Thursday, January 30, 2014

Mine Hill, Roxbury

Visited Mine Hill in Roxbury, owned by the Roxbury Land Trust. it was much more impressive than its status as 'mere' land trust property might indicate. I immediately thought "state park" at least. 

 The remnants of the foundry, the roasting ovens, and the rest were amazing, as well as donkey paths up the mountain to abandoned mine shafts. Don't go in them, though - they are dangerous.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Easton Historical Society

Amy and I had a lot of fun speaking at the Easton Historical Society the other day. So many people turned out - it was great to see the enthusiasm for our state's culinary treasures.

Nearby is the Helen Keller Middle School - she lived in Easton for three decades! Most people in Connecticut don't even know that. We'll be discussing her more in our next book.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Waiting for Godot with Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan

Went to the Cort Theater to see Ian McKellan and Patrick Stewart act in Samuel Beckett's masterpiece, Waiting for Godot.

They brought it to life in a surprising and funny way, with a pathos created by their actual friendship.

Their true affection for each other came through in the two homeless vagabonds they portrayed.

It was a masterful performance, almost too good. How will I ever settle for ordinary acting again?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Sapporo, Midtown Manhattan

Tried Sapporo in Midtown during an excursion last week. It was totally packed for lunch, but we managed to squeeze in after a 20 minute wait. It was worth the trouble.

Amy had the Tan-Tan-Men Ramen, something they just don't have at Connecticut restaurants (yet). Meaty!

I had the Berkshire Pork Katsu curry. Amazing. Again, Japanese curry is hard to find even in New Haven, so it was great to have again. A perfect Manhattan lunch experience.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Roseland Apizza

After hearing so many good things about Roseland Apizza in Derby Amy and I had to try it out. So, we went, and got a mozzarella and garlic pizza. It was very good. Was it as some say as good as the New Haven pizzas (Pepe's, Sally's, Modern, Bar). No. Not even close. It was very good local pizza - probably the best in Derby and the surrounding area. But I can name better pizzas in the county without going to New Haven's elite - Zuppardi's in West Haven, Little Rendevouz in Meriden...even Eli's Brick Oven on Whitney has a less greasy, richer slice. I would go back for another pizza there, definitely. Don't get me wrong! But to rate this above many others in the county is impossible.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Dottie's Diner, Woodbury

Stopped by Dottie's Diner in Woodbury the other day. They are in the Insider's Guide to Connecticut, and are known for their doughnuts.
The doughnuts are the crusty, cakey kind, which is not my personal favorite kind of doughnut. But for those who love that kind, these are amazing.

What's more surprising is that the diner has other amazing food, too. Amy said that the Eggs Benedict above was the best she's had.

The corned beef hash was absolutely full of corned beef, and was spiced with thyme and cumin. (?)

And the mac and cheese was a step above diner mac and cheese - and swimming in several different kinds of cheeses. A wonderful dining experience, and certainly worthy of the Guide.


Monday, January 13, 2014

Winter Goldfinch

We regularly have a dozen or so species at our feeder. But this little one was a mystery. Finally we figured out it was a female goldfinch in winter colors. I think. If you have a better idea, let me know! She was very small, definitely finch sized.


Saturday, January 11, 2014

Fieldstone Common

I was interviewed by Marian Pierre-Louis of Fieldstone Common for her podcast series. Check it out here. Marian writes: "In this interview Eric and I talk about Charles Stratton, the successful man. It’s hard to call him Tom Thumb after reading this book and seeing him as a real person. This story will challenge all the preconceived notions you have of General Tom Thumb. He was smart, talented, entertaining and a leader in his community. We discuss, as well, the success of P.T. Barnum and the prejudices faced by little people later in the 19th century." It was a pleasure to talk with someone so knowledgeable about New England history. Marian (and others) have convinced me that podcasts are the wave of the future, and that radio is pretty much dead. Clear Channel and others have killed it - pretty much made it no different than listening to Spotify, etc. With some exceptions of course! We could look at it another way...after a narrowing of radio's impact and variety, podcasts have expanded the audio world once again, filling a real need.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Review of Afoot in Connecticut

A wonderful book review of Afoot in Connecticut by Chris Vola is up at the Small Press Book Review blog. It reads, in part: "Lehman has succeeded in crafting a moving, intricate ode to the inextricable bonds that bind person and place, a book that is, at its heart, a call to those who have not yet forsaken the sterility of the indoors for the soul-quenching of a good walking stick and a nearby trail, and a reminder for those who have already traveled to find a greater journey." Read the rest of the review here.

Monday, January 6, 2014

At the Mattatuck Museum

Amy and I enjoyed lecturing about A History of Connecticut Food at the Mattatuck Museum in Waterbury - it was cool to give a presentation in such an impressive art gallery. Everyone was so welcoming and excited to talk about Connecticut food that we were all starved by the end of it. Amy and I stopped at Big Frank's for some very good barbecue. (They are owned by the same guys who do Frankie's Hot Dogs, so it was no surprise.)