I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe
The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken
Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me — that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter — except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell
October 28, 2016 - 1:10 p.m.
Sorry for the late start, it's 12:26, I should have finished writing this long ago. There are a lot of things I should have done that I didn't and this doesn't crack the top ten thousand. I spend time just now picking the right order of magnitude. That says something about who I am. It says several things about who I am.
Getting meta; I'm pleased with myself for eliminating "actually" from two sentences in the preceding paragraph. After all these years, I'm still working on my writing skills. I hate using extraneous words but they still creep in now and then. Grammar check is taking it too much to extremes; It objects when I said, "I have to … " It wants to change it to "must" or "should" and admonishes me with "use concise language." I have to figure out a way to stop it from doing that.
Yesterday I announced on Facebook that I was devoting today's Wise Madness to a paean to Trader Joe's Pumpkin Spice Scones Mix with Maple Icing. I know there is an election going on and the fate of the world hangs in the balance but this is important. You need to know about it and the mainstream media is not going to inform you so I step into the breach.
When I was at Trader Joe's on Tuesday these were offered at the sample counter. I consider it my duty as a conscientious shopper to try the samples if there is any chance I'll like them. I'll be honest. I just can't turn down free food. I tasted one, checked the price, and bought a package. My plan was to make the next evening that Bernie, Jane, and I were all home together. Yesterday the weather was miserable, a perfect time for fresh hot scones. I don't often bake and I'm well away that using a mix is not baking but it still requires a precision not needed in other kinds of food preparation. The recipe called for ½ cup plus one tablespoon of water. Who ever heard of that? I will admit I didn't measure out the spoon, I just put in a little more than half a cup. It said add another tablespoon if needed and I did. Our cookie sheets are locked in the broiler. Jane and Bernie are not paranoid bakers that keep their baking gear under lock and key; the broiler door jammed and they have not been able to get it open. Last attempt it just made it worse. Jane borrowed one from the neighbors.
I had my usual portioning issues; same thing happens when I make pancakes. How big do you make each one? I did a pretty good job of making ten though the sizes varied quite a bit. There was some batter left over and I added that to the smaller ones. While preparing, it I preheated the oven to 375° F as directed. I think the oven runs a bit cold. I read the box and it said 8 – 10 minutes. I set the timer to 9 figuring it would take me time to go over to it and open it up. I was a bit surprised as I remembered it taking longer than that. At the end of 9 minutes it was not brown so I gave it another minute. It still was not brown. I checked the box again. It said 16 – 18 minutes. 8 – 10 was how many portions it made. I told you I'm an idiot. I put it back in for 8 minutes and it came out looking great.
I made the maple icing while it cooled. That required one tbs. of water. This I measured. It wasn't enough. It said add half a tbs. as needed. I did. It still wasn't enough. I had to add a total of 2.5 tbs. to get the right consistency. My guess is that when Trader Joe's tested it people kept using too much water which can't be undone. So, they tell you too little and have you add small amounts till it comes out right. I'll know for next time. There will be a next time.
Bernie's chess partner was over so if we each had two there would be two left over. Jane brought them over to the couple that lent us the cookie sheet. I had two extra bonuses. I licked the fork that mixed the batter and the spoon that I used to mix and drizzle the icing. Jane had the icing that dripped on the cookie sheet. The scones with the icing were heavenly. I will be buying a box each time I go to Trader Joe's till they stop carrying them. It's a seasonal product. I am going to resist buying seven boxes a day or I'll turn into a pumpkin spice. Why wasn't one of the spice girls Pumpkin Spice? Sometimes the world makes no sense.
After eschewing writing about the details of my day and politics and even baseball to not distract you from Trader Joe's Pumpkin Spice Scones with Maple Icing I expect you to go out and buy it and try it. Do not let my life's work be in vain. Make that this afternoon's work. I don't want to exaggerate. Kathy describes me as a taste-maker so let me make your taste. You'll thank me.
Somebody Has to Win - November 02, 2016
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