Tube Rolling

Mermaids Singing

English: 6N3P vacuum tube

No, I’m not referring to climbing inside the middle of an old tire and rolling downhill. Sorry to disappoint you all.

This discourse reviews the old fashioned, time honored, highly skilled art of finding exactly the right vacuum tube to place in your excellent analog stereo components to either power them or make them sound better than even live musicians usually do. It requires patience, a finely tuned sense of sound, an appreciation for the beauty and history of an analog (read: no iPods) system, and the ability to bid on ebay or audiogon at the perfect moment on tubes stashed all over the world. It also finds you listening to the same part of the same song about fifty times so that you can compare the differences when something in the system changes. And there are profound differences, believe me. (We’re checking out changes now so, the current selection is  “New…

View original post 457 more words

On My Mark –

Ready….

I had a pretty good routine developing by mid-2014. I was hitting my groove with a combo of DIY household renovations, cooking, writing, exercising, and learning the guitar. I figured out that all of these things were doing far more for my health and well being than years of therapy and whatnot. Something about getting out of my head and using my hands, making something, doing something, sharing anything — this was far, far better.

 

Then, we went to New York City. We were stuck there for two months seeing specialists, undergoing every test known to man, surviving the ER at Mount Sinai and several days of hospitalization. And life hasn’t been remotely the same since.

Life has been hell, watching my husband’s health erode and evaporate quickly and permanently. Watching his specialists begin to not return calls. To give up. To leave. Watching his heart and spirit break. Waiting, dreading the only apparent outcome that will end this suffering.

An outcome in which the world — is one in which I have no interest.

Set….

But, we are still here. The sun still rises and I’ll be damned if it isn’t still lovely. There is still baseball. There is still good music and better friends.

There is the surprising kindness of strangers, sucker punching me with its generosity, spontaneity, and selflessness.

And there is running. There is the MDI Marathon for which I am training. I, who have a well-documented loathing of running, will run the MDI Marathon in October. It is damn hard, and the first person who did it *died* — and yet, it is also beautiful.

Life is, and I’m not the first to notice, an endurance event. There will be injuries and there will be suffering. There will be triumphs big and small. Mostly, there is putting one foot in front of the other, and persevering. And encouraging the others running the route.

So, that’s great. Yeah. Yea, me, I’m crazy enough to sign up for 26.2 miles when I’ve never run more than 6 — and that was only once. A few of my friends have run marathons, and all of them responded to my registering for MDI with

  1. good for you!
  2. no way will I ever do that again! that was effing crazy!
  3. you *must* cross-train.

Go….

I’ve started cross-training. Right now, this consists of these brutal but awesome Interval Yoga classes on YouTube by Ali Kamenova. I’m trying to maintain a streak of practicing everyday. I know myself well enough to know if I don’t do something everyday, entropy happens and I end up…. not doing it at all.

 

 

What I know is this:

If you want to help your heart and mind heal, start with your body. The mind will follow.

Peace Like A River with The Pajama Chef #bookclubcookbookCC

Happy New Year! And, Welcome Back to The Book Club Cook Book Cooking Club project!

 

To begin 2016, Sarah at The Pajama Chef hosts our club. She selected Mrs. Enger’s Cinnamon Rolls with Coffee Frosting from Peace Like a River by Lief Enger for this month’s recipe and book.

I can’t think of a better way to wake up to a new year than with fresh, homemade cinnamon rolls.

Sarah includes the recipe itself on her invitation page (link above, and here, too) and it sounds wonderful.

Remember, reading the book is entirely optional – you can participate by cooking and blogging along.

You can also win a copy of The Book Club Cookbook through the giveaway below!

Participants in The Book Club Cook Book Cooking Project:

Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Tortillas and Honey

Adventures in All Things Food

A Day in the Life on the Farm

The Spiffy Cookie

The Pajama Chef

Life of Food

Cheese Curd in Paradise

Mostly Food and Crafts

Things I Make (for Dinner)

Giveaway

This month Sarah at The Pajama Chef, this month’s host, is giving away a copy of the book.* Enter to win a copy of the cookbook so you can join us in future months, if you wish!


One of our lucky readers – US and Canada only! – can enter to win a copy ofThe Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club’s Favorite Books and Authors by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp, courtesy of Tarcher-Penguin. Giveaway runs from January 1st till January 31st at 6 o’clock PM, Pacific time. Please see terms and conditions in the rafflecopter widget below. Many thanks to Tarcher Books. You may find Tarcher: on the web, on Facebook, on Twitter, and on Pinterest.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

//widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js


*Disclosure: Sarah received a complimentary copy of The Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club’s Favorite Books and Authors by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp as an opportunity to give a copy away. Opinions are our own. We received no further compensation for our posts.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone #bookclubcookbookCC #bookreview

Welcome Back to The Book Club Cook Book Cooking Club project!

This month, we are hosted by Erin at The Spiffy Cookie.

The book is the beloved Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and our recipe is Treacle Tart.

Treacle Tart in gluten free crust

Disclosure – this recipe freaked me out, and I suspect that’s reflected in the photo. I mean, adding bread crumbs to the filling?

I asked Camilla if she knew if this is a wartime food. She didn’t know, so I looked it up : the history of treacle tart. It is not a war time creation, but it is indeed a staple of poorer families. Bread and sugar. No fancy spices or fruits or meat. Just something sweet for a treat.

And sweet it is. The two main ingredients are sugar and sugar (molasses and golden syrup). Interestingly, if you use nuts instead of bread crumbs, you get pretty close to pecan pie. YUM.

(Check this out! Pecan Pie by The Smitten Kitchen YES!)

I added ginger to the filling to give it some flavor other than SUGAR, and it did smell delicious while baking. Ginger and molasses…. Smells like the holidays.

Treacle Tart filling

Also, I took a shortcut and used a frozen gluten free dairy free crust. (This may also be why I think it looks funny.) I want to bring this to work to share and a regular butter crust would make some of my coworkers very ill.

a slice of treacle tart

 

So how did it taste?

Sweet. Toothache inducing sweet. And it burned a bit. I was so concerned about it being too sweet that I added way too much ginger (something which I had thought was impossible given my passion for all things ginger). The gluten free crust is impossible to cut and utterly tasteless.

If I do this again….

Well, I’ll use pecans and a butter crust and make pecan pie. It was a worthy endeavor; I’d always wondered what treacle tart is. And now I know.

And no, I won’t give this to my coworkers. I like them too much, and I love my job.

Participants in The Book Club Cook Book Cooking Project:

Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Tortillas and Honey

Adventures in All Things Food

A Day in the Life on the Farm

The Spiffy Cookie

The Pajama Chef

Life of Food

Cheese Curd in Paradise

Mostly Food and Crafts

Things I Make (for Dinner)

Giveaway

 

This month Erin at The Spiffy Cookie, this month’s host, is giving away a copy of the book.* Enter to win a copy of the cookbook so you can join us in future months, if you wish!

 

 

One of our lucky readers – US and Canada only! – can enter to win a copy ofThe Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club’s Favorite Books and Authors by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp, courtesy of Tarcher-Penguin. Giveaway runs from November 1st till November 30st at 4 o’clock PM, Pacific time. Please see terms and conditions in the rafflecopter widget below. Many thanks to Tarcher Books. You may find Tarcher: on the web, on Facebook, on Twitter, and on Pinterest.

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

//widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

*Disclosure: Erin received a complimentary copy of The Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club’s Favorite Books and Authors by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp as an opportunity to give a copy away. Opinions are our own. We received no further compensation for our posts.

Invitation: Treacle Tart 

Treacle Tart is the recipe for this month’s Book Club Cook Book Cooking Crew! Check out The Spiffy Cookie’s wonderful invitation and giveaway at the link below — 

 

You too can feast like the students at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry with this homemade treacle tart. It’d also be a great addition to your Thanksgiving menu.

Source: Treacle Tart | The Spiffy Cookie

This Way

This morning I went to a cafe a few doors down from work for breakfast. It’s decorated with paintings by local artists and shelves crammed with used paperbacks — highbrow and classic, all — and tucked into a beautiful garden down an alley.

cafe this way

The leaves are already changing in Bar Harbor. The weather is still warm; the grass is still green; the flowers still bloom, but the leaves are falling. Tourist season winds down. It’s stunning.

It hurts to see this without you. I drive onto the island each morning and look at the ocean, and you’re not here. It feels disloyal to be somewhere so wonderful while you’re still at home, alone, and suffering.

I know. We’ve talked about this. Your condition makes it that much more important that I go out and do things, see things, for both of us. But none of it is full without you.

cafe this way table

You should be here to smell the food. Listen to the techno-reggae-jazz and the conversations of international tourists and local seasonal workers. We should be sharing bacon and coffee.

leaves on stairs

A Walk in the Woods #bookclubcookbookCC #bookreview

Welcome Back to The Book Club Cook Book Cooking Club project!

(As a refresher, please see Camilla’s Master invitation for details on the what and when – and most importantly how to join us in this year long experience.)

A Legendary Maine Meal

This month, we are hosted by Andrea at Adventures in All Things Food. Please take a moment to click on that hyperlink for her invitation to this month’s project and description of the book and recipe.

The book is A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson. Bill and his buddy Katz decide to hike the Appalachian Trail beginning at its southernmost tip and ultimately finishing at Mount Katahdin in Baxter State Park in Maine. It’s often funny and occasionally poignant —- but aside from Snickers Bars and Little Debbie cakes and noodles, there isn’t a lot of food.

The recipe in the cookbook related to this book is for a Lemon Meringue Pie, and it does sound delicious —- unlike the pie in the book. Bryson describes it as a piece of pie which doesn’t really sound very good, but since he’s been on the trail for weeks at this point, the over abundance of sugar and gooey sliminess is exactly what he craved, making it the best pie ever. Hmm. Well, as a human I can totally relate to how damn good really bad food can be, but as I cook…. Eh. I’ll pass. Also, as someone who lives in Maine, how am I supposed to make a pie that isn’t blueberry?

Maine Blueberry Pie
Bryson finds himself in Maine in August, the height of the short, heavenly blueberry season.  I’ve rhapsodized about Maine Blueberry Pie before, so I won’t repeat myself. Overall, Bryson’s stories about Maine were fairly true to life. People are friendly and very, very funny. The wilderness up here is indeed wild. Maine is The Way Life Should Be, but don’t let that fool you into thinking it’s easy. As Bryson learned, one does not walk glibly into the Maine woods.

I had one exception to his description of Maine, and it bothers me enough (weeks after finishing the book) that I feel compelled to mention it. He complains about the, in his mind, apparent senselessness of hunting, especially moose. He refuses to understand why this is permitted at all.

Maine, especially in the north, is not a wealthy state. In the summer, people come for vacations and they bring with them the wealth and commerce that largely drives the states economy. Otherwise, we have fishing and some industry (less and less as the mills continue to close) and LL Bean. In other words, there aren’t a lot of jobs. If people don’t hunt and fish, often there isn’t enough food.

A moose goes a long way to feeding the family in winter.

Maine is a state of deep and honorable traditions. Self-reliance and resourcefulness are prized and praised. Hunting and fishing are common, but not only as sporting activities. Indeed, killing for sport is abhorred. Abuse of natural resources is anathema to a Mainer’s way of life.

In fact, Bryson experiences a taste of this in the very hostility of the landscape of the AT while trying to hike The Hundred Miles Wilderness. It’s wild and we will leave it that way. You can have your more guest-friendly AT in the South, a region known for its hospitality and warmth. New Englanders….. eh, we don’t even use road signs. If you don’t know where you are, you probably shouldn’t be here. And why would the AT be any different?

Maines Red Hot Dogs

So…. Here’s a guy who eats mostly junk food on the trail. He studies the history of the trail, but with the exception of Pennsylvania, makes little effort to understand the communities surrounding the trail. He goes home when it gets hard and judges the locals by his own standards. He dabbles in expansive experiences but when it gets too tough, too lonely, too wet or cold, he goes home. He wants Experiences, as long as they don’t make him too uncomfortable. And he is not transformed.

Why embark on a journey of this nature if not to find yourself pushed farther than you think you can stand, if not to learn that indeed you can?

So, Maine –

My Moxie Bella

I won’t make moose burgers. In fact, I’ve never seen a moose. I’ve lived here almost ten years, and I joke about how they must be mythical creatures.

Two foods however are known and loved by Mainers — two foods other than lobster, boiled dinner, or blueberries.

Red hot dogs and Moxie soda.

To welcome you to Maine, I serve you red hot dogs from the grill and Moxie.  (I want to note that prior to this post, I had never considered eating either. Additionally, as proof that I’m not making this up, here’s an article from Yankee Magazine about Maine’s Red Hot Dogs and there’s a whole novella about about Moxie’s history here.)

Red hot dogs are exactly what they sound like: hot dogs made of some parts of beef and pork and dyed bright red. They look like Satan’s hot dogs on the grill. I was afraid.


Hot Dogs from Hell?They taste pretty good, though! Well, they don’t taste like much of anything, really, so they’re pretty standard for you basic summertime ballpark frank.

Moxie, on the other hand, rocks. It’s like a combination of root beer and sarsaparilla and I don’t know what making it the one of the best colas I’ve ever had. And with a name like Moxie, well, you’ve gotta love it.
2015-08-20 20.49.59

I wanted to continue the Moxie exploration, though, so I thought I’d try to blend some cocktails…. I’m not much of a bartender, but I can tell you this: 3-4 parts Moxie, 1 part gin and 1 part Canton liqueur is a fine drink.

Don’t mix it with tequila though. <<shudder>>

One last thought. There’s a Robert Redford movie based on the book coming out soon. Apparently, though, he doesn’t make it to Maine, either.

DownEast Magazine

Participants in The Book Club Cook Book Cooking Project:

Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Tortillas and Honey

Adventures in All Things Food

A Day in the Life on the Farm

The Spiffy Cookie

The Pajama Chef

Life of Food

Cheese Curd in Paradise

Mostly Food and Crafts

Things I Make (for Dinner)

Giveaway
This month Andrea at Adventures in all Things Food, this month’s host, is giving away a copy of the book.* Enter to win a copy of the cookbook so you can join us in future months, if you wish!

One of our lucky readers – US and Canada only! – can enter to win a copy ofThe Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club’s Favorite Books and Authors by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp, courtesy of Tarcher-Penguin. Giveaway runs from August 1st till August 31st at 6 o’clock PM, Pacific time. Please see terms and conditions in the rafflecopter widget below. Many thanks to Tarcher Books. You may find Tarcher: on the web, on Facebook, on Twitter, and on Pinterest.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
*Disclosure: Andrea received a complimentary copy of The Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club’s Favorite Books and Authors by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp to use in this year-long project plus the opportunity to give a copy away. Opinions are our own. We received no further compensation for our posts.