Friday, February 27, 2009

Geirach on books

I'm going to throw up a quote every now and then from favorite books. This is from John Gierach's "Fool's Paradise". Every outdoorsperson should read Gierach, whether they flyfish or not. If you don't flyfish, you'll probably get some idea of the appeal and you won't be bored. If you do, you'll learn something.

For this first time, two quotes from a chapter on books:

"Rereading a favorite book is one of the great literary pleasures, and doing it far from home in strange surroundings is sort of comforting, with its recalled passages and the familiar voice of the author."

"I guess my reading has always been haphazard but passionate, sort of like my fishing. I decided early on that it's perfectly okay to like a book that a certain kind of reader would call 'unimportant' or to honestly not get an acknowledged classic (that kind of book Mark Twain once defined as 'often praised, but seldom read'). Neither means you're stupid."

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Friday, February 13, 2009

red beans

Thinking about Monday's lunch already?

A suggestion-
To make red beans (as in "red beans and rice"), first soak, then cook until just tender 1 to 1.5 lbs of small red beans-

After the beans are done, and they can be cooked ahead, saute a few strips of bacon until crisp (this photo isn't really what I consider a "few" strips, but this was a large batch of red beans)

To the bacon grease, you'll add the following:

Two heads of garlic, pods peeled and minced

about a cup to a cup and a half of onion, chopped

saute until onion turns clear, then add about a half cup to a cup of chopped celery (including leaves), a cup of or so of chopped bell pepper, and the same amount of scallion tops (the green parts, add the white parts with the regular onion)

Also add a couple of tablespoons of black pepper and, depending upon taste, a teaspoon or more of cayenne or red pepper flakes.

After all the vegetables soften, add the red beans

and a half a cup or so of chopped parsley. I usually return the crumbled bacon to the pot as well. Salt a bit, cover the pot or skillet halfway, then simmer until the beans become creamy.

Once they're creamy, taste for salt, the serve over rice.

If you want a bit more substance with your red beans, you can always slice up some andouille and simmer it after you add the beans to the vegetables.

Monday, February 09, 2009


Birthday to my Dad.

Here's a little photo essay of the paella he made last time I was back visiting:

and here's to another good year of, among other things, cooking, messing about in boats, chasing elk, catching salmon, and sneaking up on ducks.

Friday, February 06, 2009

various bits

A reference-blogging trifecta:

Via Gherkins & Tomatoes, a food history and recipe blog (check out the post on eating bait), a link to an interesting story on the etymology of "nachos" from the OED. "I had only learned of nachos a few years earlier when a Mexican restaurant opened in our Capitol Hill neighbourhood. Those nachos were delicious! I could have made them my entire meal, but how could anyone who has looked at and eaten nachos see any relationship between one of these and the adjective 'flat-nosed'?"

Wow, I thought some of Clapton's guns were rather tasteless. Here's a possibly NSFW Winchester Model 42. Just $12k and you could be an envy (or at least focus) of all your friends at the skeet range. Alternatively, perhaps this G-rated version is just the thing for the well-heeled little buckaroo in your life.

Saw this on The Trout Underground, found on the blogroll of Rebecca K. O'Connor's new site-
"The River Why" a long-time favorite of mine is being made into a movie. They'll surely screw it up. The fact that the referred article appears in the rather annoying "Outside" magazine doesn't encourage optimism (the Trout Underground guys do a much nicer job reporting than the magazine). It appears that the author isn't on board, either. Too bad- I'd like to see David James Duncan, make a mint. He's written a couple of very good books and it would be great if he got to see a monetary reward, even at the price of having one made into a bad movie.
Further, Brad Pitt isn't this one so there probably won't be a whole new generation ("horde") of fashionable fly fishers descending on the creeks and rivers. Hard to say, though, apparently some starlet of the moment is going to be fishing in the buff in one scene. Somehow, I don't think that'll inspire thousands of young guys to hit the rivers. I've wondered in the past- where did all that expensive gear go once the yuppie tide receded? I'd have thought there'd have been some deals on barely-used Ross reels and Sage rods & duds. Guess they're all gathering dust in various closets. Someday, though, they'll hit garage sales. I can do without most those early-90's Sage pool cues, but Ross's come with a lifetime guarantee and are awfully pretty, even if they don't do anything my Pflueger Medalists won't.

Monday, February 02, 2009

more reference blogging

Over at A Hunger Artist, Bob del Grosso has an embed of an amusing and clever history lesson of international conflict (centered around the US and Israel) from WWII on.