jump to navigation

Tonight’s Dinner February 21, 2008

Posted by littlebangtheory in Dinner with TCR.
Tags: , ,

Tonight, Chicken sautéed with an assortment of herbed olives, and a generous side of asparagus:


‘Twas guuuud.

A Light Dinner February 19, 2008

Posted by littlebangtheory in Dinner with TCR.
Tags: , , , , ,

Being an inveterate “Hunter/Gatherer,” I try to get out to a decent restaurant once in a while, to hunt for and gather dinner ideas.

And being, um, “resource-challenged,” I usually go for an interesting sounding appetizer over an entrée I’m familiar with.

This past weekend I scooted on over to Hope & Olive, a great restaurant in the Teaming Megalopolis© of Greenfield, MA. to run their White Anchovy starter through the Gastronomic Deconstructor (that be me, heheh.) I’d had it before, but hadn’t sussed it out sufficiently to recreate it at home.

I gotta say, Chef Maggie could turn Cheerios into a five-star treat.

Anyway, I Came, I Saw, I Ate It. Then I came again.

And tonight I did my best to recreate it at home, on an entrée scale:


Marinated White Anchovies*, toasted almonds, and roasted root veggies (tonight, golden beet chips and rutabaga “fries”) on a bed of organic field greens and shaved fennel, with a Chipotle aioli. This was my first dance with Chipotle chilis, and it won’t be my last!

I’d say “Enjoy!” except that I performed The Hoover Maneuver, and it’s, um, gone!

* These are not the briny abominations you pick off your pizza. They’re marinated in olive oil, hot peppers, vinegar and spices, and have an extraordinary flavor and texture.

So… How Foggy Was It? February 18, 2008

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
Tags: , ,

The last day or so has seen a dramatic change in the weather, from night-time temps in the single digits to today’s high of around 60 degrees F. This translates into a robust sublimation of our substantial snow-pack and considerable condensation from the overlying warm air, resulting in dense fogs in every hollow.

Now it happened that I needed to get down to Mount Holyoke today on a kind of a mercy run to assist Elder Progeny, so off I headed, thinking something like,”Gee, I think I’ll take the back roads through the farms and fields and take some photos in the fog.”

Right. Take route 47, Einstein, following the eastern bank of the Connecticut River. In the fog.

The very, very dense fog.

So, you ask, just how foggy was it?

Well, at one point I slammed on the brakes as a car appeared before me, apparently at a dead stop in the middle of the road.

It took me a full thirty seconds of hurling epithets and casting various aspersions to realize that there were two red traffic lights hovering in the pall, feebly whispering “stop” to anyone who happened by wearing a pair of night vision goggles.

After that, I drove with the windows down so I could hear if there were cars approaching.

Anyway, there were periods of white-knuckling interspersed with thinnings of the fog, and during the latter episodes I pulled over repeatedly to try to capture the fleeting scenes of roadways and farmlands and trees and tobacco sheds floating in the mists.




And, of course, as the rains came through to clear the air and the day came to its preordained conclusion, a dark and brooding sunset:


All in all, it was worth a little tension in the driver’s seat, and I got a hug from Elder P. to boot!

Images From My Day February 16, 2008

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, macro photos.

Traveling the high, icy hills of Hawley today, I tried in vain to capture the beauty of trees ensconced in ice. But I failed, and I don’t even know why. Crappy equipment? Shitty technique? Poor lighting?

I’ll go with “D, All Of The Above.”

In fact the lighting was intense and direct, not conducive to drama, not given to revealing subtleties, not full of the warmth of the sun’s long rays closer to sunrise and sunset.

But then, some things benefit from strong light, and I was glad to have my camera along when I encountered these dentinums growing on a truncated oak:


…and this rock, a rare example of serpentinite, I think, judging by the mix of minerals and forms involved:


And everywhere I looked, the promise of Spring, giggling in faux-repose beneath its blanket of ice, planning its escape, ready to break into lightly colored leaves:


That’s the terminal bud on the end of a branch of a beech tree, ready to become a new set of leaves as soon as the weather calls it forth.

I dearly love winter, and will try to share that with you; but Spring is just so insinuated into the equasion by the lengthening days, and I’m so ready for it.

I Took A Walk February 16, 2008

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, macro photos.

No, really!

OK, so you’re not surprised. I always take a walk. It’s what I do when I need to put politics and people behind me and connect with my source.

It was cold and clear here in the Berkshires today, with a bright light and a thinness to the air typical of a mid-winter New England day. I puttered around the house ’till mid-day to let it warm up a bit. Then I laced on a pair of aggressively cleated boots, expecting it to be icy up in the hills, and hit the road.

I was right.


I chopped a parking place in the snow bank on the side of the road where a trail should have been, and headed into the woods.

It was a different world in there, even from my little hill-town home. Every branch was heavy, every bough bent low, interlocked in a lattice of crystal beauty.


The trail proved to be an impassable non-entity, criss-crossed by saplings intertwined in an icy weave. I found myself moving instinctively through the wider maze of the woods, scanning the near-impenetrable ice crust for a plausible path, slinking low beneath the crystal lattice, without a trail, without a destination, but with the sun at 11 o’clock. I knew I could range widely in this convoluted terrain and still return to my car at the end of it all by putting the sun over my right shoulder and heading for the valley below.

It turned out that the boots I had chosen in the warmth of my ante-room were instrumental in my day’s wanderings. The snow was deep, but the crust was nearly impenetrable.


Where circumstances might have necessitated snow-shoes in another year, now I struggled up the steepening icy slopes using mountaineering techniques, pied troisiemme and piolet ramasse, though my “piolet” was an adjustable ski pole.

In all, it was a couple of miles of off-trail meanderings, somewhat evenly divided between intense concentration aimed at surviving the next hundred yards and a magical marveling at the transformation of the world around me.

Wish you were here to share this with me – it’s really something rare and special.

Waiting For The Sun February 15, 2008

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, Love and Death.
Tags: , ,

He had promised to return, and She had believed him.

He always promised, and he always left, and she always let him. What else could she do? It was in his nature to slip silently away, gently, without malice or regret or a backward glance.

And he always returned, sometimes sooner, sometimes later, but always.

Silently, expectantly, under a starry sky, under the weight of her icy cloak, she waited.

She woke to his touch, his smile shining down on her.


As the day blossomed, his radiant fingers slid across her face, caressed the elegant curves of her hills, played across the quivering grass of her lowlands, explored the wetness of her deepest secret folds. Slowly, gently, he peeled back the armor of her solitude, wrapping himself in her, penetrating her, infusing her with an undeniable light.


They melded, became one, defied the laws of physics, occupied the same space at the same time. They crossed a line, an invisible line, beyond which existence becomes Life, becomes Love, becomes a cup of hope, a slice of serenity, a Feast of possibilities. They exploded in Power and Glory, engulfing the universe, becoming again the singular mystery, the source, the chalice of all that exists.

Then he gathered himself, rose to the sky of his birth, and without malice, without regret, slipped once more over the horizon.


The fount of all love, the template of our existence, is the perfect symbiosis of sun and water, Earth and Sky, the universe within and the universe without.

Thank You, Mother Earth. Thank You, Father Sky.

After The Rain February 13, 2008

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
Tags: , , ,

After a pre-dawn episode of one-armed scraping and shoveling in a driving sleet storm;

After a long, wet day of working on setting up a new bridge job in the pouring rain;

After a slow, harrowing drive down a rural highway to “the big city;”

After a relatively painful but productive session of PT;

I made it up to the High Country just as the insistent rains broke, just as the mists rose from the roiling river, just as the evening light came through a thinning of the clouds, just in time for this:


This place is like a salve on my soul; it always gives me a reason to rejoice.


Ho Hum February 13, 2008

Posted by littlebangtheory in Dinner with TCR.
Tags: ,

Another day, another dollop.

Tonight, a bean and cheese quesadilla with guacamole:


A simple mid-week meal for a rainy night.

Now, early to bed!

A Reminder… February 12, 2008

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
Tags: , ,

…that not all days are gray days, that not all mornings bring a cold drizzle, that getting up and dressed and hitting the road in the profound pre-dawn darkness of a December night can be delicious, tranquil, tantalizing, tangerine.


A December sunrise up on Windsor Mountain.

White Bishop To Ice Queen 7 February 12, 2008

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.

Something I saw this past weekend:


It just struck my fancy. So much in the Natural World does.