Monday, September 23, 2013

fusion frittata, unexpected orchards and tastes, and fall makes its first appearance in the canyon...

It's inevitable: around the beginning of every school-year, I come down with whatever the students are sick with--some kind of cold or flu...this year it waited until mid-September, so here I am, at home, malade, enfermo, krank...

So, time to post some recent minutiae after the last entry--the shameless vote-requests from two and a half weeks ago. Alas, S. and I are not going to be finalists in that travel-photo-contest this year. One less thing to worry about...But thanks for your support!

So, our recent fusion-food experiment... 
My wife wasn't convinced this would work, at first...She was reluctant to try a Korean-Italian frittata.

I had some left-over "yahng-nyum kahn-jahng" sauce: 
...and I had seasoned some spinach with it, and I thought that the spicy spinach would be a good addition to a frittata...So I squeezed the excess liquid out of the spinach, and we added it to the potato-onion-mushroom mixture that we sautéed and then poured the eggs over.


S. ended up being convinced, and a good dinner was had by all. 

Not a radical concept--adding spinach to a frittata--but the Korean spice added a nice little kick. Just make sure that you squeeze out most of the soy-sauce liquid from the seasoned spinach.

(By the way, the link to the 'yahng-nyum kahn-jahng' recipe above--not my favorite, but it's a start...I've played with it and it's more like the 'kitchen sink' version on that website--minus the vinegar. And I usually use honey instead of sugar.)


And now, for something surreal,
a streetscape that I see on my way to work everyday:

Doesn't this scene just cry out for a story? I mean, why is the giraffe behind bars? What is he saying? Why is the buffalo leaving? And why does he have a shell? Oh, he's a teenage mutant ninja buffalo...

(here's what one friend came up with:
     "Life should be lived in the playpen of the street of dreams." Hmm...or, 'nightmares?')

Two weekends ago, after living here for six years, S. and I finally made it out to Apple Annie's, about a 1hr40 minute drive from Tucson:

(here's the write-up I did for
Our refrigerator drawer is now full of newspaper-wrapped "shinko" 
(more commonly spelled "shingo") pears...

And it might seem morbid, 
but I found the apples on the ground 
to have their own textural 'beauty'--
after the summer, the wind, and the rain... apple memento mori


The other night, we met up with some friends for Korean food; ahh, check out that bubbling bowl of red:


Gotta love the pun on the socks.


And with eating, there's running.
Our car accident is far enough in the past now, so, with the chiropractor's o.k., I've been trying some gentle runs... Saturday morning (before I came down with whatever flu this is), I went to Sabino Canyon. Parts of the lower canyon are covered with sacred datura blooms...and I caught this bee coming in for a landing:

I just never get tired of these desert flowers...

...and although the thermometer might not yet know it, the canyon is just beginning to look like fall--something about the angle of light and the certain shade of green that the cottonwoods take on...

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Once again...ten more tries for a 'dream'

Perhaps you've heard of the "Dream Trip" contest sponsored by Condé Nast Traveler's a big one--the grand prize is $25,000 for whatever travel-itinerary you can dream up! this month's magazine, on page 18--here's the announcement:
They're doing it again!

Last year, I was honored, and my wife and I thrilled, to have been one of the twenty-five finalists...honored, thrilled, and then, it must be honestly said, disappointed that we didn't win...(S. was pleased, though, that all finalists received a Clairsonic skin care system...and I also got a SeaLife underwater digital camera...snorkeling in Tucson, anyone?)

So...for what it's worth--below are my ten submissions.
(any guesses on which one(s) were taken on my iPhone?)

I am hereby shamelessly requesting your votes...
and submit your own photos...

looking out from the Museu d'Historia,
Roman marble framing a guy on his smartphone
in the medieval Plaça del Rei

Urban angst, from the hills of Park Güell, Barcelona

--this streetscape in Seoul's Bukchon district reminded
me of a Hopper painting; 
on my last night in Korea, this scene
pulled me in for a memorable dinner

the ancient Bong-eun-sa temple faces 
Seoul's now (in)famous Gangnam district

stark and vibrant side-by-side

Goat Lake in WA's central Cascades;
after the seemingly endless grey of winter and spring,
summer beckons; a friend and I hiked out of the woods
into this ethereally-lit glacial-lake-scape, 
meeting forest service workers there to clear the trails

a summer morning's maintenance 
in the gardens of Versailles

 Benches require napping on a summer afternoon in Paris

On one last walk through the Jardin des Tuileries this summer,
this guy caught my eye:
sunbathing in front of a carnival-ride
while on his cell phone during his lunch hour--

If anyone is so inclined, clicking on the link under the photo will take you to the photo on the Conde Nast site...where you can vote! Once a day is all it takes...Merci!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Rear-ended running woes...and Québecois and German tastes in Tucson

Labor-day weekend in Tucson, for the past four years, has meant running the Saguaro National Park Labor Day 8-miler...but not this year. Yesterday, while waiting at a red light, on the way to pick up my racing t-shirt and bib, we got rear-ended. 

Oh, inattentive and unapologetic driver, you spoiler of annual tradition and inducer of neck-and-back-pain for my wife and me--PAY ATTENTION! And she even had the nerve to say, as I tried to explain my irritation (we were stopped at red light! LOOK UP! you were probably texting, anyway...) at being rear-ended for the second time in less than two years, "Well, it's not like I did it on purpose, and, uh, what if I'M injured?" Ahem. (What--you want me to apologize? for YOU running into US?!) Well, that would still be...YOUR fault!

Yes, yes, accidents happen. But own up. Apologize. Be an adult.

Alas, then, I'm in no shape for the up-and-down 8-miler in the desert tomorrow morning. 
I did end up picking up the t-shirt, though: I get to wear it? 
I've been running the course every weekend since July...I just won't be running it tomorrow morning...

It has been a summer of good runs, though, scenic and far-flung..., on into autumn, even if thermometers in Tucson would seem to indicate otherwise...


After ibuprofen and ice-packs, we did decide to make the best of the rest of the day...
...and so, with a friend, we checked out a food-truck and micro-brewery.

For about a month now, the "Zany Beaver," run by a husband-and-wife-team, has become the newest addition to Tucson's food-truck scene, bringing POUTINE to our urban corner of the desert! If you don't know what 'poutine' is--it's Canada's national junk-food, born in Québec in the 1950's, and clogging arteries with deliciousness ever since: french fries topped with fresh (squeaky) cheese curds and hot brown gravy...
I got the "Bacon Bacon" poutine...And if you're concerned with how to be a locavore, these cheese-curds are from right here in  Arizona...and the glass-bottled sodas are from nearby Mexico!

Last night, The Zany Beaver happened to parked in the parking lot of "Dragoon Brewing Co.," one of Tucson's microbreweries... A perfect marriage, right?--fries and beer:

 They've been brewing here in Tucson for about a year-and-a-half now...

My favorite was the "Monsooner," the Dortmund-style lager; it turns out that the mineral-content of the water here in Tucson is similar to the water in that north German, sehr logisch...und sehr gut!

And on their website, they've got this cool beer-locator map, showing where their microbrew is on tap:
No shortage of thirst-quenching-options in this desert...

And, from last week in my classroom--one random map-snippet: 
a very bright student, in discussing how to remember certain European countries on the map (I always include geography in my language classes), referring to Austria, said: "it looks like a flying potato/whale; also shaped a bit like Oklahoma." Now will that make you run to an atlas? Won't forget that one...