thoughts from New England

Some Revelations August 24, 2007

Filed under: cooking,food,garden,joseph campbell,lifehacker,LL Bean,Recipes — tim @ 2:16 am

I learned a few things this week. Two things about my garden:

1. Purple peppers are not growing NEARLY as big as they should be

2. I have not had any zucchini because what I thought was zucchini is really acorn squash! That explains A LOT.

One thing about school:

3. Pop Culture In America, a class I was lined up to take this fall, had a reading list a mile long and what appeared to be zero focus on any non-book cultural reference. I would have had to read Da Vinci Code, Sisterhood of the Ya-Ya-Travel Pants, Harry Potter and the First Book In The Series, and The Crappy Notebook. Whatever! There wasn’t even a graphic novel in the reading list. I don’t know how you can seriously discuss popular culture without even talking about comics. So instead, I signed up for a class on Genesis and also Myth and the Modern Age, which is almost entirely based on Joseph Campbell’s writings. Woo hoo! I’ve somehow become a sucker for this — why have I been ignoring it for so long? Perhaps I had to take a hero’s quest to find out that the answer was there all along. (note: make it stopppppppppppp)

Also, I have assembled my “go-bag,” which is something I’ve always had and gone back and forth with using, but after misplacing the last one I had (which wasn’t really a go-bag and was more of a carry-all), I buckled down and committed to finding a good one. I went to LL Bean and picked one out and equipped it with all I need. Apparently, photographing and showing off what you carry with you all the time is a popular internet meme and there are flickr groups devoted to it. Instead, I submitted a pic of my bag to one of my favorite sites, for their ‘show us your…’ series. Usually it’s something like “show us your browser” or workspace, but this week was go-bags. I submitted mine and voila! It’s there. See the pic and my descriptions here. Mine is the only daddy-go-bag so far; just about everyone else is urban hipsters and/or students. Boo to that, I say.

4. Stuffed Zucchini is REALLY delicious:

Stuffed Zucchini

Incredibly easy — it was ground turkey, quinoa, cherry tomatoes, onions, garlic, hot peppers, one of the biggest zucchinis ever (although not the biggest), pine nuts, mint, and spices. OMG so delicious. Here’s how:

1. Split zucchini in half, use spoon to scoop out the center. Salt, and pre-heat oven to 350.

2. make the quinoa, set aside

3. brown the ground turkey and throw in the spices: cinnamon, sage, a hint of cayenne, salt, pepper, and the coup de grace: freshly ground nutmeg (if you don’t have this, start doing it). It makes the biggest difference by adding a deep Moroccan or Mediterranean flavor to the dish

4.  remove ground turkey from heat, set aside.

5. heat a little olive oil and sweat the onions, hot peppers, and garlic in the pan

6. roast zucchini halves in the oven with nothing in them for 15 min

7. slice cherry tomatoes in half

8. toss the quinoa, ground turkey, onions mix, and tomatoes. Stuff into zukes

9. roast for 15-20 min

10. enjoy!

This can be done with almost anything in the middle if you follow the quinoa/meat (or meat substitute)/onions/veggies route. SOOOOOOOOO good.


Shoe Love June 28, 2007

Filed under: LL Bean,shoes,shopping,summer — tim @ 4:36 am

There’s no love like shoe love. And I LOVE these shoes.

I got a gift certificate for Father’s Day from my mom & dad to LL Bean, and these were at the top of my list after seeing my sister Luis wearing a pair.

shoezThe summer heat beats down upon your brow as you head back to the cottage after a long day of foraging for shells and sea urchins along the rocky Maine seashore. Sweat trickles down your neck, tickling the small of your back. The office is a million miles away as you take a whiff of the briny smell of the ocean, reminding you of clambakes and lobsterfests in the waning evenings of your youth. You can’t wait to get back to shore, kick back in an Adirondack chair and feel the salty wood splinter into your backside as you pop the top on a frosty beer you picked up at the local market. The late afternoon sun is sheer torture on your sunburned arms and legs, but your feet are being carried by the four winds themselves as you bound back up the rocks in your LL Bean Summer Sneakers. Breathable, ultra-lightweight and impeccably stylish, your summer days are captured in the soles of these shoes — but not your sweat. You wince as she places a wispy hand upon your blistered shoulder. “You look hot — are you alright?” she asks. “Never been better,” you reply. “I’m walking on air.”

The Summer Sneaker from LL Bean. Priced right at $34.50 for men, $29.50 for women.

Okay, but seriously, these shoes are amazing. Easy on/easy off, ready to wear without socks (and I hate wearing shoes without socks, even ankle socks bug me), these things are so comfortable.