Friday, January 20, 2017

Guest Best

It was heartening to learn that George Washington and his family decamped to the attic to free the best sleeping rooms for important guests. Holiday visitors challenged my linen supply, and I opted to use field gear as back-up rather than invest in goods that would otherwise sit idle for years on end. The decision reduced housekeeping in several ways: there is no additional demand on storage space, it saves money, and most importantly it adds nothing to the inventory that I already monitor and protect -30-
More after the jump.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Steak Night

Find a good butcher and buy a piece of meat. Heat a cast iron frying pan on very low for half an hour while you set up the rest of the meal and let the meat come to room temperature. Dress it with freshly ground black pepper.

Parboil a package of broccolini in the frying pan. Blanch the vegetables in a bowl of cold water until just warm. Drain them.

Pan broil the steak. Set it aside. Add olive oil and broccolini to the pan, grind pepper over them, and saute' until tender. Add a pinch of garlic powder, stir, and serve with a piece of good bread toasted -30- More after the jump.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017


The bitter weather of the last month reminds me how dangerous chill can be in this damp climate. Monitor the end of your nose. If it's cold, you are cold. Do something right away. Stalling will impair cognition that is already impaired.

The essence of Seattle culture is to protect oneself from damp chill. I don't doubt that is why The Great Big Hiking Co-op is the dominant force in local fashion. Development, central heating, and reliable electricity are all recent technical innovations. Emergency preparedness is a way of life. Ordinary weather on the street can leave one as exposed and at risk as losing one's way on a trail through the woods. The Co-op's merino wool balaclava and tank top are compact enough to carry as emergency back-up. Layer from beneath to look urban. The balaclava makes a good improvised turtleneck.

Central Puget Sound has mercurial weather that can change from brisk to deadly with a shift in the wind. I stood at a South Lake Union bus stop with a local tribeswoman not long ago. It was damp, cloudy, and about forty degrees. The wind picked up slightly, and she acted immediately to cover her head and prevent loss of body heat, just as my mother, grandmother, and hiking instructors had all recommended. Others at the stop toughed it out, but they risked depleting their reserves by doing so. 

Late afternoon is a vulnerable time during the dark days of winter. Recharge at home by scheduling a tea break, arranging extra heat and light, setting out healthy snacks to bring blood sugar up, and showering and changing into fresh clothing. Keep the windows clean. Taking time to respect the challenges our unique climate offers will fend off seasonal depression and foster good morale at home -30- More after the jump.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Bling Thing

I've been searching for a way to walk safely at night without destroying my dignity in the process. A pre-dawn outing and an unbearably clumsy safety vest inspired me to convert a flashing bicycle light into a cocktail ring. Swinging my arm as I walk amplifies the flashing signal -30-
More after the jump.