Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Change Has Come to America

Current Reading: The Write Track, by Betty Jane Wylie

Inspirational Quote: "Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber." -- Plato

Unless you live at the bottom of the Marianas Trench (under a rock and almost 7 miles of ocean), then you know how the U.S. election went. Now begin the interesting times, when Obama must deliver more than just optimism. He must deliver on the promise of hope. He is a great orator, and a man who clearly has a vision. We now have the opportunity to discover if those things, and whatever other talents he brings to the office, are sufficient to face and overcome the tremendous difficulties plaguing his country.

Greater enterprises have had less auspicious beginnings, and Canadian though I am, I have my fingers crossed for him and for every one of his constituents. Good luck.

In other news: author Michael Crichton succumbed to cancer today, dying at the age of 66.


slcard said...

No fair, Ulysses. I've been carefully reticent over at Mr. Bransford's site for some time, then today I hit "foot fungus/massage" and thought, that really needs commenting on. But you got there first! Do you think his query mail will increase?

By the way, thanks for the Hallowe'en suggestion. I laughed when you mentioned brown bread bats, and thought you must think me an amateur, but then I seriously considered the idea. In the end I couldn't find a bat pan for Bloody Brownie Bats(little brown bats are the only indigenous species in my area; the thought of adding educational to my list of adjectives almost made me giddy), but I found spiders. The result: Blood Widow Spiders. As you bite down through the delicious dark chocolate and almond exoskeleton into the soft, chocolatey cake body the raspberry guts spill out. (I know, spiders don't have red blood, but 7 and 8 year olds prefer they do. Plus, dark chocolate and raspberry go so nicely together.)

Ulysses said...

Sorry to tread on your toes. I find Nathan's blog to be such entertaining and informative reading that it's hard sometimes to restrain myself as well.

Blood widow spiders?
If you actually have a recipe for that, I will give you a small child of your choice in exchange.

slcard said...

Here is the recipe. I have considered insisting upon the small child, but couldn't possibly at this time give he or she the attention a small child needs and deserves. Also, a good lawyer would win the case that you own a portion of this idea. Although the apple sauce brownies are all mine.

Blood Widow Spiders

You will need the "Spiders and Webs" silicone mini-cake pan made by a popular cake accessories supplier. I purchased mine at my local bulk store, but I'm guessing cupcakes would work as well.


1 and 1/2 cups organic, stoneground,locally milled whole wheat flour

1 cup organic, fair trade golden cane sugar

3 tbsp. organic, fair trade cocoa powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1 tsp. pure vanilla

1 tbsp. fresh-squeezed, organic lemon juice

5 heaping tbsp. organic, unsweetened apple sauce

1 cup cold, filtered tap water

1 bar organic, fair trade dark chocolate

4 almonds per spider

1 rounded tbsp. organic, extra fruit raspberry jelly per spider


Mix dry ingredients togeter. Mix wet ingredients in another bowl. Mix wet and dry together. Let sit for an hour or so (this seems to help keep the brownies from over rising and ruining their shape).

Spray pan with non-stick cooking spray. Put about 1 cm of brownie batter into the bottom of each cake mould. Carefully -- turning the spoon helps -- put the big tablespoon full of raspberry jelly into the center of the cake (if it touches the sides you will lose the spider guts, in my case by having it pour over my hand as I tried to get the hot cakes from the hot pan). Add more brownie batter to just about fill the mould.

Bake at 375 for 30 minutes.

Remove brownies from pan and let fully cool. (At this point I discovered my cute spiders no longer resembled spiders. They sort of looked like devils if I turned them upside down, but my Victorian sensibilities forbade me from giving devils to anyone under the age of twelve. Bats would have had a much more recognizable shape. Thankfully, thinking back to bats made me think of you, and thinking of you while surrounded with chocolate made me think of almonds, which I always have in vast supply. Therefore...).

Using two almonds make the body of a spider in the center of the brownie spider. Cut the two remaining almonds lengthwise to make the eight legs.

Melt the dark chocolate bar and pour a thin coating over the whole brownie top so that it spills over the sides, being carefull to fully cover the almonds. Let the chocolate harden.

For the webs I cheated on vegan and used white and milk fair trade chocolate (covered the brownie with white chocolate, used milk chocolate to line the web, then built the almond spiders which I covered in the dark chocolate). Kids went for the webs first.

Of course, you could do this with any brownie or chocolate cake recipe you wanted, but then if people don't like it you may not be able to claim, "well at least they're good for you" as I do.

slcard said...

Forgot to mention those almond slices for the spider legs then have to be cut in half. Usually some pieces break, hence the extra almond.

Ulysses said...

Just wow. I have to try this. Thanks.