Thursday, June 30, 2011

A New Milestone

I started this blog in the fall of 2008. It was my second attempt at a blog. The first one ran from 1999 to 2004 and featured posts that appeared anywhere from monthly to quarterly and which ran up to 35 pages each when you printed them out. They were a lot of fun to write, but I eventually just ran out of time. These smaller, more frequent posts are a lot easier.

What got me back into blogging was a sense that I wanted to tell stories – to record thoughts and events as they came so that someday I could remember it all, the usual historian’s motivation for just about anything, really. And if I could write these well enough, perhaps others might read them and enjoy them too.

Since a lot of writing is about reading, I went off in search of other blogs to read. I wanted to find people who could write, and more importantly people who could tell stories – people who had something to say, whether it was just about what crossed their mind that day or about big ideas and issues. It’s all good if it’s done well.

I found a bunch of those blogs. There really are a lot of talented people out there in teh intarweebs.

One group of bloggers in particular seemed to have an organization – the UCF. I found Jim Wright’s Stonekettle Station first. From there I found Janiece’s Hot Chicks Dig Smart Men, Eric’s Standing on the Shoulders of Giant Midgets, Nathan’s Polybloggimous, Vince’s Reality is Frequently Inaccurate, and several others that were worth reading as well. If I could remember how to make those names into links I would, but you will notice that there are no links to anything anywhere on this site other than what commenters have posted, so you will just have to look them up yourselves.

And you should, because they’re worth reading.

Someday I will put up one of those blogroll things that Blogger lets you do, and you’ll see then, won’t you? Yes you will.

Nathan liked the post about the Atomic Pepper Sauce enough that it set off a few of his own memories, which he linked to in the comment section of that post. And in the comments of Nathan’s post, I seem to have been ordained as an Auxiliary UCF member.

I find this highly flattering.

I'm not sure what this means in concrete terms other than that apparently I am responsible for baked goods – originally pies and cakes, but since my talents lie in other baking directions I am hoping that they will accept cookies. Except that cookies don’t travel well through the internet, so really all I can do is post a couple of recipes here and hope someone tries them out.

So for Nathan who likes oatmeal raisin cookies, I give you my friend Tiffany’s “Oaties:”

  1. Cream together 1 cup butter, 1 cup brown sugar, 1 cup white sugar, 2 eggs and 1 tsp of vanilla extract.
  2. Add 1.25 cups flour, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp baking soda, 2 tsp cinnamon, 0.5 tsp ground cloves and 0.5 tsp nutmeg and mix well.
  3. Stir in 3 cups rolled oats, 1.5 cups raisins and 1 bag chocolate chips (that used to be 16 oz, but has since been shrink-rayed down to 12).
  4. Chill dough 30 minutes then drop by rounded teaspoonfuls 2” apart on a cookie sheet. Bake 10 minutes at 350F and cool.

And for WendyB, who likes chocolate, I give you Swedish Chocolate Balls, which is not a straight line at all.

  1. Cream together 0.5 lb butter and 1.5 cups sugar. Blend in 2 eggs. Add 0.5 cups strong cold coffee (instant espresso works well), 1 tbsp vanilla extract and 1 cup cocoa and mix well.
  2. Grind 4 cups of uncooked Quick-cooking oats in a blender (oat flour will work but the texture is wrong) and mix into batter.
  3. Chill 1-2 hours minimum.
  4. Shape dough into balls roughly 0.75 to 1 inch across (a very messy process). Roll balls in sweetened shredded coconut flakes.
  5. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Makes 4-5 dozen.

I am not sure what other responsibilities come with my Auxiliary Membership. But it's cool to be part of it, no matter how tangentially.  And I will keep writing and telling stories, because that’s what I came here to do.


Nathan said...

I am not sure what other responsibilities come with my Auxiliary Membership.

It's likely that, at some point in the future, you'll be dropped behind enemy lines with only a K-Bar, three liters of water and a honey badger, but we don't need to get into that right now.

Janiece said...

Nathan, quit spilling our seekrits.

David, you're in good company - auxiliary members currently include The Mechanicky Gal, Stacey and a couple others whose names escape me (Mad Cow).

Phiala said...

Ignore Nathan. If you feed us chocolate, we aren't going to drop you anywhere.

Note: The internet claims that putting eggs in is not the traditional Swedish way, and they should be omitted. Which makes me happy, since I don't like using raw eggs in anything that won't be eaten instantly.

David said...

@Nathan - I can see why you left that part out of the orientation seminar.

@Janiece - I already knew I was in good company. :)

@Phiala - I've never tried it without the eggs. I will have to give it a try. If it works, then I can complain to my friends in Sweden about their inexplicable silence on my addition.

Phiala said...

All I know is, this recipe has eggs, and a pile of comments from Swedes saying essentially, "Eggs? WTF?"

This recipe has no eggs, and also doesn't bother to pulverize the oats. I'm a lazy chocoholic.

Random Michelle K said...

Cookies are ALWAYS accepted, although chocolate, as Phiala says, is far more important.

Give us chocolate and you're in for life.

And I'm not saying there is an initiation hazing, but there is a song.

And Calvinball. Can't forget the Calvinball.

Unknown said...

I found Janiece, Eric and Nathan, in that order too. I am stalking my way to the full UCF list.

I make French desserts like tartes, eclairs, napoleons, and macaroons. If I make them with chocolate, would you accept my application to be in David's quadron?

vince said...

You'll notice that (generally) we bribe easily.

MMmmmm.... chocolate.

neurondoc said...

Mmmm, chocolate. (I show up when chocolate is mentioned...).

Responsibilities? Who needs them???

David said...

My kind of people.

Eric said...

Nathan wasn't supposed to tell you about the honey badger, because the whole point of the exercise is the look of naked fear on your face before we hand you the box with the honey badger in it.

The puzzle solves itself, of course, once you have that missing ingredient. Since Nathan's already spoiled it, I'll ruin the rest of it: use the K-Bar to remove the string holding the honey badger's box closed. He'll be irate until you offer him some of the water. Once he's drunk his fill, point him in the direction of home and wait about fifteen minutes. Enemy positions will be cleared out in the honey badger's wake of don't-give-a-shit devastation. You'll be fine.

Random Michelle K said...

A word of warning.

Do NOT being up the subject of m-a-r-m-o-s-e-t-s with Eric.

Just sayin'.

neurondoc said...

michelle, did you have to? Really?

David said...

@Eric - It's a good thing you said something - I was never good at those sorts of games. I'd be honey badger chow by now. But at least I'd go out as blog fodder for everybody.

@Michelle - why can't I mention marm...o... Uh, never mind.

KimK said...

Congratulations, Dave! And if you ever need to hide the bodies of marm... or honey badgers or anything else, I'll drive the getaway car.

Megan said...

There are cookies available?

David said...

There are always cookies available in a properly constructed life.

And the Swedish Chocolate Balls, with or without eggs, are gluten free!

Megan said...

Speaking of gluten-free recipes:

I was at a friend's house the other day, and she gave me a warm cookie right out of the oven. It was delicious. It had something I didn't recognise in it: some sort of nut? There was a really yummy taste to these cookies. What was it? I took a few more bites, trying to figure out what I was tasting.

My friend was confused. It was just a regular cookie: no nuts, nothing unusual.

I was tasting the wheat flour.

David said...

Huh. I guess after a while you forget that wheat flour has a taste at all, until it comes back to you that way.

I got the same way last week with a pecan. We don't keep nuts in the house and I won't eat them if I'm going to see Tabitha any time in the next 24 hours, but with her gone camping with a friend for the weekend I bought a can of mixed nuts. I'd forgotten what pecans tasted like.

WendyB_09 said...

And for WendyB, who likes chocolate, I give you Swedish Chocolate Balls, which is not a straight line at all.

Uh huh. Sure. Shades of Schvetty Balls, that great holiday treat.

Well, thank you kind sir. Chocolate is always an acceptable offering. Although I think I'm with the no-raw-egg crowd. Since I believe I currently have all the required ingrediments on hand, may have to give the recipe a try this weekend.

David said...

You're welcome! Let me know how it turns out without the eggs - I haven't had a chance to try it that way and I'm curious.

We get our eggs from a farmer we know and trust, which is easy to do in Wisconsin, so perhaps I don't worry about the eggs the way most people do. And to be honest, in my house these cookies don't sit around very long anyway. ;)

Ewan said...

Long, intricate, carefully-sourced-and-cited posts on political theory? A couple of comments at best.

Chocolate? 22 and counting.

David said...

Well, chocolate leaves a better taste in your mouth.