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Monthly Archives: October 2017

The troubles of the 4th Century

Julian the Apostate presiding at a conference of sectarians. Edward Armitage, 1875. Julian, by Gore Vidal. Vintage International, 1962, 502 pages. On the Gods and the Cosmos, by Sallustius, mid 4th Century. Paganism’s last stand occurred in the 4th Century. Early in the 4th Century, the Roman emperor Constantine established Christianity as the state religion. […]

Foo yung to the rescue

I hadn’t made egg foo yung in many years. In fact, I hadn’t even thought about it in many years. I recall that, thirty years ago before I moved to San Francisco, egg foo yung was a popular item in Chinese restaurants in the South. And yet I don’t recall ever seeing it on menus […]

Domesticated muscadines

From my years as a young’un, I have clear memories of picking strawberries by the gallon. Mama made strawberry preserves. Mama also made grape jelly, but for some reason I don’t have recollections of picking grapes wholesale for the kitchen. Wild muscadines, though, grew in lots of places at the edges of the woods, and […]

Eggplant bacon?

A homegrown organic eggplant Two days ago, a friend sent me a Facebook video on making vegan bacon from eggplant. The next day, when I took a dozen surplus eggs to friends (among the few superb gardeners in the county who can outgarden the abbey when Ken is in residence) they gave me eggplants, green […]

The kraken vine

Last year, a friend sent me a gift from his garden. He called it a squash, I called it a little pumpkin. Save the seeds, he said. Plant in early summer, he said, feed it well, give it lots of room, and it will become a kraken plant. The vine will spread like kudzu, and […]

Wintertime table lighting

W.T. Kirkman No. 1 “Little Champ” oil lanterns For many years, I have been weird about how the table is lit for supper. Electric light is not allowed. It’s not just an affectation for when there is company. It’s an everyday thing, even when I’m having supper alone. During the summer months, supper is over […]