Sunday, September 29, 2013

Of Skinks and Herb Butter

This very attractive young Blue-Tailed Skink was waiting for me atop a casserole in the dish drainer. The sink is just next to the window and there's a little gap at the top of the screen which is probably how this pretty critter got in. He stayed put while I clapped a plastic freezer box over him, carried casserole, skink, and box outside, and returned him to his proper environment.

The old folks around here called these guys 'scorpions' and said they carried poison in their tails and would sting you but, as far as I can find out, that's not true.

With Brother Skink removed, I got down to the work at hand -- making herb butter.  It's an easy way to put up fresh herbs for winter use -- simply whir butter and the herb of your choice in a food processor, pack it into a jar, and freeze. 

I made a batch with rosemary -- 

Another batch with parsley . . . 

And some with tarragon, to which I added grated lemon rind, lemon juice, and a slice of red onion -- not unlike the ingredients of Bernaise sauce (without the eggs.)

Any of these butters would make a nice topping for steak, could be put under the skin of a chicken before roasting, would be delicious tossed with pasta . . . or potatoes. . . or various vegetables . . .

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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Friday, September 27, 2013

Met Her on the Mountain

I met Mark Pinsky back in May of '09 and blogged about him and his quest HERE.  The unsolved murder of the Vista worker was one of the first things we heard about when we came to Madison County and we listened to, over the years, a number of speculations as to what actually happened.

Mark has been obsessed with the story from the beginning and now he's written a book about it -- a compelling and convincing narrative. As well as answering the questions about the murder, Mark delves into the small town politics and the mindset that made it possible for the murderers to escape justice -- the 'them versus us' mentality that plagues most of mankind in one way or another.

Met Her on the Mountain will be on sale October 1.  It's a fascinating read, especially for those of us who know and love this area.  But, as in  all good writing, the personal becomes universal; the local becomes global.  This isn't an especially Appalachian crime -- one sees similar inhumanity and similar miscarriages of justice everywhere. Parallels will probably occur to you

Mark's web site has more information about the book.  (I am obliged to mention that the publishers sent me a copy, hoping for a review. But I wouldn't have reviewed it if I hadn't liked it.)
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