Archive | November 2011

Another Experimental Salad

Needing to eat some of the physalis (groundcherries) that have been accumulating in the kitchen, I was looking around (in my head) for an idea.  I wondered how they would be with some raw lacto-fermented sauerkraut.  It seemed to need something green so I added dandelion greens and parsley.  Now, what to do for a sauce?  None of my ideas seemed right so I tasted it without any but no, something was needed to tie things together.  Finally I settled on a spoonful of hemp oil and bit of coriander seed.  Not bad, but could be better.


We have two varieties of this plant growing in the greenhouse.  One self-sowed from last year and the other was given to me in a plant exchange.  I remember my grandmother growing them outside in her Pennsylvania garden but here in Brittany we don’t get the heat and it’s often damp.  I like this climate except for growing tomatoes.

Trials and Tribulations of the Amateur Photographer

Thursday in between two moments of peace there was a moment of frustration as I could not get the camera to capture what I saw.  I wanted a close-up of the buds against a darker background.  If I zoomed, I got the background.

If I did macro, I got the buds.

This week’s theme for Picture Perfect inspired me to try again.  Thank you very much PP people.

I went back to the river.  I could not find the hazelnut buds.  There was a good reason for that.  I had photographed alder buds.  I messed with the settings on the camera, trying to get macro and a small f-stop number.  I could not seem to modify the f-stop number lower than 4 although I set the dial to the aperture priority function.  For some reason at one moment it changed down to 3.5 so I took the photo and it is pretty well what I wanted.  Of course, three days later, the same water droplets were no longer there.  I wasn’t completely at ease as I could hear shots and dogs in a not that far distance.  So I came back up the hill to home.  The result is just about what I wanted.


This camera (Canon SX120 IS) has a plethora of possibilities.  What I don’t like is that the printed manual just tells you basically how to point and shoot.  For anything more advanced, the 143 page pdf file is on a CD which can be uploaded to the computer.  Not very convenient when you are 500 meters down the hill and need to verify something.  Upon return I found out that some f-stops may not be available according to the zoom factor.  I must have slightly un-zoomed to get the 3.5.

The most important point that I learned in this experience in my opinion is to get off the automatic setting.  This is true in many areas.  Saying please and thank you automatically is a good thing, I think, but any further and we may be entering the zone of prejudice.

Picture Perfect 3

Picture Perfect
Bokeh effect

A Few Moments of Peace

The sun came out so I decided to go make some vitamin D.  I went for a little walk down by the river.  I found the sights and sounds to be so peaceful.

On the way back up the hill, I saw three different red fruits in the same space.

There are rosehips, some kind of vine fruit and euonymus (sorry, the common English name escapes me at the moment—bishop’s cap?).

Back in my own garden I looked for some greens for lunch.  There has been a spurt of growth of the dandelions.  Their rosette makes a bit of a hollow place where leaves collect.

This does an auto-blanching.  Clear them away and you have some nice tender greens.

Then I noticed something very strange.  It must be some sort of fungus.