Friday, September 26, 2014

Free Range Friday ~ From Spooning to Peru

An email from The Flying Tortoise came in the other day with a very beautiful photo of hand carved spoons. I happen to love wooden spoons and hadn't seen these before. A Norwegian, Stian Korntved Ruud, has a year long project to carve a spoon a day. At one spoon a day I wasn't expecting much. I was wrong. Very, very wrong. It is a good thing to be wrong sometimes, opening our eyes a little wider.

From the website of Stian Korntved Ruud
You can see each spoon he's carved so far if you go here to the spoon section of his website. The thing about this man, as seems to occur with extremely talented people, he doesn't just make spoons. Not by a long shot. He makes furniture. He makes elegant circuit breakers. He makes videos. He made a crazy thing called a Rhythm Loop Machine. He has made a Blue Box, light therapy to combat the long, depressing days of a Norwegian winter. I'm thinking a spoon a day might be therapy for himself, to focus that amazing brain and talent for just a little while each day. You can read all about him and see his creations using the links above.

Beautiful objects with practical purposes in the kitchen and for the table. What's better than that?

Food to use the spoons with, that's what.

I have a feeling these dishes were made using some wooden spoons, but that's just a guess. Ben and Michelle are in Peru, playing and eating their way through another wonderful country as they do every year. I figure if I'm drooling I shouldn't be doing it alone! All photo credit is to Michelle Millet and Ben Zickel, with permission. Thanks, Ben and Michelle!!

Grilled mussels

"Grilled beef heart"

"Chimichurri octopus flambeed with pisco, over leche de tigre amarillo."

"Japanese style tiradito."

"Roasted salted corn is served before every meal."

Add caption

"Peruvian prawn chowder"

3 kinds of cevhiche


Many kinds of potatoes
"Mixed local root vegetable chips and dipping sauces. The classic pisco sour."

If you aren't seriously hungry now, you should, perhaps, check in with a doctor. This is just a small sampling of a trip they are about half way through. It might be possible to live off of these photos vicariously, but even more fun is trying to replicate at least some of them. Have at it and have fun!

Ben & Michelle and the oasis
Have a far-flung feeding frenzy of a Friday. Do something fabulous.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014


I went to the beach yesterday to catch pelicans in magic light. Oh how together I was! Timing and place, perfection. The pelicans were just so. Too bad I forgot to put the now all charged up battery back in the camera.

But hey, I was there. I had my phone. So I took a bunch of bad photos. Who am I to keep them to myself?

I seem to be on a roll, on the border of not quite in the right place in the right time with the right wherewithal going on. Small nothings when looked at in perspective, there are still lessons everywhere, like seeing things too close up for clarity and sometimes too far away for understanding. Would someone find the off button?

And then Simone caught a fish.

He didn't know its name in English. He told me it was in the tuna family and if I'd actually gotten the very forked tail in the photo, that would have helped for identification. But truly, its name is dinner.

Have a what-the-hell Wednesday. Do something warmblooded.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Tiny Home Tuesday ~ Out There

I keep looking at this open page from the Tiny House Blog that I haven't been able to close - and finally decided "Just share it, get it out of your system! Maybe.". There is something about this place that feels really good to me, even though it's not quite finished yet, according to the guy building it.

I have a bet with myself that the chair was once a rocker. Now, it's off its rockers. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
According to Dan, of the Clearwater Gallery (along with The Open Door, a wine bar with food and music too), this is one of what will be a few artists' studios. If you're in Bend, Oregon, you can check it out yourself. I plan on it! Or, you can just build one like it, wherever you are. That rusty-ish red paint works well for me.

Driving around hilltops yesterday, I came across a few places that made me think I was up in the mountains of North Carolina. But it started to rain, so I didn't get photos. But I'm going back, in sunshine! Stay tuned. Stay tuned anyway, you never know what might happen.

This is not a tiny house and yes, I've posted photos of it before. But it was so pastoral and serene and green, I can't resist.
Have a try and be true Tuesday. Do something therapeutic.

Monday, September 22, 2014

When Culebra is Good, She's Very, Very Good

We had a sweet rain early this morning, a fine sound for waking up. Alarm clocks should all mimic the sound of rain on the roof. 

With the sun rising, there had to be a rainbow somewhere. Jumping in Housesitting Hill's vehicle, I didn't have to look far - it was flung over the entire island. Oh yes it was!

And then, absorbed by the sky, it was gone. The clarity left behind was no less spectacular.

There is so much beauty here. I won't say I take it for granted, because I don't think I do, except when I'm too caught up in my own blinder vision. But there are moments when the explosion of beauty just knocks me out. That was how it was this morning. I hope you can get a taste of that.

Have a meet the morning Monday. Do something maintaining the motion of the miraculously mundane.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Friday, September 19, 2014

Free Range Friday ~ Light Up the Sky, Light Up the Grill

Since I forgot to bring a camera to a great meal last night, I decided to sort of re-create it today. That works, especially if it is lamb chops!

Before I lit the grill, the dawn lit the sky. It was one of those waking up to air on color, inside and outside, no rose colored glasses were needed because rose was the air. We were breathing rose. I like that.

A few hours later, I started playing with food. This way of slicing almost through a potato before putting it on the grill cuts cooking time while still giving you a roasted / baked potato texture. But I wanted more. I'm greedy.

Shallots. Potatoes. They fell in love.

If you are going to slice food before cooking it, something should go there. I choose shallots, but you could put slivers of garlic, some thinly sliced veggie, maybe a bell pepper? Something with some juice to it.

A drizzle of olive oil, some salt and pepper, into an oven proof dish (or if you have one of those fancy grill  things.

Fancy grill things, like these. If you're inclined, there are grills and grill accessories made in the U.S. For example, you can check here, at Modern Home Products.
From Weber

From Williams Sonoma

But I have to say, I like this pyrex because up on the shelf, it's almost impossible to burn your veggies. 
 When the potatoes were on, (they will take at least twice as long as the chops) I got the chops prepped. Some rosemary and garlic slivers, some slipped into the meaty part of the chops and some rubbed on the top and then scattered across the fatty back and that's it. Oh, pepper. Pepper is good.

After about 1/2 an hour, on go the chops

Uh, lamb is REALLY fatty. Put the fat side down first. Then...keep a close eye on it. 
 Once the fire subsided, I turned off the full bar (there are three sections on this grill) and put the chops to the side to continue cooking. The fire had actually made a nice crust. Sure, I meant to do that.
Another 1/2 an hour and the chops were done. Done meaning rare done, because lamb is really at its best rare. If that's not how you like it, there are no rules here, but if done means brown inside to you, I'd encourage you to give pink a try. You might be pleasantly palate pleased.
I didn't have any mint jelly, which would have made this perfect. I DID have mint, but it is in my garden and I am not. It was still pretty fine.

You might be very pleased at what Hector will get for you if you ask, so if there's something you've been craving, don't be shy, ask! Culebra is full of surprises.

Buen provecho!!

Have a fill up with feasting Friday. Do something fire breathingly fattening.