Skip to content

Monthly Archives: November 2015

The Tristan chord

The Tristan Chord: Wagner and Philosophy. By Bryan McGee, Henry Holt and Company, New York, 2000. When I bought this book, I expected only to browse it. I ended up devouring it. As I’ve mentioned in other posts, you never know where research for a novel might lead you. In this case, I was thinking […]

I thought it was a unicorn

Through the kitchen window, I caught an glimpse of white down in the woods. I had heard rumors of her existence in the woods near the abbey. I quickly grabbed the camera, changed to a longer lens, and went to check. She dashed away quickly, and there wasn’t an opportunity for a great photo. Some […]

Sweet potato pie

Here’s a traditional abbey-recipe pie that you can make all winter. A friend gave me some home-grown sweet potatoes, and I resolved to make a pie out of them. I had not made a sweet potato pie in ages, because usually I go for pumpkin pie. But, as I mentioned in an earlier post, proper […]

Fiber gets closer

Generally, if I see heavy equipment anywhere within miles of the abbey, it’s a reason for panic. It means that someone is cutting trees to sell logs, or someone is up to some kind of mischief with a bull dozer. But there is one kind of machinery that is a joy to see nearby. That’s […]

The moon rises over the woods

Click on image for larger version

Still life with roses

Eight days ago at Trader Joe’s, on impulse, I bought a bundle of 20 roses because the price was agreeable. I expected them to last four or five days at best. But, more than a week later, they’ve opened nicely and are still going strong. Pots of flowers always remind me of San Francisco. If […]

The just world hypothesis

The Yoda fountain in the Presidio of San Francisco, a place that I used to frequently visit When you’re writing a novel, you never know what line of research you might get pulled into. Writing Oratorio in Ursa Major required that I think a great deal about justice. I’ve posted previously on this subject in […]

Casserole? Or terrine?

It’s casserole season. I wanted to experiment with the casserole’s layered French cousin, the terrine. What I ended up with was a bit too rustic and Irish looking to properly be called a terrine, but it sure was good. I used a layer of peas, a layer of carrots, a layer of kale, and a […]

Cupcakes and beyond

Is it just the time of year? For some reason, I had been thinking a lot about hearty dessert breads — things with carrots and pumpkins in it. I saw some carrot cake sitting on the counter in a country restaurant, and it almost overcame my will power. But I resolved then and there to […]

A plague of inedible pumpkins

The pumpkin above is a proper “pink pumpkin” for cooking. I have never used canned pumpkin and never will. It has never made sense to me to open a can for something that’s so easy and fun to work with. However, it’s getting more and more difficult to find cooking pumpkins. Increasingly in the fall, […]