Tag Archives: cooking

Assorted links about writing and other creative fields.

What intimacy coordinators do.

It’s common to mock Very Special Episodes of TV shows but they have an effect on viewers.

Although largely, forgotten, W.B. Yeats’ sisters Elizabeth and Lily helped shape Ireland’s sense of national identity. The Porter Sisters, once titans of historical fiction, were likewise written out of literary history.

“As a legitimised vigilante, the bounty hunter as a character can sit in a kind of Lagrange point between the pull of the heroic individualist and the pull of authoritarian imposition of order.” — Camestros Felapton on the appeal of bounty hunter characters.

A 1953 ruling on the limits of parody using copyrighted material obviously didn’t kill parody, but it’s still interesting.

More recently, the Onion filed an amicus brief in a parody case.There’s a legend that Wonder Woman’s one-time mentor I Ching got his name from an error. It isn’t true.

How do we define Native American art? Who gets to make the call?

Ex-President Man-Baby has threatened to sue the Pulitzer Prize Board for awarding prizes to exposes about him. The board is unimpressed.

The ongoing decline of print newspapers’ comics sections.

Heck, an entire newspaper vanished from the Internet a few years ago. Or, as noted at the link, powerful people got it removed.

For some music lovers, Spotify is a flop.

“The problem is not so much the act of appropriation in and of itself, for what is a writer’s job but to imagine the lives of others … the problem is the system that limits who gets to do the imagining.”

“There is something about sex and sexuality that threatens to strip away the context of performance even as it strips the clothes off of performers”

“We dabble a little bit in the ‘90s—which sadly was such an awful decade for music. You have to cherry pick the songs because we don’t want to play a bunch of sappy ballads and we don’t want to play a lot of rap.” — from an article on why oldies stations don’t play 1990s music much.

Yes, recipes still matter.

Diversity comes to The Nutcracker.

One Journey band member wants a fellow ex-member to stop playing their songs at Trump rallies.

An AI-created comic does not qualify for copyright. The US Copyright Office that might change someday.

How do you define panettone and who gets to decide?

The history of unobtanium.

Gerry Conway admires the difficulty of creating a simple image.

Hollywood still keeps trying to adapt unfilmable books.The Vampires Everywhere comic-book in Lost Boys never existed —  but the publisher that produced it did.

Den of Geek strongly objects to the Ian Fleming Estate’s plan to rewrite offensive elements in the Bond books. A wheelchair-user says even if you change the language, you can’t eliminate Fleming’s attitude toward the disabled.

#SFWApro. Wonder Woman cover by Mike Sekowsky, rights to images remain with current holders.

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Sourdough and its discontents

Last month I checked BREAD HEAD: Baking for the Road Less Traveled, by Greg Wade and Rachel Holzman, out of the library. If I didn’t have ten bread-baking books already I’d definitely buy it. I might anyway, or I might check it out from the library another time

I was dubious because the book places heavy emphasis on sourdough, like the loaf in my photo. I like sourdough but not so much I’d make sourdough recipes a regular thing. That makes it feel pointless to go through the work of growing a starter, then keeping it around after I finish the initial bread  — I may not make another sourdough for months and I don’t want to keep nursing the starter along. It would be different if I had a family of five to feed, but it’s mostly just me and there’s only so much bread I can eat a week.

Wade and Holzman make it easier because their system is simpler: flour and water mixed, then you wait until enough wild yeast gets in to ferment it. It still makes way more than necessary; after the first bread I made (sourdough banana bread) I had to pour a lot of it out. And I hate wasting food.

However on the next sourdough I figured out how to reduce the initial quantity to about 25 percent of what was recommended in the book. That left almost no waste.

The recipes are good. I’ve made apple muffins (not sourdough), crumpets (ditto) and cornbread (not sourdough but it does use a cornmeal/buttermilk ferment). The sourdough I made (the one in the photo) was a good bread but not stunningly superior to the breads I normally bake.

I’ll make one more sourdough before I send the book back to the library.




Filed under Personal, Reading

Adventures in baking

Last month I got more of an itch to bake than I have in a while. I made vegan, gluten-free chocolate-chip cookies——and ciabatta, though they came out smaller than I’d expected. Still, easy enough I might try it again when I’m having sandwiches.Last weekend I made a peppery squash bread though with sweet potato instead, as I had some of that left over.Last month I also checked a book, Bread Head out of the library. I’ve only gotten around to trying one recipe, a buckwheat flour sourdough banana bread, but it was most tasty.I hope to try a couple more before I send the book back (I’ll give it an actual review then) but overall I don’t think it’s for me. The authors, Greg Wade and Rachel Hotlzman, are into sourdough starter big time. I like sourdough but not os much that it’s worth keeping a pot of starter around all the time. Still the book did serve as a useful reminder on things like checking water temperature for my breads — possibly that’s why the ciabatta came in undersized.

The other recipes came, top to bottom, from Vegetarian Times, 100 Great Breads and a book called Country Baker: Breads and Muffins from Country Living magazine.



Filed under Miscellanea, Personal

Cornish pasties!

I had an itch to try a recipe that was more work than usual so I decided to make a Cornish pasty recipe I found on the Washington Post website. Although technically they’re “Cornish” pasties because it’s a heritage recipe and the name is reserved for the authentic recipe, which uses meat. I used veggie sausage. Other ingredients: rutabaga, potato and onion, wrapped up in a buttery dough.They were a fair amount of work; anything that involves making dough, rolling it out and then putting filling in it usually is. But they taste good and they’re very satisfying. About half of one makes a meal for me.

Now I have an itch to try a Samosa recipe, as that also involves wrapping veggies in dough, though with more spices.


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The cooking mojo is temporarily gone

Normally I love cooking and baking. Bread in particular.The past month I’ve been surprised how little I’ve been cooking, compared to usual. Not that I’m switching to junk food or takeout — fruit on cereal or yogurt, veggie sandwiches, scrambled eggs with this or that are all easy and they all provide me with healthy, or reasonably healthy, meals. Plus TYG’s been cooking for herself and I often wind up eating her leftovers

I think it’s that this has been a very hectic couple of months. TYG was dealing with some heavy work stuff in early April, then she began the transition to a new job at a new company. Being the awesome person she is, she negotiated to give five weeks notice to her current employer so that she can prep her former subordinates in everything she does that they’ll need to take over. Trouble is, she knows a lot so it’s been intense. And that leaks over to me in the form of more dog care, more running errands, etc. Which is perfectly reasonable, but it does leave me rather wiped by the week’s end.

So I wind up doing a lot less of anything on the weekend, relaxing as much as possible. It’s definitely the right choice but it feels strange. I look forward to getting back to normal next month.


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Cats and food

Snowdrop has decided to hang out in the planter sometimes.Wisp, meanwhile, has suddenly decided to sleep on the couch next to me or in my lap rather than on her pillow.It’s almost like they’re living creatures who change their preferences rather than wind-up toys.

And here’s the raw apple pie I mentioned planning to make. A mix of nuts, dates, apples and dried apples, it’s quite tasty. Especially with some cheddar on top.#SFWApro

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Pushing the food envelope

I have several food goals that I’m working on this month. Well, actually, most months. I’ve found if I don’t put them down regularly I slack off.

The main ones are baking more bread, making more vegetable-centric dishes — even though I’m vegetarian, it’s easy to go heavy on cheese or eggs and skip the green stuff — and more fruit dishes. Also to use more of my spices because after a while they go bad, and that’s wasteful. And to push myself to try some new things. This has turned into an excuse to check cookbooks out of the library and see if there’s anything good in them. For example Lee Watson’s Peace and Parsnips gave me a recipe for these chunky-looking but tasty apple-date muffins.Next weekend I’m going to try the book’s recipe for a raw apple pie — no baking, just a lot of chopping, mixing and pressing together. We’ll see how it goes.

I also recently tried a Vegetarian Times experiment in spelt bread. Spelt flour, with a generous cup of sunflower seeds mixed in.The flavor was strong enough it would have worked better as a sandwich bread rather than just as toast. It also makes firm, solid slices for sandwiches; next time I plan some sort of fancy sandwich, I may make the bread again and see how it works.


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The horror — the horror!

Did any of you “go fancy” for the holidays with fruit cocktail eggnog pie?Cthulhu and Yog-Sothoth would recoil from this.



Filed under Miscellanea

TYG planted a garden

I think it looks good.I’m impressed by her dedication. I’m not the gardening type, and I can’t see myself spending a weekend working on something like that unless she asked me to help her. I will, however, happily work the basil, tomatoes and rosemary into recipes (the chives too, but I’ve no idea what, yet).



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So I made some bread

Normally I wait until the end of the week but I’d used up the beer bread I made last week. And the recipe for Cobb bread (a traditional English bread) I found in 100 Great Breads was a low-work one so I was able to fit making it into my afternoon’s work without much trouble.I tried calculating the correct dough temperature again and it did make the bread rise very well. It’s a basic white bread but with a salty tang and a great texture.

I highly recommend the 100 Great Breads book.



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