Monday, November 25, 2013

Binge Edu?

The nature of Education has been challenged in the State of Colorado recently and I've only found my  answer recently and through a very circumlocutious route. (amendment 66 defeat)

I've been doing a little binge TV over the weekend (thank you Netflix) and while watching the entire Star Trek canon backwards has a certain appeal I find myself sinking into Inspector Morse.

I must admit my only acquaintance with Colin Dexter was through the Santa Fe Opera and The Duchess of Malfi and it's only a vague recollection at that. I think there was a motorcycle and some leather but that's about all I can recall. I was more concerned with working as an apprentice Scenic at the Opera. We were making "pancakes" of A/B foam and applying them to forming wire for the set which John Conklin had lovingly described as "bejeweled vomit".

I only come to the Morse series sideways. I'd never had the patience to sit through the entire program while it was on PBS. Something to do with flat editing and laconic music between long long long silences or maybe just wanting a bit less Academic posturing and a little more Eye Candy. More Poirot, please. I really only became interested with the "Inspector Lewis" series which took a lover's eye to Oxford. Give me an English Green and a little perpendicular Gothic then I'll hang on while someone hems and haws over a pint of bitter.

So, when Morse appeared on the Netflix lineup I said, why not?

The punching bag which Mr. Dexter likes to work with consistently is Class. The privilege of the Oxford Don, of the Intelligentsia, of the snob all making a nice counterpoint to CI Morse's own intellectual snobbery and his own self loathing.

So how does that get me to the recent vote in Colorado for new taxes for public Education?

"DENVER - Colorado voters on Tuesday soundly rejected a $950 million tax increase for education 
Read more at "

There is an irrefutable need for educated minds.  Education is a commodity. Whoever pays for the commodity gets to control that commodity. It's our choice, Public or Private funding we had a choice and we voted to let someone else do the heavy lifting. Next time someone complains about the "fat cats on Wall Street" or the 1% or those who let greed rule their lives remember this vote. "We the people" opted to let the people with the money educate the children of their choice. 

Now, how will those children grow up and who will be their role models do you think? 

(...and yes, I'm still angry about the Given Institute; but that's another post)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


As promised here's a simple soup using those very "earthy" potatoes
and the last of the carrots from Karen's garden
and some onions with a little local honey
and some tomatoes from the summer farmer's market which I "canned"

Start with a big cast iron pot and some olive oil and add potatoes.
Skins on or off- your decision- but since I grew these I know the skins are safe.
Add some herbs, sage, rosemary, oregano… 

(make a bouquet garni if you don't want to chew the herbs)

add the carrots (they take longer to cook than the onions but less than the potatoes)
add the garlic, onion and honey…
After the carrots have started to get soft add the tomatoes

 plus one jar of water
the honey from the onions sticks to the bottom of the bowl 
so I add a little red wine to get all the honey…
and add that to the pot…
The key is to balance sweet with heat- so I add a little apple cider…
and an old rind of parmigiano
the broth should taste pretty good at this stage- it should have a savory flavor with complexity from the earth tones in the honey and the potatoes and it should have some heat in the "finish"
Cover and bring to a boil.

If you want stew, uncover and let it slow boil for 20 minutes
If you want soup let it simmer with the lid cracked for 20 minutes
The soup should be clear since you're not cooking it for hours.
Serve in a bowl with grated parmesan (and maybe a crouton or two)

Saturday, November 2, 2013

The harvest is in.

Honestly it was in a couple of weeks ago. The potatoes are particularly fine this year.

That's a little over 2 bushels of Red McClure and much to my surprise some PurplePeruvian.

They're in the cellar in baskets with some burlap over them. 
They'll stay nice and cool through the winter and by Spring I'll have lots of sprouting starters.

I sort them by size. Not only is this a good thing for cooking but the smaller ones get soft first so you want to eat those first.

The big ones are great in soup… I'll post that recipe later. I just substitute the potatoes for beans in a minestrone.