Archive for the 'Let’s Eat! It’s Alimentary, My Dear' Category

Dec 09 2014

Manzella Silkweight Windstopper Gloves: My First Line of Defense Against Cold Hands

I like to keep active through the winter. If I didn’t, I’d emerge in the spring ready for the beach—and I’d be the beach ball. So I motivate myself to get out even in rotten weather by making every trip a photo safari, whether I go forth on two wheels or on two feet. But baby, it’s cold out there! So I keep the cold at arm’s length by bundling up in layers of wool and synthetic (not cotton). My hands are a trouble spot. They get cold. Very cold. So to keep my hands warm on winter photo safari, I follow the same principle as when outfitting my body. I layer. And my first line of defense are Manzella Silkweight Windstopper gloves:

Keeping Cold At Bay

They have textured palms and fingers, a soft fleecy interior, reflective accents, and they fit my hands perfectly. Unlike thick gloves or mittens, Windstoppers allow me to work the camera controls without impediment (they’re not so bad for changing a flat tire, either). I also appreciate the D-ring and snap-link that join the gloves together for times when I stow them inside my pack. Another feature I like are webbing loops sewn into the cuffs. A long lanyard connecting the two gloves and threaded through the sleeves of my jacket insures that I won’t drop one along the trail.

Of course, the Windstoppers alone aren’t enough in really cold temperatures. When the mercury drops below 45 degrees or so, I pull a pair of thick fleece gloves right over them. Then, when I need to free my fingers for fiddly work—using a camera, say, or scrolling through the menus on my GPS—the heavy fleece gloves come off again. But the Windstoppers stay put. And they live up to their name. Provided I do what needs to be done quickly, my fingers remain comfortably warm.

So far, so good. But one of the unhappy consequences of accelerated product development cycles—not to mention manufacturers’ growing tendency to confuse fashion with function—is the short shelf-life of many products. By the time I’ve bought something and used it long enough to form an opinion about it, it disappears from the stores. Imagine my delight, then, when I discovered that Windstoppers are still available from some sources even though I got my pair six years ago. Now that‘s something to celebrate.

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This article is an update of one originally published on December 3, 2011.

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Nov 27 2014

Look Who’s Coming to Dinner!

She knows that lasagna’s on the menu. Happy Thanksgiving!

Fed and Free to Roam

Questions? Comments? Just click here!

Nov 20 2014

Stuffing: It’s Not Just a Side Dish Anymore

Stuff Yourself

What good is stuffing without a turkey? No, this isn’t a kōan. It doesn’t invite comparison with the sound of one hand clapping. But the question deserves serious consideration, even so. For many years I thought that turkey and stuffing were inseparable, like ham and eggs or lettuce and tomato or peanut butter and jelly. This despite the fact that my mother always baked her stuffing in a large pan, rather than in the body cavity of a big bird.

Notwithstanding Mom’s culinary solecism, I couldn’t get enough of her stuffing. Of course, the passage of time has brought many changes. Nowadays, my Thanksgiving meal of choice is lasagna, not turkey. But some things have stayed the same. And I still like stuffing. Which brings me back to the question I started with: What good is stuffing without a turkey? To which I reply: Plenty good, indeed. In fact, stuffing makes a great main dish in itself. It’s tasty, it fills you up, and it’s easy to prepare. Does this sound like a recipe for a quick one‑pot camp meal? You bet it does!

Now consider stuffing’s other virtues. Basic stuffing mix is cheap. It’s found in every HyperMart and in many crossroads convenience stores — those rather sterile successors to the almost extinct rural ser‑sta‑gro. It also travels well, requiring no refrigeration. And it’s carbohydrate‑rich, making a perfect foundation for the hearty dinners that hardy paddlers crave on chilly late‑season evenings. Best of all, getting dinner on the plate requires little more than boiling water, and that’s important when days are short.

Convinced? Then let’s talk turkey about stuffing mix … Read more…

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