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This past week I have been in Scotland. I attended the conference Memories, Identities, and Communities put on by the Centre for Archive and Information Studies (CAIS) at the University of Dundee. It was a good conference, an interesting mix of archivists, historians, and information people from the UK, Europe, the Middle East, North America, and Australia. One of the highlights was the opening plenary by Sue Black, a forensic anthropologist who worked in Kosovo. The theme of social justice was prominent, and the conference definitely favoured the concept of archivist as activist, and the role of intentional, created “archives”. It brought up again the growing terminological divide and, in my opinion, anyway, the ever-present need to examine first principles and remember our theoretical archival roots as we look to the future. Continue reading “Scotland”

Schloss Dagstuhl, Digital Evidence & Forensic Readiness Seminar

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Last fall I was invited to participate in a seminar on digital evidence and forensic readiness at Schloss Dagstuhl, February 22-28, 2014. This post is a reflection of this week. Continue reading “Schloss Dagstuhl, Digital Evidence & Forensic Readiness Seminar”

Chicken & mushroom stew

Yesterday  I made a chicken and mushroom stew that is definitely a keeper. It was based on a Bon Appetit recipe I found on Flipboard. I didn’t take a picture of the stew I made (what was I thinking?) but here is the Bon Appetit picture:


bacon (I didn’t have bacon so I used a fresh mild Italian sausage, squeezed out of its casing and crumbled)
chicken legs (I used whole legs with back attached because that was what I could get at my favourite butcher)
flour for dredging, and s&p
dried porcini mushrooms (the recipe called for fresh but I didn’t have any)
white wine
olive oil
fresh thyme
bay leaves
chicken stock

Sauté the bacon (or sausage) until browned, remove from pan; dredge the chicken in flour, salt and pepper (and perhaps some dried herbs), then brown, skin-side down in the bacon fat (add some olive oil if necessary) until really brown – about 15 minutes – don’t move them! Remove the chicken, and add the mushrooms to brown (because I used dried mushrooms, I rehydrated them by simmering in water for about 15 minutes first – keep the water!); remove the mushrooms and add the onion, chopped, and after about five minutes, the garlic. Sauté till soft and translucent. Add some wine, bring to a boil to reduce, then add everything back in, add the stock, and the mushroom water, bring to a boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer and let cook until the chicken is falling off the bone – about 2-2.5 hours. The BA recipe, using fresh mushrooms, doesn’t add them back in until about half an our before it is done, but because I was using dried, and was lazy, I added them with everything else. This can all be made up to three days ahead.

I didn’t make the dumplings, which should be made just prior to serving. Instead, I made Basmati rice and served the stew in a bowl over the rice. Delicious.

Cousins-Sisters weekend


On January 22nd met in Dallas at jeannie’s house for our annual cousins-sisters weekend. We have been doing this since 2002 or thereabouts, and this was our second time in Dallas. Cooking being an enduring theme, Jeannie had arranged a full slate of cooking classes. First up, Sur La Table, for “Winter in Spain”.

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The menu:

  • Chorizo-Stuffed Dates Wrapped in Bacon – can’t go wrong with bacon
  • Roasted Fish with Fennel and Piquillo Peppers – tip: sauté the fish until almost done and finish in the oven
  • Braised Spinach and Chickpeas with Pimentón – good, but too much pimentón
  • Coffee Flan – not as good as some of the flan Molly and I had in Puerto Rico, and then recreated at home

That took care of the morning! In the afternoon we experienced preparation of a traditional Vietnamese meal, courtesy of Dawn (actually, Dawn had done most of the work the day before with her mother and her aunt, who had been the head chef in a major hotel in Vietnam before coming to the US – all we needed to do was stand by, oohing and awing) – an enormous amount of food, all of it delicious.

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Day 2 – Exercise! and a knife skills class.

Day 3 – Farmers market in the morning,

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then prep for cocktail party (chorizo-stuffed dates up first)

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Then, sadly, it was Sunday and Molly, Libby, and I headed to the airport. Jeannie dropped me off first. When I walked into the airport my heart sank because there was a huge line at security. But imagine my surprise when I discovered  that I was pre-approved – so easy! Not a terrorist from Canada after all! No removing shoes, taking out the laptop, finding the little baggie with liquids. Security took about 10 minutes. Then came Starbucks – I waiting in line at least 20 minutes to get a coffee and a crappy muffin! Was practically related to the guy in front of me in line by the time we got through. Ha!

It was 2 degrees C (34 degrees F) in Vancouver when I arrived, and the whole city was in a deep blanket of fog. I was going to take a picture but it would just have been a grey blur.

Where to next year?