Dave P - Author Archive
I was running the trail in Lower Chester this morning when I glimpsed something odd out of the corner of my eye . Looking down, I beheld this bewildering loose sprig laying right in the middle of the trail. Quite real, and I can’t even begin to explain it. But at this moment, in the latter half of April, as winter is pumping yet another shell into the chamber, I offer it that it might elicit the same emotion it stirred in me: hope.
Finally. Clear skies after sunset allowing my first, eagerly anticipated view of Comet PANSTARRS over Duluth. Sigh. Unfortunately, PANSTARRS isn’t really delivering the goods. I took these pictures Saturday night about 45 minutes after sunset, looking due west over the UMD campus, and trust me, even though the comet was visible to the naked eye, the photos are better than what I could see, even with binoculars. Still, if you get a chance (and the weather Gods permit) I recommend checking this underachieving celestial visitor out.
Even though it’s not a spectacular comet by any stretch of the imagination (stay tuned for Comet ISON, coming this Thanksgiving) PANSTARRS won’t be back again for another 100,000 years, and physically contemplating something so ephemeral is kinda cool. Although it’s slowly fading, the comet should be visible for the next week or two.
Here’s a link to the DNT’s Astro Bob and his guide showing how to find it, if you’re so inclined.
Norway?! Heck man, they don’t know cold!
Duluth took a beating this past year. But thanks to everyone pulling together we’ve made a remarkable comeback. For proof, you don’t have to look any further than Chester Park. Thanks to the indefatigable Dan Proctor and others the Lower Chester trails are probably in better shape than they were before the floods of June, and that’s saying a lot considering the scope of the mudflows and washouts that ravaged pretty much every inch of the ravine.
Upper Chester, however, is another story. Despite good intentions, there’s been a lot of jumping the gun to clean up or improve things that one could make the argument has ended up doing more harm than good. I’m not going to run down the list, but the latest chapter seems to have taken place largely under the radar, and I think it deserves a public airing.
I’ve been watching that god-awful fortress of a retaining wall around the London Road McDonald’s slowly bulge outward over the past months with a mixture of bemused amazement and horror. Now comes word via the News Tribune that the wall is being knocked down and rebuilt … as part of a cosmetic enhancement?
OK gang, due to the volume of discussion and frustration regarding Connelly’s vs. Mrs Bowen’s vs. Flaherty’s, I’ve taken it upon myself to root out a decent recipe for homemade Tom & Jerry batter. Here’s the result of my research and experimentation (it should be noted that I pilfered 95 percent of this from an online recipe):
12 eggs, separated
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound butter, room temperature
3 pounds powdered sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground allspice
Beat egg whites and salt in a large glass or metal mixing bowl until stiff peaks form (when you lift your beater straight up the egg whites should form a sharp peak that holds its shape).
Beat the egg yolks to soft peaks in a separate bowl. Beat the butter and powdered sugar in another large bowl until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks and vanilla to the butter mixture; mix. Stir in the cloves, allspice, and the egg whites; beat until well blended. Batter can be frozen or kept in refrigerator for several weeks.
To make a Tom and Jerry, put one jigger of dark rum and one jigger of brandy in a coffee cup, add a heaping tablespoon of batter, fill the cup with boiling water and garnish with a little ground nutmeg (most aficionados consider it a sacrilege to stir the batter, but I have one friend who won’t have it any other way).
Heaven!! A true PDD (Perfect Duluth Dram). And it only took me a half hour or so to whip up (plus this recipe makes a lot — several weeks worth for our household and a rotating cast of holiday guests). Reviews have been overwhelmingly positive. My wife, upon hearing the recipe, remarked, “That’s cake frosting! No wonder people love it!”
One final caveat: use pasteurized eggs, available at Cub Foods, but — curiously — not at Mount Royal, last time I looked.
Cheers, and happy holidays!
Has anybody else being driven crazy by all the mosquitoes in Duluth the past week?! Seriously, it’s like Alaska out there. I can’t work in the yard without getting drained. I can’t ever remember it being this bad. Theories? (Sustained west winds? Moth spraying killed all the dragonflies? Hurricane Irene sucking them all down from northern Canada?)
Is there anybody (or do you know anybody) who lost car keys near Chester Bowl in the last day or two? If so, some kind soul has hung them by their lanyard at the Kent Rd. end of the retaining wall fence along the road through the bowl. Been there since yesterday (Friday). Cheers.