Thursday, February 10, 2011

People for a Disney-Free Ender Wiggin.

I'd like to dedicate the last discussion in this post to a certain editor.

So, friends. I apologize for our slacking, but the Oops! team has been suffering from illness and work (Are these two things mutually exclusive? Is work an illness? I swear, more than one child I see on a daily basis has made a pact with Satan to destroy me). But I have plenty to share with you today.

First, chocolate.

Chocolate delivered from Ecuador by my brother.

Good chocolate.

Second, my lunch today: A Jalapeño Popper Sandwich.

This sandwich was made possible by my mother. Although I never get to see her, despite being a mere 50 miles away, I still receive gifts representing her affection, as she receives mine (recycling, because my apartment complex doesn't handle that shit). Most recently I received some home-made, home-canned jalapeño pepper jelly. It's delicious, and has been interesting to experiment with. Like eating the pepper but sweeter and without the kick. Thinking about this spicy jem, I realized that there are too few jalapeño poppers in my life anymore, and I should probably do something about it. Enter the sandwich. Two pieces of bread (generously buttered), a smothering of Toffuti cream "cheese," and the jelly. The sandwich was then fried to a golden brown state in my cast iron skillet. Delightfus.

All right, now third. Maple oatmeal cookie crust. A discussion about maple.

I made a berry tart today with some of my frozen blueberries and strawberries from the summer markets. Here's the recipe for the crust:

1 1/2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup Earth Balance, melted
1/4 cup maple syrup (I used grade A medium)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Mix the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Create a well in the center, add the wet ingredients, and stir until well-combined. Spread into a baking dish. Fill with whatever kind of tart filling you enjoy. I just threw my berries into my skillet, cooked them down until they were almost jelly-like, poured them over the crust, and baked at 375 until the edges were brown. I will be taking it to the Vertical Girl Demo at work tonight. Probably won't eat it, though, because I have brownies and I want those more.

Yes, maple. The Oops! team's favorite sweetener. Remember when we made our own? Probably not. I'm pretty sure that the only people reading the blog that far back were our suburban mothers, our Frog Holler friends, and ourselves. That's okay, because thanks to archiving you can read about it here and here. When it comes to syrup grades, how do you know which one to use? Depends on what you're going for.

Grade A Fancy: Very light amber color. Very good on ice cream. Doesn't have a strong maple flavor, and lacks a very thick consistency.
Grade A Medium: My general choice for baking. The flavor is just enough that it will appear in the baked goods, but not overpower them (unless I really lay it on heavy). Also ideal for pancakes and waffles. I put it in the batter and on top of the finished product.
Grade A Dark: Maple flavor is getting stronger, and the syrup is thicker. Use when maple is the flavor you want to highlight. Great table syrup.
Grade B: Serious shit. Not for the impotent, infirm, spineless wimps of the world. Very dark and thick with both an extreme maple flavor as well as a--dare I even say it--caramel one. Want to be able to grab the skull of your enemies and rip out their spine like predator? Drink a gallon of this for breakfast.

Some news: Next Tuesday the Oops! team will be having a banquet to celebrate the blog's one-year anniversary. X and I will be having a planning summit on Sunday. Expect big things.

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