31 July 2011

Beware of kings with sunken eyes . . .

In the anthropocentric world of classed delusion
glass thinking it is made of fish is in exclusion.

27 July 2011

Sink Corporate Pirates: A new blog that needs whistling about

Qs and facts about the "library/corpirate complex", Amazon as a fence, copyright as it is flogged, fraud on the high seas of "publishing", and a wealth of other jollies.

The blog is run by someone with a sophomoric nom de grrr probably because of the Pirates of Penzance refrain, brought up to date:

When constabulary duty's to be done, to be done,
A policeman's whistleblower's lot is not a happy one (happy one).

22 July 2011

New interview, and a recipe

Eat Me

Iain Rowan posed good questions, and has been a great pesterer to actually answer them. The interview with me is only one of his series, "Writers talk about writing".

Tambourian Bread

Heat the oven to bloody hell (220 C or about 420 F)
Toss in flour-strewn baking sheet.

In a big bowl, throw
3 (metric *) cups unbleached flour
2 cups rolled oats
Rub the oats till they're broken up somewhat, and add
1 and a half (metric) teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons bicarbonate soda
  • 1 mix of half to one cup yogurt (or sour cream or kefir or sour milk or buttermilk or milk soured with a teaspoon or two of lemon juice)
  • and water, to equal a total of 2 cups liquid (the bread above is 1 cup thick tart homemade yogurt to 1 cup water)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
Shake liquid in a jar. Dump into dry ingredients and mix all fast with a wooden spoon and with maximum cheap satire(cuttingly). Turn out onto table. The mixture will be rough, and might need some more liquid, or maybe some more flour. Bully quickly into brick (on its side) and cut the top three times.

Toss, literally, onto hot baking sheet in oven.
Reduce temperature to medium heat (170 C or about 350 F)
Bake 60 minutes.
Cool on rack, and cover and store in tea towel or any old thing that will breathe (anything woven, that is)

This bread smells wonderful, has a toothsome crust, and a dense internal texture like fresh Irish soda bread. But unlike Isd, it keeps excellently. Fabulous toasted. Walnuts and dates have begged to be included in it. Blackcurrant jam has declared fealty. Cheeses, however, have fought to sit upon its hunks.

* Non-metric measurers can be used, as this is all to-taste anyway, and flour measured by volume can mean anything, as does the amount of liquid added. Today, for instance, some big-eyed goddess is crying melodramatically somewhere Above, and even the talcum powder is getting sympathetic.

06 July 2011

Marzipan fruit and the Mistresses of Fancies

Anyone can make good marzipan or marchpane—given almonds, sugar (& according to Elinor Fettiplace "you must have gum dragon [tragacanth *] steep it in rose water all night" which might be easy but if not, eat your lips before succumbing to the repulsive charms of any "good basic recipe" that includes corn syrup and/or marshmallow cream), edible tints, paintbrushes, pounding, mixing juuust right, skill, artistry and time.

You too can make beautiful and realistic fruits, leaves—all the "conceits" and "fancies" you care to, even unto gnus. The most poorly developed beast will at least delight the palate if not the eye. I've never had the skill to do as good a job as these pictured beauties, though once I did make a batch of hairy marzipan noses and a pretty realistic whiskered sewer rat.

Fake fruits like these are so common round these parts now, that they rain down in a wind.

In addition to being made by the finest fake-fruit makers on earth, the Guild whose members made these were the first cooks to employ labour-saving devices. To make what is to them, the mere nursery food above, their technique is: turn your back on it, inject and forget.

These were made by members of that Guild of Mistress Chefs, called rather humanly,"wasps".

The gall of them
As with all food experts, in numbers, they can be pests. The Ophelimus sisters are the most infamous. Biological controls have been introduced to defeat them, an idea that should bear fruit elsewhere.

* Gum tragacanth (from Essence of Guinevere Tragacanth) is now known only as the dried sap from some mangy trees that grow in places very fashionable to write about. In purchased form, it looks like grains of sleepy. When combined with water, tragacanth is a gluey substance akin to rubber cement or nightmare gravy. The original Essence of Guinevere Tragacanth was made from reducing her stock, once she had been spiced with grains of paradise and boiled till her bones ran. Thus the archaic meaning of tragacanth as "tragically impossible to pronounce to everyone's agreement", for she was sacrificed (with a chicken) as a final fitting end to the War of Guin's Eye or Ear, Let Alone G or J, C or K, which broke out when she was to wed her cousin, Geoff Tragacanth, who, along with anyone named Baodab, was eaten after five years of bloody fighting between violent pronunciationists, by a dragon who was never caught, but was honoured in absentia. For further information, see accounts by the Veritable Bode.

02 July 2011

Barbara who? A great cartoonist

Looking at New Yorker cartoons of 1929–1930s, I ended up noting one cartoonist's name time and again, and finally looking it up—only to find that Wikipedia thinks it's a misspelling.

Michael Maslin has tried to correct history's fame imbalance with his Revisiting Barbara Shermund.

Not only do the cartoons still work, but they are as timeless as human affectations are. The style of the artwork is part of what makes each piece work so well, but I can't post them here. Instead, here are two captions:
"He has the most marvelous vocabulary—I don't know whether he'll use it all this evening or not"
(1/4/30) This one made me not just smile but laugh, having just finished reading a marvelous but collection by Will Self.
Another (12/14/29): "Oh, of course I don't really smoke—just puff."

"Since when have decent publishers had to advertise for authors?"

A few days ago there was either an hilarious, a hilarious, or a hillarius (depending upon your publisher) exchange between Keith Brooke and a business that calls itself a publisher.
Read it here: Fair deal for authors? You judge

This is the latest blurb from the business:
"An autobiographical story of a modern day Warlock, living in Londons East End.Poetic stories of his adventures, are tied together with retrospectives on their conception, so join the Wiccan way of witchcraft and discover his path." (sic)