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Saturday, August 24, 2019

Pic(k) of the Week: Tiny tri-tone

Tiny tri-tone
So gradual in those summers was the going of the age it seemed that the long days setting out when the stars faded over the mountains were not leaving us...
W.S. Merwin: The Speed of Light.

A tiny tri-tone —maybe 1 centimeter wide— was nearly hidden in the underbrush. By the following day, it had withered.

DeKalb County, Georgia. 20 July 2019.

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Thursday, August 22, 2019

VeggieDag Thursday: Vegan Summer Potato Salad

Here's a recipe for Vegan Summer Potato Salad. You don't have to be vegan and any season will do.

I adapted it from Julia Child and Jacques Pepin's 1999 (non-vegan) cookbook, Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home. I've added a lot of ancillary ingredients; you could easily simplify it with only the first three.

The recipe holds a special place in my heart (my gullet?). It's one I often cooked at the old family homestead. And, in August 2015, it was the last dish that I would ever photograph in the kitchen there.

Summer Potato Salad (02)

Vegan Summer Potato Salad

  • INGREDIENTS
    • 2 pounds large Yukon Gold potatoes
    • 2 TBSP malt vinegar
    • 1/3 cup vegetable stock or the potato-cooking liquid
    • 1 cup vegan mayonnaise (such as non-soy Just Mayo)

  • EXTRAS
    • 2/3 cup finely chopped onion
    • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
    • 3 small radishes, roughly chopped
    • 3 TBSP finely chopped dill pickle
    • 3 TBSP chopped fresh scallions
    • 1 TBSP capers
    • 1 tsp ground white pepper
    • 1 tsp ground mustard
    • 1 tsp turmeric
    • 1 tsp Liquid Smoke
    • 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
    • Kosher salt, to taste

  • GARNISH
    • Crisp whole red-leaf lettuce leaves
    • Thinly sliced radishes
    • Chopped scallion greens

  • PROCEDURE
    1) Peel the potatoes and slice each one lengthwise in half, or in quarters if very large; then cut crosswise into half-round or quarter-round slices, about 1/2 inch thick.

    2) Put the slices in a saucepan with water just to cover and 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt per quart of water. Bring water to a boil, and reduce to a simmer, uncovered. Cook the potatoes for 5 to 6 minutes, checking with a fork for cooked through, but still firm. Check frequently. DO NOT OVERCOOK.

    3) Immediately remove from heat and drain into a colander, but save a cup of the cooking liquid for dressing the potatoes.

    4) Add the malt vinegar to 1/3 cup of vegetable stock or the reserved potato water. Transfer the potatoes to a mixing bowl. Drizzle the vinegar/stock over the potato pieces, turning them gently to distribute evenly. Let sit 10 minutes to absorb the liquid.

    5) Add potatoes to colander. Strain any remaining liquid. Return to mixing bowl.

    6) Add the onion, celery, pickle, scallions (reserving some for the garnish), capers, Liquid Smoke, and spices (minus the paprika and salt). Toss. Top with 2/3 cup of mayonnaise and, with a large rubber spatula, gently fold everything together until well blended. Taste the salad and add more salt, pepper, mayonnaise, or vinegar/stock as needed.

    7) Cover the salad and set aside in the refrigerator for at least an hour or so before serving. If it is refrigerated longer, let it come back to room temperature before serving.

    8) To serve, line a bowl or a platter with red-leaf lettuce, and mound the salad on top. Decorate at the last moment with radish slices, chopped scallion greens, and a couple of dashes of smoked paprika.
Served with a pilsner or Vienna-style lager, it's delightful. If you have to 'settle' for a glass of wine or (gasp) only the potato salad, it's still delightful.

VeggieDag Thursday
VeggieDag Thursday is an occasional Thursday post
on an animal-free diet and on environmental and ecological issues.

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Monday, August 19, 2019

Happy World Photography Day

Today is World Photography Day. Unlike other marketeers' fanciful markers, this date is rooted in actual history.

In 1839, Frenchman Louis Daguerre developed the daguerreotype process, the first publicly-announced and commercially-viable photographic process. Although crude photographs had been attempted before Daguerre, the year 1839 —180 years ago— is generally accepted as the birth year of practical photography.

Telling a story is what good photograph should do. Here's one I took with a simple point-and-shoot in 2012 ... of beer and a beer drinker, of course.

Weizen sippers

I think the photo tells the story of the moment: anticipation, concentration, and satisfaction. It was a lucky shot. But I'll take it.

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Saturday, August 17, 2019

Pic(k) of the Week: Red beach bicyclist

Red beach bicyclist

The beach.
The ocean.
The surf.
Clouds.
A bicyclist.
A red jersey.
A bird.
Minimalist.

An early evening exercise-ist pedals along the Atlantic Ocean, at St. Augustine Beach, Florida. 4 August 2018.

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Saturday, August 10, 2019

Pic(k) of the Week: Avondale Stonehenge

Avondale Stonehenge

Like a latter-day (but, oh, so less mystical) Stonehenge, block totems mark the careening mitosis of 'luxury' condominium construction.

As seen in Avondale Estates, Georgia, on 27 July 2019.

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