Friday, May 14, 2010

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Clarification or Mystification

An interesting interview with Iris Murdoch speaking about the ontological and stylistic differences of philosophical and literary writing.

...with the complete interview in segments at this YouTube channel.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

We Think the World of Birds

J and I came across the Cornell Ornithology Lab poster designed by Charlie Harper. What great design.

WPA Guides

I read an article in the Post recently about Zora Neal Hurston as a WPA writer for the travel guides that were produced in association with the Federal Writers Project. She wrote a travel guide to Florida. The article mentioned several other now famous writers who participated in the program as well. I was able to find a copy of John Cheever's WPA Guide to Washington DC. I can't wait to read through it.

Virginia Dirt Shirt

Local, local, local...

I picked up a bunch of great local publications while in Culpeper.

In the Kitchen is a 10 year old magazine devoted to the Virginia food scene for the home cook. They feature a monthly meal planner each month, as well as fascinating articles on local farms, restaurants, and markets.

The Old Town Crier is a publication devoted to announcing interesting events, festivals, lectures, restaurants, etc. in old town centers from the Bay to the Blue Ridge.

Buy Local Virginia is a great website devoted to making available information on how to find local produce resources near you. They also have a good page of other resources including a chart of produce availability by season.

I was also happy to speak with a teacher, Marla England, from the Eastern View High School in Culpeper. She has won a grant from the State of Virginia to start a several weeklong program teaching kids about nutrition. She introduces the ideas of eating colorfully, and identifies whole ingredients--all using the concept of Eric Carl's Very Hungry Caterpillar--laying foundations to become a butterfly! Amazingly, she had never seen the Jamie Oliver Food Revolution. It was great to see someone taking initiative to begin changes in the local schools.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Virginia Food

J and I grabbed some fantastic food while in Culpeper. Friday night we stopped in to the Thyme Market and grabbed some fresh rosemary sun-dried tomato bread and unfiltered olive oil to go with our Barefoot bubbly. I looked forward to the next morning when I could more fully take in the stock of the market.

I was remarkably restrained, I thought, for the amount of fun and delicious looking items they carried (including the day's special of suckling pig). I picked up some Parmigianno Reggiano butter, Dave's Gourmet salts (since they had about 25 different salts to choose from, I went with a sampler of 6), Roasted Fava Beans (salted), and a Nu Go Organic Dark Chocolate Pomegranate bar.

The butter is a revelation. We made Jamie Oliver's omelette last night with it. It was subtle and a pure delight. I haven't had a chance to try all of the salts yet. The fava beans are great nutritionally (with 23g of protein a serving), but not altogether a pleasant after texture. I think they could use some more salt. I haven't tried the Nu Go Organic bar.

We ate breakfast at a nice diner on the corner of East and Main, and had a typical two eggs, sausage and home fries. For lunch we ate at Foti's. Foti's was started by two chefs who were trained at The Inn at Little Washington. Check out my pictures on my TwitPics site. Needless to say, it was delightful.

Fish Food?

I just got two varieties of Yasai Fumi Furikake Rice Seasoning at HMart, and I love it!

Sesame seed, carrot, spinach, pumpkin, celery, japanese mustard plant, potato starch, sugar, salt, and seaweed.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Virginia is for Lovers

J and I went to Culpeper for our fifth anniversary. What a great town. We just loved our time there. I am going to devote several blog postings to the great things of Culpeper!

I'll start with the location, etc. It's only about an hour away from Fairfax, and an easy and beautiful drive. We stayed in the Thyme Inn Apartments. It was really fun to stay in the town itself, and with the Culpeper Day festival setting up outside our window in the morning, reminded us a lot of our place in Florence, over the leather market. The Thyme Inn is associated with the Thyme Market and the Thyme Cafe. More on the market later. Our room was quiet and beautiful. If you don't want to stay there, there are several other B&Bs and a local campground.

There are three Civil War driving tours of battlefields nearby, as there were over 100 battles near Culpeper during the Civil War. Many local vineyards and even a distillery are open for tours as well. Thomas Jefferson's Monticello is also located in Culpeper. There are also outfitters for kayaking and canoeing on the Rappahannock River. The town itself has three walking tours of Italianate Victorian architecture, and other great historic buildings. Downtown there are more restaurants that you will want to eat at than you will be able to (more on this later), as well as some really fun boutiques and shops.

You can request driving tour maps and brochures for free here.