Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Friends recently visited Portland and hit the farmer's market there on their way out of town Saturday. Generously, they brought fresh Oregon white truffles down to NM.

We decided to use a couple in risotto. First, some stock from the freezer:

A couple of shallots:

Melt a bit of butter in some olive oil

then saute the shallots until clear

cook the rice in the oil a bit

then start adding liquid. First a cup or so of wine, then the now-hot stock, a cup at a time and the rice stirred until each addition of liquit is absorbed.

Once the last of the liquid is absorbed, add another knob of butter and let it rest a bit

Stir in the butter and a bit of freshly grated Parmesan cheese, then grate a couple of the truffles on top

Stir in the truffle and serve right away. In this case, accompanied by some fresh homemade bread

and some fresh asparagus steamed and then tossed with a bit of Meyer lemon oil from the BJ Cohn Winery.

The truffles add a spicy, earthy note that was subtle but very good. Something I'd never tried before. Thanks, M & Kt!

p.s. This book has the best directions for making risotto that I've found.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Tuna history

One of the books I grew up with, handed down from my father, was "Sea Boots" by Robert C. Du Soe, which told the story of a young boy, the orphaned son of a Mexican fisherman, who stows away on a tuna boat and the adventures on that boat's cruise as they make bait, repair engines and gear, and search for tuna. The boat in the story was set up for hook and line tuna fishing, where the crew stood on racks hanging off the sides of the boat and used stout bamboo poles and feathered jigs to hook schooling tuna and then yank them right onto the deck.

That was a favorite book and made better by the fact that my dad grew up in San Diego and had an uncle, gone before my time, who was a commercial fisherman and did just that sort of fishing. I was reminded of "Sea Boots" when one of the Field & Stream blogs (Honest Angler) recently put up a post featuring a great video from the 40's or 50's: color film of a San Diego tuna boat getting loaded to the gunwales with 1, 2, and even 3 pole tuna. Definitely something you want to check out.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

James McMurtry

James McMurtry is going to be up in Santa Fe, at the Santa Fe Brewery on July 24 at the tail end of a tour through the Rockies. Other folks have blogged about him before, with good reason. He's a good songwriter with an excellent turn of phrase and he also puts on a really good show. Check out his website and, if he's in your area, give serious consideration to catching McMurtry and the Heartless Bastards.

Friday, June 19, 2009

What is this?

So, a couple of weeks ago we came across this odd plant up in the spruce/fir-aspen zone, around 8500 feet, in northern NM. It looks a bit like a a fleshy plant, a bit like a fungus. Still emerging from the duff, the stalks are about an inch and a half in diameter and perhaps seven inches tall. What is it?

Field guides having been of no help, I turn to the wealth of the 'net.

Edited to add- identified by Chas Clifton in the comments!

Monday, June 15, 2009


Recently one of my favorite stores added a new product, "sunflower butter". A little experimentation and an adaptation of another recipe resulted in the following:

Sunflower cookies

1/2 c rolled oats
2 c all purpose flower
1t baking powder
1t baking soda
1t salt

Stir above together in bowl.

2 sticks (1c) butter, softened
1 c granulated sugar
1 c firmly packed brown sugar
2 t vanilla

3/4 c sunflower butter
2 large eggs
6oz shelled, roasted, & salted sunflower seeds

In a large bowl, cream butter & both sugars until light and fluffy. Stir in sunflower butter and vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Add sunflower seeds, beating until just combined.

Optional (and good) 6 oz dried snipped apricots, added with the sunflower seeds.

Chill dough, 2 hours to overnight.
Bake at 325 F for 15 minutes, or until pale golden.

Saturday, June 13, 2009


Big sticks are more fun to fetch:

Weight training for the next goose retrieve:

Friday, June 05, 2009


"...I've found that if you have a certain kind of inner peace (and no kids) you can buy things you want but can't afford and feel okay about it."

John Gierach "Another Lousy Day in Paradise"

Monday, June 01, 2009


Via The Suburban Bushwacker, I learn that Chad Love of Field and Stream's "Fieldnotes" blog has started up a personal blog for his own amusement. It looks pretty good so far and promises "random esoterica from writer Chad Love celebrating the joys of fishing, hunting, books, music, literature, travel, guns, gundogs, photography, lonely places, wildness, history, art, misanthropy, beer and the never-ending absurdity of life."