Gold Gush

I started this off in unfamiliar ArtRage and went as far as I could go. Then I imported it into familiar Procreate and tweaked on. Then I messed with it iColorama until I called it quits. It rhymes with this one?


Making Sekanjabin, Persian Mint Syrup (recipe included)

I had my first sip of an ice-cold sekanjabin just over 30 years ago, and I remember my immediate, four-word reaction, “This kicks thirst’s butt!

A dear friend, Maryam carefully taught me how make sekanjabin years ago. I’ve included the recipe below, but I should warn you: internet research will uncover many variations of this ancient drink, including some that contain cucumber.

Making sekanjebin

There are a few Youtube videos as well, see this one.

Even if you’re only partially inclined, give it a try the next time thirst messes with you!

(Recipes vary. Adjust.)
Sugar: 3 – 4 parts
Water: 2 parts
Apple Cider Vinegar: 1 part
Mint: 1 bunch

Dissolve sugar in water; when it comes to a boil add vinegar. Simmer for 1/2 hour. Add the mint, stir, remove from heat, and let cool over night before removing the mint and bottling (add a sprig of fresh mint in the bottle of syrup).
Dilute the resulting syrup to taste with ice water (5 to 10 parts water to 1 part syrup). Add a sprig of mint. Sekanjabin stores without refrigeration.


Like the deer that yearns for running streams…

Several confreres had to excuse themselves before the end of Vespers just after they began chanting Psalm 42. Fr. Adelbert was to blame. He was hebdomadary that week and that evening he reflected at great length on fountains and how the endless flow of water dramatizes glorious and mysterious cycles through which we ourselves circulate and which circulate through us for ever and ever. Lambert, Egbert, Angilbert, and Frodobert were already squirming in their stalls at this point. Even before Olbert finished intoning the antiphon for Psalm 42, they were out-a-there!


Precious Water

As we move from the Hartford of the West (Des Moines, IA) to the Gateway to Yosemite (Merced, CA), from the nation’s breadbasket to not far from its salad bowl, we’ll have to keep an eye on water like never before.  Water is a finite and precious resource practically everywhere, and this is especially true in the San Joaquin Valley.


City of Merced, Gateway to Yosemite