Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Power of Free

I received my new (and free!) Sony PRS-300 Pocket eBook Reader today, and as you can see in the photo, it may actually fit in my coat pocket! I've also downloaded the required software and a few free ebooks. The print is indeed easy on the eyes. I'll give a more complete review, I suppose, once I've had more time to play with it. Thank you, Sony and Mrs. Kennedy!
And yes, it is


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A View from the Pier

We've been experiencing a 'false Spring,' as my neighbor called it, and today I rode my bicycle over to Crissy Field for a picnic lunch. After wandering around on foot and taking some photos, I snagged a picnic table with a view. I was soon joined by several small black birds, for whom I left the crumbs of my pb&j sandwich when I departed.


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Shortbread + Melted Chocolate =



Friday, February 12, 2010

I won! I won!

As you might learn from a gander at the Comments on my last post, I WON A SONY POCKET READER. And all I had to do to get it was post a favorite literary quote to the comments at Fussy. I chose the opening lines to Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow:
A screaming comes across the sky. It has happened before, but there is nothing to compare it to now.
Apart from the fact that I never win anything, I'm very excited because I had been fantasizing about various e-readers, but the actual purchase of such a device seemed a long way off. I read quite a bit, mostly courtesy of the SF Public Library, and I occasionally travel for extended periods of time. The prospect of being able to tote around hundreds of titles, therefore, is very appealing.

I hope mine is navy blue.

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Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Guilt-free Goodies

I've been trying my hand at vegan baking lately. I'm interested in recipes that are vegan from the get-go, not simply modified traditional recipes that substitute Earth Balance for butter and egg replacer for the real thing. Sunday I made Chocolate Peanut Butter Pillows from the folks at the Post Punk Kitchen.

They were fun to make, and I was fairly pleased with the results. I would have liked the chocolate bit to be more chocolate-y, but I didn't have any black cocoa, and had used regular cocoa powder + extra baking soda in place of the recipe's Dutch processed cocoa. So that is probably my fault. This recipe, btw, is from the book Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar.

Monday I moved on to banana bread from The Eazy Vegan. I modified it somewhat, adding shredded coconut, chocolate chips, and pecans.

I'd been disappointed with previous attempts at vegan banana bread, which seems like it ought to be very vegan-friendly, because the results were too dense. I'm quite pleased with this recipe and will try it again.

A couple of comments on the vegan baking experience. Recipes often call for vegan sugar, which initially sounded strange to me, leading me to investigate. I learned that half of the sugar sold in the US comes from sugar cane, the rest from sugar beets. Products derived from sugar beets are vegan, but when you look at cane sugar, things get murky. Charcoal is used in the final filtering process, and that may come from animal, vegetable or mineral sources. Over half of the cane refineries in the US use bone char-- animal derived charcoal-- in the filtering process. Yuck.

And finally, it's a genuine pleasure to once again being able to lick the spoon/bowl/etc. without fear of salmonella.

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