Food for those who don't like food.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Handle With Care

"Why Am I afraid to dance, I who love music and
ryhthm and grace and song and laughter?
Why am I afraid to live, I who love life and the
beauty of flesh and the living colors of the earth
and sky and sea? Why am I afraid to Love, I who love love?"

Eugene O'neil
The Great God Brown

Commercial Drive. Did anyone ever know how much I hated this place? How much I despised and loathed all of it. You knew I loved it, but did you really know that I hated it more than any other place in the earth. Heck, I thought I was done with it. It was like an old photograph, in that it found it's beauty in it's character and grime; It's life in it's nooks and crannies and down the alleys you never should go. The sky was beautiful, hell...the people were all gorgeous. All the while something so ugly, so hideous had tainted my own love for Vancouver. Now before I go any further I must say that I really do love this city, more than any I've been continuing.

My crappy pride. My terrible evil inner self that caused me to be such a bratty child, all the while I would attempt to present myself as calm and composed. Have you ever seen a bratty child try to act grown up? It's a little cute and well-intentioned but all the while a ridiculous scene that never ends with maturity. I hated that I was not a good person there. I hate that some have considered me to be abusively angry and at times for no reason I would just be so mad, so mad. I know it seems silly, but I really can be that myself. You see it's all because of pride that I forget things that I love. I love to watch life happen, yet I'm afraid to live it. I love love, yet I fear and hide from it more than anything or anyone I know. I just didn't understand the concept of love.

So recently, I went back to something else biblical I didn't quite understand. The severity of the cross, so I listened to one of the most graphic, insensitive, vile, no mercy sermon on it. I loved it. It was by a speaker named mark driscoll, and he delivered this speech at the reform and resurge conference in Seattle this past august. I think because all of my life the cross was this fluffy happy symbol churches gave to you. It was on all bibles, and ornate necklaces but I never really understood it. I never understood just how much pain he had to go through. Looking back, it forces me to see myself as just how selfish I'd been. So I started reading Luke, again, and this time I'm working through it slowly but surely. I've never really read the bible through a whole chapter so bare with me, this is new.

I've learned something though, if not it was drilled into head by my mom, my family, my friends, my job, my own brain---which overworks every stinking thing. As much as I hate this terrible evil crappy place known as Ohio, if god wants me here...that's where I'll be. Where we have the coldest winters, and the hottest summers. Where drinking and watching men fight to the death uniformly over a small bundle of mess wrapped in a sheeth of rubber is the most popular form of entertainment, and the fumes of an old factory makes you dizzy with anger at the polution we cause. I hate rubber town so much, that if god really wants me to stay here, than that will have to do. Heck if God wanted me to spend the rest of my life in an amazing city, or a polar ice cap, or even the dodgy side of london in the back alleys---SO BE IT.

Because I would hate it more if I was somewhere I wasn't supposed to be. In this spirit of travel...I applied for another school. This time you may have heard of it, although I hear they're getting a new building and moving a little down the road; you might have passed them at some point walking through Vancouver. They would walk the streets wearing funny aprons and spouting silly promises, or better yet, I think you've tried their soap. Yes, my friends I have applied to that fun city you all know I hate.

More specifically I talked to Mark, which took a lot out of me. I haven't written a blog about it, simply because I wasn't sure. I think I'm sure. I've tried to apply for other schools because I just wanted to go somewhere, anywhere. Drats though to that crappy mean bully of a god who wants me to go somewhere specific, who pushed me in the direction of a city I had never heard of in the first place (in a country with play money none the less). Then to top it all of he sends me back to Ohio, because I wasn't ready yet. Darn him, but I think he knows what he's doing. I'm trying here, to see the plus side to it all. Ohio isn't a terrible place, I think people even move here because it isn't. We have great produce, and culture in our cities. We have an abundance of resources to dabble in, and places to create our dreams. Heck, Akron invented Purell, Instant Oatmeal, the first breakfast cereal, and the first graded school system among others. Alchoholics Anonymous originated here! That means Ohio was the first group of people to try and get help, so maybe it is a place for the refugees of life. Come and deal with your problems, before moving on and such.

Then after the first time I tried to post this message I get a post card from someone in San Fransisco, suggesting I apply to their January DTS. Go Figure. Like I really need anymore help second guessing myself, come on. Honestly! HONESTLY, GOD---you bully!

I want this Vancouver school to happen, key words though: I want. If it doesn't happen, I will wait, because I'm the only one who can make myself wait. A few things need some prayer though, first---It will need more students for a school in January (which they're are currently one other than me that I know of in both Vancouver and San Francisco) and secondly I will have to pull the funds and make it happen. I need God's help in this though, because I just can't have someone donating me a 1000 dollars at the last minute despite they're good intentions when it isn't supposed to happen. It's like the first picture I took in this post, where the statue is holding on to the water and it's just slipping through her hands. You don't try to grab water. You can help it a little though, to get where it needs to go. God will have to make it happen, and I've give that up to him. I'm just going to wait at the stop sign until then. So Hey God, won't you be my traffic light? Heck, why not drive the car, I'll just take a nap now.

Word of the Day - Clemency

Clemency is an associated term, meaning the lessening of the penalty of the crime without forgiving the crime itself. The act of clemency is a reprieve. Today, pardons and reprieves are granted in many countries when individuals have demonstrated that they have fulfilled their debt to society, or are otherwise deserving (in the opinion of the pardoning official) of a pardon or reprieve. Pardons are sometimes offered to persons who, it is claimed, have been wrongfully convicted. However, accepting such a pardon implicitly constitutes an admission of guilt, so in some cases the offer is refused.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Keep Looking Up

Sometimes we have so many different stories to tell that they roll over into other things. In this case I've created a food blog...and it's THIS BIG as the lady claims.

Check it out sometime, I should update it once a week for now.

Cookies Remix, and an Introduction of Sorts.

Not Only Have I had multiple starts at this, I never in fact expected to start this. So here it is, and with the first requested recipe. I read too many freaking food blogs, and I just have to put forward and try. If you want a little more info on my just look to the side and I'm sure you'll find what you're looking for at this time.

Now for the meat of this start, although there isn't really any meat involved.

The truth about this recipe is that I hated making it to start with, as it came from and was quite evil and incomplete. It was really a risk because I needed something to serve that had something to do with the scots. See, these are just basically chocolate oatmeal shortbread cookies. However, they use Steel-cut scottish oats. The first time I made these it turned out perfect, and formed just fine. I was forced to do a presentation with someone I didn't really trust to work with so I figured I could blind people with food. It conveniently worked. The second time they took 30 minutes longer to finish, and turned out cakey and bitter (surprising as they have no eggs in them). I couldn't for the life of me figure out what I did wrong.

So I set the stupid evil recipe on the shelf and hopefully would never have to look back.

Unfortunately though, it just bothered me I had screwed it up so bad. So I adjusted the recipe, and I tried to add moisture to what has to be the world's most freaking crumbly dough without actually breaking down it's delicate chemistry.I added one teaspoon of milk, that's all. They spread like the fat lady who sings at the end of everything over a child's chair. They tasted good still, but it just...something was wrong. Truth is they flew off the plate regardless, so I figured it was worth trying out.

I just looks to good to resist using these good ingredients. I use a good quality dark chocolate chip or just hack at a bar of high cocoa chocolate. Speaking of which, when I was in Vancouver I just used Frye's Cocoa, which I think is a good all purpose cocoa for baking. Now in Rubber City we have lots of Amish near us, and a large dutch population So I just stick to a good quality Dutch-Processed Cocoa.

"Dutch process chocolate is chocolate that has been treated with an alkalizing agent to modify its color and give it a more mild flavor. It forms the basis for much of modern chocolate candy. It is used in ice cream, beverages, and baking. The development of the Dutch process by Dutch chocolate maker Coenraad Johannes van Houten, along with his development of the method of removing fat from cacao beans by hydraulic press around 1828, formed the basis for cocoa powder and simplified chocolate culture"


Sorry, the red mist got in the way.

Now, It wasn't until I was at my sister's house though that I really figured how to get the cookies to form. I started with the oats (which came out like pellets) and soaked them in cold water for about an hour or so. Other than that I found if I compacted them (see diagram below) that I could get the tight balls I wanted. It's really quite fun, and could easily make these with other people.

It worked! They looked pretty and were great (see above) and were like I remembered. They are also a quick recipe to make once you get a hang of it, but you only need one cookie or so as they aren't light on calories. These are the cookies for chocolate lovers and whenever I can I use a dark chocolate bar and chop it instead of the chips. If you give these a spin give me a comment. This is my first recipe ever posted, anywhere. I will say thought that I have slightly adjusted these every time, each time just a little bit more oats (I like them oaty =D) and make sure you watch them like a hawk as they will quickly burn.

Chocolate Oaties
1 cup all purpose flour 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 3/4 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature 1/2 cup sugar 1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract (or Vanilla Bean Paste) 1/2 tsp. Almond Emulsion (optional; can use Almond Extract instead) 1/4 cup Steel Cut Oats ( soaked in cold water for about 45 minutes then drained) 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips 1/3 cup Chopped Raisins (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a Jelly Roll Pan with parchment paper. Whisk Flour, Baking Soda, Salt, and Cocoa in a medium size bowl and set to the side. Now take your room temperature butter and cut it into small pieces and using a nonstick spatula abuse the heck out of the butter until has a slightly creamer consistency, add the sugar, vanilla, and almond emulsion (optional) and continue the abuse until it's relatively fluffy. (You could use a mixer, but why miss out on the fun?) Add flour mixture and beat until it starts to darken, this dough is very dark. Mix in oats with that spatula until evenly distributed (dough will be crumbly but if you squeeze a small piece of it it should hold together like good snow). Add chocolate chips (and raisins if you have them) and mix the best you can. Using lightly floured palms, shape 1 generous tablespoon dough into ball. Then flatten slightly and knead into a small patty. The dought should stick together, but it may crumble a little even after you put it on the pan, that is okay! through the crumbs back into the bowl to get in on the rest of the action. Place on the jelly roll sheet; repeate with remaining dough, spacing rounds about 2 inches apart. Bake cookies until center is slightly firm and top is cracked, about 14 minutes. Cool on sheet.

The Inside Tip: Old-fashioned oats have been cut, steamed, and flattened with large rollers. Steel-cut oats are not as highly processed and look like tiny pellets. They produce a more al dente result. they look a bit like bird seed in the store
and are also known as coarse-cut oats, pinhead oats, Scotch oats, and Irish oats. Many people feel that the Steel-cut oats provide better flavour than rolled oats due to the lack of preprocessing. Usually due to the fact that they are not preprocessed then dried, Steel-cut oats are often packaged in a vacuum tight container (like a coffee can) to seal in freshness, but sometimes in bulk stores.

If you absolutely cannot find them anywhere, you can use regular old-fashioned (not instant oats) just skimp out on the soaking and adjust to your tastes. It will not be the same cookie, but I never said it wasn't just as intriguingly rich in flavor.

Makes 12-16 Cookies (and goes great with coffee).

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Decatur, or , round of applause for your stepmother!

Yes, those are soybeans, yes I take all of these pictures, and no I do not know what decatur means...



Decatur - Decatur is the name of several places in the United States. Most, if not all, are named for Stephen Decatur, U.S. naval officer, known for his exploits at Tripoli against the Barbary Pirates and the toast "Our country! In her intercourse with foreign nations, may she always be in the right; but our country, right or wrong," often shortened to "My country, right or wrong".

Sorry you haven't heard from me in a bit, a lot of different things have happened, but I really want to wrap up my projects for midterms (and waiting on a little bit more info for something) before I really dish. Yes, I hate that last word, but it's appropriate...blame the smiley beast.