Posted in Boston, Massachusetts, Nature, Weather, Winter

The Devil in the Wind

They call them nor’easters up here: howling, maniacal weather that blows down small trees, power lines and any other object stupid enough to be built in its way. They don’t respect the calendar. Nor’easters clobber Boston with rain or snow and leave a trail of havoc behind.

I drew up the shade in my bedroom this morning and, at first, could see nothing except more snow on the ground. Where was the storm? Then I looked again. The street looked hazy somehow, as if a fog had descended. Then I noticed the snow, blowing sideways so hard that I could barely see it. Well, okay then. Here’s our storm. It’s the devil in the clouds and in the wind. It’s dark out by now and I haven’t opened an outside door all day. Schools have been canceled for today and for tomorrow. Tomorrow’s high? 7 degrees Fahrenheit.

Posted in Boston, Massachusetts, Politics, Womens March, Wow!

Making History

Boston Globe article
A Second American Revolution?

I made history yesterday, along with severalĀ  million people all over the world. I participated in the Boston Women’s March for America. We were 175,000 people strong. By the time we got to the Boston Common, the area was so crowded that we couldn’t hear the speakers, only clapping and roars from the crowd closer in. It took us over two hours just to get from where were stood at the center-rear of the Common to the street where the march commenced. I was surrounded by energy, love, diversity and hope.

I came with 16 other people, organized by my good friend Michele. She gathered family and friends, many of whom came in from other New England states to participate in the march. Some of those same folks left that same night. I applaud their energy and enthusiasm. We represented all ages. Michele (as well as many of us) is in her 60s. She was joined by siblings, nieces, friends of nieces and more. We had a family tree on its way to Boston Common!

It was an amazing day. Our numbers were far higher than anyone had expected. The same was true of marches in other parts of the country. We were a sea of pink pussy hats yesterday and we sent a message, whether or not our new “president” deigned to hear it. Everyone else did.

I’m still floating today. Every news source was full of stories and pictures of millions of people demonstrating and marching. There were marches in Antarctica, Europe, Asia and Africa. The DC event was the largest protest march in history. Our election put our own people as well as people in the rest of the world in danger. As an American, I have a responsibility to rectify that. Donald Trump was not elected by a majority, but by an antiquated electoral system that did not serve the interests of the American people in November.

I feel empowered, for the first time in months. And, I don’t intend to stop here. The marches were just the first volley in our second American revolution.

Posted in Boston, Food, History, Home, Massachusetts, Recipes

Something Old, Something New

coal stove
I think we’re out of coal, dear

Well, here we are at 2015. I’m ready for it to be a fine 12 months. I started the year by going back in time. I had to order a new version of The Fannie Farmer Cookbook. Mine falls to pieces the minute you open it. I didn’t get the requested item for Christmas, so I ordered it online. While I was browsing around I came across another book, intriguingly entitled: “Fannie’s Last Supper.” The author is Chris Kimball, the host of America’s Test Kitchen. He wanted to recreate a meal from the original, 1896 edition. I’m a sucker for stuff like that, so I ponied up and got myself an ebook copy, which I’m reading on my iPad (talk about juxtapositions!).

The book got some bad reviews on Amazon, mostly because the author found most of the recipes in the cookbook to be absolutely terrible. I think he’s being a bit hard on the old girl. That was then and this is now. If you can’t deal with soggy, overcooked vegetables and heavy cream sauce over everything, then do something else. Still, it’s an interesting read with lots of social and culinary history thrown in among the revised recipes and admonitions.

I have a few historical versions of this cookbook: a reproduction of the original, a reprinting from 1918 (with wartime recipes and suggested substitutions, another version from 1951 and another from 1965. The menus change pretty radically along the way, so I guess jellied salad and fish boiled for an hour didn’t withstand the test of time. At some point they swapped out coal stoves and added baking temperatures, thank God. Really, I don’t need to learn how to light and maintain a stove. Checking oven temperature is an absolute necessity, particularly in my crappy old stove. See? If I had the cast iron coal stove, I could have switched it over to gas and it would outlast me by 100 years. So, there, Chris Kimball!

Fannie's Last Supper
Nice cover

I have to say, I like the book, although he’s very snooty towards Miss Farmer. He did acknowledge her marketing and business sense, since the book is a classic and has been for over a century. It sold like hotcakes the minute it came out. It had precise weights and measures, suggested menus (holy cow!), information about cooking classes at the Boston Cooking School and even a section on cooking for the sick. Toast water, anyone? And how about this for brekkies:

Raspberries
Shredded wheat biscuits
Dried smoked beef in cream
Hash browned potatoes
Baking powder biscuit
Coffee

Burp. I’ll get a cramp in my hand if I copy down her suggested dinners. Would I make anything from the original cookbook? Probably not. Some of them really do sound kind of gross and the method of preparation would cook every bit of nutrition right out. Boil that sucker for an hour! Get the deep frier ready and pass the cream sauce.

Posted in Art, Boston, Home, Massachusetts, Nature, Seasons, Spring

A Pleasant Walk in a Pleasant Town

Every now and again we get a nice, spring day. Today? Well, lovely, in a word. It almost (but not entirely) made up for the days of wind, cold and rain we’ve recently had. I’m sick to death of gray skies where I don’t feel like taking one step out of the house. It’s downright depressing.

I had some time to make up for today. I’ve been missing my walks and decided to roam a bit further afield, to Menotomy Rocks park. It’s about a 20-25 minute walk from my house and nestled in a quiet neighborhood of very pretty, Victorian houses and well-tended gardens. There’s a lovely pond with a walking path around its perimeter. There are myriad other paths as well, that are about as peaceful and contemplative as you could want.

walking path
Come For the Peace, Stay For the Quiet.

I spent a blissful hour or so walking to and from the park, then walking around the pond. There’s also an outdoor art exhibit there, sponsored by the Town and open to any and all comers.

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I haven’t been to Menotomy Rocks in a few years. I remember taking my parents to it at one point and walking around the pond with my mother. She loved to walk and, like me, enjoyed parks and gardens. My dad’s a more sedentary guy and took a seat on a bench while we ambled and talked.

I finally left when my bladder had a very urgent chat with me. Damn. That’s what happens when you get older. I did manage to snag a few pics of the neighborhood on the way down, so it wasn’t a total loss.

Pretty Nice!

Posted in A Bit of This, A Bit of That, Boston, Food, Home, Massachusetts, Seasons, Spring, Work

At Least It’s Not Snowing

It’s been a busy two days, relatively speaking. Yesterday the hubby and I shopped for vegetables and fruit at one of the area’s best places for produce: Russo’s. You can get any variety of veggie or fruit from around the world (Asia, India, the Caribbean, etc.). I’ve never seen some of the stuff they carry, but they do a great business.

Russo Produce
Saturday at Russo. Now imagine it twice at full of people and you’ll have a better idea of what this place is like.

I practically had to be carried back to the car the last time I went there. I was still sick and went through a half a box of Kleenex before I got back home. From there I went straight to bed. This time I was well enough to maneuver a shopping cart through jam-packed aisles and then get back out to the car in one piece. I even bought some flowers!

After the shopping trip we braved the darkening weather and decided to walk along the Charles River near Watertown. It was relatively warm yesterday, but started to get colder and cloudier as we walked. Still, it was really nice to get out of the damn house for a change and feel like a normal human being (also for a change).

We even went out to dinner after our walk. Waltham, MA has some fabulous Indian restaurants, one of our favorites being New Mother India. We warmed up over hot lamb curry and a cauliflower-yellow lentil dish. That was after we polished off a few pakoras and some garlic naan. Aahh, yes.

Food from New Mother India
Just the thing after a walk in the cold

Then today I finished updating my consulting website and finished up a bunch of other work stuff. Then I did another shop (yikes!) at our local supermarket. Among other things, I got a nice corned beef brisket for St. Patrick’s Day (not that I’m Irish or anything). Then I came home and crashed. The hubby is making dinner. I seem to be ready for a shower and bedtime.

Posted in Boston

No Suspect

The lock-down’s just been lifted, but authorities are suggesting extreme caution when going out. Transit is back online and the city thanked us for being patient and for doing what they asked. Businesses lost hundreds of thousands of dollars today, not to mention what the state’s been set back, given the huge police presence. But, no one’s complaining here. We’re still standing strong.

I hope this guy turns himself in. He’s been described as a really nice guy by his friends, and police suspect he may have fallen under the influence of his nutcase brother. If this guy has any conscience left, he’ll come in and let us get on with our lives. Either that, or his body will join the other people he was responsible for killing. One way or another. If they take him alive, I’d really like to know why he did what he did.