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Monthly Archives: July 2014

My grudge against Rome

It occurs to me that I have never fully explained my grudge against Rome. It’s because I’m a Celt. Back in 2006, I signed up for a DNA test. I learned a great deal from it, including the fact that I do indeed have common ancestors with the notorious Dalton Gang, though that’s a story […]

Julius Caesar against the Gauls

Wikimedia Commons: The Dying Gaul, Roman, circa 200 B.C. The sculpture preceded Julius Caesar by about 150 years and is based on earlier wars with the Celts. Now that Fugue in Ursa Major has been sent out into the world to seek its fortune, I am already well into the research needed for the sequel. […]

Ragweed and other saints of nature

Ragweed. Note the brown grass behind it. The wildflower patches did poorly this year, but water-frugal species grew valiantly. One of the good things about living in a place like the abbey is that, instead of fighting with nature, one gradually begins to cooperate with nature and to learn from nature’s experience. This summer has […]

More garden pasta

It’s spooky how much tomatoes like cream. This is linguini with fresh tomatoes in a creamy parmesan sauce. Flash-sautée the tomatoes in a hot skillet (but not hot enough to smoke). Cook the tomatoes for only one to two minutes, just until they’re hot. Put them in a bowl and set them aside. Add some […]

Next surplus: tomatoes

For the new gardener, just getting things to grow is a triumph. But an art of gardening that must take a lifetime to refine is stretching out the seasons. That is, not only does one want the earliest possible fresh food in the spring and the latest possible fresh food in the fall, one also […]

Squash again (and again, and again … )

A couple of days ago, I sent a friend home with about eight pounds of squash and other garden vegetables (which he thoughtfully picked for himself in the brutal heat). He has been reporting on his use of the squash, and he made a great observation. That was that onions in his squash casserole was […]

Now available: Fugue in Ursa Major

Fugue in Ursa Major went on sale today. You can buy it in pretty much any format you want — paperback, Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, or Apple iBooks. Here is a link to the Amazon editions.

First tomato sandwich of 2014

One of holiest of white trash sacraments is the first tomato sandwich of the season. Around here, that means that certain nasty foods are temporarily allowed into the house. For this year’s bread, I chose Merita Old-Fashioned, just because it had a better squeeze on the store shelf than Bunny. The chips, as always, are […]

Peter Rabbit: As of 2014, he belongs to all of us

Beatrix Potter’s work is now in the public domain Authors write to make a living. Eventually, authors get old and die, but their work lives on. Books, paintings, even movies — all become part of our historical and cultural heritage. Imagine how we’d all lose if someone still held a copyright on Shakespeare’s plays, or […]

Squash: make it a sin

Squash is coming out my ears. I couldn’t bear another bit of it without turning it into something sinful. Solution: pizza. The sauce is a pesto sauce made from garden basil. The squash is masquerading as pepperoni. It didn’t fool me. There is — no joke — half a cup of garlic in the pesto […]