22 October 2014

Bœuf Bourguignon in the slow cooker

Not a recipe, but a concept. A couple of pounds of beef shank and stew beef; some carrots and onions; a few bay leaves, cloves, and black peppercorns; and finally, a bottle of strong red wine — in this case, a Corbières from SW France.

Put it all in the slow cooker at low temperature for eight hours. No real need to brown the meat before you put it on to simmer, because the red wine will brown it for you.

Finally, to fill out the plate, a Gratin Dauphinois — thinly sliced potatoes cooked for 90 minutes in a medium oven with just enough whole milk to cover them, salt, pepper, and a grating of nutmeg.

21 October 2014


All the spiders really get busy all around the vineyard in late October.

Maybe they're building webs this way all summer, but we don't see them the way we do now because of the heavy dews of autumn.

20 October 2014

Dew, not rain

This photo shows a late-season rose touched not by rain but by dew. Well, that's changing today.

We enjoyed a summery weekend. On the news, they are reporting that the last time it was this warm here in October was in 1954. I took the sensible advice that French Girl in Seattle gave me and put off until later the autumn gardening chores so that I could enjoy the last day of our very late 1014 2014 summer. Today's forecast: damp weather and falling temperatures. That's normal as La Toussaint approaches.