April Radio Playlists 2014

The name of the show: Blackbeard's Delight
Your host: Prof. Kitty
The station: WVEW 107.7 Brattleboro, VT

April 3, 2014: "Bert Jansch!"
  • Sweet Mother Earth: Bert Jansch
  • Part Two: Leo Kottke
  • So Early in the Spring: Pentangle
  • Goodbye Pork Pie Hat: Jansch & Renbourn
  • Angie: Bert Jansch
  • Western Island: Archie Fisher
  • Pachysandra/Sunday Driver: Gordon Stone
  • Hey Pretty Girl: Bert Jansch
  • Jack Fig: Leo Kottke
  • Watching the Apples Grow: Stan Rogers
  • Face Up: Jimmy Ryan
  • Open Up the Watergate: Bert Jansch
  • Edge of a Dream: Bert Jansch
  • Three Chord Track: Bert Jansch
  • All Through the Night: Leo Kottke

April 10, 2014: SONGS THAT ARE 10 YRS OLD in purple WHOA
  • M79: Vampire Weekend
  • Fugaz: The Pinker Tones
  • I'm Good, I'm Gone: Lykke Li
  • Around the World: Daft Punk
  • Little Pieces: Parlour Steps
  • O Green World: Gorillaz
  • Ocean Breathes Salty: Modest Mouse
  • Dark of the Matinee: Franz Ferdinand
  • Losing My Edge: LCD Soundsystem
  • Trem Two: Mission of Burma
  • Stop Being Perfect: The LK

April 17, 2014
  • Lightbulb: Mezzanine Owls
  • Little Honda: Yo La Tengo
  • O.N.E.: Yeasayer
  • Does Everyone Star: The Police
  • Star Sign: Teenage Fanclub
  • Mongrel Heart: Broken Bells
  • In Ruins: Fol Chen
  • New Mate: Figurine
  • Endless Shovel: Rogue Wave
  • Man on Fire: Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros
  • Love is a Stranger: The Eurythmics
  • Two of Us: The Beatles
April 24, 2014
  •  Job: Hybrid Vigor
  • Poison (van She mix): Martina Topley-Bird
  • Today: The Still
  • Dying is Fine: Ra Ra Riot
  • Smile Like You Mean It: The Killers
  • Team: Lorde
  • Urgent: Foreigner
  • From Africa to Malaga: jj
  • French Lessons: Metrovavan
  • See You on the Moon: Great Lake Swimmers
  • Feelin' Good: Tal Ross
  • Foram Koten: hollAnd

10 Hill Run

I got new shoes! Same as the old shoes. (Saucony Kinvara 4. IN PURPLE.)

It's two weeks out from my next half marathon, so I really wanted to do some hills before I start to taper off a little bit. I combined some favorite bits from other runs and came up with a 10 Hill Run. If you know Brattleboro, this involved Western ave- Greenleaf- Hinesburg- Goodenough- Akley- Bonnyvale- Western Ave- Orchard/ Gibson/ E. Orchard/ Orchard- Western Ave.

Every time I top this hill I take a picture

I figured out the course included 10 hills by counting them as I ran. There are two tiny ones on Greenleaf, two large ones on Goodenough, one huge and two medium on Bonnyvale, one long and one short-n-steep on Orchard, and one slow burn on East Orchard.

There were 3 noticeable downhills on this route. I read recently that downhills are recommended training because they cause "eccentric tearing" in the quadriceps, which then heals into even stronger thigh muscles. I liked the idea of eccentric tears right away. Did they smoke using a long cigarette holder? Collect squirrel skulls? Have pet leopards? Eat only orange foods? Then the same week I learned that a Finn invented an eccentric axe, and from the depths of my SAT vocab memories I recalled that "eccentric" is a geometry thing... i.e. not having the same center, as opposed to concentric. Well!

Besides considering squirrel skulls, in the course of doing the 10 Hill Run I think I accidentally ran farther than I ever have before. After I completed a half marathon distance--13.1 miles--I was still almost a mile from home. So I kept running, making it 13.70 miles for today. I would remember running that far before, wouldn't I?

One last note... I did regret breaking the rule of NOT trying a major run in new shoes. I should have done 3-5 miles in my new Sauconys a few times before taking them for a double-digit spin. My left sacro-iliac joint was not happy with me (that is my weak spot), but it's feeling better already and I've learned my lesson.

My race is on Mothers Day and I'm excited. My mother is coming along! My goal is simply to beat my last half marathon time of 1:59:04. Stay tuned!

Asparagus & Chèvre Folk Tart

I call this a folk tart because it’s rustic and bumpy and imperfect, yet beautiful in its way. Like folk art, where cats have two eyes on one side of their head.

I’ve been investigating vegetarian and even vegan recipes lately. We do Meatless Mondays pretty often, but the rest of the week we’re very meat-based. As I perused a veggie cookbook, I thought an asparagus tart with chèvre sounded yummy for dinner this week. But if I wait for tart dough to refrigerate, if I have to find a tart pan, if I have to roll out the dough, if I need to use pie weights… it’s never going to happen. So I invented the folk tart. It’s a combo of a lazy-normal crust recipe and the Williams-Sonoma asparagus-goat cheese tart.

Here are my folk tart steps...

Preheat oven to 350F.

Blend 1 1/3 cups flour and 6 ounces butter in food processor. Then add about 3 T ice water and continue to blend until it’s just starting to clump up and stick. Dump into tart pan and quickly squish together into a ball to gather stray bits. (I used a spring-form pan, not a tart pan, because of the folk thing.)

Then, smoosh the dough towards the edges of the pan, and up the edge a little bit to form a tart shape.


Poke the dough with a knife or fork in a few places and bake for 20 minutes. It will puff up in a non-tart way--no problem! This is a folk tart.

Meanwhile, snap the woody ends off the asparagus (I know you can peel it to preserve more stem, but… folk tart). Toss with some oil and salt and roast in the oven at the same time as the crust. You can move the spears around midway.

Meanwhile meanwhile, whisk together wet ingredients (egg, milk, cream, parmesan, etc.)

After 20 minutes in the oven remove the crust and let it cool slightly. Turn the oven up to 375F. Remove the asparagus soon, too.

Sprinkle about 2/3 goat cheese around the bottom of the coolish crust. Top with the asparagus.

Pour egg mixture over everything. Top with rest of goat cheese.

Bake! Leave in oven about 25 min, or longer if necessary until it doesn't slosh in the middle when jiggled. Remove and cool slightly (about 5 minutes). Serve if you're ready! This also keeps pretty well for breakfast/lunch/brunch fare later on.


Notes: This was just what I wanted. Tasty, significant chewy crust, savory. I might go for a bit of Swiss flavor next time, maybe a sprinkling of Gruyère. Also, asparagus spears are really hard to cut across the grain. It occurred to me that you could cut the spears into 1-2 inch pieces before sprinkling them over the crust. The result would be less “stringy” and easier to cut up.


Is asparagus a sign of spring to you? I think it is for me, but modern groceries confuse me because everything is always available. Previously on this blog I've dug Asparagus as part of a Penne Bake and also a delicious Risotto.

Happy Easter 2014

I really like Easter, and today was a perfect one.

It's been a great weekend all around really. On Saturday, I was hoping to drag the family to see baby lambs at either Merck Forest & Farm Center or Billings Farm, but I didn't realize one of us had a conflict at 4pm. We couldn't possibly make an hour-plus drive each way and also prep for Easter brunch, clean the house, and buy groceries for the week, all by 4 o'clock. So we decided to go to a petting farm in our town... but when we got there we learned they didn't open until Memorial Day. So we went to a real farm nearby. It turned out to be WAY better than any of the above would have been.

We went to Wild Carrot Farm on Upper Dummerston Road, one of just a handful of working farms in the town of Brattleboro, Vermont. They are known for their working Suffolk Punch horses (who are gorgeous!) and they also have a local CSA and, we found, are super-friendly to random drop-in visitors. Some charming children dirt-biking around the yard paused to give us a tour, and then we met one of the farmers who took over and told us all about the livestock that live there.

We got to see the baby lambs we were hoping for.

There were also 7 extremely cute goat kids. This mama was nursing two-at-a-time, as were two other goat mothers. We were charmed.

We have a farm video at home that includes a manure spreader scene, so we spent some time checking this one out.

A corner of homespun yarn in the farm store. So adorably rustic! We bought a half gallon of raw cow milk to chip in--it is delicious! Please check out Wild Carrot Farm (hay rides too).

I rearranged my Easter brunch menu to make time for a long run on Sunday morning instead of prep work. Basically I replaced my usual baked mini crabcakes with some delicious cold smoked trout and crackers. This switch helped me pull off a fairly satisying 12-miler.

All before 8am! That 8:12 pace is just my attempt at a final kick, NOT my usual long run pace...

I got home around 8, popped the rising sourdough in the oven, and assembled the Easter table. (I figured out that my usual sourdough recipe can be refrigerated after the last knead. My lovely mother-in-law affirmed this, calling it a "cold rise." I set the alarm for 4am to take it out of the fridge so it could finish rising, then at 5:45 I formed it into two baguettes before my run. It really worked.)

Here's what I planned for Easter brunch. The relative simplicity of this menu worked well.
  • fresh-baked sourdough bread
  • salted butter, left out for at least a day to soften for spreading
  • ham, glazed the night before with Fire in the Mountains "Sweet Pepper Jelly" made by Catamount Specialties of Vermont (thanks Mom for ham glazing tips!)
  • Mustard, an extremely tangy French dijon that was a Christmas gift and is almost gone
  • Smoked Trout, Ducktrap brand from Maine
  • Crackers
  • Coffee
  • Sour Cream Coffee Cake (mentioned in this Easter 2009 post)
  • Orange juice, lots
  • Prosecco
  • A billion hard-boiled eggs

I assembled a little plan-o-gram on Friday evening to help me remember everything.

Here's the actual table... Pretty similar!?

I tacked a bunny mobile above the table...


Happy Easter to you, or whatever spring-welcoming rite you choose to practice!

It just seems like a happy, hopeful time of year.

Signs of Spring

Today is the first really nice day in 2014. Hooray! All the snow has melted, it's 68 degrees out, and for a few moments while gardening I actually felt a little too hot. At this time of year, gardening means raking, chainsawing, and clipping things.

The new bulbs we planted last fall are blooming--I love this soft cream-colored crocus!

I raked the leaves and detritus out of my herb garden, then forked everything that wasn't a perennial. The chives are already coming back, and the lavender (bushy thing at mid-left) is looking very well.

Our nice neighbor came over with his chainsaw and cut up the Christmas tree. It looks so small when it's all in pieces! It will be burned later by our resident pyromaniac, along with a bunch of shrubbery bits he's been collecting.

Once the snow is gone, it's OK to cut down the mugwort from last year to give her room to grow anew. (She helps protect our home spiritually all year round, even when dormant. Ask me for details.) This is BEFORE.

Here is the AFTER shot. I cut down the stalks and also thinned out the roots on both sides. It seemed like the right thing to do.

What are signs of spring where you are? It is so exciting!