Sunday, November 22, 2009

four teacups

tea mugThis one, my daughter turned up. It is very practical, as she and I differ in our estimation of the proper amount of milk for a satisfying cuppa. Sadly, the price is breathtaking.

tea mugThis one is very pretty, though it enshrines a low standard of tea prep (loose tea would look less attractive and also less iconic).

commuter mugThere is also this one, which is 16 oz but is melamine and not microwave-safe, a deal-breaker.

commuter mugAnd this one: which seems to be almost the same as this one, except the latter is cheaper and comes with a latex sleeve, albeit one with a coffee bean on it. I could cope with that, and possibly turn the sleeve inside out. It is available at its higher cost at the MFA gift shop in Boston. I wish they made a larger size.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

not bad

So Doug decided he needed to move out of Concord. Since Paul was never here, I asked him to consider moving his stuff out. He is, bit by bit. So far it as been AMAZINGLY angst-free. I still have a pet 18-yr old, Katie, but she isn't any trouble and will watch "Castle" with me.

Mind you, all of Paul's stuff is not gone, and there is one strip on the outside of the house I wish he would finish, and Lord only knows who will plow this winter. We'll see.

I am, at least for the moment, employed. All this time I have not done any contract archaeology, which is when you work for an outfit who helps whoever is building something comply with state or federal regulations. The main reason is that I was certain I was in completely inadequate shape for it. This may still be true, but there is a sort of local firm who was desperate for people to help dig test pits before the ground freezes. So for two out of three days last week I was the youngest on a crew of three, which was funny. I may be the youngest on a crew of five or six next week, as Vicky Bunker is persuading as many members of SCRAP as are at loose ends or retired whom she can to come dig for money. I said I hadn't been paid for Archaeology since the Reagan administration, but I think I left Canterbury before he was inaugurated, so it may have been Carter.

We are making sure there is nothing important in places along an existing line of huge power poles where they intend to sink more power poles. Two of the three days last week were idyllic, with some sun and t-shirt weather -- sifting and shovelling into the screen warm one up quite nicely. Yesterday it was more sullen and cloudy, but it was still not too cold and not raining at all. Heaven. There are pictures here.

I am in a position to say there is nothing there important culturally, but the wintergreen and sweet fern smell very nice. As well as the usual birds I have seen a brown creeper, an ominous-looking hawk making an ominous squawk, and a surprised and very lucky red-backed salamander.

You may have heard of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day? Since my daughter mentioned it sometime last year, I have become very spoiled and live on this stuff (a couple of years before that Ellie and I stopped showing signs of gluten intolerance. It's been a very great joy to eat and make bread again). They have a new book out, Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day, with recipes for partial whole wheat (about half the flour is whole wheat, okay? not a paradox) and also for gluten-free bread. I wanted to what the GF bread was like, and it was quite tasty and a little strange looking, though I imagine if I practice I'll get more confident messing aoround wiht the recipe. It contains 4 eggs. Even I, with my notorious lightheartedness about refrigerating eggs, feel dubious about having raw egg batter sitting up to two weeks in my refrigerator. But Herzberg and Francois are not careless people and no one seems yet to have been poisoned.

So if you take some of the dough and roll it out (ideally between two sheets of parchment paper or two of those silicon cookie sheets), and spread it with sauteed garlic and lots of chpped parsely, you can roll it up and let it rise and it's delicious. If you have something not unlike a bunch of chickpeas cooked with garlic and onion and whathaveyou, you can dump a spoon of it onto a sheet of the dough and re-invent samosas or calzones or Cornish pasties. Just let it rise half an hour or so first.

It makes great lunch for digging with.