Sunday, June 29, 2008

Sunday Dinner at Grandpa's

Probably looks, at first glance, a lot like last week, and--sure enough--there are broad similarities; I'm learning to use parchment paper, no matter what time of year it is, so whitefish from the oven: this week, a whole trout with butter, lemon oil, lemon pepper, Tarragon, and celery salt, being too lazy to go downstairs to fetch in some Lovage. The Pasta is Whole Wheat Orioccioche ("Little Ears"); Bionaturalae makes the only one I've tasted I really liked.

The Vegetables bring some familiar cast members back: Fava beans and Asparagus, with a odd little addition: Seawort. I love Favas, despite their association with a certain fictional evil genius (Still: Fava beans with Chianti and Liver??!! Anyway.) and despite the fact they are almost as much trouble as they are worth. They deliver what Butterbeans promise. Seawort is tender, grassy, and Salty, with many minerals, as it is a sea plant; it works as a seasoning as much as an additional vegetable element.

The wine is an Austrian 06 Huber Gruener Veltliner.

Monday, June 23, 2008


Can anyone tell me why we have a Congress, or a Supreme Court, for that matter? Either or both seem to be expendable on the grounds of efficiency and cost-cutting. Constitutional interpretation can be (is) handled by a small group within the Justice Department (sic) of recent graduates from Pat Robertson's law school. Pelosi and Reid's Congress can be replaced by a GS-9 with a rubber stamp.

No president in history comes close to Dubya in the number, frequency, and magnitude of "high crimes and misdemeanors", yet the Congressional leadership refuses to avail itself of our only remedy. Don't worry; it'll all be over soon.

This week, a "compromise" by the Democratic Congressional leadership on FISA shredded and flushed the Constitution, one which allows the Attorney General to forbid federal courts from considering questions which he/she asserts concern "national security", and which removes private entities and public officials from any future liability for their crimes. The Democratic nominee endorses it, though he claims it's not perfect. One "supplemental funding" bill after another sails through Congress to continue the war, while members of the armed forces continue to be victimized by multiple tours and the denial of appropriate services and treatment by administration officials, including "medical professionals." A suicide bomber killed more than fifty people in Iraq a day or two ago, an Iraqi government official killed a U S soldier and wounded 5 others South of Baghdad yesterday, while U S politicians talk of the "progress" we're making there, as the resurgent Taliban controls more of Afghanistan. Meanwhile, reporters in the war zone such as CBS's Lara Logan complain they can't get these stories on TV. She did, on the Comedy Channel, thanks to Jon Stewart.

For some time, perhaps years, most Americans despise Congress even more than the rest of the damned guvmint; the numbers I saw this week are between 70 & 80% for Democrats, Republicans, and Independents. In 2006, we voted for a new set of rascals with the demand they do something about all of this; again, why do we bother electing them?

With so few signs of hope from the princes of this world, what from the princes of the church: specifically, from the Anglican Communion? The recent GAFCON meetings in Jordan and Jerusalem did well as farce, with Big Pete trying to enter Jordan while under suspicion of at least condoning, if not directing, a massacre of Muslims in Nigeria and pointedly ignoring the Bishop of Jerusalem's requests not to meet in the Holy Land.

All this is described, in his opening address, as a sign of God's working through "orthodox biblical Anglicans" (such as Santa Barbara's Ahramson and Virginia's Minns) to restore the "church" destroyed by teh Evil Gay Menace headquartered in the U S and Canada. The Communion leadership, including the Archbishop of Canterbury, has been so grossly negligent in punishing these miscreants, despite the patient pleas of the faithful (mostly from Nigeria through Uganda to Kenya) that outside measures, such as GAFCON, have been forced upon True Biblical Orthodox Anglican Leaders, Big Pete being first among them. Nonetheless, as one observer noted, none of them seem to be willing to leave the cesspool of depravity the Anglican Communion has become in their eyes, no matter how much so many of us long for it. In this, it seems to me, that we are not dividing or destroying the church or the Anglican Communion, but recognizing that, in their thought, word, and deed, such as are in GAFCON have already done so.

I don't often say so, but I'm really fed up.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Too Much of A Good Thing Is Just What I Had in Mind

Here's the end result; I must make a note that Blogger wants to upload these in reverse order. Software rulez. Perfectly delicious, so far--I haven't started dessert--and so easy to do; I do know that cranking it out for a family is a different story, and nobody has time to shop, but I still wonder, what's so peculiar about eating this way?

Peach, bing cherries, and raspberries w/ fresh Chevre, Cod en papilotte with fresh scallions, peas and asparagus dressed with olive oil.

You might say it began with a friend's mentioning of Catfish en papillote, but it's probably more accurate to at least mention clean dishes vanishing before my very eyes and, hey, ya gotta have at least a knife to spread the peanut butter, right? So I like to think it's a reward for a clean kitchen, including pitching the soupy greens in the crisper and forgiving myself for wasting food, and adding a few plants to the back porch; really, though, it has to do, more than anything else with the rich blessing Godde pours out this time of year: cherries, peaches, and raspberries with fresh Chevre is dessert, and dinner, besides the fish, is fresh green peas and beautiful asparagus from the Great White North. Thanks, Canada!

Shelling peas was a common task in my childhood: sitting on the front porch after breakfast with a big bowl full of purple hull peas to be cooked for lunch. Most of the day's cooking would be done by 10:00am or so; supper (the evening meal) was often made up cold, though stovetop cooking could be a part. Then, shelling peas was a chore; now, it seems a homey pleasure: as good as eating them.

Some of the new additions don't show--dill and oregano are behind the sage on the upper shelf, Lavender is in the window, and Rosemary in the back of the lower shelf.

Friday, June 13, 2008

"A Perfectly Gawgous Vegetable Dinner"

Dinner, the Revised Standard Version: no favas, new red potatoes, hericots verts, and shallots on the greens, w/ Vinaigrette, S &P, and Raspberries win over Strawberries.
Dinner as originally planned: Bing Cherries, Fava Beans, baby greens, A tomato and Artichoke Foccaccia from Kathy the Baker, red berries, and an Unoaked CA Chard. The fresh local Chevre is missing.

The cherries are not part of dinner, but are out as a snack until they're gone (Probably Sunday).

Anarcho-Syndicalist Commune, or: Woodstock Nation

Discovered again at Mimi's (, which is also on the blogroll to the right.
My politics (shown) have been consistently in this area for some time.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Aforementioned Little News

I had a good flight and trip to Arizona, though I was one seat away from a screaming two year old for four hours plus. I found when I could see what the parents were doing to cope, and heard the stories, it was much easier to bear. It was delightful talking to the parents, when they had time, and to the couple next to the Dad, whose wife turned out to be another Disciples Minister with many of the same acquaintances I have. Prayers for Ben and Susan, Dominic and Michelle and their families, and remember the stranger, whose struggles you do not know.

I settled in smoothly, and took Peter out (Walking! In Phoenix! Very rad!) for Pizza (They were Greeks from Chicago, so the Pizza was very good, and with Anchovies!), then up the street for handmade Sorbet and Gelato in a place owned by a Gay couple who are friends of my Daughter's business partner, which I didn't find out till later.

Thursday I showed up, though I felt I was coming down with something: "No sweat; Carter's got a cold." Friday I stayed in my room, eating Kung Pao Takeout to clear my head, and missing the chance to care for Carter while Amy made podcasts at her partner's eco-friendly home/ business site. By Saturday I felt well enough to doze in front of the TV with Carter on my chest while Amy had time to eat, shower, and run errands. He still sleeps better (and longer) if he's being held; he had just started a "eat and fuss all night--sleep all day" routine the day before I arrived. It turned out the best thing I could do was hold him: darn! Sunday we took him out for his first outing, and Amy got her first massage since delivery Monday, then I got to do laundry for the return flight.

We added two boys to my seat section in Nashville, so I got to play Grandpa with them. The flight was delayed, then diverted by bad weather, so we flew to Buffalo for a gas stop/ wait, which put us into Hartford well past one AM, which wasn't so bad, as it was only ten something Phoenix time, but harder on the boys, who were asleep before it was all done. The little one, about six, got chewing gum for his ears, which ended up all over his hands!

These are mundane ("worldly") things, with grace in more moments than any of us notice, except perhaps in the "Ohhh! and Ahhhh! baby encounters; I've alluded to only a few of the others in this first post. This does not mean there weren't many more.

Pictures AZ 06/03-06/10

Apres le bain
, what does every baby turn to when wrapped in a nice clean towel? Bien sur, la merde!

Dad and the boys. Peter is a step-son to Jeff, but it looks like the beginning of a beautiful friendship, for which I am very grateful.

Mother and sons; Dad barely visible on the right.

Carter on the floor in his infant playpen: awake for once

Peter and Jasmine at Ju-Jitsu; she is a little older and larger and just as skilled, so they push each other's growth.

A Teaser

We'll be back in a few hours with more photos and a little news.