Of Twinkies and Fruitcakes – Hostess Holiday Fruitcake

A few weeks ago nutritionists everywhere must have rejoiced to hear of the sinking of Hostess Brands, makers of Twinkies, Ding Dongs, Cup Cakes, and Wonder Bread, amongst many other titles. It is almost impossible to conceive that the rights to produce these iconic products will not be picked up by someone else, however bad that might be for the obesity epidemic. I wonder, though, no pun intended, whether anyone will choose to pick up Hostess Holiday Fruitcake?

I got the cake above in a overstock store for the low, low price of $1.49. And, the verdict. Well, I must say that I was surprised at how decent it actually was. The consistency was just right, with a good selection of fruit. With some additional spices (nutmeg to name one) and some brandy added it would actually be quite good. Shock and surprise.

I have written about fruitcake at greater length here.

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St. Dalfour Earl Grey – A Tea as Delicate as its Name

I have long enjoyed Earl Grey tea but only recently have begun to notice some of the nuances of different brands. Some like Bigelow are, for lack of a better descriptor, almost musky and strong. I have been enjoying some delightfully light and refreshing varieties recently, though. Ahmed Earl Grey is one of these, and can be bought relatively cheaply at my international food store. I found one bag of Earl Grey by St. Dalfour the other day (sorry housemate to whom it belonged) and this tea was amazing, light and fresh and zesty. And I do love the way these utilitarian, though nicely shaped glass mugs display the color of tea, particularly in the autumn light.

Beautiful Inefficiencies – A Video Produced for Catapult Magazine – On Cooking a Pumpkin

I get a few video segments mixed up, sound almost stoned in others, call a cappuccino a latte, and have other assorted errors, but I am quite pleased with this video essay. Video work is quite the challenge compared to taking and editing stills or even writing essays in print alone, and this project combined them all. Enjoy a final piece of pumpkin on this Thanksgiving night.

All Things Go – The Death of a Favorite Mug – The Birth of Bric-a-Brac

I always pride myself on being able to catch things as they fall. The key is not to chase after it with your hand, but to put your hand where it is going to be. The effect can be quite impressive. It is my super power. Alas, no super power was to save my lovely green mug as it found the gap in my Ikea draining basket a few days ago and crashed onto the ceramic tiles.

Can I tell you how much I loved this mug – the wonderful etched branches in the deep, clear green of the glass? It was a perfect tea mug on a cold day, and was just a pleasure to look at. In order to keep this piece around, I proceeded to lay it on the gas burner to see if I could heat it up and smooth its edges. A professional glass blower I am not, and succeeded in only getting more cracks in the glass. So, here for posterity is a safe digital image, and If I keep this new piece of bric-a-brac at all, it will be on a high shelf. Here is a similar, still intact beauty, but, alas, it is a small tumbler and not a mug.

The Squadron of the Flying Chickens – Adventures in Urban Homesteading – Raising Chickens for Eggs

My friends who raise chickens had the permission of their neighbors to put their chickens into their yard for some pecking. They put a ladder up to see if the chickens might return using it. These two never made it to the other side. Having been perched at the top of the ladder, they turned around and, er, “flew” back to their own yard. Clearly they are not accustomed to nor built for such adventures!