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December 2005

December 28, 2005

12 days of christmas

You really should go read this. You need the laugh. Really.

December 27, 2005

not exactly New Year's resolutions

While reading Dawn's admirable New Year's Resolutions, I was inspired to make a few of my own although, being me, I am going to have to modify the terms a bit. To wit:

First, a year is entirely too long. Maybe I spent one too many afternoons in a meeting at behemothSoft but I want a much shorter cycle on this.

Next, let's examine the whole "resolution" concept — it's so officious sounding — something which I doubt I'd pass as, even at my most corporate. It also sounds like it takes a meeting to get a resolution appproved, or at least an ad hoc committee. Way too much work. Way too much.

Metrics are another issue. New Year's Resolutions are usually assessed on a pass/fail system, while most people operate on an incremental scale. Black and white v. shades of gray — or maybe even actual colors —  I vote colors! Well, adults deserve as much of a grading scale as schoolkids, plus style points. Gotta have style points.

Continue reading "not exactly New Year's resolutions" »

December 24, 2005

...seen over my valley

After the shortest day faded into the not-quite-longest night, there was a powerful noise in the sky and this swarm appeared. At least one person has, upon seeing this image, offered that perhaps this is proof that we are in the Matrix, with the veil of virtuality drawn thin as the seasons cycle.

In any case, I hope this passage in our annual  journey from darkness to light finds you safe in the company of those you love, gazing at something in wonder. (Should there be cookies involved, so much the better.)

Speaking of cookies, I have to be a proud kitchenMage for just a moment. theKid spent a day recently baking twelve pounds of cookies to mail across the country to some kids who were going without any holiday treats this year. Twelve pounds! That's a lot of cookies...and a lot of work. It's nice to know that the cookie elves live. Nice job! applause   cheers

December 17, 2005

Coca Sek: the real "real thing"?

We all know that Coca-cola used to contain a bit of cocaine, even though Coca-cola now denies it. Other soft drink companies are a bit more honest, one might say refreshingly so, about the not-so-secret ingredients in their drinks. Coca Sek, a new offering from a small business in Colombia (yes, that Colombia), is essentially bottled coca tea. Yep, that coca.

Continue reading "Coca Sek: the real "real thing"?" »

December 16, 2005

Who knew danish was so easy?

evenTinierTown's only bakery has a for sale sign in front of the darkened building. Sad but true. What's sadder is that I never had one of their legendary maple bars during the brief time they were reopened — and by brief, I mean perhaps as long as six months. Since the building's for sale, I doubt there will be another bakery sprouting up there anytime soon. sigh

Looking for the silver lining, I decided it's time to master a few things I've somehow gotten away without learning so far. I'm pretty fearless when it comes to grabbing a recipe and going for it, but every time I've approached laminated doughs (those being the rich, butter-layered ones used for things like croissants and danish) I've had to make some urgent phone call or another. There's something about all that rolling and chilling and rolling again that's just intimidating. But what's a mage to do? The nearest bakery is an hour away...something had to give. First on the list is danish. With any luck it'll be followed by croissants and maybe even doughnuts someday...but first the danish.

Continue reading "Who knew danish was so easy?" »

December 11, 2005

Multigrain Rosemary Sage Crackers


One of the year-long herbs in my garden is rosemary, which I love paired with olive oil and a bit of salt. All three flavors come through in these deeply flavorful, yet delicate, cracker that I am sure to be making many variations in the months to come. Let's call this Weekend Herb Blogging, because it still is the weekend and I haven't played a meme all week. Kayln's got interesting herbs collected on her blog every weekend, do go check out this week's offerings.

These crackers were inspired by a combination of things: the flavor profile was derived from a recipe for Herbed Olive Oil Crackers from Jerry Traunfeld's The Herbfarm Cookbook, the addition of yeast was due to a recent batch of Lavash from The Breadbaker's Apprentice, and the use of the pasta machine comes from a recent conversation with Farmgirl.

Continue reading "Multigrain Rosemary Sage Crackers" »

December 06, 2005

Know your ingredients--the cheese edition

Ahhh, more news you couldn't make up. Gleaned from today's news, we have yet another reason to get in touch with the food you (and your neighbors) eat.

In an unusual case of mistaken identity, a woman who thought a block of white cheese was cocaine is charged with trying to hire a hit man to rob and kill four men. The woman also was mistaken about the hit man. He turned out to be an undercover police officer. Jessica Sandy Booth, 18, was arrested over the weekend and remains in jail with bond set at $1 million on four charges of attempted murder and four counts of soliciting a murder.

According to police, Booth was in the Memphis home of the four intended victims last week when she mistook a block of queso fresco cheese for cocaine - inspiring the idea to hire someone to break into the home, take the drugs, and kill the men.

I once had a conversation with a four year-old who said "drugs are white" with a certainty that led me to think that he believed all white things just might be drugs, but I was pretty convinced that it was a stage. Apparently it's a stage that some folks don't get through very easily.

Being happy that she was stopped doesn't stop me from wondering what she would have done had they just stolen the cheese (which would have been easy, because really who protects their queso fresco with deadly force?) and then discovered it was worth a few bucks a pound on the open market. Excuse me while I laugh.

December 05, 2005

WCB: River has a new friend


No long babble on this, but it's cute enough that it just doesn't need it. River, the five month old furling has been in desperate need of a new friend and one has shown up and moved in. We found her hanging out at a local espresso stand about two weeks ago and, after a few skittish days, she's settled in rather nicely, as you can see.

The rest of this week's furlings at Eat Stuff, where Clare also has some sad news about a WCB regular: Seems Macroom, the Happy Goddess's familiar, is having a bit of a rough spot health-wise but things are looking up a bit as of the last update. Stop by and check out the wonder that is our cats.

December 02, 2005

Feeling the doubletall love

Our Sam may be a star, but Sambuck's is not Starbucks's...and I doubt anyone would confuse the two. Well, anyone other than a corporate attorney, that is. Just down the road in Astoria, a hole-in-the-wall has fought the (strip)mall and the mall won. Sam Buck, the owner of Sambuck's Coffee House in Astoria just lost a court decision in which a federal judge ruled that she was willfully infringing on the coffee behemoth's trademark by naming her coffee shop after herself. Note that she did this in 2000 before there was a single coffeeBehemoth store in Astoria. Apparently when they arrived in town in 2002 they decided to care about Sam's little place and sue her.

Let me pause for just a moment to say that any business that names itself after a character in a classic book that was written long before they were incorporated and then claims that character's name as if they'd invented it needs to take a good look at itself. Whats next? No more Moby Dick readings because they say the word? I've hung in there with coffeeBehemoth through a lot of stupidity--even when they responded to criticism of their inclusive stance on coffee cup quotes by adding one that was anything but. (For some reason I thought that it might get a homophobe to think, "well, the coffee's good, maybe being gay is okay too" and lighten up. Silly me.)

I must admit that I haven't been into Sam's place yet, even though I get espresso everytime I go to Astoria, sometimes at coffeeBehemoth. Not anymore. Next time I will go to Sam's coffee house and I shall avoid coffeeBehemoth like the avian flu. Although I may stop by, cup of Sam's coffee in hand, to tell them why I am not shopping there anymore.

Odd that a company that claims to support small business in the form of farmer's overseas does its best to squish small business here at home. Fair trade, indeed.

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