Friday, September 7, 2012

Gloves of Manhattan

Here are some pictures of gloves I've seen laying around in the street. My original intent was to make this a Gloves of Harlem feature, but I keep seeing them in Midtown and the Village, so I thought I'd broaden my scope. Also I keep forgetting to note specific addresses, so this isn't very helpful to people missing gloves. But I do what I can.

That one doesn't really look like a glove, but I promise it is. It's one of those plastic foodservice ones. 

This nice pink glove is my favorite of the bunch. I hope its owner can track it down. 

This one was a few blocks from Madison Square Garden, I think. 

The Top of the Blue Ridge

Last Thursday, I took the afternoon off because I had helped Ron build a retaining wall the Saturday before. By "helped build a retaining wall" read "I lugged 80lb blocks of concrete and it was really hot." I sort of got a pretty good idea of what the people who built the pyramids felt like. The plan had been to spend my Thursday in Roanoke, which I haven't explored yet, but I realized that I haven't seen much of Floyd and I figured I should know where I actually live before I go galavanting around. I ended the day with a gorgeous solo hike up to the peak of Buffalo Mountain, and I just want to share some of the pictures with you.

This is possibly the best junk shop ever. No hyperbole. 

Freeze-dried coffee. It's a big deal, folks. 
When I was asking around in Floyd about how to get to the trailhead, they said, "Oh, it's by Daddy Rabbits!" "Um, excuse me?" "You know, Daddy Rabbits." "Someone raises rabbits.... or this is a nickname for some old codger?" "No, no, no, it's a campground." "Gotcha."

I reached the top just before sunset.

Yeah, I live somewhere down there.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Magnificent Muffins

I like to eat--a lot. Luckily, I like to cook almost as much as I like to eat. This summer has been an unending feast of the freshest produce available, and I've eaten, well, a lot. I told my sister last night that rather than acquiring that lithe athletic figure that I've always sort of vaguely (and vainly) hoped for, I've settled into the strong and comfy build of a porky farm wife. Oh dear. Too much delicious butter, too many eggs, so many helpings of lightly steamed vegetables, venison stews, gigantic salads.... I've reveled in simple foods: beets roasted in olive oil, buckwheat pancakes with honey, squash mush (delicious) for breakfast, big ripe tomatoes eaten like apples, seeds all down the front of my shirt.

I have no regrets. None.

So that you can share in my guiltless glorying in food, I'd like to share what I made tonight--what I'm calling Magnificent Muffins, because I'm in a sportive mood and alliteration if fun. Bonus: these muffins are gluten-free. The precise instructions are courtesy of my scientific cooking methods.

Magnificent Muffins 

- A little heap of cornmeal
- A matching mound of buckwheat 
- One small grated zucchini
- Ditto, except a carrot
- Two pinches of salt
- A couple dashes of baking powder (baking soda has aluminum in it, and baking powder is more interesting anyway, because you have to  be clever and think of something yummy and acidic to react it with and get the bubbling action)
- An egg
- A couple sloshes of yogurt for the flavor and to make magic with the baking powder
- Some chopped basil (don't cut yourself like I did while chopping it)
- Some chopped parsley
- A liberal amount of feta cheese 
- Oh, and don't forget a glug of olive oil

Mix everything together with the least amount of care possible, preferably while listening to Fresh Air, and add a little water or milk if the yogurt and egg don't give the mix enough moisture--but they should. Add a splash of cayenne pepper if you're feeling bold, and pour into muffin tins you probably neglect to grease. Bake at some suitable temperature until a fork comes out clean. Pry out of the tins. You may end up with something that looks like a little fluffy mountain, rather than a muffin. If this happens, make a note above your stove remind yourself to grease pans diligently and enjoy the crumbs with a liberal amount of butter.