Category Archives: lifestyle

Sipping Cider in the Asturias

Thanks to my Basque friend, I am newly energized to make cider. The next step will be to start assembling the equipment that is needed.

In the meantime, I just read this from Saveur

For the past few years I’ve had a mission to eat and drink my way through Spain: grocery-shop through Barcelona, roust the pigs in Andalucia, go orange-picking in Sevilla. Next year I’m ready to dive deep into one of my favorite things—cider—in one of the best places to get it: the rugged northern Asturias. Sidra is as much a part of life here as wine is in Bourdeaux, and many grower-producers are still using centuries-old methods to produce this electrifying, funky, intoxicating beverage. Sign me up. —Max Falkowitz, executive digital editor

Hmmm … what kind of images does this conjure up? This one is nice

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And this?

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And this?

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It seems that the Asturias region is a rather well kept secret.

Of course, the cider is more important!

visit asturias spain


Your Link to History

History is less in fashion than it used to be. First came that damned 20th century with its obsession on the “now”. Now comes the 21st century with its obsessions about the “future”. Racing forward, we look back rather infrequently. Too bad for us!

And yet, there are signs that people want to look back. I think that was at least part of the appeal of Harry Potter. Sure the magic was fun, but Harry lived out a historical role in a historical place.

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In that sense,Harry is not a strictly modern character. and we do not want him to be one. he is more special without the mantel of modernity.

Of course, this type of story is most easily told about exceptional figures. Like the boys who went to Harrow and later became prime ministers, or great literary figures.  Or both, in the case of Winston Churchill

Winnie is on the left side, leaning over the stair railing.

But what about our own histories? Could we actually be the recipients of and actors in the most intimate and amazing stories ever told? Using Hamlet’s famous words, ould we choose “to be” instead of “not to be”?

Why not? We have the tools at our disposal. We only need to use them.  Or should we remain Prufrockian?

And indeed there will be time
To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?”
Time to turn back and descend the stair,
With a bald spot in the middle of my hair —
(They will say: “How his hair is growing thin!”)
My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,
My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin —
(They will say: “But how his arms and legs are thin!”)
Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.
It is indeed just a choice. Nothing more.

The Ginstitute Beckons

Tourism is morphing into experiencism. Travelers don’t just want to go places. They want to go where they can access a bundle of experiences as well.

This was always available to a certain extent, but only to the select few who had sufficient expertise to know where to go and what to do. The amount of expertise required is going down.

Consider, for example, London and its gin. In the old days, gin aficionados might visit a distillery or a gin house. Now the distillery and bar will come to them. Not only will it come to them, visitors to the Distillery Hotel in Notting Hill can make their own gin, and indulge is all sorts of gin related activities.

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Perhaps they will begin advising on all sorts of related activities to continue back home. How to detox?

Meet the Mad Cheesemakers from L’Etivaz

The day starts this way

It begins at 5:30 a.m. in his seasonal chalet high in the Swiss Alps, when Henchoz wakes up and turns on the 20-watt bulb in his kitchen. (Utility wires are nonexistent here at 5,800 feet, so a small generator provides the power.) After a breakfast of bread and heavy cream that he eats straight from the pot, Henchoz heads off to round up the cows. The animals graze and sleep farther up the mountain, in meadows blanketed with shaggy wild grasses and iridescent wildflowers, some of which grow knee-high. Once Henchoz and his border collie have guided the herd back into the stables, he and his girlfriend, Natasha, begin milking. They fill a huge copper vat that hangs over an open flame, and spend the next hour heating, stirring, and straining, until the liquid is transformed into three 50-pound wheels of L’Etivaz cheese.

Saveur continues the profile. I need to try this!

letivaz swiss