December 29, 2007 § 3 Comments
Just popping my head in to call your attention to this— I can’t think of a visceral-enough adjective— slideshow of Benazir Bhutto‘s last moments (graphic, but worth viewing in full screen if you can). I’ve never lived in a country where citizens took their democracy seriously enough to risk death at a rally.
Are any of our 2008 candidates willing to die for their vision of the country the way Bhutto died for her own? Should that be the acid test?
December 12, 2007 § 6 Comments
So it seems we needed some time apart, but I’m back now. Winter’s icy fingers are trying to weasel through our drafty windows this very second, but Richard’s sister gave us an early Christmas present— like a tiny, circular, portable tanning bed. It shoots its heat rays very accurately, and while I appreciate the thaw, it makes me wonder if this is the same technology used on those horrifying new DoD ray guns. Admittedly, a much gentler ray gun, but still enough to make me hesitate if one was pointed at me during one of those rare instances when I join the booing congregation outside Province House.
(Ha ha! Ignore that, provincial officials! Stupid joke! We’ll drop off our grant applications tomorrow afternoon.)
It’s not as though we’re bowled over with holiday invitations this year, but I managed to become cranky with all of my commitments anyway. What, I must wrap these gifts and ship them if they’re going to arrive on time? I have to clean out the trunk and select a Christmas Tree? And decorate it? And I only get Christmas cookies if I make them? Humbug!
I’d like to buy him a raincoat and galoshes, an Aeron Miller office chair, a greenhouse full of heirloom tomatoes, three pounds of Sumatra Abongabong, ten days in Garda, supple cowboy boots, a juniper wreath, Adirondack chairs, a cozy fireplace.
What he’ll get instead is a bag of licorice babies and a bottle of Value Size shampoo. Next year, maybe.
But as an Advent gift to you, friends, here’s a recipe for coconut bread that I conveniently and cleverly saved on Richard’s computer instead of my own. It’s from bills, but I’ve converted it to Imperial measurements for myself and my countrymen.
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup caster sugar
¾+ cup shredded coconut
1 ¼ cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease and flour a loaf pan (the recipe calls for 8×4 inches, but I find loaf pans come in so many weird sizes there’s no point being picky; use what you’ve got, and keep an eye on it).
Sift together flour, baking powder and cinnamon, then add sugar and coconut. Stir until well combined. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, milk and vanilla.
Add egg mixture to flour mixture, stirring until just combined, then swirl through the melted butter, stirring gently until no puddles of butter remain. Pour into your greased loaf pan, and bake for about an hour (depending on the size of your pan, I might start to check after 45 minutes, but in my oven, which runs hot, this bread takes about and hour and fifteen minutes).
Let cool in pan for seven minutes or so, then turn it out onto a wire rack. Serve in thick slices with salt-fish relish (as bill does) or plain with a cup of cocoa (as I do).
December 1, 2007 § 4 Comments
SNOW. Snow on the first of December— and it’s serious, long-term snow. And it brought its friend the clever North wind that finds all of the gaps between your buttons and your mittens’ stitches.
Perhaps a Real Canadian Winter is in store. Good thing I’ve got my snowshoes.