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Monthly Archives: June 2015

Some doubts about the new “Poldark”

Ross Poldark and Demelza from the old 1970s series I’m certainly not giving up on it after the first episode of the new “Poldark” was broadcast on PBS on Sunday. But I have some doubts about how well the screenwriter, the directors, and the cast really understand this story. I’m going to claim some standing […]

Outdoor bagels

Making homemade bagels may seem daunting, but it really isn’t. It had been ages since I’d made bagels. Then it occurred to me that bagels would be excellent candidates for finishing off in a gas grill. You can read various theories on what defines a bagel, including the use of barley malt in the boiling […]

After the daisies: black-eyed Susans

First outdoor bread

I was itchin’ to try the gas grill as a bread oven, so I made a loaf this afternoon. It was not perfect, but baking in the grill seems entirely manageable. And after some Googling, I see that plenty of other people also use grills for baking bread. To add a margin of safety, this […]

The normal failure of CFL bulbs

Note that the top of the base is slightly brown from heat, which may have occurred when the CFL failed. This is normal. I happened to be standing right underneath a compact fluorescent bulb yesterday when it failed. It failed exactly according to the book: There was a quiet pop, about the volume of a […]

You mean you can cook with fire??

My first primitive efforts at cooking with fire The abbey’s back deck has been woefully underused in the seven years that the abbey has been occupied. This is because there was no furniture and no creature comforts. I had been on the lookout for deck furniture, but I never seemed to come across something that […]

A bargain? At Whole Foods??

It’s extremely unusual to get a grab-n-growl bargain at Whole Foods. But I think the fresh corn yesterday, three for a dollar, qualifies. I suspect that anything that early and plentiful came from Louisiana or some such other place that has been getting all of our East Coast rain. And the chickens sure do like […]

A bread for all seasons

I post about bread fairly often. It’s not that I eat a vast amount of bread. I probably eat less bread than most people. But I almost never buy bread, so, unless I bake it myself, there’s no bread in the house. Hot weather is a challenge. I hate heating up the oven when it’s […]

A brief essay on day lilies

If you’ve seen one day lily, have you seen them all? Not if you worked as hard as I did to get these started. They’re all individuals. I’d name them, like chickens, if I had time. They all are grandchildren of the 300 day lily sets that I planted here seven years ago. Their natural […]

“We Shall Not Be Moved”

There had been rumors of civil disobedience and disorder, so Stokes County officialdom was braced for that last night ahead of the meeting of the Walnut Cove town board. But, in the end, what the board got was a seriously serious tongue-lashing, followed by a packed house (plus 30 or 40 others standing outside and […]