not very scared… i don’t think we will finish by Halloween, maybe a day or two after…

… i must not forget the chickens today… i have been a little off center since forgetting them last Saturday…

… i have begun the switch to Proton Mail… i have worked out a way to keep Proton Mail free of spam, i hope… my proton email address will only be shared with friends and family… gmail will be used to sign up for things… email from sources i actually want to see will be forwarded to the Proton mail account via my admin@studiombk.com address… the result so far is a very clean email experience in Proton… i am curious if the Proton email address will be harvested from someone using gmail to communicate with me?… it occurs to me, that everyone should continue to have my gmail address, i will just set up filters to forward their email to Proton… now i have to work out profiles to reply with…

First Thoughts

… heavy rain last night… woke up intermittently to the sounds of splashing water… gutters that are clogged and overflowing?… don’t think it’s our gutters… the houses next door?…

HCR meter, interesting and disturbing… more and more information coming out about January 06, the administration of 45 and Facebook… a lot of evil afoot… it’s more and more likely that the insurrection was planned… Republican House members are implicated… 45 is implicated… there seems to be a “festering turd” pile of rich conservatives trying to cement power towards an autocracy… HCR points to 1903 as the last time the wealthy made such a significant play for control at the expense of democracy… it was turned back then… there is no guarantee it will be now… even so, with so much coming out, there is plenty for the people to act on and a number of actors intent on doing that… hoping the people prevail again…

… made Moela (or Moelas, as a Portuguese contact spelled it) last night… chicken gizzards… it’s a good way to make them… H is not a fan of gizzards in general but said she liked this dish, as she has in the past… it wasn’t quite spicy enough… omitted crushed red pepper in favor of two fresh poblano peppers instead of the one called for… the long cooking tempered the heat of the poblanos to the point of non existence… should have kept the crushed red pepper… next time… my Portuguese contact has promised to compare my recipe to his mother’s and let me know of differences…

… there will be no photo walk today… rain all day… not really interested in a photo drive as i used to do on such days… will just skip the day in photograph making and focus on processing and other photography practice objectives…

… i over-drank last night… not badly, but enough to feel effects… sigh… it’s a struggle…

… i remember that D and K are coming for dinner on Friday… i remember that there is money owed me… will this be the day i communicate with people such that it will come to me?… i have been oddly resistant to doing that… in one case, i am not ready to start the work again… or at least hesitant about doing so… in the other i am unclear of the price i should ask… anyway… lets make a pact with ourselves and get it done today, shall we?…

… i couldn’t resist… started the download of OS Monterey… several hours of wait and watch i expect…

Moela, Portuguese Chicken Gizzard Stew

… wishing there was a way to capture smell the way light can be captured in a photograph… i have a Portuguese chicken gizzard stew on the stove and the aroma is out of this world…

Making Fish Stock

… scored a couple of fish heads at the farmer’s market… making stock for a yet to be determined deliciousness…

Food

… an afternoon of cooking… roasting sugar pie pumpkins for soup… roasting pumpkin seeds… for dinner i will make salt baked red snapper, fondant potatoes and a bitter greens salad… all with fresh ingredients procured in the last couple of days…

… toasted peppercorns, coriander seed, fennel seed, crushed in mortar and pestle, the most amazing smell… for the fish cavity… as the fish steams in the salt crust the toasted spices are infused in the flesh… the flavor is subtle and amazing… i made oven baked fries flavored with Old Bay in lieu of the fondant potatoes as it took less time and attention… dinner was terrific but i prefer the salt crust of the recipe i usually use… will combine the spicing of this recipe with the salt crust of the other next time…

First Thoughts

… woke at 5 AM… that is sleeping late for me… busy day yesterday… lots got done… another busy day today…

… made beach rose hip jam yesterday… actually more of a marmalade…

… my first successful BR jam… tried last year but managed to burn the sugar…

HCR meter, country approaching the precipice… Mitch McConnel has lost control of his caucus?… are there those who would really see the country crash and burn because they could rebuild it as an oligarchy or with authoritarian control?… i believe the conditions are being set for Manchin and Synema to blow away the filibuster… if this happens, a floodgate of legislation that should drown radical Republicans and wash them out to the sea… one can only hope… in the meantime, our retirement life hangs in the balance…

… i had the thought this morning, its actually been hanging out in the recesses of my consciousness for a while, that 45 will return as a Hitleresque leader and Tucker Carlson will be his henchman, the one who sets up the concentration camps… this might seem outlandish, but i see a host of characters on the far right that would readily fill the roles of Nazi German government… Steve Bannon would be head of the SS… it doesn’t take me to any kind of happy place to be having these thoughts…

… sirens in the distance… many sirens… police, fire trucks, i am wondering what is going on… if it’s big, i will find out later…

Classic French Omelette Project

… as i have likely mentioned before, my pandemic project was to master the making of a classic french omelette… i am getting pretty good at it…

… a fissure on the top, not ideal… otherwise, good form…

Farmer’s Market Bounty

… planning on grilling some veggies… also, making some fennel frond pesto…

06 Tools of the Omelette Making Trade:

… Iwachu cast iron omelette pan, stainless steel mixing bowl, silicone omelette spatula, wire whisk, chopsticks…

06 The Classic French Omelette Learning Curve:

… i make classic French omelettes on an almost daily basis in an attempt to develop my skill to the near perfect level… i have been doing this since last October and am getting pretty good at it…

… i complicated my quest by refusing to use a non-stick skillet, which are generally bad for the environment…

… after a great deal of research and trial and error, I bought an Iwachu large iron omelette pan… it was factory seasoned and largely non-stick out of the box, though instructions recommended the application of an appropriate food oil before first use, which i did…

… frequently, my omelettes have been sticking in the middle of the pan which is not a big problem, but i was trying to figure out why…

… making omelettes in a cast iron pan is a matter of a well seasoned pan and knowing how hot to get the pan before adding butter then eggs… i have it down to the point that i time the heating up of the pan… 3.5 minutes at medium heat on the large burner has been the routine…

… it occurred to me that the pan might not be getting hot enough in the middle of the pan, so i increased the preheat time to 4 minutes…

… no sticking this morning…

… i will repeat for the next several days to make sure that was the problem…

… a photograph of this morning’s omelette…

📷 🍽

07 Food Stuff:

A game changer…

… every now and again you learn something about preparing food that is transformational… one of those lessons came from watching Samin Nosrat on Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat… she told me to salt meat hours before you are going to cook it…

… nearly every recipe i have used for cooking a good cut of meat says salt and pepper just before cooking… no, no, no, no!… hours before!… liberally, joyously salt it and then put it in the fridge…

… pull it out a half hour before cooking to warm up… then cook away… no need to salt at the table, it’s already integral to the meat…