Starry Wisdom

Entropic Words from Neilathotep

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Marin Headlands

Yesterday I went on a picnic excursion to the Marin Headlands (which is just north of the Golden Gate Bridge) with Mackenzie. We ate on Rodeo beach, which was a nice little beach, and afterwards while using the facilities, I read about the coastal defense batteries in the area, and saw that there were a couple you could drive to nearby, so we went that way.

I had known something about the Golden Gate coastal defense batteries from various sources, and I had seen some of the remnants on the San Francisco side which I guess are part of Fort Winfield Scott – which is the famous Fort Point from Vertigo, but I didn’t really know much about what was in place on the other side of the Golden Gate.

It turns out that there are too main forts, Fort Cronkhite, which is hard to spell, and Fort Barry. Fort Cronkhite is behind Rodeo Beach and required a bit of a hike, which we weren’t in a mood for, to visit it’s main battery. Fort Barry, on the other hand, is easy to do some park and walk site-seeing, and has some really cool things. One of which is a Nike launch site SF-88L, which is restored as a ‘museum’ but was not open (and evidently barely is). I should have probably had us pull over and taken some picture, but alas.

The two man things we looked at were Battery Mendell, which is a pre World War I battery which housed disappearing guns. Evidently this was awesome for defense against ships, but pretty weak against air power. You can scramble all over the gun emplacements, which is pretty neat.

Here is the whole thing, which I shot from Battery Wallace, on another ridge:

Battery Wallace seems to have originally been a similar sort of battery to Mendell, but was casemated to protect against air attack in 1942:

You can see the gist of what this in this photo shot from Battery Mendell:

And here you can see it up close (probably too upclose):

I only had my point and shoot with me, as I wasn’t expecting to be doing much site seeing of note, but here is a link to the related flickr gallery.

posted by neil at 11:05 pm
under adventure,photography  

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Fava Beans

Fava beans are pretty silly. Did you know that?

To prepare them, first you get the pale green beans out of the big fuzzy pods – you get relatively few from a big bunch of pods:

So you look at that and think “well, maybe that’s not so bad. But it turns out that those pale green beans are really tasty bright green beans in a pretty much inedible pale shell. And to get them out you need to boil the beans for about 5 minutes, then cool them in cold water, and then peal them. And next you get an even smaller amount of food:

Well, now you can start making your recipe. Here is one I like a lot:

Fava Bean Spread
(From Vegetables Everyday by Jack Bishop)

  • 1 lb of fava beans, unshelled
  • 1 small spring onion, minced
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • 1/8 cup water

1) Prepare the beans as secribed above
2) Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add the oil and saute the onion until browned, about 5 minutes
3) Add the beans and salt to taste. Toss the beans to coat with oil. Add water, and simmer uncovered for 3-5 minutes until the beans are tender.
4) Add the cooked mixture to a food processor and pulse until it forms a coarse paste, adding additional olive oil as needed

Spread over bread or crostini.

posted by neil at 10:12 pm
under cooking  

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