Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Potatoes And Bacon

The joy of substituting baked potato for boiled or raw in traditional dishes continues. A previously baked potato amplifies flavor and is as good or better to work with than a boiling spud. Peeled and cut into irregular faceted flakes, a baked potato fried in a minor excess of olive oil is delicious. The thin parts of the flakes are crisp while thicker sections are succulent. 

Fried this way and reheated with a grind of black pepper, a thin layer of cheese, and bacon bits, potato makes a substantial dish to accompany a generous salad. The Market's south German delicatessen smokes its own bacon, that is saltier and dryer than ordinary. Minced and rendered crisp, the bacon's flavor is so intense that a few fragments are enough to enhance a small plate. Topped with minced green allium top (any variety will do) and a dab of sour cream, it's hard to eat it slowly enough actually to taste it -30- More after the jump.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017


An open door admits the subtle fragrances of the neighborhood that persist in the face of relentless development and April weather that echoes March's traditional pattern. The winter has been as foul a one as I recall since the record awful of 1969. I spent that year living a hippie's dream in a rustic cabin powered by unreliable rural electric lines. A phone call away, my grandmother, who had been born nearby in a homestead cabin, taught me the housekeeping tricks of damp and salty beachfront survival. In a nutshell, the secret is smoked pork.

A festive Sunday ham would have been the obvious choice for breaking the sensible and necessary Lenten fast. Eggs, too, would have been and still are a go-to for starting a low-tech holiday. Decorating eggs keeps the kids out of the cook's hair. Potato flour extends the wheat supply for the breakfast buns, currants recall the last summer's bounty, and spices supply welcome nutrients along with a little variety.

As late as the Sixties, Easter meant a last-minute binge of home sewing, when a fresh warm-weather outfit filled in gaps in the wardrobe. I use the term warm weather lightly: in Puget Sound country, warm weather means lightweight pastel wool -30-

More after the jump.

Monday, April 10, 2017

The Perch

Certain trees and large shrubs in the area have upper branches that are "bald". These bald branches seem to be favored perches for local birds.

Twenty minutes' walk from downtown, local bird is a meaningful term. I want to keep feathered neighbors comfortable, so I will conserve, protect, and note the perches in the garden maintenance log. It's a hoot living with sassy little dinosaurs -30- More after the jump.