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eveglass August 18 2014, 15:15

URDR - Multiverse Defense

Episode 15 and the cards are laid on the table. When Nidhogg extends the hand of hospitality to us, it’s only fitting that we circle around and stab him in the back. It’s for the good of the multiverse, after all. And involves big explosions, which has gotta count for something, right?

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That’s it for this time! Next time: continued war! Retaliation! Retribution! And the knowledge that we may have messed up paradise forever! …But hey, it’s no big deal. At least we got to blow stuff up.
ongoing August 18 2014, 06:11

On Pancakes

https://www.tbray.org/ongoing/When/201x/2014/08/17/On-Pancakes

Sometime in 2004 I started making traditional Sunday breakfasts, featuring pancakes and bacon; and never stopped, so there’s a tenth anniversary coming up. I’ve learned enough about them now to offer tips both on them, and on what you put on them. Which matters, because pancakes, un-topped, are kind of boring.

  • Mix it up. As in, try different mixes, both noveau-organic and traditional-home-style. The differences are surprising.

  • Maple syrup! Normally everyone buys “Canada #1” but health-food stores will have other options; some of the darker shades with numbers that aren’t 1 have deliciously smoky flavors.

  • Most mixes and recipes have a lot of baking powder aimed at giving you big thick fluffy pancakes. When I make it from scratch I use less, and when I use mixes I up the liquids to force them a little thinner. But if you like fluffy that’s OK.

  • Honey! In particular, I like a powerful buckwheat honey. I remember my botanist Dad grumbling over the breakfast table that they should never have called that plant a word containing “wheat”; it’s more closely related to rhubarb.

  • When you’re running low on batter, finish off with a great big honking extra-size pancake (see below), and award it to whichever kid is particularly deserving.

  • Pancake!
  • Fresh fruit! Berries are good and for my money fresh blueberries are best. Combine them with a syrup or honey for best effect.

  • Try putting the fruit in the batter; once again, it’s blueberries for the win.

  • Pflaumenmus!

  • You can cook ’em on a traditional cast-iron skillet or a newfangled nonstick thingie. My results are about the same either way. Don’t try to cook more than three at a time unless you have a really big surface.

  • Jam jam jam! I already mentioned pflaumenmus, but any good strong fruit preserve can be a source of happiness. Last year, Heather Flanagan gave us some home-made rhubarb/lavender jam, and it was to die for. Especially on pancakes.

  • Preheat; you gotta get to know your oven/pan combination. There has to be a pretty vigorous sizzle when you drop the batter, and bubbles need to start appearing almost immediately.

  • Exotic syrups! Fruit syrups, golden syrup, and so on.

  • All from-scratch pancake recipes are about the same. For my family of four you need a couple cups of flour, roughly the same volume of fluids comprising mostly milk and some eggs and oil or butter, a teaspoon or three of baking powder (see above), maybe a little sugar to caramelize the surface.

    Just fool with the proportions or type a recipe search into the Internet and pick the first that comes back; it’ll come out OK.

Extras

Bacon (details here), grapefruit juice, and really strong coffee. Brewed coffee, no espresso nonsense.

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