A Slide Show

Instead of taking a vacation this summer I’m glued to Scott Kelby’s online photoshop training courses. I have a long way to go, but have to start somewhere. And as usual, it’s painful and humbling, and exhilarating and exciting all at the same time to be starting something new.

That’s a roundabout way of explaining the uninspiring and even sad slideshow I’m about to post. But the good teachers over there recommend using FLickr; and sorting all of that out, along with working through several tutorials, left little time to organize the rest of my life of this post.

The back story is, that I’ve always meant to drive from the French Quarter in New Orleans downriver to explore the territory there and to better understand how it all fits together. It’s an interesting and fascinating drive, I’ve done parts of it before, obviously, but it’s been awhile.

One thing I hadn’t expected, is that the farther away you get from the city, the more and more the ruins of Katrina are evident and in some places just left there.

About where the road ends there’s a ferry where you can cross the river. On the other side, the West bank, the road continues south for quite awhile until you reach Venice. Fort Jackson is right there, near road’s end.

But here is a simple slide show of some of the images I took and edited a bit. I’m enjoying photography, but am painfully aware that I’m on the wrong side of the learning curve to be posting slide shows.

Mais, C’est la vie, cher!

Warm Weather Pot au Feu

Editor’s Note: This is yet another post in an ongoing series of posts from a food blog I had started earlier in the year. My idea was to eventually work up a Catholic Kitchen site.

There’s a Priest in the diocese who complains that all I think about is food. Can you even imagine? Does he even realize how much time it takes to learn Photoshop? Yet, it is an interest and as we’re called to ‘use the internet for good’, sometimes all one can do is share the journey of life…

If Catholic food blogs aren’t your thing, have no fear. I’m almost out of posts from that blog. But this warm weather soup is truly amazing; not hot, very light, filled with nourishment, and utterly delicious.

Er… it’s slightly edited from it’s original form.

I was pleasantly surprised with this.

pot au feu

Here it is in all its glory, topped with a poached egg.

With the temperatures breaking heat records down this way and no sign of rain in sight, I was a little leary about making something associated with warming up from the chill and cold. So I turned the A/C down to 65 and took a long nap beforehand.

It cooled down nicely and was nourishing and satisfying while still being a light meal.

And it makes great leftovers.

My white vinegar stash had disappeared, and so I used some red balsamic vinegar in the poaching liquid for the egg. Wonderful flavor, and it almost looks like an oyster in its shell. (Not that an oyster in its shell would be the least bit appetizing in this dish, but… you know.)

I considered this a viable option since I’ve been wanting to make eggs meurette, where you poach eggs in red wine. But that would have been a bit much for this.

pot au feu

It’s so simple. Some aromatics…

pot au feu

A medley of vegetables… simmered in the broth, topped with spinach leaves which are not shown here…

basil the great

And I even made the basil coulis to top it all off. One of my friends came over later and asked if I had cooked bar-b-qued chicken. My face was a puzzlement.

Later I realized the basil crushed in the pestle had given off a wonderfully aromatic aroma (an aromatic aroma… I’ll have to remember that one. Not!) It gave off… it filled the house with a fresh and invigorating scent. Which was mistaken by some for bar-b-qued chicken. (Must have been the chicken broth?)

The basil coulis turned the broth green, and when the yolk broke open it was a very pretty yellow against the fresh herbal notes in the broth.

Well, that’s all for now. I’m completely going to make this again and again, and again and again. It’s that good.

Bon apetit!

P.S. – This post was written as a French Friday’s with Dorie post. Be sure to check out that site sometime, it’s wonderful.

The End of the Road

Fort Jackson

I drove down to Fort Jackson today. It was a pretty pleasant drive aside from a dramatic rainstorm. The road along the Westbank of the river ends right past Fort Jackson, since the river ends a bit after that.

I was expecting a sign saying something along those lines, which I had read about in a book discussing the Mississippi River Bike Trail.

But there is no sign. The road just ends very unceremoniously, and very unattractively.

flushing the lines

I hadn’t expected the ride to be such a potent reminder of Katrina, which was perhaps naive of me. At any rate, I’ll have to leave off tonight with this intriguing photo taken at the farthest point south on the Eastbank road along the Mississippi, shortly after Pointe a la Hache.

I’ll write about the whole trip in the next few days, surely there are some spiritual lessons to be had. Ciao.

Fr. Kenneth Allen