Monday, February 23, 2009

Sunday in the snow. Oshtemo, Michigan. 22 February 2009.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

We had a few inches of snow last night, and since I had the day off today I got to go capture some of the incredible beauty that exists in fresh snow. Oshtemo, Michigan. 22 February 2009.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The theme of the parade was "Adventure Classics" and included everything from Tarzan to Darth Vader. Mobile, Alabama. 6 February 2009.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Finally! The Conde Cavaliers and various marching bands kept us well entertained for an hour. Mobile, Alabama. 6 February 2009.

Friday, February 13, 2009

The vendors were keeping the crowd busy before the parade started. Mobile, Alabama. 6 February 2009.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The sun finally set and the crowds started to gather. The funnel cake stand did a booming business.
Mobile, Alabama. 6 February 2009.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I don't think I've ever had a funnel cake, but these sure looked good! Mobile, Alabama. 6 February 2009.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I recently attended a meeting in Mobile, Alabama, where I got to lose my Mardi Gras virginity. I was staying at a hotel directly on the parade route and couldn't wait for it to begin. At 4:30 the streets were deserted-- except for three other photographers, apparently all as ready for the parade to begin as I was.
I amused myself with some local color-- in this case, a funnel cake stand-- and waited for the sun to set.
Mobile, Alabama. 6 February 2009.

Monday, February 09, 2009

I can't say that I've had too many opportunities to put my camera to work recently. Perhaps that is why, when making lobster bisque recently for some dinner guests, I was struck by the brilliant color of my soon-to-be-boiled-into-stock pot.

Here's the recipe I used (from the Feb, 1998 issue of Gourmet magazine):


  • a 3-pound live lobster
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 celery rib
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 vine-ripened tomato
  • 1 head garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 8 black peppercorns
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • 1/2 cup dry Sherry
  • 4 cups fish stock*
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water


Fill a 6-quart kettle three fourths full with salted water and bring to a boil. Plunge lobster headfirst into water and cook, covered, over high heat 8 minutes. Transfer lobster with tongs to a large bowl and in a measuring cup reserve 2 cups cooking liquid. Let lobster stand until cool enough to handle. Working over a bowl to catch the juices, twist off tail and claws and reserve juices. Reserve tomalley and discard head sacs and any roe. Remove meat from claws and tail, reserving shells and lobster body. (Lobster meat will not be cooked through.) Coarsely chop meat and transfer to a bowl. Chill lobster meat, covered.

Chop onion, celery, carrot, and tomato and halve garlic head crosswise. In a 6-quart heavy kettle heat oil over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking and sauté reserved lobster shells and body, stirring occasionally, 8 minutes. Add vegetables, garlic, herbs, peppercorns, brandy, and Sherry and simmer, stirring, until almost all liquid is evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add stock and reserved tomalley and cooking liquid. Simmer mixture, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 1 hour.

Pour mixture through a fine sieve into a large saucepan, pressing on and discarding solids. Whisk in tomato paste and simmer until reduced to about 3 cups, about 10 minutes. Add cream and simmer bisque 5 minutes. In a small bowl stir together cornstarch and water and whisk into bisque. Simmer bisque, stirring, 2 minutes. (Bisque will thicken slightly.) Add lobster meat with any reserved juices and simmer bisque 1 minute, or until lobster meat is just cooked through. Season bisque with salt and pepper.