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Oh, Did I Mention That It Snowed? February 28, 2008

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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Really! It snowed, right here, just this Tuesday!

Well, not just this Tuesday, but It Snowed Tuesday.

And it was pretty, again, but you know, I could stand to see something other than WHITE right about now.

But that’s what it did, and that’s what there was, and that’s what I took pictures of.

Again.

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Maybe some day it’ll do something else. Like, um… I forget what else there is!

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Atonement February 28, 2008

Posted by littlebangtheory in Dinner with TCR.
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After two meals of Ravioli in Chipotle Cream Sauce with Mushrooms (hey, I always cook with left-overs in mind) I found I’d gained two pounds in two days!

Hey, that’s what happens when you pour a pint of heavy cream over mascarpone-filled pasta and EAT IT.

Anyway, being at the scale-crushing weight of 126lbs makes me feel stiff and bloated and, as Pigboy Crabshaw used to say, “Ah cain’t fit into mah brazier no mo’!”

So it was time to get back to some sensible meals, like a hearty organic salad.

I know, “hearty” and “salad” aren’t always uttered in the same breath. But trust me, if you put enough of The Goods in a big, BIG bowl, you can go to bed looking preggers and get up ready to seduce the world.

The Goods:

A bag of organic… oh hell, it was all organic! Mesclun greens, grated carrot, fresh tomatoes, red onion, a yellow Italian hot pepper and some shaved fennel, providing a deep, comfy bed for a generous double handful of curried cashews and white raisins, topped with lots of freshly shaved Manchego cheese:

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…and finished with a creamy ranch dressing.

OK, so I cheated. But it was all fresh and raw and organic, except for the cheese, which was made with “naturally raised” sheep’s milk. Whatever that means.

Oh, and I ate two of them, the contents of a large mixing bowl. Went to bed stuffed, woke up feeling on top of the world.

With wood.

Funny how salad does that to me.

And She’s Off! February 28, 2008

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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As of today, my Blogmate, Ice Climbing Partner and Meat-World Neighbor Lizz (a.k.a. Frau Biergut) hits the skies for a three week trip to the Desert Southwest, trading in her regular gig as a research biochemist for a rental car, a pup-tent and a sturdy pair of hiking boots.

The focus, heheh, of Frau B’s trip: Photography!

Yeah, she’s one of those. Only she’s a real one, who actually knows what she’s doing and all. Check out some of her work at Lizz Bartlett Photography. Browse the galleries, from New England scenes to amazing Southwestern landscapes. I think you’ll see why she was anxious to get back out West, especially with this trip (and her ambitious itinerary) being planned around peak wildflower blooms at various latitudes and elevations.

Lizz will be joined part way through her adventure by Miz Lu(mena), whom you may also know from comments on this blog. Miz Lu will have in tow the boys from her photography class, who may not yet fully comprehend how lucky they are to be going to such amazing places with two such excellent people at such a perfect time. And I bet there’ll be plenty of grumbling when the bells go off at 4am, and more when they shoulder their packs in the dark and head for the perfect vantage point from which to capture the sunrise.

But I suspect the tribulations of the getting will be washed from their minds when, back in the Boston area, their images come to life in their hands, the rich desert colors glowing through the emulsion as they practice the skills which they’ve learned over the past year.

What lucky, lucky boys!

I’d be jealous if I hadn’t been there, or didn’t believe I’d be back some day soon with a real camera and a good friend to share the days with.

This wasn’t my year, Lizz, but I thank you sincerely for the invitation. Call when you get back to Rolling J Farm, ‘k?

Into the future, then!

Yet More Snow! February 25, 2008

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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…Over the weekend:

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And more forecast for tomorrow. And Wednesday. And Friday.

So, Snow – it’s a good thing I like you!

A Vegetarian Dish February 25, 2008

Posted by littlebangtheory in Dinner with TCR.
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…and fairlane, no onions!

Tonight I threw together a few things which caught my fancy down at our “local” (only an hour away) Whole Foods Market, starting with some locally-made fresh spinach ravioli stuffed to bursting (almost!) with roasted garlic, ricotta and triple-creme mascarpone:

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This I topped with miataki mushrooms and baby spinach in a chipotle cream sauce.

All ingredients were organic, though I’m sure that didn’t keep the calorie count below the 1 million mark!

People, I try not to pat myself on the back too often (hard on the shoulders, you know,) but this was SO. DAMNED. GOOD!

…I nearly cried.

Really.

A Message From Our Friends In Whately, MA February 23, 2008

Posted by littlebangtheory in Love and Death.
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‘Cause you know, these hills are full of smart people!

Conway, Massachusetts February 23, 2008

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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Took a ride down to Hadley today on a Photographic Damage Control Mission (more on that soon) and, as is my wont, cruised the back roads with camera in hand.

I found myself in the agrarian hill town of Conway, somewhat down-river from my usual haunts, but nonetheless a place which is pictorially representative of life here in Southern New England.

I crossed the wood-planked bridge at Bardwell’s Ferry on the Deerfield River, a very cool pseudo-suspension bridge with hinged steel tension members in place of cables:

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…and entered a world of wood lots and sugar houses, farms and fields

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And this, an artist’s studio in an old barn on the banks of Reed’s Brook:

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I took this shot from a bridge which I helped build a couple of years ago.

All in all, a nice little town in the highlands outside of The People’s Republic of Northampton.

A Logical Progression February 23, 2008

Posted by littlebangtheory in Dinner with TCR.
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…Of dinners, that is.

I tend to buy ingredient in quantities which amount to more than one meal, because I’m both lazy and, um, Fiscally Under-Resourced.

As a result, there’s frequently something left over from the preparation of a meal, be it par-cooked or still in its package.

So at the risk of boring you all, I’ll admit to a certain sort of gradual morphing of menus based primarily on what’s left over from my last attempt at cookery. For instance, a stir-fry of chicken and vegetables might result in left-over chicken, which will appear in a subsequent meal.

Such was the case after my recent foray into the world of White Anchovies. I had about half of the package left, and not being in a position to waste food, I had to find a way to prepare the remainder.

Well, Duh. That would be pizza!

So here it is, a Very White Pizza:

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Made on a pair of locally produced flat-breads, topped with artichoke hearts, the aforementioned white anchovies, chopped marinated green olives, fresh garlic, and a goodly amount of shaved Manchego (sheeps’ milk) cheese.

It’s been a while since I had pizza, but this came out good enough to prompt me to get back to the genre on a regular basis!

A Glimpse Of The Catskills February 22, 2008

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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Last night’s lingering stay up on Windsor Mountain, waiting for the moon which (predictably) appeared only after I gave up and retreated to my car far down the hill, yielded a few interesting shots not of the sky, including this, a sculpted field up on the high dome of a hill. The underlying snow wore a thick icy crust, convoluted by sun and gravity, annealed to a wind-carved layer of sintered snow.  It resembled to my mind the surface of a tumultuous ocean, reflecting the intense blue of the twilight sky and punctuated by the low-angle light of the day’s end:

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And then, after all hope of a glorious moonrise had faded into a desperate struggle to not lose fingertips to the insistent wind, my eye was caught by the silhouette of a distant Catskill peak normally not visible from these parts:

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But you know, the higher one climbs, the broader one’s horizons.

An Acidental Sunset February 21, 2008

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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Went looking for the (essentially) full moon tonight, but froze my butt off atop Windsor Mountain, with temps in the single digits and a consistent westerly wind of indeterminate speed. Suffice it to say that my many layers, from micro-pile undies to down coat, were insufficient.

The moon was playing hard-to-get, but you know, as a “real” photographer (and a guy who paced a mean track in the snow trying to stay conscious) I happened to look around, and snagged this “consolation prize” :

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Never piss on a sunset while you’re waiting for the moon.