Travels: Cambridge, part 2

October 12, 2022 • 9:15 am

It’s been a quiet rest in Cambridge, and I haven’t been overly ambitious because the persistent insomnia produces a near-constant fatigue. Nevertheless, I haven’t been quiescent, either. Here are a few photos from the last two days in Cambridge and the Boston area.

First, you may have forgotten Jack the Cat, staffed by the daughter of my hosts. Jack and staff live in Jamaica Plain, right outside Boston. In September of last year, Jack fell three stories from a porch and landed on a cement driveway, severely injuring himself. I wrote a several posts about it at the time (see link above), documenting Jack’s care at the famous animal hospital Angell Memorial Medical Center.  Jack was badly injured; as I wrote at the time:

He can move and even walk a bit to his litter box on his injured paw, but most of the time, senses dulled by painkillers, he lies on his blanket. His paw is all bandaged and pinned, and the three buttons around his mouth are to keep it stitched shut until his shattered mandible heals (he can open his mouth 1 cm to eat). He’s also wearing the Cone of Shame:

He had a fracture of the second and third metacarpal bones, a fourth and fifth left carpometacarpal joint luxation, as well as the mandibular fractures, a collapsed lung, and contusions on the lung (those have largely healed). He’ll be laid up for six weeks, minimum, but in the end he should be all right, although perhaps without the mobility he used to have.

It was touch and go for a while. Here’s Jack soon after the accident, paw all pinned together and with buttons holding his jaw shut so it could heal. He was one sad moggy!

Yesterday we visited Jack and his staff and I was delighted to see that he’s completely healed, without even a trace of a limp. He was just a normal tuxedo cat, jumping about, chasing a laser pointer, and soliciting scritches on the chin:

A bracing walk around nearby Jamaica Pond, a kettle lake indicating the retreat of glaciers.

kettle (also known as a kettle lakekettle hole, or pothole) is a depression/hole in an outwash plain formed by retreating glaciers or draining floodwaters. The kettles are formed as a result of blocks of dead ice left behind by retreating glaciers, which become surrounded by sediment deposited by meltwater streams as there is increased friction.[1] The ice becomes buried in the sediment and when the ice melts, a depression is left called a kettle hole, creating a dimpled appearance on the outwash plain. Lakes often fill these kettles; these are called kettle hole lakes.

Click to enlarge the panorama:

There were mallards! (I do miss my ducks.)

And what I think are cormorants festooning a boat in the pond. I’m not sure of the ID, however, so readers are welcome to tell us what they are:

The Pond, and Jamaica Plain in general, is studded with gorgeous houses. Here are two:

After a homecooked meal (unfortunately not photographed), we hied ourselves to the best ice cream emporium in Cambridge, and perhaps in the world (I haven’t tried them all): Christina’s Homemade Ice Cream in Inman Square in Cambridge. The flavors are many, all are made with the finest ingredients, and there are some exotic choices:

Here were the choices last night (click to enlarge):

Although the “burnt sugar” flavor is, I maintain, the finest flavor of ice cream in the world, I always get it when I’m there, and so this time chose two new flavors: “khulfi”, an Indian ice cream with cardamom flavoring, and carrot cake, a splendid flavor that tasted just like its namesake, complete with raisins and a ribbon of cream cheese as frosting. My two scoops (carrot cake on the right):

And two children’s appreciation for the place. If you are ever in Cambridge, you must not miss Christina’s, and get the burnt sugar flavor. Tell them that Jerry sent you (they won’t know who I am):

14 thoughts on “Travels: Cambridge, part 2

  1. Awesome ice cream! I see that Licorice is in the menu. My wife loves licorice and once had licorice ice cream at an ice cream parlor in Snohomish, Washington (IIRC). Her lips and mouth were black for an entire day. It was creepy, but she loved it!

    1. I have a similar issue, with a wife who rather perversely delights in licorice ice cream, and which is not available in supermarkets here. The solution is, of course, to make it.
      I use a KitchenAid stand mixer with its ice cream making bowl. Basic recipe is:
      1½ cups heavy/whipping cream
      1½ cups whole milk (I like this proportion of cream to milk as it isn’t oily in the mouth-feel)
      ½ cup white sugar
      3tsp black licorice flavour from Amazon
      a slug of sambuca

      I have to admit though, for the last half of this summer I have been playing with making ginger ice cream, gradually making it stronger as my household’s tastebuds have accommodated. Nice with slices of fresh fig.

      1. Oooo, crikey, Mr Moss ! BOTH the black licorice AND the ginger flavors thereof
        sound to me scrumptiously smashing. Actually.

        AND … … Sambuca in a Zorro’s Vengeance to accompany upon the side !

        May I be over for SAME in just a few ?


    2. Once upon a time, a long time ago, I was off to a Halloween party where we were supposed to bring ice cream. I stopped at a Baskin Robbins and got a mix of licorice ice cream and orange sherbet, both of which I like. When I started to pay, the guy said it was free, since, “If you can eat that…”

  2. Thank you for the update on Jack–and for continuing to send Hili+ photos.
    Also thanks for posting photos of places you visit–the kettle lake is especially interesting. Those do look like cormorants in the photo. How I wish there were a Christina’s in my area!

    1. Ditto on the update for Jack–he reminds me of our late-lamented Feets, another tuxedo.
      On your visit to Jamaica Plain, it looks a lot better than it did on my last visit, after the nuclear catastrophe–total devastation and lots of feral ghouls. But I did find the treasure!

  3. Happy to see that Jack made a good recovery, thanks for the update. That was a nasty accident, I’m not sure how many of his lives were used up on that single escapade.

  4. Make mine pistachio… oh no, it’s not there this time. I’d have to get Burnt Sugar and Green Tea or Bailey’s.

    I’m glad that Jack, who fell down and broke his crown, is now all mended!

  5. So happy to see Jack healthy and back to normal. He took quite a tumble, poor little boy. Well done getting better Jack!

  6. Kulfi doesn’t have to be cardamon flavored. Kulfi is a non-whipped (thus denser) dairy dessert. My (Indian) neighbors recently gave me some mango-flavored kulfi.

  7. in re the Burning Times / witches… … today is FREETHOUGHT Day.

    ” Organizers of Freethought Day chose Oct. 12 to observe it annually because that was the date of a 1692 letter in which William Phips, governor of the province of Massachusetts Bay, told the British Privy Council that due to ‘ spectral evidence, ‘ the Salem witch trials were devolving into a quagmire. That ‘ evidence’ involved accusers claiming to see devils and other phantasms consorting with the accused. Eight persons had been executed in the previous month.

    The Rev. Increase Mather, Cotton Mather’s father, also opposed ‘ spectral evidence ‘ in his book ‘ Cases of Conscience ‘ (1693): ‘ It were better that ten suspected witches should escape, than that one Innocent Person should be Condemned.’ Though the trials continued into May 1693 and such evidence was allowed, it was largely discounted and those convicted were pardoned by Phips. Of the 20 executions during the trials, 15 were women. All but one were executed by hanging and noF one was burned at the stake. Several others died during incarceration.

    FOR generations and generations, women arose every single morning of their entire lifetimes … … IN FEAR OF, that day, being named a witch. How wicked that living.

    Today ? 330 or so years’ time later ? I was of more peace and freedoms being 20 in the 70s than I am being 70 in the 20s.


  8. Are they cormorants or shags? Reminds me of the story of a Scottish teacher at the end of term, telling his class of his planned honeymoon in the Outer Hebrides, where he and his bride, both keen ornithologists, planned to “study the cormorant and shag”, to which one of his class stated that he hoped they would enjoy the former as much as the latter.

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