Thursday, March 15, 2018

Aji Amarillo and Coconut Milk Braised Chicken

The Knight cousins from Florida have been visiting and we have been eating like kings. Unfortunately, we have demolished each meal before I could think to get a picture. Except for last night  . . .

Thanks to our friend Cory who sent me the link to the recipe  
(HERE )and encouraged me to try it. It required sending off for the yellow pepper paste but aside from that, it was an easy recipe -- chicken and butternut squash braised in coconut milk that is flavored with the fruity/hot yellow pepper paste. It could almost be a Thai recipe -- except it's Peruvian. 

We served it over rice and accompanied it with a spinach/grapefruit/ strawberry salad, dressed with vinaigrette and garnished with pistachios and dried cherries.

Dessert was The Ultimate Chocolate Cake (See THIS POST)
and coconut ice cream.

We will be in penitential eating mode for the foreseeable future. . .

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Persist and Resist

When I saw this pot on my friend Barb's blog, I knew I'd found the perfect birthday present for my sister-in-law Fay who's been a steadfast member of the resistance in Charlottesville for some time now. Fay is my hero.

Fay has marched and carried signs and stood up to speak truth to power. She was there protesting at the rally where a woman was killed when one of the neo-Nazi/white supremacists drove a car into the crowd. And still she persists.

When I contacted Barb (her website is HERE) and asked about buying the pot, she said it wasn't for sale but she'd make me another.  And she did and I had the pleasure of meeting a long time blog/Facebook friend in person.

Happy birthday to Fay and many thanks to Barb for the perfect gift!

Monday, March 12, 2018

Sunday, March 11, 2018

On Reynolds Mountain

I met with a book club last Thursday up on Reynolds Mountain -- an elegant development not far from downtown Asheville.

I got these pictures as I was leaving . . .

As I've said before, I try always to take my camera with me in case there's an elephant.

Or a really nice view.

There was no elephant but there was a bear. Spotted out in the driveway, while we were discussing The Day of Small Things. We all ran to the window to watch the handsome fella snuffling along.

And my camera? In my car. Out in the driveway.


Friday, March 9, 2018

The Book of Dust

La Belle Sauvage, the first of the projected trilogy The Book of Dust, is a worthy successor to Pullman's immensely popular fantasy trilogy His Dark Materials.  A kind of prequel, La Belle Sauvage deals with the rescue from dark forces of a mysterious baby named Lyra by an unlikely pair of protectors, a great flood, and an edge-of-your-seat boat chase down the flooded Thames.

The whole thing is a pure delight. Fantastic but also realistic -- not only must the protectors elude one of the nastiest villains around, they also have to keep finding fresh supplies of food and diapers for their charge.

I look forward to the rest of the trilogy -- alas, not yet published.  

The first trilogy concerns Lyra, no longer a baby but a young girl with coming into her powers, a young girl who, the witches of the North say, will change the world. Lyra has been raised in an Oxford college to keep her safe from the insidious forces of a religion/government cabal but she is pitched from the safety of Jordan College into a series of adventures, both in her own world -- which is not quite like our own (anbaric power! zepplins, armored polar bears! daemons!) -- and various parallel worlds. 

I gulped down The Book of Dust in such a hurry to find out what happened that I know I missed a lot. So I'll re-read it -- but I think I'll re-read the other three first. Pullman has built such a many-layered universe, so full of incident and meaning that I'll be happy to return.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Burning Bright

On rainy gray days, forsythia seems to shine the strongest, lighting up all the dark corners.

Folks around here call it Yellow Bells and you can see it in almost every yard.

You can cut the budding branches and bring them inside where they will pop into bloom and light up the house.

Forsythia roots easily -- in water or in soil. Over the years I've started many pots of forsythia and scattered the resulting bushes all over the farm.

Forsythia is enterprising and roots itself, flinging out branched that lie on the soil and take root, stealthily advancing year by year. We have a forsythia wilderness at the foot of our front yard.

 And, unlike my azaleas and rhododendrons, the deer don't seem interested in it. 

Hurrah for forsythia!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018


 Sunday was a lovely warm day to be outside. I spent some time digging these steps out from the dirt and leaves and twigs accumulated over several years and did a few other bits of garden tidying.

Forsythia is such a glory against a perfect blue sky.

Foolhardy daylilies and Siberian iris are venturing out -- don't they know it's March and we can still have snow?

A single hyacinth . . .

A bluejay's feather . . .

Tender lilac leaves . . .

Bleeding heart . . .

More forsythia . . . and some columbine.

Cooler weather is moving in, alas.