C I V I L    M A R R I A G E    I S    A    C I V I L    R I G H T.

A N D N O W I T ' S T H E L A W O F T H E L A N D.

Thursday, August 31, 2023

The Pork Boys do Ratatouille!

(Pronounced rat-a-TOO-ee; say it quickly.)

Last week, M.P. got a yen to try something new and different, so he went searching for recipes, and the result was splendid:  a big pot of delicious ratatouille from the south of France.  Neither of us had ever tried it before, but we became instant fans of this all-vegetable dish.  With fresh herbs from our garden, it was a real palate pleaser that you could eat as a main dish with toasted garlic bread, or serve with practically anything else.

Note that all the vegetables end up soft, not crunchy - which is just how I like them.

This simple dish is easy to make, even for the culinarily challenged, and as with all good recipes, there are endless variations.  Here are a couple of recipe videos to check out.  The first one is simple and direct, just showing you what to do instead of telling:


The second is full of friendly directions from one of our favorite online chefs, Stephane at French Cooking Academy:


 I have a few suggestions: 

1. Instead of yellow bell pepper, M.P. used yellow squash, which I love - delightful!

2. Peel your zucchini. That thick, green skin tends to infiltrate the whole dish, and is very annoying to old men with bad teeth.

3. Drain your sautéed vegetables well, using a strainer or paper towels, before putting them in the pot. A little grease goes a long way. 

Well, now you're all ready to make this simple, scrumptious Provençale dish.  Try it, you'll like it!


Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Tracking Hurricane Idalia

Live coverage from the ABC station in Tampa:

And from the NBC station in Jacksonville:


Sunday, August 27, 2023

Sunday Drive: Brown Eyed Girl


This bouncy tune takes me back to August of 1967, and a long road trip through Wichita Falls - notorious as a hotspot, even for Texas - where I first encountered 100+ degrees of heat. We thought something was wrong with the a/c in the car until we stopped at a motel and learned how hot it really was. That was startling then. 

Now we have been living in 100+ degrees since early June, and it is no fun at all, fellas. Our a/c system can't keep up - 105 outside means 85 degrees inside the house. Better than being outdoors, but still miserable. 

But today we're enjoying a cold snap - it's only 95 degrees outside as I write. Whee!


Friday, August 25, 2023

Waitin' for the Weekend

 You must remember this . . .


Sunday, August 20, 2023

Sunday Drive: Summertime

As performed by Ella and Louis - who else?


Saturday, August 19, 2023

Let's Go to Riva del Garda

It was 110 here in Texas yesterday.  It's nearly 110 again today.  And it will be 110 tomorrow.  In other words, we are living in a roasting pan.   Even with the a/c running 24/7 and all the fans going, it's about 85 degrees in the house - much better than being outside, but still, we just feel drained and torpid all the time.

I got to wondering, where in the world could a body go to get cool, if one had the dough and the energy to travel?  And somehow I chanced upon this delightful stroll through the pretty lake town of Riva del Garda, up in the Italian Alps, where the temperature is 75 degrees and there's always a refreshing breeze blowing off the lake.  It was filmed just a couple of weeks ago.  There's no annoying background music, and the narration is in the captions.  Check it out. 

You're welcome.


Friday, August 18, 2023

Waitin' for the Weekend

Need a light?


Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Life Is a Beach, 8/16/23

Live cam from Hollywood Beach, Florida, where the Broadwalk always fascinates:

Take a short, ground-level stroll on the Broadwalk here.

And listen to the rhythm of the surf at Fort Lauderdale Beach:


Sunday, August 13, 2023

Sunday Drive: Call Me / The More I See You

Craig, by EpicDigitalArtStudio on Devant Art

A couple of light, easy-breezy songs from Chris Montez in 1966, just right for a day at the beach, doing whatever you want to do.


Friday, August 11, 2023

Waitin' for the Weekend

What's that you said?

Rodney Santiago

Thursday, August 10, 2023

Life Is a Beach, 8/10/23

Miramar Beach, Florida: 

Some people love the rocky shores and cold, dark waters of New England; some like the cold, pounding surf of California.  Fine - à chacun son goût.  But if I were choosing a beach to lie out on - a merely academic point at this stage of life - I would choose to be beside the warm, blue-green waters of the Gulf of Mexico.  

This live cam shows the sugar-white sands and endless vista of what has latterly been called the Emerald Coast.  My family stayed on the beach at Destin once, in the summer of 1963 - sixty years ago! - when there was but one motel, and nothing else for many miles but sand dunes and sea oats.  It was lovely - I've never forgotten.

Friday, August 4, 2023

Waitin' for the Weekend

"Mr. Bradford" from All American Guys -
click to enlarge.

Thursday, August 3, 2023

Life Is a Beach, 8/3/23

The people-watching at Hollywood Beach is just fascinating:

Listen to the rush of the waves at Ft. Lauderdale Beach:  

Here's Key West - but where are all the hot gay men?

Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Poets' Corner: The World is Charged with the Grandeur of God

By English poet and Jesuit priest Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889), whose poetry is notable for unusual rhythms and alliteration.  The best approach is to read it aloud slowly, savoring each syllable, rhyme, and repetition.

The world is charged with the grandeur of God.

    It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;

    It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil

Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?

Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;

    And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;

    And wears man's smudge and shares man's smell: the soil

Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.

And for all this, nature is never spent;

    There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;

And though the last lights off the black West went

    Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs —

Because the Holy Ghost over the bent

    World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.

I chose this poem for today's post because it is quoted in this speech I happened upon, "Why Beauty Matters," by the American poet and essayist Dana Gioia, former chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, a brilliant man with deeply spiritual views.  

I'm afraid the speech is rather heavy going on a hot August afternoon - even your Head Trucker had to rewind and repeat some sentences several times - but it will repay careful attention.  

(For the record, I am not a Catholic, but as an Episcopalian I feel myself in a distributary stream of the broad current of Christian thought from apostolic times forward.)

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