Sunset Supreme

by wjw on November 27, 2021

Today being a perfect day for it, we headed down the Rio Abajo to our local bird sanctuary, where we watched thousands of our feathered friends flying in at sunset.

Sometimes we see deer, coyotes, or wild javelinas (smallish boar), but no luck today. Instead, we saw colossal numbers of sandhill cranes and snow geese.

Snow Geese

The weather was perfect until the sun set, at which point the air chilled rapidly, and it was time to go home.

Sandhill crane comes in for a landing

Since we came home chilled to the bone and we hadn’t prepared a meal, it was time to play a game of “freezer hunt.” Little did I know that I would soon invent a new dish.

Our freezer hunt turned up frozen tamales, a holiday treat hereabouts, and so I microwaved a couple of tamales with red chile sauce, then popped a couple of fried eggs on top. Very tasty indeed! I’ve seen breakfast burritos, breakfast enchiladas, and breakfast tacos, but I’ve never seen breakfast tamales before, so I claim credit for inventing them, even if I ate them for supper.

The eggs held the whole dish together, if you ask me.


Drink Like a Peer

by wjw on November 21, 2021

Blue Gredel (01)

Last night we had some friends over for dinner, and I made the black roux gumbo of Chef Francoise Auclaire le Vison, along with a heart-of-palm salad dressed with remoulade sauce. The meal was made more delightful with the appearance of some custom cocktails created by our friend Terry Boren, who has spent the pandemic becoming quite the expert mixologist. More flattering was her naming these creations after characters in my Praxis books, the Blue Gredel and the Lady Sula. (There is already a classic cocktail called the Martinez.)

For the Blue Gredel, start with 2 oz of gin, either Empress or any gin colored with B’lure Flower Extract. In a separate glass, muddle some basil leaf, then add 3/4 oz of limoncello mixed with lemon juice, after which add 2 dashes orange bitters.

Add the limoncello mixture to the gin, and watch Gredel transform into . . . someone else! Someone born to the purple!

Blue Gredel (2)

You get extra points, if (as befits the character) you add the limoncello mixture with a baby hypodermic.

Here’s Terry with a true masterpiece, the Lady Sula.

Rim a coupe with Luxardo cherry juice. To an ice-filled shaker, add 2 oz rye whiskey, then add 1/2 oz each Peach Averna, cold press coffee, and dry sherry, then add 1-2 drops black walnut bitters. Stir, then strain into the coupe and add a Luxardo cherry. Cheers!

The black walnut bitters really make that drink, honestly!

I totally encourage people to name cocktails after my fictional characters. Who’s next?


The Moon is Red!

by wjw on November 19, 2021

The best of my photos from this morning’s partial lunar eclipse. It was interesting watching the sunlight creep around the moon’s perimeter.


Things To Do on a Holiday Weekend

by wjw on November 19, 2021

We’ve all got holidays coming up, so I thought I’d offer ideas for fun things to do with the whole family.

For instance, if your family happens to consist of 21,000 soldiers, you can form an image of President Woodrow Wilson, as these warfighters of Camp Sherman, outside Chillicothe, did back in 1918.

They sure know how to have fun in Ohio, don’t they?


Space Opera Soufflé

by wjw on November 17, 2021

Taos Toolbox veteran Cat Rambo has dropped a new novel on us just today, folks! Here’s what she has to say about it.

“Farscape meets the Great British Bake-off” is how they’ve been billing the book. It’s the story of a band of former mercenaries who’ve opened a restaurant on a space station and are doing well, so well that a critic may be about to bestow a coveted Nikkelin Orb on the restaurant.Then a mysterious package arrives, things start exploding, and they have to steal a ship to escape. But that ship’s intelligent, and it’s not so sure it wants to be stolen.

Here’s what people have said so far:

  • “…a thoroughly entertaining sci-fi romp” – Publishers Weekly
  • “…a delightful, action-filled space jaunt, packed with engaging alien species, a bioship that learns emotions, and witty references.” – Library Journal
  • “Fun, fantastic, and delicious―I loved it!”―Ann Leckie, author of Ancillary Justice
  • “If you’re the kind of person who likes Mass Effect, or enjoyed Valerie Valdes’s Chilling Effect and Prime Deceptions, or fell head-over-heels for Tim Pratt’s Axiom trilogy… then this book is definitely for you. This is a fast, zippy novel that hides some surprisingly substantial emotional heavy lifting under its hood…. Cozy-with-a-soupçon-of-suspense hoot-and-a-half.” ―Locus
  • “This action-packed space opera is loads of fun.” ―BuzzFeed

And here’s what I took away— this is a space opera about food!

I’m a fan already!

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La Ruta

November 16, 2021

Our last full day in Spain. We were scheduled to fly out of Madrid the next morning, and we already had hotel reservations in the capital. It had been a kaleidoscopic journey, dashing from one corner of Iberia to another, like a butterfly dancing from one flower to the next. It was necessarily a bit […]

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November 6, 2021

A coffee shop in Málaga had these tiles explaining the drinks on offer, with a handy Latin translation for those who don’t speak Spanish. Someone told us “They don’t actually make all of these,” which I discovered when I tried to order a Largo and the waiter just stared at me. I wonder what I’d […]

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November 5, 2021

I got my Covid booster yesterday, and today I find myself very tired, with a lot of body aches. Still, I don’t feel sick, and I’m able to function when I put my mind to it. I’ll be better tomorrow, or so I hope.

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The Red Thingie

November 3, 2021

After three nights on the Costa del Sol, it was time to hit the breakfast buffet and ship out to view the wonders of Granada. A note of appreciation for Spanish hotel breakfast buffets. There’s fresh fruit, croissants, chocolate croissants, lots of crunchy and non-crunchy breads, juices, and a myriad of pork products like Serrano […]

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Wolf Aprowl

November 1, 2021

My novelette Wolf Time is available as a free read from Bullet Points, a blog by Nathan Toronto devoted to “capture the complexity, tragedy, and hope of warfare and violence in human (and nonhuman) society.” There are other stories on the blog by David Drake, Tony Ballantyne, the ever-youthful H.G. Wells, and others. The story […]

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