Thursday, August 18, 2016

Old School Cool

Casual reading in the history of Southern domestic architecture opened my eyes to a low-tech strategy for surviving heat. In harsh weather, the elegant entry hall of a dwelling of privilege would hold cots.

It makes sense to sleep in the draftiest part of the house when a breeze is welcome. Make the most of your own quarters by opening vents wide at the top and setting up a narrow air intake close to the ground. Luxurious self-inflating air mattresses make it easy to set up. Spreading some kind of coverlet or blanket on the floor keeps the arrangement from feeling squalid.  -30-
More after the jump.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Hacking Pizza

Few pleasures exceed lounging in a warm room eating local pizza while watching the lifetime exertions of dedicated athletes. I have, however, learned to fear the consequences of indolence.

A squeeze bottle of pizza sauce inspired an experimental salad. Dressed with olive oil, a batch of mixed greens became the base for the essential flavors of baked bread topped with massive amounts of fat.

I filled a generous noodle bowl with greens and topped them with pre-fab grated pizza cheeses, slivers of pepperoni and salami, and a judicious squeeze of pizza sauce. Savory croutons added a touch of carb, and I was back in my chair for the starting signal. -30 More after the jump.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Buying Time

This 1890 house came with a small pond. To control mosquitos, I introduced a dozen feeder goldfish and left them to their own devices. They evolved into a self-supporting population of street-wise urban pond fish, surviving raccoons and herons.

Public health concerns and increasing density in the neighborhood led me to drain the pond. I learned the term "re-home" in the process of exploring humane options for the fish, and found them the proverbial farm in the country.  -30- More after the jump.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Double Duty

Reasonably priced  table ware is now so durable that I no longer maintain a set of utility bowls for food prep. Deciding to use noodle and rice bowls for the mise en place emptied several square feet of cupboard.

Wheezing slightly at the check-out counter many years ago, I invested in first-rate French enameled cast iron cooking pots that look good enough to set on the table. That too emptied storage space.

A cleverly designed grill basket fabricated with square holes drains pasta, rinses fruit, and carries grapes to the table.

It is far from elegant to set a cast iron skillet on the table, but down-home cornbread belongs in the pan that cooked it. Pre-heat the skillet and melt some butter in it before scraping in the batter.  -30- More after the jump.