Ode to Karl Ove

Looking back over recent transmissions, I noticed that October came and went without my posting anything. There seemed to be no time. Then I remembered — I started reading the second book in Karl Ove Knausgaard’s sometimes riveting, sometimes tedious but always addicting six part autobiography. Like the first fat one I couldn’t put the second down. I couldn’t figure out especially with the second—which takes you through the uneventful daily grind of his life in Sweden with his second wife, their kids and their diapers; his limited cooking, and ample drinking and sitting on park bench skills—why I was so engrossed. Ionah would look at the cover and say as she passed by — still reading that self obsessed narcissist from Norway? Yep, still was. Continue reading “Ode to Karl Ove”

Camp Breakfast



Sometimes when camping, especially if there’s an early morning hike involved, we’ll settle for a quick working breakfast: a slice of cold Spanish tortilla, a hunk of cheese, or just a handful of Ionah’s granola and a cup of tea and hit the trail. But, there are times when camping has nothing on the books other than to rise, pee, perform ablutions (minimal) chop wood, make fire and cook breakfast over said fire’s coals.

We had brought wood gifts for the fire from the 7,000 foot high desert home of our good friends Frank and Ruth Ann, in Carbondale, Colorado, of seasoned juniper and piñon pine.

Juniper and piñon had been sustaining and warming the Arapaho and Cheyenne people who lived in this part of the world for centuries until the unwelcome arrival of the Europeans and the subsequent land-grab. Continue reading “Camp Breakfast”



Purple potato tortilla. July 4th. La Garita wilderness, Colorado…
cut the potatoes into small chips…

By the time you read this the July 4th holiday will be over. But the smell around here from fireworks, lighter fluid and charred flesh from wannabe grillers still fogs the air. Independence from under the English thumb will have been celebrated with beer, burgers, hot dogs and fireworks galore. When the sun goes down on the great day, our neighborhood becomes a war zone — an exaggeration, no doubt, in light of what some people in the world are going through — but the blasts are sudden and furious. Some are louder than gunfire, the reverb drives our dog to the safe places behind the couch, under the table and in the closet.

fry them in a cup of olive oil…

Couple of years back, a house half a mile from here had its roof burned off from a direct hit from a misguided rocket. Supposedly, It’s illegal to set off a firework in Denver, but you can buy them in Adams county — which is just down the road — the small ones anyway, like ground spinners, Catherine wheels, sparklers and glow worms. But that’s just small potatoes. Continue reading “Tortilla”

A Trumpet Chard Pie

I’ve been thinking lately about what to cook in my newly acquired outdoor Moroccan oven. If you haven’t seen one, It’s a small earthenware container that houses a little charcoal fire. You put a tagine (also earthenware) on top and voila — you get an outdoor slow cooking oven that is compact, transportable, low tech, and downright fun to use.

chard pie under the hood: slow cooking on a bed of coals…

Continue reading “A Trumpet Chard Pie”

Pipian Verde


author photo: Ionah DeFreitas…

When Greens Cafe opened in the mid eighties, one of our signature dishes was grilled chicken breasts with tomatillo sauce. We made the sauce by chopping onions, tomatillos and cilantro, which we blitzed with cumin, salt and chicken stock. It was good and tasty, but, I later realized, a little one-dimensional.

blacken tomatillos and onion on a hot comal…
chiles blistering on an open flame…
suffocate them in their own steam in a plastic or paper bag to loosen the skins…
removing the charred skins…

Years later, while traveling in the Yucatán, Ionah and I had a memorable Sunday lunch in Mérida, in a grand but crumbling old colonial hotel, with toucans and giant palms in the dining room, which was a kind of exotic bird house open to the sky. I kept my hat on and she wore a colorful scarf. Continue reading “Pipian Verde”

Stray Away Bars

 Savory Sustenance for the Savvy Stroller



Driving home from a walk in prospect park earlier today — where clear creek is still swollen, the grasses are green and swaying, and the coyote scat is rich with rabbit hair, I heard on the news that it was a high ozone day and everybody should stay indoors.


I’m guessing it’s because of the recent soaring temperatures — high 90˚s, (35˚ Celsius) — air-conditioning use has hit the roof and gasoline emissions get stuck in town and refuse to rise to become other people’s business. Continue reading “Stray Away Bars”