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Monthly Archives: February 2016

Variations on an old theme: Banana bread

Everybody makes banana bread, right? Like me, you probably have a standby basic recipe. Still, it’s good to experiment, especially with ways to make banana bread a little healthier. Not many years ago, saturated fats such as coconut oil were deemed to be very bad for us. Now some sources, at least, encourage us to […]

The ghost in the woods

Through an upstairs window, I saw the ghost deer this morning for the first time in weeks. Deer season is over. Game cameras belonging to neighbors confirm that there may be two white deer. All the local hunters have sworn not to shoot them.

Local milk!

While in the Winston-Salem Whole Foods on Monday, I was pleased to see milk from a local dairy in the dairy case. It’s grass-fed milk, and the dairy is Wholesome Country Creamery in Hamptonville. Hamptonville is in the Yadkin Valley not far from where I grew up. Not since I was in San Francisco have […]


When I was a young’un, I was as intrigued with the word dumpling as I was with dumplings. There was something funny, archaic, and magical about dumplings — both the food and the word. I would have guessed that dumpling is of Germanic origin, but the Oxford English dictionary throws up its hands and says […]

Two-personality pancakes

Even though it’s February, and even thought the yard smells like the 500 pounds of organic fertilizer that was spread yesterday, the temperature was in the 60s, and the deck and the grill were calling. For breakfast I settled on pancakes with two different treatments. On the right is a chutney of roasted apples and […]

Arbor vitae trees

The first trees I ever planted at the abbey were four arbor vitae trees, four feet high at the time. I chose them only because I like them. I think that arbor vitae trees have a kind of old-fashioned magic about them. Now there are 13 arbor vitae trees at the abbey. I wish I […]

Desperate for signs of spring

February is the grimmest month, and you have to look closely to find signs of spring. But they’re there.

Eggs Benedict, homemade muffins

Is it that I don’t get out much, or are eggs Benedict not on many restaurant menus anymore? Once upon a time, when butter and eggs were considered much more unhealthy than we consider them now, eating eggs Benedict was extremely decadent. But the chickens have been laying extremely well lately in spite of the […]

One more word about hot dogs

In a recent post on healthier hot dogs, I mentioned the Loma Linda canned hot dogs and that I’d had a hard time finding them. It occurred to me that the local Ingles store, which carries a lot of slow-selling products that many grocery stores don’t carry, might have them. Indeed they did. They were […]

Two random reviews: San Andreas, and The History Boys

San Andreas, Warner Bros., 2015 Readers of this blog know that I don’t make any systematic effort to review movies. Rather, my movie reviews are pretty random and occasional and reflect only what I happen to have been watching — stuff that left me thinking. San Andreas and The History Boys are about as different […]