Category Archives: Americana

Why I Love the Country

This is why. Just now, for the first time in my life, I was approached by a pair of yearling deer.  They were as gentle as could be… big soft eyes with pretty eyelashes… lovely ears… curious and polite… quite … Continue reading

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As May Ends

There have been many rainy days, and I’m told more are to come.  This morning is perfect.  It’s summery, sunny, a little humid, the kind of morning where gardening is a pleasure. The irises are doing great (except one that … Continue reading

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Jerusalem Artichokes

It was one of those hilarious-infuriating moments where you just have to bite your tongue and then top up your cocktail. “They’re not Jerusalem artichokes, they’re Israeli Sunflowers,” I was told forcefully. There’s no such thing as an Israeli Sunflower, … Continue reading

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Update on the Previous

Still just dipping one happy toe into summer… I’m outside by the Weber, enthroned in my Coleman chair; and applewood smoke is still gently rising along with the Schlieren (those heat-shimmers whose English name I don’t know).  The ribs are … Continue reading

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How I Spent My Summer Vacation, part 1

One week ago today I was on campus administering final exams.  Grading must always be done carefully and attentively, especially when a final exam and final grade for a course are involved. There were also final papers to read. Last … Continue reading

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Not bad at all!

The pork shoulder came out very well. It had a nice smoke flavor and was thoroughly done.  Next time, I will keep it wrapped for a longer part of the cooking time, as it was verging towards dryness.  It still … Continue reading

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Smoking a Pork Shoulder

Last week’s adventure in BBQ smoking–two fat chicken breasts and a brisket–went fabulously well.  I was thrilled to learn how a small, basic Weber kettle can do the same smoking job as a dedicated device, be it horizontal, vertical, charcoal, … Continue reading

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A Time of Stress

It’s a stressful time. The end of semester looms and much work is needed, urgently, for my professional organization.  On top of it, there have been very difficult funerals (both young men who had no business dying), a delightful wedding, … Continue reading

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Bluebirds, Robert Frost, and a Keen Eye

In “Two Tramps in Mud Time,” Robert Frost observes the moment when A bluebird comes tenderly up to alight And fronts the wind to unruffle a plume… Another edition has “…turns to the wind…” instead.  No matter. I am struck … Continue reading

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Bluebirds!

In all my life, I never saw a bluebird till this morning. (Let’s be clear: I mean an eastern bluebird, in Latin Sialia sialis; not a bird that’s blue.  I just told someone who replied that she saw “blue birds” … Continue reading

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