2014—Right In The Middle

I discovered this small ivory carving in a box I acquired at a garage sale years ago. When I first found it, I realized it was scrimshaw and when I researched the carver’s name, W. Walluk, I found he was an Inupiat Alaskan Native carver who died in 1968 at the age of 40. I thought the small object was charming so I set it in a glass display cabinet with some sea shells. Tuesday’s daily challenge theme in my Flickr group was “in the middle” and I remembered the small, half dollar sized, walrus tusk carving of a polar bear and thought that it might work for the challenge.

I decided to take a macro shot to feature not only the small carving but the concentric rings of the ivory tusk. The rings of the walrus tusk are quite visible in the photo. It was only after I started to process the shot that I realized that also in the middle of the shot is a barely visible tiny wad of crumpled silver wire, so fine I didn’t see it until I looked at the greater-than-life-size photograph. So, for my challenge I actually have three things “in the middle:” the carving; the concentric rings; and the tiny bit of wire.

If you click on the photograph, then click on it again, the photo will be magnified so that you can see the wire just above the polar bear’s neck.

Focal Length 105mm; ISO 100; f/11; 1/20s

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2014—Duck Dynasty—Oregon Style

I am not an Oregon Ducks fan; I am not a Duck Dynasty fan; I’m not a college (or any kind of) football fan. But I found this trepidatious looking guy in my brother’s backyard when I visited there over Christmas. My sister-in-law is a rabid Duck fan–Oregon, not Dynasty. I liked the expression on this guy’s face. He looks a little uncertain about Thursday’s Rose Bowl game. I won’t be watching the game but I’m sure I’ll hear the screams all the way from Redding.

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2014—Sunset Rose

When the Carlson-Currier Silk Manufacturing Company (the building was purchased by Sunset Line & Twine Company in 1940) was built in 1892 in Petaluma, CA, its landscaping included roses whose names are long since lost to the ages. My brother John, who worked at Sunset Line & Twine Co., the family business, for more than 40 years, loved the roses there and when the company closed, he brought home cuttings of the roses that are now thriving in his garden in Santa Rosa. Despite the cold weather and the time of year, one of his beloved Sunset roses was blooming in his garden at Christmastime. I took this shot Sunday morning. I hope the cuttings John has entrusted me with will grow in my garden as well.

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2014—Sopa De Albondigas

Both of my brothers are outstanding, innovative cooks. After leaving Redding Saturday, I drove to Santa Rosa in time for a delicious meal that my brother John created. It was turkey meatballs in a savory turkey soup with yams and sweet potatoes. I snapped a couple of shots of John browning the meatballs. I wish I’d captured the finished soup that included popovers dripping with butter. Maybe next time, except with John’s recipes, they seem never to be recreated.

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2014—Duck Soup

Friday afternoon, I cajoled my brother into taking me out shooting but a malfunction with the water heater delayed our start until late in the day when the sun was almost gone. We ended up at the Sundial Bridge and I watched this pair of mallards swim under the bridge into the quickly setting sun. I had my 80-400mm lens with the 1.4X teleconverter attached and had difficulty steadying the camera so these are not in perfect focus but it’s the best I did today.

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2014—Meringue

I brought a few Meyer lemons with me to Redding so my brother and I decided to bake a lemon meringue pie for Christmas dinner. We neither one had made anything with meringue in quite a while but our favorite “how-to” cookbook, America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook, helped us out. Arthur made the crust and I cooked the lemon curd and made the meringue. The pie was delicious.

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2014—As Etta James Might Have Said . . .

“At last!” After almost 4 years, my limoncello is finally seeing the light of day. It’s been boxed in the closet since I bottled it before I went to Italy in 2011. Quite frankly, I’d forgotten about it, except for the one bottle I have stashed in the freezer that I sampled once with a friend (it’s pretty potent stuff). My sister-in-law asked me recently whatever happened to it. Well, now that I’ve been reminded of it, my limoncello is going to be given away as Xmas gifts. It’s been awaiting a label all this time and yesterday I designed a hangtag using the shot from yesterday’s blog post (yet to be printed). Because I made this limoncello using Barbara’s Meyer lemons, I thought it was appropriate to feature a few of the latest batch of her Meyer lemons with the limoncello. And, in case anyone wonders whether it’s still good after all this time, I made it with Everclear, 151 proof grain alcohol. I think it stays good forever…or at least it pickles the liver of whomever samples it!

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2014—When Life Gives You Lemons . . .

. . .Take a photograph of them! I visited my friend Barbara in Vacaville Sunday and we had lunch and shopped amid the frenzy of all the other crazy people at the Vacaville Outlet Stores doing last minute Christmas shopping. The highlight of my day was the huge bag of Meyer lemons Barbara presented me before we left on our shopping adventure. Barbara has a green thumb and she grows lots of citrus in her yard. In the past, I have made wonderful things using Barbara’s Meyer lemons, including lemon curd, lemon meringue pie, vinaigrettes, even limoncello. These fragrant and succulent lemons are my favorite kind of lemon and I hope to create something wonderfully delicious from them.

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