October 24th, 2005

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Holy mole!

From The Scotsman:

One of my favourite Mexican dishes is grilled fish such as snapper with mole sauce. No that's not the small burrowing kind, but a savoury chocolate and chilli sauce, pronounced mol-ay. I also recently enjoyed a fabulous chorizo and potato stew - simple rustic cooking that hit the mark.

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Mike Thorsen in hospital

(Someone really ought to post this info here.)

Last Thursday, Mike Thorsen was admitted to the hospital with an infection in his leg. The infection has been diagnosed as cellulitis, and he's on antibiotics to get it under control. And it's working.

Under "really good news", he has very good medical coverage, and his brother is taking care of the mundane details as needed. He's been getting lots of visitors, and I can see his humor has improved over the past few days.

His brother has also brought in a DVD player and a selection of discs, so he's got something to keep him occupied. (I was hospitalized [for ten days] with an infection six months after turning my ankle into bone meal, and for the whole visit, the only symptom of infection was that everything below my right knee was warm to the touch. The rest of me was bored. A DVD player would have been nifty.)

As for visitors, if you're not one of the regular visitors, I suggest you check with lyzard13 or edgreen86 before heading over.

I brought a card to LASFS Friday for gaming night and Saturday for MasonCon, and got lots of signatures. The card shows a photo of a patch of sand, with a bare-bottom baby crawling out of the top of the frame. Only the bottom and the legs are visible. At the bottom of the card I wrote in, "Official Hypodermic Syringe Decoy", and inside, I wrote "Get well soon, Mike".

As I say, I got lots of signatures. In both of my serious infections, I was on antibiotics for ten days, so I believe I can bring the card to the next LASFS meeting and he'll still be in the hospital when I bring it to him the next day. So:

Anyone who won't be able to get to LASFS to sign the card, feel free to leave a comment to this message and I'll print them out and enclose them in the envelope with the card.
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It's the cheese...

MasonCon was last weekend, and so of course, cheese had to be prominently featured. As I was cleaning up my in box, I found a couple of recipes.
The Scotsman again.

Mull cheddar cheese is made on the island of Mull, using traditional methods and a traditional recipe. If you can't find it (you probably won't, without special-ordering it from Scotland), try a good-quality "micro-brew" cheddar.
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Ringing the changes on desserts

You don't have to be a Cordon Bleu or Culinary Institute of America graduate to add interest and variety to the same old thing. All it takes is one or two small changes.

...it's amazing the difference some fresh fruit, a new spice or a funky sauce can make to a basic recipe.

The same applies to cakes and desserts. There is nothing wrong with a good old Victoria sponge, thickly spread with butter icing and home-made jam, and dusted with icing sugar. But why not add flavourings such as ground coffee and chopped walnuts (then ice with coffee butter cream) or lemon zest (and ice with lemon curd folded into whipped cream) or a few strawberries? Or try the recipes below for chocolate cake with a thick fudgey frosting or a 'thunder and lightning' topping. The latter is a combination of black treacle and clotted cream; a variant of the classic Cornish treat of the same name.

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