America’s food chain: interesting – and vulnerable?

The University of Illinois has just produced the first high-resolution map of the food supply chain in the United States.  It’s eye-opening in many ways.  Fast Company reports: Our map is a comprehensive snapshot of all food flows between counties in the U.S.—grains, fruits and vegetables, animal feed, and processed food items. . . . This map shows how food flows … in the U.S. What does this map reveal? 1. WHERE YOUR FOOD COMES FROM Now, residents in each county can see how they are connected to all other counties in the country via food transfers. Overall, there are 9.5

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Recovery is not as easy as I’d hoped

Following my adventures in hospital last week, I’ve been trying to get back on an even keel.  Progress has been in fits and starts, with a few more fits than I’d have preferred!  Still, I’m alive to work at it, which is a very good start. I’m on a new-fangled anticoagulant medication, because apparently the danger of blood clots in a newly-installed stent is very serious.  I’ll be on it for at least a year, and perhaps longer, depending on what my cardiologist decides.  (Affording it is going to be a problem;  it’s going to cost me hundreds of dollars a month, even

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I’d like to try cooking them

I was amused to read that clay tablets, many thousands of years old, containing ancient Babylonian recipes have been decoded, and researchers are trying to prepare the dishes they describe. The instructions for lamb stew read more like a list of ingredients than a bona fide recipe: “Meat is used. You prepare water. You add fine-grained salt, dried barley cakes, onion, Persian shallot, and milk. You crush and add leek and garlic.” But it’s impossible to ask the chef to reveal the missing pieces: This recipe’s writer has been dead for some 4,000 years. Instead, a team of international scholars versed in

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Meeting an old friend for the first time

Last Saturday, Miss D. and I drove down to the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex to meet someone with whom I’ve had contact online for something like twenty years, but never actually met. Kim du Toit is well known in the blogosphere and shooting fraternity, and is also a writer.  He used to blog at The Other Side of Kim, but that went away some years ago.  To my great pleasure, he started blogging again a couple of years ago at his new online home, Splendid Isolation.  He’s recently remarried, after the death of his first wife, and his lady (also from South Africa) is settling down and

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Blogorado 2019, Day 5

Yesterday (Monday) saw the end of our gathering for this year.  Some folks had to leave on Sunday, due to work commitments, but the rest of us gathered for a final breakfast at the Obligatory Cow Reference before heading out in all directions.  I tackled their Western Omelet, which was as delicious as everything else on their menu.  Their breakfasts are a highlight of our get-togethers, and I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone complain about their quantity or quality. Miss D. and I headed south to Amarillo, where we met up with Alma Boykin and Old NFO for lunch.  As always, it was a

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Blogorado 2019, Day 4

Another fine, sunny day, with temperatures in the 70’s, much nicer than when we arrived!  We gathered for our usual breakfast at the Obligatory Cow Reference.  (To explain its name:  the restaurant isn’t actually called that, of course, but has a cow-related name.  Early in our Blogorado history, someone remarked that it was like an obligatory cow reference in a town that was, after all, founded towards the end of the great cattle drive period of Old West history.  The name stuck.)  I treated myself to their breakfast tacos and a short stack of flapjacks, which I couldn’t finish – they

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Blogorado 2019, Day 3

We kicked off Saturday, as usual, with breakfast at the Obligatory Cow Reference.  I renewed my acquaintance with their chicken-fried steak, topped with a generous helping of their spicy chili verde.  Accompanied by cottage fries and a couple of eggs, it was delicious. We headed out to the farm, where a couple of hours was spent preparing for the wedding celebration that afternoon.  Two of our long-term associates have decided to tie the knot, using another of our members to officiate.  FarmDad has welded together an entrance arch for the bride out of wheels from antique farm implements (which are apparently

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Blogorado 2019, Day 2

The cold snap left very cold temperatures in its wake.  When I got up yesterday (Friday) morning, the thermometer read a balmy 9 degrees Fahrenheit!  Needless to say, with that sort of cold, nobody did anything too strenuous on Friday.  We waited for the warmth to return.  We spent the day at the FarmFamily residence, eating, drinking and batting the breeze. Two of our number are getting married at this year’s Blogorado.  Farmdad has assembled a triumphal arch for them, with the aid of a number of old steel wagon wheels and his trusty welding torch.  It was moved into

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Blogorado 2019, Day 1

We had an interesting drive from North Texas to Colorado yesterday.  The massive Arctic weather front that dropped temperatures by over 60 degrees Fahrenheit in Colorado yesterday had moved well into Texas.  Miss D. and I ran into it just outside Chilicothe, where she took this amazing picture while I was driving.  It isn’t wide enough to tell the whole story.  (Clickit to biggit.) Those are four massive roll clouds in close formation, extending from one horizon to the other in an otherwise clear sky, as far as the eye could see. We were just under the first of them when she took that

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Food. Ye Gods and little fishes . . . food!

Our annual Blogorado gathering is coming up next weekend, and Miss D. and I have volunteered to provide supper on Friday night.  We therefore hit the road to Muenster, TX this morning, to Fischer’s Meat Market, which I’ve mentioned in these pages before.  It’s a truly magnificent German-style meat market, which breeds its own cattle, slaughters them itself, and processes the meat to produce all sorts of delectable goodies. We probably shocked the counter staff by ordering so much.  Thirty-odd bratwurst, thirty-odd bockwurst, eight pounds of coarse-ground peasant-style Braunschweiger, twelve pounds of German potato salad (the kind you eat warm), six pounds of sauerkraut, several pounds

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