New Art Project: Fence Cat

Back in late September, I saw this wonderful photo on Jerry Coyne’s site Why Evolution is True. One of Dr. Coyne’s readers, Rik, had met with this stray cat and taken a very striking image, perched on a fence post. (He adopted the cat.) I loved the image and I asked Rik’s permission to use it; he graciously agreed. (Continued after picture.)

Fence Cat: face

Although I confess I have not quite finished some of the other projects I’m supposed to give my attention to, I finally broke down and started working on Fence Cat’s portrait.  This is a close-up; so far I have the silhouette pencilled in, a light undercoat of white for the fur, and I started working on the face.  I hope to finish it before the end of the month and the year.

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

PulledPorkWe recently replaced our slow-cooker; the old one served for a long and glorious career since the late 60s, having originally been used by Edmund’s mom, who was a cooking teacher, so there was no shame in its finally giving up the ghost.  I bet the new one will not last nearly as long (programmed obsolescence!) but it is larger and more powerful, and it has a timer.  Anyhow, Edmund inaugurated it with a very nice spaghetti sauce before Thanksgiving, and now it’s my turn.

I’d been itching to try this slow-cooker Texas pulled pork recipe from; I’d browsed several variants, and this was the one that most appealed to me.  However, I noticed a few caveats.  First, the big mystery ingredient: like most pulled pork recipes, it calls for a generous helping of barbecue sauce.  That seems a bit vague to me, given the huge difference from one sauce to the next.  I like to make my own condiments, and I was reluctant to default to commercial salt-and-corn-syrup-based sauce.

Second, I always like to check the reviews and notes from other cooks and I noted that several reviewers were unhappy with the abundant quantity of liquid produced and the level of sweetness, saltiness, spiciness, or acidity.  It seemed clear that I would have to adjust the taste to suit our preferences, and probably reduce the sauce for serving. Continue reading “Slow Cooker Pulled Pork”