Keep Calm and Carry On: Cows as Zen Masters

The cow stood there, stoically it seemed to me, chewing with lazy abandon, while I fumbled with the focus on my camera. She rolled her big weepy eyes, as cows are wont to do when confronted with something new. Coincidence or not? I pressed the shutter and peered at the tiny LCD screen, the sun’s…

What the Eye Doesn’t See …

I decided to sign up for a photography class, because I wanted to move out of AUTO on my lovely Nikon D5100 camera. Below, you’ll see some of the food photos that I’ve been fussing with:

Food First, First Things

After a long day flying, and given the “food” served on the airplane, the first order of business when I arrived in Paris included real food. I needed to drop my bags in the apartment and seek sustenance. Quick. (Actually, after taking the RER from Charles DeGaulle airport to the center of Paris, through the…

At the Table of the Monks: Cheese, Of Course (Part V)

Smelling like something dead, washed-rind cheeses* with their soft non-acidic centers offered a taste of animal protein to medieval monks prohibited from eating meat for over 100 days in the average liturgical year. The fact that these cloistered souls liked the results of their odiferous labor ought to cause us to wonder something: what did…

At the Tables of the Monks: Charlemagne Loved Cheese (Part IV)

A possibly apocryphal story, told  in many places — print and Internet — reads something like this: After a long day of traveling, the emperor Charlemagne stopped at a bishop’s residence to rest, conveniently at dinnertime. In a ninth-century biography of Charlemagne, written by an erudite monk at St. Gall monastery in Switzerland, the author…