Silliness is Golden

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Wed, Dec 21, 2005

I. Am. That. CucumberMan.

For my birthday this year, Spike gave me three pounds of marvelous mail-order bacon. My mother gave me a tagine--the Dutch oven-like conical covered pot that leant its name to the spicy slow-cooked stews that are made therin. Mine is much prettier than the picture--smoothly graduated from the bright red top to the black base. My new enthusiasm for Moroccan cooking is mostly based in my continuing infatuation with preserved lemons, but there is much territory left to explore. For example, as Morocco is a heavily Islamic region, to the best of my knowledge the task remains for some brave and resourceful man to invent a bacon tagine.

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Thu, Dec 15, 2005

Headline of the Year

From Australia's newspaper The Age:

Bush says Iraq war right, facts wrong

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Wed, Dec 14, 2005

Long Peppers

I've long been staggered by the notion that the Old World didn't have hot peppers until the sixteenth century. (okay, so I stagger easy) Indian food, Chinese food, Italian food, without peppers! Up til then, if you were gonna make your food hot, you had to do it with ginger and black pepper--or so I thought.

Turns out there's a sort a missing link--the long pepper(piper longum), a close relative of black pepper with a hot taste and a roughly chili pepper-like appearance. It was popular up until the arrival of the chili pepper, but was enough of a pain in the ass to cultivate that it pretty much disappeared in Europe after that, thugh it still sees some use in North Africa and India.

Now I want some--I'm pretty omnivorous for spicy--I love black pepper, ginger, capsicum, cinnamon, and horseradish--how could I not desire another notch on my spatula handle?

Froogle reveals that most of the people selling piper longum on the web at this point are offering herbal remedy capsules, either to enhance your immune system, your libido, your sperm count, or your metabolism. It's also apparently good for digestion, inflammations of the nose, throat, or larynx; constipation, diarrhea, or toothaches. Versatile stuff. Those who are selling it as a spice have it ground, which is vexing--I kinda want to see the little buggers. That, apparently, would set me back $50/lb or so. Grr.

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Thu, Dec 08, 2005

Confession is good for the soul, but bad for the arteries

If there's a hell for cullinary sinners, I think I'm going there. I had salmon-and-cream-cheese fried rice for a midnight snack last night. It was pretty tasty.

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Sat, Dec 03, 2005

I don't care what your thesaurus says--paralegal and quasi-legal are not synonyms.

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