Tuesday, November 16, 2010




It's a dark November evening. I'm doing a 3AM-9AM shift later at the Lake Travis Testing Station. Seeing this cheered me up.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Cooked kharu gos, lamb with spices, for friends Elizabeth and Kimberly. Afterwards we watched ken burns' the national parks on pbs. These things went together. Kharu gos, available in a NYT recipe, is a small wilderness of spices. Cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and chopped dried chiles are first sauteed in a pan. (Austin Whole Foods offers a serious selection of dried chiles). Then after the onions and lamb are added you pour in coriander, turmeric, cumin, ginger, and garlic. The aroma is similar in some respects to indian curries I've made but sweeter and a little less home-invasive.

Friday, August 21, 2009


In Park City, Utah. Visited Salt Lake City last night to see Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Driving west at dusk one emerges over dark side of mountain into sunbathed urban valley. Stunning to sit in massive conference center auditorium, awash in clean, expansive sounds of great choir. At rehearsals audience is sparse and allowed to come and go. I felt like a pilgrim entering room from where I had been.

Two nights earlier was sitting on desiccated log, eating tuna out of pouch, isolated at far end of Upheaval Dome at Canyonlands NP. I had turned around to see something resembling four-inch scorpion sneaking by in dirt. Assumed deadly but later picked up Audubon Field Guide to Insects and Spiders at bookstore and found out it was Jerusalem Cricket. Next day hiked four hours to get back to car, up and over craggy breaches in canyon walls, getting inkling of what Brigham Young and Co. encountered pushing westward into this territory. To go from dusty, prehistoric-feeling southern Utah into pristine religious complex was exhilarating.