November 8, 2019

What’s a vegetarian? The FAQ.

Euro Veggies have their own logo. Damn.

Maybe vegetarians will always be looked at as weirdos. I’ve been one for 25 years and find acceptance by non-vegetarians to be little different now than when I stopped eating meat. When I walk into McDonald’s and ask for a “Big Mac, extra cheese, hold the meat” I still get looked at as if I asked for a live turtle on a sesame-seed bun.

For those curious about us curiously-odd vegetarians, the following explanations might help you understand why people choose to be vegetarian, why their diets may differ and even why there’s fake meat. Use the handy index below to find your answers.

November 7, 2019

Throwback Thursday: The Bodhi Tree

Nepal March, 1988

In this land, laid barren for the immediate need for firewood, occasionally there’s a beautiful, old tree left untouched for hundred of years. I asked our guide why this one still stood. “It’s scared of course. It’s the tree Buddha sat under.” At first glance, it didn’t look like a Ficus religiosa, and Buddha didn’t sit under this particular “tree of awakening” in Nepal, but Mr. Chetri’s word was always close enough for me.

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October 25, 2019

Why two smidgens equals a pinch.

Your guide to strange cooking measurements.

Many of those seemingly imprecise recipe amounts are actually real measurements. Most of us just don’t have the spoons that can measure that small.

The official cooking micro-measurements.

The following are generally agreed on by organizations that create standards of measure:

October 23, 2019

Throwback Thursday: El Drac

El Drac, Barcelona, July 1983

El Drac (The Dragon) guards the entrance to Park Güell. While the Sagrada Familia church is considered Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi’s masterwork, I find Park Güell even more impressive. While there are no rides, the place feels like it was designed by Walt Disney on LSD.

While Art Deco was about to percolate in 1900, Gaudi was tasked by Count Güell with creating an exclusive neighborhood and park at the edges of Barcelona on the abandoned Muntanya Pelada (Bare Mountain). With his style influenced by Moorish, Oriental and Gothic, Gaudi designed a fantasyland of shelters, stonework, roads and tiled mosaics that took 14 years to build. But things didnt go as planned: 58 of the 60 exclusive plots were never built on. Count Güell lived in one house and Gaudi barely scraped together enough to buy the other. The family lived here until Gaudi’s death in 1926.

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October 16, 2019

Throwback Thursday: The cascade at Gavarnie.

Cascade du Gavarnie, July 1982

It had been an exhausting 10 days. Chuck and I had visited penpals near Luxembourg, in Bordeaux and Barcelona. They ran us ragged seeing the sites, so we decided we needed a vacation from our vacation.

Driving north from Barcelona in a brand-new, rented, now beat-up Peugot, we cracked the Michelin guide at random to Gavarnie, a tiny town a mile up in the Haute Pyrenees on the border of France and Spain. Driving in at dusk, we could make out a thin white line against the peaks. As the light dimmed, we settled on the idea that it was ice in a crevice and worthy of exploring the next day. It must have been 9:30 when we checked into the hotel and found a outdoor cafe still open and a few guys with climbing ropes nursing bottles of Kronenbourg and sore knees.

photography throwbackthursday