Friday, December 07, 2007

A Dramatic Innovation

Thanks to reader, commenter, and fellow squid veteran Maheanuu-Tane with his generous gift of beautiful Tahitian Vanilla Pods (wait until the truffles start rolling they are going to flat burst with vanilla flavor) I made a simple, but impressive innovation to the Angel Food Cake

When I had my egg whites all separated and ready to go I had this flash of inspiration. I went to the cupboard where the vanilla beans are stored in their airtight jar and took out four of those precious items. I cut them in half and then split them lengthwise. I took a small, silver demitasse spoon and scooped out the little black flecks of vanilla "caviar" into the egg whites. Then I took another jar and put the husks into that, covered it with baker's sugar and capped it tight. Next time I use sugar it will have this glorious taste and lovely scent.

As I type this I'm listening to Linda Ronstadt sing "Lo, How a Rose E're Blooming" with me backing on the harp, it's a very sparse and austere rendition that sounds cold and wintery. My mouth is still sore, but my nose if full of the vanilla specks baking away in the oven. I'm thinking about how at least one little girl has found her way to a place of love and safety. That will be enough for me right now. You can have your wars and your rumors of wars. I have a little girl to bake for and to spoil shamelessly. I got a totally unexpected royalty check from ASCAP today. I don't even keep track of their payments because it's been so long since I did those songs and they have become small checks that have no set schedule. This was an out-of-the-blue drop of $250. I instantly decided to blow it all buying new stuff for my new niece. She was brought to my sister with the clothes on her back and very little else. We're going shopping and will change that.

My heart is full. Kishmesh Jooni (beautiful christmas in western apache)



The vanilla in the cake rocked. Rocked. Out. Loud.

big brass blog

The Bloody Cheek of These Bastards

The defense put forth in the destruction of the videotapes made by the CIA is that they needed to protect the identity of covert operatives.

Does anyone else out there think of Valerie Plame and call Bullshit?

Bullshit. Bullshit. Bullshit.

p.s. Glenn Greenwald calls bullshit without actually cursing.


Friday Random Ten

Today is a great day. My sister, the nurse who lives in central California, has been doing foster care for a while. She's a great mom and her son has moved out and is embarked on a successful career and she needed an outlet for her mom chops.

Now though, things have changed. She got a little girl a couple of weeks ago. The social worker brought her to my sister on purpose. This beautiful little 8 year old has been being kept in conditions which can only be described as Dickensian, but has somehow managed to keep a decent outlook and view of life. My sister has begun the adoption process, and is bringing the girl down to meet some of her new family. Since my new digs are fairly central I will be hosting an informal get together. Last night, I made two mincemeat pies. Ok, only one of them has survived intact from breakfast, but there's a pie plus another 4/6ths of a pie.

This morning's project is to be at Costco when it opens to get that furry butterscotch mechanical horse which is supposed to be the hot, hot, hot toy of the season. Then, back into the kitchen to make an Angel Food Cake, or, maybe two. Anyway, here's the soundtrack from my kitchen. I just tracked through a random slice of ten.

The Bells of Rhymney - - - Pete Seeger
Dead Or Alive - - - Woody Guthrie
Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out - - - Bessie Smith (King Oliver on Cornett)
Louisiana Man - - - Doug Kershaw & Professor Longhair
Day After Tomorrow - - - Tom Waits
Get Behind The Mule - - - John Hammond
Simple Song - - - Sly and the Family Stone
Going Down - - - Lou Reed
For You - - - Bruce Springsteen
Nice Girls Don't Stay For Breakfast - - - Julie London (honey, please pass the jam)

Bonus - - -

No Mo' Cane on This Brazos - - - Leadbelly

I normally don't crosspost the random tens, but since there's family news today, an exception is made.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Dental Work Menu

McCann's Irish Oatmeal. Not "quick" or anything like that, but simply about the best tasting oatmeal you can have. It takes about twenty minutes to stir up a decent porridge. Serve with a pat of butter, a couple teaspoons of honey, douse it down with buttermilk.

Soft. Filling. Tasty.


Monday, December 03, 2007

The Golden Compass

I really wasn't going to pay much attention to this. It looked like another big budget fantasy epic that was supposed to enthrall and enchant us this holiday season. Then I got a rambling, interspersed with LARGE CAPS email from my ex-brother-in-law who, dig this says, I FORBID YOU TO TAKE MY CHILDREN TO THIS MOVIE (his caps and his words exactly). Since my ex-brother-in-law is a devout attender of a church whose website feels the need to devote an entire page to saying that they don't encourage the handling of snakes. Think about why that disclaimer would be so important to them for a moment. Ok, that's enough religious icky, time to move on, my ex-brother-in-law is also a jerk. A controlling, pompous and self righteous jerk. Luckily he's a smart enough jerk that he does try not to piss me off in person. He goes for email.

So here's the deal. The Golden Compass is supposedly anti-god (although if it's anti the god of the bastards who have been calling for the censorship that's usually a sign that it would be pretty cool with me) and he does not want his children exposed to atheistic ideas. Of course, they are allowed to hang out with me. But, let's not go there right now.

I've just finished ordering the trilogy of books. He, of course, hasn't read them. I will. I might even go see the movie. I figure they're pissing off all the right folks.

Here's what I don't get. I don't get it the same with all manner of fundies. I don't get it when a religion that declares itself to be the only, indisuputable truth in the universe feels threatened by a book by Salman Rushdie. I don't get it when they can simultaniously condone genocide in Darfur, yet be insulted by a teddy bear's name. I don't get it when the folks who are supposed to be servants of this all powerful, all knowing, all seeing gunfighter in the sky are completely flipped out by cartoons (I include Jerry Falwell's lawsuits against Larry Flynt and Hustler in this group).

I mean, if this truth is so powerful, and undeniable, how come they can be so very threatened by a mere book? Why are they sent into such paryoxms of insensible contempt prior to investigation?

Expect a book report later folks.
Oh, yeah, note the wiggle room my ex-brother-in-law left me. He forbids the movie. He forgot to forbid the books. (snicker, giggle)