May 2nd, 2018

blackhat

(no subject)

The cold seems to have "burned" some of the lilac and azalea blooms, but the peony from Christine's family is blooming quite prettily.

I haven't gotten out because i am feeling miserable. My mouth is ulcerated in many spots and the inflammation goes up into my sinuses. Oh woe is me.

Due to the discomfort, i've been eating lots of white bread. This is probably not helpful as i suspect something in wheat products to make me more susceptible to irritations like this. (Although, the iron fortification actually prevents a certain type of ulceration under my tongue.) I'll add back iron supplements to my evening doses, but in the short term i wanted something soothing and gluten free. I made Vivian Howard's cornbread coffee cake (from another recipe on the web where pecans are in the streusel) with substitutions of corn flour for the whole wheat flour and a healthy dose of xanthan gum. (And frozen peaches for the strawberries.)

The most problematic part of cooking was that my cast iron pan is eight inches in diameter. So, i used a square baking dish that probably wasn't quite right in volume and area and heat behavior, and it took forever. By the fourth time i was checking, i was just stabbing the cake through the overdone streusel on the top, and pulling out a chunk -- when it was finally an actual chunk i was delighted. It's GOOD, and i'm eyeing a 10" cast iron deep pan and a lid.

I don't have a Dutch oven. The deep pan would hold four quarts instead of the Lodge Dutch oven which holds five. With just two of us, the smaller volume probably isn't bad. Skimming through the Dutch oven recipes out there, though, it seems like most are dishes i'd make in the pressure cooker.

blackhat

Vogelkop Superb Bird-of-Paradise

You may have seen video documentation of the Superb Bird of Paradise mating dance. I think i saw it first in the context of some article, maybe this one https://www.wired.com/story/the-worlds-most-metal-bird-makes-darkness-out-of-chaos/ , about how the black feathers are more black than about anything we know.

Here's a video of a mating dance of a bird of paradise that has been assumed to be the same species as the Superb Bird of Paradise -- but evidence had been collected to show that it's actually a different species. The variation on the mating dance is just as amazing, and i think more elegant.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XWjx6oSgC4M

Meanwhile the Carolina Wrens are still feeding their nestlings.