Tastes of Sustainability        

Come to the CEEE September 27th at 7:00. Amazing chef, Dan Ankrum of Avant Garde Catering, will be preparing courses using local products and discussing how sustainability relates directly to dining around the area.

Along with great food and entertainment, the student organizations UNI Green Life, Green Project UNI, Student Nature Society (SNS), and Northern Iowa Student Energy Corp will be attending to pass along information about their clubs and why and how you should get involved.

Below is the menu and farms from which the products came from.

Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream demo
Farm: Hansens, HillCrest Farms

Squash soup
Local Iowa butternut squash soup, Vegan
Farm: A Family Market Place

Local Iowa roasted pork shoulder served taco style.
Farm Green's Organics

Brew Grain Cookies
Farms: Hillcrest Farms, Kitchen Table CSA, Hansen's

Center for Energy and Environmental Education (CEEE)
Thursday, September 27, 2012 - 2:00 pm
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Trish Dorman
          Inside Sales Representative - Ryan Herco Products Corporation        
New Jersey, NJ - ID:1252
Department:Inside Sales
Employment Type:Regular Full-time position
Location:New Jersey, NJ
Ryan Herco Flow Solutions is the leading nation-wide distributor of fluid handling products providing ultrapure, corrosion-resistant fluid handling systems and
          Happy Thanksgiving!        

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! Since Marie is so nice as to be cooking and we're in Colombia so I can't TV I can post!

It’s been a while since I posted on this blog. Google tells me one person reads this every couple of days, so  mystery person, I apologize for the lack of updates.  I’ve finished another book in the Classic Beer Style Series, this time on Porter, and by the time I get home I’ll have finished Brown Ale as well. They we’re both pretty good and a bit more fluid then the Mild Ale book. All and all pretty good. Since I’ve been following all English Beer there is allot of overlay in each one, however each adds a bit more information to the history of brewing in England, old ingredients and of course inspiration for an American Interpretation.  I might write a mini-review on them when I get back home.

I’m going to give a reason for the lack of posts, one good and one not as impressive. The not so impressive one is I have been swamped at work. With the 1st Infantry Division getting ready to deploy (along with myself) I’ve been working allot more then the past. It’s almost a second job getting ready to deploy while still doing garrison work.

Now the good reason. I’ve found a building I would like to purchase for the brewery. It’s another historic property that is in need of great deal of work. I like preservation and would be very happy to incorporate those goals into a broader vision of New Buffalo.

The name isn’t just because I’m lazy and didn’t want to think hard. Buffalo is becoming a New Buffalo. When I was younger Buffalo was seen as a no-go zone, with lots of drug issues and violence. That is changing for allot of people, and I want to be part of the effort of rebuilding the city. Physical rebuilding would be an easy way to get that connection.

At the end of the day it is about what we can afford so we’ll see if it pans outs. Thanks for reading.

          Comment on Episode 210: Characterization by William Palmer        
Nice episode, I feel like y'all only scratched the surface on this one. I like the idea of characterization coming in the moment, from choices. So in a RPG context every time you have to make a choice or speak in character (which I guess is a choice) you decide in that moment who your character is, based on what has come before, and then from the directors stance, what you want to happen. in a video game context like Mass Effect every time you come to a decision point, the game is asking you to characterize your version of its protagonist to be either Paragon, neutral or correct. :) As much as we'd like perfect consistency, characterization changes (outside of intentional character arcs) whether we want it to or not. This comes from the gaps between play sessions, differences in our emotional play state (bleed), and the (almost necessarily) fluid nature of characters in the shared imagined landscape. This isn't a bad thing most of the time because it's minor and we modify our characters slightly based on the outcomes we as players would like to see. In a recent game of Eclipse Phase I just ran over Roll20 I had all the characters introduce themselves with a dream sequence. I made it very clear that this was to be an opportunity for solo storytelling and had everyone else follow the microscope rules of shutting up and not helping as to preserve a unique vision. It went over really well, even if we had a few more pauses for thought than normal, and even over Roll20 the characterization was very clear and shined through. That's another thing, characterization is much easier in person or through text than it is online which has always been one of my bigger pet peeves with online gaming. In person you get to use all of your senses, through text you get to expound as much as you'd like, online you're normally restricted to voice and actions. It makes you work harder and practice which brings a lot to in person games. Yet another thing, how quickly does a character come to you? Are most NPCs at the same level of characterization in their first min of screen time as say an ApoWo character? Obviously we know more about the ApoWo character but does that come through right away or do you build that character up with every interaction/decision? I would say the later. Another way to say that would be: Are most characters defined more by what's on their sheets or what's in our heads? Could y'all post a link to 183 days from the rants section? I seem to be having trouble finding it. https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#newwindow=1&q=183+days+rpg Oh, have y'all ever Janked (that's now a thing, I'm making it a thing) about practicing for RPGs? If not, I have a potentially stupid topic for a cast, Do You Practice for RPGs? We practice writing, tennis, medicine, improv, calculus, sex, woodworking, and juggling; why not RPGs? This may be something that I'm alone in doing but I first took up acting in local theater partially because I thought it would bring something to my "craft" of role-playing. A lot of the time when I'm watching movies (especially bad but interesting ones like "In Time" or Divergent) I'm thinking about how I would translate that into a game (Fate conversion and Misspent Youth in those cases) and I'm logging away interesting choices or details that I can later bring back to the table. Staying in genre can be difficult when you have 5 different peoples conceptions of what noir is. But when you reference a movie or book everyone is familiar with then people are suddenly on the same page both conceptually and thematically. In general when I'm about to play in a game, or even worse run one, I often immerse myself in fiction of that genre to get it right. which seems like practicing a genre for an RPG to me. I've watched more than a few online videos on voice acting (see Roll20 stuff above). My bedside readers are fiction and things like Long-Form Improv by Hauck and Writing 21st Century Fiction by Maass. I've even run experimental one shots before to test out narrative concepts, like extreme flashbacks that only tie in tangentially to the main story, or practice something else unusual. I've never really retroactively declared anything longer than a one shot practice before but my first couple of fumbling forays into RPGs with D&D (because of coarse it was D&D) could certainly be called practice. I know RPGs aren't supposed to have a goal per se but what I'm striving for are improvisational stories that surprise me, thrill me, and touch my heart. What I'm after is a fluid game with little overt communication about it between players in the moment (all I'm asking for is mind reading here!). What I desire is a game that could be written down and sold as a good book and I feel like that takes practice. I practice to impress others, I practice to feel more relaxed and confident, but most importantly I practice to have a more distilled, better quality of fun. P.S. Your'e welcome for the text wall!
Soapmaking in the planning
My idea of a perfect (summer) includes a lot of R & D (research and development) in the lab. Earlier this summer, before humidity got out of hand, I got my act together and created my first batch of soap, ever. It was the exact same formula that Open Source Soap used for creating all my fragrance 3-in-1 soap bars. I decided on an unscented soap for my first batch, because I really wanted to see and experience the soap in its pure form  - and also avoid painful loss of precious fragrant materials in case I screw up.
Pouring my first batch of soap ever
The process is a tad tedious and time consuming, requiring one to be precise with the temperatures and also extra cautious with the lye's caustic properties. It was a rather humid day when I made it, so I realized pretty fast that it is very uncomfortable to work with goggles and gloves when the air is so slippery and moist; and also there is that feeling that the air would cary the caustic fumes far too easily into my system. No harm was done, but I am now convinced that winter is the best time for this kind of production (or R & D, for that matter).
Cured soap
I've used stainless steel loaf pans as molds. I made a mistake of not putting any linings (I didn't want them to have wrinkles at the bottom). Turns out it was near impossible to get the soap out after the 24 hour hardening period. But I managed to do it anyway.
Soap slicing
The result I'm very pleased with as far as the soap consistency, properties (lathering, moisturizing) albeit its messy look. I know that if it was possible to take it out of the mold easily they would have been beautiful, so for next time I'm going to use a different procedure for the pouring process and probably use a different mold - probably will reuse 1L milk cartons. The bars will have a different size than they did under Schuyler's hands (he used 2L juice cartons, and than cut them in the middle to create a long shaped rectangle). Mine will be more on the squarish side.
Post-Soapmking Mess
I ended up with a lot of soap shavings, from which I can make a liquid soap or just use for hand washing clothes etc.
Post-Soapmking Mess - Cleanup
Cleanup time!
(Which is super easy, by the way - especially with my designated sink and stainless steel surfaces - yay!).


I am now waiting at least for a dry weather to proceed with more experiments. In the meantime, I'm creating oil infusions of herbs that could be incorporated into the soap, from wild herbs that grow here - for example Varthemia and Sage. Having appropriate space makes all the difference - I have room for large- mouthed jars that can sit around for months if needed and still not take up much of my ongoing workspace. It is so refreshing to have a studio built especially for the purpose I need it for. I can't even begin to tell you how thrilled I am about that and all the possibilities of what I can do next.
          Good Morning, TriState        

As part of our Liquid Assets partnership with WCPO, WVXU’s Ann Thompson and Tana Weingartner joined Brian Yocono for Good Morning, TriState. If you missed the initial segments, check them out now.

WCPO and WVXU explore Cincinnati's biggest untapped resource - water:

Liquid Assets explores Cincinnati's capability to be the Silicon Valley of water:

          Liquid Assets: Local water technologies have global impact        

More than 780 million people worldwide lack access to clean drinking water and 2.6 billion don't have access to proper sanitation. For local water technology companies those numbers are a call to action and a major business opportunity.

          Liquid Assets: Cincinnati drowning in water tech        

The most recent statistics show the Tri-State has the highest concentration of water technology patents per capita in the United States. As of October, 2010, the number stood at 687, according to the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

          Liquid Assets: Digging deep for water quality        

Each day people from Lima to Cincinnati get their drinking water from an underground river known as the Great Miami Buried Valley Aquifer. It encompasses about 136 square miles and contains 1.5 trillion gallons of water

In fact, 1.6 million people rely on water from the Great Miami Aquifer, including companies like Procter and Gamble and the region's growing number of breweries.

Richard Dube is Vice President of Brewing and Quality for Christian Moerlein and he knows a thing or two about needing water.

          Ear Tubes – Myringotomy        

Myringotomy (Ear Tubes) is a surgical procedure in which a small incision is made in the eardrum (the Tympanic Membrane), usually in both ears. It is also called Myringocentesis, Tympanostomy, Tympanostomy, or Paracentesis of the tympanic membrane. Fluid in the middle ear can be drawn out through the incision. Myringotomy (Ear Tubes) or Tympanostomy Tubes, […]

The post Ear Tubes – Myringotomy appeared first on Medical Treatment, Medical Treatment centre, Medical healthcare Centre.

          Teacup tornado’s inner twists and writhes seen for first time        
The first ever detailed look inside a liquid tornado could help explain everything from how storms form to the inner workings of the sun’s plasma
          Subasta Solidaria para Perros y Gatos sin hogar        
Por fin está otra vez en Marcha!!!
La Protectora Amics dels Animals de la Noguera vuelve a poner en marcha su mítica subasta de artesanía!!
Todo el dinero que se recauda va destinado a ayudar a perros y gatos sin hogar!!
Esta semana he colaborado con mi bolsito Clic Clac con Ciervo!!

Pujad por él o por cualquiera de las piezas de la subasta y ayudad a estas pequeñas mascotas que tanto nos necesitan! Os están esperando, conseguid una bonita pieza de artesanía y que ninguno de ellos se quede mañana sin su pienso o sus vacunas...

Hay muchísimas cosas bonitas de artesanas maravillosas!!
Sería maravilloso si todas compraramos los regalos de Navidad en la Subasta!!!
Echad un ojo chicas y hagamos de este mundo un lugar mejor.
Millones de abrazos!

          Cleaning Up after Livestock        

Food for Thought

As any pet owner knows, the more food that goes into an animal's mouth, the more wastes that eventually spew out the other end. The bigger the animal, the bigger its appetite. So imagine the volumes of manure—often tainted with germs—that farmers must manage for even a small feedlot with perhaps 3,500 head of cattle.

Ordinarily, beef producers house their animals in pens—some the size of football fields or larger. They're designed to leave each animal about 80 square feet of space. Cattle wastes just fall to the ground and collect—often for a month or more—before feedlot crews periodically scrape away the muck. After composting, the dried manure will be applied to fields as a rich fertilizer.

The real problem develops when it rains. Then, a manure-rich, watery slurry can drain off the fields. Conventionally, feedlot managers would divert this liquid into huge, smelly ponds or lagoons—some 10-feet deep or more, explains Bryan L. Woodbury, an agricultural engineer with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Meat Animal Research Center in Clay Nebraska.

His team has been developing a literally greener alternative to pond storage for manure-laced runoff from feedlot pens. The new system directs that runoff into a foot-deep drainage basin. Leading out of it are a series of narrow pipes. Because the interior diameters of these pipes are small, rain-deposited wastes temporarily back-up in this glorified drainage ditch. It typically takes hours for all of the liquids to fully drain out through the pipes. While they wait, solids in the rain-manure slurry tend to settle out as sediments that will accumulate on the basin's bottom.

Exiting liquids, meanwhile, flow gently into a mildly sloping field of grass, where the animal wastes will fertilize the plants' growth. At the end of the season, farmers harvest that grass as hay, bale it, and then feed it back to the herd.

For much of the past decade, Woodbury's team has tinkered with the system's design to optimize gravity's removal of solids from the initial rain-manure slurry and the pace at which fertilizing water enters the hayfield. In terms of those features, the system appears ready for prime time—at least in the Midwest, Woodbury says.

However, what hadn't been evaluated was the fate of germs that were shed by cattle along with those wastes. If the brief holding of the manure-water slurry and its subsequent release into fields promoted the growth of disease-causing microorganisms, those germs might eventually find their way into plants (see Not Just Hitchhikers). That would risk re-exposing animals that later dined on the tainted hay.

A new investigation now indicates that although the raw manure often hosts germs, most of the nasty microbes hitchhiking in it appear to settle out along with sediments in the initial holding basin. Bugs that remain suspended in the water long enough to travel on to the fields don't appear to survive there long, Woodbury and his colleagues report in the Nov. 1 Journal of Environmental Quality.

Indeed, the researchers note, while their new data "indicate that there is some risk for hay contamination, it appears to be low." For instance, on one day that hay was cut—two weeks after a major rainfall that shunted diluted manure into the field—only four of 10 tested soil samples hosted Escherichia coli O157.

Yet only one of the 30 samples of loose hay that was cut that day from parts of the field that had received manure-fertilized rainwater tested positive for that E. coli strain. Microbiologists also failed to later detect that E. coli O157 in hay following its baling and storage.

That's encouraging news because this bacterium has a long track record of causing disease. It was, for instance, responsible for the major food poisonings associated with tainted spinach in September 2006—an outbreak that sickened more than 200 people, killing five. These microbes can set up housekeeping in the bovine gut, causing no harm to the animal. However, germs shed in the cow's feces can infect people or crops that contact it.

The Nebraska researchers also probed for evidence of Campylobacter, another bacterium shed by cattle that can provoke gut-wrenching illness. And although three of 10 field-soil samples tested positive after one major rain, none did 2 weeks later. The germ also failed to show up in loose or baled hay.

Similarly, even though the test herd of 750 cattle had been periodically shedding large quantities of Cryptosporidium and Giardia—two common parasites responsible for substantial human disease, especially in persons with weakened immune systems—biologists found none of these microbes in field soil, much less the hay that had been grown on it.

Woodbury and his colleagues conclude that their vegetative filtering of manure washed off of feedlots is effective in dramatically sequestering and ultimately removing several of the major families of microbes responsible for human, food-related illness.

What they don't yet know is whether there will be significant rainfall constraints to their system's efficacy. Will arid regions benefit from it? Will very wet areas send so much fertilizer to hayfields that they burn the grass? "That's what we're in the process of testing right now," Woodbury says. "The jury's still out."

Other advantages

Earlier tests showed that the short-term basin storage of wastes upstream of the hayfield removes about half of the nitrogen in manure and almost all of the phosphorus, Woodbury says. That's important because one of the primary problems associated with fertilization of farm fields has been their release during rains of any unused nitrogen and fertilizer into streams.

Eventually, the fertilizing effects of these nutrients in surface waters can fuel the growth of algae that ultimately suck most of the oxygen out of large patches of coastal waters, creating what are colloquially termed dead zones (see Limiting Dead Zones).

The new waste-sanitizing system's basin also removes most of the solid material suspended in the rain-manure slurry. This means that about once a year, people must excavate the buildup from the basin. However, what they remove is no longer a waste, but yet another fertilizing amendment for farm fields.

Oh, and Woodbury points to another potential advantage of his team's new system—something that he refers to as the "white picket fence effect." When people see a picket fence out front, they focus on that pleasant feature, and not every detrimental facet of a house or yard. Well, nobody views a big, smelly lagoon filled with bovine fecal material as the farm equivalent of a white picket fence, he says. A hayfield, on the other hand: That's almost Norman Rockwell Americana.

If you would like to comment on this Food for Thought, please see the blog version.


Bryan L. Woodbury

Roman L. Hruska U.S. Meat Animal Research Center

Agricultural Research Service

U.S. Department of Agriculture

P.O. Box 166, Spur 18D

Clay Center, NE 68933-0166
Further Reading

Milius, S. 2007. Not just hitchhikers. Science News 172(Oct. 20):250-252. Available at [Go to].

Raloff, J. 2006. Protozoa aid food-poisoning germs. Science News Online (March 18). Available at [Go to].

______. 2004. Limiting dead zones. Science News 165(June 12):378-380. Available at [Go to].

______. 2004. Marsh farming for profit and the common good. Science News Online (May 15). Available at [Go to].

______. 2001. Retail meats host drug-resistant bacteria. Science News 160(Oct. 20):246. Available at [Go to].

______. 2001. Germ-fighting germs. Science News Online (Aug. 18). Available at [Go to].

______. 2001. Antibiotic resistance is coming to dinner. Science News 159(May 26):325. Available to subscribers at [Go to].

______. 2000. Sickening food. Science News Online (Jan. 1). Available at [Go to].

______. 1999. Food poisoning: Sprouts linked to bouts. Science News 155(Jan. 23):63. Available at [Go to].

______. 1998. Hay! What a way to fight E. coli. Science News Online (Sept. 19). Available at [Go to].

Seppa, N. 2000. Venison can contain E. coli bacteria. Science News (Aug. 5):95. Available to subscribers at [Go to].

          rest easy, volume 1 by australian newborn label hi tide        

hi tide (various artists) ~ rest easy, volume 1

Volume 1 of our 'Rest Easy' compilation series showcases eight relaxing tracks made by musicians living across the continent of Australia. Digital timbres are blended with field recordings and analogue tones, structured by circadian rhythms and fluid compositional trails to create a soothing, contemplative journey suited to long walks, kayaking and other easygoing activities; enjoy in loungerooms, libraries, hotsprings, bathhouses and anyplace easily softened by the sounds of the Ambient. hi tide

What do you need when the summer sun hides beneath the clouds? What do you want, when you sit by your window, watching rivers of the sky falling on the ground, making trees hum and asphalt wet? Yes, that's right, it's music! Something calm and warm, something so relaxing, that you will go up to the sky with the air, reaching the highest clouds to see the sun over them. Same sun that shine right now somewhere over the places you've never been, over the oceans you never touched, over the mountains you never climbed... Maybe right now it shines over Australia, where dozens of people read same blogs you enjoy, drink same kind of tea, seeing same dreams when sun goes down. There are many things which are universal, and probably music is the most universal (if I may say so) of them. Sharing their visions of life and their dreams, a group of highly talented artists joined for this compilation, which gives a very nice perspective on the present ambient music scene in Australia. Of course, we live in the global world now, we meet each other here, in the web – but there is always something special about such selections. I'd call it "a taste" of a place (and time!), which can be translated only by such lucid medium as music. Something you won't see in the tourist brochure or read in Wikipedia. I'm sure, Australians know things about relaxing but there is definitely something more about this compilation than just global laziness we all share. If I'll try explaining it further, magic will be gone. So just press the link already! And relax ~_~
listen ~ download ~ support

ps: Any money given for this album will be donated directly to Bush Heritage Australia, a conservation organisation protecting millions of hectares of ecologically important land and working in close partnership with traditional landowners.

          SCD and Paleo and FODMAPs, oh my!        
Brussels SproutsA little knowledge is a dangerous thing ... and sometimes more knowledge is not better! I am now getting quite confused. It seems that everything is bad for me, and some of the recommendations are contradictory. What's a girl to do?

I've been doing the Specific Carbohydrate Diet for a few years now, and I have done very well on it, removing grains, sugar and liquid milk from my diet. It has helped me keep my Inflammatory Bowel Disease under control with no medication, presumably by reducing the inflammation in my gut.

Then I discovered paleo. To be honest, the paleo/primal principles have had more effect on my exercise (walking and lifting heavy rather than chronic cardio and machines) than on my nutrition, as I was already eating free-run eggs (and pastured when available) and organic dairy (made into SCD yoghurt which is fermented for 24 hours to remove all the lactose) in my lacto-ovo vegetarian diet. Removing legumes (aside from occasional lentils) seems to have been beneficial. Moreover, I added fish to my diet back in March, ending 18 years of vegetarianism. Bringing mammals and birds into my kosher dairy kitchen would be a whole other tale, worthy of another blog post. Hasn't happened yet.

I've also, as my faithful readers know, become enamoured of lacto-fermentation, fermenting kale, cabbage (with juniper berries, yum), pearl onions and carrots. Everything I read told me that these would be good for healing my leaky gut. Just as an update, I no longer use mason jars to ferment, but bail-top jars similar to these (affiliate link).While not totally anaerobic according to some people, I am not yet convinced of the necessity for airlocks, especially as Sandor Katz, the guru of fermentation, agrees with me.

So, along comes the whole FODMAPs thing and completely destroys everything I've been doing. This awkward acronym stands for Fermentable, Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides and Polyols. I'm not going to go into all the details of these (visit the Wikipedia links provided if you really want to know), but in short, all my favourite fermentable foods should be off-limits to people with leaky guts. This despite the lovely lacto-bacilli they harbour which are supposed to be beneficial to the same people. I have no problem with avoiding lactose, grains and pulses, but to cut out all the stone fruits, cruciferous vegetables, onions, nightshades and fungi leaves me with pretty much nothing to eat in the plant department.

Oh, and then JJ Virgin comes along and tells me that eggs are inflammatory, too.

Please, shoot me now.

          Fermentation Fun with Friends        
A Portrait of the Author as a Lacto-Fermentation Instructor
On Thursday, October 18th, I had the privilege of teaching a lovely group of people about lacto-fermentation. The space we used was The Red River General Store at 5700 Henderson Highway - for my friends in the local Jewish community, that's the old Stern store. I was stunned to discover how many people were sentimentally attached to that place!

First of all, many thanks to my friend Rosalie, who brought her iPad and took pictures for me. Here is a picture of me behind the counter, posing with a jar of lacto-fermented pearl onions I brought along to demonstrate the kind of things we can make.

Gorgeous winter cabbage
This is one of the gorgeous winter cabbages our gracious hostess Monique provided for us to use. They were so beautiful, some people were munching on them as they went along.

We started with a brief overview of lactic acid fermentation (in which cells convert glucose into lactic acid and energy - it's the same process that happens in your muscles when you run fast, causing "the burn" - although if you are a scientist you may prefer to call it anaerobic glycolysis). It's a traditional method of food preservation all around the world, because the increased acidity of the food causes molds, botulism, etc. to be inhibited, making it very safe. The Lactobacillus bacteria responsible for this miracle are present everywhere, in the air, on the vegetables, on our hands, and most importantly, in our gut. Eating lacto-fermented food, whether vegetables or dairy, is a great way to heal our antibiotic-ravaged digestive systems.
We washed our hands and cut up that lovely cabbage. We added some good, real salt that had not had all its minerals stripped away, and also some caraway seeds and/or juniper berries for flavour. Then we squished that cabbage within an inch of its life - a source of great enjoyment for everyone, I think. Who says only kids can have fun squishing their food?

The salt drew liquid out of the cabbage incredibly quickly, and we soon found ourselves with liberal quantities of brine in our bowls. We then filled little mason jars (yes, I know, they don't seal as well as one would like, but they are great for beginners). We were careful to cover the cabbage with a nice big leaf to keep it submerged in the brine, and weighted it down with little plastic bags filled with excess brine (again, yes, I know, plastic in our food is B.A.D. But I hope everyone found a better, more suitable weight when they got home).
Chopped cabbage
We finished the evening with a quick, funny video about fermentation and some great discussion. Monique spoiled us with yummy snacks, coffee and amazing herbal tea.

I had an absolute blast and it looked like most people were having a good time. I'm hoping we can do this again - maybe we'll do a kombucha/water kefir/milk kefir session? I do need somebody to provide me with water kefir grains before I can do that ...

Finished productThanks again to Monique, Rosalie and everyone who came out on a rainy, yucky October night to celebrate lacto-fermentation with me!


Photo: A SMRT passenger who was unable to take it in any longer.

by Wan Dan Liao, Straight Times

Singapore - More than 250,000 commuters were stranded in SMRT train stations yesterday evening (7 Jul) when a power outage caused the shutdown of the entire North-South-East-West line.

It is the first time that services the entire North-South-East-West line broken down at the same time. This is possibly the worst MRT breakdown Singapore has experienced.

Initial investigations suspected a faulty train could have triggered the power surge which led to the massive breakdown.

SMRT insiders have informed ST that the public listed company have convened a board meeting late last night and approved plans to purchase 154 diesel-powered trains to replace the current fleet of aging trains and resolve electrical power lines issue that has plagued SMRT for years.

According to tender documents ST has received, the diesel-powered trains will be six carriages long with five passenger cabins. The last carriage carries more than 900 liters of liquid diesel fuel that could last the train for close to 3 days.

ST got in touch with SMRT Corp's Commuters Moving Group Director Mr Ma Sai di who acknowledged the ambitious S$122.5 million plan.

"We have to do it," Mr Ma said wearily. "Our primary concern is ensuring we keep moving people and enhance their lives."

When asked if this would affect future transport fares, Mr Ma declined to comment and directed the query to Public Transport Council, the government-linked body that regulates public transport fees.

Editor's Note: 

Do you have a story to share? Please use our submission form or email us at editorial@allsingaporestuff.com. If not, why not give us a 'Like'?

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          Liquid Asphalt Driver - Ralph H. Burns & Son, Inc. - Henderson, WV        
Family owned and operated business since 1960 has positions available for liquid asphalt tank drivers....
From Indeed - Mon, 19 Jun 2017 14:23:52 GMT - View all Henderson, WV jobs
          Guide for Picking The Best Android Phone for You        
Sony Xperia X10 vs Nexus One vs Motorola Droid vs Acer Liquid vs Archos

Xperia X10

Nexus One

Motorola Droid

Acer Liquid

(Updated: 21st Jan 2010) The Android handset landscape has changed drastically over the past year, from a literal handful of options to – the fingers on both your hands, the toes on both your feet and all the mistresses Tiger Woods has had in the past 24 hours (OK, maybe 4 hours). You get the point though, there are quite a few options and through the course of 2010 these options will only increase.

The only other mainstream handset smartphone option that rivals the Android handset options available in 2010 will be the Windows mobile platform – and we're all rushing for it – not!

So what are the handsets to consider in 2010? The ones currently released on the market that we will look at are the Acer Liquid and Motorola Droid and an additional three to be released early 2010, the Sony Xperia X10, Google Nexus One (Passion, HTC Bravo) and Archos Phone Tablet – though we only have a handful of details on the phone.

Archos Phone

We will look at hardware and software sub-categories, and compare the phones based based on the information we have.



The Nexus One and Sony Xperia X10 have the snappier Qualcomm Snapdragon 1Ghz processor onboard. The Acer Liquid has a downclocked version of the Snapdragon running at 728Mhz – perhaps to conserve battery. This would probably put the Acer Liquids performance more on par with the Motorola Droids. The Archos Phone promises to be a really fast phone with an upgraded ARM Cortex processor running at 1Ghz and also with improved GPU over Droid and iPhone.

Nexus One

Motorola Droid

Sony Xperia X10

Acer Liquid

Archos Phone

Qualcomm Snapdragon QSD 8250, 1.0 GHz

Texas Instruments OMAP 3430 550 Mhz

Qualcomm Snapdragon QSD 8250, 1.0 GHz

Qualcomm Snapdragon QSD 8250, 768 MHz

ARM Cortex 1Ghz


The Snapdragon's Adreno 200 Graphics core is phenomenal on the triangle render benchmark, coming in with a score of approximately 22 million triangles per/sec compared to approximately 7 million triangles/sec on the Motorola's SGX530. This is an important element for 3D graphics. Interestingly, the iPhone 3GS has a similar CPU to Motorola Droid but an upgraded faster SGX535 GPU which is capable of 28 million triangles/sec and 400 M Pixels/sec. Archos may get better SGX GPU.

Xperia X-10 Graphics Demo

Nexus One

Motorola Droid

Sony Xperia X10

Acer Liquid

Archos Phone

Adreno 200 Graphics Core with OpenGLES 2.0

PowerVR SGX530 Graphics Core with OpenGLES 2.0

Adreno 200 Graphics Core with OpenGLES 2.0

Adreno 200 Graphics Core with OpenGLES 2.0

PowerVR SGX540?

22 M Triangles/sec

7 M Triangles/sec

22 M Triangles/sec

22 M Triangles/sec

35 M Triangles/sec

133 M Pixels/sec

250 M Pixels/sec

133 M Pixels/sec

133 M Pixels/sec

1000 M Pixels/sec

HD Decode (720p)

HD Decode (720p)

HD Decode (720p)

HD Decode (720p)

3-D Graphics Benchmark

Motorola Droid 20.7 FPS (Android 2.0).

Nexus One 27.6 FPS. (Android 2.1)

Acer Liquid 34 FPS. (Android 1.6)

Xperia X10 34FPS+ est. (Android 1.6)

Note: All phones tested running WVGA resolution 480 x 800 or 480 X 854. Different versions of Android will be a factor e.g. Android 2.0 + reproduces 16 million colors vs 56K for 1.6. Older phones such as G1, iPhone 3GS may score 25-30 FPS but they use lower 480 X 320 resolution.


The Nexus One comes in with an impeccable 512MB of RAM. This provides an element of future proofing for the hardware and puts it in a league of its own. The Xperia X10 comes with 1GB of ROM and 384 MB of RAM. The 1GB means you'll be able to have twice as many apps on your phone until Google lets you save on your removable memory. The Acer Liquid and Droid are more or less the same.

Nexus One

Motorola Droid

Sony Xperia X10

Acer Liquid

Archos Phone


512 MB

256 MB

384 MB

256 MB


512 MB

512 MB

1024 MB

512 MB


The Nexus One uses an AMOLED screen which provides crispy images and more saturated colors than a TFT-LCD. It's also more energy efficient. Xperia X10 packs a 4.0 inch TFT screen with 854 x 480 resolution. Expect similar picture quality to the Motorola Droid for the Sony Ericson phone. The Archos Phone promises to deliver an interesting experience that could potentially make it the King of Androids.

Spot the difference: Top TFT-LCD screen and bottom OLED

Nexus One

Motorola Droid

Sony Xperia X10

Acer Liquid

Archos Phone

800 x 480 px, 3.7 in (94 mm), WVGA,


854 x 480 px, 3.7 in (94 mm), WVGA,


854 x 480 px, 4.0 in (102 mm), WVGA,


800 x 480 px, 3.5 in (89 mm), WVGA,


854x 480px, 4.3 in (109mm), WVGA, AMOLED

Display Input

All standard stuff here. All are pretty much Capacitative with multi-Touch depending on the continent you buy your phone from.

Nexus One

Motorola Droid

Sony Xperia X10

Acer Liquid

Archos Phone

Capacitative, Multi-Touch

Capacitative, Multi-Touch

Capacitative, Multi-Touch

Capacitative, Multi-Touch

Capacitative, Multi-Touch


The Xperia X10 has the largest battery – and might I add likely the best quality battery from the lot. It's the same battery used in the Xperia X1 and it performed admirable. Talk time for the Nexus One is very good and we expect the Xperia X10 to match this or be marginally better. Of concern is Nexus Ones 3G stand-by time of 250 hours. It's worse than the other phones but not bad at a little over 10 days! Updated 21st Jan 2010 - confirmed Xperia battery times. Xperia more or less performs at the same level as the other Android phones, delivering 5 hours talk time.

Sony 1500 mAh Battery

Nexus One

Motorola Droid

Sony Xperia X10

Acer Liquid

Archos Phone


1400 Li-Po

1400 Li-Po

1500 Li-Po

1350 Li-Po

Talk/Standby 3G







The phones are all capable of 3.5G (HSDPA 7.2 Mbit/s) data transfer. The Motorola Droid and Sony Xperia X10 can give you a little bit extra supporting 10.2 Mbit/s data transfer. Obviously the network must exist to support these speeds. Motorola is the only one with Class 12 EDGE, but this is not too important in this day and age of 3G.

Nexus One, Bravo

Motorola Droid

Sony Xperia X10

Acer Liquid

Archos Phone

HSDPA (Mbit/s)

7.2 (1700 band)





2.0 - 5.76





(850, 900,1800,1900)






Class 10

Class 12

Class 10

Class 10

UMTS band 1/4/8

















Nexus One is the only Android phone that currently offers 802.11n connectivity. In fact, I can't think of any other phone out there that also has 802.11n. This might be the Google Talk phone we all thought was heading our way after all! All phones have either bluetooth 2.0 or 2.1. These will essentially be the same as far as data transfer (3 Mbit/s) is concerned. Version 2.1 offers better power efficiency though and a few other enhancements.

Nexus One - Broadcom 802.11n

Nexus One

Motorola Droid

Sony Xperia X10

Acer Liquid

Archos Phone


2.1 + EDR

2.1 + EDR

2.1 + EDR

2.0 + EDR


802.11 b






802.11 g






802.11 n







The 2GB shipped micro-SD card with the Acer Liquid is unrealistic by todays standards. The Motorola Droid offers the best deal with a 16GB micro-SD. The Sony Xperia X10 is shipped with an 8GB micro-SD card, but remember the Xperia X10 also has that slightly bigger 1GB flash memory on-board as well for and impressive total of 9GB expandable to a total of 33GB. Google decided to save on costs by only offering a 4GB micro-SD card with the Nexus One, but if the idea is to compete against the iPhone then 8GB should be the minimum. Clearly the Motorola is on the right track with 16GB shipped, and you can't ignore the impressive 1GB ROM on the Xperia X10.

SanDisk working on 128GB Micro-SD

Nexus One

Motorola Droid

Sony Xperia X10

Acer Liquid

Archos Phone

Sim Card






3.5 mm jack






Micro USB





Shipped Micro SD/Supported (GB)


Class 2


Class 6




Class 2


Light Sensor





Proximity Sensor















Cell/Wifi Positioning






Case Material

The Motorola metal case is the sturdiest. Build quality for the Nexus One and Xperia X10 is very good. The Xperia X10 has a refelective plastic whilst the Nexus one is more industrial with teflon and metal on the bottom. Acer Liquid has average build quality, but that was always the intention with the Liquid in order to keep manufacturing costs low.

Nexus One

Motorola Droid

Sony Xperia X10

Acer Liquid

Archos Phone






If you want a physical keyboard then the Droid is your only choice in the list. The keys on the Droid keyboard are basically flush so you don't get the comfortable key separation feel on a Blackberry keyboard. The others (Droid as well) have virtual keyboards which work in portrait or landscape mode.

Droid Slide-out keyboard

Nexus One

Motorola Droid

Sony Xperia X10

Acer Liquid

Archos Phone







The Xperia X10 is one of the best camera phones. Sony used it's camera know how for their new smartphone lineup and it will be hard to match-up against Sony unless the other guys partner up with someone like Canon. The X10 comes with an 8.1 mp camera with X 16 digital zoom. The software has also been changed from standard Android to include typical camera options. Also included are a four face detection feature that recognizes faces in a photo and appropriately tags/files the photo. Motorola Droid comes in with a 5 mp camera with X4 digital zoom compared to the 5mp and x2 digital zoom on the Nexus One.

Xperia X10 sample photo

***Additional Photos***

Motorola Droid sample photo

Nexus One sample photo

Acer Liquid sample photo

Nexus One

Motorola Droid

Sony Xperia X10

Acer Liquid

Archos Phone







X 2

X 4





Y (dual)




Video wise, the Nexus One, Motorola Droid and Xperia will perform roughly the same.

Nexus One

Motorola Droid

Sony Xperia X10

Acer Liquid

Archos Phone

Video Res.











Lightest and thinest is the Nexus one. Motorola is weighed down by the metal used. They all are roughly the same size as the iPhone 3Gs which comes in at 115.5 x 62.1 x 12.3 mm and weighs 135g.

Nexus One

Motorola Droid

Sony Xperia X10

Acer Liquid

Archos Phone

Height (mm)





Width (mm)





Depth (mm)






Weight (g)






OS Level

Nexus One has the most current OS level at 2.1. Motorola Droid is expected to upgrade soon as well as the Acer Liquid. The heavily customized Xperia X10 will be more of a challenge to upgrade to 2.1 because of the heavy customization.

Nexus One

Motorola Droid

Sony Xperia X10

Acer Liquid

Archos Phone






Xperia X10 shines as far as demonstrating how customizable Android really is. The other 3 phones have very few changes to the standard Android OS.

Sony TimeScape/MediaScape

Nexus One

Motorola Droid

Sony Xperia X10

Acer Liquid

Archos Phone



Rachael UI

Acer UI 3.0

Application Market

We are likely to see more App market emerge. Sony currently leads the way and Motorola and HTC (Nexus One) will follow suit as well.

Nexus One

Motorola Droid

Sony Xperia X10

Acer Liquid

Archos Phone

Android Market

Android Market

PlayNow, Android Market

Android Market


Mediascape is an ambitious effort to add decent media functionality to Android. Sony succeeds and also introduces a fun way to organize your media. Acer has Spinlet which is not as complex as Mediascape.

Nexus One

Motorola Droid

Sony Xperia X10

Acer Liquid

Archos Phone





Social Networking

Sony again leds the customization way with Timescape. This is another good job by Sony to add extra functionality to Android. Timescape helps manage your contacts better and brings social networking and contacts onto one application.

Nexus One

Motorola Droid

Sony Xperia X10

Acer Liquid

Archos Phone





          BADass Attitude        
 be BOLD...... be BAD..........be BEAUTIFUL!

Really busy days, but I got these pictures from Bilootza Photography and I really want to share them with you . I'm in love with the result!  Alina, our model, has a super attitude, she moves and acts natural, it;s in her blood! I styled the new lace, leather bra and harness that you've seen on my instagram.
So what do you say? Love it?
Great news fomr ROMWE, check the details below

Zile pline si putin timp, dar azi am primit fotografiile astea de la Bilootza, si vroiam neaparat sa vi le arat cat mai repede! Sunt super incantata de ce a iesit si imi doream de mult sa realizam asa un concept. Am facut stylingul cu multa piele, noual ham si sutien la care lucram acum cateva zile, pe care probabil le-ati si vazut pe instagram. ALina, modelul nostru, a fost atat de naturala in miscari, atitudine, are talentul in sange, e superba!
Mie imi place maxim! Voua?
Am vesti bune si de la ROMWe putin mai jos!

White And Black Fluid Striped Shirt
1am 3rd April GMT, lasts only 24 hours!
400 pieces for $9.99! Don’t miss out.
It’ll help you save 75% in total

          ÙƒØ§Ù†ÙˆÙ†ÙŠÙƒØ§Ù„ تتخلى عن يونتي Ù¨ و أوبنتو فون        
كانونيكال تتخلى عن يونتي ٨ و أوبنتو فون


في قرار فجائي، ولكن متوقع، أعلنت شركة كانونيكال عن تخليها عن عدة مشاريع لا تدر عليها المال، وأهم هذه المشاريع يونتي ٨ و Mir و أوبنتو للهواتف و الأجهزة اللوحية. هذه الخطوة جاءت كمراجعة لسياسة الشركة التي تصارع من أجل جلب إيرادات أكبر لعدة سنوات بالرغم من الشهرة الكبيرة التي تحظى بها في سوق المستخدمين النهائيين.

وكتوجه لهذا المسار، فإن الشركة ستستثمر في سوق السحاب وانترنت الأشياء، وهما المجالان اللذان يجلبان أرباح أكبر وعليها إقبال أكبر من الزبائن المستعدين للدفع. وكنتيجة أيضا لهذا التوجه، فإن الإصدارة القادمة من أوبنتو ١٨.٠٤ طويلة الدعم ستأتي بسطح مكتب جنوم بشكل افتراضي مثلما كان هو الحال قبل أن تبدأ كانونيكال في تطوير سطح مكتب يونتي.

من وجهة نظري الشخصية فإن شركة كانونيكال أدركت أخيرا الشيء الذي أدركته شركة ردهات وهو أن الاستثمار في سوق المستخدمين النهائيين ليس مجدي وأن الأفضل أن تستثمر في مجالات لا يوجد فيها منافسين كبار. من ناحية أخرى فإن كانونيكال إذا توجهت إلى التخلي عن سطح المكتب بشكل كامل فإنها ستخسر نقطة جذب مهمة لها وهي المستخدمين العاديين الذين يمثلون قاعدة كبيرة للاستثمار في مجال لا تتعلق بسطح المكتب من مثل إنترنت الأشياء. ما رأيك أنت؟ شارك بتعليقك.

Fahad الجمعة, 2017/04/07 - 10:47ص

          Ø´Ø±ÙƒØ© ديل باعت أجهزة محمولة بنظام لينكس بأكثر من عشرات الملايين الدولارات        
شركة ديل باعت أجهزة محمولة بنظام لينكس بأكثر من عشرات الملايين الدولارات


في أحد المقابلات المرئية قال  Barton George أحد مهندسي  شركة DELL ، أن  الشركة باعت أجهزة محمولة بقيمة عشرات الملايين دولارات محمل فيها نظام أوبنتو بشكل افتراضي.
ثم استطرد المهندس بالقول أن الاستثمار المبدئي كان فقط ٤٠ ألف دولار وخلال أربع سنوات وصلت المبيعات عشرات الملايين الدولارات.
وعندما سئل لماذا لا تثبتوا ردهات أو أوبن سوز  بشكل افتراضي؟ قال أن  الشركة  لا تريد أن  تشتت جهودها،  وأن  عملهم  في تعريفات الأجهزة سيرسل إلى  المنبع وبالتالي سيصل لتلك التوزيعات في النهاية.
لقد نمت مبيعات أجهزة ديل المخصصة للمطورين من جهاز واحد لتصبح الآن خط إنتاج يحمل الكثير من التنوعات تناسب معظم حاجيات المطورين.
يمكنك الاطلاع على خط إنتاج شركة ديل للمطورين من هنا.

Fahad الخميس, 2017/01/19 - 9:28ص

          Ø¨Ø¹Ø¯ طول انتظار، انطلقت Loki 0.4 من توزيعة elementary        
بعد طول انتظار، انطلقت Loki 0.4 من توزيعة elementary


أعلن فريق  إلمنتري عن إطلاق الإصدارة ٠.٤ من توزيعة لينكس إلمنتري تحت مسمى لوكي ، هذه الإصدارة جاءت بعد قرابة سنة ونصف من إطلاق النسخة ٠.٣ والتي بلغ عدد تنزيلها ما يقارب ١.٢ مليون نسخة. ومنذ الإصدارة السابقة قام الفريق بحل وإغلاق ١٠٠٠ علة وتطوير أكثر من ٢٠ ميزة. تتميز إصدارة لوكي ٠.٤ بتحسين الثبات والأمان والاهتمام الكبير بدعم اللغات الدولية.
أهم مميزات ٠.٤ :
١- إعادة كتابة لوحة تخطيط المفاتيح بحيث تدعم اللغات الدولية بشكل أفضل، وإضافة دعم اليمين إلى اليسار في متصفح الملفات و البريد الالكتروني.
٢- إعادة تصميم مؤشرات النظام بحيث تبدو أكثر اتساقا وحداثة مع باقي النظام وتشمل مؤشر الصوت والشبكة والبلوتوث و الطاقة.


٣- إعادة تصميم مدير الشبكات بالكامل ليكون أكثر سلاسة في التعامل ويعطي معلومات أفضل.
٤- إضافة ميزة التحكم الأبوي للنظام  بحيث يمكن التحكم في الوقت الذي يمكن للأطفال استخدام النظام، كذلك إضافة إمكانية حجب التطبيقات ومواقع الانترنت  غير المرغوبة.


٥- إضافة مركز التطبيقات جديد لتثبيت وإدارة التطبيقات.


للاطلاع على جميع التغييرات من هنا ولتنزيل الإصدارة من هنا.

Fahad الاثنين, 2016/09/19 - 7:41ص

          ÙˆØ£Ø®ÙŠØ±Ø§ إطلاق لينكس منت ١٨ بواجهة كدي        
وأخيرا إطلاق لينكس منت ١٨ بواجهة كدي


بعد تأخر دام شهرين، صدرت لينكس منت ١٨ بواجهة كدي هذه الإصدارة ذات دعم طويل والتى ستظل مدعومة حتى ٢٠٢١م، أهم مميزات هذه الإصدارة أنها جاءت بإصدارة مستقرة من واجهة كدي بلازما ٥.٦ والتي تعتبر الأولى في مسيرة واجهة كدي ٥. 

وهذه الإصدارة جاءت بكل مميزات لينكس منت 18 الأساسية وهي شحن عفريت Thermald لمراقبة حساسات الحرارة  وحماية الجهاز من الاحتراق، و دعم نظام ملفات exFAT بشكل مسبق ، وإرجاع دعم نظام ملفات Btrfs. هذه الإصدارة مبنية على حزم Ubuntu 16.04 بشكل أساسي.
متطلبات النظام: ٢ جيجابايت ذاكرة و ١٠ جيجابايت قرص صلب.
لتنزيل هذه الإصدارة من هنا.

Fahad الجمعة, 2016/09/09 - 11:35م

          ØµØ¯ÙˆØ± لينكس منت ١٨        
صدور لينكس منت ١٨


وأخيرا أطلق مطوروا توزيعة لينكس منت الشهيرة الإصدارة لينكس منت ١٨ ، هذه الإصدارة ذات دعم طويل والتى ستظل مدعومة حتى ٢٠٢١م، أهم ما في هذه الإصدارة هي توحيد التطبيقات بين واجهات منت المعتمدة على مكتبة GTK+ ,وهي واجهة MATE  و Cinnamon.

أطلق على هذه التطبيقات X-Apps وهدفها الرئيسي هو استبدال تطبيقات جنوم التي لا تعمل إلا على منصة جنوم ٣  بتطبيقات تعمل على جميع أسطح مكتب GTK ويستفيد منها الجميع.
أهم مميزات هذه X-Apps :
١- تعتمد على مكتبات حديثة ومتطورة GTK3 و gsettings
2- تستخدم واجهات مستخدم تقليدية ( القوائم و شريط الأدوات ) خلاف تطبيقات جنوم ٣ الجديدة.
٣- تعمل في كل مكان فهي ليست مرتبطة بسطح مكتب معين أو توزيعة معينة.
تضم هذه التطبيقات حتى الآن : Xed محرر نصوص ، و Xviewer  عارض صور ، و Xreader  قارئ مستندات PDF ، و Xplayer  مشغل ملتميديا، Pix  مدير ومنظم صور.
الجدير بالذكر أه هذه التطبيقات لم تطور من الصفر ، بل اعتمدت على تطبيقات جنوم وبنت عليها ، بالإضافة إلى توفر تطبيقات جنوم الأساسية في المستودعات لم يرغب بها.

صور من تطبيقات X-apps

من الإضافات الجديدة في منت ١٨ هي سمة Mint-Y وهي خليفة سمة Mint-X والتي أطلقت عام ٢٠١٠م فبعد ست سنوات وتغير الكثير في عالم الواجهات قرر فريق التطوير أن يطور السمة ويطلق سمة Mint-Y التي بنيت على السمة الشهيرة Arc وأيقونات Moka، هذه السمة تعطيك منظر عصري ونظيف واحترافي على حد قول مطوري لينكس منت.

لمعرفة مميزات سطح مكتب Cinnamon الجديد تابع هذا الفيديو الشارح لمعظم المميزات الجديدة.

لتنزيل لينكس منت ١٨ من هنا.

Fahad الخميس, 2016/06/30 - 11:48م

          Ø¥Ø·Ù„اق Ubuntu 16.04        
إطلاق Ubuntu 16.04

وأخيرا أعلنت شركة كانونيكال عن إطلاق سادس إصدارة طويلة الدعم من نظامها أوبنتو.جاءت أوبنتو 16.04 بالعديد من المميزات الجديدة والتي تركز في أغلبها نحو تقنيات الخوادم و الحوسبة السحابية وإنترنت الأشياء.

فمن أهم مميزات هذه النسخة هي:
- تقديم صيغة جديدة لتوزيع البرمجيات وهي صيغة snap والتي تتميز بأنها آمنة و قوية.
- تقديم تقنية ZFS لأنظمة الملفات وهي تقنية متطورة جدا لإدارة الملفات واسترجاعها يمكنك التعرف على المزيد حولها في هذه المقالة.
- إضافة LXD كمدير خالص للحاويات لنظام OpenStack Mitaka
- دعم أنظمة  IBM Z and و LinuxONE من شركة أي بي أم.

أما من ناحية سطح المكتب فلم تطرأ الكثير من التحديثات الجذرية ولعل أهم المميزات الجديدة:
- استبعاد مركز برمجيات أوبنتو والاستعاضة عنه بمركز برمجيات جنوم.
- إمكانية نقل شريط يونتي إلى الأسفل.
- تحسين دعم الشاشات عالية الوضوح HiDPI.

من ناحية إصدارات البرمجيات فكالعادة تأتي هذه النسخة بآخر التطبيقات المستقرة وأهمها:
- نواة لينكس ٤.٤
- بايثون ٣.٥
- ليبر أوفيس ٥.١
- تطبيقات بيئة جنوم ٣.١٨

مشتقات أوبنتو ١٦.٤

صدرت كذلك مشتقات أوبنتو الرسمية وهي  Ubuntu MATE وKubuntu وXubuntu وLubuntu والفروقات عادة هي في نوعية سطح المكتب المستخدم بدلا عن سطح مكتب يونتي.


المميز في هذه الإصدارة وكعادة الإصدارات طويلة الدعم هو توفير الدعم الرسمي من شركة كانونيكال لمدة خمس سنوات بشكل مجاني من تاريخ صدور التوزيعة. وهذا يجعل هذه الإصدارة هي التي ينصح بها خلال السنتين القادمتين حتى صدور ١٨.٠٤.

تحميل أوبنتو ١٦.٤

تتوفّر أوبنتو على شكل أكثر من إصدار، واحد لسطح المكتب وآخر للخواديم وآخر للحوسبة السحابية، والأخير للمطورين، يمكنك اختيار الإصدار الذي يناسبك والمعمارية التي تناسب جهازك كذلك عبر زيارة الموقع الرسمي.

Fahad السبت, 2016/04/23 - 2:44م

          Ø£ÙˆØ¨ÙˆÙ†ØªÙˆ ستسقط الدعم الرسمي عن fglrx / Catalyst في الإصدار القادم 16.04        
أوبونتو ستسقط الدعم الرسمي عن fglrx / Catalyst في الإصدار القادم 16.04

قرّر مطورو توزيعة أوبونتو الشهيرة إسقاط الدعم الرسمي عن التعريف الاحتكاري (مغلق المصدر) لبطاقات الإظهار VGA من نوع AMD والتي تُعرف باسم fglrx / Catalyst. مستخدمو الإصدار القادم من أوبونتو ذو الرقم 16.04 مدعون لاستخدام التعريف الحرّ (radeon و amdgpu).
وتبعًا لملاحظات الإصدار التجريبي من النسخة القادمة تقول أوبونتو بأن مطورو AMD عملوا بجد على تحسين التعريف مفتوح المصدر، وبأنّه مع إصدار النواة 4.5 سيعطي أفضل تجربة ممكنة لبطاقات الإظهار من هذا النوع. وستتسبب ترقية التوزيعة من إصدار سابق إلى حذف كلًا من fglrx وَ xorg.conf واستبدالها بالتعريف الحرّ المناسب.
بالتأكيد لا يزال بإمكان من يرغب باستعمال التعريف مغلق المصدر الحصول عليه من موقع amd.org ومن ثم تثبيته حسب الخطوات المُعتادة أو الحصول عليه من مستودعات خارجية PPA لكن ذلك لن يكون مدعومًا بشكل رسمي من فريق أوبونتو.
ويُعتبر التعريف الحرّ لبطاقات AMD مناسبًا بشكل جيّد لأعمال سطح المكتب بما في ذلك التصميم وبعض الألعاب البسيطة (2D)، لكن تشغيل التسريع الثلاثي وميزات أخرى يتطلب الحصول على التعريف الاحتكاري.


طريف الجمعة, 2016/03/11 - 11:00ص

           إطلاق أول حاسب لوحي بنظام أوبنتو        
إطلاق أول حاسب لوحي بنظام أوبنتو

كنا قد تحدثنا مسبقا عن حول شائعات عن نية شركة كانونيكال وشركة BQ حاسوب لوحي بنظام أوبنتو لينكس، واليوم يظهر الخبر بشكل رسمي ، حيث أعلنت الشركتان عن إطلاق نسخة من حاسب اللوحي BQ Aquaris M10 - الذي يعمل بنظام أندرويد - بنظام أوبنتو لينكس.
الحاسب اللوحي الجديد يتميز بأن يمكن أن يتحول إلى حاسوب حقيقي حالما تصل به لوحة مفاتيح وفأرة، بحيث يمكن أن تنتقل من طور التصفح والاستهلاك للمحتوى إلى نمط انتاج المحتوى بوجود تطبيقات من مثل فيرفوكس و ليبر أوفيس.
لم يعلن متى سيتوفر الحاسب الجديد للشراء وكذلك لم يعلن عن السعر بعد، ولكن يتوقع أن يتوفر في مارس المقبل، وبسعر يقارب €259 وهو سعر نسخة أندرويد.
مواصفات الجهاز هي : شاشة بقياس 10.1 بوصة بدقة 1200×1920 بكسل  ويعمل بمعالج MediaTek MT8163A بتردد 1.5 غيغاهرتز رباعي النواة بمعمارية 64 بِت مع 2 غيغابايت من الذاكرة العشوائية و 16 غيغابايت من مساحة التخزين الداخلية القابلة للزيادة عبر microSD.
ويحمل الجهاز كاميرا خلفية بدقة 8 ميغابيكسل وأمامية بدقة 5 ميغابيكسل ومُكبري صوت (ستيريو) بتقنية Dolby Atmos

Fahad الجمعة, 2016/02/05 - 5:44م

           كتاب دليل إدارة خواديم أوبنتو        
كتاب دليل إدارة خواديم أوبنتو

انتهى عبداللطيف ايمش من ترجمة ونشر كتاب Ubuntu Server Guide بالتعاون مع أكاديمية حسوب ، وقد نشر على عدة مقالات ومن ثم جمع في كتاب واحد. الكتاب تحت رخصة المشاع الإبداعي المشاركة بالمثل.

عن الكتاب

إن كتاب « Ubuntu Server Guide» هو الدليل الرسمي من شركة .Canonical Ltd ( الشركة التي تقف خلف تطوير أشهر توزيعة لينكس أوبنتو ؛ وهو منشور وفق رخصة المشاع البداعي النسبة -المشاركة بالمثل [by-sa])، ويبلغ زهاء 621 صفحة يشرح مختلف نواحي إدارة برمجيات الخوادم بدءا من التثبيت، مرورا بإدارة الحزم والشبكات والإدارة عن بعد والاستيثاق الشبكي المركزي والحماية ومراقبة الخوادم وخدمات DNS والوب وقواعد البيانات والبريد اللكتروني والمحادثة الفورية، انتهاء بالتعامل مع شبكات ويندوز والنسخ الاحتياطي والأنظمة الوهمية.


الفئة المستهدفة 

يستهدف هذا الكتاب فئة المستخدمين المحترفين الذين ينوون خوض غمار إدارة الانظمة، وممن بدؤوا باستخدام خادم خاص بهم ويريدون إكمال المشوار؛ بالاضافة لمدراء الانظمة المحترفين الذين يريدون دليلا يرجعون إليه عند تثبيت أو ضبط خدمة معينة.

أي أ ن هذا الكتاب يستهدف كل الفئات المهتمة بالخوادم وإدارتها، وحتى لو كانت خوادم صغيرة وهمية مستأجرة (VPN يديرها مالكوها ) …

لتنزيل الكتاب من هنا.

كتب أخرى نشرها وترجمها عبداللطيف:

- كتاب سطر أوامر لينُكس

- كتاب تعلم البرمجة بلغة php


Fahad الخميس, 2016/01/28 - 1:03م

          ÙƒØ§Ù†ÙˆÙ†ÙŠÙƒØ§Ù„ و BQ ستكشفان عن أول أوبنتو تابلت يشغل تطبيقات X11 مباشرة        
كانونيكال و BQ ستكشفان عن أول أوبنتو تابلت يشغل تطبيقات X11 مباشرة

وأخيرا وبعد طول انتظار ، ستعلن شركة كانونيكال صاحبة أشهر توزيعة لينكس أوبنتو عن إطلاق أول أوبنتو تابلت أثناء معرض  MWC (Mobile World Congress)  والذي سيقام في 22 - 25 فبراير.
الجهاز اللوحي الجديد سيعمل على نظام Ubuntu Touch والذي يستخدم الآن في العديد من هواتف أوبنتو ، وسيطلق بالتعاون مع شركة الاتصالات الاسبانية BQ .
الجهاز اللوحي الجديد (إذا صدقت الشائعات) سيأتي بمعالج  MediaTek MTK 8163 Quad-Core ذي 64 بت ، وشاشة 10 بوصات ذات دقة 1080p ، وذاكرة 2 جيجا و بطارية 7,280 mAh
الحاجة المثيرة هي أن كانونيكال تعمل على تشغيل كل تطبيقات لينكس سطح المكتب X11 على الجهاز اللوحي من مثل متصفح فيرفوكس و جمب شاهدوا هذا الفيديو.

Fahad الأربعاء, 2016/01/20 - 12:30م

          Bohemian Rose Vintage        
Whilst I should probably be making a start on my postcolonial literatures essay or attempting to begin the other mounds of coursework I have awaiting my attention, I feel that it would be a much better (or at least funner) use of my time to tell you about my latest delightful little vintage trip...

Thanks to my friend gorgeous Bee, I found out about a fantastic little evening in an Antiques shop near where she lives in Winchmore Hill, by the name of Barker&May, where they were hosting a vintage clothes party. The shop doesn't normally sell clothing at all, so the night was a real one-off, special occasion. Indeed, news of it seemed to have traveled and beckoned to the fashionistas of the quiet London suburb, and the tiny, unassuming shop was packed with vintage lovers who had flocked from their hiding places to excitedly sift through the rails. I could barely get my Mary Jane-clad foot in the door to get a look at the rails of hand picked vintage clothing, accessories and unique, hand-made jewelery, but Bee and I couldn't be deterred from fighting our way through to ogle the vintage goodies. And boy was I glad we did!

The pieces were brought in by vintage collector Leanne Mobbs from Bohemian Rose Vintage and were all hand-picked so there wasn't a lot of rubbish to rifle through before you got to the good stuff. I found myself wanting pretty much everything, which is the way I feel in vintage stores like Rokit, where everything is high quality and hand-chosen. However, unlike Rokit, the Bohemian Rose Vintage clothes came without the high street price tag. I always feel strongly that vintage clothing shouldn't be expensive- it is second hand and a lot of it can be found for under a fiver if you have the patience to hunt through endless charity shops. As much as I love Rokit, it is a brand which is undoubtedly cashing in on the current vintage explosion in the fashion world, and charges £25- £30 for tee shirts which would easily be a couple of quid in a charity shop. However, all of Leanne's items were pretty reasonably priced, with most of the dresses ranging from £15- £20 on average. Barker&May have hosted the evening before and it has been so successful that they are planning to have more in the future (yay!)

With Bee's expert help (that girl should be a stylist!) I got my hands on an adorable pale blue baby doll dress from the sixties for £15, a lovely cream slip dress for £20 and a cute-as-a-button blue jumper for £15. There was loads more I could have bought, but that will have to wait till after my next pay day!

Leanne also has an online store at www.bohemianrosevintage.com so please do check her out!

Here are some piccies of what I bought and all the different ways the three items can be worn!

The cream slipdress is just perfect for a summer day out when teamed with cute vintage accessories and red lipstick for a fifties look.
My dog Benji getting involved in the shoot! <3

Doesn't it look so cute with the jumper? :-)
And here's a more grungy take on the dress:

And here is my lovely lace babydoll dress :-)

I hope you like! xxx
          You Stole My Heart At Seventeen...The Story of a Vintage Love Affair        
Stepping into the treasure trove, you pause for a moment to take it all in. All around you are rails upon rails of odd, unevenly placed garments, shelves and shelves of battered, elegantly pointed shoes and heaps of quilted handbags in all the colours of the rainbow. Immediately you are hit with that musty, faded smell which is simultaneously stale and yet somehow strangely comforting- like the soft, enveloping smell of a beloved Grandapent's home that isn't unpleasant and yet, unmistakeably signifies 'oldness'. You move deeper into the dustiness of the shop, running your hands over the rows of hanging fabric, scanning the room for those glints of sparkle or pops of print, the ones that catch your eye and flirt with it outrageously, twinkling or calling at you to touch them, hold them, try them against your skin in the mirror- just to see. You run your hands over age-yellowed lace with delicately scalloped edges, fondle the fronds of the flowing fabric of a 1950s prom dress, feast your eyes on cute-as-a-button pearl embellishment...Welcome to the world of vintage shopping.

    The first vintage item I ever bought was a little red printed sundress from Peekaboo Vintage at Topshop, when I was seventeen, about to turn eighteen. It was sixty five pounds, and it was from the Topshop in Bromley, when the store had only just moved to its new location, and they had one rail on the top floor of vintage clothes. It was my first encounter with vintage, and I fell in love with the uniqueness of the items right away. I thought that the dress was expensive, and it took a big chunk out of the holiday allowance that my mum had given me for my first holiday away with my boyfriend. But I didn't care. I had to have it, and it was worth every single penny. I still wear it every summer to this day.

At the time, the high-street was overflowing with smock- tops and empire line dresses. I'd searched high and low, but for the life of me, could not find a summer top or dress that didn't make me look like I was pregnant. (For the record, I'm not personally a fan of the empire-line). I was desperate, I mean DESPERATE for a dress that cinched in at the waist. Since the revival of waisted belts in 2005, something which I had never encountered before in my life-time, I had fallen in love with the idea of defining my waist. There was always the option of belting a smock with a waisted belt, but it didn't achieve that cute but sexy 1950's hourglass shape that I was after. When I found the row of Peekaboo Vintage clothes, I felt like I'd stumbled upon a little piece of heaven. Ok, so the clothes were pricey, but they were beautiful. They came in all sorts of wacky colours, cutesy prints and figure- enhancing shapes that I'd never really seen anywhere else on the highstreet. These clothes were funky; they were edgy, and best of all, they were just different.

I will never forget the feeling that I had that day after trying on that dress, of milling around Topshop, picking out colourful neon holiday pieces (I was in love with the nu-rave look, and had just discovered electric blue), with the little red sundress flung over my arm. I felt like I'd discovered a hidden gem; I had finally found a dress that showed off my waist and no one else in the whole wide world had the exact same one. None of my friends owned anything like it, and I knew that it would make me feel like a pin-up amid a sea of identical smock dresses. As I picked out the rest of my holiday wardrobe with the money I had over, I could smell my new pink Johnson's 24 hour moisture hand cream. To this day, when I smell that hand cream, I am seventeen about to turn eighteen again, browsing the rails in Topshop in Bromley, an array of colourful clothes hanging off of each arm, and feeling like the luckiest girl in the world because I am about to be whisked off on my first grown-up holiday with my first proper boyfriend.

Since that day, my love of vintage has just grown and grown. I've learned a lot about it too- what suits me, where to shop, and what kind of price I should be paying (you wouldn't catch me paying 65 quid for a cheaply-made sundress these days!) There is something so satisfying about going into a shop and digging out an undiscovered beauty that nobody else has noticed yet, hiding beneath a pile of musty old scarves in the 'everything for a fiver' bin. I am aware of the argument that these days, whilst vintage dressing was originally  a reaction against mass-produced clothing and mainstream style, it has now become so popular and on-trend that it has started to become mainstream in itself. However, I would argue that, whilst you might get girls walking around in Brick Lane with a similar sense of style- no two outfits are ever the same. I don't care what you say about the way vintage lovers dress- you'll never see someone in an identical dress/coat/skirt/top walking past you in the street, or see someone who has put their outfit together in exactly the same way you have. That's another thing- girls you see in East London who dress in vintage are so much more experimental with their hair and makeup, that everyone has such a totally outlandish and unique look.

What's more- vintage clothing is so varied and spans so many decades, that it allows you to be so much more creative in the way you put it together. You can go for a top-to-toe vintage look which perfectly emulates the style of a specific decade, mix vintage pieces together from different decades to totally put your own spin on the look, or mix vintage with high-street and/or designer pieces.

To be honest though, I think what appeals to me most about vintage is that it proves that clothes aren't just clothes, as so many people think. All of the clothes that you buy have a story behind them, and vintage clothes especially, because not only do they have your story behind them, but they also have someone else's story before you. Everything in my wardrobe has a story. Everything is special. Maybe it's just me with my romantic ways, sentimentalizing the clothes, and maybe it's because I am a writer and a lover of stories...but it's why I just can't bring myself to throw away the stacks of rainbow-hued, high heeled shoes I have mouldering away in a drawer under my bed. They are all hideously outdated now, not to mention battered and worn, and are actually about a fraction of the height of the heels I wear now (no one embraced the birth of the sky-scraper like I did!) But I can never throw them away. To me, they represent my acceptance of being tall and being proud of it for the first time in my life. Each pair has it's own special story.  It's like a little piece of the magic I felt when I wore them is still encased within each pair, like the magic in Dorothy's ruby slippers. They represent a time of happiness, a time of freedom, friendship, sixth form parties, underage drinking at Amadeus nightclub and hair extensions...I have a whole drawer of ruby slippers, and I can't ever throw that away.  

So, now that I've won you over to the joys of vintage, let me take you on a little account of my recent vintage adventures...

I recently payed a little visit to my favourite vintage shop, Rokit, which is pricey for vintage, but has such an amazing collection of pieces that you don't even have to rifle through to find something decent. I like to think of Rokit as vintage shopping made easy. I get generally the same feeling in there that I do in Topshop and Urban Outfitters, that I love EVERYTHING on the rails and want to take it all home...

 Outside the Covent Garden store

    Inside one of the Brick Lane stores
Moi, showing off my bags of purchases outside the Covent Garden Store way back in the lovely summer (God, I'd actually forgotten what sunshine looked like!)

So here's what I bought: an amazingly sweet white/cream summer dress which enables me to work the all-white trend I wrote about in my last post (plus- it was only £16 in the sale!), a cute headscarf and a faded green blouse.

Here I am rocking the scarf and blouse! I wore it to uni today.
I actually wanted to wear this outfit with sheer black tights- maybe patterned- with little beige ankle socks, and with the blouse knotted, but it's WAY too cold for thin leg coverage and midriff-exposure, so I had to settle for the tucked in option and the good old black opaques. Sigh.

After my Rokit rendezvous, I popped into Urban Outfitters and found this AMAAAZING book on how to do vintage hairstyles! I snapped it up immediately.
How amazing is this book?! I actually feel like it was made for me. Watch this space for 40's victory rolls and 50's peekaboo waves!

After that. I set off home back to Orpington and headed straight for one of the charity shops in the Highstreet I'd popped into a few days before after work. I'd seen an adorable little cream lace blouse in there which was only FOUR POUNDS. It was another one of those things that I saw, left, and then couldn't stop thinking about! I wore it to my night out on Friday to an uber-trendy bar in Brick Lane, called 93 Feet East. What do you think?
Blouse: Charity shop in Orpington Highstreet
Skirt: Topshop
Ankle Boots: Miss Selfridge
Belt: Vintage from Rokit
Bag: Charity shop in Orpington Highstreet
Eyelashes: Mac
Fur coat: Vintage from Ebay.

To add to my brilliant day of shopping, I even discovered another gorgeous little vintage-esque blouse in the charity shop which I'd failed to notice before! It was just as cute as some of the blouses I'd seen in Rokit (all £20) but this one was THREE POUNDS! Now is that a bargain or what? Plus, it's for a good cause :-)
Here it is:
I'm still totally obsessed with ice-cream shades in muted tones as a way to ease my wardrobe into Sping, so when I saw this vintage blouse for only a fiver in Beehive today, I snapped it up:
It may not look like much here, but trust me, once I've styled it up, this will look adorable :-)

I hope you enjoyed the story of how my heart was stolen by a vintage dress, and why I've never looked back....

love and kisses,
The Porcelain Princess xoxo
          Breezy Summer Days in White        

When I first saw these stunning pictures of Simone Rocha's SS11 collection on the popular style blog Love Aesthetics, I guess you could say that I had something of a fashion Proustian moment. In case you don't know, (as I didn't until recently when we did this at uni) a Proustian moment or memory is when something you encounter evokes recollections of the past without conscious effort. In other words, involuntary memory. It could be caused by a smell (the most powerful evocation of memory that we have), a taste, or just anything that triggers off a sense of powerful, unexpected memory or recollection. The term was coined by the French author Marcel Proust. It's like when you catch a whiff of perfume or aftershave that your ex used to wear, and suddenly you are overcome with the feelings that you had when you were with that person, and you feel as though you are right back in that time, in that compartmentalized  memory inside your head that you thought you'd closed the chapter on, that you thought was well and truly preserved as merely a memory, that you'd never have to revisit again. It's like you jumped right back into a photograph from the past, and just for that one moment, when you can smell that fragrance, the past is alive again, and you are there, back in that time, feeling that onslaught of forgotten emotions, back in that place you thought you'd put way back on a dusty shelf in your memory, far in the recesses of your mind.

Well, seeing these photos didn't exactly give off the fragrance of youth or the taste of childhood, but they did take me back to a time, in that summer in 2006 that I mentioned in 'Acid Brights and Summer Rain', when I had an all-white outfit that I accessorized with bright, fuchsia pink lips. I think that that summer was so special to me, not just because it was a time of happiness and of hazy, adolescent dreaming, but because it was also around the time that I really started to discover real fashion. Before that, I had always been a tall, skinny, insecure teen who thought that 'fashion' meant piling on as much bronzer as I could, getting out as much flesh as was decently possible, and trying my absolute hardest to look like the 'popular' girls in school. It was when I got to the age of seventeen that I started to question this desperate desire to blend into the crowd and look like everybody else.

I had discovered Sex and the City at the age of sixteen, and had watched, awed, as Carrie pranced the streets in tutus, outrageous hats, look-at-me knee-high socks and sometimes even ball gowns, with a confidence that made it seem like she owned the city. I had discovered Dita Von Teese, and realized that not only did staying out of the sun and remaining pale-skinned prevent you from premature aging and skin cancer, but also that it was beautiful. Watching shows like America's Next Top model and reading fashion magazines had taught me that being tall wasn't something to be ashamed of, and for the first time, I gave in to my love of heels. Before that, I'd only ever worn flat shoes, and would sometimes even stoop so that I was more the same height as my friends. It also taught me that beauty comes in many, many forms. Weather you're black, white, tanned, skinny, curvy, blonde or brunette, you can find your own way to be beautiful. For the first time in my life, I realized that fashion wasn't about making boys like you or fitting in, it was about being yourself, and most of all- having fun.

I reveled in my new discoveries and growing confidence that summer. I tried new things and dared myself to step out of my comfort zone. I stopped being ashamed of what I'd previously seen as 'flaws' and finally learned to embrace my differences. The models on the pages of my copies of Vogue were tall, willowy and ethereal in their beauty- to me, they looked like something right out of a different world.  I wanted their perfect confidence, their grace and their ability to stand out on the page and make the clothes come alive. It was the first time I learned to take risks, and to try and stand out like my beautiful Vogue models. Sometimes I got it horrendously wrong, and people would laugh at me (like the time I cured my hair into ridiculously tight ringlets that bounced with my every step- BIG mistake) but at least I can look back now and say that I wasn't boring.

That summer I remember reading in Vogue or Elle that lipstick was making a comeback. I was so excited by the idea of wearing bold, matte colour on my lips, that was so different from the translucent, shiny lip-gloss I was used to wearing throughout my teens. I remember reading about how you should team your bold, fuchsia lipstick with pale skin, powdered to perfection, and a lick of black mascara for a fresh, minimalist take, and the words to me sounded like poetry. I remember telling my best friend about it in a random, old man pub we'd managed to sneak into one summer night, and how she laughed and told me I was talking too loud because I was drunk, and that everyone was looking at me sitting there raving about pink lipstick.

The Simone Rochas SS11 collection reminded me of the bright pink of that lipstick, and an all- white outfit I'd picked out to perfectly compliment the look. I had teamed together little white shorts from Zara, and a long, flowing, white top from Topshop that swung in the summer breeze when I walked.  Seeing the Simone Rochas SS11 collection and the white with neon pink accents makes me recall that summer with a perfect clarity. The heat, the freedom, the excitement, and the feeling of being just seventeen years old like the Dancing Queen, and of having the whole world at my feet.

This summer, I cannot wait to re-rock this look. Here are some more images that are inspiring me right now:
The beautiful Carrie in the first SATC movie

Classic Carrie in a white vintage- looking sundress. I want her sun parasol!

Carrie in the opening scene of SATC 2

I love the way the Simone Rochas collection is made up of simplistic, deconstructed pieces layered under gauzy, billowy fabrics with pops of fluorescent pink accessories in futuristic shapes and plasticky materials (pink plastic box bag, I covet thee.) The collection was inspired by traditional Chinese mourning, when everyone wears white. Simone Rochas described in an interview how "I visited my grandad’s grave in Hong Kong and it was stark white but had highlighted flowers and that’s where I got the colourful accessories from and the pink clothes. It’s tough but with a feeling of romance." (If you want to read more of this interview, go to http://love-aesthetics.blogspot.com)

Although this idea may seem slightly creepy, I actually think that it's kind of beautiful, if you think about mourning as a way of showing love and respect to lost loved ones. I like the idea so much more than wearing black. There's a purity to wearing white and decorating graves in bright, cheerful pink that to me seems to be more of a celebration of the person's life and your love for them than just sadness at their passing. I think the idea behind this collection is really unusual and beautiful- what do you think?

It wasn't just at Simone Rocha that white clothes were seen on the runway. White was also seen at Dolche & Gabbana and Stella McCartney.
  I love the floaty sheer dresses, pretty white cotton bloomer shorts and puff-sleeved blouses as seen at Dolche & Gabbana.
Long fluid silhouettes were seen in white at Stella McCartney.

Since I first read the Simone Rochas post on Love Aesthetics, I've been scouring the internet for pieces I can buy to take on the look. They're just ideas at the moment so I can decide what to buy come summer. Here's what I've found so far...

All the above are from www.topshop.com
white vintage dress from www.rokit.co.uk

Also from www.rokit.co.uk

I love these sunnies, from www.topshop.com

I've not managed to find many bright pink accessories yet, but I'm on the hunt! Come summer, I'll be strolling down memory lane in some of my bright pink lippy, for some more of those breezy summer days in white...

Please comment and let me know what you think :-)
The Porcelain Princess xoxoxo
          Cláudio Amorim        

          Legal highs in camden        

Legal highs in camden

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          Ice Hotel?        
It's amazing how a foot or two of snow (ok seriously it's 5 feet) changes the landscape affording a completely new perspective. The ocean has bits and bergs of ice and is actually slushy by the beach. Crabs and clam shells are encased in ice-flash frozen at sea. Eiders and mergansers compete for space on crazy beautiful aquamarine ice shelves looking for what I'm not sure.

The landscape is beautiful in a completely different way than the warmer months. The contrast serves as a reminder not to take for granted the beauty that we are surrounded by in Pemaquid no matter the time of year.

A reminder too to be grateful for the efforts of environmental stewards such as the Damariscotta River association and the Pemaquid Watershed association. Both organizations that create access to unspoiled coastline, woods and watersheds-free to any and all-offering a bit of respite from crazy daily lives. (Thank you Bill for being a volunteer-especially for shoveling miles of Laverna preserve trail!!!)

Hope everyone is happy and healthy and has the opportunity to get out and enjoy Maine in the winter. See you in the Spring!
          The finest ingredients makes for fine food....        
As you can imagine with summer is in full swing the restaurant at the Bradley Inn is serving lots of food to lots of guests. Deliveries come rolling in, dairy, produce, seafood, duck, ground lamb, liquor and as fast as it arrives it is stowed away neatly in its proper place and then whipped into fantastic creations and gobbled up by happy diners.

Even Keel's peas and tomatoes
Yesterday I was anxiously awaiting the dairy delivery. We were out of heavy cream and crème brulee is nothing if not made with heavy cream, neither is homemade vanilla bean ice cream. The green truck pulled into the drive and in came the cartons, heavy cream, half and half and the glorious butter. I hadn't noticed before, but the butter was from Cabot Creamery in Vermont. It isn't a generic lowest cost butter and while it may not seem like a big deal, it makes all the difference.

Pemaquid Oysters
Beth & Warren's philosophy of the best ingredients and local whenever possible sets a level of quality that resonates through the staff, into the food and onto the plates of our guests. Using local ingredients which change with the season and harvesting means adapting and refining menu items or featuring a special focusing on what's in at the moment. Watching and listening to the discussions of how to use each ingredient to elevate it to its highest potential is an insight into culinary genius.

There is no microwave in the kitchen, there is no Crisco. We go through a case of eggs each week from Bowden farm in Waldoboro Maine and if we've had a run on the crème brulee or ice cream we'll need more. Smokey from Pemaquid Oysters shows up with bags of briny delights.
Sarah of Even Keel Farm comes on Fridays with bags of mixed greens in which she has edible flower petals (we LOVE edible flowers!) fresh basil, carrots, beans - all from her organic farm just a few miles away. And who could not mention the lobsters that come from Pemaquid Lobster Co-op? Nothing wows the tourists at The Contented Sole more than watching Warren or Bytza take the boat across the harbor to buy lobsters bring them back and haul them up the dock. No questioning freshness there!
Pemaquid Lobster Co-op

The best, freshest, local ingredients result in a standard of food integrity that is unmatched. We invite you to experience a delicious meal that will have you closing your eyes in delight with each bite.

          New Packages!!        
We are quite excited to extend some new really neat packages. These are great for families vacationing together, couples, friends vacationing, company outings or team building.  
The first is the Lobster Bake - get out on a lobster boat hauling in traps! If you're not up for the high seas stay at the inn and partake in a Yoga class, a massage, or just relax. Then it's off to harvest oysters. Wait 'til the folks back home here about this! Once back at the inn you can help as much or as little with the lobster bake itself. A good time is guaranteed to be had by all and you'll go home with some stories of real Maine adventure!
The second package is the Maine Wine & Cheese Tour. Visit a local winery where you will be treated to a lovely lunch, then get a backstage peek at making cheese from an artisan. Return to the inn for an exquisite dinner of perfectly paired wine, cheese and local fare. A foodie's dream getaway!
Okay, so based on the number of exclamation points you can see we are really pumped about these packages. Give us a call to reserve yours today!

LobsterLobster Bake!

Available: minimum 6 people, maximum 20
Package price: $795 (double occupancy)
Package includes: Two night’s New Harbor B&B lodging, dinner the first evening in the inn's Pemaquid Point restaurant, full country breakfast each morning. Your first morning waking at the Inn you will have the choice of heading out on a lobster boat to haul traps or enjoying Yoga in the beautiful gardens.
The next stop is to learn about and harvest oysters! You can also choose to enjoy a massage and sauna at the Inn's Rose Hip Spa. A picnic lunch will be waiting for you to enjoy on the grounds or at the beach.
That evening you can be hands-on during the lobster bake. Learn to steam lobsters, shuck oysters and layout a traditional and delicious New England Lobster Bake!

Wine and Cheese at the Bradley Inn    Maine Wine & Cheese Tour

Available: June 30 - Thanksgiving
Package price: $745 (double occupancy)
Package includes:
Two night’s New Harbor B&B lodging, full country breakfast each morning. Upon arrival you will be greeted with a wine and cheese reception in the Chart Room at the Inn. The next day you will be given a detailed tour including a list of scavenger hunt items to pickup at each location and bring home as souvenirs of your trip!
Enjoy lunch at the Cellar Door and tour the winery and vineyard. Then you are off to visit a Maine Cheese Artisan to get a behind the scenes look at the fine art of crafting cheese. Return for a multi-course gourmet dinner in the inn's Pemaquid Point restaurant, with wine pairings carefully selected by our Chef. End your visit the next day with brunch at our sister restaurant, The Contented Sole.


          Hidden Treasure         

I have been working at the Bradley Inn and Restaurant for a month now. I prepare breakfast for the Inn guests and the desserts for the Inn Restaurant and the sister restaurant The Contented Sole. I haven't eaten at the Inn since 2010 but remembered it being a wonderful meal, the best to date we've had since living in Maine. Having seen the kitchen, the locally sourced foods and care that goes into the menu planning along with the talent saying I was excited to have dinner last night would be a terrible understatement.
Making a menu selection for me is a struggle and I usually change my mind three times once the waiter or waitress actually asks for my order. Because I had know the owners would be out of town for the evening and Bitza was Chef I asked his advice on what to order. He suggested that I 'let him surprise me.' Surprise does not describe the meal we experienced for our anniversary. Allow me to walk you through the evening.

The Inn has a dining room, blue patterned carpeting, white tablecloths, formal yet inviting. In a room off the living room is the warmly lit Tavern with a large granite bar, several tables, deep dark wood everywhere, model ships, a ship's wheel and a well-stocked bar. adjacent to the Tavern with two past through is The Chart Room. More warm wood tones, an ebony piano, nautical charts and tables. A few tables in both the Tavern and Chart Room have very masculine camel colored leather wing back chairs fit for a Sea Captain.
We arrived a bit early for dinner and enjoyed a drink at the bar, marveling at the surroundings and the backyard rhododendron  in full bloom. Suzie made our drinks and entertained us with conversation. We made our way to the corner of the Chart Room and selected a table in he corner by the windows. Our waitress Peke, who also works the Front Desk of the Inn during the day, was dressed in white button up shirt, black slacks and a long white wait staff apron. She let us know that Bitza was preparing our meals and recommended the Pinot Noir (my fave!).
The first plate to materialize at our table was an amuse bouche, that is bite sized food meant to amuse the mouth and prepare the palate. A sampling of mortadella, smoked almonds, briny olives, garlic scallions, radishes, Parmesan, crab cakes and house cured duck breast. Bitza was going to pull out all the stops. I will take this opportunity to apologize for any errors in identifying the food, I was having a hard time not passing out from foodgasm delight.

The next items to arrive were Pemaquid Oysters with a prosecco Mignonette, a sauce of shallots, vinegar and pepper and flat bread with mortadella, mozzarella and garlic scallions. The pairing of the mignonette with the oysters transforms what is on it's own a beautiful metallic, plump taste of the sea into something that makes you close your eyes, hum and rock gently back and forth. The flat bread was crisp and airy at the same time with fatty mortadella giving it richness and depth of flavor.
At this point we were in awe at the level of detail and execution and could not wait for our entrees. We didn't realize more courses were coming. Next to arrive were Damariscotta River clams casino, grilled with apple wood smoked bacon, oregano and sweet pequillo peppers. These little gems are smaller but meatier than the oysters and stand up to the pieces of sweet smoky bacon. I became somewhat worried with the amount of food we were having and whether or not I was up for the challenge - I was thankful I chose Lycra spandex for my evening wear. Our silverware was replaced several times during the meal and our crumbs swept away, never a detail missed.

Peke and Mara arrived with two more plates, this time New Harbor lobster fettuccini with house made tender fresh pasta, fire roasted tomatoes and a tarragon cream. This was served in individual tureens, porcelain white bowls on their own lovely stands. The anise flavor of the tarragon in the cream was perfection.

Just when I started considering if I would be stricken with gout on the ride home Bitza arrived in Chef coat with one more plate, our entrée. A locally sourced skirt steak with rosemary crisp fries and a chile glazed duck breast over risotto. The beef was tender and buttery, the duck done perfectly with crispy glistening skin.

Somehow we mustered the courage to order dessert, I had to see how they came out and honestly hadn't tried the lemon pudding myself despite having made it several times. My husband ordered the Espresso Crème Brulee and set about rolling his eyes back into his head. I had the lemon pudding served in a tea cup with Maine blueberries and a sugared pansy. We were treated last with the check and a mignardise or small sweet, two of the caramels dipped in dark chocolate with sea salt that I had made.

The food was incredible, the service - top notch. We talked about how wonderful the restaurant is and how it seems to be a closely guarded secret. I will do my part to get the message out to others. It truly is a treat and while you can sit and have a white tablecloth experience you can also sit in the Tavern and order small plates of any of the above for the pleasure of the food in a more casual 'off with the cloth' atmosphere.

Please go, you won't be disappointed.

          Destination Wedding        
Coastal Maine Weddings at Pemaquid Point Lighthouse        
Wedding Season is approaching and both The Bradley Inn and The Contented Sole have events planned through the Summer and into the Fall, but there are some openings for this year and availability for next year.

The beauty of working with the Inn and The Sole for a wedding is the level of flexibility and attention to details. Let me explain. This week we had two couples come in to go over some details about their wedding food and drink desires. One couple wishes to have traditional Peruvian food and a Peruvian signature drink. The other couple is having a six course French meal with breaks in between each course for guests to play party games. How fun! Being able to sit with Beth and Warren and discuss dishes and customize the food for the couple is a rare find these days.

One bride-to-be explained that her fairytale wish for her wedding, ever since she was a little girl, was a lighthouse and her father walking her down the aisle. The bride will be walked down the grassy aisle by her father and wed at the historic Pemaquid Lighthouse overlooking the awe inspiring rocky coast of Maine. The newlyweds and their guests will enjoy a lively reception at The Contented Sole and then Sunday Brunch the next morning at The Bradley Inn.

Every event detail is carefully discussed with Beth and Ashlee from decor to flowers to timing. Tammy stays with the bride all day to make certain her day is perfection. It is a fairytale setting ideal for starting married life together.

Many weddings held at the Inn and The Sole have been second weddings for some couples who want an intimate gathering with more emphasis on spending time with guests enjoying exquisite food and scenery in a less traditional wedding reception style. These are some of the loveliest gatherings.

If you would like to know more about having your wedding at the Inn or The Sole, please contact info@bradleyinn.com or call (207)-677-2105 and ask for Beth.

Next time we'll discuss Corporate Events and Winter possibilities!

          Sunday on the Dock Farmers' Market!        
Sundays on the Dock Farmers' Market - New Harbor, ME                          

The Contented Sole has such an amazing location. Perched in the heart of Pemaquid Harbor on the Fort William Henry State Park, you'd be hard pressed to find a more fitting setting for a festival than this.

Owners Beth and Warren have been 'buying local' for both The Contented Sole and The Bradley Inn and Restaurant for over 15 years. To show their appreciation and support they have decided to host Sunday on the Dock Farmers' Market. Maine farmers and growers are invited (no charge!) each Sunday, starting on June 30th to sell their produce, seafood, cheeses, meats, coffee, fiber, baked goods, etc. We're all down right giddy at the thought of a great turnout!!


We would love for folks to spend a Sunday morning/afternoon shopping, eating, visiting the Fort and taking in some of the loveliest scenery in Maine.

Here's the schedule for each Sunday June 30th ~ mid September:

10 - 1pm Farmers' Market Open
  • Space is available on the dock or in the front parking lot (let us know if you are coming as a seller either on our Facebook page or email mjdoele@gmail.com)

10:30 - 3pm Brunch at The Contented Sole

  • Marscapone Blueberry Breakfast Pizzas, Basket 'O Soleful Pastries, Bloody Soles (our twist on the Bloody Mary) and Margarita Ice Cream. Regular menu items will be available as always!
Noon - 3:00pm - Live Musical Entertainment!

Get the word out and be sure to stop by!


The 2013 season has begun! Already we've had visitors from New York, Connecticut, and even right down the road in New Harbor. The charm, warmth and attention to detail remain, however we are excited for some new things as well.

Our sister restaurant, The Contented Sole, is also open for the season. Located at the Fort Henry Historical Park in Pemaquid Harbor, the Sole features a casual dockside atmosphere with fresh succulent seafood, woodstone fired pizza and homemade desserts. Live musical entertainment each week provides a wonderful evening out on the water. Try the oysters on the half shell and taste the ocean!

We've jumped into Social Media by launching our Facebook pages along with this blog. 'Like us' using the links below to stay connected with gorgeous pictures, delectable menu specials, live music line-ups and events. We will blog weekly as well to provide in depth stories, interviews with Beth and Warren, the staff, local food sources and of course the latest antics of Pearl and Robusto!

Robusto and Pearl are just as happy about the season. They are especially excited about Pearl Points! Earn Pearl Points at the Inn or The Contented Sole (they have their paws in both places!).Turn those Pearl Points into a Robusto Gift Card redeemable at the Inn or The Sole.
          Elegant Game Store Design Update Uses Lollipop OS to Deliver More Immersive Gaming Experience        
Playphone Game Store’s new design update fully utilizes Android Lollipop’s material design feature to showcase spectacular graphics, more vivid colors, stunning typography and full-screen imagery, providing gamers with a richer, more immersive game discovery experience. Building the UI/UX on top of the fluid and purposeful motions that come with material design elevates the gaming to […]
          Solar irrigation cooperative to solve groundwater crisis        
News this week
A solar water pump (Source: Sehgal Foundation)

India's groundwater crisis: Gujarat's solar irrigation cooperative embarks on a solution

The world's first Solar Pump Irrigators’ Cooperative Enterprise (SPICE) has been formed in Dhundi village in Gujarat's Kheda district. Members of the enterprise have not only made a switch from diesel to solar pumps but are also selling power to the local electricity utility, thereby creating a parallel revenue stream. The project has been initiated and partly funded by IWMI-Tata Water Policy Program. By December 2016, the six members had together earned more than Rs 1,60,000 from the sale of surplus energy to the local power utility.

Storage capacity of Karnataka reservoirs lost to siltation

With the accumulation of silt in Karnataka's 11 major reservoirs, nearly 10 percent of the storage capacity, that can annually cater to at least five cities as large as Bengaluru, is being lost. The loss of storage is primarily in the reservoirs of north Karnataka. The worst affected is the Tungabhadra dam which witnesses nearly 17 days of overflow due to high siltation levels. To tackle the issue, a proposal to construct a dam that will hold 30 tmcft of Tungabhadra water is made. 

Wetland panel formed in Gujarat

The Gujarat government has finally formed a 23-member state wetlands conservation authority under the Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules. Apart from government officials, the committee has representatives of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Bhaskaracharya Institute For Space Applications and Geo-Informatics (BISAG) among others. The aim of the committee is to examine wetlands, review conservation activities and make suggestions to the central government and financial agencies for various conservation projects.

Centre adopts two villages along the Ganga river

The Ministry of Drinking Water And Sanitation, in collaboration with Global Interfaith WASH Alliance (GIWA), has adopted two villages along the bank of Ganga river to make them model Ganga villages. The two villages are Veerpur Khurd in Dehradun and Mala in Pauri Garhwal. With the help of various stakeholders and ministries involved, these two villages will be provided with solid and liquid waste management facilities, drainage systems and groundwater recharge. 

Odisha blames Chhattisgarh for providing wrong information on water

The Odisha government has blamed the neighbouring Chhattisgarh government for giving wrong information on the flow of water to Hirakud reservoir in the downstream of the Mahanadi river. As per the claims, the latter is operating the gates at Kalma barrage in an improper manner to intentionally restrict the water flow to Hirakud. The matter will be taken up with the Central Water Commission to ensure the free flow of water in Mahanadi river through Odisha.  

This is a roundup of important news from May 29 - June 5, 2017. Also read the policy matters this week. 

Don't Show In All Article: 

          5 Stars: they pulled out the stops (by Danielle F.)        

Liquid Courage was a lot of fun to work with. They served as my liquor caterers at a huge corporate event I put on. Liquid Courage took care of all the details - and I do mean all the details - for everything liquor related for my event. Their collective imagination when it came time to put together some specialty signature drinkis for the event pulled out all the stops. I'm still getting texts and emails from guests at the event at how good the drinks and bartending staff was.

          Annual Mormon Book Review        

Carrying on from last year's review of David Robert's Devil's Gate: Brigham Young and the Great Mormon Handcart Tragedy, here is a second review of another Mormon-centered book. Enjoy!

Jared Farmer. On Zion’s Mount: Mormons, Indians, and the American Landscape. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2008. 455 pages. Cloth: Alkaline Paper. $29.95.

From the early days of the inception of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints (LDS), the Mormons were concerned with place-making. Joseph Smith, the religion’s founder, initially identified Jackson County, Missouri as the “center place,” where the Garden of Eden had once stood. However, the devout were soon thrown out of the state by the governor, and moved on to Nauvoo, Illinois. Later, after Smith was assassinated, the new Mormon leader, Brigham Young, turned his gaze farther west and in 1846-1847 led a party of followers to Utah, which he claimed as “Deseret”—their Zion. There, the Saints found their “place apart” from the rest of the world.

Jared Farmer’s 2008 book On Zion’s Mount: Mormons, Indians, and the American Landscape adroitly traces Mormon place-making in Utah. His story is ostensibly about Mount Timpanogos, a landmark known as “Timp” that unites the skyline above Orem and Provo. But the history involves much more than the mountain. It is a microcosm of Angloamerican settlement in the west. Using a singular landmark, Farmer delves into the importance of creating place out of space. He asks why Mount Timpanogos usurped the importance of the historically and agriculturally significant Lake Utah, and how the Mormon settlers manipulated their turbulent history with the Ute Indians in order to make myths and claim places as their own. The book deals with two centuries of history, as well as the interaction between varied cultures and the sometimes contradictory dogma of the LDS Church. Though complex, On Zion’s Mount is a wonderfully executed book—well written, insightful, and an excellent example of how to use local history to illuminate greater historical narratives.

The book is divided into three sections, each focusing on a different step in the climb to the veneration of “Timp.” The first, “Liquid Antecedents,” deals with the early history of the Ute Indians and the Mormons. It also concentrates on how bodies of water were significant to residents and settlers in the Utah Valley. This section is compelling, as Farmer explains just how distinct the freshwater Lake Utah was in the arid Great Basin. The lake was a natural landmark for the Utes, who relied heavily on its plentiful supply of fish. In the mid-1800s, it became a landmark for the Mormons, who arrived predisposed to seek out monuments in their new “holy land.”

Despite the Mormons’ intention to find a locale that was disconnected from the rest of the world, the Utah Valley, where the first waves of Mormons settled, was not a “place apart.” It was populated with Ute Indians, who had lived in the area for centuries. The wellspring for many of these Utes was Utah Lake, a freshwater reservoir southeast of the Great Salt Lake. The Indians there called themselves Timpanogos Nuche—“Rocky River Fish Eaters.” They identified themselves in connection with the body of water. The Mormons entered into an unstable relationship with the Timpanogos; an association characterized by violent fits, uneasy alliances, and contradictory feelings. This fluctuating friendship came with a bond to Utah Lake.

Both the Timpanogos and the Mormons emphasized the importance of place. The Utes classified bands by “geographic food names” like “Lake People” and “Fish-Eaters.” (25) The Saints were concerned with place as it related to Millenialism. While other religions affected by the Second Great Awakening believed in a prediction of when Christ would return, the Mormons were concerned with where. (36) When the Mormons arrived in the Salt Lake Valley, the hot springs, streams, and of course the Great Salt Lake all contributed to the Saints’ belief that they had found their promised land. In the waters they took healing baths, baptized their children, and fished. These same waters had been frequented by the Utes for decades, if not centuries.

From their introduction onward, relations between the Mormons and the Timpanogos were rocky. In 1849, the former noticed that livestock was missing, and rallied a group to ride south and confront Little Chief, a Ute leader who lived on the shores of Utah Lake. The chief turned the Saints towards some “mean Ewtes,” who they subsequently slaughtered for stealing.(62) Three days afterward, a band of Mormon men decided to relocate their families to Utah Lake. The Saints settled in the midst of hostilities between bands of Utes. In order to secure their own safety, the settlers at Utah Lake as well as the LDS leadership engaged in unsteady diplomacy and occasional fights with different Indian contingents.

To complicate the already problematic situation, Mormons arrived in Utah with preconceptions of Native Americans. In fact, Indians were integral to the burgeoning religion’s discourse. According to LDS dogma, Indians were descendants of the “Lamanites,” once followers of Christ who traveled to America before the Babylon captivity. In the New World, the hostile sect broke away from their brothers, the “Nephites.” For this, God cursed the Lamanites with dark skin. The ill-fated group waged war on the Nephites and erased any fragments of Christianity from the land. The last Nephite scribe, Moroni, was the impetus for the Mormon religion. He came to Joseph Smith in a dream and told him where to find the scriptural record of this lost history. With his revelation of the sanctity of the Lamanites, Smith incorporated proselytizing to Indians into the Book of Mormon. The descendants of the Lamanites who converted would be saved during the Second Coming. More importantly, they would assist Christ in destroying the earth as soldiers of the apocalypse. This created a contradictory idea of Native Americans: “They were cursed to be inferior yet promised to be superior. They were destined to save the world, yet they couldn’t save themselves.”(57) Furthermore, dealing with real-life Utes proved harder than the LDS leadership imagined.

The tension in Saints’ beliefs between “Indian-as-brother and Indian-as-other” continued to influence their interactions with natives around Utah Lake.(61) Young was wary of the amicable relations between his followers and the Timpanogos and wished that the two groups not mix. In 1850, following the murder of an Indian man, the Mormons and the Utes engaged in the “Indian War.” Later, LDS leadership chastised natives for engaging in slave trade with a New Mexican. Though in Mormon thought there were some redeemable Indians, by 1860 Young was determined that the Utes ought to be displaced. He wrote to Washington, D.C.: “It is our wish that the Indian title should be extinguished, and the Indians removed from our Territory (Utah) and that for the best of reasons, because they are doing no good here to themselves or any body else.”(82) By the latter half of the 1860s most of the Timpanogos people moved to the Uinta Basin, estranged from the place upon which they based their identity.

Following the removal of the Utes, Utah Lake experienced a surge and then a decline in popularity that mirrored the fate of other regional waterways. In the late 19th century, tourists came to the area to take in the healing waters of the hot springs, the Great Salt Lake, and Utah Lake. Additionally, the latter continued to be a distinguished fishery. However, this fame did not last. In the first half of the 20th century, fires destroyed a number of Salt Lake resorts. Overfishing and the introduction of nonnative species affected Utah Lake. The Great Depression and WWII furthered the destruction of water sport popularity. The federal government opened the Geneva Steel plant on Utah Lake; its smokestacks and pollution diminished the reservoir’s beauty and water quality. Even after the plant closed in 2001, the lake had lost its reputation. Residents considered it dirty, shallow, and full of undesirable fish. Furthermore, during the twentieth century Utahans rethought their sense of identity. Instead of revering the hydrological geography of Utah, its residents had turned their gaze upward to the peaks.

The second section of the book, “Making a Mountain: Alpine Play,” discusses how Utahans built Mount Timpanogos into a landmark. Farmer makes great use of the exclusion of certain places as well as their later inclusion. Using topographical resources from the four western surveys, as well as mormon settler drawings and maps, Farmer shows how Timpanogos went from being an undefined ridge in the Wasatch Range to a distinct massif that overshadowed both the larger Mount Nebo to the south and the historically significant Lake Utah to the west.

As in the first three chapters, Farmer employs LDS beliefs to form the basis of his argument. The Saints’ theological sense of place included an emphasis on mountains. Settlers viewed their new homeland through religion; mountains pervade world religions as the geographical pathway to God. Peaks were of special importance to Mormons, since Joseph Smith purportedly prophesied that they would “become a mighty people in the midst of the Rocky Mountains.”(150) When the Saints arrived in Deseret, they labeled many geographic sites with biblical names, including Mount Nebo, the highest peak in the Wasatch range. However, in the 1880s Mormons began to secularize their environment. This shift was motivated by the United States Congress, which outlawed theocracy and polygamy. During what Mormons call “The Great Accommodation,” the Saints rethought the peaks in a patriotic light.

The King Survey was the first to identify “Tim-pan-o-gos Peak” in 1869.(164) However, no one considered it a defining aspect of the region, and many could not even see it; the massif was just a part of the jagged wall between Provo and American Fork Canyons. It wasn’t until the early decades of the 20th century that residents of Provo “began to visualize a mountain.”(167) The view of Timpanogos from Provo changed as the town relocated to the east of its original home at old Fort Utah. Spurred by the historic importance of mountains to the Mormons as well as the “European vogue of alpine aesthetics,” it was not unnatural for the residents of Provo to revere a nearby peak.(141) By 1910, the town described itself in relation to the mountain.

The King Survey did more than just identify Mount Timpanogos—the survey also pronounced it (erroneously) the highest peak in the Wasatch Range. In reality, that title belongs to Mount Nebo. However, the claim persisted even after the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey corrected the record, and tourists began arriving to climb the “highest mountain in the Wasatch.”(175) With the boosterism of Eugene “Timpanogos” Roberts, Brigham Young University’s athletics director, and the national increase in the popularity of hiking, “Timp” became a recreational landmark. Roberts led yearly hikes to the top of the massif, and along with the claim that they were climbing the highest peak in the Wasatch, boosters “endlessly repeated claims that the Annual Timpanogos Hike ranked as the biggest hike in America, the greatest community hike in the world, and the largest ‘pilgrimage’ to any mountain over 10,000 feet.”(202) The peak, as well as its ascent were powerful symbols of community strength.

Though the hike was discontinued in the 1970s, the peak remained emblematic of Provo. The Forest Service designated Timpanogos as wilderness. They banned the grazing of domestic animals and introduced mountain goats to the area in 1981. Meanwhile, Provo and Orem transformed from farming communities into suburbia and Robert Redford bought and built up Sundance. These changes emphasized the dichotomy between wilderness and urban areas. With the growth in population of the two cities and the ski resort, Timpanogos increased in importance. In 1996 the mountain’s significance was solidified in Mormon minds when the LDS Church built Mount Timpanogos Temple. Farmer ends this section with a rumination on environmentalism. Despite all the reverence for place, Mormons are not conservationists, and do not engage in preservation of their landmark. “Sense,” he concludes, “is not the same as sensibility.”(238)

The final section of the book, “Making a Mountain: Indian Play,” investigates how “Timp” was marked with cultural meaning. Farmer examines the place name as well as the legends that surround it. In the nineteenth century, white Americans like Henry Schoolcraft and Lydia Sigourney advocated the use of Indian place-names, despite the usual miscommunication, misappropriation, or blatant invention of “native” words. The American government continued the trend by accepting Indianist names of states. In Utah, “Timpanogos” was a long-remembered name in the Provo region. The Indians themselves were displaced to the Uinta Band, and though the name had originally designated a river, the waterway had been renamed “Provo River.” For locals, associating the mountain with a Native word “gave the landmark a heightened semblance of antiquity and authenticity.”(281)

Ironically, to further this authenticity, Eugene “Timpanogos” Roberts provided the mountain with a fake Indian legend. “The Story of Utahna and Red Eagle, an Indian Legend of Timpanogos” retold a familiar Angloamerican tale of the Indian Princess—the “dark-skinned Sappho” throwing herself from a precipice in response to a suitor.(287) These stories, all of which have suspect providence, used Native American tragedies to deepen American antiquity.(297) In a land without any ancient city walls or moldering castles, a sense of historic depth was created through legend. Additionally, the legends of leaping maidens alleviated whites’ guilt on displacing the Indians across the continent. The tales emphasized either brutish men that the women could only escape by committing suicide or savage societies that forced women to neglect her chosen lover. Either ended with the implicit message: the race of Indians is uncivilized. More importantly, the destruction of these Native maids was self-imposed. In an age when America was dealing with the morality of Indian Removal, it was more convenient for white storytellers that the natives to make the choice of self-destruction.(314)

The Legend of Timpanogos gained further footing by its performance in Utah. People repeated the story of Utahna and Red Eagle, and the tale influenced an opera, a ballet, and an oratorio. Locals further promoted the fake history by dressing up in war paint and moccasins and climbing the mountain “as Indians.” The mountain was seen as the embodiment of a Native woman; like the “Sleeping Ute” in Colorado, “Timp’s” ridge resembles a slumbering Indian maid. The Mormon use of Indianist music, storytelling, and fashion to create the Legend of Timpanogos was paradoxical in that they paid homage to a romanticized version of the people that they had forced out of the Utah Valley—the Timpanogos’ ancestral home. These cultural performances replaced history with both fiction and selective memory. Modern residents of Utah formed their own heritage; no matter that their memory is based on a fallacy.

But of course it does matter, which is Farmer’s point. Mormons produced a heritage that all but erased the Utes, just as it effaced the importance of Utah Lake. Instead of concentrating on their forebears’ efforts to colonize a “place apart,” which would necessitate emphasis on their interactions with the Indian inhabitants, Saints overwhelming focused their attention on the successive journeys westward. LDS theologians went so far as to modify the meaning of a Lamanite, so that Amerindians lost their scriptural status.(370) When they did incorporate Native Americans into their heritage, they did so with Indianist fictional stories that obscured history with romanticism. In this way, Farmer’s book acts as a historical monument, countering the heritage attached to Mount Timpanogos. Using “Timp” as a framework for his study, Farmer is able to resurrect the forgotten history of the Timpanogos Nuches and Lake Utah.

On Zion’s Mount is an outstanding cultural, local, environmental, and religious history. Farmer engages readers with his lucid prose even as he presents the tangled story of Mormons, Utes, and the western landscape. Such excellent writing is especially important when one is reminded of some of the recently popular books on Mormon history: Jon Krakauer’s Under the Banner of Heaven and David Roberts’ Devil’s Gate: Brigham Young and the Great Mormon Handcart Tragedy.19 Krakauer and Roberts are both professional journalists and authors; their work is aimed at the populace rather than the academy. And yet Farmer rivals these works in its composition and surpasses them in its historic breadth and depth. More importantly for scholars, his argument illuminates the American inclination to transform its landscape and pinpoints those transformations in culture and historic memory. Overall, Timpanogos’ jagged ridge proved an excellent vantage point from which to view Utah’s past.
          Squid Box Gambling Talk        
Some quality gambling advice and ramblings from the legendary squid box. Visit our website to find out more .
          Daring Cooks Challenge June 2013 Meatballs         
This month's challenge was MEATBALLS my favourite recipe of all time I have so so so many great recipes here a couple of personal fav's enjoy the colour and flavours.

This month's hosts were  Shelley and Ruth and here their introduction to the challenge

Hi there! We are Shelley from C Mom Cook and Ruth from The Crafts of Mommyhood. We are twin sisters who share a love of food, but who have very different cooking styles. Ruth keeps a vegetarian home while Shelley is a carnivore through and through.  Despite our differences, we both love all aspects of food – eating it, preparing it, and sharing it with the people we love.

For this month's challenge, we wanted to do something a little bit different.

So many of the challenges this year have helped us learn skills or techniques that are pretty specialized - and that have proven to be very challenging. And while the big challenges absolutely bring big rewards (not to mention yummy results), this month we thought we would go a bit more creative.

There are many foods that appear across a variety of cultures, with only slight differences or variations.  This month we wanted to test out one food across many cultures to see how many variations we can bring to the blogosphere.  So this month we challenge the community to bring us meatballs from around the world.

A meatball, at the most basic level, is some kind of ground meat that has been rolled into a ball and cooked.  But that is where the basics end.  Usually other ingredients are involved – generally breadcrumbs and eggs, to give the ball body and bind it together, and a variety of spices for flavor.  The type or types of meat used, the method of preparing the balls and especially the way the meat is served can vary so greatly that it is sometimes amazing to think that they are all the “same” kind of basic food.

It is these differences that we are looking to celebrate this month – to create more meatball dishes than anyone ever would have thought possible, and to show the world just how versatile the “simple” meatball can be.

Recipe Source:  Basic meatball recipes or based on recipes from cooks.com and Mark Bittman, with additional inspiration recipes provided from various online sources.

Blog-checking lines:  The June Daring Cooks’ challenge sure kept us rolling – meatballs, that is! Shelley from C Mom Cook and Ruth from The Crafts of Mommyhood challenged us to try meatballs from around the world and to create our own meatball meal celebrating a culture or cuisine of our own choice.

Here follows my meatball recipes please enjoy them as much as I and my friends and family did!!!

Kangaroo and beetroot meatballs in red wine sauce

I LOVE meatballs and I KNOW how to make them after doing them many 1000s of times and I never get tired of them. This is one of my personal best meatball recipes made with kangaroo steak minced, the ready-made mince is easily available in major supermarkets in Australia (Coles/Woolworths $8.75/kg). I combine it with the other classic Australian taste that is beetroot. It always surprises foreigners how much beetroot is eaten in Australia, in fact it is a standard addition in hamburgers in most takeaways. So how couldn't I combine kangaroo and beetroot into a humble meatball. I use very strongly flavour rye crisp bread combined with robust sun-dried tomato pesto to favour the meatball mixture this combination seems to produce a mellow flavour simmered meatball. This is always a winner at parties and BBQs especially if I have let the meatballs soak in the red wine sauce overnight. The biggest tips for light, moist and fluffy meatballs - use the best ingredients you can afford, freshly minced meat is best, sauté your aromatics, all ingredients must be cold when mixing, freshly made bread crumbs, a gentle touch, make a test meatball check seasoning and simmer the meatballs.
Kangaroo is a very 'soft' meat; especially lean, tender, and soft-textured well suited for children's palate and also it cooks at a very low temperature and very fast which makes it excellent for simmered meatballs.
My standard roo and beetroot recipe (roo is Australian slang for kangaroo) is below, this makes the lightest most tender meatballs. I like making a batch and letting it cool in the red wine sauce overnight and then reheating until just hot super tasty.
It is a very easy recipe.
Kangaroo and beetroot meatballs simmered in red wine sauce
Makes a lot, 4 dozen meatballs
1 kg kangaroo mince, (best if used cold)
2 large beetroot, finely grated
1 carrot, finely grated
2 onions, finely chopped and pan-fried until caramelised
1/2 cup of cottage cheese (fetta cheese works well, reduce salt if using)
3-4 tablespoons olive oil, extra virgin
3 rye crisp-bread soaked in 3 tablespoons of cream or milk
1/2 cup freshly made bread crumbs from wholemeal pita bread
1 bunch of parsley, finely chopped
2 tablespoons sun-dried tomato pesto (basil pesto is fine also)
1 large egg
2 small hot chillies, finely chopped
2-3 teaspoons salt (if in Australia use vegemite (1/2-1 tablespoon) instead of salt)
3 teaspoons pepper
1 large tin of cherry tomatoes
1 cup of red wine, good quality (or if using for children cranberry jelly or beef stock)
1. In a sauce pan combine the cherry tomatoes (smash them with wooden spoon) and red wine bring to a simmer and let simmer while making the meatballs.
2. In a bowl combine all the other ingredients except meat until well mixed.
3. Place meat in large bowl add the mixture gently combine until almost mixed. Make a very small meatball, add to simmering sauce, cook, taste, adjust seasoning of the meatball mixture. Finish combining the mixture.
3. Using 1-1/2 tablespoons of mixture form meatballs, drop immediately into the simmering red wine sauce. Cook for 10-15 mins.
4. Enjoy!
Kangaroo Mince - easily available in supermarkets in Australia (cheap & super healthy) I usually mince my own meat but the market was out of kangaroo meat so I used pre-packed mince.

Ingredients for meatballs (L to R caramelised onion, carrot, beetroot, parsley, in front cream soaked rye crispbread)
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The mixture that is added to the kangaroo mince (beetroot, carrot, caramelised onion, parsley, cottage cheese, cream soaked crisp bread, bread crumbs, whole egg, sun-dried tomato pesto) which is great on toast by itself.
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The mixture all ready to made into meatballs
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I did a fried test batch just to see how these worked out (not my usual procedure)
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The interior of the fried meatball, nice, soft and fluffy
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My normal simmered meatballs
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The interior of the meatball
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I have to say the fried ones were interesting not has tender as the simmered one but well worth eating. I have road-tested this recipe over many years to get the most tender simmered meatballs (especially made for children and fussy adults) so that is why the fried meatballs were well above average but not as good as the simmered ones.
Lamb, mint and beetroot meatballs
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Isn't the colour gorgeous on these bright pink lamb meatballs. This is one of the reasons I love this recipe and it goes so well with cucumber/mint/yoghurt dip. I like making tiny 2 teaspoon-sized meatballs for the kids just one bite for their tiny mouths. The caramelised beetroot and onion really adds to and intensifies the natural sweetness of lamb. This meatball recipe has been developed by me over a couple of years. As the butcher was explaining to me a long time ago the fat in lamb is "funny" it doesn't take too well being mixed with pork or veal or beef. That is why I like adding gelatine to the lamb mixture which adds a lovely tender moist mouth feel to the cooked meat balls. Also I like how the meatballs when fried have a "black" crust the characteristic brown-black colour of the crust results from the browned beetroot it doesn't taste burnt or bitter. If you bake the meatballs you can control the colour of the balls to suit your visual liking.

A couple of years ago I was researching on the internet about meatball making and discovered a trick professionals use - adding gelatine to the soaking liquid which adds an unctuous mouth feel to the meatball (which is why a lot of meatball recipes add veal which is gelatine-rich). So I tried it in my standard lamb, mint and beetroot meatball recipe. I have to say the gelatine really adds a lot of moistness and a soft tender mouth feel to the interior of the meatballs. I do this gelatine trick to all my recipes now. Several people who had my lamb meatballs before the change commented after I added the gelatine about the tenderness and moistness of them now. (If anything I thought almost too tender and moist the first time I tasted them but that is my opinion.)
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Lamb, mint and beetroot meatballs based on this recipe
500 gm (1 lb) lamb mince, freshly ground, best if used cold
250 gm (1 very large) beetroot, grated and fried until caramelised
2 onions, grated and fried until caramelised (do the onion and beetroot together)
1/2 cup of cottage cheese, drained
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons pepper
1/2 teaspoon of gelatine bloomed in 1/2 cup of warm wine for 5 mins
3 slices of white bread, torn into small pieces, then soaked in the cooled wine/gelatine liquid for 5 mins then squeezed dry and chopped
1 bunch mint, finely chopped
1 large egg if frying the meatballs, 2 large eggs if simmering
(optional toasted sesame seeds for garnishing the cooked meatballs)

1. Combine all the ingredients into a large bowl except for the meat. Mix until well combined.
2. Add meat and gently mix until almost combined. Make a very small test meatball and cook, taste, adjust seasoning then continue combining mixture until just mixed. Make medium meatballs using 1-1/2 tablespoons of mixture or large meatballs using 3-4 tablespoons of mixture. Let rest in fridge for at least one hour and up to one day. Fry or simmer gently. I find it best to fry them first and then simmer (the frying adds a nice crust to the meatballs).
3. Best served with yoghurt/mint/cucumber dip.
4. Garnish with the optional toasted sesame seeds.

The baked meatballs garnished in black and white toasted sesame seeds
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Spicy Tom Yum Asian Meatballs

This is the recipe I have when I'm trying to impress at dinner parties. They are made with beef/veal (and the gelatine trick) and the same ingredients as TOM YUM soup. The colour for them is so golden and when fried the meatballs form a beautiful tasty crust. These are so beautiful piled high on a party platter. I know I know this soup is meant for prawns (shrimp) but it seems to work excellently for these meatballs, maybe the saffron, coconut cream and fried tomato paste does the trick.

Tom Yum Soup Ingredients
4 lime leaves,finely chopped
2 lemongrass stalks, chopped into tiny pieces
4 slices galangal, finely chopped
2 thumbs of ginger, finely chopped
4-8 bird's eyes chillies, finely sliced
1 tbsp palm sugar
Juice of 1-2 limes
2 tbsp fish sauce (a good Thailand brand)
3 large pinches of saffron infused in the lime juice and fish sauce
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 small tomato de-fleshed seeded and chopped finely
20 gm dried mushroom reconstituted in warm coconut cream with 1 tsp of gelatine
1 tbsp of tomato paste fried until brown
1/2 cup reconstituted glass rice noodles (or bread crumbs) soaked in the mushroom/coconut cream/gelatine liquid
1/2 kg of beef/pork belly (freshly ground)
the above ingredients plus 1 large egg combined. Form 1-1/2 tablespoon-sized meatballs then fry gently.
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Lentil and Spinach balls with blueberry sage glaze

This is an intriguing recipe! It tastes so GOOD yet it is the weirdest combination of ingredients but it's always a winner at parties and surprise pot-lucks and it's easy to cook also (only a couple of mins in a mircowave and if you want an optional light browning in a fry pan.) It always STUNS guests when I tell them what these tasty entrées are made of - lentils, spinach, a couple of eggs and some seasoned bread crumbs served with a sticky blueberry sage glaze. This combination is so delicious and so stimulating to the palate, the different tastes oscillate on your tongue which is exactly what you want an entrée to do to stimulate the appetite for what-is-to-come. The lentil and spinach balls are delicious alone but teamed with the sticky blueberry sage glaze they really seem to switch the taste receptors to the "pleasure" setting. A good recipe to have and their freeze well also.
I always get so many different answers when I ask what they tasted like, but universally they do say they liked them.
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The cooked balls (after microwaving for 2 mins in my very old microwave oven)
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Lentil and Spinach balls with blueberry sage glaze
Lentil and Spinach Balls (adapted from this recipe)
2 cups of cooked green lentils (these lentils hold their shape when cooked)
250 gm packet of frozen spinach, thawed, squeezed dry and chopped (you can use watercress or collard greens make sure that the greens are squeezed dry and chopped finely)
2 large eggs
1/2 - 3/4 cup heavily seasoned dry breadcrumbs (Italian-seasoned is fine)
2 teaspoons of freshly cracked pepper
1. If you want a very fine texture and even colour in the interior of your vegetarian balls, you can machine-process the spinach and eggs (not the lentils) together to form a bright green purée. (see here for a picture of a puréed lentil/spinach ball)
2. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl, form 3 tablespoon-sized balls. Refrigerate for at least one hour up to one day.
3. Microwave on high for 2 mins (check at 1 min). Serve with a simple tomato sauce or the blueberry sage glaze.
4. If you want you can lightly fry the microwaved balls to form a crisp thin eggshell crust the balls will brown slightly if fried.
Blueberry sage glaze (based on this recipe)
500 gm frozen blueberries (can use a mixture of red/purple berries) (cranberries or pomegranate molasses work well also but will need more sugar) (you can use 1/2 cup red wine but reduce the blueberries by half)
1 tablespoons white vinegar (to taste)
2 tablespoons sugar (to taste)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon hot chilli powder (optional)
1 thumb of ginger, grated (optional)
1 spring (green) onion, finely chopped (optional)
1-2 garlic clove(s), crushed (optional)
4 sage leaves
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or butter)
1. Combine all the ingredients in a small sauce pan reduce gently, taste and adjust vinegar or sugar until slightly sweet with a light sour after-taste. Use the optional ingredients if you are serving a meat (or strong tasting) main course.
2. Remove sage leaves before serving.
Blue-Veined Watercress Ricotta Balls

Blue-Veined Watercress Ricotta Balls
These ricotta based balls are simple to make and only contain a few ingredients; ricotta & blue-veined cheese, eggs, watercress (or spinach), and seasoned breadcrumbs (or flour). I included some puréed beetroot in the mixture (I had some left over) that is why this batch is pinkish in colour usually they are white. They fry up nicely but I like them simmered in soups and stews. If you use flour in the recipe you get "gnudi" a dumping, these are much lighter.
Blue-Veined Watercress Ricotta Balls1 cup (250 gm) fresh ricotta cheese, broken up into small pieces (I use low fat)
1 large bunch watercress (or spinach), blanched (1 min), squeezed dried & chopped finely
1 bunch mint (or basil if using spinach), finely chopped
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs (or flour if you want gundi), seasoned (may need more)
1/3-1/4 cup blue-veined cheese, finely crumbed (1/2 cup finely grated parmesan if using spinach)
(optional 1/4 cup root veggie purée (beetroot, carrot or pumpkin) best if you are using spinach)

Combine in large bowl all the ingredients mix until almost combined, make small test ball, cook, taste adjust seasoning, finish combining, form small (2 teaspoons), medium (1-1/2 tablespoons) or large (1/4 cup) sized balls, place into simmering soup or stews until cooked (small 3 mins, med 6 mins, large 10 mins)

Hearty Winter Soup with Ricotta balls and Spinach Balls

Ballsy Hearty Winter Soup with Ricotta balls and Spinach Balls
I made up a warm filling pearl barley, red and green lentil, split pea, tomato and beetroot winter soup I served it with my spinach/lentil balls and blue-veined watercress ricotta balls, (each 4 tablespoons-sized). (The spinach and lentil balls recipe has already been posted and the blue-veined water ricotta ball recipe is above). Perfect on a cold winter's day especially with buttered sourdoug rye bread.
Ballsy Hearty Winter Soup
1 onion, chopped, fried
1 carrot, grated, fried
optional 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 piece celery, chopped, fried (fry (3 tablespoons olive oil) celery, carrot & onion (& optional garlic) together until onion goes translucent then add tomato paste)
3 tablespoons tomato paste, fried (until brown), then add
2 cups - 4 cups of good vegetable stock
1-3 teaspoon salt & 2 teaspoon pepper, to taste
1 cup pearl barley, soaked and washed
1/2 cup green lentil, soaked and washed
1/4 cup split pea, soaked and washed
2 tablespoon red lentil, soaked and washed
1 cup of finely chopped (or grated) beetroot
Add in a large saucepan the fried ingredients, stock, barley and legumes. Simmer for 1-1/4 hrs adding extra stock as needed. Add the beetroot simmer of extra 1/2 hr. Add plenty of spinach/lentils balls and blue-veined watercress balls in the last 15 mins. Serve the balls covered in the thickened soup or stew.

Super Duper Surf and Turf Meatballs
These are so so so GOOD I scoffed the entire first whole batch down myself there is something about adding umami (the savoury taste sensation) to food especially to meatballs that really intensifies and accents the taste of all the ingredients. These tasted like something from a super fancy restaurant I even impressed myself, since it was an impromptu recipe just using leftovers and a couple of pantry staples, usually you aren't this lucky with "spur-of-the-moment" recipes. Deeply and profoundly satisfying and so exquisitely tasty. I will be making these again and again.

I opened the fridge and this is what I had leftover from the night before:-
1. a half packet (250 gm or 1/4 lb) of good quality hamburger mince (ground beef),
2. a tin of smoked oysters in oil,
3. a 1/4 packet of powdered mushroom, nori sheets and sesame (the blue plastic packet),
4. vegemite,
5. wasabi powder,
6. some fresh bread crumbs (not shown), and
7. 1 large egg (not shown)
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I noticed immediately that many of the ingredients were rich in umami. After sweet and salty, sour and bitter, there is umami—the fifth taste. Discovered at the beginning of the last century by the Japanese, the word umami translates roughly to mean "deliciousness" or "deliciously savour" — an understatement if ever there was one. Rich, deep and intensely savoury, umami exists in a number of foods and I had a gold mine of them.
So I decided to make a surf and turf meatball (technically an umami-rich wasabi beef meatball stuffed with smoked oysters). The powdered mushrooms, nori, vegemite, smoked oysters and beef are all rich sources of umami (the savoury taste in foods). Also roasting, caramelizing, browning and grilling all boost the umami taste sensation in foods. Which is why this is a FABULOUS little entrée super rich in umami literally drenching in "deliciousness". I would serve with blue-vein cheese (rich in umami) or shaved parmesan cheese (one of the richest sources of umami), black olives (rich in umami) with some fried tomato paste (rich in umami) or fresh ripe tomatoes (rich in umami), tabasco sauce or hot chilli sauce, fish sauce (rich in umami), balsamic vinegar (rich in umami) and freshly minced garlic and a some finely chopped herbs parsley or mint, with a little of the reserved oyster oil. YUM YUM YUM. These tasted so good I'm calling them super duper surf and turf meatballs.
This is the best one so far on my meatball making challenge!. On reflection and making two other batches for my friends who LOVED these, I'm entering these in the college's (that I'm attending) cooking competition next week so tasty and satisfying hummmmmm.
How to make the meatballs
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The finished meatballs waiting to be cooked (all the same size)
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Super Duper Surf and Turf Meatballs
250 gm (1/4 lb) minced beef, best if used cold
100 gm (3-1/2 oz) tin of smoked oysters, drained, reserve oil
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup of fresh breadcrumbs, heavily seasoned
2 teaspoons of vegemite, mixed into the beaten egg (or 1 tablespoon fish sauce)
1 teaspoon pepper
1/4-1/2 teaspoon of wasabi powder, to taste
1/4 cup of dried mushroom, shredded (or 2 tablespoons of mushroom powder)
1 sheet of nori, finely shredded
1/2 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
1. Combine in a large bowl all the ingredients except the oysters until almost combined. Make a very small test ball, cook, taste, adjust seasoning. Place 1 tablespoon of mixture into a semicircular spoon, poke finger into mixture to form a hole stuff with 3 smoked oysters cover the stuffing with the displaced beef mixture to form a complete meatball, repeat until all the mixture and oysters are used up, makes about 16-18 meatballs (See pictures above).
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Chicken balls

I made two sorts of chicken balls; a sun-dried tomato, olive and ricotta chickenball and a sesame seed coated Thai coconut lime chickenball
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Sun-dried tomato, olive and ricotta chicken-ball
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Sesame seed coated Thai coconut lime chickenball
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Sun-dried tomato, black olive and ricotta chicken-ball
300 gm chicken, mince
300 gm ricotta, finely crumbed
1/4 cup sun-dried tomato, finely chopped
28 black olives, stoned, (use 2 black olives per 1-1/2 tablespoon meatball)
1 large egg
2 tablespoons basil, finely chopped
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4-1/2 cup of fresh bread crumbs, heavily seasoned

Sesame seed coated Thai coconut lime chicken ball
500 gm chicken, mince
3 tablespoons coconut cream
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 packet of Hot and Spicy Thai noodle soup (any spicy Asian style is fine)
2 lime leaves, finely shredded
1/4 cup of fresh bread crumbs, heavily seasoned
1/4 cup of peanuts, pieces
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 red chilli, finely chopped
4 tablespoons sesame seeds, for coating

          August 2012 Daring Cooks' Challenge - Polenta        
Blog-checking lines: Rachael of pizzarossa was our August 2012 Daring Cook hostess and she challenged us to broaden our knowledge of cornmeal! Rachael provided us with some amazing recipes and encouraged us to hunt down other cornmeal recipes that we’d never tried before – opening our eyes to literally 100s of cuisines and 1000s of new-to-us recipes!

This month's challenge was to use cornmeal in a new recipe. What a great challenge so many choices I decided on a new cornbread recipe that used some masa flour which really imparted a lovely Tex-Mex flavour to the final bread.

Cornmeal bread
This is a recipe that I haven't tried before it uses yellow cornmeal, yellow lupin flour and blue cornmeal flour with some oat bran for extra flavour. The recipe produces a very light and airy loaf that produces the most beautiful slashes when baked. And the crumb (the bread's interior texture) is amazing crunchy due to the cornmeal and has that slight limy taste of the masa flour which adds a lot of authentic "Mexican" flavour profile to the loaf. Great with chilli or red beans.

Amazing crumb on the sliced bread
Deep clear slashes are a sign of a well proven-dough and that you have the correct ratio of dry to liquid ingredients
Cornmeal bread
1 cup white bread flour
1/4 cup yellow lupin flour
1/4 cup high-gluten flour
1/4 cup oat bran
1/4 cup blue masa flour (blue corn flour)
1 cup of yellow cornmeal
1-1/3 cups warm water
2 tablespoons mild tasting oil (up to 1/2 cup of oil/butter if you wish)
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons dried active yeast
1. Add the yeast in a small bowl with the warm water and oil, rest until foamy about 5 minutes.
2. Combine all the other ingredients in a large bowl.
3. Add the foamy mixture to the dry ingredients mix then knead about 8 minutes until smooth and elastic. Cover bowl to keep in the heat.
5. Prove in a warm place until doubled in size about 1-2 hrs depending on temperature.
6. Knock-down risen dough, shape into a large bun. slash with a sharp knife. Cover and rise in a warm place until just about doubled in size (usually half the time of the initial rise).
7. Bake in a hot oven (220C/425F/gas mark 7) for 50 mins with steam for the first 8 minutes (check at 40 mins) until brown in colour and the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.
          THE DARING COOKS’ JULY, 2012 CHALLENGE: Cooking "En Papillote"        
Blog-checking lines: Our July 2012 Daring Cooks’ host was Sarah from All Our Fingers in the Pie! Sarah challenges us to learn a new cooking technique called “Cooking En Papillote” which is French and translates to “cooking in parchment”.
Recipe Source:
• Becky Luigart-Stayner
• The Envelope Please: Cooking en Papillote by Amanda Hesser, Published May 19, 1999
• Laura Martin, Cooking Light APRIL 2007
• Martha Stewart Living, May 1995
• Jonathan Waxman, Colina
• As found in the New York Times by Melissa Clark, April 21, 2010
• “The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen: Recipes for the Passionate Cook”
• Paula Wolfert
• Gourmet Magazine

What a wonderful challenge I love technique challenge where we learn a new technique and have to apply it, this method of cooking I have not done very often so it's good to experiment for the challenge. After some thought and having a look in my freezer I decided on some seafood .

Peppered chilli clams with sweet garlic greens en papillote

I really haven't done this type of cooking before, so I was excited to experiment with some ideas I had while I was reading the challenge write-up. For my first effort I remember a long while ago I had a marvellous dish at a dinner party so I tried to replicate it for this posting.

The basic dish is sweet clams with spicy peppery greens, chilli, red onions and garlic. It is most important that the vegetables and clams are just cooked that is delicate, soft, tender and aromatic with bright vibrant colours and flavours. And that the flavours are well balanced with a combination of spicy, sour, salty and sweet, the sauce is a mixture of clam juice (released during cooking), extra virgin olive oil, balsamic glaze.

Some ingredients for the dish (shown chopped watercress & spinach, thinly sliced red onions, balsamic glaze, garlic; not-shown clams, olive oil, chilli and whole peppercorns.)  

How to layer the ingredients. Place the greens first then the onions, garlic and chilli and lastly the clams then fold the ingredients over themselves making sure the clams are in the middle of the fold this ensures the seafood is not overcooked

The parchment paper parcel all tied-up with twine this is a photo after the cooking process notice the browned paper and the amount of liquid given off by the clams and vegetables.

The just-opened parcel notice the vibrant colours of the greens and onions

The finished dish

Peppered chilli clams with sweet garlic greens en papillote
Serves four
1/2 kg clams (I used half-thawed frozen clams)
1 bunch spinach, finely chopped, reserve eight large leaves to line the parcels
1 small bunch watercress, finely chopped
2 red hot chillies, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 red onion, finely sliced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic glaze
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon whole red and black peppercorns, cracked
1. Preheat oven to hot 220°C/425°F/gas mark 7.
2. Cut four 8"x8" (20cmx20cm) parchment paper squares.
3. Combine the oil and the vinegar together in a small bowl.
4. Line each parchment square with large spinach leaves leaving a boarder of about 2" (5cm) all around the paper.
5. Add a quarter of the chopped greens, chilli, onions then the clams to each parcel, splash a quarter of the oil/vinegar mixture, lemon juice and the peppercorns onto the filling then fold the ingredients over themselves so the clams are in the centre of the parcel.
6. Tie up the parcel as a purse using twine.
7. Place the parcels into the hot oven for about 15-20 minutes, check at 10 minutes if you are using fresh clams. You should be able to see through the paper to notice the liquid given off.
8. When the parcel feels hot and the paper is browned it should be ready.
9. Carefully open the parcel so the steam escapes away from you and add a quarter of the balsamic glaze.
10. Enjoy!

Verdict - I'm really happy with this recipe I loved how bright and flavoursome the dish was especially the onions, spinach and clams. I think I did a better job on this than the original dish that I remember. Using a lot of watercress really helped emphasize the peppery/chilli flavour profile of the final dish. This method of cooking makes for a very sweet seafood and vegetable dish, the onions, clams and spinach were really sweet and soft.

Thank you so much Sarah for a most intriguing challenge. 
          April 2012 DC challenge -Messieurs-Dames: Boeuf Bourguignon!        
Kangaroo and Rabbit in Red Wine (a la Julia Child) PhotobucketPhotobucket

Recipe Source: Mastering the art of French Cooking – Julia Child

Blog-checking lines: Our May 2012 Daring Cooks’ hostess was Fabi of fabsfood. Fabi challenged us to make Boeuf Bourguignon, a classic French stew originating from the Burgundy region of France.

This month was great to make Julia's Child Boeuf Bourguignon. Which is a classic in itself for many cooks. I really tried to make the recipe as written I had the best intentions when I went to the shops but I couldn't resist the extra good bargains on kangaroo and rabbit the game meat shop was having. I got one whole wild rabbit for $4 and one kilogram of kangaroo fillet for $6. I got purple carrots which seem to be in abundance in the fruit and vegetable shops at the moment (they taste exactly the same as normal carrots but have deeply purple flesh and when you cut then they bleed a deep purple liquid that stains skin I have purple fingers now LOL LOL). I got small beet(root)s to add to the red wine while it was simmering I always find that a couple of beet(root)s makes the sauce a much better colour it gets rid of that "murky dark brown hue" that wine red sauces can have and it deepens the flavour of the meat and red wine reduction. At least I followed the red wine part of the recipe as Julia Child wanted. Kangaroo and rabbit only takes about 1-1/2 to 2 hours of simmering to cook to a melt-into-your-mouth texture. Roo tastes exactly like beef (I cannot tell the difference at all) while rabbit has a mild taste. I really liked the combination of the dark kangaroo meat and the white rabbit meat with the beet(root) and other vegetables. I have to say I was very worried about 3/4 of the way through, I tasted the liquid and it wasn't that nice, but by the end of the simmering time, the sauce was superb and so so tasty. The browned onions where a revelation to me I never realised how tasty they are and their texture has a wonderful tooth feel. I had a few titbits of the vegetables and meats they had picked up the red wine flavour strongly. Overall a good result I thought. I will be serving this tomorrow I think it will be even better tomorrow. Kangaroo, rabbit and bacon
The parsley, beetroot, purple carrots, mushrooms and pearl onions Photobucket
Notice the colour of the purple carrots and the other vegetables Photobucket
The red wine I used($7.77) Photobucket

Searing the kangaroo

 Searing the rabbit
 The pot at the beginning of the simmering Photobucket
The final result I loved the colour of the meat pieces and vegetables in the dish Photobucket
          April 2012 DC challenge - create your own recipe        
What an interesting month this was, our hosts David and Karen from Twenty-Fingered Cooking challenged us to create our own recipe (using one ingredient) from each of the following lists.

List 1: Parsnips, Eggplant (aubergine), Cauliflower
List 2: Balsamic Vinegar, Goat Cheese, Chipotle peppers
List 3: Maple Syrup, Instant Coffee, Bananas

Blog-checking lines: Our April 2012 Daring Cooks hosts were David & Karen from Twenty-Fingered Cooking. They presented us with a very daring and unique challenge of forming our own recipes by using a set list of ingredients!

I really loved this I was almost on the way to the airport when this was posted so I only had a short time to think and do the challenge I came up with the following which was a great meal.

I'm still on holidays so I could only do one versions this month, so the reason for the short posting this month.

Ploughman's Dinner
This is the dinner I had tonight super yum yum!
I had all day to wait for the delayed flight I was going on, I was looking at the ingredient lists and a brilliant idea came to me in a flash which used nearly all the ingredients it is the ploughman's feed bag which is a classic pub meal here in Australia and the UK. It consists of crusty bread with pickled vegetables and cheese, this meal can be very fancy or very basic depending on the quality of ingredients and the cheese used. I made the cheese from goat's milk a very easy and quick process (and a lot cheaper (1/3 the price) than packet goat's cheese) and then I coated it in powdered seaweed (ground nori sheets) to simulate ash since I couldn't find a good recipe for the ash coating. Then I quick-pickled the vegetables (carrots, cauliflower and small banana chillies) again a fast and simple process I already had a couple of onions and little cucumbers already made from a previous Daring Cooks challenge. Then I made the bread (parsnip, walnut and coffee) again quick and simple.

Here are the ingredients used for the ploughman's dinner
List 1: Parsnips, Cauliflower
List 2: Balsamic Vinegar, Goat Cheese
List 3: Maple Syrup, Instant Coffee

I have to say that home made goat's cheese is nothing like the packet stuff at all it is so white!!! (it glows whiteness), soft and mild with a wondrous tang that goes so well with the quick pickled vegetables which where smashing (not too strong a nice mellow flavour) the use of white balsamic vinegar/maple syrup really adds that touch of elegance instead of using harsh white vinegar and white sugar. And the bread was superb I eat one whole loaf myself. This was a real winner and so quick and simple yet so tasty, the contrast of textures and the balance of sweet sour and tangy is spot on. I will be making this again while I'm in Melbourne for my friends there.

Quick-Pickled White Balsamic Vinegar & Maple Syrup Ploughman's Vegetables
Adapted from this recipe
Makes about 2 litres (8 cups)
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
1/2 head of cauliflower
4 small banana chillies
3 carrots sliced in crinkle-cut
4 teaspoons coriander seeds
4 teaspoons fennel seeds
4 teaspoons mustard seeds
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 cup white balsamic vinegar
1 cup water
1/4 to 1 cup maple syrup (check the sweet/sour balance when you have added 1/4 cup of syrup then add some extra until you get a good balance)
2 tablespoons pickling or kosher salt
1. Toast the coriander, fennel and mustard seeds in a dry pan until they smell fragrant. Stir or toss occasionally. As soon as you hear the first seed pop, turn off the heat.
2. Meanwhile, break the vegetables into pieces you’d want to eat as a pickle — neither too big nor too small. Do this by cutting down around the stem, then breaking the clumps or florets into smaller pieces. You may want to trim the stem pieces as you go.
3. Boil the vinegar, syrup, salt and water until everything is totally dissolved.
4. Add the vegetables simmer 10 secs then let the liquid cool until room temperature. Can be used after a couple of hours (the vegetables will be crisp and spicy).
5. You can place the hot pickles and hot liquid into clean glass jars with new lids and store up to one year.

Homemade Goat’s Milk Ricotta Cheese
Recipe from Honest Cooking
Makes two 1/2 cup cheeses

4 cups / 1 litre goat’s milk
1 teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 stainless steel or ceramic pot (non-reactive material, like aluminium)
1 large piece cheesecloth
1 bowl

1. In a large pot, add the goat’s milk and salt. Heat gently on low-medium heat, stirring occasionally to keep the milk from scorching on the bottom.
2. Just before the milk boils (no need for a thermometer, just watch carefully), take it off the heat, add the lemon juice and give it a gentle stir (you should see the milk split almost instantly). Let the pot sit undisturbed for 5 minutes.
3. While you’re waiting for the milk to become cheese, line a bowl with cheesecloth.
4. Pour the milk mixture gently into the bowl. Pick up the sides of the cloth, tie a string around the top and hang, leaving the curds inside the cloth, and letting the whey drip out into the bowl.
5. After 45 minutes to 1 hour, your ricotta should be ready to eat. If you prefer a richer, thicker cheese, let it hang for another hour or so. Remember the longer hanging time, the denser cheese. Store leftovers in a glass container in the fridge.

Roasted Parsnip, Walnut & Coffee Bread
3 cups bread (12%+ protein) flour
1 cup roasted parsnip purée (made from ½ kg/1 lb parsnips)
3 teaspoons instant yeast
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons walnut meal
½ teaspoons instant coffee
1/8 cup hot water (approximately)

1. Add all the ingredients except the water into a large bowl, combine using a kneading motion, add water a tablespoon at a time until the mixture looks like normal unkneaded bread dough.
2. Knead about 10 minutes until it has the feel of a baby's smooth bottom.
3. Place into a covered oiled bowl let it raise until doubled in volume (about an hour).
4. Punch down shape into 2 loaves.
5. Let the loaves rise until almost doubled (about 1/2 hour).
6. Bake in a preheated moderately hot 200C/400F/gas mark 6 oven for about 30 minutes - 40 minutes.
          March 2012 Daring Cooks' - Braving the braise        

This month's Daring Cooks' challenge was to braise we had complete freedom to do any sort of braise we wanted. What a fun challenge and so much freedom and from the superb responses from the other forum members this challenge went down really well, so many braise using all sorts of ingredients such as chicken, duck, pork, beef short ribs, fennel, root vegetables, tofu even moose!

Recipe Source: Michael Ruhlman – Ruhlman’s Twenty

Blog-checking lines: The March, 2012 Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by Carol, a/k/a Poisonive – and she challenged us all to learn the art of Braising! Carol focused on Michael Ruhlman’s technique and shared with us some of his expertise from his book “Ruhlman’s Twenty”.

See the PDF of the challenge recipes with hints and tips here.

Balsamic vinegar and honey beef short ribs
I have been wanting to do a short rib recipe for a little while now so this challenge was perfect. Braising is such a great technique because:-
1. the searing gives you great colour and add lots of flavour to the final dish
2. as the connective tissues break down, they dissolve and form gelatin, which thickens the cooking liquid and gives it body and shine, meanwhile
3. the braising causes the muscle fibers to absorb moisture from the cooking liquid and steam. Which gives you a juicy piece of meat. Braising also melds flavours from the stock, vegetables and any herbs and seasonings.

So it is important to pay attention to searing the meat correctly (including the bones), and the flavouring ingredients in the braising liquid. Take careful note of all the wonderful tips and hints that our lovely hostess Carol has included in the challenge write up they really do work. I like a longer slower braising time at the lowest temperature 140°F/60°C to cook meat safely I think it really adds a lot more flavour into the meat.    

This recipe uses an initial eight hour marinade of fried tomato paste for acidity, onions and garlic which is cleaned off then the ribs are seared, and then they are braised for 14 hours at 140°F/60°C (in a cool oven) in a mixture of ironbark honey and aged balsamic vinegar, a little red wine, smoked paprika, chilli flakes, bay leaf, a mirepoix, lots of pepper and the marinade. I used two bush tomatoes (an Australia native herb that is a strongly flavoured of tomato and eggplant even one is enough to perfume a whole room!) in the braising broth also, I was very lucky and got 3 kgs (6.6 lbs) of short ribs for only $10 (they were on special in the Asian butcher shop usually $15/kg) which consisted of two enormous slabs of meat studded with ribs. After the ribs were cooked and cooled the fat is taken off and the sauce is reduced to a thick shiny sticky consistency it has a super concentrated flavour. I was very impressed with the colour and flavour of the ribs a small amount of sauce goes a long long way in this recipe. Enough for many many meals I got almost 12 cups of braised meat and liquid.  I will make a meal using the ribs in the next of couple of days since I want maximum flavour infused into the meat. Incidentally I got a new camera so that's the reason for all the close-up shots of the ribs I was experimenting it is an Aldi Traveller brand $56 point and shoot.

The butcher told me that oxtail will be on special soon maybe I will try that next, since all braises freeze well.

The two humongous slabs of beef ribs they are about 1.5 kgs (3-1/3 lbs) each!

Seared beef ribs

The braised ribs cooled overnight in the refrigerator

The braised ribs before they were covered in the reduced sauce, even these are delicious

Caramel miso duck nibbles
I just had to do the caramel miso sauce it sounds so tasty, I got some duck pieces from my favourite gourmet butcher, I seared them to crisp up the duck skin and then oven braised them in the caramel miso sauce. Then I rested the braised meat in the fridge overnight then I removed a voluminous amount of duck fat (almost 1-1/2 cups) and strained the braising liquid and reduced it until it was thick and shiny. I used my new chopper to cut the cold braised duck pieces into bite sized nibbles (I find it is much easier to cut cooked poultry when it is cold). I coated the nibbles with the reduced caramel miso sauce and broiled (grilled) them until well coloured. I don't make duck that often since most of my friends dislike it (bad experiences at restaurants, greasy and tasteless) even my friend Cherie liked these nibbles, not greasy at all. The caramel miso sauce is to-die-for and can be used for meat and veggies a great recipe.

Slow braised sweet chilli squid

This is one of my favourite summer seafood dishes it is embarrassingly easy to make and it's a real crowd pleaser. When squid is slow braised it becomes extra soft (melt in your mouth) and sweet and in combination with sweet chilli sauce and a tomato/onion based pasta sauce produces an unctuous amalgam that emphasises the taste of the squid. The squid sauce is sweet and mild and perfect as a sauce for a seafood pasta dish. I seared the squid pieces and braised them for six hours on the lowest simmer.

Slow braised sweet chilli squid
(1-1/4 kg)(2-3/4 lb) 3 large squid (or you can use baby octopus about a dozen or so)
3 cups pasta sauce (the kind that uses mainly tomato and onions, I use a good store bought kind, you can make you own if you wish, the sauce must be thick)
3 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce
optional 2 cloves of garlic crushed
fresh lemon or lime juice, to taste if the sauce becomes too sweet

1. Clean the squid (remove the beak, the central clear cartilage, the fins, ink sack, the innards and scrap off most of the 'coloured' outer skin and scrap the tentacles to make sure that all of the sucker cartilage is removed). Cut the flesh into 2 cm (1 inch) pieces, cut the tentacles into 5 cm (2 inch) lengths. The pieces reduce in size by about 75% when braised so remember to cut the pieces much larger than the final cooked size. You can sear the pieces if you wish this adds a lot more flavour and colour to the pieces but increases the braising time by twice. Place the pieces into a medium stew pot.
2. Add the pasta sauce, the sweet chilli sauce and the optional garlic.
3. Slow braise uncovered in a very slow (90C/195F) oven or on the stove top just below a bare simmer for about 3 hours (check at 1 hour to see how much squid liquid is given off if there is a lot leave the pot uncovered, if the sauce is already thick cover the pot and add some water as needed during the braise) until the squid is soft to the tooth and the sauce has thicken and turned a brownish red colour, I have found you can simmer the sauce all day all that happens is the squid flesh becomes softer and softer and the sauce becomes more and more mellow. Makes 4 cups of squid pasta sauce suitable for about 8 servings.
4. The squid pasta sauce is much better the next day, store in the fridge up to 5 days.
5. Add fresh lime or lemon juice at the end of the cooking process to counter excessive sweetness if desired. Gremolata would be an excellent addition to the pasta dish.
Notes:- try to get small-sized squid or baby octopus since their cooking time is about 2-3 hours, while one large (1-1/3 kg/3 lb) octopus can take 6+ hours!

A couple of questions about the squid from the challenge host
1) You said searing increases the braising time...why? Do you have to the sear? Does the squid turn brown?
2) How do you serve it - pasta, polenta, by itself?
My answers
Thank you so much for the kind kinds. Yes squid/octopus is perfect for long slow braising unlike some other seafood.
Answer 1) There are two ways to cook squid one) fast and furious in a fry pan or a BBQ or two) a long slow bare simmer. So if you sear the squid first basically it is cooked therefore if you braise it after searing you need a lot more time to make the squid tender again. No you do not need to sear I usually just throw in the freshly cleaned and cut squid pieces into the sweet chilli tomato/onion sauce and braised it just like that with no problems. For special occasions I like to sear the squid first since it adds an additional flavour dimension to the final sauce but there is no real need to sear first if you do not want to. The sweet chilli tomato/onion sauce colours the squid flesh a light brown/red hue, if you sear first then the squid gets a very light brown colouring in addition to the brown/red hue that the sauce imparts to it.
Answer 2) I just cook up some dry packet pasta and heat up some of the sauce and just add that to the pasta. I like to use black squid ink pasta to show off the colour of the squid and sauce. I think polenta (or sweet potato gnocchi) would be wonderful with the squid sauce though I never have had it that way. The squid sauce is great on pizza as well especially if you add some extra seafood like oysters or clams etc to the topping.

Double squid pasta with gremolata
Slowed braised sweet chilli squid served on squid ink pasta with gremolata
I had surprise lunch guests over so I thought that I would serve up the braised sweet chilli squid I made a few days ago I love this sauce since it takes no time to made up a restaurant quality dish (in appearance and flavour) literally 5 minutes. The use of squid ink pasta really adds a lovely base seafood flavour to the dish which enhances the braised squid sauce taste while the germolata adds a lovely "fresh" zing to the dish I never used germolata before now it is a must for me. For this recipe I cooked some squid ink pasta (5 mins), made the gremolata (4 mins) while heating the sweet chilli squid (3 mins in the microwave) then finally I added some sliced marinated sweet chillies as a garnish. The final dish looks stunning the contrast of colours and textures makes its very visually appealing. This was a smashing dish I thought there is something about the texture contrast of the squid and the pasta that is delightful. And I have half of the sauce left! I liked this dish so much I'm having it for dinner tonight with some guests. Serve with crunchy bread and a green salad. I think you can see why this is my all-time favourite summer seafood pasta recipe, it's simple fast and always gives a spectacular looking result.

The gremolata recipe
Anchovy dill gremolata
A gremolata is a quickly made condiment used to finish savoury dishes with bright fresh citrus-herb flavours.
2 anchovy fillets, chopped fine
1 lemon peel, zested fine
1 garlic clove, minced fine
1/4 cup Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped fine
1 tablespoon dill fronds, chopped fine
1-1/2 tablespoons extra virgin oil
1 teaspoon anchovy oil
Optional 1 tablespoon shallot, finely chopped

In a mortar and pestle mash and pound all the ingredients until a paste is formed. Dab or sprinkle sparingly over the pasta.

If you like you can make orange fennel gremolata replace the lemon zest with orange zest and replace the dill with fennel fronds. Instead of the shallot use fennel.

Sticky Sweet Braised Tofu Steaks with Asian Germolata
I wanted to braise at least one non-meat ingredient for this challenge I just had to make a braised tofu recipe (I love tofu and am always looking for ways to enjoy it). I have been wanting to make sticky sweet tofu (tau hu kho) for a while now so this was the perfect challenge for this dish. And since I'm in love with germolata at the moment I made an Asian germolata to serve with the braised tofu it consisted of coriander, lime zest, garlic, Thai basil, mint, lemongrass, crispy fried chilli pawn (shrimp), salt and dark roasted sesame seed oil. I seared the sliced bite-sized firm tofu pieces until lightly brown then I braised them in a mixture of kacap manis, honey, rice wine vinegar, ginger powder, onion powder, chilli paste and vegetable stock. During the simmering the braising liquid reduces to a thick shiny sauce which coat the pieces with sticky sweet deliciousness. I really like this cooking method for tofu it adds so much flavour and colour to the bean curb. These taste great at room temperature great for dinner parties. I just love how the bean curd absorbs the braising liquid and the sweet sticky coating is to die for, and I think the Asian germolata is a great addition to the original basic braised tofu.

Sear the tofu pieces until brown

When seared transfer to a shallow saucepan and braise until the pieces expand about 15% (about 30 minutes to an hour), I fried the tofu in two batches you can see the difference before (the light coloured pieces) and after (the dark pieces) braising

The tofu after braising

The tofu topped with Asian germolata

Sticky Sweet Braised Tofu Steaks
makes 12 mini-steaks
500 gm (1 lb) extra firm tofu block
3 tablespoons vegetable stock (or water)
2 tablespoons soy sauce, salt-reduced
3 tablespoons kacap manis
2 tablespoons rice wine vingear
juice from one lemon or two limes (use the zest for the Asian gremolata)
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
2 teaspoons ginger powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon chilli paste
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
dash of salt
2 tablespoons olive oil (for frying)

1. Combine all the braising ingredients in a small bowl mix well check for taste it should be slightly sweet with a salty sour after-taste adjust seasoning as needed, set aside.
2. Drain tofu, slice into 1-1/2 inch (4 cm) square pieces about 1/2 inch (1-1/4 cm) thick, pat dry with paper towels. Squares work best for searing and braising.
3. Add oil to a frying pan heat on medium heat until the oil shimmers.
4. Fry the tofu until browned (about 3-5 minutes each side). Do not overcrowd the frying pan, it is best to fry the tofu in small batches. Remove browned pieces set aside. Clean the fry pan if needed.
5. Add the braising liquid into the frying pan gently heat until barely simmering, add the browned tofu pieces in one layer braise (turning once or twice) until the pieces expand about 15% (about 30 minutes to one hour) and the braising liquid is thick and coats the tofu (add more water as needed). Check for sweetness add lemon juice as needed. Serve warm or at room temperature, braised tofu reheats wonderfully. It tastes even better the next day. Stores for 5 days in the fridge.

Asian Gremolata
Provides a generous topping for 12 sticky sweet tofu steaks
A herb-citrus gremolata made with traditional Asian ingredients

2 tablespoon crispy fried pawn (shrimp) flakes or crispy fried shallots, chopped fine
2 lime peels (or 1 lemon peel), zested fine
2 garlic cloves, minced fine
1/4 cup coriander (cilantro), chopped fine
1 tablespoon lemon grass, chopped fine
1 tablespoon Thai basil, chopped fine
1 tablespoon mint, chopped fine
2 to 3 teaspoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon shallot, finely chopped
1 teaspoon chilli paste (mild or hot as to taste)
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a mortar and pestle mash and pound all the ingredients while adding teaspoons of sesame oil until a paste is formed. Dab or sprinkle generously over the braised tofu pieces.
          February 2012 Daring Bakers’ Challenge - Quick Breads        

Blog-checking lines: The Daring Bakers’ February 2012 host was – Lis! Lis stepped in last minute and challenged us to create a quick bread we could call our own. She supplied us with a base recipe and shared some recipes she loves from various websites and encouraged us to build upon them and create new flavor profiles.

Posting Date: February 27, 2012

Recipe Source: The basic quick bread recipe is from Sara Schewe. The prune bread recipe was my Aunty Ann’s recipe. The Meyer Lemon Loaf and Green Onion, Cheddar & Asiago Beer Batter Bread were adapted from Recipe Girl (http://www.recipegirl.com/2008/08/13/meyer-lemon-loaf/ & http://www.recipegirl.com/2007/05/30/cheddar-chive-beer-bread/ ). The Pumpkin Bread with Maple Cream Cheese Filling was adapted from Dana Ramsey’s recipe located on Just a Pinch Recipe Club.

Basic Quick Bread
Makes one 9” x 5” (23×13 cm) loaf
Recipe from Sara Schewe
2 cups (480 ml) (250 gm/9 oz) all-purpose (plain) flour
1 cup (240 ml) (225 gm/8 oz) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (5 gm) baking soda
1/2 teaspoon (2½ ml) (3 gm) fine sea salt or table salt
1 cup (240 ml) buttermilk or soured milk*
1 large egg
1/4 cup (60 ml) mild- or non-flavored oil, like canola
1 teaspoon (5 ml) flavored extract, such as vanilla or almond

for the glaze
1/3 cup (80 ml) (35 gm/1-1/3 oz) confectioners’ (icing) sugar
1-2 teaspoons (5-10 ml) milk


  1. Preheat oven to moderate 350ºF/180ºC/gas mark 4. Grease a 9×5 inch (23×13 centimeter) loaf pan with butter and line with parchment paper cut to fit the length and width of the pan, with enough overhang to allow easy removal after baking. Grease the top sheet of parchment.
  2. In large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking soda and salt to combine. Make a well in the center and set aside.
  3. Lightly whisk (butter)milk, egg, oil, and extract to combine. Pour into well and stir until just mixed into a batter. The batter will be lumpy and may still show a few streaks of flour.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely before slicing. Drizzle with glaze, if desired.
  5. For the glaze: Slowly whisk confectioners’ (icing) sugar and half of the milk, adding more milk as needed to thin the glaze to the desired consistency.
Note: To make soured milk, combine 1 cup milk (240 ml) with 1 tablespoon (15 ml) vinegar or lemon juice and let sit for 10 minutes.

I really liked this challenge so many possibilities for the flavourings I made seven versions.

Roasted banana and coconut cream bread
I make banana bread at least once a week (an oversupply of bananas and it's super easy and quick to make and most of my friends and family love it) so I have developed a good feel for making it any way I want, below are some general guidelines on how to manipulate the ingredients and what techniques to use to obtain the banana loaf you want.

For this challenge I made a brunt butter, brown sugar, coconut cream, roasted banana loaf. I roasted 4 bananas until they were like syrup I combined this with brunt (actually well browned) butter, brown sugar I used coconut cream for the liquid soured with some lime juice. I wanted a dense moist bread-like loaf, so I used the two bowl method to make the quick bread.

This is the set of general guidelines to get the texture, mouth feel and moisture levels I want for the final loaf

Firstly about the texture of the interior (or crumb)
1. the creaming method (i.e. use an electric mixer to beat the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy about 5 minutes then beat in the eggs and then fold in the dry ingredients) produces a light well-aerated loaf with a cake-like crumb
2. the two bowl method (sift the dry ingredients in one bowl and combine the wet ingredients in another bowl then mix (usually) the dry into the wet) produces a “heavier and denser” loaf with a bread-like crumb

Secondly about the mouth feel, for most quick mix recipes as a general rule – less butter and sugar in a recipe makes it more bread-like, while more butter and sugar produces something closer to cake. So it is best to use the two bowl method when doing low-fat versions and the creaming method for high fat versions
1. Low fat version use the lowest amounts of sugar, butter (you can use apple sauce instead) and lite sour cream (no eggs), stir the sugar and butter together until well mixed but still grainy add the other wet ingredients, sift the dry ingredients in another bowl, combine gently.
2. Medium fat version use the middle amount of sugar, butter, sour cream and one egg
3. Extreme fat version use the highest amount of sugar, butter and use 2 eggs (no sour cream), cream the sugar and butter until pale and fluffy, add eggs one at time beating well until incorporated add all the other wet ingredients mix well, add the sifted dry ingredients, combine gently.

Thirdly the ratio of dry to wet gives different levels of moistness versus denseness
1. Equal ratio batter: This batter has a dry:liquid ratio of 1:1. Which gives a very moist and dense loaf.
2. Bread ratio batter: This batter has a dry:liquid ratio of 3:1. Which gives a moist but fluffy loaf. (This is the same ratio of flour:water as in normal bread)
3. Stiff ratio batter: This “batter” has a dry:liquid ratio of 7:1 This batter will result in a very light and fluffy baked good.

Here a great link to a video of a chef making banana bread well worth watching http://foodwishes.blogspot.com/2012/01/banana-bread-thats-okay-to-make-early.html

Ratios for banana bread (based on one cup of flour)
1 cup flour (any sort or combination of flours is fine) (½ cake flour & ½ whole wheat is great)
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
2 large bananas
optional 1 tablespoon kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soya sauce) this really adds a wonderful depth of flavour & colour to the banana mash (if using do not add extra salt to the recipe)
¼ teaspoon of salt
1/4 – 1/2 cup of sugar (for extreme flavour can use 1 cup sugar per cup of flour)
2 – 4 tablespoons butter (or oil) (for extreme flavour can use ½ cup butter per cup of flour)
1/4 – 1/2 cup sour cream (any sort full-fat or lite is fine) (for extreme moisture use 1 cup sour cream per cup of flour) (you can use buttermilk, coconut cream, almond milk, yoghurt etc if you want)
1 large egg, lightly beaten (or use 2 eggs and don't use any sour cream) (you can use another 4 tablespoons of sour cream if you do not want to use eggs in the recipe)
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
optional ½ teaspoon instant coffee
optional ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (really adds a lovely intensity to the banana and kecap manis mash)
optional 1/8 teaspoon cloves, ground
optional 10-12 banana sweets (lollies) for decoration

Additions (add an extra ½ teaspoon of baking powder per addition to the recipe above if using)
½ cup chopped nuts (or chopped soaked dried fruit)
½ cup chopped chocolate chips
¼ cup cocoa powder, (not Dutch-processed) sifted
¼ cup bran (or crushed bran cereal or wheat germ flakes)
¼ cup coconut, desiccated or flakes (not sweetened)
¼ cup maraschino cherries, chopped

1. Roast the bananas in their skins in a preheated moderate 350°F/180°C/gas mark 4 oven for 15-20 minutes until black. Carefully remove banana flesh from the skins then mash well with any liquid released from the banana. Add the kecap manis and/or cayenne pepper if using mix until well combined. Cool and reserve.
2. If you are using browned butter gently heat the butter in a saucepan until it browns to desired colour. The darker the colour the deeper the flavour. Set aside until firm.
3. In one bowl sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon (and if using the salt, cocoa powder, ground cloves or instant coffee).
4. In another bowl using a wooden spoon or a plastic spatula lightly cream the sugar and butter together (about 1 minute) this will produce a bread-like loaf (if you use a mixer to cream [about 5 minutes] the sugar and butter until pale and fluffy the final loaf will be light textured and the crumb very cake-like), add the egg(s) one at time beating each time until well incorporated add the roasted banana mash, sour cream, vanilla extract and any additions. Mix until well combined.
5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients mix until just combined there should be lumps and a few wisps of flour in the batter. (If you have used the creaming method then fold in the dry ingredients until just combined.)
6. Spoon the batter into a greased large loaf [23cmx13cmx7cm (2litre)/9”x5”x3”(4.5 pints)] pan, carefully level the top. (The loaf pan should be a little under 3/4 full, it will rise to the top of the pan when baked). Decorate with banana sweets if desired.
7. Bake in a preheated moderate oven 325°F/160°C/gas mark 3 for 60-70 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. (Check at 50 minutes). Muffins take about 20-30 minutes (check at 15 minutes).
8. Leave in pan until warm (about 15 minutes) remove to wire rack cool to room temperature, cover in foil then plastic, refrigerate overnight.
9. This banana bread improves with age. The bread will store on the counter for three days if well covered and about ten days in the fridge.

The roasted banana (the skin goes black when baked)

The mixed wet ingredients and the sifted dry ingredients

The mixed batter notice the lumps and the wisps of flour in it, the flour will be fully incorporated when the batter is spooned into the baking pan

Unbaked loaf decorated with banana sweets (lollies)

The finished loaf after one hour of baking

If you are a follower of the “ratio” cookbook the ratio by weight for baking quick bread is 2 parts flour: 2 parts liquid: 1 part egg: 1 part fat. To fill a 9” x 5” (23cm x 13cm) loaf pan, you will need 240 grams of flour, 240 grams of liquid of any kind, 120 grams egg (2 of them) or egg substitute & 120 grams of fats. This ratio also works for making muffins. By volume you will need 1¾ cup flour, 1 cup liquid, 2 eggs, ½ cup fat (plus 2 teaspoons baking powder and about 1/2 cup of sugar plus additions).

Quick Italian pizza loaf
Italian herb, sun-dried tomato, spicy sausage and blue cheese quick bread
I needed a really strongly flavoured quick bread, I followed the basic savoury recipe, 2 cups soft self-raising "OO" flour and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda with these additions 1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes (with 2 tablespoons of the oil in the jar), 2 tablespoons dried Italian herbs, 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese, 3/4 cup sour cream, 1 egg, one small chopped onion fried with one chopped spicy sausage and 1/4 cup high quality olive oil, I used 3 tablespoons of the fried onion and spicy sausage as a topping. When I was mixing the batter I could see the dough expanding, I spooned it into the loaf pan and baked it at moderate 325F/165C/gas mark 3 for 40 minutes. The aroma from the loaf was so good it smelt like a pizza baking. I was really pleased with the look of the loaf. The cut loaf was so yummy it had a thin crisp crust with a soft tender crumb choke full of flavour!


Cherry Almond Semolina Syrup Cake

My favourite flavour profile for quick bread is cherry and almond, I used 1 cup almond meal, 1 cup of very fine semolina (soaked in some almond milk), 4 tablespoons gluten flour, 1 cup chopped cherries, 2 eggs, 1/4 cup vanilla sugar, 4 tablespoons rice bran oil, 1 cup sour cream, 2 teaspoons of natural almond extract, 1 teaspoon of cherry extract. I used 1 cup of sugar syrup to soak the cake after it was baked. This cake took almost two hours to bake at the recommend temperature! It is best to refrigerate the bread for a day before serving. The crust was thin, crisp and sweet while the crumb was soft tender and very tasty one of my better examples of my favourite cake. It is such a pretty cake and the tasty is luscious.

I made this loaf a couple of days ago, I wanted to share how the crumb improves with some aging. After storing in the fridge cover in foil and plastic the loaf cuts cleanly and the density of the crumb is firm, so much better after a rest.

Freshly sliced

Two days later rested in the fridge

Black cardamom bread

I thought that I would make a flavour profile that was based on spices, I dug around my spice box and came up with this spice mix

1 tablespoon black cardamom
1/2 star anise
2 cloves
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon ginger

I used 1 cup of roasted parsnips and 1/2 cup of pureed prunes as the moisture content of the loaf. A really tasty and unusual flavour combination.


Upside down blood plum loaf
The local gourmet fruit and veggie shop had cute little blood plums on special ($2/kg about $1/lb) so I thought I would make an upside down loaf with them. I sliced up four plums and laid them out decoratively on the base of a parchment paper lined loaf tin, then I made some boozy plum sugar syrup (¼ cup white sugar, 2 tablespoons plum brandy and 2 tablespoons blood plum juice simmered until thick and glossy) and poured that over the sliced plums then I made up the quick bread batter; the dry ingredients were 2 cups of soft “OO” flour sifted with 2 teaspoons of baking powder, ½ teaspoon baking soda and ½ teaspoon salt, the wet ingredients were ¾ cup lite sour cream, 2 eggs, 2 tablespoons non-flavoured oil. ½ cup vanilla sugar and 2 tablespoons of plum brandy. I used the two bowl method to combine the wet into the dry. I baked the loaf for 60 minutes at moderate 325ºF/165°C/gas mark 3. Then I cooled the loaf in the pan then I un-moulded the loaf. I was very very happy with the look of the topping it was so neon bright with a lovely red transparency. The loaf was superbly flavoursome the brandy taste was mellow and combined well with the blood plum flavour overall a nice looking treat for the afternoon and not much harder than the normal quick bread recipe (i.e. without the fruit topping).

A picture of blood plums (photo from the internet I forgot to take one)

Maximum Intensity Chocolate Quick Bread
You can intensify the flavour of chocolate in a recipe by using a combination of techniques. The easiest is to use a combination of melted unsweetened (not dark) chocolate and cocoa powder which has a much stronger chocolate flavour than each individual ingredient tasted separately. Using espresso coffee or vanilla or chilli or kecap manis (used separately or in combination) greatly enhances the taste of the flavour compounds found in chocolate. Also steeping the cocoa powder in boiling water intensifies the taste of chocolate.

To obtain the intense chocolate flavour of this quick bread I combined
1. melted semi-dark chocolate mixed with vanilla sugar, 2 tablespoons of kecap manis (sweet Indonesian soy sauce) and 1/4 teaspoon of chilli powder and
2. cocoa powder which was steeped in 1/4 cup boiling hot espresso coffee and I used
3. chocolate wafers to form an "upside down layer" (so when the bread is turned out the wafer layer becomes the base).

I used the creaming method to make the bread.

You can tell you have a strong chocolate taste when there is a "reddish" hue to the chocolate colour in the cake which shows that the flavour compounds have been fully extracted from the cocoa.

I really like the simple elegant look of this treat.


Cherry coconut cream popovers
I thought I would do flavoured popovers as an experiment, I used the recipe that Renata linked to and substituted the cow's milk with coconut cream and used some home-made sour cherry extract also I accidentally used my 5% cake flour which I don't think was the correct choice for this recipe. They smelt wonderful while baking. I think I will have to do them again since the coconut cream made the batter too heavy for the popovers to rise correctly. Even if they sunk once out of the oven they tasted delicious. I think I will use coconut milk for my next batch and see if that will correct the heaviness of the batter.

Cherry coconut milk popovers
I made another batch of popovers using coconut milk and less cherry extract they worked out beautifully they rose about three times in height and had one large central hole in the popover perfect for filling with some lovely flavoursome morsel. See this recipe but replace the milk with coconut milk and 1 tablespoon of cherry extract. Also I baked them in a preheated very hot oven 450F for 15 mins and then 400F for 20 mins. I used 1/2 cup aluminium baking pans filled about 3/4 with the rested (30 mins) batter.

1 cup plain (AP)flour (bread flour is best, I used AP flour for the recipe)
1 cup milk or coconut milk, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon non-flavoured oil
extra oil, for the popover baking pans
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon sugar
Optional 1 tablespoon extract; vanilla, cherry etc

1. Place a small amount of oil in each popover baking pan. Place pans onto a baking sheet.
2. Preheat oven with the baking pans on a baking sheet to very hot 450F/230C.
3. Mix the flour, salt and sugar together in a large bowl.
4. Form a well in the flour pour in the milk and the eggs whisk together until just combined with no lumps. I usually transfer the mixed batter to a jug with a long narrow spout which makes pouring out the batter much easier
5. Rest the batter on counter for at least 15 mins (an hour is best). Do not stir again. DO NOT refrigerate the batter.
6. Quickly remove the baking sheet and pour the batter into each pan about 3/4 full. The batter should sputter in the oil. Return to oven.
7. Bake in the preheated very hot 450F/230C oven for 15 min then lower the heat to hot 400F/200C and bake for a further 20-25 mins until risen and well coloured. DO NOT OPEN the oven during this time.
8. Remove from the oven and pierce a small hole into the side of the popover this allows steam to escape return the popover to the cooling oven to dry out completely which stops the popover from collapsing.


          February 2012 Daring Cooks' Challenge: Flipping Fried Patties!!!        
Hi it is Lisa and Audax and we are hosting this month's Daring Cooks' challenge we have chosen a basic kitchen recipe and a basic cooking technique which can be adapted to suit any ingredient that you have to hand and are beloved by children and adults alike … of course we are talking about patties.
Technically patties are flatten discs of ingredients held together by (added) binders (usually eggs, flour or breadcrumbs) usually coated in breadcrumbs (or  flour) then fried (and sometime baked). Burgers, rissoles, croquettes, fritters, and rösti are types of patties as well.

Irish chef Patrick "Patty" Seedhouse is said to have come up with the original concept and term as we know it today with his first production of burgers utilizing steamed meat pattys - the pattys were "packed and patted down" (and called pattys for short) in order to shape a flattened disc that would enflame with juices once steamed.

The binding of the ingredients in patties follows a couple of simple recipes (there is some overlap in the categories below)
Patties – patties are ingredients bound together and shaped as a disc.
Rissoles and croquettes – use egg with breadcrumbs as the binder, typical usage for 500 grams (1 lb) of filling ingredients is 1 egg with ½ cup of breadcrumbs (sometimes flour, cooked grains, nuts and bran can be used instead of the breadcrumbs). Some meat patties use no added binders in them they rely on the protein strands within the meat to bind the patty together.  Vegetarian and vegan patties may use mashed vegetables, mashed beans, grains, nuts and seeds to bind the patty. Generally croquettes are crumbed (breaded) patties which are  shallow- or deep-fried. Rissoles are not usually crumbed (but can be) and are pan- or shallow-fried. Most rissoles and croquettes can be baked.  (Examples are all-meat patties, hamburgers, meat rissoles, meatloaves, meatballs, tuna fish and rice patties, salmon and potato rissoles, most vegetable patties.)
Wet Fritters – use flour, eggs and milk as the binder, typical usage for 500 grams (1 lb) of filling ingredients is 2 cups flour, 1 egg with 1 cup of milk and are usually deep-fried and sometimes pan-fried  (examples deep fried apple fritters, potato fritters, some vegetable fritters, hushpuppies)
Dry Fritters – use eggs and (some) flour as the binder, typical usage for 500 grams  (1 lb) of filling ingredients is 1 to 2 eggs and (usually) some 2 to 8 tablespoons of flour (but sometimes no flour) and are pan- or shallow- fried. (examples most vegetable patties like zucchini fritters, Thai fish cakes, crab cakes, NZ whitebait fritters)
Röstis – use eggs (sometimes with a little flour) as the binder for the grated potato, carrot and other root vegetables, typical usage for 500 grams (1 lb) of filling ingredients is one egg yolk (potato rösti).

Sautéing, stir frying, pan frying, shallow frying, and deep frying use different amounts fat to cook the food. Sautéing uses the least amount of oil (a few teaspoons) while deep frying uses (many many cups) the most oil. The oil helps lubricate (sometimes adds flavour) the food being fried so it will not stick to the pan and helps transfer heat to the food being cooked.

In particular, as a form of cooking patties, pan- and shallow-frying relies on oil of the correct temperature to seal the surface (so retaining moisture) and to heat the interior ingredients (so binding them together) so cooking the patty. The exposed topside of the patty while cooking allows, unlike deep frying, some moisture loss and contact with the pan bottom with the patty creates greater browning on the contact surface that is the crust of the patty is browned and the interior is cooked by pan- and shallow-frying. Because the food is only being cooked on one side while being pan- or shallow-fried, the food must be flipped at least once to totally cook the patty.

So this month's challenge is to pan- or shallow-fry a patty, so giving us the title for this challenge “flipping fried patties”.

This challenge will help you understand how to form, what binders to use, and how to fry a patty so that it is cooked to picture perfect perfection.

Recipe Source:  Audax adapted a number of popular recipes to come up with the challenge patty recipes and Lisa has chosen to share two recipes – California Turkey Burger adapted from Cooking Light Magazine, and French Onion Salisbury Steak adapted from Cuisine at Home magazine.

Blog-checking lines:  The Daring Cooks’ February 2012 challenge was hosted by Audax & Lis and they chose to present Patties for their ease of construction, ingredients and deliciousness!  We were given several recipes, and learned the different types of binders and cooking methods to produce our own tasty patties!

Posting Date:  February 14th, 2012

Download the printable .pdf file HERE

  • Binders
  • Eggs – are found in most patty recipes it acts as a binder, use cold eggs and lightly beat them before using  If you cannot use eggs try this tip  "1/4 cup of silken tofu, blended, or a commercial egg re-placer powder mixed with warm water."
  • Flour – normal plain (all-purpose) flour is used in most fritter recipes it can be replaced with rice, corn or potato flours (in smaller quantities) in some recipes. If you want some rise in your patties then use self-raising flour or add some baking powder to the flour. 
  • Breadcrumb Preparation – breadcrumbs are a common ingredient in patties, burgers and fritters they act as a binding agent, ensuring the patty keeps it shape during the cooking process.
    • Fresh breadcrumbs – these crumbs are made at home with stale bread simply remove the crusts from one- or two-day old bread, break bread into pieces, place pieces in a blender or food processor then blend or process until fine. Store any excess in a plastic bag in the freezer. 1 cup of fresh crumbs = 3 slices of bread.
    • Packaged breadcrumbs – often called dry breadcrumbs, these are used to make a crisp coating on the burgers, patties and fritters they are easily found in the supermarket, You can make them at home. Place slices of one- or two-day bread on baking trays, bake in the oven on the lowest setting until slices are crisp and pale brown. Cool bread, break pieces in a blender or food processor then blend or process until fine. 1 cup fine dry breadcrumbs = 4 slices of bread.
  • Alternate binders – bran (oat, wheat, rice, barley etc) can be used instead of breadcrumbs in most recipes. Tofu (silken) can replace the egg. Also using mashed potato (or sweet potato, carrots, most root vegetables) and/or mashed beans can help bind most patties. Of course chickpea flour and most other flours can be used to help bind patties. Seeds, nuts and grains can help bind a patty especially when the patty has cooled after cooking. These binders are used in vegan recipes.
  • Moisteners – Mayonnaise and other sauces, pesto and mustard are used in some meat patty recipes mainly for moisture and flavour but they can act as binders as well. For vegetable patties you can use chopped frozen spinach, shredded carrots, shredded zucchini, shredded apple and cooked grains to add extra moisture. Also sour cream and other milk products are used to increase the tenderness of patties.

  • Patty Perfection
  • When making meat patties the higher the fat content of the meat, the more the patties shrink during cooking this is especially true for ground (minced) red meat. Make patties larger than the bun they are to be served on to allow for shrinkage.
  • For hamburgers keep the fat content to about 20 - 30% (don't use lean meat) this ensures juicy patties when cooked. Also use coarse freshly ground meat (if possible) to make patties, if the mixture is ground too fine the large patties will break apart since the protein strands are too short and are covered in fat and can only bind to nearby ingredients so when the large patty is cooked it will fall apart or be too dense. Compare this behaviour with small amounts of finely ground lean meat (almost a paste) where the protein can adhere to itself (since the protein chains are short, not covered in fat and all the ingredients are nearby) hence forming a small stable patty (lamb kofta, Asian chicken balls, prawn balls).
  • Patty mixtures should be kept cold as possible when preparing them and kept cold until you  cook them the cold helps bind the ingredients together.
  • Don't over-mix the ingredients the resultant mixture will be heavy and dense.
  • For meat patties chop, mince, grate the vegetable ingredients fairly finely, if too coarse the patties will break apart.
  • Patties made mostly of meat (good quality hamburgers and rissoles) should be seasoned just before the cooking process, if salted too early liquid can be drawn out of the patty.
  • Make all the patties the same size so they will cook at the same rate. To get even-sized patties, use measuring cups or spoons to measure out your mixture.
  • For patties use your hands to combine the ingredients with the binders, mix gently until the mixture comes cleanly from the sides of the mixing bowl. Test that the final mixture forms a good patty (take a small amount in your palm and form into a ball it should hold together) before making the whole batch. Add extra liquid or dry binder as needed. Cook the test patty to check for seasoning, add extra if needed then cook the rest of the batch. 
  • Usually patties should be rested (about an hour) before cooking they “firm” up during this time, a good technique to use if your patty is soft. Always wrap patties they can dry out if left in the fridge uncovered.
  • Dampen your hands when shaping patties so the mixture won't stick to your fingers.
  • If making vegetable patties it is best to squeeze the grated/chopped/minced vegetables to remove any excess liquid this is most important for these types of patties.
  • When making fritters shred your vegetables because it makes long strands that gives a strong lattice for the patties. A food processor  or a box grater is great to use here.
  • For veggie patties make sure your ingredients are free of extra water. Drain and dry your beans or other ingredients thoroughly before mashing. You can even pat them gently dry with a kitchen cloth or paper towel.
  • Vegetable patties lack the fat of meat patties so oil the grill when BBQing them so the patty will not stick.
  • Oil all-meat burgers rather than oiling the barbecue or grill pan – this ensures the burgers don’t stick to the grill allowing them to sear well. If they sear well in the first few minutes of cooking they’ll be golden brown and juicy. To make it easy brush the burgers with a brush dipped in oil or easier still use a spray can of oil.
  • If you only have very lean ground beef try this tip from the Chicago Tribune newspaper  “To each 1 lb (½ kg) of ground beef add 2 tablespoons of cold water (with added salt and pepper) and 2 crushed ice cubs, form patties.” it really does work.
  • A panade, or mixture of bread crumbs and milk, will add moisture and tenderness to meat patties when the burgers are cooked well-done.
  • For vegetable patties it is best to focus on one main ingredient then add some interesting flavour notes to that major taste (examples carrot and caraway patties, beetroot, feta and chickpea fritters etc) this gives a much bolder flavour profile than a patty of mashed “mixed” vegetables which can be bland.
  • Most vegetable  and meat/vegetable patties just need a light coating of seasoned breadcrumbs. Lightly pat breadcrumbs onto the surface of the patty there is enough moisture and binders on the surface of the patty to bind the breadcrumbs to the patty while it is cooking. You can use wheatgerm, bran flakes, crushed breakfast cereals, nuts and seeds to coat the patty.
  • Use fine packet breadcrumbs as the coating if you want a fine smooth crust on your patties use coarser fresh breadcrumbs as the coating if you want a rougher crisper crust on your patty.
  • Flip patties once and only once, over-flipping the patty results in uneven cooking of the interior and allows the juices to escape.
  • Don't press the patties when they are cooking you'll squeeze out all of the succulent juices.
  • Rest patties a while before consuming.

  • Shaping the patty
  • Shaping – Shape the patty by pressing a ball of mixture with your clean hands it will form a disc shape which will crack and break up around the edges. What you want to do is press down in the middle and in from the sides, turning the patty  around in your hand until it is even and uniform. It should be a solid disc that is firm. Handle the mixture gently, use a light touch and don’t make them too compacted. Rather than a dense burger, which is difficult to cook well, aim for a loosely formed patty that holds together but is not too compressed.
  • Depressing the centre – When patties cook, they shrink (especially red meat burgers). As they shrink the edges tend to break apart causing deep cracks to form in the patty. To combat this you want the burger patty to be thinner in the middle than it is around the edges. Slightly depress the center of the patty to push a little extra mixture towards the edges. This will give you an even patty once it is cooked.  

  • Shallow- and pan-frying 
  • Preheat the pan or BBQ.
  • Generally when shallow-frying patties use enough oil that it comes halfway up the sides of the food. Best for most meat and vegetable patties and where the ingredients in the patty are uncooked.
  • Generally when pan-frying use enough oil to cover the surface of the pan best for most vegetable patties where all the ingredients are precooked (or cook very quickly) and all-meat rissoles and hamburgers.
  • Most oils are suitable for shallow- and pan-frying but butter is not it tends to burn. Butter can be used in combination with oil. Low-fat spreads cannot be used to shallow fry as they contain a high proportion of water. Rice bran oil is a great choice since it is almost tasteless and has a very high smoke point of 490°F/254°C. The smoke point is when the oil starts to break down into bitter fatty acids and produces a bluish smoke, Canola (smoke point 400°F/204°C) is also a great choice. Butter has a smoke point of 250–300°F/121–149°C. Olive oil Extra light 468°F/242°C. Olive oil Extra virgin 375°F/191°C. Ghee (Clarified Butter) 485°F/252°C.   
  • Do not overload the frying pan which allows steam to be trapped near the cooking food which might lead to the patties being steamed instead of fried. If you place too many patties at once into the preheated pan this reduces the heat and the patties will then release juices and begin to stew. Leave some space between each when you place them in the pan.
  • For most patties preheat the oil or fat until the oil seems to shimmer or a faint haze rises from it, but take care not to let it get so hot it smokes. If the oil is too cool before adding the patties, it will be absorbed by the food making the patty soggy. If the oil is too hot then the crumb coating will burn before the interior ingredients are cooked and/or warmed through. For vegetable and meat/vegetable patties start off cooking in a medium hot skillet and then reduce the heat to medium.  For all-meat patties start off cooking in a very hot skillet and then reduce the heat to hot, as celebrity chef Bobby Flay says that “the perfect [meat] burger should be a contrast in textures, which means a tender, juicy interior and a crusty, slightly charred exterior. This is achieved by cooking the meat [patty] directly over very hot heat, rather than the indirect method preferred for slow barbecues”. All patties should sizzle when they are placed onto the preheated pan.
  • Cast iron pans are best to fry patties.
  • When the raw patty hits the hot cooking surface it will stick. And will stay so until the patty crust forms so causing a non-stick surface on the patty at this point you can lift the patty easily without sticking. So wait until the patties (with a gentle shaking of the pan or a light finger-twist of the patty) release themselves naturally from the frying pan surface (maybe a minute or two for meat patties maybe 3-6 minutes for a vegetable patty).  If you try to flip it too early the burger will fall apart. The secret is to wait for the the patty to naturally release itself from the pan surface then flip it over once.
  • Veggie burgers will firm up significantly as they cool.
  • Most vegetable patties can be baked in the oven.
  • Check the temperature of the oil by placing a few breadcrumbs into the pan they should take 30 seconds to brown.
  • If you need to soak up excess oil place the patties on a rack to drain, do not place onto paper towels since steam will be trapped which can make the patty soggy, if you need to just press off the excess oil with paper towels then place onto a rack.

Mandatory Items: Make a batch of pan- or shallow-fried (or baked) patties.

Variations allowed:  Any variation on a patty is allowed. You can use the recipes provided or make your own recipe.

Preparation time:
Patties: Preparation time less than 60 minutes. Cooking time less than 20 minutes.

Equipment required:
Large mixing bowl
Large stirring spoon
Measuring cup
Frying pan

Basic Canned Fish and Rice Patties

Servings: makes about ten ½ cup  patties
Recipe can be doubled
adapted from http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/17181/tuna+rissoles

This is one my favourite patty recipes I make it once a week during the holidays. It is most important that you really mix and mash the patty ingredients well since the slightly mashed rice helps bind the patty together. 

1 can (415 gm/15 oz) pink salmon or tuna or sardines, (not packed in oil) drained well
1 can (340 gm/13 oz) corn kernels, drained well
1 bunch spinach, cooked, chopped & squeezed dry or 60 gm/2 oz thawed frozen spinach squeezed dry
2 cups (300 gm/7 oz) cooked white rice (made from 2/3 cups of uncooked rice)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
about 3 tablespoons (20 gm/2/3 oz) fine packet breadcrumbs for binding
3 tablespoons (45 ml) oil, for frying
2 spring (green) onions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon (15 ml) tomato paste or 1 tablespoon (15 ml) hot chilli sauce
1 tablespoon (15 ml) oyster sauce
2 tablespoons (30 ml) sweet chilli sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup (60 gm/2 oz) seasoned fine packet bread crumbs to cover patties

1) Place all of the ingredients into a large bowl.
2) Mix and mash using your hands or a strong spoon the ingredients with much force (while slowly adding tablespoons of breadcrumbs to the patty mixture) until the mixture starts to cling to itself about 4 minutes the longer you mix and mash the more compacted the final patty.  Day-old cold rice works best (only needs a tablespoon of breadcrumbs or less) but if the rice is hot or warm you will need more breadcrumbs to bind the mixture. Test the mixture by forming a small ball it should hold together. Cook the test ball adjust the seasoning (salt and pepper) of the mixture to taste.   
3) Form patties using a ½ cup measuring cup.
4) Cover in seasoned breadcrumbs.
5) Use immediately or can be refrigerated covered for a few hours.
6) Preheat fry pan (cast iron is best) to medium hot add 1½ tablespoons of oil and heat until the oil shimmers place the patties well spaced out onto the fry pan lower heat to medium.
7) Pan fry for about 3 minutes each side for a thin lightly browned crust about 10 minutes for a darker thicker crisper crust. Wait until the patties can be released from the pan with a shake of the pan or a light turning of the patty using your fingers before flipping over to cook the other side of the patty add the remaining 1½ tablespoons of oil when you flip the patties. Flip only once. You can fry the sides of the patty if you want brown sides on your patty.

Pictorial Guide
Some of the ingredients

Starting to mix the patty mixture           

About ready to be tested

The test ball to check if the mixture will hold together

Form patties using a ½ cup measuring cup

Crumb (bread) the patties                   

Cover and refrigerate

Preheat frying pan add oil wait until the oil shimmers add patties well spaced out onto the pan

Wait until the patties can be released by a light shaking of the pan or by finger-turning the patty and then flip the patties over add some extra oil (these were fried for 10 minutes)

Enjoy picture perfect patties

This patty was pan-fried on my cast iron fry pan notice the shiny very crisp crust as compared to the patty above

Zucchini, prosciutto & cheese fritters

Servings: makes about 8-10 two inch (five cm) fritters
Recipe can be doubled
adapted from http://smittenkitchen.com/2011/08/zucchini-fritters/

This makes a great light lunch or a lovely side dish for dinner. 

500 gm (½ lb) zucchini (two medium)
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (7 gm) salt
½ cup (120 ml) (60 g/2 oz) grated cheese, a strong bitty cheese is best
5 slices (30 gm/1 oz) prosciutto, cut into small pieces
½ cup (120 ml) (70 gm/2½ oz) all-purpose (plain) flour plus ½ teaspoon baking powder, sifted together
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 spring onions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon (15 ml) chilli paste
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (3 gm) black pepper, freshly cracked
2 tablespoons (30 ml) oil, for frying

  • Grate the zucchini with a box grater or food processor. Place into large bowl, add salt, wait 10 minutes.
  • While waiting for the zucchini, pan fry the prosciutto pieces until cooked. Remove from pan and place prosciutto onto rack this will crisp up the prosciutto when it cools. Paper towels tend to make prosciutto soggy if left on them.
  • When zucchini is ready wrap in a cloth and squeeze dry with as much force as you can you will get a lot of liquid over ½ cup, discard liquid it will be too salty to use.
  • Return dried zucchini to bowl add prosciutto, cheese, pepper, sifted flour and baking powder, chilli paste, pepper, a little salt and the lightly beaten eggs.
  • Mix until combined if the batter is too thick you can add water or milk or another egg, if too wet add some more flour. It should be thick and should not flow when placed onto the frying pan.
  • Preheat a frying pan (cast iron is best) until medium hot, add 1/3 of the oil wait until it shimmers.
  • Place dollops of batter (about 2 tablespoons each) onto the fry pan widely spaced out, with the back of a spoon smooth out each dollop to about 2 inches (5 cm) wide, do not make the fritters too thick. You should get three or four fritters in the average-sized fry pan. Lower heat to medium
  • Fry for 3-4 minutes the first side, flip, then fry the other side about 2-3 minutes until golden brown.  Repeat for the remaining batter. Adding extra oil as needed.
  • Place cooked fritters into a moderate oven on a baking dish for 10 minutes if you want extra crispy fritters.

Pictures of process – fresh zucchini, grated zucchini, liquid released from salted and squeezed dry zucchini, ingredients for the fritters, fritter batter and frying the fritters.

Cooked fritters

California Turkey Burger

Servings: makes about 10 burgers
Recipe can be doubled
adapted from Cooking Light Magazine September 2005:

½ cup (120 ml) ketchup
1 tablespoon (15 ml) Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon (15 ml) fat-free mayonnaise

½ cup (120 ml) (60 gm/2 oz) finely chopped shallots
¼ cup (60 ml) (30 gm/1 oz) dry breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (6 gm) salt
1 teaspoon (5 ml) Worcestershire sauce
¼ teaspoon (¾ gm) freshly ground black pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
1¼ lbs (600 gm) ground turkey
1¼ lbs (600 gm) ground turkey breast
Cooking spray

Remaining ingredients:
10 (2-ounce/60 gm) hamburger buns
10 red leaf lettuce leaves
20 bread-and-butter pickles
10 (1/4-inch thick/5 mm thick) slices red onion, separated into rings
2 peeled avocados, each cut into 10 slices
3 cups (750 ml) (60 gm/2 oz) alfalfa sprouts

1. Prepare the grill to medium-high heat.
2. To prepare sauce, combine first 3 ingredients; set aside.
3. To prepare patties, combine shallots and the next 7 ingredients (through turkey breast), mixing well. Divide mixture into 10 equal portions, shaping each into a 1/2-inch-thick (1¼ cm thick) patty. Place patties on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 4 minutes on each side or until done.
4. Spread 1 tablespoon sauce on top half of each bun. Layer bottom half of each bun with 1 lettuce leaf, 1 patty, 2 pickles, 1 onion slice, 2 avocado slices, and about 1/3 cup of sprouts. Cover with top halves of buns.                                                                                                         


Yield:  10 servings (serving size: 1 burger) - Nutritional Information – CALORIES 384(29% from fat); FAT 12.4g (sat 2.6g,mono 5.1g,poly 2.8g); PROTEIN 31.4g; CHOLESTEROL 68mg; CALCIUM 94mg; SODIUM 828mg; FIBER 3.9g; IRON 4mg; CARBOHYDRATE 37.5g
Lisa’s Notes:
Nutritional information provided above is correct for the recipe as written.  When I make these burgers, the only ingredients I change are using regular mayo, and dill pickles.  My red lettuce of choice is radicchio.  I’ve both grilled and pan fried these burgers and both are delicious.  If you decide to pan fry, you’ll need a little extra fat in the pan – so use about 2 tsp. of extra virgin olive oil, or canola oil before laying your patties on the pan.  Cook for approximately 5 minutes on each side, or until done.  Do not overcook as the patties will dry out and not be as juicy and tasty! :)

French Onion Salisbury Steak

Courtesy of Cuisine at Home April 2005 edition
Makes 4 Steaks; Total Time: 45 Minutes

1 1/4 lb (600 gm) ground chuck 
1/4 cup (60 ml) (30 gm/1 oz) fresh parsley, minced
2 tablespoons (30 ml) (⅓ oz/10 gm) scallion (spring onions), minced
1 teaspoon (5ml) (3 gm) kosher salt or ½ teaspoon (2½ ml) (3 gm) table salt
1/2 teaspoon (2½ ml) (1½ gm) black pepper
2 tablespoons (30 ml) (½ oz/18 gm) all-purpose (plain) flour
2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil
2 cups (240 ml) (140 gm/5 oz) onions, sliced
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (4 gm) sugar
1 tablespoon (15 ml) (⅓ oz/10 gm) garlic, minced
1 tablespoon (15 ml) (½ oz/15 gm) tomato paste
2 cups (240 ml) beef broth
1/4 cup (60 ml) dry red wine
3/4 teaspoon (2 gm) kosher salt or a little less than ½ teaspoon (2 gm) table salt
1/2 teaspoon  (2½ ml) (1½ gm) dried thyme leaves
4 teaspoons (20 ml) (⅓ oz/10 gm) fresh parsley, minced
4 teaspoons (20 ml)  (2/3 oz/20 gm) Parmesan cheese, shredded

Cheese Toasts
4 slices French bread or baguette, cut diagonally (1/2" thick) (15 mm thick)
2 tablespoons (30 ml) (30 ml/1 oz) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon (2½ ml) (2 gm) garlic, minced
Pinch of paprika
1/4 cup (60 ml) (30 gm/1 oz) Swiss cheese, grated (I used 4 Italian cheese blend, shredded)
1 tablespoon (15 ml) (⅓ oz/10 gm) Parmesan cheese, grated

1. Combine chuck, parsley, scallion, salt and pepper. Divide evenly into 4 portions and shape each into 3/4"-1" (20-25 mm) thick oval patties. Place 2 tablespoons flour in a shallow dish; dredge each patty in flour. Reserve 1 teaspoon flour.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add patties and sauté 3 minutes on each side, or until browned. Remove from pan.
3. Add onions and sugar to pan; sauté 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and tomato paste; sauté 1 minute, or until paste begins to brown. Sprinkle onions with reserved flour; cook 1 minute. Stir in broth and wine, then add the salt and thyme.
4. Return meat to pan and bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer 20 minutes.
5. Serve steaks on Cheese Toasts with onion soup ladled over. Garnish with parsley and Parmesan.

For the Cheese Toasts
6. Preheat oven to moderately hot 200°/400ºF/gas mark 6.
7. Place bread on baking sheet.
8. Combine butter, garlic and paprika and spread on one side of each slice of bread. Combine cheeses and sprinkle evenly over butter. Bake until bread is crisp and cheese is bubbly, 10-15 minutes.

French Onion Salisbury Steak

Potato Rösti

Servings: makes two large rösti
adapted from a family recipe

The classic rösti; cheap, easy and so tasty.

1 kg (2½ lb) potatoes
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (6 gm) salt
2 teaspoons (10 ml) (6 gm) black pepper, freshly milled
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons (30 ml) (½ oz/15 gm) cornflour (cornstarch) or use all-propose flour
3 tablespoons (45 ml) oil, for frying

  1. Grate lengthwise the peeled potatoes with a box grater or a food processor.
  3. Wrap the grated potato in a cloth and squeeze dry, you will get a lot of liquid over ½ cup, discard liquid since it is full of potato starch.
  5. Return dried potato to bowl add the egg, cornflour, pepper, and salt.
  7. Mix until combined.
  9. Preheat a frying pan (cast iron is best) until medium hot, add 2 teaspoons of oil wait until oil shimmers.
  11. Place half of mixture into the pan, flatten with a spoon until you get a smooth flat surface. Lower heat to medium.
  13. Fry for 8-10 minutes (check at 6 minutes) the first side, flip by sliding the rösti onto a plate then use another plate invert the rösti then slide it back into the pan, then fry the other side about 6-8 minutes until golden brown. Repeat to make another rösti

Pictures of process – Peel 1 kg spuds, grate lengthwise, squeeze dry, add 1 egg, 2 tablespoons starch, salt and pepper. Pan fry.

Pictures of the grated potato before (left) and after (right) squeezing dry. Notice in the left hand pictures the gratings are covered in moisture and starch, while in the right hand pictures the grated potato is dry and doesn't stick together.

Pictures of the finished small rösti

Pictures of the large rösti

Chicken, potato and corn patties
I had some leftover chicken legs and boiled potatoes from dinner last night so I made up some patties. The patties are made from 1 kilogram of finely grated cold boiled potatoes, 4 chicken legs meat removed and finely chopped, and one can of corn kernels. The binder was one egg and 1/4 cup of self-raising wholewheat flour.

The crumbed (breaded) patties waiting to be pan fried

Patties pan frying

The finished patties


I made meatballs using high quality ground veal and pork (30% fat) I didn't use any binders in the mixture just a little seasoning chilli, garlic and dried mushroom powder.

The meatballs waiting to be fried

Frying the meatballs

The finished meatballs

Of course I made spaghetti and meatballs for dinner so so delicious

Thai Fish Cakes

I adore Thai fish cakes but I have never really made them I was surprised how simple it is if you have a very strong food processor. Basically you make a paste from 1/2 kg (1 lb) of white fillet fish (I used catfish (basa) fillets) with 1 egg and 6 tablespoons of flavourings (a combination of 1 Tbsp fish sauce, 1 tsp chilli, 2 Tbsp red curry paste, 1 Tbsp coconut cream, 1 Tbsp chilli crab flakes, 1/2 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp shrimp paste, a few spices), 6 kaffir lime leaves and 2 tablespoons cornflour (cornstarch) with a teaspoon of baking powder, you form small patties (each 2 tablespoons) from the paste and pan fry until cooked. These are just as good as the cafe ones I buy and only cost about 30 cents each instead of $1.90 at the cafe. A good basic recipe for Thai fish cakes is here http://thaifood.about.com/od/thaiseafoodrecipes/r/classicfishcakes.htm I added some extra baking powder and cornflour to the basic recipe since it makes the cakes rise and the interiors are light and fluffy. Super tasty and so cute.


Storage & Freezing Instructions/Tips:
Most rissoles, croquettes and dry fritters keep well for three or four days if covered and kept in the fridge. Uncooked and cooked rissoles and croquettes can be frozen for at least one month.

Additional Information: 
An index of Aussie patty recipes http://www.taste.com.au/search-recipes/?q=patties&publication=
An index of Aussie rissole recipes http://www.taste.com.au/search-recipes/?q=rissoles&publication=
An index of American patty recipes http://allrecipes.com/Search/Recipes.aspx?WithTerm=patty%20-peppermint%20-dressing&SearchIn=All&SortBy=Relevance&Direction=Descending
An index of American burger recipes http://busycooks.about.com/cs/easyentrees/a/burgers.htm 
A great vegetable and chickpea recipe http://www.exclusivelyfood.com.au/2006/06/vegetable-and-chickpea-patties-recipe.html
A baked vegetable patty recipe http://patternscolorsdesign.wordpress.com/2011/02/20/baked-vegetable-patties/
Vegetable patty recipes http://www.divinedinnerparty.com/veggie-burger-recipe.html
Best ever beet(root) and bean patty http://www.thekitchn.com/restaurant-reproduction-bestev-96967
Ultimate veggie burgers http://ask.metafilter.com/69336/How-to-make-awesome-veggie-burgers
One of best zucchini fritter recipes http://smittenkitchen.com/2011/08/zucchini-fritters/ 
Old School Meat rissoles http://www.exclusivelyfood.com.au/2008/07/rissoles-recipe.html
How to form a patty video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iHutN-u6jZc
Top 12 vegetable patty recipes http://vegetarian.about.com/od/veggieburgerrecipes/tp/bestburgers.htm
Ultimate Meat Patties Video http://www.chow.com/videos/show/youre-doing-it-all-wrong/55028/how-to-make-a-burger-with-hubert-keller
Beautiful vegetable fritters so pretty http://helengraves.co.uk/tag/beetroot-feta-and-chickpea-fritters-recipe/   
Information about veggie patties http://kblog.lunchboxbunch.com/2011/08/veggie-burger-test-kitchen-and-lemon.html  

The Daring Kitchen and its members in no way suggest we are medical professionals and therefore are NOT responsible for any error in reporting of “alternate baking/cooking”.  If you have issues with digesting gluten, then it is YOUR responsibility to research the ingredient before using it.  If you have allergies, it is YOUR responsibility to make sure any ingredient in a recipe will not adversely affect you. If you are lactose intolerant, it is YOUR responsibility to make sure any ingredient in a recipe will not adversely affect you. If you are vegetarian or vegan, it is YOUR responsibility to make sure any ingredient in a recipe will not adversely affect you. The responsibility is YOURS regardless of what health issue you’re dealing with. Please consult your physician with any questions before using an ingredient you are not familiar with.  Thank you! :)
          January, 2012 Daring Baker Challenge: Back to Basics:Scones (Biscuits)        
Introduction:  Hi my name is Audax from Audax Artifex (yes this web site). Whenever I visit my sister and her family in S.E. Queensland Australia she always welcomes me with a fresh batch of my favourite baked treat which we devour gleefully with cups of tea while we chat and catch up with the events in our lives.


The treat that I'm talking about is the basic scone (also know as baking powder biscuits in North America) my sister really knows how to make them, they are wondrously light with soft sides and a lovely airy crumb – superb with jam and cream. This month I want the Daring Bakers' to share my delight and I invite you to bake a batch of scones to enjoy with friends and family.

For our North American members I wish to clarify what this challenge is all about and try to avoid any confusions. Scones in North American are nearly always triangular in shape have a slightly crisp crust usually covered in sugar and have a soft interior crumb and sometimes are laced with dried fruit (these baked goods in Australia and England are called “rock cakes” since they are usually made to look like “rocky” cakes not wedges), meanwhile biscuits in North American are a round shaped buttery slightly flaky baked good usually eaten with meals (these items in Australia and England are called “scones” and are eaten with butter and jam usually with cups of tea or coffee as a sweet snack). So this challenge (using the North American name) is to make biscuits. Or using the Australian or English name this challenge is to make scones.

To further clarify for our North American bakers this month's challenge is to make biscuits (also called baking powder biscuits) if you choose to make your biscuits using buttermilk as the liquid you are making what are known as “Southern” Biscuits which are one of the most famous examples of home cooking in the Southern States of America (that is they are a baking powder biscuit made with buttermilk). In Australia and England “Southern” Biscuits would be called buttermilk scones. So restating the above, the challenge is to make scones (using the Australian/English name) or to make  biscuits (using the North American name). Incidentally if you use cream as your liquid in the challenge recipe the final baked good would be called a cream biscuit in North America or a cream scone in Australia and England.  

Scones (biscuits) contain only a small number of ingredients they are fast to make, quick to bake, only cost cents per batch and most importantly are super FUN to eat. In England and Australia scones are eaten with jam and butter usually with cups of tea or coffee mostly as a sweet snack, while in North America they are usually eaten with meals as a savoury side.


Of course scones (biscuits) have a notorious reputation as being difficult for some people to make  comments like “hockey pucks”, “These made great door-stops ” and the like fill the comment sections of most recipe websites. You see scones (can be said as a rhyme with cone and also can be said as a rhyme with gone) are a type of quick bread that is a white flour dough that is raised using chemical agents usually baking powder and/or baking soda. Basic scones contain flour, raising agent(s), butter (or shortening or lard), salt, and milk (or buttermilk or soured milk or cream). Most recipes just say to “rub the fat into the flour” then combine the dry and wet ingredients until “gathered together” and then “lightly knead” the gathered mixture until a soft dough forms, then “roll or pat” out this dough and then “cut” out rounds and bake them in a hot oven. Well how hard could it really be I thought uh-mm as you can see below my first batch wasn't the greatest success … they didn't raise at all and the texture was barely OK I thought … I was left wondered what I had done wrong …   

My first attempt at scones (really pretty terrible I thought, no height no tenderness and no flakiness)


So after studying many many (288 websites bookmarked) scone/biscuit recipes and the bakers' comments about these recipes and after doing 16 batches! myself I have acquired a lot of information to help you master the techniques involved I hope that at the end of this challenge that you will be able to make a good if not great scone (biscuit).

After much research and many attempts …  finally some scones (the 14th, 15th and 16th batches) that I wouldn't mind sharing with my sister.

The Classic Australian scone ring (Aussie Damper) – the crumb is very similar to bread

Cheese and chives scones – a “sky-high” light and tender scone flavoured with cheese and chives

The classic Southern Biscuit (buttermilk scone) – a superbly flaky scone made with buttermilk and laminated to form distinct layers when baked

Fairy Ring
As I mentioned in the challenge posting in Australia and England scones are usually eaten as a sweet treat (with butter and jam) with cups of tea on that theme while doing my research for this challenge I thought I would do a variation on the sweet side of the scone. Here is one recipe that is suitable for kids and adults when you want something special and sweet yet can be made at a moment's notice.

In Australia one of the most popular children's party food item is fairy bread. This is a variation of fairy bread called Fairy Ring made with an Aussie Scone (Damper) ring laced with 100s and 1000s then iced (with some icing sugar and a touch of lemon juice made into a sticky paste) then sprinkled with more 100s and 1000s (coloured sprinkles). My 9 year old niece went crazy with delight and literally squealed with glee when I showed her this Fairy Ring and say I made it especially for her.

Normal (Damper) Scone Ring

Fairy Ring straight from the oven

Completed Fairy Ring

Hot Dog Buns
Here is a savoury variation, I made hot dog buns using the basic scone recipe. They worked out great I couldn't believe the crumb and they tasted great with the hot dog and relishes and I made them in under 15 minutes (once the oven was hot enough). I was very surprised how well the basic scone dough complimented savoury food.  

Touch of Grace Scones
(Click on the title to go to a great posting about this recipe)
Here is the answer to dry biscuits this recipe is called "touch of grace" biscuits which uses a few simple techniques to create a super moist crumb. These scones are all about tenderness everything is designed to obtain the softest and most tender crumb possible. These are very different from the normal bread-like scones that Australians like with jam and cream. These would be perfect with a savoury meal. They were so buttery with a soft creamy crumb that literally melts in your mouth, the mouth feel is like clouds. As one reviewer lovingly opined "They're squat little puffs you'll want to grab, steaming, from a basket passed over fried chicken or bacon and eggs". The way I make them is slightly adapted from the original recipe,  I use a lot of very large pieces of butter and all buttermilk with very low gluten cake flour and some resting time in the fridge. Resting the dough after the buttermilk is stirred into the dry ingredients is essential you would never be able to form the soft balls of dough coated in flour that are the "rounds" in this case and keeping everything cold helps the baking process. While baking the large pieces of butter melt into the flour causing large air holes to form in the baked dough and since we use soft flour (6%) which cannot form flaky layers we thus obtain a feather-light creamy tender crumb infused with the maximum amount of butter that the dough can hold.
These scones are made entirely from cake flour (6% gluten), I used 1 cup of flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 cup very large-sized butter pieces, about 1/2 cup buttermilk and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt. I rubbed in butter making sure most of the fat/flour where large pea sized pieces. I rested the dough after I mixed in the wet ingredients for 10 minutes until cold, during this time the dough "firms" up making it possible to turn it out in one cohesive dough ball onto a lightly floured board. I formed a rectangle of the soft dough floured the top lightly then I stamped out rounds. You could feel the pieces of butter in the formed round The rounds are very soft but can be picked up and placed into the baking dish. Then I place the baking dish with all the formed rounds back in the fridge for 10 minutes until cold then bake. (This procedure is much easier than the original recipe's method and it gives as good results I think). As you can see the crumb is saturated with butter and has masses of large airy pockets to trap your favourite topping. Absolutely delicious.

Raisin Scones
I wanted to make one batch of flavoured scones I went with sweet raisins and some molasses in the dough. I rubbed in the butter until it was like fine sand and I used "OO" cake flour about 7% protein and some cornflour (cornstarch), I was very happy with the look of the baked scones and the crumb was very tender very much like bread which is what I wanted. These were very cute looking but to be honest I like plain scones much better.
The bread like crumb of the scone so so tasty and soft.

As you can see scones (biscuits) are all about technique since the scones pictured above used the same basic recipe. 

Recipe Source:  The challenge scone (biscuit) recipe has been especially formulated by Audax Artifex after a large amount of research and experimentation. It is designed to help you master the techniques involved in making scones (biscuits) exactly the way you like them. 

Blog-checking lines: Audax Artifex was our January 2012 Daring Bakers’ host. Aud worked tirelessly to master light and fluffy scones (a/k/a biscuits) to help us create delicious and perfect batches in our own kitchens!

Posting Date:  January 27, 2012

Challenge Notes:
The Ingredients – since scones contain only a small number of ingredients each should be of the highest quality
Flour – lower gluten (i.e. soft) flours (about 9% or less protein) produce taller and lighter scones than normal plain (all-purpose) flour (about 10%+ protein). But to be honest it wasn't that great a difference so long you sifted the dry ingredients thoroughly at least three times. That is always triple sift the dry ingredients this will ensure that the flour is well aerated and the raising agents are evenly distributed so resulting in light scones. I found that finely milled soft “OO” flour gave the best results but don't worry you can get excellent results with sifted plain (all-purpose) flour. You can use self-raising flour if you wish (remember to leave out the raising agents and salt) in the recipe below it is important to triple sift the self-raising flour as well I like to add about ½ teaspoon of extra fresh baking powder per cup of self-raising flour to ensure a good lift in my scones. In the northern states of America and most of Canada all-purpose flour is generally very hard (high in protein) you can replace for each cup 4 tablespoons of all-purpose flour with cake flour  OR for each cup replace 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour with cornflour (cornstarch). Or you can let the scones rest (20 mins) in the fridge before baking. 
Fat – unsalted butter gives the best flavour while lard gives the flakiest texture since it has a much higher melting point than butter so promoting a flaky texture in the final scones. The best compromise is to use a combination of the two in equal measure. I usually use all (unsalted) butter for flavour and health reasons. In most recipes the fat is rubbed into the flour using fingers or a pastry cutter (don't use two knives or forks since it takes too long to cut in the fat using this method). It is best to grate the butter using the coarse side of a box-grater and then freeze it until you need it. Freezing the butter prevents the fat from melting into the flour. The idea is to coat the fat particles with the flour. You are looking for a fat/flour combination that looks like very coarse bread crumbs with a few pieces of butter about the size of peas, the finer you make your fat pieces the more tender the crumb of your final scones. If you want very flaky scones then make the fat pieces large like Lima beans and only lightly coat them in the flour. If your kitchen is very hot you can refrigerate your flour so helping to keep the fat from melting. Don't freeze your flour as this will make it too difficult to rub the fat into the flour. (Typical usage about 1 to 8 tablespoons of fat per cup of flour).
Chemical raising agents – always use fresh raising agents, baking powder deteriorates within two months once the jar is opened, typical usage 1 to 2 teaspoons per cup. Baking powder nowadays is double action – there is an initial release of gas once the dry and wet ingredients are combined and there is another release of gas from the high heat of the oven. If you are using acidic ingredients (such as buttermilk, soured milk, honey, citrus juice, yoghurt, tomato sauce etc) then use an additional ¼ teaspoon of baking soda per cup of liquid to help neutralise the acid and make the final baked product raise correctly. Baking soda is much stronger (x4) in raising power than baking powder. You can make you own single action baking powder by triple sifting together one part baking soda and two parts cream of tartar store in an airtight container. To check if your double action baking powder is fresh place 1/4 teaspoon in 1/2 cup of water it should bubble a lot, then microwave it for 30 secs it should bubble it again. To check your baking soda place 1/8 teaspoon into 1 tablespoon of vinegar (or lemon juice) it should bubble a lot. 
Liquid – you can use milk (any sort), buttermilk, soured milk, yoghurt, half-and-half, cream, coconut cream, soda water, even lemon-flavoured soda pop (soft drink) or a combination of these as the liquid in your scones. You can sour regular milk with a tablespoon of cider vinegar or lemon juice for every cup. Just stir it in and let it sit for 10 minutes or so to curdle. Typical usage is 1/3 to 1/2 cup of liquid per cup of flour.
Salt – a small amount of salt (about ¼ teaspoon per cup of flour)  helps improve the action of the raising agents and enhances the flavour of the scones.

The Equipment
Baking pans – use dark coloured heavy weight baking pans as these have the best heat distribution and really give a great raise to your baked goods. Many people like to use cast iron skillets for best results.
Measuring cups and spoons – try to accurately measure all ingredients especially if this is your first attempt at making scones (biscuits) remember to scoop the ingredient into the measure and level with a knife. If you can weigh the flour using scales even better.
Scone (biscuit) cutters – use a cutter that is made of sharp thin metal with straight sides and is open at both ends this ensures that the scone will raise straight and evenly and ensures the cut scone is easy to remove from the cutter without compressing the dough. Try to avoid using cutters with wavy sides, thick walled cups, glasses, metal lids, small jars or any cutter with only one opening since it is difficult to remove the cut scones from these without compressing the dough therefore leading to 'tougher' scones. If you cannot get a good cutter you can cut out squares or wedges etc using a sharp knife if you wish.
Rolling pins – most scone doughs are very soft (and wet) so can be easily patted out using your fingers. For a large amount of dough you can use a rolling pin remember to use light pressure from the centre outwards to form an even thickness of dough ready to be cut into scones. Avoid rolling back and forth over the same area as this can overwork the dough.    

The Techniques
Triple sift the dry ingredients – sift your dry ingredients from a height this permits plenty of air to be incorporated into the mixture which allows for maximum lightness in your scones and ensures even distribution of all the raising agents and other ingredients.
Rubbing in the fat – this is the stage where you can control how tender or flaky your final scone crumb will be. The more you coat your fat with flour and the smaller the particles of the final mixture, the more tender the end product because you’re retarding gluten formation in the flour (unfortunately the price you pay for this tenderness is that the final dough will be soft and might not raise very well since the gluten isn't developed enough to form a stable structure to trap the gases that are released when the dough is baked). Conversely the larger you leave the pieces of fat (the infamous "pea-sized" direction you always see in scone/biscuit recipes), the flakier the final scones will be (that is the gluten in this case is more developed but you might find that the final baked product is dry and the mouth feel of crumb could be too firm i.e. tough). So summarising the tenderness/flakiness of your scone is achieved in this stage by manipulating the size of the fat particles and how much of the flour is used to coat the fat (the more flour used to coat the fat promotes more tenderness while larger fat pieces promote more flakiness).  Either way quickly rub in the grated frozen fat into the dry ingredients using
1)your finger tips – as you lightly rub and pinch the fat into the flour, lift it up high and let it fall back down into the bowl, this means that air is being incorporated all the time, and air is what makes scones light, continue this until you have the desired sized flour/fat particles in the mixture, or
2)a cold pastry cutter – begin by rocking the pastry cutter into the fat and flour mixture continue rocking until all the fat is coated in flour and the desired sized flour/fat particles are obtained.
Moistening and bringing the dough together -  add nearly all of the liquid at once to the rubbed-in dry ingredients.  When mixing the dough (I use a soft plastic spatula, my sister uses a knife), stir with some vigour from the bottom to the top and mix just until the dough is well-moistened and begins to just come together it will be wet (and sticky). And remember the old saying – the wetter the dough the lighter the scones (biscuits)!  
Handling the dough – as most people know it is important not to overwork the dough but what isn't appreciated is that under-working is almost as common a mistake as overworking. Look at my first attempt (the first photo in this article) at making the challenge recipe it is crumbly and a bit leaden and the crumb isn't flaky at all this is due to under-working the dough and making the flour/fat particles too small, it took me about six batches to understand this and not be afraid to handle the dough so the scone (biscuit) would raise correctly. Under-working causes as many problems as overworking. Overworking leads to tough, dry and heavy scones while under-working leads to crumbly leaden ones. If you are not happy with your baked goods look carefully at your final scones (biscuits) and decide if you have under- or over-worked your dough.
Kneading or folding/turning the dough – this is the stage where you can control whether or not your scone has distinct layers by 1) only kneading the dough (for no layering effect) or 2) only turning and folding the dough (for a layering effect).  As mentioned above given the same amounts of flour and fat, leaving larger pieces of fat equals more gluten formation and, therefore, flakiness. Leaving smaller pieces of fat equals less gluten formation and, therefore, tenderness. Your dough at this stage of the recipe will be a mixture of different gluten strengths since it is almost impossible to make a totally homogeneous dough at home. The major idea at this stage of the process is to exploit these gluten differences to achieve a desired degree of lamination (layering) in the final baked good. That is at this stage your dough (after you have added the liquid and mixed it until it just holds together), will have different layers of relatively gluten-rich (tougher) dough (the more floury parts of the dough), and layers of relatively gluten-free (tender-er) dough with small pieces of fat (the more fatty parts of the dough). So at this point if we only lightly knead the dough these layers will become less distinct which means the dough will become more homogeneous so producing a more even and more tender crumb when baked. But if at this stage you only fold and turn the dough (as shown below in pictures) over itself, these different layers will remain intact but will get thinner and thinner with each fold and turn, so when the fat melts and the liquid turns to steam in the oven, this steam pushes the tougher layers apart, leading to an overall flakiness and a layering effect in the scone crumb (see picture of the buttermilk biscuit above). So if you want an even more tender crumb just lightly knead (much like you would knead bread but with a very very light touch) the turned-out dough a few times until it looks smooth. If you want to form layers (laminations) in your final baked goods do a few folds and turns until it looks smooth. Always do at least one light knead to make the final dough structurally strong enough to raise and hold its shape whether you are aiming for a smooth tender crumb or a flaky layered crumb.
Pat or roll out the dough – since most scone (biscuit) doughs are soft (and sticky) it is best to use your fingers to gently pat out the dough once it has been kneaded or folded and turned. Use a very light touch with little pressure while forming the dough rectangle to be cut into rounds for the scones. If you want tall scones then pat out the dough tall, about 3/4 inch to 1 inch (2 cm to 2½ cm) thick is about right.
Cutting out your scones – use a well-floured scone (biscuit) cutter for each round that you stamp out from the dough. That is dip your cleaned cutter into fresh plain flour before each separate cut. Do not twist the cutter while stamping out the scone, push down firmly until you can feel the board then lift the cutter the round should stay inside the cutter then gently remove it from the cutter  and place the round onto the baking dish. You can use a sharp knife to cut out other shapes if you wish from the dough, also the knife should be floured before each cut as well. 
Baking your scones – always preheat your oven when baking scones. Place each scone almost touching onto the baking dish this encourages the scones to raise and also keeps the sides soft and moist. If you want crisp sides widely space your scones on the baking dish. Don’t over-bake your scones. Over-baking for even a minute or two will dry your scones out. As soon as the sides begin to turn brown and are set, remove them from the oven. Immediately, place the scones on a wire rack—the hot pan will continue to dry the scones.
Extra comments about resting the dough – I found in my researches that a number of respected sources mentioned resting the dough in various stages in the recipe. Surprisingly this advice is sound. I found that if you rested the just mixed dough (in the fridge) for 20 minutes there was a huge improvement in the dough's handling qualities and the final scones height, lightness and crumb were outstanding. Also I found that if you rest your patted out dough covered in plastic for 10 minutes in the fridge that the rounds are easier to stamp out and the final baked goods raise higher and have a better crumb. Also you can rest your stamped out rounds in the fridge for a couple of hours without harm so you can make your scones place them into the fridge and then at your leisure bake them later great for dinner parties etc. This is possible because modern baking powder is double action, i.e. there is another release of gas when you bake the rounds in the heat of the oven.

Problems with bitter after-taste or dry chalky mouth-feel

The biggest problem that scone/biscuits can sometimes have is an after-taste (sometimes described as metallic or a salty chemical taste) or the mouthfeel is dry and chalky (i.e. the crumb is tough and doesn't have enough moisture).

If the problem is the after-taste try these tips
  • use freshly opened raising agents, many people claim old baking powder has a stronger taste
  • look for a single action baking powder (that only uses baking soda and cream of tar tar with a little cornflour) or make your own, since some double action baking powders can have metallic salts in them which some people can taste even in small quantities. Also keep in mind that homemade baking powder works faster and at a lower temperature, so put your recipe together quickly
  • look for a double action baking powder that uses non-metallic ingredients in it, check the ingredients listing on the packet.
  • use less baking powder
  • if you used an acidic liquid (buttermilk etc) and did not use some baking soda with the normal baking powder then some of the acid in the liquid wouldn't have been neutralised so leaving some salts behind causing the salty aftertase, that is make sure you are using the correct combination of agents for the liquids that you use, see the link below for full details about this. 
  • use only baking soda and an acidic liquid (buttermilk) like in the famous Irish Soda bread which very few people complain about having an aftertaste
  • use bakers' ammonium (available from King Arthur's flour) it was one of the most common chemical raising agents in the old days before modern baking powder, it smells like ammonia when baking but the ammonia smell totally dissipates and this chemical leaves nothing behind. I use it a lot in my baking it really gives baked goods that old-fashioned taste that people really can pick up on also it gives cookies extra crispness when baked.   

See here for a comprehensive posting on baking powder/baking soda and how to use them in recipes.
See here for the most interesting discussion on the use of baking soda and baking powder

If the problem is the mouthfeel try these tips
  • try smaller sized scones and bake them quickly in a very hot oven and make the dough wetter since large sized scones using a drier dough baked in a moderate oven will give you a dryer crumb therefore a dry chalky mouthfeel
  • over-handled dough will lead to a dry mouth
  • eat them immediately fresh out of the oven, scones do really suffer (they become dry and tough) when stored for any length of time
  • try using more fat about 1/4 cup+ per cup of flour - more fat gives moister crumb. Also try using all shortening, since shortening contains no water or milk solids it gives a very tender crumb.
  • use this great recipe they are called "a touch of grace" biscuits they are the most tender and moist biscuits (scones) that I have had.
  • some people claim that a very hot oven is best to start the baking process then lower the temperature to moderate to finish baking the scones

The problem lopsided scones
About lop-sided scones this is usually caused by uneven cutting out of the scone. Some hints
1. Clean and flour the scone cutter (by rubbing off any wet dough and then dipping the cutter into fresh flour the entire height of the cutter) every time you stamp out each round. Remember not to twist when you are stamping out the scones. If you are using a knife remember to clean and flour it for each cut.
2. Try to pat out or roll out the dough as evenly as possible.
3. Did you sift the dry ingredients three times? (uneven distribution of ingredients can lead to uneven scones).
4. Try to get the scone out of the cutter by applying gentle even pressure on the entire scone circumference that way you do not compress just one place so making that area less tender so raising less when cooked.
5. Turn the cut scone upside down onto the baking dish, since this side will be flatter than the patted out top surface.
6. Only glaze the tops of the scone, a small amount of liquid on the sides will inhibit raise in that area.
7. Some people like to use a fork and prick some holes in the top of the unbaked scones supposedly this helps the scone raise evenly.
8. Also some people like to use their thumb and press a small hollow into the top of the scone supposedly this helps the scone raise evenly.
9. A good article about "making the perfect scone" see here it goes through a lot of the best scone recipes by master bakers.
10. Try this recipe and its method from Bakers' 911 which seems to make straight-sided scones even from wavy-sided cutters

How to test baking soda
1. Place a 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda into a tablespoon of vinegar it should bubble a lot.

How to test your single action baking powder
1. Place a teaspoon of baking powder into a cup, add 1/4 cup room temperature water it should bubble a lot.

How to test your double action baking powder
1. Place a teaspoon of baking powder into a cup, add 1/4 cup room temperature water it should bubble a lot.
2. Wait 30 secs and then place your cup into the microwave heat for about 30 secs until about 180F it should bubble again.
3. If it doesn't then discard and buy a new jar.

How to test your self-raising flour - add one tablespoon of S.R. flour into some hot water it should bubble a bit. Or try adding some vinegar and see if it bubbles. Usually SR flour is only good for about three months.

The problem an unreliable oven
1. Try and use heavy grade dark metal baking dishes which give the best heat distribution.
2. If your oven heating cycle is unreliable (varies the temperature a lot) lower the temperature to hot 220C (430F), preheat the oven along with a heavy metal baking dish for a good 20 mins then bake the scones on the baking dish which acts as a heat sink helping to bake the scones more evenly. Try to bake smaller sized scones which helps with a constantly varying temperature.
3. If your oven has hot spots which mine does just rotate the dish at about 3/4 of the total baking time.

The problem my dairy-free margarine doesn't do a good job of cutting in
1. Just melt the margarine and add it to the liquid and proceed as normal (this is the best you can do if the margarine is "bad for cutting-in or just bad for scones" in the first place).

Mandatory Items: You must make one batch of basic scones (i.e. basic biscuits using the North American name). The challenge recipe has been designed to be fast, very cheap and easy to follow so allowing for multiple attempts to be made until you can achieve your desired result. I encourage you to make a couple of batches to see how small changes in technique can obtain vastly different final baked products. I estimate all of my 16 experimental batches cost less than $4 and took about four hours, so please do take this opportunity to explore the possibilities of the different techniques and advice that have been presented here in this challenge. I have included a number of links to the most popular scone (biscuit) recipes (and variations) in a number of countries feel free to use these if you can make a good basic scone (biscuit) already.  

Variations allowed:  A number of variations (cheese and chives, herb, etc) on the basic challenge recipe are included use them if you wish.  

Preparation time: Scones: Preparation time less than 10 minutes. Baking time about 10 minutes.

Equipment required:
Large mixing bowl
Baking dish
Measuring cups and  spoons (optional)
Flour Sifter (optional)
Board (optional)
Scone (biscuit) cutter (optional) or knife (optional)
Dough scraper (optional)
Spatula (optional)
Weighing scale (optional)
Cooling rack (optional)
Pastry brush (optional)

Basic Scones (a.k.a. Basic Biscuits)
Servings: about eight 2-inch (5 cm) scones or five 3-inch (7½ cm) scones
Recipe can be doubled

1 cup (240 ml) (140 gm/5 oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
2 teaspoons (10 ml) (10 gm) (⅓ oz) fresh baking powder
¼ teaspoon (1¼ ml) (1½ gm) salt
2 tablespoons (30 gm/1 oz) frozen grated butter (or a combination of lard and butter)
approximately ½ cup (120 ml) cold milk
optional 1 tablespoon milk, for glazing the tops of the scones

1. Preheat oven to very hot 475°F/240°C/gas mark 9. 
2. Triple sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl. (If your room temperature is very hot refrigerate the sifted ingredients until cold.)
3. Rub the frozen grated butter (or combination of fats) into the dry ingredients until it resembles very coarse bread crumbs with some pea-sized pieces if you want flaky scones or until it resembles coarse beach sand if you want tender scones.
4. Add nearly all of the liquid at once into the rubbed-in flour/fat mixture and mix until it just forms a sticky dough (add the remaining liquid if needed). The wetter the dough the lighter the scones (biscuits) will be!
5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board, lightly flour the top of the dough. To achieve an even homogeneous crumb to your scones knead very gently about 4 or 5 times (do not press too firmly) the dough until it is smooth. To achieve a layered effect in your scones knead very gently once (do not press too firmly) then fold and turn the kneaded dough about 3 or 4 times until the dough has formed a smooth texture. (Use a floured plastic scraper to help you knead and/or fold and turn the dough if you wish.)
6. Pat or roll out the dough into a 6 inch by 4 inch rectangle by about ¾ inch thick (15¼ cm by 10 cm by 2 cm thick). Using a well-floured 2-inch (5 cm) scone cutter (biscuit cutter), stamp out without twisting six 2-inch (5 cm) rounds, gently reform the scraps into another ¾ inch (2 cm) layer and cut two more scones (these two scones will not raise as well as the others since the extra handling will slightly toughen the dough).  Or use a well-floured sharp knife to form squares or wedges as you desire.
7. Place the rounds just touching on a baking dish if you wish to have soft-sided scones or place the rounds spaced widely apart on the baking dish if you wish to have crisp-sided scones. Glaze the tops with milk if you want a golden colour on your scones or lightly flour if you want a more traditional look to your scones.
8. Bake in the preheated very hot oven for about 10 minutes  (check at 8 minutes since home ovens at these high temperatures are very unreliable) until the scones are well risen and are lightly coloured on the tops. The scones are ready when the sides are set.
9. Immediately place onto cooling rack to stop the cooking process, serve while still warm.

Variations on the Basic recipe
Buttermilk – follow the Basic recipe above but replace the milk with buttermilk, add ¼ teaspoon of baking soda, increase the fat to 4 tablespoons, in Step 3 aim of pea-sized pieces of fat coated in flour, in Step 5 fold and turn the dough, rounds are just touching in the baking dish, glaze with buttermilk.
Australian Scone Ring (Damper Ring) – follow the Basic recipe above but decrease the fat to 1 tablespoon, in Step 3 aim of fine beach sand sized pieces of fat coated in flour, in Step 5 knead the dough, in Step 7 form seven rounds into a ring shape with the eighth round as the centre, glaze with milk.
Cream – follow the Basic recipe above but replace the milk with cream, add ¼ teaspoon of baking soda, in Step 3 aim of beach sand sized pieces of fat coated in flour, in Step 5 knead the dough, rounds are just touching in the baking dish, glaze with cream.
Cheese and Chive – follow the Basic recipe above but add ¼ teaspoon of baking soda, after Step 2 add ½ teaspoon sifted mustard powder, ¼ teaspoon sifted cayenne pepper (optional), ½ cup (60 gm/2 oz) grated cheese and 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives into the sifted ingredients, in Step 3 aim of beach sand sized pieces of fat coated in flour, in Step 5 knead the dough, rounds are widely spaced in the baking dish, sprinkle the rounds with cracked pepper.
Fresh Herb – follow the Basic recipe above but after Step 3 add 3 tablespoons finely chopped herbs (such as parsley, dill, chives etc).
Sweet Fruit – follow the Basic recipe above but after Step 3 add ¼ cup (45 gm) dried fruit (e.g. sultanas, raisins, currents, cranberries, cherries etc) and 1 tablespoon (15 gm) sugar.
Wholemeal –  follow the Basic recipe above but replace half of the plain flour with wholemeal flour.
Wholemeal and date – follow the Basic recipe above but replace half of the plain flour with wholemeal flour and after Step 3 add ¼ cup (45 gm) chopped dates and 1 tablespoon (15 gm) sugar.     
Pictorial guide to the challenge recipe
I was at my brother's house and we had a hankering for a baked treat so I decided to make the challenge recipe also I needed some photos of the challenge recipe being made for this posting. My brother isn't a cook, all he had to hand as equipment was concerned was a mixing bowl,a thin walled 20 cm (8 inch) cake tin and a knife, he didn't even have a cup measure only mugs so I improvised.

As you can see in the collage below I roughly chopped some butter (I eye-balled about 2 tablespoons) and froze it. Then I throw the frozen cubed butter onto one mug of cold self-raising flour I couldn't sift the flour since my brother doesn't own a sifter. Then I proceeded to rub in the butter with my fingers until I got pea-sized fat pieces coated in flour.

I added the liquid (½ mug of cold lite-milk) to the rubbed-in fat/flour mixture until I got a sticky dough I turned this out onto a floured board, I lightly floured the top of the sticky dough then I kneaded it once  then I patted it out into a rectangular shape then I proceeded to fold and turn the dough. Notice that you fold 1/3 of the dough over itself then the other 1/3 over that and turn it 90° degrees. Notice the lines on the broad this will help you understand how to do the folding and the turning.

I did a couple more folds and turns and used a well-floured knife to cut out squares of prepared dough.

Here is a close-up of the finish patted-out dough notice how you can see the fat particles in the dough this is what causes flakiness in the final baked scone.

I used the inverted cake tin as my baking dish and baked the scones in a very hot oven for 10 minutes they worked out really well I thought. Notice the nice central lamination in the scone and the great crumb and how well they rose in height.

I placed two unbaked scones in the fridge to test whether resting them for 20 minutes helped improve the raise of the final baked product. As you can see the left scone and the middle scone are taller than the right scone which was baked immediately after it was cut out from the dough. So don't worry if you cannot bake the scones straight away they do better with a little resting time. 

Videos of my sister making scones (baking powder biscuits) – using a very popular Australian recipe
Part 1 – my sister making the scones (baking powder biscuits)
Part 2 – my sister showing off her scones (baking powder biscuits)
Pictures of my sister's scones

Storage & Freezing Instructions/Tips:
Scones are best eaten warm. Scones (biscuits) are really easy to store – bag the cooked and cooled scones and freeze until needed then reheat in a moderate hot for a few minutes.

Additional Information: 
Australia’s most popular scone recipe uses lemon-flavoured soda pop and cream as the liquid
A great English scone recipe this uses more sugar and fat and has an egg
Classic Southern Buttermilk Biscuits recipe by Alton Brown
An index of North American recipes
Another index of North American recipes
Three great Australian recipes
An index of Irish recipes
An interesting discussion on “what makes a scone a scone”
Videos of Alton Brown making biscuits (scones) with his granny (super cute to watch)
Episode one ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3QuQSdjMVE)
Episode two (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qcz4JQUwY9Q)
Links to advice about chemical raising agents

The Daring Kitchen and its members in no way suggest we are medical professionals and therefore are NOT responsible for any error in reporting of “alternate baking/cooking”.  If you have issues with digesting gluten, then it is YOUR responsibility to research the ingredient before using it.  If you have allergies, it is YOUR responsibility to make sure any ingredient in a recipe will not adversely affect you. If you are lactose intolerant, it is YOUR responsibility to make sure any ingredient in a recipe will not adversely affect you. If you are vegetarian or vegan, it is YOUR responsibility to make sure any ingredient in a recipe will not adversely affect you. The responsibility is YOURS regardless of what health issue you’re dealing with. Please consult your physician with any questions before using an ingredient you are not familiar with.  Thank you! :)[/quote]
          Oct 2011 Daring Bakers Challenge - Povitica        
A tale of two povitica loaves

This month's challenge was to make povitica (a type of nut roll.

Blog-checking lines: The Daring Baker’s October 2011 challenge was Povitica, hosted by Jenni of The Gingered Whisk. Povitica is a traditional Eastern European Dessert Bread that is as lovely to look at as it is to eat!

This is my first time ever making this sort of recipe so I had absolutely no idea what to expect from the recipe. Well after doing some interesting internet research and ringing a pastry chef mate of mine whose mum is from Croatia and another friend's mum who is from Poland. I have some (little) understanding of the process and what to expect.

When comparing my notes with the information from my friends and their mums I found that povitica (or nut rolls) seems to be made by two slightly different methods that lead to two very dissimilar results; it seems that the “Northern European“ version (my name) is dense and moist like a firm bread-and-butter pudding, while the “Southern European” version is a well risen roll slightly less dense than the Northern version.

One major difference between the two versions is an hour of rising time before the final baking. Our challenge recipe only has ¼ hour of rising time before the final baking like a lot of Northern recipes while a typical Southern recipe has an hour of rising time before the final bake.

During my internet research I found that there are other differences; the Northern version uses a soft dough that is rolled out fairly thickly while the filling has a firmish consistency, while the Southern version uses a firmer dough that is rolled out very thinly while its filling has a consistency of thick honey. Since I was making two loaves (½ batch) anyway I thought I would do one loaf using the challenge instructions (which are very Northern) and do the other loaf using the Southern method. For both versions you make the dough layer as thin as possible.

A (Northern) povitica is meant to be dense and moist, it is important not to let the shaped roll rise too much before baking (in our challenge recipe you only let it rest for 15 minutes) in the other version you let the unbaked roll rise until doubled in volume then bake it.

I found that if you refrigerate the loaf until cold, it will slice thinly and cleanly, remember to serve it at room temperature. Also let the povitica rest for a few hours (a day is better) before cutting it this will help it set better so it can be sliced cleanly.

The biggest tip - If you find the dough is too springy let it rest.

Uhmmm, I don't know why but every stage of this recipe was an uphill battle.I used “00” soft flour (finely milled white flour 8% protein) for the recipe since I had it to hand and I thought it would make the stretching of the dough easier since “lower gluten” means “easier handling”.

For the nut filling I used about 300 grams (10½ ounces) walnuts and 250 grams (9 ounces) of mixed nuts, also I added 4 tablespoons of cocoa powder I wanted a chocolate hit from the Povitica. I used ¾ cup of white sugar and ¼ cup of dark brown sugar in the filling. And I used an unsalted “European” styled butter 87% fat since it had to used.

Dough – Firstly the size of the dough is amazing when you stretch it out, you will need to do it on a large table with a floured tablecloth. I found that the dough was very very hard to stretch it wanted to go back to its original shape that is every time I rolled it or stretched it out it would spring right back. From experience I know what to do in this situation I let the partially stretched out dough rest for about 15 minutes covered in plastic so the gluten strands in the dough would relax so making stretching a lot easier so after resting the dough I then proceeded to make a very thin layer of it … that is … after a lot of time doing guarded stretching and gentle man-handling … finally … I could see magazine print through the dough but this process took about 45 minutes. I think the problem was that I added too much flour while forming the dough, next time I will just have the dough a little tacky which will make it easier to stretch out. Also I will add ½ teaspoon lemon juice (for a ¼ batch) next time since the acidity helps to tenderise the dough so making it easier to stretch out. The second dough was a lot easier to roll out since by this time it had a lot more resting than the first dough it only took 15 minutes to roll out to phyllo (filo) sheet thinness. Looking back I should of added about 3 tablespoons of milk to get the correct consistency.

Filling - Firstly the filling seems like a huge amount but you need it all for the ½ batch its volume is almost 1 litres almost 4 cups. I found that the filling was much too stiff to spread out (I was using very dry nuts that could of been the problem?) on the thin dough layer without tearing it I had to add 4 tablespoons of warm milk and micro-wave to get it to the right consistency (like very thick honey). It is best to place tablespoon dollops of the filling evenly over the dough then spread these dollops evenly across the thin dough. After 20 minutes! of careful and methodical spreading the nut filling it was done. Of course the second version was a breeze to spread again I think resting time really helps the nut filling with spreading it over the thin dough sheet.I trimmed the edges and placed it into the baking pan such that the roll was coiled on itself I egg washed just after forming the unbaked loaf and once again just before baking.

I had given away for the long weekend my baking pans to a friend so I used my high loaf tin.I let one loaf rest for 15 mins then I baked it and the other loaf I let rise until doubled in volume then I bake it both were baked the same way (same temperatures and times). I'm sure that there is nothing wrong with the recipe I think I didn't let the dough rest enough for the first version and I added too much flour at the start.I have to say after all the troubles they both looked good, the loaf using the challenge instructions expanded about x2, the other version expanded about x2½ both had great colour and the crust dough layer for both was very thin so thin you could see the nut filling through it. And the colour was great so brown and shiny. Since the final baked loaf rises so much take this into account when you are shaping the loaf into the baking pan. I had a little trouble getting it out of the pan, so I recommend using parchment paper or butter and flour your baking pan well.

The dough starting to be mixed notice the foamy yeast mixture

How to tell if your dough is kneaded enough if you poke an indentation into the dough it should spring back I realise now that I should of added more liquid it should be tacky Photobucket

The huge amount of nut filling I used my food processor to make it this is the first time I used the machine since I bought it two years LOL LOL ago in this instance I thought it was worth the effort to clean the machine after the task

Stretching the dough to size … a pain to do in every sense of the word

The baked Northern povitica

The southern povitica

If you want to do the recipe over two days I would do the nut filling and the challenge recipe up to step 7. that is make the dough and let it rise overnight in the refrigerator. Then the next day return the dough to room temperature (a couple of hours) and make the povitica as per the recipe. This sort of recipe freezes very well, freeze the baked loaf and thaw in the fridge overnight loosely covered in paper towels then cover in plastic wrap this stop the povitica from becoming soggy from condensation.

The verdict – the challenge (Northern) povitica is a really delicious nut roll with a very dramatic interior appearance, the texture of it is very similar to bread-and-butter pudding, very moist and 'firm-ish” to the tooth. While the “Southern” had great height it was a lot lighter in texture than the challenge recipe version still good. But I liked the challenge version much more the interior looked better and tasted better also. Overall I was very pleased though it was a frustrating process for the first version, though the second version was a breeze.

Comparison of the two loaves – on the left is the challenge version (which I call Northern) and on the right is the Southern version. As you can see very different looking results.

Tips and hints (some of these are from the other bakers' experiences with this recipe I will add extra tips and hints during the month when others have posted their results)
1. It is very important to get the correct consistency for the dough and the nut filling if you do the process is a breeze. Remember when it comes to making bread -- recipes are guidelines, since flour absorbs moisture from the air so it is not unusual to add extra liquid or flour to get the correct consistency for the dough (in our case it should be slightly sticky) and depending on how old the nuts are and how the nuts are ground (this is highly variable for each baker) determines how the nuts absorb the liquid so again look at the consistency and adjust the liquid for the nut filling you want it to be like thick honey. I think this is the real lesson of this challenge, don't be afraid to adjust the liquid amounts to suit what you find in front of you in the mixing bowl!
2. Use plain (all purpose) flour. Use the flour sparingly when you mix the initial dough, it should be sticky don't be afraid to add liquid to get the correct consistency if you used too much flour. When you start mixing the dough it looks like that there isn't enough flour avoid adding any extra at this stage. It is best to mix the dough up (reserving some of the flour) and really give it a good working over it will be sticky (slap it down on the counter a few times and use a scraper to scoop it off the counter and knead it hard) it will be become less sticky while you knead it, that way you will use the least amount of flour.
3. Let the dough rise then punch it down and let it rest until it's pliable, if it is too springy let it rest longer.
4. Always check if your nuts are fresh and are not bitter tasting, ground nuts in a packet easily can be a year old. Fresh nuts give the best result leading to a lovely moist filling. Grind or process the nuts very finely if the nut pieces are too large they will break and tear the dough layer when you roll it up.
5. The consistency of the nut filling is like thick honey don't be afraid to add some liquid to get the correct consistency, micro-waving really helps make it spreadable.
6. The amount of time you let the roll rise just before baking leads to different results for the final baked povitica.
7. Roll up the povitica fairly tightly (using the floured sheet as your guide) so the final baked loaf will not fall apart and the layers will have a good pattern with no voids between the layers.
8. To check if the loaf is ready lightly knock the top of the roll it should sound hollow, or insert a skewer (or small thin knife) into the loaf for a slow count of three it should come out dryish and feel warmish if the skewer is wet or feels cool bake for a longer time don't over-bake since the filling will dry out making the final loaf dry so making the layers fall apart when the roll is cut into slices.
9. Leave the roll in the tin until it has cooled this helps firm it up so the roll will not collapse when you take it out of the pan recall the loaf weighs over 1 kg (2 lbs).
10. Let the roll rest for a few hours (better for a day) until completely cooled and set before cutting, if you refrigerate the loaf it will cut thinly and cleanly without crumbs, remember to serve the slices at room temperature. Makes great toast or even better French toast yum yum.
11. The loaf gets better and better the longer it matures in the refrigerator.

A few more tips and hints from Wolf who has made povitica every Christmas for many years, I put these here so they can be found easily by the forum members
A. Don't spread the filling right to the edges of the dough. You want to stay within at least 1/2 inch of the sides. This way, you can seal the filling inside and won't have leakage.
B. I use a stoneware bread pan to bake mine in. The one in the photo had the ends tucked underneath to the center, so it presented a smooth top. It was also rolled to the center from BOTH ends. That's how I got 4 distinct swirls. (See her exquisite povitica here)
C. Definitely cool the loaf in whatever you bake it in, until you can handle it with your bare hands, before turning it out onto a cooling rack to finish cooling. It slices cleaner when completely cooled or refrigerated.
D. Roll the dough tighter than you think you need to. Yes, some filling will squeeze out the ends, but you'll get a neater swirl in the center, less voids and gaps and it'll stay together better, as well as make it a nicer sliced bread for toasting or even french toast- which is awesome with this type of bread.
E. It will freeze well, especially if well wrapped- I've done one upwards of a month before. It does ship very well- I ship one loaf to my parents every Christmas and one to my In Laws, my recipe makes 3 full sized loaves and will last upwards of a week on the counter at room temp. - if it lasts that long in your house }:P

Wolf graciously included instructions to obtain her exquisite swirl patterned povitica for the method.

I have drawn some diagrams of the method

The stretched out dough layer covered with filling

Then roll each long edge to the center thus forming two swirls

Then take each end and fold them towards the middle of the roll (the brown line is where the ends finish up when folded) thus forming a double height roll

Then turn the loaf over and place into the pan so the seam ends are at the bottom of the pan which means the top is smooth and has no cut seams or edges

Txfarmer a very experienced and superb baker posted some great tips also
1) At first glance, since we need to stretch the dough to very thin, it seems to make sense not to knead the dough too much. Kneading == strong gluten == too elastic == hard to roll out/stretch. However, what we really need is a dough that can be stretched out WITHOUT BREAKING, that actually requires the dough to have strong gluten. I make breads a lot, from my past experience, I think the solution here is to have a wet (as wet as one can handle) dough that's kneaded fairly thoroughly. Wet doughs are more extensible, despite being kneaded very well. I kept the dough so wet that it was sticking to the mixer bowl at the end of kneading, however, a large transparent strong "windowpane" can be stretched out, which is the indication of strong gluten.
2) With the right dough, stretching out was easy, < 10mins of work. The dough was tough enough not to break, yet wet enough to be stretched out. I made quarter-size (i.e. one loaf), but the dough was stretched out to cover almost all of my coffee table. The tip of using a sheet underneath was very good. I used a plastic table cloth (lightly floured). In fact the dough was stretched so large that the filling was barely enough to cover it. 3) I proofed the dough longer than the formula suggests to get more volume, and the loaf less dense. I understand the authentic version is quite dense, but my family tends to like lighter fluffier loaves when it comes to sweet breads. 4) Since the dough was kneaded well, the final loaf had very good volume. Rose well above the rim in my 8.5X4.5inch pan. Poviticas for morning tea
I needed to make a treat for nibbles at a morning tea. So I decided to make two poviticas – one povitica filled with tea infused figs and almonds and the other filled with coffee infused dates, cocoa and hazelnuts. I wanted a strong contrast in the flavours between the two loaves. The tea/fig/almond filling was a lovely 'camel' colour its flavour was like caramelised fig on the palate each element was present I really liked how the tea melded with the fig and the almond this povitica was additively GOOD with tea. The other loaf had a very strong coffee/date base flavour while the cocoa and hazelnut added a lovely lingering after taste the winner for me. I was very very pleased with the filling flavours and how they tasted with tea or coffee. (Apart from the coffee infused date povitica looking like a baked chicken LOL LOL.) Those loaves were moist, very dense and incredible rich, perfect (when thinly sliced) with a cuppa. Feeds a lot of people! There were like very moist, ultra dense fruit cakes I thought hence the reason for very thin slices to be served with your choice of tea or coffee. Not recommended for children too much caffeine!

For this attempt I was careful about adding the flour and made sure that the finished dough was a little sticky, this time I found it a lot easier to stretch though the consistency wasn't exactly right I felt and I need to better understand how do to the spreading out of the filling and I haven't still mastered how the amount of filling as compared to the amount of stretched out dough needs to be in ratio, and also how to form a good pattern of swirls needs some thought so a lot of little things to practice for me over the next few weeks.

I will give this recipe another go since I want to perfect the process (making pretty interior patterns and getting the texture right) since these loaves would be a great Christmas present.

Tea infused figs with almonds

Coffee infused dates with hazelnuts (the finished loaf looks a little like a roasted chicken LOL)

Tea infused figs with almonds
375 grams (13 ounces) finely chopped dried figs
¾ cup of very very strong tea (I used 4 teabags of Earl Grey tea)
¾ cup of vanilla sugar
1 cup (120 grams) (4¼ ounces) ground almonds
2 large egg
½ cup clotting cream (66% butter fat)
Method – combine all the ingredients (except eggs and cream) in a small saucepan bring to boil and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Beat eggs and pour slowly into mixture, stirring constantly and simmer gently 5 minutes more. This mixture scorches easily, so heat must not be too high. Cool mixture add clotting cream. Place filling into a container and let rest overnight before using.

Coffee infused dates with hazelnuts
375 grams (13 ounces) of finely chopped dried dates
¼ cup (55 gm) (2 oz) unsalted butter, fried until nut brown
¾ cup of very very strong coffee (I used 1½ tablespoons of instant coffee)
½ cup of dark brown sugar
¼ cup of cocoa powder
1 cup (120 grams) (4¼ ounces) ground hazelnuts
2 large egg
¼ cup clotting cream (66% butter fat)
Method – combine all the ingredients (expect eggs and cream) in a small saucepan bring to boil and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Beat eggs and pour slowly into mixture, stirring constantly and simmer gently 5 minutes more. This mixture scorches easily, so heat must not be too high. Cool mixture add clotting cream. Place filling into a container and let rest overnight before using.
          Sep 2011 DB challenge - Croissants        

I have placed the first croissants into yeastspotting http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif

Blog-checking lines: The Daring Bakers go retro this month! Thanks to one of our very talented non-blogging members, Sarah, the Daring Bakers were challenged to make Croissants using a recipe from the Queen of French Cooking, none other than Julia Child!

Recipe Source: Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume Two. Julia Child and Simone Beck.

See here for a PDF of the recipe (it has 57 steps LOL LOL)

Wow this month's challenge was so interesting making croissants, croissant pastry is intriguing it is a mixture of "puff pastry" and "yeast bread dough", technically croissant pastry is a laminated dough, that is you basically make a yeast bread dough and then you make a butter puff pastry with it, using four turns and folds. Very interesting.

We were very lucky to have a wonderful member txfarmer she had experimented with croissant over a two month period and her postings in the "The Fresh Loaf" web site were invaluable well worth a look see these links link one, link two and link three.

1457 layered sourdough croissants

Croissants making is all about technique and practice practice and more practice.

I have made croissants a large number of times so I thought I would push myself on this challenge. I wanted to try some new techniques and methods. So I did sourdough croissants using a HUGE amount of butter using six turns in as little time as possible.

Luckily Sydney Australia is having perfect weather for making laminated dough cold cold and more cold. So I could do two turns (almost three!) every 45 mins (chilling the dough in the freezer between turns). The final proof took a long time.

I had some very active sourdough dough on the rise ready to be shaped when the challenge was announced so I used that to make my croissant dough (sorry I didn't use the challenge recipe for this attempt). I used 500 grams of AP (plain) flour (Australian plain flour is about 10% protein) in the final pastry dough and a 500 gram butter-block (since I had to use up the butter today). Using a high ratio of flour to butter makes it much easier to make the laminations in the pastry. Since I have made laminated doughs before and I was using sourdough (which gives good structural strength to the crumb with plenty of tenderness) I did six 'letter' folds (which produces 728 layers of butter and 729 layers of dough or 1457 different layers in total!) and double egg-washed the croissants. Using sourdough makes for a very tender dough (much softer than normal bread dough). I had to chill the dough after each two turns for 45 mins.

The croissants increase in volume about 3½ times. They smell fabulous when baking.

A very long process, but well worth it.

I was very pleased with these 'quick' croissants since the sourdough really helped tenderise the dough and the many turns seemed to work out fine and the HUGE amount of butter stayed in the rolls when baked so overall a very good result.

My list of characteristics of a good croissant
1. good layering of the butter and dough
2. the exterior crust is deeply coloured all over, the crust should be shiny thin and crisp with a slight crackle (the crust should almost shatter) when bitten into
3. the interior colour is even (slightly yellow or creamy white it depends on the colour of your butter) with an open crumb (lots of holes), the interior dough should be moist and soft with a 'pull' when your tear it apart, and the
4. butter flavour should be strong but not overpowering.

A Sunday article in “le Figaro magazine” referred to the nine pillars of pleasure (volupté) for appreciating a croissant. The author of the article asked two well-known Parisian pâtissiers, Pierre Hermé and Laurent Duchêne to “analyze what makes the heart of the croissant beat”

The nine pillars of volupté (pleasure) from "le Figaro magazine" are:
1. The layers (le feuilletage) – look for the layers, lots of space, not flat and smooth; crusty exterior, soft inside
2. The soft interior (la mie) – is light and agreeably honeycombed. When you eat it, it should have crumbs. When you tear off the cornered end, the soft interior should resist a bit. It should not be doughy.
3. What you hear (à l’oreille) – Ideally you should hear the crunch of the crust. It should crackle the whole while you are biting into it. As Pierre Hermé says: “you should hear the croissant suffer!” («On doit entendre la souffrance du croissant!»)
4. What you taste (en bouche) – You should taste the amount of butter rather than the sugar. However, the subtle taste of salt is the crowning point of a good croissant.
5. What makes a bad croissant (et un mauvais croissant?) – Look to see if the bottom of the croissant is whitish; it was not cooked long enough or was poorly baked. Is the croissant flat in appearance and doesn’t seem to breathe or is it oozing butter?
6. The smell (l’odeur) – This can be a giveaway, if the croissant smells of yeast or the metal baking sheet. It should give off an agreeable smell of creamy butter.
7. Shelf life (sa durée de vie) – The croissant has a very short shelf life: five or six hours; outside of this, it becomes stale. Don’t eat the croissant too hot, it loses its taste, its heart, it fades.
8. The ingredients (les ingredients) – The choice of butter is first and foremost. Pierre Hermé uses Viron flour, fleur de sel de Guérande, butter from the Viette (Charente) region, course sugar and of course water. But, mineral water.
9. The season (la saison) – Does the croissant have a season? From the end of October to the beginning of November (this is for the Northern Hemisphere) is not a good time to buy a croissant. At this point the wheat harvests are blended (the old with the newly harvested). The dough is more difficult to control.

When ordering, ask for the croissant made with butter (croissant au buerre). And although winter might be the croissants’ most popular season, they are available all year round.

The sourdough croissant dough has increased three times in volume, it is full of flavour and bubbles

The sour dough punched down

The butter block - I shape the butter block as perfectly as possible

Locking-in the butter into the dough

Use rubber bands on your rolling pin to get thin even layers in your laminated doughs

After the first turn and fold (notice after the 1st turn & fold the dough is the same size as the butter block)

Trimming the final croissant dough after six turns and fold - keeping the dough neat and even is essential

Unbaked croissants

Baked croissants

Close up of the laminations in the overlapping sections

Tips and hints
1. One “letter” (also called a 'simple') fold (i.e folding the dough like a letter taking the top 2/3 of the way down and then taking the bottom 2/3 of the way up to form a rectangle), produces 2 layers of fat encased by 3 layers of dough, so two letter folds produces 6 layers of fat and 7 layers of dough, three letter folds produces 26 layers of fat and 27 layers of dough, four letter folds (typical of croissants) produces 80 layers of fat and 81 layers of dough (this type of pastry dough can increase in volume about three times when baked), five letter folds produces 242 layers of fat and 243 layers of dough and six letter folds (typical of puff pastry which can expand eight times in volume when baked) produces 728 layers of butter and 729 layers of dough that is 1457 different layers in total! (this type of pastry dough can increase in volume about eight times when baked)
2. About the type of flour (low or high gluten) to use – I have checked a lot of websites and my extensive collection of cookery books and there seems to be two camps; the high gluten camp that uses bread flour (high gluten 13%+ protein), and the low(er) gluten camp that uses some (or all!) cake flour (low gluten about 8% protein). Oddly French recipes seem to about 3/4 bread and 1/4 cake on which flour to use. High gluten strengthens the structure of the bread but also toughens the crumb and can be hard to roll out, while low gluten gives a tender crumb but with compromised strength. In the end it is a juggling act between tenderness versus strength. Low gluten flour gives a light open textured crumb but there is a tendency for the croissant structure to collapse, while high gluten flour gives a tighter crumb more like normal bread but the croissant structure is much firmer. My 10% protein sour dough produced a light open crumb with good volume increase I think this was due to the chemical/baking effects of the sour dough and not so much about the amount of protein in the flour. I think a lot of the bread flour recipes are really for machines and not the home baker.
3. Sour dough takes a very long time to proof as compared to normal bread.
4. Here are the major pitfalls for this recipe; warm butter, warm dough, the butter and dough aren't the same consistency which encourages the butter to run out or crack in the laminated layers, untrimmed laminations, uneven final sheeting (the layers of alternating dough and butter should be even).
5. Make paper cut-outs (templates) of the rolled-out dough shapes, the butter-block and the croissants the templates really makes rolling out the dough so much faster and easier.
6. I like to add ½ teaspoon of fresh lemon (or lime) juice per three of cups flour, the acid helps to tenderise the dough's gluten, also the juice intensifies the taste of the butter I feel. Be careful too much lemon juice will result in a dough that is too soft therefore hindering oven spring (the amount the dough springs up in the first few minutes of baking).
7. Use a “French” rolling pin if possible (French rolling pins have no handles and are the same width over the length of the pin they look like a large dowel length) or a very long traditionally shaped rolling pin.
8. Try to use the best quality butter you can afford for your croissants. “European” butter styles have a lower water content (<10%) than normal supermarket brands (about 16%) also top quality brands of butter are more pliable (than low cost butters) when cold. That is low-water/ high-fat content butters make for the highest quality croissants. In France you can buy 'dry' butter (i.e. extra low water content and extra high fat content butter) especially made to be used in croissant making. I used a Belgian butter called Lurpak $16/kg. I was surprised how easy the dough was to layer with the butter block. After each turn and fold I let the dough rest in the refrigerator for about 1½ hours. I have found Aldi's unsalted butter about $6/kg works fine. You can buy butter sheets (butter spread out in thin sheets wrapped in plastic) these make the layering of the dough and butter a lot easier, but they are hard to find try good foodie shops and suppliers to major hotels and restaurants.
9. Most recipes use 45% butter to flour weight I find for the home cook using a lot more butter makes the rolling and turning much easier, increase the butter to about 55-65% flour weight. I did 100% butter to flour weight since I needed to use the butter up and I wanted to experiment what would happen. No leakage at all since I proved the rolls for a long time!
10. To use unsalted or salted butter? I like using unsalted butters since they have a higher fat content than salted butter and I feel that unsalted butter tastes better. But I think it is a matter of personal preference.
11. The butter block has to be made cold and kept cold. You want pliability, NOT softness.
12. The optimal temperature for the butter is 60°F (15½°C) at this temperature it will be pliable and not break into pieces when rolled out.
13. Make sure that the butter block and the dough have the same consistency especially for the first 2 turns, leave the cold dough out on the counter until the butter is the same consistency as the dough. A dough that is softer than the butter will be forced to the sides by the firmer butter; a dough that is too firm will force the butter out the sides.
14. After four turns the dough is beautiful and silky.
15. Remember to let the dough warm up a little (a few minutes) if it has been in the fridge for a long time (over 2 hours) recall you want the butter and the dough to be the same consistency when you roll out the laminated dough.
16. Laminating takes a little practice. Mainly, using the rolling pin as evenly as possible for the turns, keeping the dough rectangle so that the laminations are tight and even, and finally trimming the ends.
17. When rolling out the dough. Always roll in a square or rectangular shape regardless of the final shape. Roll in one direction. Begin with your pin on the edge closest to you and roll toward the far end; do not roll sideways. Do not press down when rolling or the layers may stick together and the recipe will not rise properly. Decrease the pressure as you roll toward the edges to avoid flattening them and compressing the layers. Evenness of rolling is essential so there is even rising. The upper part tends to lengthen faster than the bottom, so turn the dough over occasionally to keep the seams and edges even. Make sure you place the dough so when you resume rolling you do so over the previous rolls and in the same direction. Be neat. Don’t roll it side-ways. Always roll it length-wise. Use as little flour as possible when rolling out the dough so that the dough doesn’t get too tough. Roll it thinly and evenly so that the layers are even when baked. The straighter your rolled dough, the more uniform your puff pastry.
18. Make sure the corners are at a 90-degree angle. This is so the layers are lined up properly for the greatest puff during baking.
19. Rolling to 1/8-inch thick is good for most pastries. For tartlets, roll to 1/16-inch thick, and for larger pastries, such as the Gateau St.-Honore, 3/16-inch thick.
20. Unless you are a professional puff pastry maker and have a home sheeter (a machine that rolls out pastry sheets – a dream of mine) then limit the number of turns for croissants to a maximum of four. For the normal home baker (three or) four turns will produce the maximum lift, further turns will result in smaller and denser croissants. I did six turns since I was using sourdough and I have been making laminated doughs for a long time and can make a good dough with even thin layers that are aligned very closely to 90° to the dough edges. Usually I do four turns but since this is a challenge I thought I would do six to experiment.
21. If some butter escapes you can add a very thin layer of flour to the butter and proceed as normal.
22. You can place thick rubber bands on the edges of the rolling pin the bands make rolling out even thickness dough's much easier. Or you can use flat thin bars of metal laid out on the table as your rolling guide for your rolling pin.
23. Trim the parts that do not expose laminations (like the long edges of the dough.) You do not want 'dead' areas in the laminated dough these dead areas will not rise and bake correctly, so be neat and keep straight edges on your dough when rolling it out. DO NOT put the trimmings in the dough
24. Always brush off the excess flour after turning and folding, this unincorporated flour can cause toughness in your final baked croissants.
25. Get the dough out and back into the fridge as soon as possible between lamination steps.
26. Proving the shaped croissants takes much longer than normal bread...2 to 2.5 hours (even longer if using sour dough) until they are fully puffed-up and jiggle when they are done. It is this final proofing that produces large light puffy croissants and stop the butter from running out of the rolls.
27. The melting point of butter is very low (90°F/32°C) and it has a spreading consistency at room temperature. So if the ambient room temperature is well above 77°F/25°C proof your unbaked croissants in the fridge (this will take about 8-10 hours).
28. Egg washing immediately after forming the croissants keeps them moist! Egg wash again just before baking. This double egg washing produces a lovely deep shine on your croissants.
29. Remember to egg wash the tops of the laminated dough (not the edges that have the laminations) in the shaped croissant, since the egg wash will stop the croissant laminations from rising correctly.
30. Remember the croissants will increase in volume about three times so arrange the unbaked rolls on your baking sheet with plenty of space between them.
31. Rotate your baking sheets half way through the bake.
32. Add a little steam (an ice cube or two in a shallow pan in the oven with the croissants is fine) when starting to bake the croissants this moisture produces thin crisp crusts.
33. The oven temperature is very hot (475°F/240°C/gas mark 9) for this recipe I baked mine for 15 mins and the colour on the croissants was perfect. Remember to preheat the oven for about 20 mins at the correct baking temperature, this long preheating ensures marvellous oven spring and a deep colour on the croissants.
34. The colour of the croissant should be brown all over even where the pastry overlaps.
35. If after 15 mins in the very hot oven you need more colour reduce the temperature to moderately hot (400°F/200°C/gas mark 6) and bake until you get the colour you want.
36. To see some WONDERFUL croissants (with loads of tips and hints) see these links from Txfarmer's postings in The Fresh Loaf website. http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/24534/double-chocolate-croissant-sourdough-starter-can-bread-be-mysteries-and-sexy http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/22677/poolish-croissant-pursuit-perfection http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/23342/croissant-sourdough-starter-txfarmer-vs-tx-summer

Butter Croissants
I did another batch using the new updated challenge recipe, I used plain (AP) flour (10% protein), I double egg-washed the rolls and I made sure that I proofed them until soft and wobbly (about 4 hours since it was cold here). The interior crumb was a marvellous honeycomb.

A nice honeycomb pattern

A crisp shiny crust yum yum

Comparison of the crumb from my first batch (sourdough croissants) and this batch, the final proofing is very important to get a light airy interior in your croissants.

Pain Au Chocolat Noir
The shiny lacquered crusts of the pain au chocolat noir

I made up some dark chocolate dough (by replacing 4 tablespoons of flour with dark Dutch processed cocoa powder in the challenge recipe) to make pain au chocolat noir, I used dark chocolate chips in the rolls to give an extra chocolate hit. This shape for the rolls minimizes waste and also you can place some extra chocolate along the entire width of the pastry. These where a smash hit with my guests also I really like these a lot not too sweet with a great mouth feel, the best ones so far (it is hard to beat chocolate).

The layered chocolate and butter layers in the croissant dough, this is after three turns and folds

Loads of pain au chocolat noir

Interior shot of the chocolate crumb and dark chocolate filling

A small stack of pain au chocolat noir

Cherry Ripe Croissant Bread Pudding
I love how it looks like a lava explosion rippling with chocolate yum yum!

I love the flavour of cherry ripe (that is a combination of cherry, coconut and chocolate) so I thought I would make a bread pudding from the 'leftover' chocolate croissants I had from yesterday. (To be honest they weren't leftover I stashed them away (LOL LOL) so I could make a bread pudding from them today.) This dessert is rich, decadent with a lusciousness that boarders on the sublime, and it looks so tempting and inviting. The topping is oozing with dark chocolate goodness while the interior is soft melt-in-your-mouth coconut egg yolk custard which is full of hidden ruby red treasures of cherries. Too good to share really this amount feeds 12 people with ice cream.

Bread pudding is basically ripped stale buttered and jammed bread that is baked in an egg/milk/cream custard usually along with soaked dried fruit like raisins etc.

So for this decadent croissant bread pudding I used this recipe

The unbaked cherry ripe croissant bread pudding (this had soaked overnight)

The baked croissant pudding

Cherry Ripe Croissant Bread Pudding
For each two medium-sized chocolate croissants ripped into 1 inch (2½ cm) inches pieces use; one cup of custard liquid (¼ cup coconut cream, ½ cup cream and ¼ cup milk) whisked with 2 egg yolks, and the filling ingredients of ¼ cup brown sugar, ¼ cup dried cherries soaked overnight in rum or cherry brandy or orange juice, ¼ cup dark chocolate chips. Line a baking dish with the ripped croissant pieces, add the custard liquid and the other ingredients stir gently. Cover with plastic and place a light weight on top and let soak for at least one hour (or overnight is better). Preheat an oven to moderate 180°C/350°F/gas 4, remove the plastic from the pudding add some more chocolate chips (do not add soaked fruit they will burn) and place the baking dish into a larger baking pan place enough boiling water to reach about half way up the pudding dish and bake for an hour. The centre should be slightly wobbly. Let cool to warm (about 45 minutes) and serve with vanilla ice cream. Marvellous warm but better at room temperature the next day.

So oozy with deliciousness

What to do with the left over trimmings of the croissant dough?

After so many batches of croissants I have lots of trimmings, (a lot of long trimmings and short trimmings) so I thought I would share what I make these them. Scrolls are always good to make with the long lengths of trimmings, Danish pastries and pain au chocolat are great when you have a lot of shot trimmings just roll out and fill as normal.

Scrolls made with the long lengths of trimmings - on the left the filling is soaked raisins and the other is filled with stewed apple pieces

Danish pastry

Crumb of the pain au chocolat roll
          Un Envoltorio sencillo con Tarjeta personalizada – Simple Wrapper + Card        

Cómo envolver un regalo de forma sencilla y bonita

Hoy os quiero enseñar el packaging que preparé para un regalo de un sorteo. En concreto, el

set de bolso handmade

que sorteamos hace unas cuantas semanas, en colaboración con mi amiga Livy, de

Funky Patch

. El regalo fue a parar a Laura, del Blog

Miss Lavanda

, y así es cómo se lo preparé:

¿Queréis ver cómo quedó?...¡Seguid leyendo!

Lo primero fue elegir el papel de seda...tengo unos cuantos... Me chiflan los papeles de seda que ahora podemos encontrar con estampados y colores preciosos, así que tengo donde elegir ;) Dudaba entre uno con fondo verde y topitos, y éste, por el que al final, me decanté. De colores suaves y de temática viajera, con sobres, etiquetas y mensajes que me gustó especialmente (modelo de Primark).

Coloqué el set de bolso y un colgante como pequeño obsequio sorpresa en su interior y, con un poco de washi tape, cerré el paquete.

Además, quería escribirle una nota, así que le preparé una pequeña tarjeta, con cartulina kraft, un trozo de blonda, un botón, baker twine y dos modelos de washi tape. Con los sellos le estampé el nombre de su Blog, que pensé que le haría ilusión.

Por detrás, otro washi tape, disimula el agujero por donde pasa el baker twine que sujeta el botón, y uno pequeño, tamaño slim de color rosa, para subrayar el saludo y la firma.

Y, aquí podéis ver el exterior del paquete. Con un washi viajero que queda perfecto en cualquier paquete que tengáis que enviar. ¿No os parece?

Un envoltorio sencillo para un regalo muy personal y hecho con mucho cariño. Me consta que Laura está encantada con el mismo, y sabemos que lo va a disfrutar mucho, así que tanto Funky Patch como yo, estamos felices... No hay nada mejor que tu trabajo guste y sea apreciado.

Solo me queda recomendaros

el Blog de Miss Lavanda

, si queréis ver unas fotos chulas chulas. Además, encontraréis muchísimos recursos gratis, un curso básico de iniciación al photoshop, que estoy deseando empezar, una iniciativa sobre fotografía chulisima y montones de cositas más... estoy segura que no os defraudará... Ya me contaréis ;)

Espero que nos podamos reencontrar prontito. Tengo muchas cosas que contaros, pero no sé si dispondré del tiempo necesario para hacerlo... ¡Ojalá que si! ;)

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Het is alsof zijn muziek strijdt en tegelijkertijd de liefde bedrijft met zijn beeldend werk. Het ene lijkt niet zonder het andere te kunnen en volgen elkaar zijn hele leven op in een soort van syncopisch ritme. Er is een periode dat ze volledig in elkaar overvloeien. Werken als Vioolpallet-Palletviool en Het Geluid Van Het […]
          Weight Inward into Lightness: A Reading of Canoe Repair        
Flore Chevaillier

“Canoe Repair” takes place at a transitional time for the main character. Zanes moves from New York City to a New Hampshire town and has to adapt to a new life and a new job, running a Laundromat, as well as to his son’s new hang-gliding activity and his wife’s new TV job. Thus, “Canoe Repair” occurs at a moment when rural and urban worlds are put in “connection and disconnection at the same time” (“Midcourse Corrections” 50). While we learn more about Zanes’ occupations, we also read a portrait of the town’s life. We discover a picture of America and its smell of “coffee richly dripping and poppy-seed-blue corn muffins” (69). We read Zanes’ discussions with “Seemyon Stitching … a spring immigrant from Byelorussia and a trained marathon runner” (62), and find out about the “president’s eight o’clock message to the nation” they listen to when “no one among the machine-users seemed to be waiting for the president’s speech” (72). The story deals with the movements of people from the town who use the Laundromat and the movements of the canoe on the lake, as well as the hang-gliding and the weather.

One might describe the events in these terms. But the story is also a reflection on time and on strange, everyday moments in one’s life. “Canoe Repair” presents a section of a man’s life, also a canoe’s, since its repair is at the center of the story’s multiple directions, its focus on space and movement. The story is a space where different tensions meet. It shows the strain between two worlds, two generations, between different experiences of time and perception, and between two voices telling the story. “Betweenness” is central in McElroy’s writing. In “Canoe Repair,” “ ‘Betweenness’ is… the crumbling edge of the interface of worlds, selves, and situations” (Saltzman 100). Betweenness is also at stake when we consider “Midcourse Corrections,” an unusual autobiographical interview/essay ended by “Canoe Repair.”

“Is a canoe too beautiful to be funny unless somebody falls out of it?” asks Joseph McElroy in “Midcourse Corrections” - “falls out, tipping it over? Put two people in it facing forward. What’s the stern paddler see? What’s the bow paddler feel? - for the stern paddler?”(42).

These questions about canoe uses are put into practice in McElroy’s short story, independent but part of the essay, as he explains. “Some of the material in ‘Midcourse Corrections’ could be said to turn into ‘Canoe Repair’… I wanted to use ‘Canoe Repair’ to fulfill ‘Midcourse Corrections,’ that peculiar interview memoir … that should turn into fiction at the end.” Personal correspondence with the author, June 16, 2001.

“Corrections” is itself an experiment in literary form that in many ways epitomizes the body of McElroy’s writing. “With its inserted interviews, its odd proportions, and its highly colored perspectives of me,” McElroy writes in a letter, “[‘Corrections’] is a hybrid fiction, I suppose. A daydream posing as a document.” (cited in Tabbi 156)

The thematic and structural research of this “hybrid fiction” turns into practical experience in “Canoe Repair.” The author’s reflections upon space, motion, and perception connect to the movement of the boat on water because the “canoe becomes an occasion to think.” Personal correspondence with the author, February 6, 2003. We can approach the story from different angles due to the openness of its particular structure linking it to the essay, of which it is also the unusual closing part. Nevertheless, it would be unfair to consider the story strictly as a conclusion to “Midcourse Corrections;” it has its own structure, dynamics, and meaning. It is a complex and intense story because of the multiple tensions we can feel in its narration.

To understand “Canoe Repair,” we have to focus on the transient aspect of Zanes’ life and its relation to tensions that appear both thematically and structurally. The text is literally at the end of the “Midcourse Corrections” but metaphorically “in between.” It connects to “Midcourse Corrections” but is autonomous. Moreover, it plays strangely with the reader’s expectations. It is organized around a double voice that disturbs the reader’s traditional way of reading. The reading, because of structural devices that put us “in between,” becomes the experience of the transition moment Zanes goes through, his shift from one world to another, his perception of the world.

Zanes’ visions can sometimes be confusing. Hence, some aspects of the story can be destabilizing to the reader. The story starts with a family scene: Zanes and his son are watching the river. A strange canoe used by a black man and a blond woman catches their attention. Zanes’ neighbor calls him afterward to fix the canoe for the blond woman’s son; the canoe captures Zanes’ attention throughout the rest of the story. Parallel to Zanes’ work on the canoe, we learn about his arguments with his son regarding the latter’s hang-gliding practice. We also get to know more about the life that goes on at the Laundromat where Zanes meets with Seemyon Stytchin and a group of young punks that disturb the community. Zanes starts a friendship with Lung, a member of this group. However, this summary contradicts the story’s original presentation of Zanes’ world because it reassembles what is purposefully fragmented in “Canoe Repair.” We only achieve this vision of the story retrospectively because it is not told linearly.

Our expectations as readers are challenged, as David Porush notes when associating the technique of “de-automatization” provoked by the unsettling language of McElroy’s novel Plus. Plus ’ main character Imp Plus is a brain detached from its body and put in orbit to communicate with earth during a scientific experiment. When relearning ways to communicate, Imp Plus uses language unusually. Therefore, the reader is forced to see words in a different way. Imp Plus presents a new use of words that questions the systems we automatically refer to when using language. In “Canoe Repair,” the challenge to our automatisms lies in the distortions that affect the structure of the story. The compact paragraphs of “Canoe Repair” are juxtaposed without transitions. When turning to a dialogue, McElroy does not use rules of quotation to let the reader know that the viewpoint is changing. Tabbi claims that for McElroy “the mental text … does not precede the work at all but exists instead in the work, where the reader might imaginatively participate in the compositional or self-creative effort that went into the life/work’s composition” (158). The activity of the reader is thus part of the structure of the short story. Disjunction calls up the reader’s activity of representation. It asks us to create a coherent image of the narrative, a coherent text. Omitting the relation between two events leaves room for the reader to fill in the blanks. This crafted incompleteness creates the structure of “Canoe Repair.” Facts have more than one logical order; the reader coordinates elements by analyzing fragments.

Thus, the reader organizes the very space of the text. We shift, for example, from “When he took his canoe out, Zanes also thought,” to “The ideas knew how to get away sometimes” in the next paragraph (59). Reading “Zanes also thought,” the reader does not expect the sentence to stop at this point. S/he expects a complement to the verb “thought.” Therefore, reading “Canoe Repair” can be somewhat frustrating; the author even ironically refers to our unsatisfied expectation when we lack a transition between the two sentences. That is why, as Wolfgang Iser notes in The Implied Reader, we have to use imagination to compensate for the gaps. The context created by the sentence: “When he took his canoe out, Zanes also thought,” is destroyed so that the reader steps back and reflects upon the narrative as a work of art. “The artwork itself is represented as an artwork” (McHale 30). The reader finds metafictional allusions that suggest a fiction conscious of its fictionality, which makes the reader understand the story at another level of representation. These metafictional moments create a disjunction in addition to the fragmenting of the plot itself.

Each blank invites interpretation and coordination. Do the gaps become the theme of the narrative? When analyzing Modern texts such as Ulysses, Iser engages the issue of semantic richness and incoherence of gaps, moments of inconsistency, disruption, or omission. He sees reading as a process the reader undergoes to synthesize fragmented elements; the reader creates meaning.

The unconnected allusions and the abrupt alternation of stylistic devices disclose a large number of gaps … [that give] rise to the stimulating quality of the text. On the one hand, the density of allusions and the continual segmentation of style involve an incessant changing of perspectives, which seems to go out of control whenever the reader tries to pin them down; on the other hand, the gaps resulting from the cuts and abbreviations tempt the reader to fill them in. (Iser 213)

The structural breaks in “Canoe Repair” might be less extreme than those in Ulysses but, similarly, the gaps and omissions become part of the story’s theme, possibly denying thematic synthesis itself. Zanes’ fragmented thinking and his way of experiencing life are present in the style the author uses. The medium is often the message. The construction of sentences that might make us insecure reminds us that reading “Canoe Repair” is a special experience that enables us to coordinate elements of the story and thus penetrate Zanes’ mind and his somewhat eccentric thinking. The reader, by grasping multiplicity, references, and rambling elements, maps out what is happening in Zanes’ mind. The way things get originally connected structurally mirrors Zanes’ experience of the world that also reaches for unusual connections.

How do we find our bearings reading “Canoe Repair?” The narration resists linear order. It seems laminated into different sequences of the character’s life. Flashes are exposed with neither explanation nor transition. Joseph McElroy “never hid the gaps” (“Neural Neighborhoods” 204). Chronology is not respected; events follow a pattern of shifts from one subject to another, from one point of view to another, and everything seems important and unimportant at the same time. There is sometimes no link between consecutive sentences: “Was it my time device operating again?” and “A canoe is what makes you do” (77). Here, gaps interfere with our sense of the evolution of the story and the progression in the character’s life, if there is one. These gaps are caused mostly by the double narration of the story, and they are even more challenging to the reader. When we shift from, “Was it my time device operating again?” to “A canoe is what makes you do” (77), we shift from an “I” to an omniscient narrator. Zanes’ own perspective on his life is balanced by the omniscient narrator. To understand Zanes’ life, we need to be inside him and outside him. We need to know the world exterior to Zanes’ subjectivity to understand his reactions, hence the role of the omniscient voice.

The embedded structure of the story told by two narrators juxtaposes two sources of information. This construction enables the insertion of one perspective within another and it leads us to see Zanes’ life as an accumulation of fragments. Different perspectives provide distinct information about and approaches to the same life. Can the story be seen as a dialogue between these two poles? Unlike traditional narrations where the reader faces a set of events exposed in a linear way, “Canoe Repair” makes the reader feel the duality of life.

McElroy constructs a dynamic that can be paralleled with the theme of the double, often present in gothic stories. In these stories, the narrator and the character are the same person, although it is usually not clearly stated in the text. In “Canoe Repair,” there is, to some extent, a renewal of the theme of the double since our character has a double voice. The schizophrenic tensions represented by the strange vision of the double in the gothic stories appear in “Canoe Repair” in a somewhat different way. The strain between two voices can be understood as the representation of power over the development of the story.

First, the omniscient exterior narrator controls the story. Progressively, “I” becomes dominant. At the end, rapid shifts of viewpoint break up the story. The evolution of each viewpoint implicitly lets us gather details about the context of each narrator’s intervention. The constant shift form “I” to “he” changes the reader’s relation to the narrator because it implies a nonlinear way to gather information. Each narrator puts the reader into a frame of mind that influences interpretation. The shifting of frames makes the reader’s activity intense. When we change frames, we have to change our interpretation. How to base our understanding of the story on a specific context when the latter is always denatured?

The two narrators fragment the story, and they produce a repetitive pattern. Each of the narrators gives us details on the same moments of Zanes’ life. The double narration is thus based on the repetition of similar life sequences. The double narration allows repetition to penetrate the narrative. It is thanks to repetition that the reader can make sense of the story’s disconnected elements. The gaps that we apparently cannot coordinate - such as “Is there somebody over there? Zanes said. Probably, his son said” and “All but one of the machines were in use that evening”(72) - are so large that the only way the reader can assemble the fragments of the story is by focusing on the repetitive patterns that connect these partial perspectives. We constantly come across the same moments: the observation of the canoe, meetings between Zanes’ wife and the producer of her cooking show, scenes with Lung, discussions with Seemyon, and so on. The plot offers not so much progress as recurrence, duplication, and reiteration.

In our mind, those terms are usually connected to something monotonous. Yet in “Canoe Repair,” the iteration of words, ideas, and/or themes does not result in a redundant effect on reading. The first reference to “sunset” (56) is echoed by “[o]ne of them materialized at sunset” and “at sunset a window beamed” (57). Through repetition, meaning emerges. Repetition is not used to stop the progression of the plot: the elements of Zanes’ life are never told twice in exactly the same terms. The accumulation of repetitions creates an unusual meaning, a meaning understood through indirect means. Zanes refers to his own time: “my time device” (58), “another time” (61) as opposed to “my wife’s cookbook, my time machine” (69). Zanes’ experience of life does not rely on a chronological structure. When we accept repetition, we understand that time does not need to be seen as a linear progression.

Repetition lets us understand how Zanes organizes his life. The first and last moments of the story present similar scenes. “It was sunset and the boy was angry and wanted to be somewhere else” (56). Zanes and his son are outside watching the canoe for the first time. The first words of the story put the reader in the middle of a situation. The first character we meet is not Zanes but his son referred to as a “boy.” He could be anybody. In that sense, the story can be considered a statement about any family life, its structure, its implicit rules, and its repetitive patterns. The reference to “somewhere else” also puzzles the reader at the beginning of a story; we do not even know where the character is. At the end, we have circled back: “Above me, I felt the presence of my son at his window. If I didn’t take down the screens, it would soon be summer again” (78).

The end is paradoxical since it does not explain the story but at the same time concludes it through indirect means. The story ends on “again,” which alludes to an opening, a repetition of what we have read, maybe an allusion to the beginning if we think of the circularity of the repetitive pattern of the narration. On the other hand, the allusion to the coming summer ends with a period. Spring will soon be finished. We note here again the parallel between the first scene and the last one since the story opens on the ending of something, of a day. We are at a time when Zanes makes a pause in his life. His work on the canoe is what “makes [him] do” (77). His crafting the canoe changes aspects of his life, his relationship with his family and his community. The end of spring makes a kind of conclusion to the story but, at the same time, it opens the story toward a new time period. The conclusion and the opening lead us to different interpretations. We face some conflicting perception of time and closure. Depending on the type of time framework one has in mind, things can be open or closed; that is where the tension originates. The last and first scenes teach us to pay attention to how things are repeated in variation in the story. Both scenes point to a double direction. By examining this process, one understands that repetition is used to let one access Zanes’ subjective knowledge.

In the two scenes, the son and the father are both watching another place, an outsider place. They disagree on the hang-gliding activity. But this tension gets somewhat resolved at the end when they both look again in the same direction. An open conversation about this issue never appears in the story. Tensions are solved indirectly: “Is the leak like worry, no more than worry?” (75). The boat becomes the center of our attention; it is a place where Zanes’ concerns are to be projected and fixed too. The leak of the boat is associated with Zanes’ life: “When you left your job last year you were taking what you had and making it flow into a new system rather than holding onto what had been used. It would have leaked away if you had not made it move into a new system” (63). The canoe becomes a system of reference we share with Zanes to understand his life. The changes he goes through are projected into the repairing of the canoe, and thanks to the details of the crafting we understand the adjustments of his own life.

Connection is hidden where we cannot see it at first sight, where we do not expect it. For instance, a paragraph describing Zanes canoeing ends, “A wind was coming up, and I heard a breathing sound of paddling” (65). The next paragraph begins, “He treaded water and in his mind smelled fish scales. A wind came up. Zanes felt a wash against his dome” (65). The wind coming up appears twice, but the repetition is not identical because it lets us collect different details about Zanes canoeing. The first time, the wind relates to sound, while the second time it is linked to smell and then touch because of the sensation of “wash.” The different senses are connected to the same moment of Zanes’ life, and we gather this general image as well as its fragmented aspect thanks to repetition. Zanes’ sense of the world is not constructed upon a close frontier between things. Wind and breath become one; canoe and lake become one. To Zanes, “the beautiful canoe could loosen in your mind” (73). The different parts of his life (his relationship to Lung, his son, his wife, the canoe, the neighbor) are permeable. They communicate in an unusual way because they get to influence one another without ever being purposely or directly connected. The apparently rambling progression of the content of the story mirrors Zanes’ vision of life. As a result, the nonlinearity guides us.

The relationship between “Canoe Repair” and “Midcourse Corrections” emphasizes the reflections on moments of “repair” or “correction” in one’s life. The two works present pauses at a transitional time. The reading of “Canoe Repair” is the reading of images and themes mapped out in a paradigm linking scattered elements from the story, “Midcourse Corrections,” and the reader’s world. McElroy’s variation on themes common to both “Midcourse Corrections” and “Canoe Repair” is close to Andy Warhol’s technique in a series such as Marilyn. Like the painter, the author chooses a theme and modulates it. This project changes the narrative framework and our reaction to it. We can consider “Midcourse Corrections” and “Canoe Repair” to be doublings on a similar project: both pieces give different perspectives on the same thing, the way “Canoe Repair” also gives partial perspectives on the same plot. When reading “Canoe Repair,” the reader may have “Midcourse Corrections” in mind. Both pieces are meant to add to each other.

In that sense, McElroy “repeat[s] something now to make you remember something then and set[s] you up for something later” (Kawin 34). The reiterations linking the two pieces can be understood as emphases on moments that create echoes in the reader’s network of references. In “Midcourse Corrections,” McElroy writes that his essay is written to “interrupt, interleave, break diverse kinds of documents” (10). “Canoe Repair” can be read as the application of such a project to fiction. The gaps are motivated by a wish to mix disconnected “documents.” Tabbi notes that the interviews “are like a fiction” (160). In that sense, the frontiers between the essay and fiction are blurred because of their connections. Tabbi also claims, “McElroy locates his compositional self in the space between plural subjectivities” (160). The double narration of the story pluralizes Zanes’ subjectivity in a parallel way.

Structurally, the two pieces are surprisingly close. “Midcourse Corrections” is a combination of three interviews interrupted by the author’s reflections, “INSERTS,” and ” workpoints.” The short story and the autobiographical essay display a structure that accepts gaps and emphasizes echoes that connect the two texts. The substance of the canoe’s texture is mirrored by other parts of the essay:

INSERT: hinge turning: remember those trick hinged pieces of wood that were really constructed with curiously attached canvas strips?

An essay like that. An interview. A sentence fly-by that manufactures its own canvas in the space it also generates out of a music its thought spun off. (“Corrections” 20)

The crafting activity of canoe repair is paralleled by the composition of writing. The texts’ themes and images branch into one another. As McElroy expresses it, the “mixed metaphor of [his] work extends a fluid trial. Like a mixed metabolism and through the pulmonary winding also unfolding and exfoliation of the sentence’s plot it holds exchanges even between incompatibles” (“Corrections” 15). A paradigm of images is used to progressively construct the original way Zanes conceives his world. We understand how in the story, incompatibles such as “weight” and “lightness” can correlate. In the canoe, “the noble forcing of the ribs into this oval narrow form turned the weight inward into lightness” (67). In one’s life “corrections” and “repair” bring “weight” and “lightness” in contact. Traditional oppositions are reconciled in “Canoe Repair.”

The Laundromat is a place where clothes are washed, but it also becomes a place to meet, a place where life is concentrated. In addition, when Zanes thinks “rowing looks like work” (58), we see how things can serve different purposes. For Zanes, things do not have a unique meaning. Commonly, a Laundromat is used for washing. The rowing activity is meant to move a boat. However, experience changes the use of things. Zanes gives them a power to influence the world indirectly. His time influences the “real time;” his vision of space dialogues with the “real space.”

The reader adapts, concentrating on the unsettling aspects of Zanes’ representation of the world, and it participates in the creation of a simultaneous immobility and movement as when “the canoe [is] moving but … [is] still” (56). The apparent contradiction of this statement is illustrated by the structure of the story, which is partly why we may wonder if the canoe or the landscape is moving. Referring to a similar moment of immobility and movement in Hind’s Kidnap, Tony Tanner explains that “we are all familiar with such optic illusion pictures which can be read in more than one way, often as focus shifts so that figure and ground seem to change places” (219). This optic effect is rendered by the way the story is told. The process of perception alters the representation of time and space: “[t]he lake was part of the canoe” (58).

When reading the description of the canoe, we have an example of a moment when “the eye following the line of something creates motion.” Personal correspondence with the author, June 16, 2001.

Its grand lines flared to a beam so wide it seemed low and was. Which end was which? Ribs curved with a beautiful singleness up to the gunwales, and, out of the bent tension in which they seemed to grip and bow the ribs, as you ran your eyes over it and felt it the canoe developed a force of tightness and actual lift, as if the noble forcing of the ribs into this oval narrow form turned the weight inward into lightness. (67)

The passage describes the canoe precisely and technically - “ribs,” “gunwales.” We are so close to the ribs of the boat that we get an impression of immensity. The sentences saturated with commas and information prevent us from picturing a full image of the canoe. Each small detail gets enlarged so that each part seems to expand itself infinitely. The movements are underlined: “flared,” “curved,” “bent,” “grip,” “bow,” “lift,” “turned.” The canoe is still but its description creates motion.

This passage can be seen as a micro-structural template for the way the story evolves. The story is the combination of different lines gathered into a unique moment. Indeed, there is a network of words that refer to either abstract images or other words linked to the movement of the boat in the story. The circuitry of words and their relation to other words is as important as what the words refer to. The formal fragmentation and disconnection lets us experience literally what happens in Zanes’ mind. The narrator explains Zanes has a “restless mind” (60) but never explicitly explains what it means. He never gives a full description of the way Zanes orders his thoughts. We access the definition of Zanes’ “restless mind” through the organization of the story. The tensions inviting for “repair” in Zanes’ life are present at any level of the text without ever being clearly expressed. The slow paths of the narration, its fragmentation, and its echoes are images of the canoe which itself reflects the tensions at stake in Zanes’ life.

These descriptions let us experience a different sense of space but also reveal the story’s sensual approach to the world. Zanes’ readjustments orient and transform his vision. Things are examined, and their perception is detailed when Zanes describes his wife swimming, for instance: “He imagined her, and he knew her words had reached some reservoir in his brain, where she was swimming at night, the luminous things like tiny muscular wakes lit up her thighs and the curve of her back” (60). The “luminous things like tiny muscular wakes” are observed with attention, and remind us of a vision of a sculpted body where forms and relief are emphasized. Narration zooms in on details of surfaces, and the intense observation of body parts and of the canoe makes a paradigm of sensual representations. The story pays attention to the concrete surface of things: the canoe looks like a “deer swimming” (56). Things and people are described minutely, and the scale used is so close that the images of the story appear as details of a painting. The details Zanes’ vision focuses on remind us of the indirectness of his actions. Zanes pays attention to things in their details and cannot always see the overall framework of these things. Similarly, he cannot perceive the outcomes of all his actions.

McElroy refers to “’[a]ttention’ [as] a rather cold word [he] use[s] to suggest that the ways in which we embrace the world and embrace other people can be more precise and clear than we think sometimes” (Anything 248). Zanes’ attention to the canoe and to his breath, for instance, as he feels the “air filling the space of [his] chest to be measured by another time” (60), is his way to “embrace the world.” His attention to the world indirectly penetrates his relationships. Zanes’ precise description of the exterior world lets us access his interior world. We understand, when paying attention to the depiction of his environment, why “the lake [is] part of the canoe” (58). People’s lives are permeable, their energies travel into one another. Zanes’ activities involuntarily connect to other areas of his life. The clearer vision of life that appears when Zanes repairs the canoe gets transferred in mysterious ways to the other parts of his life. Different aspects of Zanes’ life influence one another, although it is not clear to him or us how they connect.

The flashes and fragments emphasized in the sequences of the story are used to represent the world: “it is the very abundance of perspectives that conveys abundance of the world under observation” (Iser 226). The canoe is personified by Zanes’ interest in it: “A body was what it was” (73). Zanes’ observations change our perception of the canoe. It is compared to a lover, an animal, and a body: “he almost loved the canoe” (67), “[t]he canoe attracted others to it, they were in its future” (75), and “[a] canoe is what makes you do” (77). Intensity changes the character’s visions of the world.

This intensity also affects the way time is represented in the story. Perception is altered. Likewise, time is distorted. McElroy refers to “the arranging of things in space, the motion of things and persons in space. Time dissolved into spatial relations.” Personal correspondence with the author, June 16, 2001. When Zanes asks, “what if space was time?” (72), his question could be considered as a comment on the devices used by the author. In “Canoe Repair,” time is peculiar since it is fragmented and does not follow a plain progression. McElroy writes in “Midcourse Corrections” that his writing is to be understood as “modifications of language editing the rhetoric of what’s inside and not disclaiming faith that the words really rendered things and motions outside - and outside, somehow, consciousness” (13). The subjective experience of Zanes’ time is spatialized in the story. “Outside” and “consciousness,” connected in “Midcourse Corrections,” become the pivot of “Canoe Repair.”

The story covers approximately seven months (“One bright mid-September afternoon” [65] to “summer soon” [77]), but the vision we have is the vision of an infinite time without bearings or perhaps a very short time so dense that the notion of its temporality is not valid. The sentences are constructed in order to convey the circuits and canals of Zanes’ stream of consciousness and even his perception process sometimes. Time is altered by perception and becomes spatialized in the story. We think about the witty reference to the Times and the “two Timeses for the price of one” (“Corrections” 19) that could ironically summarize the treatment of time in the short story where subjective time is juxtaposed to seasonal time. When reading “Canoe Repair,” we face two experiences of time: one that is subjective and distorted by experience, and the other that is universal and related to the seasons referred to in the story. The original structure of the story, its fragmentation, and connections to “Midcourse Corrections,” is a means for the author to present a subjective system of perception.

When allowing the defamiliarizing elements of the story to change our reading, we penetrate a new experience of the world, of perception, and of time. For example, the image of the canoe passing is a recurrent pattern in the short story: “It came out of a cove as quiet as a deer swimming” (56), “[t]he canoe’s animal flanks and low length absorbed the two paddlers” (57), “[t]he lake was part of the canoe” (58), “[t]reading water, my hand upon the overturned canoe” (65), and so on. These allusions create a network of references to the symbolical meaning of the slow movement characteristic of an infinite moment. The personal experience of Zanes’ time transforms the time of the story: “But he wondered what the long bark canoe felt like. Its length and strong delicacy. Its secret speed. Its time” (64). The canoe has its particular pace, its own time. Reading “Canoe Repair” is experiencing canoe(ing) time.

Works Cited

Culler, Jonathan. On Deconstruction. Theory and Criticism after Structuralism. London: Routledge, 1983.

Kawin, Bruce. Telling it Again and Again. Repetition in Literature and Film. Ithaca and London: Cornell UP, 1972

Iser, Wolfgang. The Implied Reader. Patterns of Communication in Prose Fiction from Bunyan to Beckett. Baltimore and London: John Hopkins UP, 1974.

McHale, Brian. Postmodernist Fiction. London: Routledge, 1996.

McElroy, Joseph. “Canoe Repair.” The Review of Contemporary Fiction 10. 1. (Spring 1990): 56-79.

_____ “Midcourse Corrections.” The Review of Contemporary Fiction 10. 1. (Spring 1990): 9-56.

_____ “Neural Neighborhoods and Other Concrete Abstracts.” Tri Quarterly 34 (Fall 1975): 201-17.

LeClair, Tom and Larry McCaffery. Anything Can Happen: Interviews with Contemporary American Novelists. Urbana: University of Illinois P,1983.

Porush, David. The Soft Machine: Cybernetic Fiction. New York: Methuen, 1985.

Saltzman, Arthur. The Novel in the Balance. Columbia: U of South Carolina, 1993.

Tabbi, Joseph. Postmodern Sublime. Technology and American Writing from Mailer to Cyberpunk. Ithaca and London: Cornell UP, 1995.

Tanner, Tonny. Scenes of Nature, Signs of Men. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge UP, 1987.


          Bufet Makan Malam Treasures Of The Sea Di Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral        
Salam sejahtera kepada semua pembaca setia blog makan Mahamahu dan juga rakan-rakan sekalian. Sapa tak kenal hotel Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral yang terletak di tengah-tengah KL Sentral. Hotel mempunyai 482 buah bilik dan sangat exclusive untuk gaya hidup di Kuala Lumpur. Paling best hotel ni boleh akses mudah menggunakan pengangkutan awam seperti LRT, Monorail, Komuter dan ERL ker KLIA.

Tapi yang lagi best sekarang ni Restoran Nook, restoran makan malam di Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral telah menyediakan bufet makan malam hujung minggu dengan memperkenalkan promosi bufet 'Treasures of the Sea' untuk orang ramai setiap hujung minggu iaitu hari Jumaat dan Sabtu bermula dari 7 Julai 2017.

Menghidangkan makanan laut dari hasil tangkapan terbaik dari laut, pengunjung boleh menikmati pelbagai makanan laut yang baru disajikan di atas ais, ke hidangan crockpot panas ke sup dan hidangan mi. Dalam promosi ini juga ada makanan laut yang popular seperti Udang, Tiram, Kerang, Kerang Buluh, Silik, Kupang dan Kerapu Gergasi.

Makanan laut segar yang diletakkan di atas ais akan memberikan pilihan yang sempurna untuk memulakan makan malam. Dengan pilihan udang harimau yang segar, Mussel, Kerang Half-shell, Squid Segar, Ketam Bunga dan Kerang Buluh, pencinta makanan laut akan dimanjakan dengan pelbagai pilihan. Bufet ini juga mempunyai pilihan untuk mengecilkan beberapa hidangan makanan laut panas yang dipersembahkan secara khusus dan disediakan dengan teliti oleh brigade masakan Nook.

Di antara hidangan panas adalah seperti Baked Seafood Parcel, Braised Giant Grouper Fish Head dengan Sos Ginger Dark Bean, Squid Wok-Fried Heong Style, Poached Tiger Prawn dengan Herbs dan Wolfberries, Oyster Rockefeller, Giant Grouper dengan Spicy Tamarind Gravy, Spicy Steamed Mussel dengan Vermicelli, Wok-fried Flower Carb with Sarawak Pepper, Wok-fried Prawn with Creamy Butter Sauce dan banyak lagi, semuanya dihidang secara bergilir-gilir dengan beberapa pilihan yang disediakan setiap hujung minggu.

Pilihan makan malam bufet hujung minggu juga akan menampilkan beberapa keistimewaan kepada pengunjung makan malam. Khas pada menu termasuk Chicken Avongolomelo, Braised Beef Cubed with Chilli Teriyaki, Palak Paneer, Stuffed Beancurd Puffs with Vegetable Paste dan Irish Lamb Stew. Bufet yang ini juga akan menampilkan hidangan biasa Nook ditambah dengan jus buah-buahan dan minuman ringan.


Nook menyajikan hidangan tempatan dan antarabangsa untuk bufet sarapan pagi, makan tengah hari dan makan malam. Menu di Nook menawarkan pelbagai inovasi kulineri yang lazat ditambah dengan selera biasa. Menu restoran mempamerkan gabungan rasa, tekstur dan kesegaran. Di antara kegemaran tempatan dan cadangan Chef ialah Laksa Sarawak - hidangan mi yang krim dan pedas, yang dibuat khas yang diimport dari Sarawak.

Promosi bufet Nook's 'Treasures of the Sea' adalah pada harga RM138nett seorang dewasa dan RM69nett untuk kanak-kanak berumur 6-12 tahun dan hanya boleh didapati pada hari Jumaat dan Sabtu dari jam 6.30 petang hingga 10.30 malam. Kalau anda memang pecinta makanan laut dan juga seangkatan dengannya boleh datang bawa keluarga ke Restoran Nook. Selamat mencuba.

Tempahan dan pertanyaa hubungi 
Tel : (60) 3 2723 1188 

Ranking Mahamahu :-
Kebersihan : 4/5
Kesedapan : 4/5
Harga : 3.5/5

          My 10 Favorite Things About Living and Teaching in Korea        
I'm two days away from leaving Korea. In two years of living here, I have developed deeply ambivalent feelings about both my experience here and the society itself. A couple days ago, I was re-reading The Prophet, and I was surprised to find a section that echoed my feelings about leaving Korea:

The hero has been in a strange land for twelve years and upon seeing the ship that will return him to his homeland...

"the gates of his heart were flung open, and his joy flew far over the sea. And he closed his eyes and prayed in the silences of his soul.

But as he descended the hill, a sadness came upon him, and he thought in his heart: How shall I go in peace and without sorrow? Nay, not without a wound in the spirit shall I leave this city.

Long were the days of pain I have spent within its walls, and long were the nights of aloneness; and who can depart from his pain and his aloneness without regret?

Too many fragments of the spirit have I scatterd in these streets, and too many are the children of my longing that walk naked among these hills, and I cannot withdraw from them without a bruden and an ache.

It is not a garment I cast off this day, but a skin that I tear with my own hands.

Nor is it a thought I leave behind me, but a heart made sweet with hunger and with thirst.

Yet I cannot tarry longer.

The sea that calls all things unto her calls me, and I must embark.

For to stay, though the hours burn in the night, is to freeze and crystallize and be bound in a mould."

A bit dramatic perhaps, but it really nails how I'm feeling. But, moving along... last week I posted my 10 least favorite things about living and teaching here, and here are my 10 favorite things about living and teaching here, plus a few runners-up.


Ice cream bars -- This didn't make the top ten because it has been absolutely disastrous for my fitness. At every convenience store, and they're everywhere, there is a freezer full of delicious ice cream on a stick in every flavor you could imagine and more (one of my favorites is a chocolate bar on a stick, surrounded with "nano-silver vanilla", coated with chocolate and peanuts, another is melon, another still is watermelon flavored and shaped ice cream with hazelnut seeds). A full price bar is 700 won ($.55), and most places sell them at half price. I don't know how that can be profitable (and I probably don't want to), but it sure does make for a delicious, fattening summer.

Elders' robustness -- Before the monsoon came with its endless days of rain, I was playing tennis every morning with a 64 year old man that was in nearly as good of shape as I am. I never saw him eat an ice cream bar. On my way to school, I routinely see 80-something year old men and women hunched over working in the fields, digging up potatoes or planting chili pepper plants. I've never seen them eating ice cream bars either.

Lack of zoning -- Where I come from, an area is either commercial or residential, so people end up driving a lot. Here, everything is mixed together, so people walk. On one level, it's nice to have a convenience store (with ice cream bars) in the same building as my apartment. On another level, it gets people out in the streets and creates a mixing of people and a sense of community involvement that I think we could use more of at home.

Free time -- I am ambivalent about this. Every single day here, I've had hours of free time. I play guitar, watch TV, read, watch movies, cook, paint, play online games, meditate, etc. I have learned a lot from the reading I've done, I'm a better guitarist and singer and cook, and I'm a champion of Settlers of Catan (my online game of choice), but I'm also bored a lot and frequently feel like I'm wasting my life away. It is that feeling that compelled me to take the plunge into grad school at the end of my contract here.

Now, to the top ten....

10. Gardens everywhere --
This province, Gangwon-do, is notorious in Korea for being difficult to grow food. The people respond by growing food absolutely everywhere. Any land that is less than a 15% incline and is not paved over is growing food, without exception. That's true whether it's someone's front yard, a triangle of dirt between a bridge and road, or way up in the valleys that surround the towns. They're not farms, much more like what we think of as gardens. They grow chili peppers, corn, soy beans, onions, garlic, potatoes, greens, grapes and on the occasional flat section of land, rice. This is this old couple's yard. It's worth noting that it's September and they're planting, probably the third crop of the year. I'm certain they would think we are insane for the money, effort, fertilizer and pesticides we put into grass.

9. Jjimjilbang -- These are combination health club, sauna and recreation center. Admission is about $5 and for that you soak in hot tubs infused with jade or eucalyptus or whatever, sweat in the saunas and steam rooms, and get a sports massage or a scrub down from an old Korean man wearing nothing more than briefs. There are restaurants, but for reasons that escape me Koreans seem to prefer to pig out on hard boiled eggs at these places. There are barbers and televisions and computers and massage chairs and cold and hot rooms and salt rooms and charcoal rooms and oxygen rooms. A great place to hang out and warm up in the winter or sweat out in the summer.

8. Outdoorsiness -- Koreans love the outdoors, whether eating squid jerky and drinking rice wine behind an apartment building, or hiking through valleys (which they have done an excellent job of protecting by concentrating in the cities the population of 50 million people in a country the size of Indiana). I love the tendency toward the outdoors, especially in summer, when restaurants pull out their plastic tables and the dining room floors spill out into the streets. The images of dozens of Koreans eating, drinking and laughing in a courtyard on a warm summer night will stay with me for a long time.

7. The sweet kids --
Not all of them were, but the ones that were sweet were the cutest, kindest, funnest kids I've ever known.

6. The restaurants & the food -- A lot of foreigners here complain about the cuisine, and while I admit the flavors can get a bit monotonous (sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic and chilies), I love the food, even though much of it is off limits to me as a vegetarian. Restaurants typically specialize in just a few dishes, are usually owned and run by an old lady who might work with one other old lady to prepare the food, serve the food, clean the place and everything. My favorite restaurant in town is a place where a 4' 6" 60 year old lady serves grilled fish lettuce wraps (I'm a quasi-vegetarian here) and seems to rotate through being amused, confused, appreciative and fed-up with the foreigners that frequent her place. The prices, and there's no tax or tipping, so what you see on the menu on the wall is what you actually pay, for a typically quick meal might be $3, and unless it's a very special dish (or foreign food or drink), meals rarely exceed $10 per person.

Every meal comes with bancheon, side dishes, that always include kimchi and usually other fermented vegetables. In a cheap place, you might just get three little kimchis, in a nicer place, it's not uncommon to get over ten bancheon, and they might include fried fish or raw octopus or other treats that can be even better than the central meal itself. In most cases, everything is shared with everyone at the table. In fact, when eating with Koreans, even glasses are shared -- it's a neat little social device... if you see that someone is bored or if you want to chat with someone that you're not sitting near, you take them your empty glass and a bottle of soju (chemically fermented rice wine) and pour them a shot, and in that manner, over a meal that might last a few hours, people move around (everyone sits on the floor) and everyone talks with everyone, everyone shares germs and everyone gets drunk.

5. Community focus -- This is the highest ranking item that is really about Korean society, as the next four each have to do with my position here. On the whole, I'm not a big fan of Confucianism, at least as it operates in modern Korea. However, the focus on social harmony is really nice, and something that I think we North Americans could learn a lot from. Where I is the dominant pronoun in the US, we is here. Studies have shown that the different mindsets actually affect visual perception, such that Asians are more inclined to view ambiguous situations from a removed, more holistic perspective, whereas Westerners are more inclined to view the same situation from inside it, from a first person perspective. Unfortunately, because of the xenophobia here, foreigners are not always considered part of the community in the same way Koreans are, which I think makes being a foreigner here harder than it would be in a more individualistic society like the US. But, while I'm sure my Korean friends still think I'm terribly obstuse and inconsiderate, this mindset has implanted itself in my head, and I'm glad for it. I hope it stays with me through the years.

4. Income:expenses ratio -- The salary foreigners earn teaching in Korea isn't anything special, except that foreign teachers' apartments are paid for by employers, as are airfare here and home and immigration costs. Food is cheap, entertainment (at least out here in the boonies) is scarce, and buying stuff doesn't usually make sense when you know you have to fit everything you own into two suitcases at the end of the year. Health care is nationalized and very inexpensive and the tax structure is very progressive so even those who aren't exempt pay less than 4% income tax. I have been saving almost 80% of my salary, and on top of that I'll receive about two months' bonus pay at the end of my contract. No one has gotten rich doing it, but especially for folks right out of college or when the job market at home is what it is right now, it can be a very solid financial move.

3. Vacation time & neighboring destinations -- While I've been here, I've spent time in China, Vietnam, Laos, Japan, Thailand, and Thailand again. Spending almost the entire month of February in Thailand is about as good as it gets. And it was a relatively quick flight on a lovely Asian airline to get there.

2. Novelty in everything -- Living here is a bit like being a child. You never really know what's going on, you don't have responsibilities the same way you would at home, you're easily surprised, and routine events are novel and exciting. It's incredibly frustrating, but also really enjoyable.

1. Anonymity & outsiderness -- There is something comforting about knowing that no one knows you, and that no one can. If people are going to stare at me as I walk down the street, I might as well wear shorts and flip-flops and sing as I walk. If my students are going to think I'm a weird foreigner anyway, it's much easier to engage them with silly foolishness that I might hold back at home. At home, as soon as you see someone, you thin-slice their age, sex, body language, clothing, and a thousand other things and make a judgement about who they are and how they relate to you in society. In a culture as foreign as this, that's impossible. Advertising doesn't affect you, because it is designed to take advantage of the human mind's inability to stop thin slicing. And not understanding what that 16 year old girl on the bus won't stop talking about can be really nice.

I couldn't have named this at the time, but this is what brought me back to Korea for a second year. When you remove a person from their native culture, you force them to examine themselves in way that is otherwise impossible. We define ourselves by our relations: to our jobs, our achievements, our friends and family, our hobbies, and the culture we consume (and, less often it seems, create). Take away all those things and one has to look internally for a sense of identity. That transformation started for me in my first year here, but it didn't have time to run to completion. When I got home, I didn't identify in society as I had previously, but I was still looking to things like my friends and my job to define my position in society, my social identity, especially since it had been upended since I had left. I ended up feeling lost and floundering around for quite a while before returning to Korea. I don't know if that transition ever really reaches completion, but I know that I am going home with a much stronger internal compass than I had before I came to Korea, in addition to a much broader perspective on culture, politics and the world.

          Dance Festival Videographer: Springboard Performance        
Springboard Performance is looking to hire a creative intern to video document the 2017 Fluid Movement Arts Festival, running October 18-28, 2017. With the supervision and support of the Associate Artistic Producer and Fluid Fest […]
          Dance Festival Photographer: Springboard Performance        
Springboard performance is looking to hire a creative intern to photo document the 2017 Fluid Movement Arts Festival, running October 18-28, 2017. With the supervision and support of the Associate Artistic Producer and Fluid Fest […]
          Dance Festival Video Editor: Springboard Performance        
Springboard Performance is looking to hire a creative intern to artfully edit engaging video trailers for the marketing of the 2017 Fluid Movement Arts Festival. With creative direction and support from the Associate Artistic Producer […]
          Dance Festival Box Office Assistant: Springboard Performance        
Springboard Performance is seeking an enthusiastic intern with strong organizational and customer service skills to assist in managing Box Office for the 2017 Fluid Festival, October 18-28, 2017. The Box Office Assistant will work closely […]
          Social Media Coordinator: Springboard Performance        
Springboard Performance is looking to hire a creative intern to coordinate social media for containR Art Park and the 2017 Fluid Movement Arts Festival. With the supervision and support of the Associate Artistic Producer and […]
          OSCAR 2006...DOMENICA I RISULTATI        

Ecco a voi l'elenco completo di tutte le nominations agli Oscar 2006, divisi per categoria.




Philip Seymour Hoffman - CAPOTE
Terrence Howard - HUSTLE & FLOW
David Strathairn - GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK 

George Clooney - SYRIANA
Paul Giamatti - CINDERELLA MAN

Felicity Huffman - TRANSAMERICA
Charlize Theron - NORTH COUNTRY

Amy Adams - JUNEBUG
Catherine Keener - CAPOTE
Frances McDormand - NORTH COUNTRY











"It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp" - HUSTLE & FLOW
"Travelin' Thru" - TRANSAMERICA







          Lettre ouverte à François Hollande, Président de la République mais Vincent Peillon, Ministre de l'Éducation Nationale peut y jeter un coup d'oeil aussi        

Cher monsieur,

Je me permets de vous adresser cette petite bafouille en tant que

  • nana qui a voté à gauche par idéologie (même si, putain, vous êtes bien conscients que vous êtes sacrément attendus au tournant, rapport à l'espoir et à la notion de "justice" (mot-clé de votre campagne) que vous avez su distiller ces derniers mois).
  • enseignante effarée par cette profonde dégradation de l'éducation nationale causée en grande partie par le précédent gouvernement et aussi par une vision de l'éducation de certains parents, complètement à côté de la plaque.
  • blogueuse qui ne sait pas manier la langue de bois (je ne voudrais pas crâner mais j'ai écrit un bouquin trash et malheureusement on ne peut plus véridique et lucide sur certains dysfonctionnements de notre belle institution) (''Chroniques d'une prof qui en saigne'' - Éditions Privé, Michel Lafon)

Je viens d'entendre Vincent Peillon, ministre de l'éducation nationale, sur France Inter annoncer que "tous ceux qui veulent participer à la refondation de l'école républicaine sont les bienvenus".

Et bien, me voici.

Vincent Peillon par franceinter

Vincent Peillon par franceinter

Normalement, j'aime bien France Inter mais là j'ai trouvé certaines questions un peu vagues voire inintéressantes... "quand avez-vous appris que vous étiez désigné ?", combiné à du blabla inutile sur de vraies ou fausses querelles internes, le divorce Hollande-Aubry (prendre la voix du Figaro)... Quatre minutes à ne pas parler d'éducation. Je sais bien qu'il faut une introduction. Mais "COMME MÊME" comme dirait Brenda-Gwendoline, 13 ans et demi, il serait temps de passer aux choses sérieuses car il reste... ah ouais... moins de six minutes d'interview.

Je vous parlerai essentiellement de l'enseignement au collège qui est celui que je maîtrise le mieux. Nul doute que parmi les - j'espère - nombreux commentaires, mes lecteurs, collègues et citoyens préoccupés par l'avenir des écoles maternelle, primaire et lycées, sauront vous indiquer les mesures hautement souhaitées afin d'insuffler une nouvelle énergie salvatrice.

Le manque de dialogue avec les principaux partenaires d'éducation (notamment et surtout les enseignants) fut l'un des écueils du précédent gouvernement... un ministre totalement déconnecté des réalités du terrain, uniquement intéressé par des chiffres, des statistiques et autres résultats transformant l'école en une entreprise rentable... des décisions prises sans une réelle concertation avec des professeurs confrontés aux problèmes envahissant les établissements scolaires. Bien évidemment, je ne vous apprends rien en vous disant que l'école ne produit rien. Elle est là pour développer connaissances, compétences, savoirs et savoirs-faire chez des enfants et des adolescents, le tout en instillant esprit critique, curiosité intellectuelle, envie de réussir... Il ne semble pas inutile de rappeler ces valeurs fondamentales de l'école, car celles-ci semblent s'être estompées pour laisser place aux notions de rendement et d'économie.

Dans cet entretien, Vincent Peillon a abordé succinctement :

  • l'abrogation du décret concernant l'évaluation des enseignants (trop choupi ♥) (et je vous conseille de cliquer ici pour lire ma vision de l'évaluation des enseignants)
  • les 2000 postes en plus d'encadrement dès la rentrée 2012 : auxiliaires de vie scolaire pour les élèves handicapés, assistants pédagogiques, assistants d'éducation, infirmiers/infirmières scolaires, assistants sociaux, conseillers d'orientation (trop choupi ♥)... et du personnel pour assurer la sécurité dans les bahuts difficiles (il va falloir m'expliquer plus précisément les tenants et aboutissants du concept. Je ne suis pas contre du tout mais encore faut-il savoir comment cela sera mis en place)
  • le retour des RASED (trop choupi ♥)
  • la création de postes pour alléger les classes et pour que les élèves ne se retrouvent pas sans prof de SVT pendant deux mois (trop choupi ♥)
  • l'allocation de rentrée scolaire +25% (trop choupi ♥)
  • le retour de la formation des futurs enseignants (trop choupi ♥)
  • le retour de la semaine de 5 jours en laissant le choix aux collectivités locales du mercredi ou du samedi (sachant que les deux ont leurs avantages et leurs inconvénients aka ouais c'est choupi d'avoir son samedi ET son dimanche... mais se lever 5 jours d'affilée très tôt le matin pour des enfants et des ados, c'est pas méga choupi)
  • l'apprentissage, voire le pré-apprentissage sous statut scolaire et non plus comme un contrat de travail lambda + revaloriser les filières pro. (trop choupi ♥)

Les trucs qui me semblent méga vitaux afin de redresser une structure branlante :

  • Alléger les effectifs des classes. Parce que 28 élèves en 6ème, c'est un peu cruel et criminel pour les enseignants ET pour les élèves. On parle d'individualiser le parcours de chaque élève... Méga choupi comme principe, méga logique... MAIS pour cela, il faut du temps. Et du temps, on n'en a pas lorsqu'on a 28 élèves tous plus différents les uns que les autres, avec des personnalités, des possibilités et des besoins différents. Qui dit création de postes, dit création de classes. C'est l'un des piliers qui permettra une réelle progression. 20 élèves maximum par classe. Et ouais. Faut savoir ce qu'on veut.
  • Rouvrir des classes adaptées. IME, ULIS, SEGPA... Il n'y a pas assez de places en IME, alors on parque (oui PARQUER, il n'y a pas d'autre mot) les gamins en SEGPA. Du coup, les élèves relevant de SEGPA n'ont plus de places et se retrouvent dans des classes-types où ils galèrent et où il est difficile de les aider à cause des effectifs trop lourds et du manque d'AVS (Auxilaire de Vie Scolaire) et crevette sur la paëlla => FORMER LES PROFS POUR ENSEIGNER À CE PUBLIC SI PARTICULIER et surtout ne recruter que des enseignants volontaires avec une prime supplémentaire car il s'agit d'un investissement émotionnel et nerveux énorme.
  • Afin de pallier le manque de profs remplaçants, pourquoi ne pas créer un statut spécifique avec un salaire plus élevé, de véritables remboursements de frais de déplacement pour des profs certifiés/agrégés volontaires qui se déplaceraient dans leur académie afin d'assurer des remplacements plus ou moins longs. Cela éviterait de devoir recruter des personne via "Le Bon Coin" ou Pôle Emploi qui ne sont absolument pas qualifiées, formées pour se retrouver devant des élèves, pas forcément dociles et assoiffés de connaissances.
  • Transformer certains "enseignements" en disciplines à part entière. Je pense à l'Histoire des Arts (et pourquoi ne pas en faire une option facultative au Brevet des collèges ?), au B2i, à la formation aux premiers secours... Il y a d'énooooormes incohérences... je pense à l'option Euro anglais qui ne compte pas pour le Brevet... je pense à l'Histoire des Arts qui est coefficient 2 tandis que les autres matières ne sont que coefficient 1... et quid de l'histoire-géographie qui ne compte pas pour le contrôle continu ??? L'Histoire des Arts est un concept intéressant qui demande un encadrement spécifique avec des enseignants qualifiés. Pour l'instant, il s'agit juste d'un vaste bordel qui appartient à tout le monde et à personne.
  • Lever un énorme tabou... les élèves mal-élevés dont l'éducation reçue à la maison n'est pas compatible avec les règles d'un établissement scolaire et par extension avec les règles de la société. Sur France Inter, Vincent Peillon a commis une maladresse rhétorique en désignant les enseignants comme "ceux qui éduquent nos enfants"... J'aurais préféré que l'on parle de "ceux qui INSTRUISENT" nos enfants. Dans mon collège, certains parents ont déjà maintes fois menacé certains enseignants de je cite : "si vous embêtez encore ma fille, la prochaine fois que je viens c'est pour vous mettre deux balles dans la tête" / "Moi, je ne viens qu'une fois pour parler. Après je casse tout et je vous défonce". Pour l'instant, les menaces sont restées en l'air même si l'an dernier, une collègue a failli se prendre le poing d'un père d'élève dans la tronche parce qu'elle avait osé disputer sa fille qui faisait un caprice en classe... Il y a un véritable malaise. Dans certaines zones (défavorisées, rurales, isolées...), le manque d'éducation, de repères, de règles de courtoisie est devenu le problème number one de l'école. Les élèves ne travaillent pas, se montrent insolents avec un sentiment d'impunité insupportable. Comment faire pour éduquer les parents ? Des cours de parentalité ? Il est nécessaire de repérer très tôt les élèves perturbateurs qui manquent cruellement de bases d'éducation parce que malheureusement, certains parents sont persuadés qu'avant l'âge de 4 ans, les enfants sont incapables d'être éduqués... J'ai déjà parlé de ce problème dans cet article et les commentaires qui en ont découlé, cliquez ici pour le (re)découvrir.

Vincent Peillon a également adroitement ajouté que les enseignants n'étaient pas des crevards, qu'ils souhaitaient tout d'abord que l'école redore son blason et que les élèves progressent et réussissent dans de bonnes conditions et que les augmentations de salaire n'étaient pas leur cheval de bataille principal.
Pas faux.
Néanmoins, avant de nous payer plus, il serait choupi de payer déjà ce qui nous est dû. Les frais de déplacement sont remboursés jusqu'à 6 à 8 mois en retard, certaines HSE effectuées ne sont pas payées faute de moyens, et surtout les heures supp' de septembre ne sont absolument pas payées, ce qui est quand même hallucinant, idem pour la prime de professeur principal qui n'est versée qu'à partir d'octobre (c'est bien connu qu'à la rentrée, le prof principal fait des sudokus au lieu de préparer l'accueil des élèves...). L'état a la réputation d'être le plus mauvais payeur... Il serait bon d'inverser un peu cette tendance.

Je compte sur vous pour ne pas tout faire foirer. Entourez-vous de profs, de conseillers qui sont sur le terrain et qui sauront vraiment vous aiguiller... Ne faites pas comme vos prédécesseurs qui ne se sont intéressés qu'aux profs obséquieux, carriéristes bons à rien mais prêts à tout...

(un prof carriériste ? c'est un oxymore, non ?!)

          Happy Holly Days!!        
Hello... Happy Saturday!!
This week the team has been sharing some wonderful Christmas cards. If you haven't had a chance to see them, you should take a look.
Here is my card:
This adorable little bear is from Kadoodle Bug Designs and cut with my Silhouette Cameo.
I added some Liquid Glass to the nose and some Liquid Applique to the Santa hat for added texture. You can see it better here:
The fun sentiment is a stamp from Joy's Life Wintery Puns:

 You can find all of Joy's stamps here.

And there you have it.
I hope you enjoyed my card. :)

Thanks for stopping by today! 
I would love for you to stop by my blog.

          Merry Christmas        
Hello, it's Lori with got2bcrafting!
Happy Saturday. :)
This week the DT was showcasing Christmas projects using Joy's Life "Oh Christmas Puns" and "Wintery Puns" stamp sets.
I LOVE both of these sets A LOT!!
So here is my card:
I used "Wintery Puns" for my sentiment. :)

This is a PNC (print and cut) file from the Silhouette online store.
I just printed the image tho, and did not cut it.  To make it a little more dimensional, I added some liquid applique on the Santa hat, as well as some stickles, then I added liquid glass to the bow, ornaments, and the eyes and nose of the bear.
Added some twine and a button, stamped the sentiment.... and viola, it was done. 

Pretty simple card.

Thanks for stopping by today.
I would love for you to come check out my blog if you can't a chance. :)

          Ferodo freno e frizione Fluidi        

FERODO BRAKE & CLUTCH FLUIDS Ferodo offers a wide range of brake fluid solutions, progettata per offrire prestazioni costanti e affidabili quando ne hai più bisogno. Our DOT4 and DOT5.1 specifications are suited ...

The post Ferodo freno e frizione Fluidi appeared first on Disc Brakes Australia.

          Obama Not as "Green" as He Would Like You to Think        
Future Presidential candidate Barack Hussein Obama might not be as "green" as he appears. And I don't mean "inexperienced." Last year Obama came under fire from conservatives for giving a series of speeches on the need to reduce carbon emissions by breaking America's addiction to SUVs, while arriving and departing in a GMC Envoy. When the story broke, Obama's press secretary, Tommy Vietor, issued a statement saying that Obama liked to roll in a Flex-Fuel SUV, which suggested that he was indeed practicing what he preached. Unfortunately for Obama, many clever conservatives did their research and found out that the GMC Envoy does not come equipped with Flex-Fuel technology.

But now, Obama's committment to being Green is being challenged by environmentalists on both sides of the aisles (Washington Post article here). In a Grist article entitled, "Even Stevens?" reporter Amanda Griscom Little descibes the problems environmentalists have with the "Coal-to-Liquid Fuel Promotion Act of 2007" co-sponsored by Obama and Kentucky Senator Jim Bunning. According to the article, "Coal-to-liquid (CTL) technology uses a highly energy-intensive process to convert coal into diesel fuel for cars or jet fuel for airplanes -- an appealing prospect to the coal industry in Obama's home state of Illinois, but not to [environmentalists] and others concerned about global warming." Little goes on to explain the problems with CTL technology:
David Doniger, policy director of the Natural Resources Defense Council's Climate Center, has supported coal gasification as a viable alternative to coal-burning power plants, but explains that CTL is not as promising an alternative to conventional gasoline or biofuels. "Coal-to-liquid is, in the best-case scenario, no worse for the climate than oil-derived gasoline -- and no better," he says. The best-case scenario assumes that CTL producers find a way to capture their carbon emissions. Problem is, none of the current CTL projects actually involve carbon capture. Without that step, the climate impacts of CTL fuel are far worse than those of gasoline. According to an NRDC analysis, a 35-mpg car powered by the CTL fuel that's currently available would generate as much carbon dioxide pollution as a far less efficient 19-mpg car that runs on conventional gasoline.
The Bunning-Obama bill "which would expand tax incentives for CTL and help jumpstart the industry with public-private partnerships, was first introduced by the senators in spring of last year." It appears that for Obama, regional politics trump environmentalism. It will be interesting to see how many of his Democratic collegues will support the bill and undermine the Dems climate control promises. One thing is for sure: Obama's "100 percent approval rating from the League of Conservation Voters for his environmental voting record in the Senate last year" is certain to decrease this time around.
          Maple Forest        

Character Level: 37
Profession Level: 36
Achievement: Zadorak, Hoadremlin and Dimension Ruler

Map Location:
Maple Forest

Quest List:
Another Threat
Remove the Branches
Sleep Disturbing Fairies - [Reward: 2 Red Potion (IV) and 2 Blue Potion (IV)]
Too Sleepy to Talk Now, Talk Later
Guard Who Looks Nervous
Why You Did! - [Reward: 3 Wind Elixir]
Reliable Mate
My Old Friend Ralf
Whose Order?! - [Reward: 3 Fairy Stone]
The Diary of Investigators - [Reward: 4 Purple Potion (IV)]
The Thing I Watched That Night
Noisy Historic Site
A Being From Another World - [Reward: Yggdrasil Leaf]
A Hero of Justice Raindy
The Thing to Maintain Dimensional Crack
Save Time while Closing Dimensonal Crack - [Reward: Bear Embroidery IV and 4 Red Potion (IV)]
Finding Traces of the Freyjanity - [Reward: 2 Wind Elixir and 2 Blue Potion (IV)]
Time to Say Goodbye
Let's Go to the Hill of Deadly Poision
Evil Mandragora - [Reward: 2 Oridecon Powder]
The King of Mandragoras - [Reward: 2 Fairy Stone and 2 Red Potion (IV)]
Where is the Patient!
Is it the Poison of Mandragora?
Antidote Delivery
No Effect?
Is it You?
Professional Herb Digger Slag
Slag's Condition - [Reward: Screw Runehole Puncher and 4 Red Potion (IV)]
Natural Enemy of the Herb Digger
K.O. Grass Before Growing Flora
To Jacob
For the Poison, Use the Poison
The Reason Why Dr. Jacob is Back - [Reward: Fairy Stone and 2 Blue Potion (IV)]
The Person Who is Waiting in Maple Village - [Reward: 3 Wind Elixir]
Investigating the Village
Guard Commander Lance
Guard Commander is Not Pleasant
Traditonal Liquor Holic Lance
Broken Liquor Barrel
Chase Python - [Reward: Oridecon Powder and 4 Purple Potion (IV)]
Brewin's Love for Python
I Want to Eat Pumpkin Stew
We Can Make Stew But Have No Ingredient - [Reward: Refining Whetstone IV and 2 Yggdrasil Leas]
First Ingredients for Delicious Stew: Fresh Pumpkins
Steal Pumpkins with the Owner's Consent - [Reward: 2 Red Potion (IV) and 2 Blue Potion (IV)]
Pumpkins for Kate
Mouses Who Ruined the Fields
Mandragora's Needle
Second Ingredients for Delicious Stew: Fresh Cheese
Cheese Retake Operation
Cheese for Kate - [Reward: 2 Red Potion (IV) and 2 Blue Potion (IV)]
Kate's Special Pumkin Stew
The Process For Brewing the Traditional Liquor (1) - [2 Wind Elixir and 2 Blue Potion (IV)]
The Process For Brewing the Traditional Liquor (2) - [2 Wind Elixir and 2 Blue Potion (IV)]
Monster Fascinated in Sweet Scent - [Reward: Dim Dexterity Rune]
The Only Remaining Maple Extract - [Reward: Dragon Embroidery IV]
Extract Delivery
Got Traditional Liquor!
Lance's Wait
Alcohol Tells the Truth - [Reward: Convert Steel]
A Woman Lost Husband
Request from Sejanne
A Mastis Attacing Bordo - [Reward: Tiger Embroidery IV and 2 Red Potion (IV)]
Going to Historic Scene With Bordo
Greet Later
Help Via
Dimensional Crack in a Place Like This - [Reward: Plated Gauntlets of Fissure]
A Monster from Dimensional Crack - [Reward: Scaled Armguard of Fissure]
Where is Bordo?
Captured Villager
Young Witness
Looking for Trace
Duel with Lance - [Reward: Oridecon Powder or Ernium Powder]
Go to South Gateway!
The Reason Why She Stayed
Where is Freki? - [Reward: Dim Will Rune and 3 Blue Potion (IV)]
A Way to Rescue the Captured Freki?
Trainer Erine - [Reward: Plated Visor of Fissure]
Merchant Fruit
Attacked Carriage - [Reward: Scared Helm of Fissure]
Bring Back Meat Box
Thing That Reina Asked
What's This Thing For? - [Reward: Breastplate of Fissure]
Dr. Jacob's Elixir
Bring Agitated Freki - [Reward: Items of Fissure]
Blood Line of Freki
Prince of the Wild Cannot be Raise by Human
The Method to Awake Wild Instinct - [Reward: Tiger Embroidery IV or Dragon Embroidery IV]
Red Scar's Blood
Miss Lady! - [Reward: Refining Whetstone IV or Magic Oil IV]
Close Defense Line - [Reward: 3 Red Potion (IV) and 3 Blue Potion (IV)]
Final Resistance - [Reward: Screw Rune Hole Puncher]
Dimensional Crack Wide Open - [Reward: Farmer Hat]
Track Down Escaped Freyjanity
Reunion with Guile
Clearing Out the Vicinity of Laboratory - [Reward: Ernium Powder and 3 Blue Potion (IV)]
Unseen Freyjan - [Reward: Dim Strength Rune and 3 Red Potion (IV)]
Rackuf in Maple Village
Weak Rackuf - [Reward: Dim Dexterity Rune]
I'm Ashamed to Meet Master - [Reward: 2 Red Potion (IV) and 2 Blue Potion (IV)]
Coward Beast Master - [Reward: Dim Intelligence Rune]
Strong and Powerfull Heavy Grizzly
Heckler of Excavation
Man Who Can Cure a Poison
Sweeping Gremlins from the Santuary
Give My Hat Back
Materials for the Thesis
Capture Hostile Cockratice - [Reward: 3 Red Potion (IV) and 3 Blue Potion (IV)]
[Dungeon] True Criminal - [Reward: Maple Foreest Weapon Statue]
[Dungeon] Jacob's Research Log - [Reward: Maple Foreest Top Statue]
Request from Mildross (1)
Request from Mildross (2) - [Reward: 2 Yggdrasil Lead]
Request: Kate's Pride
Request: Carrots!
Request: The Red Shadow Crossing Maple Forest

Quest Starter Items Found:
None Yet

Items Found:
Split Piece 1 [Bring to Irmumoa Aro2] - Fai, Magical Fai, Wild Fai, Country Mouse, Needle Mandragora, Mantis, Imperfect Goblin Fighter, High Pagan, Wise Cockratice
Split Piece 2 [Bring to Irmumoa Aro2] - Fai, Magical Fai, Wild Fai, Flora
Split Piece 3 [Bring to Irmumoa Aro2] - Fai, Wild Fai, Mantis, Wise Cockratice

Materials Items:
Earthly Trace (I) - Country Mouse, Minor Gremlin, Mantis, Warlike Cockratice
Firmament Essence (I) - Flora, Emergency Ration, Needle Mandragora, Mantis
Root of Life (I) - Wild Fai, High Elite Researcher
Spirit of Ruin (I) - Flora, Raptured High Pagan
Monster Fragment (I) - High Adamant Researcher

Other Items:
Abandoned Hood - Freyjan Beast Master
Archaic Hood - Freyjan Venomer, Poisoner
Cloth Pocket - Country Mouse, Wild Country Mouse
Fire Ice - Vanaheim High Devil
Gooey Liquid - Minor Gremlin, Gremlin
Large Bear Paw - Little Grizzly, Grizzly, Heavy Grizzly
Leaf - Flora
Mastis Arm - Mantis, Giant Mantis
Old Cheese - Emergency Ration
Pesky Mask - Imperfect Goblin Fighter, Imperfect Goblin Warrior
Pixie Wing - Fai, Magical Fai, Wild Fai
Poison Fang - Python, Great Python, Critical Phyton
Researcher's Button - Researcher, Adamant Researcher, Shoot Researcher, High Adamant Researcher, High Shoot Researcher, High Elite Researcher, Elite Researcher, High Recovery Researcher
Ripped Scriptures - Raptures High Pagan, High Pagan
Stinky Petal - Needle Mandragora
Stone Powder - Cockratice, Wise Cockratice, Warlike Cockratice
Tufred Bee Wing - Killer Bee

Bags Found:
Small Bag - None
Medium Bag - None Yet

Food and Drinks Found:
Instant Lettuce Geotjeori - Imperfect Goblin Warrior
Instant Smoldering Heart Skewer - Gremlin, Shoot Researcher, Freyjan Beast Master
Instant Smoldering Heart Soup - Gremlin, Critical Python, Mantis, Wise Cockratice
Instant Smoldering Heart Steak - Fai, Country Mouse, Wild Country Mouse, Imperfect Goblin Warrior, Raptures High Pagan, High Recovery Researcher

Potions Found:
Red Potion (IV) - Researcher, High Adamant Researcher, Imperfect Goblin Fighter, High Pagan
Blue Potion (IV) - Magical Fai, Minor Gremlin, Needle Mandragoram, Imperfect Goblin Warrior, High Pagan
Purple Potion (IV) - Wild Fai, Needle Mandragora
Health Boost Potion (IV) - Needle Mandragora, High Shoot Researcher, High Pagan
Intelligence Boost Potion (IV) - Country Mouse
Will Potion (IV) - Heavy Grizzly

Cards Found:

Weapons and Armors Found:
Desperate Chain Gauntlets - Ruler of Fury
Desperate Plated Boots - Ruler of Fury
Desperate Sword - Ruler of Fury
Plated Boots of Silence - Magical Fai
Plated Gauntlets of Silence - Magical Fai
Scaled Chain Boots - High Shoot Researcher
Scaled Shield - High Shoot Researcher
Scout Dual Dagger - Minor Gremlin
Sunset Plated Boots - Mantis

Khara Quest:
Poison Investigators
Destroyer of Maply Forest
Way to Strengthen Equipment
Two Bears in the House
Mantis Martial-Arts Expert
Go Crazy with Cheese
Good Taste and Healthy
Novice Weapon Smelter - [Reward: Title - Weapon Novice]
Novice Armor Smelter - [Reward: Title - Armor Novice]
Intermediate Weapon Smelter - [Reward: Title - Weapon Expert]
Intermediate Armor Smelter - [Reward: Title - Armor Expert]
Mass Production Fish Cake
Health Food of Payon Forest
Despisable Food of the Cracked Plain, Is it that Bad?
Principle of Gathering No One Knows About
Long Life Span Without Illness! Health is the Most Important
Finding the Taste of Midgard
Birth of a Great Table!
(Rare:B) Hoadremlin (Party Recommended) - [Reward: Title - Hoadremlin Hunter]
[Dungeon] Ruler of Vanaheim of Anger - [Reward: Title - Dimensional Ruler]
[Dungeon] The Truth of the Immortal Experiment
[Dungeon] Owner of the Secret Experiment at the Laboratory - [Reward: Title - Lab Professor]

Small Silver Ore
Medium Silver Ore
Large Silver Ore

None Yet

          Alpha2L Pumps Domestic Circulator        
Alpha2L Pumps Domestic Circulator

Alpha2L Pumps Domestic Circulator

he Grundfos ALPHA2 L is an advanced energy efficient domestic circulator that meets EuP legislative requirements. This makes it an ideal choice for a variety of domestic circulation heating systems. The ALPHA2 L achieves the highest possible energy savings in comparison to older technology fixed speed pumps. The reduction in power consumption has been achieved by using the latest permanent magnet motor technology and this power consumption can be as low as 5 watts. The variable speed modulating modes allows the pump to match its performance to the system requirements, helping to reduce noise when thermostatic valves are closing down. The ALPHA2 L models are simple to install in new or existing systems, and are 130mm between ports. Features and benefits Meets EuP legislative demands Energy efficient pump - significant energy savings Variable and fixed speed operation – one pump for all jobs Plug and Pump – no need to open terminal box 5 year warranty   Technical data Liquid Temperature: +2°C @ 110°C  Maximum Ambient: 37°C @ 82°C Flow Min Inlet Pressure: 1.3m @ 82°C Flow Maximum System Pressure: 10 Bar Mean Sound Pressure Level: Control of heating systems The heat requirements of a building vary greatly and today thermostatic radiator valves efficiently control the system output. This can lead to excessive pump pressure and valve noise. ALPHA2 L can not only adapt to these variable conditions but reduce electrical energy consumption.   Fixed speed pump mode With a fixed speed pump, as the radiator TRV’s close, the system resistance increases causing an increase in pump pressure which can lead to TRV noise.   Pressure controlled mode As the TRV’s close the pump pressure is controlled according to the selected mode. At the reduced pressure the TRV’s then re-adjust to maintain the required output. The pump pressure reduces radiator valve noise and power consumption. Installation and operating guidance When installing the ALPHA2 L, please refer to the Installation and Operating Instructions, if using pump in either constant pressure or proportional pressure mode. *Please refer to the boiler manufacturers minimum flow rate requirements when setting bypass valves.

          Art 1597 Thermostatic Head        
Art 1597 Thermostatic Head

Art 1597 Thermostatic Head

Lockable Head. Liquid Sensor. Frost Setting 6C. Conforms to EN215. M30 x 1.5 Standard Connection. Size - 76.5 x 51 Albion Radiator Valve Guide

          Belmont B1301 Liquid TRV Head Only        
Belmont B1301 Liquid TRV Head Only

Belmont B1301 Liquid TRV Head Only

Liquid TRV heads are perfect for those that want a responsive, fast acting head for their radiators. Compared to wax sensors, liquid sensors react quicker to changes in room temperature and can typically proide more accurate performance. Please note sensor head only. No valve body is supplied.

          Belmont B1301 Liquid TRV Head Only with Remote Adjuster        
Belmont B1301 Liquid TRV Head Only with Remote Adjuster

Belmont B1301 Liquid TRV Head Only with Remote Adjuster

          Belmont B1301 Liquid TRV Head Only with Remote Sensor        
Belmont B1301 Liquid TRV Head Only with Remote Sensor

Belmont B1301 Liquid TRV Head Only with Remote Sensor

A remote trv control is suitable for a wide variety of applications. They are the perfect choice for enclosed radiators or for existing installations where the standard temperature head can be replaced. The 2m cable ensures maximum sitting flexibility whilst maintaining an accurate temperature control.

          Belmont B1301-0/4 Liquid TRV Head Only Anti Theft        
Belmont B1301-0/4 Liquid TRV Head Only Anti Theft

Belmont B1301-0/4 Liquid TRV Head Only Anti Theft

          Callisto 15mm Angled Thermostatic Radiator Valve Twin Pack        
Callisto 15mm Angled Thermostatic Radiator Valve Twin Pack

Callisto 15mm Angled Thermostatic Radiator Valve Twin Pack

15mm Angled TRV. Bi-Directional flow, liquid filled head, max working pressure 10 Bar, temperature 110°C, max differential pressure 1.2 Bar.

          Cherry Blast Fresh Anti-Bacterial Multi Purpose Spray 1L - TCCF1        
Cherry Blast Fresh Anti-Bacterial Multi Purpose Spray 1L - TCCF1

Cherry Blast Fresh Anti-Bacterial Multi Purpose Spray 1L - TCCF1

Cherry fragranced Multi Purpose Disinfectant / Cleaning Liquid - contains Biocide to kill 99.99% of germs. Designed for use on all hard surfaces around the home - can be used neat as a spray or diluted for use with a Mop or similar

          Commercial Chemicals 1000Litres        
Commercial Chemicals 1000Litres

Commercial Chemicals 1000Litres

R500C IBC-Sentinel R500 Heat Transfer Fluid provides exceptional thermal transfer for ground source heat pump systems. It offers superior stability and protection against corrosion and deposits, and resistance to degradation. It also contains an effective biocide that will help to control the growth of bacteria.

          Handling concurrency conflicts in LINQ to SQL        

Apologies for the delay in getting this post out, been busy and been playing around with too many good things lately. Virtual machines, Unit Testing etc, recording some radio from the net etc. Anyways, I have been planning to write about my experiences with Conflict handling in Linq2Sql, what happens when two users want to update the infamous Product table in Northwind.

When I started playing around with it I also discovered that I needed to investigate a bit more about DataContexts, so I went reading around the web to gather info, did some experiments in my machine etc and interestingly enough I had a very related question at work where a colleague asked about the what are best practises when instantiating them. He had a static DataContext to be shared amongst his data access for a particular entity. My opinion on this is that DataContexts are cheap and light to create and that creating them for a single unit of work I do say in my GetProductByID function should be good enough. I'll say that persisiting DataContexts would create a bit of an overhead when I think that it has to keep all the mappings and ObjectTracking etc ( mind due, you can turn off ObjectTracking if you are going to do read only..). Also DCxt are not thread safe so that's another big reason not to do that. But when I started Linqing2Sql I did entertain the idea of sharing my DataContext through a singleton. Hrmm.

public voidTurnOffObjectTracking()
   var dal = newProductDataContext();
   // If you don't want to update stuff, don't track them.
dal.ObjectTrackingEnabled = true;           
   Productprod = dal.Products.SingleOrDefault(a => a.ProductID == Guid.NewGuid());

Let me not get sidetracked, it's 10:30pm and I want to go to sleep, back to our interleaving..

First of all, let's recreate the case where <  1 users are updating a record and our sys throws up a smelly. But before I do that, let's keep in mind that DataContexts are neat, I mean sometimes too neat since some stuff happens behind the scenes kind of magic, but that maybe just me :-(

For example, note how in the example below two products are obtained from the db and one of them is upated, and then without committing this change to storage, I get another instance of the same product, then I commit the original change and then compare the Products....

public void Test_DataContext_Product_Independence()
    using (System.Transactions.TransactionScope scope = new System.Transactions.TransactionScope())
        var linq = new ProductDataContext();
        linq.Log = Console.Out;

        Guid productID = new Guid("50BD6DEB52C14D65BEC268957601EF25");
        // Get a Product with the ID as above
        Product product_1 = linq.Products.Single(p => p.ProductID == productID);
        // check that the Prod Name is as expected..
        Assert.AreEqual("Tourtière", product_1.ProductName);
        // Update the Prod Name
        product_1.ProductName = "Côte de Tourtière";
        // Let's retrieve the product again, note that the update above has not been committed to the database
        Product product_2 = linq.Products.Single(p => p.ProductID == productID);
        // Now commit!

        // Note that the new name of Product2...obtained from DataContext Memory, before I committed the change! neat!
        Assert.AreEqual("Côte de Tourtière", product_2.ProductName);               


OK, so to simulate interleaving, we'll simulate the two users trying to update a record in the db. The record look like below

ProductID / ProductName / UnitPrice

 455984DB-92DD-4BA4-87D7-91E4E2E5E00D    Camomile Tea    10.00    ....

Now our two unsuspecting users are going to try to update the Product Name for this product

public void RecreateInterleavingCondition()
    var user1DAL = new ProductDataContext();
    var user2DAL = new ProductDataContext();

    Guid pID = new Guid("455984db-92dd-4ba4-87d7-91e4e2e5e00d");
    Product user1Product = user1DAL.Products.Single(p => p.ProductID == pID);
    user1Product.ProductName = "Royal Camomile Tea";

    Product user2Product = user2DAL.Products.Single(p => p.ProductID == pID);
    user2Product.ProductName = "Royal Camomile Tigris Tea";


Run the above results in: Conflict Exception!


User1 retrieves our Product and changes the name to "Royal Camomile Tea", not Submitting the changes, now User2 gets in there, retrieves the record changes to "Royal Camomile Tigris Tea", but User1 submits his changes and then User2 submits her changes. End result Conflict!

Now...How does LINQ to SQL handles it?

L2SQL uses what is called Optimistic concurrency is based on the un-healthy assumption that db transactions won't conflict with other transactions, that basically the chances of two users at exactly the same time wont happen that often. The alternative is pessimistic concurrency, this is where users will retrieve a record from the database and hold a lock on that record/table to prevent other pesky users to change that, problem is that is not scalable at all, systems grew larger and records where locked for ages before the sys will release the handle on it, also the emergence of the Web, the demands of stateles apps made it totally unfeasible for the pessimistic model.

LINQ to SQL uses Optimistic concurrency, what it does is that when updating a record, it checks the previous values of that record, it the values where unchanged, then is all good, otherwise it will complain and it will throw an exception and then you can handle it and choose how to handle the conflict.

In effect, if you turn Log on when Updating a record, and see the query passed onto the db you'll see that all values will be passed in the WHERE clause to compare against the columns in your table, not only the ID for the record. See below for the updates we tried to do above. MSDN has a good article on LINQ to SQL and Optimistic conc here

UPDATE [dbo].[Product]
SET [ProductName] = @p5
WHERE ([ProductID] = @p0) AND ([ProductName] = @p1) AND ([UnitPrice] = @p2) AND ([CategoryID] = @p3) AND ([CreatedDate] = @p4)
-- @p0: Input UniqueIdentifier (Size = 0; Prec = 0; Scale = 0) [455984db-92dd-4ba4-87d7-91e4e2e5e00d]
-- @p1: Input VarChar (Size = 12; Prec = 0; Scale = 0) [Camomile Tea]
-- @p2: Input Money (Size = 0; Prec = 19; Scale = 4) [10.0000]
-- @p3: Input UniqueIdentifier (Size = 0; Prec = 0; Scale = 0) [c9735b53-9c82-4f11-891a-8a53dc89565d]
-- @p4: Input DateTime (Size = 0; Prec = 0; Scale = 0) [17/04/2242 11:07:05 PM]
-- @p5: Input VarChar (Size = 5; Prec = 0; Scale = 0) [Royal]

Royal Tigris
UPDATE [dbo].[Product]
SET [ProductName] = @p5
WHERE ([ProductID] = @p0) AND ([ProductName] = @p1) AND ([UnitPrice] = @p2) AND ([CategoryID] = @p3) AND ([CreatedDate] = @p4)
-- @p0: Input UniqueIdentifier (Size = 0; Prec = 0; Scale = 0) [455984db-92dd-4ba4-87d7-91e4e2e5e00d]
-- @p1: Input VarChar (Size = 12; Prec = 0; Scale = 0) [Camomile Tea]
-- @p2: Input Money (Size = 0; Prec = 19; Scale = 4) [10.0000]
-- @p3: Input UniqueIdentifier (Size = 0; Prec = 0; Scale = 0) [c9735b53-9c82-4f11-891a-8a53dc89565d]
-- @p4: Input DateTime (Size = 0; Prec = 0; Scale = 0) [17/04/2242 11:07:05 PM]
-- @p5: Input VarChar (Size = 12; Prec = 0; Scale = 0) [Royal Tigris]

DataContext implements Optimistic by default, but you can turn it off, imagine that it passed lots of parameters, this will certainly cause performance dramas or you simply could streamline it. You can fix your mappings with the UpdateCheck attribute. More info check MSDN article here and here

Ok, so the above will throw an exception when the Update query cannot find a match, it will interpret this as "oh, someone else got in first and changed something before I did! :-_(  , I'll throw a ChangeConflictException then..."

The art of handling conflicts

First of all, wrap your potentially conflict-causing code in a try/catch block and look out for a ChangeConflictException as below..

    // Here the values change!
    var result = new ProductDataContext();
    Product product13 = result.Products.Single(i => i.ProductID == pID);
catch (ChangeConflictException ex)
{ ....

Once you catch the exception, you have choices of how to handle the conflict by basically examining the guilty entities and members and choosing which values to keep, be it Database, overwriting database  values  or merging changes with the database. Let's have a look first at how to retrieve the conflicting data.

DataContext objects have a property called ChangeConflicts thats gives you a ChangeConflictCollection of ObjectChangeConflict objects that eventually you can enumerate and then drill down and get at the values that are in conflict.

catch (ChangeConflictException ex)
    foreach (ObjectChangeConflict occ in linq.ChangeConflicts)
Each ObjectChangeConflict object represents the conflicted instance, in plain english it encapsulates the update attempt that caused the conflict. 
We can then iterate over the entities that "participated" in that conflict and get specific information about them. You do this by accessing the MemberConflicts collection of ObjectChangeConflict.
catch (ChangeConflictException ex)
    foreach (ObjectChangeConflict occ in linq.ChangeConflicts)
        foreach (MemberChangeConflict mcc in occ.MemberConflicts)
            Console.WriteLine("Original: " + mcc.OriginalValue);
            Console.WriteLine("Database value: " + mcc.DatabaseValue);
            Console.WriteLine("CurrentValue: " + mcc.CurrentValue);

Here is where it starts to get juicy. See how above we can get the different values for a particular entity through the "stages" of the conflict. This information could be very useful, you might want to present this details to the user and let her make a decision of what to submit to the database in  a grid or something...right?

But of course, you can explicitly resolve the conflicts by once the error is detected, choosing to keep current values, database values or merge. Let's have a look at it.

Overwriting Database values

First up we are going to solve the conflict by merging the database values with User1 only since User1 got in there last, he is the last committer (is there such a work in english?), User2 won't see anything since her changes when in and the Optimistic handling didn't detect any changes. So the conflict is a conflict from the context of User1, he created the conflict, he is the last in so he has to tell the database what to do with the changes..The database if it talked, it could ask the question.."oh..you are last in...what do you we do with your changes...", That's the way I see it. :-)  Shut up and show me code please ... thanks.

public void CheckProductNamesWithTwoDataContexts()
    var linq = new ProductDataContext();
    var linq_2 = new ProductDataContext();
    Guid pID  = new Guid("455984db-92dd-4ba4-87d7-91e4e2e5e00d");

    Product p1 = linq.Products.Single(p => p.ProductID == pID );
    p1.ProductName = "Red Tea";
    p1.CategoryID = new Guid("00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000");
    Product p2 = linq_2.Products.Single(p => p.ProductID == pID);
    p2.ProductName = "Green Tea";
    p2.CategoryID = new Guid("90000000-1111-1111-1111-000000000000");
    p2.UnitPrice = 10.0M;
        var result = new ProductDataContext();
    catch (ChangeConflictException ex)
        foreach (ObjectChangeConflict occ in linq.ChangeConflicts)
            foreach (MemberChangeConflict mcc in occ.MemberConflicts)
                Console.WriteLine("Original: " + mcc.OriginalValue);
                Console.WriteLine("Database value: " + mcc.DatabaseValue);
                Console.WriteLine("CurrentValue: " + mcc.CurrentValue);

Quite a lengthy function yeah, but let's see what happens. User1 retrieved the Product, changed the name and the CategoryID, User2 changed the name, CategoryID and UnitPrice. Now note that I called ResolveAll of the ChangeConflict fame from our DataContext, in this case I called it linq. ( You can also call ObjectChangeConflict's Resolve function) This function takes an enum that could be KeepCurrentValues, KeepChanges and OverwriteCurrentValues. In this case we use KeepCurrentChanges, which means we'll keep our changes for the data that clashed with User2, anything else that User2 changed will be ignored and the database defaults will be reinstated. I suppose the way to interpret it is KeepCurrentValues keeps the current values in the DataContext, in this case User1. Note: Make sure once you handle the exception any way you see fit, make sure you SubmitChanges() again for that DataContext otherwise nothing will happen! :-)

Also note that you can choose also when to handle the exceptions. Say you have a lot of changes that the user made and it will be too cumbersome for them to re-enter all those values again. Since SubmitChanges accumulates all conflicts in a batch, the number of changes could be huge.. Good news is that SubmitChanges() can be overloaded to take a ConflictMode enum that will either tell the instance of DataContext to either throw the ConflictException as soon as it detects it (thus minimising the potential hassles for users) called FailOnFirstConflict, or to keep accumulating and attempting to update data and then report the whole lot (ContinueOnConflict).

  ProductName CategoryID UnitPrice
Database row (originally) Camomile Tea E1422E86-.... 0.00
User 1 Red Tea  Guid.Empty  
User 2 Green Trea Guid.NewGuid 10

Result is:

  ProductName CategoryID UnitPrice
database RedTea Guid.Empty 0.00

Note that User1 values went it , User2 data was thrown out and even though in UnitPrice there wasn't a clash between the users, the database value was the chosen one!

Retaining Database values

This is in fact the opposite as our previous example, User2 values are merged with the database and User1's values are chucked out of the window. Basically User1 says, "I'll let the other guy's values go through..I'll comeback to it again and see where my data fits with hers..". The term OverwriteCurrentValues, the way I interpret it that is read from the point of view of User1, "Overwrite my current values, therefore since User2 has committed and are in the db, keep them..".  This is achieved by using:


Table please...

  ProductName CategoryID UnitPrice
Database Camomile E1422E86 0.00
User1 Red Tea Guid.Empty  
User2 Green Tea NewGuid 10.0
  ProductName CategoryID UnitPrice
  Green Tea NewID 10.0

Merging Conflicts with Database values

Using ResolveAll(RefreshMode.KeepChanges) means keeps all the changes in the DataContext and merge them with the database, overwritting the row values if necessary.

  ProductName CategoryID UnitPrice
Database Camomile E1422E86 0.00
User1 Red Tea    
User2 Green Tea NewGuid 10.0

The results are as expected, User1 keeps his Red Tea, and User2 keep hers NewGuid and UnitPrice, in effect the merging has been "between" the users only.

  ProductName CategoryID UnitPrice
  Red Tea NewID 10.0


Apologies for the delay in getting this one out, I have been busy and I was writing this up when we noted our beautiful and very lively ( and vicious) pet parrot passed away last Thursday night.  Very sad and it all was all of a sudden. I hope the poor fella didn't suffer and I certainly miss his singing in the mornings. Lesson learned though, birds should be free and while they are very entertaining I don't think is fair to keep them [birds] inside for our selfish gratification.

I certainly enjoyed writing this post and playing around with the DataContext, generating errors etc. There is ton of info on this in MSDN, I certainly think the guys have done a great job in documenting Conflict resolution in LINQ to SQL.

Place for you to start would be:


It’s a word I hear a lot. I even use it myself sometimes: Leverage. I like the word. “Leverage” Sounds and smells fluid & rubbery. But it actually means to do the opposite. It takes power and muscle to leverage one thing towards the other. I sometimes hear people say that they want to: “Leverage [...]
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          PELANCARAN LAGU 5S TNB JITRA        

Liquid courage. Nerve tonic. Pork chop in a can. Whatever you call it, it’s all the same once it hits your lips: BEER. This adult beverage has been entwined with snowboarding since the dawn of time—cold ones kicked back in the parking-lot, a 12-pack at the spot, or late-night shotguns at a house party.

The Strange Brew boys are no strangers to slugging cold ones. They’ve built their reputation out of Tahoe by thrashing urban environments, traveling by van, and crushing cans all the while. Thousands of miles away across an ocean, Toni Kerkelä has spent his seasons meticulously picking apart street spots and filming hammers on his home turf of Finland. Toni’s built his reputation by putting out multiple video parts every year, full of his crisp style. When you park the Strange Brew van in the U.S. and mash them and Toni together in Finland, you get “Beer & Rails”.

When the wave of fermented grain finally crashed and washed Strange Brew up on the streets of Jyväskylä, Finland, they got a two-week guided session of Toni’s home-town spots. The crew was comprised of Riley Nickerson, Keenan Cawley, Ian Daly, Jasper Tripp, and Toni Kerkelä. With equal parts raw snowboard talent, beer-soaked ambition and an eye for unique lines, the newly-forged crew took it hard to the streets in search of late-night sessions and urban creativity.

Beer & Rails hits taps 8.31.15

Cast: Rome Snowboards and IANTMACY

Tags: Snowboarding, Strange Brew, Toni Kerkelä, Beer & Rails, Party, Rome SDS, Rome Snowboards, Beer, Rails and Finland

          Beer & Rails        

Snowboarding and beer. Beer and snowboarding. It’s a timeless partnership of hops, yeast, liquid courage and good times.

This same partnership helped send an unlikely snowboard crew of Riley Nickerson, Keenan Cawley, Jasper Tripp and Ian Daley to Finland for a two-week urban assault with Toni Kerkelä last winter.

Strange Brew has spent the last three seasons stalking the United States by van, hungry for any and all rail features, as well as sometimes just plain hungry. Toni, however, has been busy stacking a hefty list of standout video parts while filming with his hometown crew KBR. Though they exist on the other side of the world, the idea of sending Strange Brew to meet Toni sounded like an interesting recipe for a unique flavor of riding. With the local Karhu barley pop surging through their systems, the boys stormed the streets of Toni’s hometown of Jyväskylä, logging late nights and early mornings.

So what happens when you take a crew of vagabond snowboarders to visit T-Kerks in Finland, stack footage and let it ferment for a couple months?

Crack a can, post up and push play to celebrate the union of snowboarding and our favorite form of a fermented malty beverage.

Cast: Rome Snowboards and IANTMACY

Tags: Rome SDS, Rome Snowboards, Snowboarding, Beer & Rails, Finland, Toni Kerkela, Strange Brew, Urban, Street Spots, Jibbing, Travel, Adventure and Snowboard


对于一个存在于Java虚拟机中的对象来说,其内部的状态只保持在内存中。JVM停止之后,这些状态就丢失了。在很多情况下,对象的内部状态是需要被持久化下来的。提到持久化,最直接的做法是保存到文件系统或是数据库之中。这种做法一般涉及到自定义存储格式以及繁琐的数据转换。对象关系映射(Object-relational mapping)是一种典型的用关系数据库来持久化对象的方式,也存在很多直接存储对象的对象数据库。对象序列化机制(object serialization)是Java语言内建的一种对象持久化方式,可以很容易的在JVM中的活动对象和字节数组(流)之间进行转换。除了可以很简单的实现持久化之外,序列化机制的另外一个重要用途是在远程方法调用中,用来对开发人员屏蔽底层实现细节。


由于Java提供了良好的默认支持,实现基本的对象序列化是件比较简单的事。待序列化的Java类只需要实现Serializable接口即可。Serializable仅是一个标记接口,并不包含任何需要实现的具体方法。实现该接口只是为了声明该Java类的对象是可以被序列化的。实际的序列化和反序列化工作是通过ObjectOuputStream和ObjectInputStream来完成的。ObjectOutputStream的writeObject方法可以把一个Java对象写入到流中,ObjectInputStream的readObject方法可以从流中读取一个Java对象。在写入和读取的时候,虽然用的参数或返回值是单个对象,但实际上操纵的是一个对象图,包括该对象所引用的其它对象,以及这些对象所引用的另外的对象。Java会自动帮你遍历对象图并逐个序列化。除了对象之外,Java中的基本类型和数组也是可以通过 ObjectOutputStream和ObjectInputStream来序列化的。

try {
    User user = new User("Alex", "Cheng");
    ObjectOutputStream output = new ObjectOutputStream(new FileOutputStream("user.bin"));
} catch (IOException e) {
try {
    ObjectInputStream input = new ObjectInputStream(new FileInputStream("user.bin"));
    User user = (User) input.readObject();
} catch (Exception e) {

上面的代码给出了典型的把Java对象序列化之后保存到磁盘上,以及从磁盘上读取的基本方式。 User类只是声明了实现Serializable接口。

在默认的序列化实现中,Java对象中的非静态和非瞬时域都会被包括进来,而与域的可见性声明没有关系。这可能会导致某些不应该出现的域被包含在序列化之后的字节数组中,比如密码等隐私信息。由于Java对象序列化之后的格式是固定的,其它人可以很容易的从中分析出其中的各种信息。对于这种情况,一种解决办法是把域声明为瞬时的,即使用transient关键词。另外一种做法是添加一个serialPersistentFields? 域来声明序列化时要包含的域。从这里可以看到在Java序列化机制中的这种仅在书面层次上定义的契约。声明序列化的域必须使用固定的名称和类型。在后面还可以看到其它类似这样的契约。虽然Serializable只是一个标记接口,但它其实是包含有不少隐含的要求。下面的代码给出了 serialPersistentFields的声明示例,即只有firstName这个域是要被序列化的。

private static final ObjectStreamField[] serialPersistentFields = { 
    new ObjectStreamField("firstName", String.class) 


基本的对象序列化机制让开发人员可以在包含哪些域上进行定制。如果想对序列化的过程进行更加细粒度的控制,就需要在类中添加writeObject和对应的 readObject方法。这两个方法属于前面提到的序列化机制的隐含契约的一部分。在通过ObjectOutputStream的 writeObject方法写入对象的时候,如果这个对象的类中定义了writeObject方法,就会调用该方法,并把当前 ObjectOutputStream对象作为参数传递进去。writeObject方法中一般会包含自定义的序列化逻辑,比如在写入之前修改域的值,或是写入额外的数据等。对于writeObject中添加的逻辑,在对应的readObject中都需要反转过来,与之对应。


private void writeObject(ObjectOutputStream output) throws IOException {
    output.writeUTF("Hello World");
private void readObject(ObjectInputStream input) throws IOException, ClassNotFoundException {
    String value = input.readUTF();


在有些情况下,可能会希望在序列化的时候使用另外一个对象来代替当前对象。其中的动机可能是当前对象中包含了一些不希望被序列化的域,比如这些域都是从另外一个域派生而来的;也可能是希望隐藏实际的类层次结构;还有可能是添加自定义的对象管理逻辑,如保证某个类在JVM中只有一个实例。相对于把无关的域都设成transient来说,使用对象替换是一个更好的选择,提供了更多的灵活性。替换对象的作用类似于Java EE中会使用到的传输对象(Transfer Object)。


private static class OrderReplace implements Serializable {
    private static final long serialVersionUID = 4654546423735192613L;
    private String orderId;
    public OrderReplace(Order order) {
        this.orderId = order.getId();
    private Object readResolve() throws ObjectStreamException {

这个替换对象类OrderReplace只保存了Order的ID。在Order类的writeReplace方法中返回了一个OrderReplace对象。这个对象会被作为替代写入到流中。同样的,需要在OrderReplace类中定义一个readResolve方法,用来在读取的时候再转换回 Order类对象。这样对调用者来说,替换对象的存在就是透明的。

private Object writeReplace() throws ObjectStreamException {
    return new OrderReplace(this);




把一个Java对象序列化之后,所得到的字节数组一般会保存在磁盘或数据库之中。在保存完成之后,有可能原来的Java类有了更新,比如添加了额外的域。这个时候从兼容性的角度出发,要求仍然能够读取旧版本的序列化数据。在读取的过程中,当ObjectInputStream发现一个对象的定义的时候,会尝试在当前JVM中查找其Java类定义。这个查找过程不能仅根据Java类的全名来判断,因为当前JVM中可能存在名称相同,但是含义完全不同的Java 类。这个对应关系是通过一个全局惟一标识符serialVersionUID来实现的。通过在实现了Serializable接口的类中定义该域,就声明了该Java类的一个惟一的序列化版本号。JVM会比对从字节数组中得出的类的版本号,与JVM中查找到的类的版本号是否一致,来决定两个类是否是兼容的。对于开发人员来说,需要记得的就是在实现了Serializable接口的类中定义这样的一个域,并在版本更新过程中保持该值不变。当然,如果不希望维持这种向后兼容性,换一个版本号即可。该域的值一般是综合Java类的各个特性而计算出来的一个哈希值,可以通过Java提供的serialver命令来生成。在Eclipse中,如果Java类实现了Serializable接口,Eclipse会提示并帮你生成这个serialVersionUID。




  • 对序列化之后的流进行加密。这可以通过CipherOutputStream来实现。
  • 实现自己的writeObject和readObject方法,在调用defaultWriteObject之前,先对要序列化的域的值进行加密处理。
  • 使用一个SignedObject或SealedObject来封装当前对象,用SignedObject或SealedObject进行序列化。
  • 在从流中进行反序列化的时候,可以通过ObjectInputStream的registerValidation方法添加ObjectInputValidation接口的实现,用来验证反序列化之后得到的对象是否合法。


RMI(Remote Method Invocation)是Java中的远程过程调用(Remote Procedure Call,RPC)实现,是一种分布式Java应用的实现方式。它的目的在于对开发人员屏蔽横跨不同JVM和网络连接等细节,使得分布在不同JVM上的对象像是存在于一个统一的JVM中一样,可以很方便的互相通讯。之所以在介绍对象序列化之后来介绍RMI,主要是因为对象序列化机制使得RMI非常简单。调用一个远程服务器上的方法并不是一件困难的事情。开发人员可以基于Apache MINA或是Netty这样的框架来写自己的网络服务器,亦或是可以采用REST架构风格来编写HTTP服务。但这些解决方案中,不可回避的一个部分就是数据的编排和解排(marshal/unmarshal)。需要在Java对象和传输格式之间进行互相转换,而且这一部分逻辑是开发人员无法回避的。RMI的优势在于依靠Java序列化机制,对开发人员屏蔽了数据编排和解排的细节,要做的事情非常少。JDK 5之后,RMI通过动态代理机制去掉了早期版本中需要通过工具进行代码生成的繁琐方式,使用起来更加简单。


public interface Calculator extends Remote {
    String calculate(String expr) throws RemoteException;


public class CalculatorServer implements Calculator {
    public String calculate(String expr) throws RemoteException {
        return expr;
    public void start() throws RemoteException, AlreadyBoundException {
        Calculator stub = (Calculator) UnicastRemoteObject.exportObject(this, 0);
        Registry registry = LocateRegistry.getRegistry();
        registry.rebind("Calculator", stub);



public class CalculatorClient {
    public void calculate(String expr) {
        try {
            Registry registry = LocateRegistry.getRegistry("localhost");
            Calculator calculator = (Calculator) registry.lookup("Calculator");
            String result = calculator.calculate(expr);
        } catch (Exception e) {


为了通过Java的序列化机制来进行传输,远程接口中的方法的参数和返回值,要么是Java的基本类型,要么是远程对象,要么是实现了 Serializable接口的Java类。当客户端通过RMI注册表找到一个远程接口的时候,所得到的其实是远程接口的一个动态代理对象。当客户端调用其中的方法的时候,方法的参数对象会在序列化之后,传输到服务器端。服务器端接收到之后,进行反序列化得到参数对象。并使用这些参数对象,在服务器端调用实际的方法。调用的返回值Java对象经过序列化之后,再发送回客户端。客户端再经过反序列化之后得到Java对象,返回给调用者。这中间的序列化过程对于使用者来说是透明的,由动态代理对象自动完成。除了序列化之外,RMI还使用了动态类加载技术。当需要进行反序列化的时候,如果该对象的类定义在当前JVM中没有找到,RMI会尝试从远端下载所需的类文件定义。可以在RMI程序启动的时候,通过JVM参数java.rmi.server.codebase来指定动态下载Java类文件的URL。  



疯狂 2011-06-24 10:15 发表评论

          Quintessential Quintet        

There, I did it! Last week, I finally finished leveling five of my characters to 90. I wanted to get as many toons to max level by the end of the third month into the expansion, which would be the 25th of december, so last week, I started getting busy. The shaman, hunter and mage were already max level, so I only needed two more for the achievement. The druid hit 90 Thursday night, and the Dk followed soon after, Friday night, scoring me the Quintessential Quintet.

The rest of my characters are not too far behind. The warrior is 88, while the paladin, priest and rogue are all at 87, gathering rested xp. The paladin should be a priority, considering I still need to get her to 89 so I can start working on Klaxxi reputation with her and buy the belt buckle recipe. But I suspect the warrior will be next, and then the rogue. The level 70 monk is still parked in Orgrimmar, along with the Bank Alt Warlock, which is still 85. I am in no worry to play the warlock though, as she's way too busy selling stuff on the AH and sorting through all the herbs and ores I've been farming and not using, trying to make it all fit in the guild bank.

There is such a thing as too much farming.

I also want to get my alliance shaman to 90 for the Double Agent achievement, but I still have so many horde character to level, I don't know when I'll get to that. It's a good thing I'm not raiding, or I wouldn't have time for none of that.

          Alt love        
This has nothing to do with anything,
but look at all those Golden Lotus! LOOKIT!
Out of my eleven horde characters, eight are level 87 or higher, (the other three are 70, 85 and 86) and parked in the Shrine of Two Moons. This is good. I really want to get at least these eleven horde characters to 90, plus possibly two alliance ones, and I figure it will take me a couple months. Which is fine.

In the last week, my druid made it to level 89 just by healing random dungeons, and I must admit I had fun.  I still kinda suck at healing, but I did a fairly good job, and almost never let wipes happen. I did lose a couple dps here and there, and even the tank once, but hey, battle rez is there exactly for that. For a while now, my druid had been balance, but I decided to try resto again. It's a nice change of pace, and even though it's probably slower to just do dungeons, I really needed a break from all the questing.

On the alliance front, I faction-changed a lonely horde shaman I had on a server I never play on. She went from a goblin to a panda and it made me want to play her again. It's weird to see the alliance version of the Pandaria quests, but it's fun to be doing something different. This new panda lady joined Stands in Bad last night for their Old School Monday and we roflstomped through ICC. The only casualty: me. Because I was the only level 85. Heh. It was a lot of fun, and I scored two tier tokens and a killer axe. I think some people got their drakes, too, so it was pretty great. I was glad to be there with them!

          Quick Post : Paladin buffs are hard        
I've been doing lots of dungeons lately while leveling my alts, and 90% of the time, something like this happens: There is a druid (or a monk) and a pally in the group. The pally gives kings. The druid/monk looks around, with a "what is this I don't even" look on his face. 

Now, in all fairness, I know it doesn't really matter. It's not a raid. We don't need every possible buff. But every bit helps when you have a clueless bunch of noobs new players in the group. More buffs usually means the mobs die a little faster, the healer gets OOM a little slower, and we just might make it out of there all in one piece. Just maybe.

There's only two paladin buffs now for crying out loud. There used to be a lot more of those, and they didn't last half as long as they do now. And you had to buff every single player individually. You guys don't know how easy you have it nowadays.

So for the love of God, please, pallies. Learn to buff.

          Quick Post : Monk Awesomness         
The bf and I used to play our monks together, but he completely lost interest in the class, so I can now level mine on my own. Our monks were level 48 when Mad decided he didn't wanna play his anymore, and now my little panda lady is level 60! I kinda enjoy the playstyle, now that I have most of my abilities. Handling the chi can be a bit tricky, but mobs die so fast, it's hard to tell what it's really supposed to be like.

First thing I did when my monk hit 60 today was to buy my flight license in Orgrimmar. Then, I picked up herbalism and mining and headed for Durotar.

Just as I had hoped, picking flowers and mining ore did not dismount me. (Even using my Hearthstone didn't!) Up until now, my rogue and druid were my dedicated herbalists, while my paladin was my miner. I also had my priest as my gatherer toon, which means she could both mine and herb, but I had absolutely no interest in leveling her aside for her professions. 

So now I have my solution. The monk is officially my new gatherer character!

Edit: It seems though that the Zen Flight is a lot slower than other actual flying mounts. I'll have to check it out further to see what's the deal with this.

          A month later        
It's been a little more than a month now that the Pandas have arrived. I thought it was time for a little recap of what I've been up to and how my characters are doing.

Death Knight - 86  
After Motes of Harmony to finish maxing Engineering. Also farming raw meats for cooking. Lately, mostly Raw crocolisk meat and Raw crab meat. Does some fishing on the side when there are pools nearby.

Druid - 86 
Pet battles! Doing daily inscription research to get all the glyphs. 8 to go.

Hunter - 90 
Tillers dailies. Enchanting and JC is maxed. Doing daily JC research for gem cuts. Doing some heroics and Raid Finder from time to time, but not focused on any particular end game activities.

Mage - 87 
Dedicated cook. Maxed out all six ways so she can make all available foods for all the family. Also maxed archaeology, but I'm waiting to be able to fly to work on it more. Maxed alchemy and tailoring. Didn't even start her daily cd's like Living Steel or Imperial Silk. Does some fishing on the side when there are pools nearby.

Baby Mage (Alliance) and Monk (Horde) - Both 47
Dungeon Finder. 

Paladin - 87 
Recently maxed Blacksmithing. Needs to hit 89 to start rep with the Klaxxi so she can get the Belt Buckle recipe.

Priest - 85 
Still in Orgrimmar. Occasionally goes to Pandaria to mine and pick flowers.

Rogue - 86 
Currently in Krasarang Wilds to finish Loremaster of Pandaria. Herbing and stabbing people right in the face.

Shaman - 90 
Harvesting Motes of Harmony every day. (The DK secretly hates her.) Does some fishing on the side when there are pools nearby. Skins every corpse she can get her hands on. Working on getting all the farmers to be her best friends.

Warlock - 85 
Bank alt still in Orgrimmar. Has a bunch of old mats in her bags and bank which I'm too lazy to sort and put on the AH.

Warrior - 85
Still in Orgrimmar, looking pretty. Disenchants some greens from time to time, when it's convenient.

So I didn't get all that much done since the game was released. I've been mostly doing Tillers dailies, doing pet battles (and working on pet battle achivements. Gotta have them all!) and slowly leveling multiple characters instead of focusing on one at a time. I've rarely been this slow at getting my characters to max level. At the beginning of Cataclysm, it took me about two weeks to get five or six toons to 85. I'm really slacking off this time around. I'm also thinking about transferring a character over to Rexxar so my poor alliance mage can get some heirlooms, which will slow me down even more in the "get all the toons to 90" process, but that's fine. For the first time in years, I'm not rushing to be ready to raid, and it feels good. I can afford to slack off. I don't miss raiding all that much so far, and my trips in the Raid Finder haven't exactly been exciting. I'm not in love with the Mogu'shan Vaults, but I look forward to trying out other raids as they become available.

          Increase Your Professional Value with Online Training        

By Kristine Coblitz, Editor, Fluid Power Journal The digital revolution is changing the way we do business. Time-management apps help us to productively and efficiently tackle our workload; social media adds a personal touch to client communication; and emerging technology advances the value of our equipment and machines. But what about us, the professionals who […]

The post Increase Your Professional Value with Online Training appeared first on Fluid Power Journal.

          We’re Hiring!        

The Fluid Power Journal is searching for an editor. The editor is a flexible position and although the ideal candidate would be someone physically working from our offices in Pennsylvania, much of the work may be accomplished from a home office. Job Description – following is a brief description of some of the major job […]

The post We’re Hiring! appeared first on Fluid Power Journal.

          Improve your Marketability with the IFPS        

Not long ago I found myself looking for a career change within the fluid power industry, and it was at that time I truly realized the value of my involvement within the IFPS and the certifications I have earned. Without question, it helped me land a great new position because my new employer appreciates that […]

The post Improve your Marketability with the IFPS appeared first on Fluid Power Journal.

          Prove Your Competence and Gain Confidence with IFPS Certification        

By Donna Pollander, ACA, IFPS Executive Director Professional certification offers numerous benefits that IFPS has detailed many times since the inception of our Specialist certification in 1980. However, certified individuals can provide a unique perspective on how they personally benefit from their certifications. David H. Knight, CFPS, from Parker Hannifin has been a Certified Fluid Power […]

The post Prove Your Competence and Gain Confidence with IFPS Certification appeared first on Fluid Power Journal.

          Meet the Staff of the IFPS        

Advancing Knowledge and Certification of Fluid Power Professionals Started working for the IFPS: I started working in the fluid power industry in 1994 when I was hired at an Association Management Company (AMC) who managed the Fluid Power Distributors Association (now known as The FPDA Motion & Control Network). I started working with the IFPS […]

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          2016 IFPS Annual Meeting        

The IFPS Board of Directors, along with industry professionals, met in Kansas City, Missouri to discuss policies, procedures and ideas that are instrumental in steering the Society towards its mission and goals. The FPEF Board of Trustees also held its meeting during this time. In addition to board and committee meetings, the 2017 Board of […]

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          The ISO Organization and How the Fluid Power Industry is Included        

ISO is the international organization where standards are approved for use in many areas of technology and management. ISO does not write any of the standards; individual committees and their working groups do that. The rules that the committees must follow, and the format for the standards, are what ISO organizes. The organization is headquartered […]

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          Are You Competent When it Comes to Safety?        

“Imagine a worksite where everyone takes responsibility for hazard recognition and control.” Competency – it’s a word we hear bantered about when we discuss a worker’s knowledge, skills, and aptitude with regard to safety. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have a fully competent workforce, where every person was fully capable of […]

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          Electronic Controls Specialist (ECS)        

If you currently hold an IFPS Hydraulic Specialist, Pneumatic Specialist and/or Specialist certification, the ECS is a perfect complementary certification for you to obtain. Our newly revised study manual not only helps you prepare for the certification, but it is also a stand-alone reference guide. It contains vital and practical information on best practices for […]

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          Upgraded Electronic Controls Specialist Certification Elevates Fluid Power Competency        

By Donna Pollander, ACA, IFPS Executive Director The IFPS strives to keep pace with changing fluid power and motion control technologies, and the development and re-release of an upgraded version of the Electronic Controls Specialist (ECS) certification is a prime example. Properly designed and installed fluid power systems are reliable, safe, and productive. Electronic control […]

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          Trik memancing cumi dengan squid jig beraroma, by Frankyl - Fishyforum        
kita semua sekarang ini merasakan sulitnya mendapat ikan.. dimana dalam keadaan situasi yang sudah berbeda dengan 10 tahun yang lalu, yang waktu itu ikan masih lebih mudah (bodoh??) dipancing.

maka bila ingin memancing dengan hasil yang ok, kita harus mencari spot yang jauh2 yang notabene tidak "sesuai" lagi dengan ongkos / biaya yang dikeluarkan oleh kantong "kita" dengan hasil pancingan.

salah satu solusinya peningkatan teknik dalam "menipu ikan" harus dikembangkan. bila tidak ingin boncos setiap tripnya. malu2in suhu kita aja boncos mulu..

tidak pula mutlak harus pakai umpan, joran, reel yang berkelas (mahal).. karena "seni" menipu ikan tidak boleh diabaikan.. (maklum ikan jaman sekarang udah "sekolah" sudah makin susah ditipu??!)

misal Baron yang hanya mondar-mandir nggak mau makan umpan.. ikan di dermaga sering ogah2an makan umpan.. mencium umpan.. lalu melengos pergi.. setau saya ikan tertarik dengan bentuk.. gerakan - getaran - bunyi - rasa - warna - bau..

saya mencoba salah satu yaitu bau.. saya lubangi jig squid saya dengan bor, baik jig squid yg dari resin maupun kayu semua bisa. setelah lubang kira2 5cm. bisa dilubangi di bagian punggung / perut jig tsb.. mata bor sesuaikan dengan ukuran jig.. lalu suntikan cairan berupa choya (essence Choya yang sering dipakai untuk campuran umpan pelet.. untuk mancing galatama/ kolam..) yang bau amis atau aroma udang - tuna dll.. suntikan bisa pakai alat untuk vaksinasi ayam atau suntikan refill tinta komputer lebih bagus! tanpa jarum suntik (ntar bawa2 jarum suntik dikira narkobais he..he..)

lalu setelah lubang berisi cairan choya di tutup dengan gabus filter rokok.
{action jig tidak terganggu amat ,karena kita hanya melubangi sedikit badan jig tsb dan lubang kecil tsb ditutup pakai bekas filter rokok yg dipotong dua (jangan bikin lubang segede filter rokok...he...he..) pakai mata bor yg kecil ajah...soal berat jig..... malah kadang2 kl arus agak kenceng didepan jig dikasih timah bolong kecil agar jig tidak melayang dekat permukaan ....idealnya melayang ditengah atau agak dasar....kecuali ada saat tertentu cumi naik dipermukaan .....}

sederhana dan mudah.. saya sudah coba hasilnya ada perbedaan. saya mendapatkan strike cumi lebih sering dari pemancing di kanan kiri saya.. dan cumi lebih mencengkeram jig jarang dilepaskan lagi / mocel..

kalau soal warna jig squid di P. Seribu dan P. Batam untuk cumi jarum / cumi semampar lebih tertarik warna merah atau orange baru warna biru.

rekan2 bisa mencoba untuk umpan popping? trolling? jigging? casting? barangkali.. karena ya itu tadi, ikan selain tertarik dengan gerakan, bentuk, warna, rasa, dan bau / aroma, bukan ikan fresh water saja yang perlu aroma macam2. tapi ikan salt water juga.

Franky a.k.a Frankyl - Fishyforum
          Speed Surgery Recovery        
Surgical procedures create havoc in the body. The body treats surgery like it would treat any cut, and a major cut at that. Without going into a long story, the body throws fluid at the cut, lots and lots of it. This results in post surgery edema or swelling. The swelling causes major discomfort and […]
Sprouts are the best. They're the lazy man's greens and there's so many varieties to get you through the year.

I'll backtrack. We all know that vegetables are super important in any diet. Particularly raw vegetables. Particularly raw, green, leafy vegetables. But it's not always easy to eat enough of them, especially in winter. Who wants big leafy salads loaded with cooling produce (like lettuce and cucumbers) when it's freezing outside?

This is why sprouts save the day. Did you know that one cup of lentil sprouts contains 2.5mg of iron? And almost 7 grams of protein? You'd have to eat about 7 cups of raw spinach to get that much nutrition.

And, sprouts are easy to make, even for the black-thumbed gardeners out there. Soak some seeds for 8-12 hours or overnight, and drain and rinse a couple of times a day until little tails have formed. There's plenty of step by step sprouting guides on the internets so I won't go into detail here. No fancy equipment necessary. Just a jar, seeds, water, and TLC.

Here's a terrible photo of some sprouts I made today. 

The tails are about the same length as the seed, and that's when I like to eat them. Here we have a lentil sprout and a mung bean sprout - but of course you can sprout anything, like chickpeas, wheat, almonds, sunflower seeds... Any whole seed, bean, or grain.

Then what? Well, you can cook them but that will lead to some nutrient losses. Also I personally think they taste better raw. Just throw a hefty handful on top of any dish - soup, salad, stew, or mixed through rice or quinoa. As long as your food isn't piping hot when you mix the sprouts through, you'll retain the nutrients.

You can also create a side dish using the sprouts. They taste great with a sprinkle of cumin and a squeeze of lemon juice. Or, you can try my version of raw chili. You'll need:
1 cup of sprouts (I like mung bean sprouts for this)
A half cup of corn (optional, not everyone handles raw corn well)
2 large or 3 medium tomatoes 
Half a red capsicum
A big handful of fresh herbs like parsley and oregano (dried is ok too)
A few squeezes of lemon
A chilli pepper (optional).

Set aside sprouts and corn in a bowl. Put the tomato, capsicum, herbs, lemon, and chilli into a food processor. This will be the sauce, so make it as smooth or as chunky as you like. Pour the sauce over the sprouts and corn, and stir through. 

You can eat it just like this, or spoon it into cos lettuce leaves to make "boats". It also tastes good as a topping for a baked potato. 

You could add cumin and use coriander leaves as the herb, and then put this chili in a burrito or atop nachos. 

If you're so inclined, you could dice celery and capsicum into this chili and make it even more like its cooked counterpart. 

Leftovers keep pretty well, although the liquid from the sauce may separate and need to be stirred through. 

If you're like me and feeling a bit stodgy from all the winter comfort food, try adding some sprouts to your meals. I'm pretty excited about sprouts, and with their help I think I may just make it through another Melbourne winter :)

          Het Geheim van Kenneth Herdigein        

'Dank je wel Pim de la Parra!'

AMSTERDAM - Dinsdag 24 april gaat de ‘fictionele documentaire’ Het Geheim van de Saramacca Rivier in première in Theater Thalia tijdens het 5e IFFR-filmfestival flies Paramaribo, dat 19 april van start ging in Paramaribo. Hoofdrolspeler Kenneth Herdigein ‘scheet 500 buffels’ tijdens de opnames. “Maar ik kan gerust en stralend voor de dag komen.”

‘Eigenlijk zijn we allebei nep-Surinamers”, zegt Kenneth als hij twee minuutjes na afgesproken tijdstip binnen komt stappen in het sfeervolle Amsterdamse eetcafé Boulevard. “Als we echte Surinamers waren dan hadden we nooit op tijd mogen zijn.” Maar de grote reden achter onze punctualiteit is dat hij tijdig zijn vijfjarig dochtertje Nina van school moet ophalen.
Kenneth is idolaat van zijn Nina. “Nu ik een kind heb, zou ik wel tien kinderen willen. Sinds ze geboren is, heeft nog niemand op haar gepast. Ik kan me niet voorstellen dat ik mijn kind alleen laat met een vreemde.” Zelf heeft hij zich verlaten gevoeld door zijn moeder. Overigens zegt hij dit zonder rancune. “Mijn moeder heeft enorm haar best gedaan. Maar toen ik mishandeld werd op school met riemen door meesters, heeft ze me in de steek gelaten zonder dat ze dat wist.”
Na een diepe persoonlijke inzinking, belandde Kenneth op zijn 33ste voor twee weken in een psychiatrische inrichting. Daarna heeft hij nog drie jaren hulp gehad. Hij heeft zich hervonden. Met zijn vrouw Thea, haar 19-jarige zoon Karim en Nina vormen zij een solide gezin. “De platitude dat ik mijn lul achterna loop, was in één keer afgelopen”, vertelt hij over de geboorte van Nina. “Op die dag heb ik eindelijk volwassenheid geproefd. Ze keek me aan met die ogen die zeiden: ‘I came to stay’. Dwars door mijn ziel!”

Kenneth gaat als een waterval. Hij kijkt naar mijn handschrift. “Als dat van een dokter”, zegt hij. “Ik ga ook veertig buffels schijten”, antwoord ik hem. Daarmee zijn we beland bij een lijfspreuk van Pim de la Parra. “Ik heb Pim zeer hoog zitten, maar ik heb de meest fundamentele ruzies met hem gehad”, vertelt Kenneth. “In professionele zin hoor.”
Na het eerste jaar van de Surinaamse Film Academie (SFA) werd van Pim gezegd dat hij een ‘tiran’ is. Maar Kenneth weerlegt dit. “Pim is geen tiran, ondanks dat hij met alle geweld wil uitleggen wat hij bedoelt. Een echte tiran beschikt en laat geen ruimte voor een conflict. Pim wel, met wie dan ook. Hij lokt het zelfs uit.”
Kenneth speelde ooit een rolletje van ‘45 seconden’ in Odyssee ‘d’Amour uit 1987. “Pim had toen miljoenen te besteden. En toch was hij niet anders dan wanneer hij met een no-no-budget werkt. Sommige mensen worden ineens een machtswellusteling.”
‘Het lot’ heeft ze weer bij elkaar gebracht. Aanvankelijk had De la Parra afspraken met een andere Nederlandse acteur, die zegde twee weken voor tijd af. “Pim belde me met de mededeling: Kenneth, ik heb een probleem. Ik moest eerst met mijn vrouw en kind overleggen. Een uur later belde ik hem op en zei: Pim, je hebt geen probleem meer.”

En zo toog Kenneth in januari naar Paramaribo als gastdocent van de SFA. Samen met Tom Erisman (camera) en Leo Franssen (geluid). Het eindproduct is de ‘fictionele documentaire’ Het Geheim van de Saramacca Rivier. Daarin speelt Kenneth de hoofdrol met als tegenspeelster Lucille Roberts. Negentien cursisten werd het metier bijgebracht onder het thema ‘Learning it by doing it’. “Veertien dagen lang – alsof we geen Surinamers waren – was iedereen altijd op tijd”, verhaalt Kenneth enthousiast. “En niemand is uitgevallen. Dat is uniek. Ook in Nederland. En dat kan je ook aan die film zien. Alsof er miljoenen in gestoken is. In maar negen dagen geschoten. Ik steek mijn hand in het vuur voor die film.”
De grote schrik voor menig (beginnend) acteur is dat De la Parra zonder script werkt. Kenneth: “Toen ik tegen Pim zei dat ik voor lul ga, zei hij: wat geeft het nou dat je voor lul staat? Hij heeft ook nog gelijk. Omdat je het waagt loop je het risico dat je de meest bijzondere scènes krijgt. Het leven zit ook niet zo in elkaar. Pim zegt: ik wil het leven verfilmen. Ik vind het geweldig. Wat een moed!”
Vlak voor de opname van een scène kreeg Kenneth ineens de opdracht: je moet een lied neuriën en gaan huilen. “Ik koos voor Mi kondre tru. Het was op een steiger bij de Surinamerivier. Je zag de krabben lopen in de modder. En twee ooievaars, die symbool staan voor mijn verhouding met die vrouw. Dat verdriet en die pijn kwamen helemaal vanuit mijn onderbuik.”

Voluptueuze borsten
De rode draad van het Geheim van de Saramacca Rivier is ‘verlies van je vaderland’, uitgebeeld in een stuk gelopen relatie. Kenneth: “Maar doordat we naar Suriname gaan, heeft het Geheim van de Saramacca Rivier ons weer bij elkaar gebracht. De één noemt het God. Pim noemt het ‘Het’. We kopen een perceel bij Uitkijk langs de Saramacca. Misschien is het wel autobiografisch. Ik ben een eindveertiger en na deze film verliefd geworden op mijn vaderland.”
Maar De la Parra is ook een man van het allerlaatste moment. Kenneth kreeg maar geen tekst toegestuurd. “Ik heb echt op zijn huid gezeten.” Uiteindelijk kreeg hij de monoloog interieur opgestuurd met de mededeling dat hij nog zinnen kon toevoegen, als hij wilde. Maar er viel niets toe te voegen. “Hedda, hoe zou ik jouw mooie, grote voluptueuze borsten kunnen vergeten?” reciteert Kenneth. “Zulke mooie teksten kunnen in elke film! Je hoeft niet eens te weten wie Hedda is. Ik zei tegen Pim dat toevoegen hetzelfde zou zijn als dat ik door een gerespecteerd museum loop en de werken begint te veranderen.”
In afgelopen vijf jaar was Kenneth vier keer in Suriname. In 2001 – voor de opnames van Paramaribo Papers – na 29 jaar weer. “Ik ben eerst voor drie weken door producent Eddy Wijngaarde naar Suriname gehaald om heel wat spoken uit mijn hoofd te halen. Verdomd, alles was veel kleiner dan ik in mijn hoofd had. Zo herinnerde ik me dat het standbeeld van Kwakoe er een was tot aan het plafond. Tijdens de eerste drie keren kreeg ik zoveel erkenning en respect dat ik maar met mijn hoofd in de wolken bleef lopen. Maar deze keer kwam ik in aanraking met 19 Surinamers; ik kwam bij ze thuis, zag hoe ze woonden en leefden. Die andere drie keren waren net vakantie.”

Lege huls
Kenneth is ook vol lof over het duoschap van Pim de la Parra en Arie Verkuyl, die de film produceerde voor Film Instituut Paramaribo Incorporated. “Dat je dat allemaal doet op die leeftijd. Dat is al reden om het fantastisch te vinden. Pim is trouwens iemand van wie je kan zeggen dat alle geweldige mensen iets met hem hebben. Of je het nu hebt over Rutger Hauer, Jeroen Krabbé – die was er trouwens ook – of Renée Soutendijk. Alleen maar omdat Pim gedaan heeft wat hij heeft gedaan en is wie hij is. Alle mensen in het vak gaan voor Pim, wat hun gerespecteerde mening ook is over minimal movies. En dat hebben al die mensen met een kind van Suriname.”
Over zijn verwachtingen van het Geheim van de Saramacca Rivier, zegt Kenneth: “Het gaat erom dat die cursus voor 120 procent is geslaagd. We hebben daarbij het geluk dat die film behoorlijk de moeite waard is. Je praat wel over een van de beste cameramannen van Europa en een van de beste geluidsmannen van Nederland. Pim de la Parra blijkt gewoon een tovenaar te zijn. Maar je praat nu ook wel met iemand die een Pim-adept is.”

De monoloog interieur zijn alleen de teksten die gedachten van de hoofdfiguren moeten verwoorden. Alle overige dialoog moesten de acteurs ter plekke ‘uitbraken’. Kenneth: “Het is als voor de leeuwen te worden geworpen. Je schijt vijfhonderd buffels. Als ik mijn teksten terug hoor dan zeg ik van sommige: je slaat de plank mis. Maar van sommige: wát, heb ik dat bedacht?! Maar het komt allemaal door Pim. Hij is de ontwerper van het geheel. Ik was een lege huls gestuurd door een regisseur. Soms levert dat verbale diarree op. Maar over het eindresultaat ben ik zwaar geïmponeerd. Tijdens de Utrechtse Filmdagen kan je gerust en stralend voor de dag komen. Bedankt Pim de la Parra!”
Na een gezamenlijke balans van twee cappuccino’s, vier biertjes en een lichtelijk aangebrande pannenkoek hamkaas met aardbeien fietst Kenneth weg met kinderzitje, op weg naar zijn grootste geheim voor het leven.

De tweede premièrevertoning is op zondagavond 29 april, wederom in Theater Thalia te Paramaribo, aanvang 22.00 uur. Een speciale voorstelling van de film vindt plaats op donderdagavond 26 april 2007 om 19.00 uur, in de filmzaal van Vasilda's Videotheek aan de Javaweg 101, te Lelydorp.

Lees ook: Feeërieke verlichting ontbreekt ook dit keer niet
          Een Goede Basis - Ruth Wijdenbosch        

Paramaribo - Weer is er een ‘goede basis' gelegd. Het Nieuw Front wil nog eens vijf jaar, waardoor de bevolking ‘eindelijk profijt' zal hebben van de stabiliteit, zegt Ruth Wijdenbosch, zevende op kandidatenlijst van de NPS in Paramaribo. Het wordt haar ‘laatste termijn' als politica. "Als het ons weer wordt ontnomen, heb ik sowieso niet meer de puf om met het Nieuw Front in 2010 puin te ruimen."

Tekst Iwan Brave/dWT foto Werner Simons, de Ware Tijd 21 april 2005

Ze is net weer op krachten gekomen, na een week van ziek zijn. De griep. Daardoor heeft ze een aantal belangrijke verkiezingsvergaderingen van haar partij gemist. Maar er zijn gelukkig nog meer belangrijke vergaderingen op schema. "Ik denk dat we er echt lekker inkomen", zegt ze over de verkiezingskoorts binnen de partij. "Wat ik om me heen hoor is dat de spirit erin zit. Je hoort wel NPS'er klagen dat ze worden verwaarloosd als we in de regering zitten, maar als eenmaal de campagne er is, gaan ze volop voor de partij. Ik zat wel in de spanning, want er is nog veel werk te verrichten aan infrastructuur, woningbouw en perceelaanvragen. Dat zijn de zaken die ik het meest tegenkom."
Om de woensdag houdt Ruth Jeanette Wijdenbosch als parlementariër een spreekuur waarbij ‘iedereen' welkom. "Waarschijnlijk vinden de mensen dat de NPS te algemeen werkt, te veel naar nationale ontwikkelingen gaat. Maar mensen vergeten dat ze juist daarom voor de partij hebben gekozen", zegt ze.
Is de NPS binnen het Nieuw Front de partij die meestal de kastanjes uit het vuur haalt?
"Ik vind van wel. Hoewel vaker wordt gezegd dat we een creoolse partij zijn, gaat de NPS voor de belangen van alle bevolkingsgroepen. Het is niet zo dat we bijvoorbeeld voor die van Para en Coronie gaan en niet voor die van Wanica. De NPS probeert breed ontwikkeling te brengen. De indruk bestaat dat andere partijen zich meer bezig houden met de eigen groep, met mensen die op hun lijken, zoals dat wordt gezegd. Maar over het algemeen worden binnen het Nieuw Front de belangen van alle groepen behartigd. En elke groep – ook maatschappelijke of sociale – heeft zijn specifieke belangen die naar voren worden gebracht. Daarom is het belangrijk dat er binnen deze groep een katalysator is die kan zeggen: ‘Ho, iedereen is gelijk'. En zo'n goede katalysator is president Venetiaan. Men zegt weleens dat er onder hem geen daadkracht is, maar binnen het Nieuw Front worden beslissingen genomen op basis van consensus; vooral de twee grote partijen erin, maken dat je wat langer praat. Vandaar dat Venetiaan als NPS- voorzitter heeft gezegd dat het moeilijk wordt te regeren met nog een andere combinatie. Dat is niet zozeer principieel tegen bepaalde partijen gericht. Maar samenwerken met Desi Bouterse is voor mezelf niet mogelijk. Ik zal niet zeggen met heel de NDP, maar er zijn meerdere personen in die partij waarmee samenwerken principieel niet mogelijk is."

Waarschuwend geluid
En Jules Wijdenbosch van de VVV? "Ik heb niets tegen de persoon Wijdenbosch, wel tegen zijn werkwijze. Hij is iemand die wettelijke regels met de voeten treedt. Hij vindt dat hij cheques mag tekenen en de staat daarmee mag binden. Het geldt ook voor Henk Goedschalk en Errol Alibux. Goedschalk heeft voor zoveel ellende gezorgd. Hij heeft nooit een waarschuwend geluid vanuit de Centrale Bank laten uitgaan, zoals André Telting dat meerdere malen heeft gedaan. Hij en de minister Humphrey Hildenberg van Financiën zijn gekomen met regels van zelfstrafbaarstelling; dat zijn mensen waarmee ik kan werken, mensen die ‘nee' kunnen zeggen tegen een president. Maar Goedschalk gaf juist aanwijzingen hoe regels te omzeilen en zichzelf daarbij te bevoordelen. Persoonlijk ben ik iemand die qua regels strikt is."
Terugkomend op het onderwerp van ‘gebrek aan daadkracht' zegt Wijdenbosch dat economische ‘ordening' veel tijd in beslag heeft genomen. Er is een commissie Staatsschulden ingesteld en zelfs een ‘bureau voor de staatsschulden'. Deze ordening is zowel nationaal als internationaal van groot belang voor Suriname. "Men onderschat vertrouwen hebben in instituten als de regering en de Centrale Bank", zegt Wijdenbosch. "Komende uit de bankwereld weet ik dat dat van eminent belang is. Vroeger als men de naam ‘Suriname' hoorde, kon je makkelijk kredieten sluiten. Anno 2005 is dat vertrouwen weer op de drempel van herstel. De komende vijf jaar staan we binnen en kunnen we weer aan tafel schuiven."
Kijkende naar sociale toestanden in wijken; worden mensen dan niet vergeten? "Het lijkt alsof we uitsluitend kijken naar stabiliteit. Je hoort ook die kritiek: ‘kijk over die muur van stabiliteit'. Maar zonder kan je niet eten, niet doen aan armoedebestrijding, goede huisvesting, onderwijs en gezondheidszorg. Als die stabiliteit als basis er niet is, dan is het dweilen met de kraan open. Die stond wagenwijd open toen we in 2000 aantraden. Er waren zoveel schulden die eerst op een rij moesten worden gezet. Men onderschat dat, vandaar dat we veel werk in de campagne moeten steken. Die armoede zit diep. Elke keer laat het Nieuw Front deflatie achter, maar als er een andere regering komt, zitten we weer op het nulpunt."

Grote ontwikkelingen
Maar Wijdenbosch wil toch graag erop wijzen dat er wel degelijk ook aan andere zaken wordt gewerkt. Ze wijst erop dat in 2000 de AOV 35 Surinaamse dollar bedroeg en dat die systematisch verhoogd is naar 175 Surinaamse dollar. De overheid heeft weliswaar slechts zo'n 800 sociale woningen opgezet, maar daarnaast zijn door particulieren duizenden woningen gebouwd tegen 7 procent leenrente. Toegegeven, het kan allemaal beter.
"Er leven nog te veel mensen in armoede", geeft Wijdenbosch ruiterlijk toe. "Maar dat komt niet door het Nieuw Front, men kijkt wel naar ons. Maar ook ik kijk naar het Nieuw Front. Er moet een minimaal sociaal pakket komen waarop iedereen recht heeft. We staan aan de vooravond hiervan. Als het Nieuw Front nog eens vijf jaar krijgt, dan liggen er grote ontwikkelingen op stapel, waardoor de bevolking eindelijk profijt zal hebben van stabiliteit."
Zo ligt er een sectorplan Huisvestingsbeleid gereed met een budget van 18 miljoen euro, deels gefinancierd uit de eigen begroting, deels uit de verdragsmiddelen. Ze wijst ook op sectorplannen voor volksgezondheid en onderwijsvernieuwing. "De afgelopen periode was de meest actieve waardoor een goede basis is gelegd voor de komende tien jaren in de sociale sector", zegt Wijdenbosch.
Huisvesting is iets wat zij ‘op de voet' volgt. "Ik volg alle volkswoningbouwprojecten. We zijn bezig bestaande woningen op huurkoopbasis over te dragen. Voorlopig hebben we alle verhogingen van de huurprijs van volkswoningen aangehouden. Er ligt ook een andere projectfinanciering van China op stapel." Wijdenbosch is van mening dat Sociale Zaken ‘uit de sfeer van bedelen' moet worden gehaald. Van eminent belang daarbij is een samenwerking tussen Sociale Zaken en het Ministerie van Arbeid. "Ook de mensen zelf moeten uit die sfeer, vooral vrouwen", licht Wijdenbosch toe. "Ik kijk uit naar een totale transformatie, waarbij we naar gezinsbegeleiding moeten. De projecten moeten er op gericht zijn mensen economisch zelfstandig en weerbaar te maken. Men moet er trots op zijn dat je uit die armoedecyclus wordt gehaald. Men moet niet langer naar Sociale Zaken gaan voor alleen die sociale kaart of kinderbijslag, maar voor perspectief voor jou en je kinderen. En dat kan allemaal niet zonder die stabiliteit."

Opbeurend telefoontje
Er wordt meerdere malen gebeld. Een treurig telefoontje betreft het ernstige verkeersongeluk dat Luciën ‘Piertje' Piereau – de ‘officieuze bodyguard' van president Venetiaan – de nacht eerder is overkomen, na een partijvergadering in Para. Een ander telefoontje is opbeurend. "Iemand belt en zegt dat ze nu al een uitnodiging wil voor de inauguratie van onze president", lacht Wijdenbosch. De spirit lijkt inderdaad aanwezig. Ze wijst op de basis die eerder tussen 1991 en 1996 was gelegd, waarna de regeermacht werd weggekaapt. "Als het ons weer wordt ontnomen, heb ik in elk geval niet de puf om weer met Nieuw Front in 2010 puin te ruimen", zegt Wijdenbosch zorgelijk. "Gelukkig hoor ik jongeren ook zeggen: ‘Toch Nieuw Front, want andere regeringen breken alles af'. Jongeren vormen geen homogene groep. Je hebt een deel dat heel verstandig denkt, maar ook een deel dat heel rijk wil worden zonder werken. En als iemand dan dansend en huppelend op het podium komt, die onverklaarbaar rijk is geworden, dan is hij jouw idool."
Op de opmerking dat er ook weldenkende jongeren binnen de NDP zijn, zegt Wijdenbosch: "Maar als je ze confronteert met de Decembermoorden, de slachting van Moiwana, de moord op Gooding, Horb en Hawker en met al die militairen die zijn verdwenen of zogenaamd een zonnesteek hebben opgelopen, dan weten zij als intellectuele jongeren daarop geen antwoord. Of ze doen er stoer over. Maar een fundamentele discussie vermijden ze. Omdat ze weten dat als ze erbij stilstaan, ze het ook moeten veroordelen. Maar Bouterse is de jongste van de groep van grote partijleiders. Hij is ook een volksjongen. Daarnaast voelen bepaalde jonge mensen zich aangetrokken tot iemand die wakamantaal spreekt."
Wijdenbosch heeft 33 jaren in het bankwezen gewerkt, waarin afwisselende werk heeft gedaan. Afwisseling, daar houdt ze van. Daarom zijn vijf perioden in het parlement wel welletjes. Al vanaf 1987 is ze in de politiek. "Ik ben zo langzamerhand een veteraan", zegt ze met lichte zelfspot. Ook al komt het Nieuw Front weer in de coalitie, dan nog wil ze het daarna voor gezien houden. "Omdat jongeren moeten overnemen", motiveert zij. "We moeten meer vertrouwen in jongeren stellen en meer in ze investeren. Leiders denken vaak dat als ze opstappen, de zaak in elkaar zal donderen. Maar dat is niet waar. Onze democratie moet verfijnder worden. Ik ben voorstander van beperking van zittingsperioden voor bestuurlijke functies; alleen dan krijg je snellere doorstroming. Binnen politieke partijen worden bepaalde jongere personen als leider wel gedragen door de tweede en derde lijn, maar toch worden zij niet naar voren geschoven. Dat getuigt niet van politieke moed. De leiders in Suriname gaan lang door in leeftijd, waardoor er een generatiekloof kan ontstaan met jongeren. Tegen de tijd dat de volgende overneemt, dan is die ook al 70 jaar oud, maar wil ook enkele jaren leiden. Daarom zeg ik voor mezelf: ‘Mijn laatste periode'."

Volgende uitdaging
De reden waarom Wijdenbosch in 1987, na zeven jaren militaire dictatuur, in de politieke arena stapte, was herstel van democratie en rechtsstaat. "Hiervoor is inmiddels een goede basis gelegd", zegt zij. "Maar onderzoek naar schending van mensenrechten is nog steeds in de beginfase. Ik ben ervan overtuigd dat het ook hiervan iets terecht zal komen; Suriname zal geen uitzondering worden. Bij veel voormalige militaire dictaturen zie je dat het oplossen van mensenschendingen trager van de grond is gekomen."
Als vice-voorzitter heeft ze de tweede hoogste functie bekleed in het parlement, het controlerend orgaan van staatsmacht. "Ik prijs me gelukkig als enige vrouw een vijfde periode te kunnen doen; waarvan ik tweemaal vice-voorzitter ben geweest, dat kan niemand anders vertellen. Ik heb menigmaal als waarnemend voorzitter opgetreden en heb nooit iemand horen klagen: ‘Ram Sardjoe is weg en het werk ligt stil'. Dan is nog mijn enige volgende uitdaging het voorzitterschap van DNA."
Over het niveau van het parlement zegt ze: "Ik kijk uit naar meer professionals. Mensen moeten zich in specifiekere onderdelen verdiepen. We houden ons te weinig bezig met het algemeen beleid en bewegen te veel op het niveau van RR- en DR-raad. Ik ben ook voor meer efficiëntie binnen het parlement, met een strakkere spreektijd. Ik heb november vorig jaar in het Italiaanse parlement een Vrouwenwereldconferentie mogen voorzitten – wat ik als een hoogtepunt heb ervaren. Het ging over rechten van kinderen en jonge mensen. Na drie minuten schakelde de griffier je microfoon uit en ging die van de voorzitter weer aan."
Maar om efficiënt te kunnen werken, zijn een nieuw DNA-gebouw en een fulltime functie ‘hoogste prioriteit'. "Dat nieuwe gebouw moet er zeker komen in de komende vijf jaar", zegt Wijdenbosch. "Ik geloof ook erin dat het moet lukken aan de hand van onze prestaties, onze gedrevenheid en goede argumentatie de mensen ervan te kunnen overtuigen dat kiezen voor de toekomst een keuze voor het Nieuw Front is. Ik geloof erin dat het geld dat verdiend is en zal worden verdiend, geïnvesteerd zal worden in de mensen. Voor een groot deel is de moeilijke periode achter de rug. Als het de komende termijn er niet van komt, dan zal ik samen met hen teleurgesteld zijn."

  I had said that I wanted to break 7 days.  That was my goal.  I had said that if I wasn't trained, then I wouldn't even attempt it.........
  Back in January when I was chatting with Dusty it all sounded good.  And it was good until I decided to throw a hundred into my race calendar a month out from Vol State.  It should have been good training for Vol State, and for anyone else, it probably would have been.  But I am a candy arse.  I have to actually recover from races.  It took me almost a week to recover from Strolling Jim.  (I'm talking can't sleep because I have fluid built up in my ears and it hurts to lie my head on a pillow recovery.)  I don't regret one bit running the Little 100.  My regret is that I let my ego get the better of me and I boarded the ferry.
  I finished my half day at work on Wednesday, packed my stuff, and Pat and I had a nice trip down to Union City.  The last supper was great and got to hear the reading of Dewayne Satterfield's poem "Band of Brothers".  After going to Applebee's with Dusty and meeting Jeff S, Jeff K, and Tim P, we headed to the room to get some rest.  I was pooped- long day.  I didn't sleep well.  I was still trying to decide which shoes to wear when I woke up on Thursday.  As much as I would've loved to wear my Hokas, I hadn't trained in them since last year when I feel they may have given me PF.  I also was concerned that they would give me shin splints with all of the walking I knew I would be doing.  I settled on my Brooks that I wore last year.  I had put a double cushion from Dollar Store in them (I ran the Derby marathon with a single cushion and they did fine).  I put them on for the first time with the new cushion and they felt okay, and with that we were off to the ferry.
  I had brought the box of extra orange hats for a pic and we got a quick pic of the OHC before the race started.  I got to meet a few new people and felt pretty relaxed.  I honestly hadn't thought much about the race other than wavering from even doing about a week and a half out.  I didn't have any goal beside under 7 days and to reach McKenzie (57 miles) on day one.  That was it.  It actually dawned on me Thursday morning in the hotel that I would need 45 miles a day to meet my goal.  See.....just did not think about vs.
  We exited the ferry, lined up, laz lit the cigarette, and the race had begun.  We boarded the ferry, almost leaving Ray K in the process.  Dusty and I headed out of Hickman and hit the overlook as first females.
I so dislike the road heading out of Hickman.  It is narrow.  We leave during morning when people are going to work.  There are a lot of big trucks and they don't share the road very easily.  (Although I will say, we did have quite a few share the road.)  A couple of miles out there is a store on the corner, I told Dusty I had to stop to get gum.  I had forgotten to pack any and I had to have it to keep my mouth from feeling like the Sahara throughout the day.  I went on and took advantage of the bathroom while we there.  Right after we crossed the TN line, I thought I better put some sunblock on.  To minimize time loss, I tried to shove the can up out of the pocket so I could pull it out.  I shoved, heard a spraying sound, and then smelled not sunblock, but pepper spray.  Sigh....it wouldn't be vol state without me playing with my pepper spray.  Luckily, Dusty took pity and I stopped and got my sunblock out and we were off again. 
  I was never so glad to start to see the city line of Union City.  It was starting to get warm, close to lunch, and I was pooped.  We made it to the Subway and I filled up on Dr. Pepper and ate my chicken out of my sandwich (which they forgot to put my bacon on).  :(
It was close to noon and Dusty wanted to be out in 15 minutes, but I can't eat that fast.  I ate as quick as I could and we were back on the road.  Before we got too far out of town, I stopped for some Gatorade and ice for my buff.  Jeff V. caught up to us for a little bit and we had a nice chat before pulling away from him.  Up ahead we saw Carl and laz sitting under the overpass.  We came in at 5:19 (18th and 19th place) and still first females.  ;)
I stopped us again to get ice for my buff at the western shop out of Union City.  The heat poured on us and we slowed some.  We stopped and shared some shade with Roy T. and his crew/wife.  I checked my feet and I was getting some heel blisters that I taped up.  While I was, I noticed that I was getting some serious chafing in the nether regions.  I hadn't felt any pain but it was bad and whelps were forming.  I reapplied Glide and shortly after, we were on our way.  We made it to Martin and I was going to stop at the Pizza Hut and get a Dew and pizza.  Dusty said she'd wait at the gas station for me.  I decided it would take too long for the pizza and I just went with her and got a couple of drinks at the store.  (mistake for me)   We used the facilities and I re lubed again with Glide.  We passed Ray K as we headed out of Martin but he passed us again I believe when we stopped at the last store outside of Martin.  I went in for some ice and there sat Charlie T, Sal C., and I forgot who else was in there with them.  I was shocked to see them in there and I should have thought about how hard we were pushing if we were getting ready to pass them.  (another mistake)  Instead, I left and told Dusty outside and we headed out of Martin like two giddy girls.  We did have to stop a little ways down the road.  My chest was tight and I told her I needed my inhaler and to lie down for a minute.  Jeff V. passed us while we were resting.
We stopped at the turn into Dresden under some shade to check our feet and rest for a few minutes.  Dusty was good at timing our breaks.  Kept us moving.  We made it into Dresden and debated our food choices.  As good as Subway sounded, neither one of us wanted that extra mileage off course.  The country store restaurant store scared me a little (found out later it would have been better choice).  We chose the Pizza place, although once seated I thought about going to the Chinese buffet.  I figured I could eat some steamed rice.  Instead, pizza it was (HUGE mistake).  We finally got our order in- customer service was not on the menu in this place.  Sal C and John A. came in while we were in there, but John decided to leave for the Subway and hotel.  (smart decision, at least food wise).   We finally got our food and I have to say I have never seen a pizza bowl.  I ordered just a cheese pizza because I figured you could not go wrong with that.  How wrong could I be.  I pulled a piece apart and all of the cheese just slid off into a puddle onto the plate.  It was so salty I could not stomach it.  I tried to eat some of the crust but was making myself sick.  I barely got one piece down.  I headed outside to work on my feet and get ready for the last long stretch before the motel (about 15 miles or so).
  Dusty and Sal came out and we headed off down the road.  We caught and passed Jim B and Wayne M.  Jim eventually caught up to us and we headed on.  It was getting dark and I was getting tired but we trudged on.  I almost fell once when I misjudged the edge of the road.  We eventually made it to Gleason and the coke machine was working.  We drank and rested, but I was so hungry.  I also wondered if I could actually just stay outside and sleep.  I was so tired.  About 9 miles to go and I didn't know if I could make it.  Sigh.....
 As we were heading out of town a young guy in a pick up truck stopped and asked if we needed anything.  I thanked him for the PB crackers.  They were awful but I managed to get one down.  (Some kind of funny wafer, not a cracker.)  
As tired as I was though, it was a beautiful night.  At times, no one said a word and we just trudged on lost in our thoughts.  It was great.  At one point though, Dusty felt like she needed to stop, so the fellars went on ahead.  I decided to go ahead and go to the potty while she was doing her thing.  Then we laid in a drive that led to a barn staring up at all the stars in the sky.  Gorgeous.  We probably could have stayed there but we were both ready for a real bed and I really needed to shower and clean all of the Glide and get some Neosporin on to start the healing.  So we dragged ourselves up and got moving.
We finally got into town and should have stopped at the 24 hour pizza place where Jim and Sal was. (mistake)  Instead we trudged off to our motel where we had a reservation.  It was 1:30.  We got into our room, showered, and hit the sack.
Around 4:30 I woke up to go potty and Dusty was already up.  She was heading out, so I thought I better try to get going too (mistake).  I had a sore throat from sleeping in the cold room with wet hair and from being out in the night air, but I figured it would get better if I got some food in me.  She headed to the pizza place while I finished getting ready.  I decided McDonald's sounded good, plus I wouldn't have to back track.  I called and checked in with Pat and he was shocked we were taking off again.  I just felt like I had to get going.  I needed to get into the motel early so that I could get a really early start for the long day.  I got my food to go and texted Dusty that I was leaving McDonald's.  I ate a little over half before I couldn't get any more down me, but the orange juice tasted good.  I hoped that I would feel better after getting some calories.  Dusty passed me shortly before the turn onto the 4 lane.  She looked good and strong and I let that beat me down some.  I called Pat and cried a little.  He was super supportive.  I got out on the four lane hoping to try to catch her, but I had no get up and go in me.  Then I cried some more.  I thought about everyone's support and prayers.  I thought about my lack of training.  I thought about all of the mistakes I had made in day one.  I thought about all of the things I could be doing at home.  I thought about my husband.  I thought about my dogs.  Then I thought about my ego and sending an email out at work and how embarrassed I now was going to be.  Cause all I could think about was dropping.  (I thought all of the thoughts you shouldn't think AND on the second morning!!!  So wrong and sooo bad!)  
I talked to Pat again and I told him I would just go the best I could until he could come and get me on Sunday.  That was as soon as he could come (he had carpet jobs on Friday and our trail race on Saturday, not to mention his routes).  I would just lollygag around until he could get there.  Then I thought of my mom-maybe she could get me.  I want to drop and I can't.  lol  I texted Carl and told him I was dropping.  I put it on facebook that I dropped because I knew that they would try to talk me into continuing.  I was done though.  I should have never got on the ferry in the first place.  My buddy Tim D.called and I cried to him.  Joel G. caught up to me, and I tried to get him away from me.  I was in a bad head space and I didn't want to bring him down to.  Mike called and I walked off the side of the road away from Joel cause I started blubbering on the phone.  I have never blubbered in front of so many people in my life- not even at funerals!  That just made me cry more.  It is day 2 and I am already a blubbering mess!
I finally made it into Huntingdon and called Mike to see where he was (Corner Cafe).  So I headed there.  He was in there with Joel, Jeff S, Jeff K, and Tim P.  I had breakfast with them but did not change my mind.  I was still done.  I climbed into the seat of shame.
Below is my (dismal) training from my hundred until Vol State:
This is partly why I said I never should have gotten on the ferry.  I got so far behind in my training.  My longest was 12.7 miles and the little streak of 4 days flared my PF and sciatica.  I went out of town on June 28 and 29 for a work seminar and used it to heal up.  Then just trying to get stuff ready for vol state put me behind.  That and storms.  I have no one to blame, but myself for my lack of training.  I should have not gotten on the ferry.  I am glad that I did because it was nice to see that with a little friendly pushing, I could make it to McKenzie that first night (thank you Dusty!).  And yes, I could have went on and just finished the race, to heck with my goal.  I didn't want to just finish though.  Did that last year.  I also didn't think I could hit my goal, so I didn't want to put all of those expenses on my credit card and then not meet my goal.  
I let a lot of external factors like (especially) money, needing to help at our race, and some home sickness play a big part of stopping.  The biggest part was I was not mentally prepared to continue.  I didn't want it as bad as I did last year.  I knew the second time around would be hard and I didn't get my head on straight for the attempt.  I was wavering a week out from the race and I wasn't looking forward to it.  You have to be 100% committed to run vol state.  I was just along for the ferry ride and socializing.  This race deserves better than that from me.  It is one thing to quit if injured, but sad to quit just because it sounds better.  I should have taken the DNS- for once, much better than a DNF.
Yes, I am disappointed in myself, but I think I made the right decision for me.  I have no regrets like I did the first attempt.  Just disappointment.  Disappointed in my attempt and that I disappointed others faith in my abilities (apologies to those that believe in me- I will resurrect myself)  I need to re group and get my training back on track.  I have several races in the fall that I would like to improve upon and if I had went on and finished vol sate, I would be even more behind.  (this race takes a lot out of you)
I promised my husband that I would not run vol state next year (this was my third year).  On the way home, he told me if I am trained, then I can do it next year, but we'll see.  There are a few other races I'd like to run, but the main thing is for me to re group and get back on track.  I am just thrilled I have a super supportive husband.  Especially one that rearranges his day to come get me.  (sorry about that) 
Thanks to Mike M. for getting me off the road and driving to Nashville where Pat met us and took me home.  Mike went above and beyond with his hearse.  Thank you Mikey Mike!!!!

          Why do my Car Brakes Squeal?        
Ok so I have a 2002 honda Civic Lx that I recently bought like about 4 months ago. When I bought it the brakes were perfectly fine, but I guess I was told that it needed new brakes. So my dad went to go change them for %26quot;new%26quot; brakes. Ever since, my front disk brakes began to squeal after a few times of braking when I'm driving (No I am not a reckless driver so I know how to drive and brake properly). My dad went back to see what's wrong and they told him that its just the kind of metal that is used on the brakes, that they make that noise but work perfectly fine.

So is it just the the kind of metal used for the disk or brake pad that's the reason for all this screeching or is it something else that I am not aware of?
Why do my Car Brakes Squeal?
Rock Star has it right. I use %26quot;Disc Brake Quiet%26quot;, in both a liquid application and a spray. you pull the pads, apply the stuff to the contact points on the pad (on the back - do not use it on the points where it touches the top of the caliper!), and reassemble.

The squealing is a vibration that occurs at the pad, and is transmitted up the caliper. The disc brake quiet acts as a vibration dampener to prevent the pad from chattering excessively.

Is it %26quot;the kind of metal%26quot;? Yes and no - certain types of pads that are designed to resist brake fade seem to have a tendency to develop a squeal, but from my experience, it can be a combination of the pad material, the rotor condition, and just plain luck.
Why do my Car Brakes Squeal?
at the counter of almost every auto parts store they have small 1 ounce tubes of %26quot;Squeal Stop%26quot;.

Place a little on the metal of the brake pad (Backs) reassemble

By BY squeal
usually cuz there bad or because you have break dust. by brake dust cleaner and spray all of it and then drive to 60mph and slam on breaks. should be straight. or just get brakes inspected for free at any good brake shop.
          Car brakes vibrating, clunking noise?        
ok long story short. a month or two ago my 93 chevy corsica had some heavy brake grinding when driving below 30. checked the front pads, turned out the passenger side caliper seized and had no pad left. changed front diver and passenger pads and only front passenger caliper. when going for a test drive i noticed my brake petal was now vibrating hard with each stop and car was pulling to the left (opposite the side with the new caliper) while driving and a tiny bit when stopping. when it stops its very jerky like its getting tighers, then lets go a little, then tighens again and does this till i come to a stop. a week or two later i noticed extreme heat and smell comming from the side we changed the caliper on but i thought it was just the pads wearing in. now its a month or two later and the font passenger with the newer caliper has no pad and is begining to grind again. also theres a nice clunking noise comming from the rear driver side. what the hell is wrong with my car?
Car brakes vibrating, clunking noise?
There could be a number of things. First of all your brake fluid could be bad. Brake fluid is hydroscopic and absorbs water. When there is too much water in the fluid it will begin to rust the insdies of your brake lines and the rust will settle in your calipers and seize or damage the cylinder in the caliper, causing them to stick. To change your fluid get a syringe or something to remove all the fluid that you can from the reservoir and then fill it with new fluid. Then open up your bleeders one each wheel and either try and pump through the fluid with the pedal or a bleeder vaccum. This is to push out all the fluid still in your lines. Make sure you keep your reservoir full and when you see the new fluid coming through your lines then your done. (The old fluid will be very cloudy and the new will be an amber color). Close up your lines after that and then bleed all your lines like normal. You will need to rebuild or replace your caliper(s) to ensure that they work right but only after you have flushed the new fluid through or else you will find yourself in the same situation as before. And you probably should also replace your rotors because that can cause vibrations in you petal when stopping. Especially since you had metal to metal grinding.

As for the rear does it clunk when you hit the brakes? If so then you need to adjust your rear brake pads. Assuming that they are drum brakes then open the inspection hole on the botom back side to reveal the adjuster turn it a litlle bit (it will only go one way) and then test it, repeat until the clunk goes away.
Car brakes vibrating, clunking noise?
your caliper may have not been the original problem. replace both flexlines going to the calipers. if one has collapsed inside itself it would do the same thing as a stuck caliper. when you have finished this job and while the car is still up in the air have someone apply the brakes for you and when they are released, spin the tires to make sure that they spin freely. good luck
          lcd vs plasma..??        
lcd vs plasma...

Plasma displays
uses a matrix of tiny gas plasma cells that are charged by precise electrical voltages to emit light and hence to create the picture image. In other words, each picture element in a plasma TV display acts as a miniature light source. More on plasma displays can be found in our article: How-it-Works: Plasma Display Panel.

Liquid Crystal Displays (LCD) panels - work by trapping a liquid crystal solution between two sheets of polarized glass. When an electric current passes through the liquid crystals, they change the polarization of the light passing through them in response to the applied voltage – as a result of which, more or less light passes through the polarized glass to reach the face of the display. LCD panels do not generate light - rather they filter or subtract light generated by a back-light source to create the image on the panel surface. More information on LCD displays can be found at How-it-Works: Liquid Crystal Display Technology.


It is not the scope of this plasma vs LCD comparative guide to go into the actual details of how these different display technologies work. After all, what matters in the end is not what is going behind the screen, more important is how these different display technologies perform as a television screen.

At the same time, one cannot but keep in mind that it is these same differences that give each of these display technologies, its strengths and weaknesses, and that therefore render one more suitable than the other under certain circumstances.

Plasma vs LCD TV – Which flat-panel display technology is right for you?

We apprroach this plasma vs LCD TV comparative analysis by taking a detailed look at three main areas of concern, namely 'price and size', 'picture' related issues, and 'functional' considerations.

We believe that this approach should help better bring out the main differences between these two technologies, and therefore, make it easier to determine where either of these display technologies fit best.


Plasma vs LCD TV: Size and Price

Size ADVANTAGE: This depends on screen size in that when it comes to compare plasma vs LCD TV sets, both technologies are playing on level ground though you have more available options within the plasma TV domain for screen sizes greater than 50-inch. This is partly explained by the fact that though production costs and retail prices have come down for both technologies, yet plasma still has the edge as far as production cost and capacity go.

On the other hand, at the smaller screen size end of the spectrum, i.e. 37-inch, LCD is the dominant technology while anything smaller than 37-inch implies LCD if what you want is something stylish and slim (at under 4" in depth).

Price ADVANTAGE: Here, the playing field is leveling at a fast rate. Up to very recent, plasma was the obvious choice for all screen sizes where collision between these two technologies occurs; this is no longer the case.

In general, plasma still leads by a good margin only at the bigger screen sizes - 50 inch and upwards - with this pricing advantage getting more pronounced as one approaches the 60-inch diagonal. But then, against this higher price tag, LCD HDTVs come with more pixels per display panel.

At the smaller end of the screen size (37-inch up to 44-inch), the price advantage when it comes to plasma vs LCD TV sets, starts to shift more towards LCD TVs since even though plasmas and LCDs are practically selling at the same price tag, LCD TVs delivers more pixels for the same screen size.


Plasma vs LCD TV: Picture Considerations

Overall Picture Performance ADVANTAGE: Here our thumbs up in this plasma vs LCD TV comparative analysis go to plasma televisions even though both technologies are extremely close in terms of overall picture performance.

In other words, both plasma and the latest high contrast TFT-LCD flat panel displays are capable of producing excellent picture quality - with bright, crisp clear images, high contrast levels, and excellent color reproduction. This means that both technologies are suitable as a TV screen, but...

Plasma TVs still have an edge over their LCD counterparts when it comes to displaying deep blacks - thus enjoying better contrast and detail in images where lots of dark and light content is being shown simultaneously.

Generally, Plasma color richness and naturalness will prevail in rooms with controlled lower to normal lighting, while LCDs will be better in brightly lit rooms due to their inherent anti-glare technology.

Plasma vs LCD TV Viewing Angle ADVANTAGE: What used to be a clear advantage for plasma displays is becoming more and more a non-issue especially with the latest generation of LCD televisions, however...

Do not always assume that viewing angle is no longer an issue when comparing plasma vs lcd TVs, especially if the viewing angle is not specified. The tendency – in particular with the cheaper LCD TV sets from unknown manufacturers - is that the deterioration in picture quality with off-axis viewing is more accentuated with LCD than with plasma displays.

Our advice: It is always best to check especially when buying some cheap 'unbranded' LCD TV. If you are buying online, check first the return policy, and opt only for a reputable brand. Buying online is cheaper and safe, but ensure that you follow the recommendations detailed in our Online Buyer's Guide.

Viewing Distance ADVANTAGE: This is a non-issue when it comes to plasma vs LCD TV sets in that none carries any advantage as long as you are within normal viewing distance for your screen size and your viewing distance is more than approximately 9 feet away from your TV screen. More on viewing distance can be found in our article here: TV Viewing Distance.

However, the pixel size and shape of an LCD panel renders a smoother picture than an equivalently sized plasma panel for the same pixel count. This means that if you have a too short TV viewing distance, an LCD television may render itself a better option as its pixel structure is less visible.

          Can I use a turkey baster to remove brake fluid when changing my brake pads?        
Instead of draining brake fluid under the car, can I use a turkey baster to remove brake fluid from the brake fluid reservoir?
Can I use a turkey baster to remove brake fluid when changing my brake pads?
yes but be careful not to drip, brake fluid is corrosive
Can I use a turkey baster to remove brake fluid when changing my brake pads?
ummmm, if your changing your brake pads, you dont need to drain the brake fluid. open the master cylinder cap and put rags around it. relieves the pressure when you spread the calipers apart to get the pads out
Yes. I have done this myself

Just don't use it for food any more for obvious reasons
get a rag or a paper towel to quickly place it on the tip of the baster after you got the fluid in there. you know they drip...
You shouldn't need to remove any brake fluid to change the break pads, unless you want to change the fluid for other reasons. What I do is after I remove the caliper, I use a large C-clamp to compress it for re-installation. Keep the old pad on the caliper when you compress it to prevent damaging the caliper. You shouldn't need to do anything else if you car is similar to mine (1997 Jeep Cherokee).
          Brakes make a click sound when pressure is applied?        
My boyfriend changed my brake pads today (it was his first time doing it) And now when I apply pressure to the brake it makes a click sound sounds like its coming from behind the radio if your sitting in the drivers seat. What could be causing this and is it dangerous?

Also I've already had to add brake fluid to the car is that normal? I'm a bit nervous.
Brakes make a click sound when pressure is applied?
sounds normal for a do it yourselfer
Brakes make a click sound when pressure is applied?
no dengerous pad clips not fix proper
Sounds as if you have a big problem on your hands. He more then likely did not put the brakes together properly, and he might have pinched a brake line moving the caliber around. I would have a professional look at your vehicle ASAP no offense to your bf but you dont want to die due to his learning erra.
          Need Some car help (Brakes,rotor and serpentine belt) Please help?        
Ok so i just got a 1998 Ford Escort from my grandma who passed away couple weeks back. So just to be safe i got it checked at Midas. They told me i had 2 get all my brakes pads, my front rotor and my serpentine belt changed. Im not really good with cars so please explain this to me. when they said get ur front rotor changed, what does that mean...both front tires...how many rotors does a car have..... And also does anyone know where i can get all these parts cheap. PLUS I DONT WAN TO SELL THIS CAR SO DONT SUGGEST THAT TO ME. thanks
Need Some car help (Brakes,rotor and serpentine belt) Please help?
You'll get a lot of opinions on cars, and mine from years of experience is not to go to the national chain store franchises like Midas, Goodyear, Firestone, and some others in large metropolitan areas. It's much better in my opinion to get to know some local independent shops you can find below that are recommended by your neighbors. The %26quot;gaurantees%26quot; you get at those chain stores and quickie lubes don't mean much. They end up charging you a lot anyways and less qualified mechanics are generally working on your car. The Ford dealer is a good place to get a diagnosis and quote for engine and transmission problems and let the independent shops do your brake, belts and hoses, exhaust, tires, and suspension work. When a car gets titled in your name at the motor vehicle department, it gets a safety check. If that safety check says your car is ok, then Midas is just trying to make money in my opinion rather than only fix what's needed to be fixed. Preventive maintenance like filter and fluid changes are specified in your owner's manual and are the most important thing for you to spend your money on.

Need Some car help (Brakes,rotor and serpentine belt) Please help?
The rotors are the brake rotors, and your car probably has four, one for each wheel/brake.

As the disc brake pads wear they also slowly wear away the rotors and will need to be replaced.

Serpentine belt is what drives your alternator, AC, power steering and stuff like that. That shouldn't cost you more than $10-$15 or so at an autoparts store. Don't know where you live, so it's hard to say where to get the parts cheapest, but most garages don't like you bringing in your own parts.
          Cameron Todd Willingham Guilty        
No doubts: Those closest to case shed no tears for Willingham
By Janet Jacobs, Corsicana Daily Sun
published: September 07, 2009 05:08 pm    
expired, original link
The undeniable facts of the Cameron Todd Willingham case are these:
• On Dec. 23, 1991, 2-year-old Amber Louise Kuykendall, and 1-year-old twins Karmon Diane Willingham and Kameron Marie Willingham died in a mid-morning house fire at 1213 W. 11th Ave. in Corsicana.
• Willingham, 23, the children’s father, and the only adult home at the time of the fire, was found guilty of murder and sentenced to death on Aug. 21, 1992.
• After five appeals and 12 years on death row, he was put to death by lethal injection on Feb. 17, 2004.
 Everything else is controversial.
 Carrying the torch
To people opposed to the death penalty under any circumstances, the holy grail is an innocent man who was executed, preferably in Texas, home of the nation’s busiest death row. Some argue Todd Willingham is that innocent man.
The latest argument for Willingham’s innocence comes from a report by Craig Beyler, of Hughes Associates in Baltimore, Md., and submitted Aug. 17 to the Texas Forensic Science Commission, a panel formed in 2005 to deal with forensic errors.
Beyler was contracted to review the case following a complaint by the Innocence Project. The Innocence Project is best known for using DNA analysis to exonerate wrongly convicted men.
The report claims the Texas investigators didn’t understand fire science, and didn’t use modern methods in the Willingham case. Because one of the investigators was with the Texas fire marshal’s office, the marshal’s office will have a chance to respond to Beyler’s findings, and the commission should deliver a verdict next spring.
This week, the New Yorker published an article by David Grann which condemns the science and the system which sent a seemingly innocent man to his death. Part of the article is based on Willingham’s relationship with a woman who visited him on death row, and became an amateur sleuth on his behalf. Previous articles questioning the Willingham verdict have also appeared in the Dallas Morning News and the Chicago Tribune.
Leaders of the Innocence Project say this is proof of a failed death-penalty system.
“There can no longer be any doubt that an innocent person has been executed,” said Barry Scheck, co-director of the Innocence Project, in a release. “The question now turns to how we can stop it from happening again.
“As long as our system of justice makes mistakes — including the ultimate mistake — we cannot continue executing people,” Scheck stated.
In Corsicana, the attempts to make Todd Willingham into a martyr aren’t well-received.
“He’s not a poster child for anybody,” said Sgt. Jimmie Hensley of the Corsicana Police Department.
First impressions
Doug Fogg, a Corsicana firefighter for 31 years, was the first responder to arrive at 1213 W. 11th Ave. in Corsicana that Monday morning. He conducted the local arson investigation.
Fogg calls Beyler an “armchair quarterback” and riles at the accusation that Corsicana and state detectives used nothing more than folklore to come to their conclusions.
“A lot of this stuff (in Beyler’s report) is misspoken or misinterpreted,” Fogg said.
The report accuses state arson investigator Manuel Vasquez, now deceased, of not securing the scene, of missing or mishandling crucial evidence that might have exonerated Willingham, and not using scientific fire analysis.
Willingham had a lot of excuses for the fire, Fogg recalled, including that a stranger entered the house and set the fire, that the 2-year-old started it, that a ceiling fan or squirrels in the attic caused an electrical short, or the gas space heaters in the children’s bedroom sparked it.
The investigators searched for electrical shorts, but found none; the gas-powered space heaters were off because the family’s gas supply had been cut off at the meter; and “we didn’t find a ceiling fan. Willingham said there was one, but we didn’t find any signs of one,” Fogg said.
The other explanations just didn’t add up, Fogg said, adding: “We eliminated all accidental causes.”
Evidence of accelerants was found, but Willingham had an excuse for that, too. Willingham told investigators he poured cologne on the children’s floor “because the babies liked the smell,” he blamed a kerosene lamp for any accelerant in the hallway, and said spilled charcoal-lighter fluid happened while he was grilling, Fogg recalled.
Fogg agreed that there was a damaged bottle of charcoal lighter fluid on the other end of the porch away from the door, but the grill was in the side yard not on the porch when firefighters arrived. Fogg remembered four empty bottles of charcoal lighter were found just outside the front door.
Beyler acknowledges that one sample did have accelerant in it, but said it was unidentified, a claim Fogg disputes.
Local investigators didn’t leave the house until midnight, spending over 12 hours sifting through the debris by hand, taking videotape and more than 80 photographs of the scene, cutting up flooring for the lab, bagging and dating each sample and recording where it came from in the house, Fogg said. Samples were contaminated by melted plastic toys, fire-damaged carpet and floor tiles, but it wasn’t because of investigator’s incompetence, Fogg said.
Beyler theorized it was a flashover, and said investigators didn’t see the difference between the intense heat of a flashover and an accelerant-driven fire. Fogg laughed at the notion.
If it had been a flashover, it would have taken out the thin layer of sheetrock on the walls, he argued.
“That house was box construction,” Fogg said. “The only sheetrock that came down was what was hit with water. The paper backing wasn’t even scorched.”
As well, the fire damage was worse at the floor level than at the ceilings, which is the opposite of typical fire, Fogg said.
“(Beyler) thought we were total idiots,” Fogg said.
Beyond the fire
Sgt. Jimmie Hensley of the Corsicana Police Department was the lead investigator on the Willingham murder case back in 1992.
For Hensley, the most damning evidence came from Willingham, who told officers that 2-year-old Amber woke him up. Firefighters later found her in his bed, with burns on the soles of her feet. Yet, Willingham didn’t take the girl with him when he fled, nor did he receive burns walking down that same hallway, Hensley pointed out.
Willingham was taken to the hospital where doctors did a blood-gas analysis on him, a standard test for someone who’s been inside a burning house.
“He had no more (carbon monoxide) than somebody who had just smoked a cigarette,” Hensley said.
Hensley has since become a certified arson investigator. In hindsight, he insists they took the right steps with the evidence in the Willingham case.
“We did everything we were supposed to do,” he said.
Hensley also dismisses Beyler’s report, pointing out that Beyler didn’t talk to the investigators, and reading the testimony can’t replace first-person observations.
“You can find expert witnesses everywhere, and if you pay them enough they’ll testify to anything,” Hensley said. “They’re to be bought.”
Willingham was tried for murder, not arson, and the guilty verdict was based on the whole picture, not just part of it, he said.
“You can’t just look at a little part. Look at the whole picture, and that’s what the jury did,” Hensley said. “If a 2-year-old wakes you up and there’s smoke and fire everywhere, aren’t you going to at least get that one out? It couldn’t possibly have happened the way (Willingham) said.”
Willingham’s behavior afterwards did not help his case. Todd Morris was the first police officer on the scene and he found Willingham trying to push his car away from the house to save it from the fire, while his children were inside burning up, Hensley said.
Dr. Grady Shaw and his team spent an hour at the emergency room trying to resuscitate Amber while next door Willingham complained about his own suffering, Shaw said.
“I remember this case very clearly,” Shaw said. “She was in Trauma Room 1, and her father was placed in Trauma Room 2, and only a curtain separated those. He was whining and complaining and crying out for a nurse to help him because of the pain from his extremely minor burns while we were trying to resuscitate this child.”
Willingham’s first-degree burns on the backs of his hands and on the back of his neck were the kind that might come from accidentally touching an oven rack, or having a small ember pop up from a campfire, Shaw said.
“He was not hurting that bad from these minor burns,” Shaw said. “It was clearly audible what was going on next door, but to hear him doing all that complaining and asking for attention when everybody was trying to save the little girl’s life was grossly inappropriate.”
Friends of the family testified that Willingham had beaten his wife in an attempt to abort the pregnancy of the twins, and many people assumed the murder of the children was more of the same, said John Jackson, former district judge and the lead prosecutor of the Willingham case.
“We really just believed the children inhibited his lifestyle,” Jackson said.
Hensley came away deeply disturbed by the case, and he’s angry that anti-death penalty proponents ignore the children’s deaths in trying to make Willingham into a martyr.
“In my opinion, justice was served,” Hensley said. “And it’s a shame he couldn’t have died three times, one for each of the little girls.”
Alan Bristol, who helped prosecute the case for the district attorney’s office, said Willingham was “one of the most evil people I’ve ever come in contact with in my life.”
“The guy was a sociopath,” he said. Willingham refused a polygraph, tortured and killed animals as a child, abused his wife repeatedly, thought more about losing his car than his children, and clearly lied about what happened in the deadly fire, Bristol said.
“None of the stories he told us panned out,” Bristol said. “He tried to make himself out to be a big hero, that he tried to go in and save the children, but there was no smoke in his lungs and he had only minor injuries.”
Bristol said the science for investigating fires may have changed over the last two decades, but the accelerant was there, and that evidence remains valid.
“I don’t have any doubt he did it, or was guilty,” Bristol said. “I think he would have been convicted whether we had the arson evidence or not.”
Willingham appealed his case, but the verdict was upheld. In the end, he asked for clemency that never materialized.
“The only statement I want to make is that I am an innocent man convicted of a crime I did not commit,” Willingham said in his final moments. “I have been persecuted for 12 years for something I did not do.”
The article in the New Yorker quoted Willingham’s protest of innocence as his final words, but Loyd Cook of the Daily Sun was one of three media witnesses at the execution. Willingham’s actual final words were a venom-filled curse at his ex-wife as he attempted an obscene gesture, Cook reported.
“I hope you rot in hell, b—,” Willingham said before dying.
Stacy Kuykendall, who still lives in Navarro County, said she doesn’t talk about the case anymore. However, she did talk to Cook shortly before Willingham’s execution.
She refuted her ex-husband’s attempts to blame Amber, and came to her own conclusions that he killed their daughters. Kuykendall divorced Willingham while he was in prison, and married again. She did not have more children.
“Maybe some of the fear of him will leave me, but I’ll never get over what he did to my kids,” she said in 2004.
From his seat at the defense table, attorney David Martin’s job was to fight tooth and nail for Willingham. Once it was over, though, Martin became convinced his client was guilty. He dismisses the Beyler report as propaganda from anti-death penalty supporters. 
“The Innocence Project is an absolute farce,” Martin said. “It’s a bunch of hype, in my opinion.”
The defense team couldn’t locate an arson expert back then willing to say the house fire was accidental.
“We never could find anybody that contradicted Vasquez,” Martin said.
As for motive, Martin agreed with investigators about Willingham’s character.

“He had no conscience,” Martin said. “Why do monsters kill? They like killing.”

          Biocept Reports Second Quarter 2017 Financial Results        

Biocept Logo (PRNewsFoto/Biocept, Inc.)SAN DIEGO, Aug. 10, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Biocept, Inc. (NASDAQ: BIOC), a leading commercial provider of liquid biopsy tests designe