Wednesday, July 11, 2012


In order to get rid of a scrap-paper envelope in my kitchen drawer, I am typing up my recipe for pancakes. It is certainly based on the recipe for Buttermilk Pancakes from the Joy of Cooking, but I don't remember how closely based. Your mileage may vary. This is how I like pancakes, so this is the recipe I use when I get a chance to make them.

Whisk together dry ingredients:
2 C flour
4 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
3/4 t salt

In separate bowl, measure out
1 C buttermilk

Gradually whisk in
4 T butter

Add this liquid into the dry ingredients, stirring just enough to mix and no more.

Heat a skillet to the point that a drop of water will neither evaporate instantly nor spread, but instead will dance around on the skillet in a little hissing ball. Pour batter on skillet, letting the batter form circles just a little bigger than the palm of your hand. Wait until bubbles cover the visible surface of the pancake, then use a spatula to turn the pancakes over. This time, you won't have bubbles as a clue to doneness; you'll just have to keep checking. When they're golden brown, remove them from the skillet. Serve hot with butter and grade A maple syrup, or preserves, or powdered sugar.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

bread pudding

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
Cube 6 C. bread and spread evenly in a greased 9" x 13" pan.
Sprinkle bread with 1/2-3/4 C. golden raisins 
    • 1 C. granulated sugar
    • 8 large beaten eggs
    • 3.5 cups milk
    • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
    • 1 T rum, hazelnut liquor, or similar 
  • Pour over cubed bread.
  • Now, mix 
    • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
    • 1 cup chopped pecans, toasted piñones, or other tasty nut
  • Sprinkle and crumble this nut mixture on top of the bread mixture. 
  • Bake at 350 F 35-45 minutes or until set.
  • Serve warm with whipped cream or brandy sauce (beat together 1 C. sugar, 1/2 C. melted butter, 1 egg, and 2 t. vanilla; stir over medium heat until sugar melts; add 1/4 C. brandy and stir well).
  • Eat leftovers warm or cold. :-)

Sunday, June 03, 2012

excellent banana bread

Makes 2 loaves. I used it to make one loaf and a bunch of muffins for the babies. :-) Delicious!
Cream together:
  • 1 C. butter
  • 2 C. sugar
Add to the above:
  • 5-7 large ripe, almost black bananas
  • 1 1/2 t. vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs, slightly beaten
Whisk together dry ingredients:
  • 3 C. flour
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 2 t. baking soda
Mix all together just until combined. Pour into 2 greased 9"x5" loaf pans.
Bake at 350F about 40 minutes (may take up to 1 hour).

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

bridge marker

bridge marker
Originally uploaded by nonesuch
Er... "SEMCAS LARIBVS VIALIBVS EXVOTO SACRVM?" I think it says, uh, basically, "Romans built this." Am I right?

Actually, I found a monograph titled "Within the Confines of the Romano-Celtic World: The Gods of the Roads" by Francisco Marco Simón in which he says that this is one of 2 such inscriptions in Asturias, of 40-odd found throughout Celtic regions of the former Roman empire. He cites it as an example of how Celts reshaped foreign Roman ideas of religion to suit their own spiritual needs. He records the inscription as "Sem(pronius) Cas(sius) / Laribus / Vialibus / ex voto / sacrum." The Lares Viales were gods of the highways and byways, the deities who protected travelers. Evidently, they were particularly popular in Celtic lands. Simón writes:
In the north-west of the Iberian Peninsula, in the province of Hispania Citerior, Latin epigraphs document the establishment of the worship of certain deities, the Lares
Viales, with very few mentions in the rest of the Empire, and this has led various authors to suggest that these Latin theonyms were really referring to indigenous deities traditionally venerated in the areas in which these inscriptions appeared...

Thus, the Lares Viales are documented in the north-west of the Peninsula, with most of the occurrences in the conventus Lucensis and, to a lesser extent, in the Bracaraugustanus and the Asturum. As well as the thirty-odd epigraphs found in the north-west, the Lares Viales are also found on altars in other zones of Hispania Citerior corresponding to a substratum which might be considered Hispano-Celtic...

These authors have stated that the worship of the Lares, introduced by the Flavii in these barely Romanized north-western areas which steadfastly held on to their Celtic traditions, “smothered the Celtic religion as it was, and its barbaric nature disappeared under the cloak of the Lares” (1969, 231). This would have been an ambiguous process, since “it was especially in the provinces and among their inhabitants that the concept of Lares or Penates, a precise concept in Roman thinking, took on, accompanied by the epithet patrii, its broadest, vaguest meaning, that of a protective deity...."

snail and its trail

snail and its trail
Originally uploaded by nonesuch
When I visited Spain this spring, I had kind of a love affair with the snails. They're so decorative. There is such variety in their patterns and coloration within such a limited palette; I never got tired of looking at them. I think it got a little tiresome to wait for me to take all their portraits, though, which was the only thing that kept me in check!

Friday, June 12, 2009


Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. -Elie Wiesel, writer, Nobel laureate (b. 1928)

There was an article in the NYT this week about bullying. It said that the American Academy of Pediatrics plans to publish a recommendation for a new model of bullying prevention. The model was “developed by Dan Olweus, a research professor of psychology at the University of Bergen, Norway, who first began studying the phenomenon of school bullying in Scandinavia in the 1970s.” The programs are designed to “work at the school level and the classroom level and at the individual level; they combine preventive programs and directly addressing children who are involved or identified as bullies or victims or both.”

What's really cool: “the Olweus approach focuses attention on the largest group of children, the bystanders.” The article quotes a medical authority as saying, “Olweus’s genius is that he manages to turn the school situation around so the other kids realize that the bully is someone who has a problem managing his or her behavior, and the victim is someone they can protect.”

Read At Last, Facing Down Bullies (and Their Enablers)

Friday, May 29, 2009

the uselessness of my upcoming degree

In an article for The Atlantic, Matthew Stewart has these encouraging words:
The first point to note is that management education confers some benefits that have little to do with either management or education. Like an elaborate tattoo on an aboriginal warrior, an M.B.A. is a way of signaling just how deeply and irrevocably committed you are to a career in management.

Read The Management Myth at The Atlantic's website.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Did yinz know about Aclyptico?!

From the UK's Daily Telegraph:

Hollywood's superhero movies have bizarrely paid off. Meet Shadow Hare, a 5’7” man armed with handcuffs, a Taser, pepper spray, and tights. All that's known about him is that he's 21, and claims to have been abused as a child and brought up in foster homes, the Telegraph reports. He says he's going to clean up the streets of Cincinnati and that he's currently working with San Diego-based superhero Mr. Extreme to “track down a rapist.” Other members of the so-called “Allegiance of Heroes” include Wall Creeper from Colorado and Aclyptico from Pennsylvania. Local police are not taking the Allegiance seriously (surprise!), although four members have been filmed helping the homeless.

I am stunned. I had no idea that Pennsylvania had a superhero. Aclyptico. What do you think--is he from Pittsburgh or Philly? Surely not Harrisburg. I am intrigued.