Not necessarily company for me.
Friends of my daughter, Kat.
She and I are working on the social graces of introducing strangers connected by a common friend.
Three young men.
In a couple of days, two young women.
Lots of coming and going.
Meals to have ready.
Saturday, October 13, 2018
My 186th consecutive posting.
Time is 12.02am
Boston’s temperature will reach a high of 54 with morning rain..
Dinner is Bouillabaisse with friends.
Eating at 7pm but shopping to start at 9.00am in front of Eataly, with a dear blogger, Anne.
And whoever else may show up.
After shopping there must hustle to get dinner for Kat and the gang.
With the blog constantly whispering in my ear, “Don’t forget me.”
Question of the day
Who was Catherine de’ Medici?
Love your notes.
Contact me @ firstname.lastname@example.org
Some bloggers have commented on the increasing number of images filling the blog.
Web Meister responds: I agree and the larger number of images will remain as hallmarks of the blog.
Some bloggers have mentioned that they don’t have time to read the longer articles.
Web Meister responds: I understand. But when one of the topics of the longer articles is of greater interest to the blogger, then the length is welcomed as is the content. To accommodate those preferring shorter pieces, we’ve added “Hints” and “Short Takes,” posting these right after the Question of the Day. Now the blogger is presented with a series of shorter pieces, all illustrated, with the longer pieces later in the blog.
Many bloggers have commented on the time it takes to post all of this material on a daily basis.
Web Meister responds: A lot of time. But I love it.
Now something direct from the Web Meister:
I rise I 4.30am.
But not always.
I’ve lived my entire adult life without needing an alarm clock.
I’ve structured it that way, conforming to my body’s natural rhythm.
Mostly, the blog is posted by 6.00am, to accommodate the bloggers, many, who like to read it with their morning coffee.
But when I was on my 24-day solo auto-trip, I really felt the pressure of getting the blog out at 6.00, and several times failed. Especially as I headed West and EST got earlier and earlier.
I am going to try posting the blog before I go to sleep.
A couple of aspects of this decision.
One is that I am tired by 10.00pm and may fail to ‘final edit’ properly.
Please point out typos when you see them to keep me honest.
The second aspect is a built in lie.
I may send Tuesday’s posting out on Monday night.
Not to confuse the bloggers, I will pretend it is Tuesday, early morning, when I send it out and mark the post accordingly.
So I will say that it is Tuesday, at 12.01am, when, truthfully, it may be Monday, at 10.28pm.
12.01am is the tip-off. 12.01am meaning late the night before.
All in all, after a period of frustration, I am happy with where the blog is at the moment.
Thank you for staying with me through the various permutations.
I like to think of it as part of the creative process.
Hint to daily question
What do these pix have in common?
In cutlery or kitchenware, a fork is a utensil, now usually made of metal, whose long handle terminates in a head that branches into several narrow and often slightly curved tines with which one can spear foods either to hold them to cut with a knife or to lift them to the mouth.
The tomato originated in western South America. Its use as a cultivated food may have originated with the indigenous peoples of Mexico. The Spanish discovered the tomato from their contact with the Aztec during the Spanish colonization of the Americas and brought it to Europe.
The globe artichoke is a variety of a species of thistle cultivated as a food.
The edible portion of the plant consists of the flower buds before the flowers come into bloom. The budding artichoke flower-head is a cluster of many budding small flowers (an inflorescence), together with many bracts, on an edible base. Once the buds bloom, the structure changes to a coarse, barely edible form
Parsley is native to the central Mediterranean region (southern Italy, Greece, Portugal, Spain, Malta, Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia), naturalized elsewhere in Europe, and widely cultivated as an herb, a spice, and a vegetable.
And what they have in common answers the question of the day.
Short Takes, II, Saturday, Oct 13
Along with the changes to the blog, I’m also changing my weightlifting routine.
I’ve been drifting along.
But since the autotrip, I’m imbued with an energy to improve that spilled over from the blog to my time at the fitness club.
I have ramped up my routine considerably, changing my visits comfortable to challenging.
It’s working fine.
In the past, a couple of years ago, I suffered from severe legs cramps.
I think the doctor took the easy way out.
He never saw me but, working through the nurse, he recommended electrolyte pills and abstinence from my leg exercises.
But I decided to restart my leg exercises, and at a high level of difficulty.
It’s been ten days and no cramping.
I’ll give it a month before I will deem the leg exercises as being accepted by my body.
Wish me luck.
Answer to “Who was Catherine de’ Medici?”
Catherine de Medici (13 April 1519 – 5 January 1589), daughter of Lorenzo II de' Medici and Madeleine de La Tour d'Auvergne, was an Italian noblewoman who was queen of France from 1547 until 1559, by marriage to King Henry II.
As the mother of kings Francis II, Charles IX and Henry III, she had extensive, if at times varying, influence in the political life of France.
From 1560 to 1563, she ruled France as regent for her son Charles IX, King of France.
In 1533, at the age of fourteen, Catherine married Henry, second son of King Francis I and Queen Claude of France.
Throughout his reign, Henry excluded Catherine from participating in state affairs and instead showered favors on his chief mistress, Diane de Poitiers, who wielded much influence over him.
Henry's death thrust Catherine into the political arena as mother of the frail fifteen-year-old King Francis II.
When he died in 1560, she became regent on behalf of her ten-year-old son King Charles IX and was granted sweeping powers.
After Charles died in 1574, Catherine played a key role in the reign of her third son, Henry III.
He dispensed with her advice only in the last months of her life (he would outlive her seven months).
Catherine's three sons reigned in an age of almost constant civil and religious war in France.
The problems facing the monarchy were complex and daunting but Catherine was able to keep the monarchy and the state institutions functioning even at a minimum level.
At first, Catherine compromised and made concessions to the rebelling Calvinist Protestants, or Huguenots, as they became known.
She failed, however, to grasp the theological issues that drove their movement.
Later she resorted, in frustration and anger, to hard-line policies against them.
In return, she came to be blamed for the excessive persecutions carried out under her sons' rule, in particular for the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre of 1572, in which thousands of Huguenots were killed in Paris and throughout France.
Some historians have excused Catherine from blame for the worst decisions of the crown, though evidence for her ruthlessness can be found in her letters.
In practice, her authority was always limited by the effects of the civil wars.
Her policies, therefore, may be seen as desperate measures to keep the Valois monarchy on the throne at all costs, and her patronage of the arts as an attempt to glorify a monarchy whose prestige was in steep decline.
Without Catherine, it is unlikely that her sons would have remained in power.
The years in which they reigned have been called "the age of Catherine de' Medici".
According to Mark Strage, one of her biographers, Catherine was the most powerful woman in sixteenth-century Europe.
The legend that de' Medici introduced a long list of foods, techniques and utensils from Italy to France for the first time is a myth routinely discredited by most food historians.
Items whose introduction to France have been attributed to Catherine include the dinner fork, parsley, the artichoke, lettuce, broccoli, the garden pea, pasta, Parmesan, as well as the turkey and tomato of the New World.
She has also received credit for introducing sauces and a variety of dishes such as duck à l’orange and deviled eggs.
Barbara Ketcham Wheaton and Stephen Mennell provided the definitive arguments against these claims.
They point out that Catherine’s father-in-law, King Francis I, and the flower of the French aristocracy had dined at some of Italy’s most élite tables during the king’s Italian campaigns (and that an earlier generation had done so during King Charles VIII’s invasion of 1494); that a vast Italian entourage had visited France for the wedding of Catherine de’ Medici’s father to her French-born mother; and that she had little influence at court until her husband’s death because he was so besotted by his mistress, Diane de Poitiers.
In fact, a large population of Italians—bankers, silk-weavers, philosophers, musicians, and artists, including Leonardo da Vinci—had emigrated to France to promote the burgeoning Renaissance. Nevertheless, popular culture frequently attributes Italian culinary influence and forks in France to Catherine.
The earliest known reference to Catherine as the popularizer of Italian culinary innovation is the entry for "cuisine" in Diderot and d’Alembert’s Encyclopédie published in 1754, which describes haute cuisine as decadent and effeminate and explains that fussy sauces and fancy fricassees arrived in France via "that crowd of corrupt Italians who served at the court of Catherine de’ Medici."
Saturday, October 13
Ciao! my friends.