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January 1, 2007

All glory
Posted by Patrick at 02:19 PM * 234 comments

Pause with us now for an
* ENORMOUS CELEBRATION! *

Felicitously in conjunction with the New Year,
and through the VOLUNTEER EFFORTS of longtime commenter and known Australian
MR. STEVE TAYLOR,

our comment-section “VIEW ALL BY” functionality IS RESTORED!

[Cheering, stamping of feet, throwing of hats in the air. Under the direction of Miss Beaulah Gibbs the Okefenokee Glee & Perloo Choir performs “Is You Is or Is You Ain’t My Baby.” Fireworks, fried chicken, fresh garlands for the Dori Smith Monument. Small children, cute puppies, and a Parade.]
Apotheosis of Programmer
Fig. 1: The management of Making Light hails the Programmer

UPDATE: Commenter Abi declaims:

The Fluorosphere, its multicoloured light
Projecting over information-scapes,
Auroral in the year’s initial night,
Is dazzled by the glow Steve Taylor makes.
The choirs, both those who like their Tallis neat
And those who want a dash of Williams in
Together sing his praises, voices sweet
As fruitcake (with no weasels added in).
The poets cast their laurel and their oak
About his feet, and over his head raise
The highest crown, revered by all these folk:
A laudatory sonnet. Let us praise!
In comment boxes take we up the cry:
Hurray for Steve, who brought back View All By!
Comments on All glory:
#1 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2007, 03:02 PM:

Way to go Steve! Will there be a brief description of what the fix was?

#2 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2007, 03:08 PM:

Woo-hoo! Drive-by wingnuts will once again be easier to spot.

Can we have llamas in the parade? Please? Please?

#3 ::: NelC ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2007, 03:09 PM:

Huzzah! Kudos to Steve!

#4 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2007, 03:12 PM:

Hail to the Restorer! Hail to the Programmer! Hail to the Steve! Three persons, one...whatever.

Praise Him with great praise!

#5 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2007, 03:38 PM:

The Fluorosphere, its multicoloured light
Projecting over information-scapes,
Auroral in the year's initial night,
Is dazzled by the glow Steve Taylor makes.
The choirs, both those who like their Tallis neat
And those who want a dash of Williams in
Together sing his praises, voices sweet
As fruitcake (with no weasels added in).
The poets cast their laurel and their oak
About his feet, and over his head raise
The highest crown, revered by all these folk:
A laudatory sonnet. Let us praise!
In comment boxes take we up the cry:
Hurray for Steve, who brought back View All By!

#6 ::: Nancy C ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2007, 03:41 PM:

Joyous bouncing!

#7 ::: Aconite ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2007, 03:48 PM:

Huzzah! Huzzah! Huzzah!

#8 ::: Debra Doyle ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2007, 04:00 PM:

Wes þu Steve Taylor hæl!

#9 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2007, 04:12 PM:

(I took the liberty of correcting Abi's spelling of "Fluorosphere." The name of this blog isn't Making Bread.)

#10 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2007, 04:13 PM:

Note: it gets misspelled more often than not.

#11 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2007, 04:16 PM:

True. And I also put Abi's sonnet on the front page.

#12 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2007, 04:22 PM:

And while we're at it, hurrah for Abi! Who is a splendid occasional poet.

#13 ::: John Scalzi ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2007, 04:26 PM:

Heck, I'm leaving a comment now just so I can click on the "view all link" and see what idiocy I've committed on these boards over the years. Thanks!

#14 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2007, 04:30 PM:

Well, now I'm covered in alternating layers of embarrassment and pleasure, much like a gobstopper.

May it all add to Steve's glory. It really was a good thing he did.

#15 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2007, 04:49 PM:

Yaaaaaay, Steve!

#16 ::: beth meacham ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2007, 05:15 PM:

Yay Steve!

And also, gracious hosts, I happened to observe your Dire Legal Notice and note that you need to add "2007" to the copyright years.

#17 ::: CaseyL ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2007, 05:23 PM:

I never paid any attention to the "view all by" option. Now I feel another compulsive habit coming on...

*shakes fist*

Thanks, Steve!

#18 ::: Nancy C ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2007, 05:30 PM:

Recipie for Flourosphere:

6 cups all-purpose white flour
2 cups warm water
5/2 teaspoon yeast
1 tablespoon sugar (or was it one teaspoon? No matter.)
1 teaspoon salt

Mix 1 cup flour with all other dry ingredients. Mix one cup warm water in. Let rest, covered (in this recipie, covered means covered with a wet/damp towel or plastic wrap) 1/2 hour.

Mix in the rest of the water and flour. Knead. Let rest 1 hour.

Punch down. (Optional, let rest 1/2 hour.)

Form into one large, round, spherical loaf. Place on oiled (I use Pam-equivalent) cookie sheet. Cover, let rest half hour. Now would be a good time to preheat the oven to 375.

Bake 30-45 minutes in 375 oven. Remove when it sounds right. Let sit at least 10 minutes before eating.

#19 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2007, 05:43 PM:

Nancy @18

I was thinking more along these lines:

The Flourosphere, a mix of wheat and white,
Is supplemented by a pinch of rye.
Though sifting helps - a bit - to make it light,
Its moral fibre level is still high.
The yeast of us can always raise the tone,
Absorbing any random trolls as salt.
We oil the dough with puns to keep it growin',
And egg each other on (it's no one's fault!).
The loaf, then warmed by passionate debate
Fermenting through the proof and then reproof,
Is raised by all our kneading to create
A better world in one great floury poof.
And thus it is that we have Making Bread.
(That's quite enough of that, now, abi - ed)

#20 ::: Gary Townsend ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2007, 05:50 PM:

Hope everyone has a great New Year!

Hmm. I never used the "view all by" option, really. I'll probably continue not to do so, too.

#21 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2007, 05:57 PM:

The second from the right in the painting, bottom front ... isn't that Isaac Newton? The folks in the bottom left corner also look a bit out of place (or time).

(I was wondering whether the winged figure might be Teresa)

#22 ::: Gary Townsend ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2007, 06:02 PM:

As a brief sidenote, I noticed that Pete Townshend's surname is misspelled in your list of blogs.

Being a Townsend meself (and wiv both sides of me family hailing from England, me mum being from Westham and wiv me dad's family having come over from Norfolk back in the mid-1600s), I couldn't help but notice.

And now, to go off on another Townsend-Tangent, I've often wondered if I might be distantly related to old Pete -- not that it would matter, really -- especially since my great uncle researched our family tree for 40 years. He learned that prior to some split in the family our surname was spelled 'Townshend'. He also learned that 'round about the time of the Domesday Book, it was spelled 'Townshende'.

So, in sum, and as a service to Pete, it ought to be spelled 'Townshend'.

#23 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2007, 06:09 PM:

I was wondering whether the winged figure might be Teresa

Probably, P J... I think I'm the bearded guy with the wine-colored peplum to the far right. By the way, I don't know if it's just me, but I keep expecting the whole thing to turn into the opening credits of Monty Python's Life of Brian.

#24 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2007, 06:11 PM:

O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!

That's our boy. Congratulations, Steve, and much gratitude.

#25 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2007, 06:29 PM:

Woo! Enquiring minds want to know!

#26 ::: mary ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2007, 06:32 PM:

Not usually dyslexic, I always read it as "View By All", thinking some privileged commenters were able to lock their comments so they could be read by only a select group.

#27 ::: Sam Kington ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2007, 07:01 PM:

Gary @ 22

The Guardian's style guide mentions, amongst other good things:

Townshend, Pete
member of the Who who didn't die before he got old

#28 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2007, 07:06 PM:

P J Evans: The figure at bottom right is Moliere. Next to him, in beard and bedsheet, is Longinus. The jowly fellow opposite them at bottom left is Poussin. The Silverbergian guy looking at us over the top of Poussin's arm is Corneille.

Shall I go on? Man in strawberry-pink tunic, Pheidias. Man in white tunic, holding Fender solid-body classical lyre, is Pindar. The babe with the wings (who quite by accident looks a bit like me when I was young) is either an angel or Nike; doesn't much matter which. The two guys at left who are holding hands -- one's in a white shirt and dark robe, and the other's in a blue pseudo-toga -- are Raphael and Apelles. The bald guy to the right of Apelles is left as an excercise for the reader. The disembodied hand at extreme right belongs of course to Sappho.

The two ladies in red and green draperies are allegorical personifications, not historical figures; but if I told you what they're personifications of, it would give the whole thing away.

#29 ::: Steve Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2007, 07:07 PM:

Can you tell over the internet that I'm blushing?

This is really sweet - and Abi, no one's written so much as a clerihew before this!

Rob:
> Will there be a brief description of what the fix was?

The script which generated the comment list was acting as if the parameters for author and email address were just magically present,and they weren't. Given that the script used to work, I presume they used to be magically created, and that some configuration change zorched this ability. Then again, I don't actually know anything about PHP, so I'm flying blind here.

Anyway, I forcibly extracted the two parameters, and the script sat up in bed and said it felt much better.

#30 ::: Steve Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2007, 07:08 PM:

Can you tell over the internet that I'm blushing?

This is really sweet - and Abi, no one's written so much as a clerihew before this!

Rob:
> Will there be a brief description of what the fix was?

The script which generated the comment list was acting as if the parameters for author and email address were just magically present,and they weren't. Given that the script used to work, I presume they used to be magically created, and that some configuration change zorched this ability. Then again, I don't actually know anything about PHP, so I'm flying blind here.

Anyway, I forcibly extracted the two parameters, and the script sat up in bed and said it felt much better.

#31 ::: MWT ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2007, 07:32 PM:

Yay working "view all by"!

One thing I've been wondering for a long time now ... if people throw their hats in the air to celebrate things, do they ever get their hats back at the end? Or do they make sure only to bring disposable hats to such occasions?

#32 ::: Mary Aileen Buss ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2007, 07:59 PM:

Mary (#26), when I first got here, I, too, thought it was 'view by all', only I thought it had something to do with whether or not one's email address was publically displayed.

--Mary Aileen

#33 ::: Debra Doyle ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2007, 08:02 PM:

#31: So far as I know, on ceremonial hat-throwing occasions each individual is responsible for making sure that he/she throws his/her hat upward in such a fashion as to provide for its safe return to approximately the same point from which it left.

#34 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2007, 08:07 PM:

The two ladies in red and green draperies are allegorical personifications, not historical figures; but if I told you what they're personifications of, it would give the whole thing away.

They look grumpy. They're the only ones who do. I wonder if that's a clue.

#35 ::: rams ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2007, 08:13 PM:

With an encore of "Vindaloo."

#36 ::: Aconite ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2007, 08:14 PM:

Xopher: They look grumpy. They're the only ones who do. I wonder if that's a clue.

Clearly the one in green is Astroturf, and the one in red is Flamebait. Kids today have no classical education whatsoever, I tell you. It's just disgraceful, it is.

#37 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2007, 08:15 PM:

Nanana, nanana, nanana nanana nana...

#38 ::: rams ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2007, 08:19 PM:

Steeeve
will restore
one
more
than you...

#39 ::: Dori ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2007, 08:24 PM:

I have a monument? How cool! Thanks for the fresh flowers (and in the dead of winter, especially).

Good on you, Steve!

#40 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2007, 08:41 PM:

All praise to Mr Taylor.

And to abi.

#41 ::: CaseyL ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2007, 08:41 PM:

#31 and 33: Well, it's too bad that each person is responsible for tossing their own hat in an optimally-recoverable arc. I was kind of hoping they just sort of rummaged for the nearest one among all the strewn hats, and wore whatever they found that way.

#42 ::: Mez ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2007, 09:06 PM:

Huzzah! And a Hippie Nude Beer to youse all, but to Mr Taylor, an annus mirabilis.

I'd settle for a year without serious illness or death of someone close; it's been a bad* stretch lately. (*Warning: Includes squicky pix)

[pedant]In the spirit of starting fresh in new years, unless it's a deliberate link-avoiding technique abi could change the comma after www to a stop next time the auto-filler fills in that URL box in the comment form
and people desiring a closer look at the epi-image might examine the World Gallery of Art Ingres page. (Nice music plays in IE browser.)[/pedant]

#43 ::: Mez ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2007, 09:14 PM:

Dori, look around the Fluorosphere; that's your main monument [t]here <g>

#44 ::: Margaret Organ-Kean ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2007, 09:19 PM:

Good heavens, a bloomin' lyre!

#45 ::: D. ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2007, 09:28 PM:

And re: #27, Sam Kington, referring to the Guardian's style guide; the letter T as a whole is a chuckle. See the entry for Trekkers.

Think I'll peruse X.

#46 ::: arse poetica ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2007, 09:34 PM:

Steve, I'd like to thank you for the occasion of this post which made me laugh out loud.

#47 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2007, 09:37 PM:

Mr Stephen, or Steven (Steve) Taylor
Made view by all sit up and say "Lor'!
I'm better now, thank you, and feeling all right."
Making Light: making light-making light.

#48 ::: Claude Muncey ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2007, 09:38 PM:

Good work Steve -- many thanks. I've found "view all by" useful on occasion, and have missed it.

Side note: Nice choice of art -- particularly appropriate if Steve had to fix a database problem, even if ML uses MySQL instead.

(Yes, I'm a database geek by trade. Why do you ask?)

#49 ::: AQconite ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2007, 09:49 PM:

D@#45: There is also this:
Tolkien, JRR
(1892-1973) British author and philologist, notable for writing The Lord of the Rings and not spelling his name "Tolkein"

#50 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2007, 09:57 PM:

Fine rotten pun, Claude.

#51 ::: Daniel Martin ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2007, 10:37 PM:

I'll note that the script is still just as vulnerable to XSS attacks as it was before. (slightly tricky, since php's magic_quotes option is on, but not really all that hard)

The major risk with this is to our hosts - basically, an XSS attack in that script makes it possible to construct a url that, when clicked, can do anything else to Making Light as the person who clicked the link. (Assuming adequate knowledge about how the site is structured, but I imagine that there aren't that many ways to construct a Moveable Type blog)

For most of us, that amounts to comments in someone else's name (but that's already trivial), but were our hosts to click on such a link, I can imagine worse damage.

(To programmers fixing this - the "author" parameter needs to be run through htmlspecialchars() before being sent to the page)

Incidentally, from the description of the fix what probably changed was that php was upgraded to a version past 4.2.0, which means that the php option register_globals was now turned off by default. (Using the register_globals option is in general a security nightmare waiting to happen, so the fact that php used to default to having that option on was poor design)

#52 ::: squrfle ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2007, 10:44 PM:

[mono lingual pedant] A version of the Web Gallery of Art in English. [/mono lingual pedant]

#53 ::: Glenn Hauman ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2007, 11:05 PM:

And of course, the real reason "View All By" was restored.

Many thanks, Steve. (Is this the point where I note that the links on VAB go to the article, but not to the comment post? Too much time bug hunting of late...)

#54 ::: Steve Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2007, 11:14 PM:

Daniel Martin at #51 wrote

> I'll note that the script is still just as vulnerable to XSS attacks as it was before.
[...snip...]

>(To programmers fixing this - the "author" parameter needs to be run through htmlspecialchars() before being sent to the page)

Thanks very much for the heads up! Fixed now.

I'm peripherally aware of this sort of attack, but don't do enough web development to be automatically on guard. I'll be more cautious in future.

> Incidentally, from the description of the fix what probably changed was that php was upgraded to a version past 4.2.0, which means that the php option register_globals was now turned off by default.

I thought it was probably something like that, but hadn't had enough exposure to PHP to know for sure.

Thanks again.

#55 ::: PixelFish ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2007, 11:21 PM:

Woot! I'm pleased as punch that View By All has made its triumphant return. Bravo to Steve Taylor.

#56 ::: Harriet ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2007, 11:54 PM:

Curious! Does VAB have a set number of posts that it will return before maxing out?

Because I note that searching 'VAB John M. Ford' takes you back only as far as 1/12/05, and 'VAB Serge' also goes back only to early 2005, but 'VAB Jo Walton' extends back as far as 9/19/04 before stopping.

And I know that Jo is not the most prolific poster in the fluorosphere, so it makes sense that an extra three or four months worth of posts would fit into the hypothetical finite number.

If I only remembered the names of some long-time lurkers but only occasional posters so that I could give my theory a really good test -- I wonder how far back in the ML archives that would go?

#57 ::: Harriet ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2007, 11:58 PM:

Er, not that I'm not delighted to have VAB functionality restored even to that extent!

I'm just doomed to be the noob that finds new and unexpected ways to break programs that work just fine for everyone else (especially at work).

#58 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2007, 12:00 AM:

Harriet, those are darn good questions, and I don't know the answers.

#59 ::: Harriet ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2007, 12:02 AM:

(Oooo look! January 2nd already!)

#60 ::: Owlmirror ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2007, 02:01 AM:

Notes and comments: "View all by" appears to require an e-mail address; indeed, it will stubbornly insist that the individual in question has posted nothing if no e-mail address is appended.

Since the noble John M. Ford did not always use the same e-mail address, there's a wodge of comments he made which simply will not appear from the link proffered by Glenn Hauman @ 53. Thus:

A different "View All By" for John M. Ford.

#61 ::: Dori ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2007, 02:28 AM:

I've been trying to solve Harriet's problem but haven't been able to come up with anything. So no one else bothers going down this path, here's the numbers I've dug up so far without finding rhyme or reason:

Person           Posts      Start Date         Chars         Words       Lines
Dori                50        11.17.03         30488          5398         344
Patrick           1238        09.08.03        590028        101061        5496
Harriet             72        09.11.03         29666          5151         366
John M. Ford/a     449        03.12.06        314174         54087        3420
John M. Ford/b     352        03.30.03        246786         42302        2497
Teresa            1270        07.18.05        777555        133375        7198
Xopher            1796        10.25.05        753432        132746        8199
Lisa Spangenberg   185        10.04.04        121341         21216        1389

Anyone see a pattern in there? I sure don't.

#62 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2007, 02:36 AM:

I don't see a pattern, but that's a damn fine chart.

#63 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2007, 02:40 AM:

And I'd just like to add that, scrolling up the "Last 400 posts" page, the words "All glory" occasionally look like "all gory." May be my love of Romero movies, may be non-literal dyslexia...who knows?

#64 ::: Owlmirror ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2007, 02:55 AM:

@ 61,

Well, something is off in some of your numbers. My own results:

Person           Posts      Start Date      Lines
John M. Ford/a    1218        01.12.05      11588
John M. Ford/b     352        08.30.03       3187
Teresa            2659        08.29.03      22929

Maybe more later, but the huge discrepancies are odd.

The only patter that I can see is that nothing earlier than the end of August 2003 appears to be returned for me. Is it possible that you "03.30.03" for John M. Ford/b is a typo/copy and paste error?

#65 ::: Owlmirror ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2007, 03:02 AM:

Sigh. "pattern", "your".

And one more compare that matches yours, nearly:

Person           Posts      Start Date      Lines
Patrick           1234        09.08.03       8080
#66 ::: Dori ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2007, 03:28 AM:

Ah, that's a clue... I did the lookups again, and got some different numbers:

Person           Posts      Start Date         Chars         Words       Lines
John M. Ford/a    1218        01.12.05        866105        148866        9199
John M. Ford/b     352        08.30.03        246786         42302        2497
Teresa            2659        08.29.03       1874742        323895       16780
Xopher            2429        12.11.04       1051100        185214       11280

Yes, it does look like that 03.30 was a typo for 08.30. As for the rest, they're all over the place.

My current theory: it's a timeout issue, so how long the lookup takes can limit how many posts you see. At certain times of day you're likely to get fewer posts back than at other times.

#67 ::: Martin Wisse ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2007, 04:01 AM:

Harriet @57:


I'm just doomed to be the noob that finds new and unexpected ways to break programs that work just fine for everyone else (especially at work).

Make that talent work for you and come join the wonderful world of software testing!

#68 ::: MWT ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2007, 05:12 AM:

*perks up* You can get paid to break software? Where?

(and here I've been doing it for free...)

#69 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2007, 05:21 AM:

abi@19: Very nice! I laughed.

#70 ::: Paul ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2007, 05:35 AM:

And, apropos nothing, Happy Birthday Patrick!

#71 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2007, 05:50 AM:

Steve @29 & 30
I'm glad you liked it. It was fun to write.

And you really do rock for solving the problem.

Mez @42
I have tried to remove the comma from the autofill, just in case anyone wants to read my humdrum blog. But it keeps cropping up again.

Suggestions welcome for deleting it from the options list. I'm using Firefox 2.0.0.1.

#72 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2007, 08:47 AM:

"I have tried to remove the comma from the autofill, just in case anyone wants to read my humdrum blog. But it keeps cropping up again.""I have tried to remove the comma from the autofill, just in case anyone wants to read my humdrum blog. But it keeps cropping up again."

Since you're using Firefox: Put the cursor into the field. Hold down Shift. Press the down arrow until the entry in question is highlighted. Press Shift-Delete.

(Documentation here. It's a Mac site but the advice applies to Firefox on all platforms.)

#73 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2007, 10:01 AM:

Happy Birthday, Patrick!

#74 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2007, 10:11 AM:

if I told you what they're personifications of, it would give the whole thing away

As a matter of fact, it was the crownee's rather fixed gaze that did it for me. It does make an excellent selection for this little piracy.

#75 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2007, 10:52 AM:

Yes, it is January 2nd; which means that Patrick is now 48 years old, and Bunny is 39.

#76 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2007, 11:01 AM:

And a happy birthday to Patrick!

May this year be better for us than last!

#77 ::: Lisa Spangenberg ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2007, 11:23 AM:

RE: Harriet's question . . . it's a timeout issue with respect to the database query, and so it's tied to server load . . . and that means all of the server load, not just ML.

#78 ::: Tom Womack ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2007, 11:50 AM:

I hate to interrupt the festivities, but there appears to be another Wierd Quoting Problem.

On reading comment 109 of http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/008461.html
I wanted to find other comments that Charles Dodgson had written.

But, instead of the

http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/commentlist-oneauthor.php?author=Patrick%20Nielsen%20Hayden&email=pnh@panix.com -shaped link that most authors have, his VAB link went to http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/commentlist-oneauthor.php?author=

because the quotes in his monicker had not been HTML-quoted when making the link.


<a href="http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/commentlist-oneauthor.php?author="Charles Dodgson"&email=charles.dodgson@gmail.com">(view all by)</a>
.

I fear that one more prone to mischief than I, by claiming to be mister "><blink> , might be able to cause some trouble to your page.

And a Happy New Year to you all!

#79 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2007, 12:11 PM:

Happy B-day, Patrick.

#80 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2007, 12:17 PM:

Lisa, re timeout issues, that makes sense to me. Do you suppose there's anything we can do, short of changing hosts, to improve matters?

#81 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2007, 12:42 PM:

Nancy C. @ #18, I'm almost tempted to try that. Sadly, I was the only one who enjoyed our last attempt at blog-acquired silly baking, Stross' Schadenfreude Pie.

I'd also be tempted to add, say, 1/3 cup of Cocoa Powder and triple the salt, just to make "Chocolate Salty Flourospheres."

Recipes aside...YAY! VAB! On a site that is as commenter-community focused as this one, this was a feature I used often and have missed dearly. Thanks, Steve!

#82 ::: Claude Muncey ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2007, 12:52 PM:

Teresa @ 50 --

Thanks. Where else can you pun linking 19th century French neo-classical art and relational database software, and expect someone to get it?

#83 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2007, 12:55 PM:

“VIEW ALL BY” functionality IS RESTORED

hooray!!!

#84 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2007, 12:56 PM:

Of course Dori Smith has a monument. Would we make something like that up?

#85 ::: Claude Muncey ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2007, 12:57 PM:

Herzlichen Glückwunsch Patrick!

As someone staring 53 in the face, I can only suggest from my own experience single malt as an effective treatment. Repeat as necessary.

#86 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2007, 01:01 PM:

OK, that took far too long...I was having trouble with the two riotous children. They mess with the scansion, they do.

Today the Fluorosphere* will mark his birth
Whose gravity, when he has cause to write,
Can draw us all together, while his mirth
And musicality yet make us light.
His passion and his politics infuse
Discussions with his sense of what is right:
When someone challenges his deep-held views
He argues with uncompromising might.
And yet that passion is the lesser part
Of what I find that I admire the most.
I've seen, in quiet moments, a great heart,
And looking, find it somewhere in each post.
So happy birthday, Patrick. All the best.
Eat well, drink lots, and well, you know the rest.

----
* note the correct spelling.

(PS - thanks for the solution to the URL problem.)

#87 ::: Dan Blum ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2007, 01:21 PM:
Lisa, re timeout issues, that makes sense to me. Do you suppose there's anything we can do, short of changing hosts, to improve matters?
Since there is a relatively small number of posters (in database terms), in theory the lists could all be generated at once, at a time of day that typically sees low load, and then cached. The script would then have to retrieve the cached list and do a dynamic retrieval of posts made since the cache operation, prepending the latter to the former.

How feasible this would be to implement for this particular installation, I can't say.

#88 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2007, 01:40 PM:

Very good, Fidelio.

#89 ::: Jen Roth ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2007, 01:43 PM:

I keep seeing this thread title and thinking, "All glory to the Hypnotoad!"

#90 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2007, 02:33 PM:

Quit making frogs at me, Glory!

#91 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2007, 02:53 PM:

Am I the only one who thinks Fidelio's real name must be Leonore, or something like? Or did we already discuss this, and my aging brain has not retained it? I'm pretty sure we've at least made overtures to this effect...

And I'm just too damn pig-ignorant to get this whole visual joke. And apparently too stupid to pick up enough clues to Google it.

Oh well, it's awful to be the smartest person in the room. That's why I hang out here instead!

#92 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2007, 02:58 PM:

Xopher @ 91:

I googled the words apotheosis poet painting and got the answer right off. The one from USC has a better version of the painting, though.

#93 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2007, 03:08 PM:

OK, I get it now. I never would have come up with the word 'apotheosis' to Google though. I'll remember next time.

#94 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2007, 03:19 PM:

Abi, I'm almost too stunned to respond. I don't think anyone's ever written a sonnet for me. Thank you!

Skwid, #81: Surely you must mean Scalzi's Schadenfreude Pie. Although I'm sure Charlie Stross would enjoy a dark, rich, baleful slice of it.

#95 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2007, 03:37 PM:

Patrick,

I'm afraid I've embarrassed you. I suppose if I did it's salutary in some way or other.

Happy birthday, or as happy as you can have when you're feeling poorly.

(I am more impressed that Skwid got "Schadenfreude" right than that he swapped Stross for Scalzi.)

#96 ::: Alan Bostick ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2007, 03:44 PM:

"Remember, sire, that thou art mortal...."

#97 ::: Lydia Nickerson ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2007, 03:55 PM:

Alan Bostick @ 96:

And you're not?

#98 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2007, 04:06 PM:

Lydia @97

No, it's Steve who's been apotheosisified*. We have a picture to prove it.

________
* Gods don't mind having undergone a process whose name includes the term "sisified", because everyone** knows they're not sissies. Unless they choose to be.

** Everyone who doesn't want to be smitten with lightning, thunder, locusts or plain bad SQL, that is.

#99 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2007, 04:45 PM:

Many happy returns, Patrick!

#100 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2007, 05:20 PM:

Gah! I have no idea why my mind confuses Scalzi and Stross, aside from both starting with S and being 6 letters, but it happens frequently.

My experimental Schadenfreude Chip Cookies (my contribution to the same occasion, the pie was baked at my request by a friend) didn't turn out quite as gooey as I'd hoped, although they were definitely dark and delicious. Next time I'll use more honey and be extra careful not to overbake.

#101 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2007, 05:48 PM:

Skwid: don't just describe them, give us the RECIPE!!!

Sheesh.

#102 ::: Steve Buchheit ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2007, 06:05 PM:

And a very late Huzzah! Surely, Steve Taylor thou deserves the PHP and MySQL groupies thou get-est.

As to the fluorosphere, I did work for a very large light bulb manufacturer in Cleveland. At one time I was privy to watch another vendor give a presentation (a vendor who did a great deal of work for said client) and continued to misspell "Fluorescent" in every single slide.

#103 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2007, 06:15 PM:

P J Evans, I found it in the first place by googling apotheosis painting. The best online scan of it is at the Louvre's website. My version's been cropped and reprocessed in various lossy ways so it'd be clear enough to deliver the joke, but small enough to not be a burden for people using dialup connections.

There's a site here that'll tell you who all the people are. Also the personifications: believe it or not, that thing the woman in green is holding is supposed to be an oar.

Xopher, you're not the least bit stupid. You just didn't know that apotheoses (apotheosi?) are a trope of representational painting. Feeling bad about that is like fretting because you can't play "spot the saint" as fast as Claude Muncey and Jim Macdonald.

In art, an apotheosis shows some supposedly heroic figure(s) either becoming god(s), or being welcomed into the company of the immortals. For instance, the rotunda painting in the US Capitol building is an Apotheosis of George Washington. It has all sorts of nifty supporting allegorical figures, like Minerva instructing Benjamin Franklin and Samuel Morse in science, and Venus holding the Transatlantic Cable.

Really, if what you want are over-the-top allegorical agenda-pushing paintings, you could do worse than type "apotheosis" into Google image search. Some specimens: The Apotheosis of Henry IV and the Proclamation of the Regency of Marie de Medicis on May 14, 1610. The Apotheosis of the Slav. The Apotheosis of Pennsylvania. The Apotheosis of Saint Ursula. The Apotheosis of Saint Thomas Aquinas. The Apotheosis of Hercules.

Another Apotheosis of Washington. A third Apotheosis of Washington. The Apotheosis of Washington and Franklin (a popular upholstery pattern of its day). The Apotheosis of Lincoln (with George Washington). The Apotheosis of Suffrage (note presence of George Washington).

The Apotheosis of the French Royal Family. The Apotheosis of the (Napoleonic) French Heroes. The Apotheosis of Lord Nelson.

And so forth. Once you've seen a half-dozen of the things, you'll never mistake the form again.

#104 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2007, 06:54 PM:

Teresa @103:

For my part, I got the oar and missed the sword - I thought it was some form of flute.

Is it a sign that I'm too much of a Classics geek that I always associate apotheoses with gourds?

#105 ::: Steve Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2007, 07:07 PM:

Tom Womack at #78 wrote:

> I hate to interrupt the festivities, but there appears to be another Wierd Quoting Problem.

botheration. And well spotted.

This one happens before we get to the VAB script, so I imagine the actual comment-entering script needs to be hit with a hammer. Fortunately I have a hammer right here...

I'll try to get to that shortly.

#106 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2007, 07:08 PM:

I can see how you'd do that. How is it that I've previously missed the Pumpkinification of Claudius?

In honor of that work, and this day's solemn observance, I think I'll go get myself an ice cream cone.

#107 ::: Harriet ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2007, 07:31 PM:

Teresa:

http://www.ehow.com/how_7005_make-pumpkin-ice.html

Or perhaps you still have a container of Edy's, or Coldstone Creamery, or some other commercially marketed p.i.c. in the freezer?

#108 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2007, 08:36 PM:

TNH #106: Robert Graves did a translation of the Apocolocyntosis (The Pumpkinification of the Divine Claudius) for Penguin Books back in the 50s.

#109 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2007, 09:12 PM:

I can't see going to that much trouble, considering where it's going to end up.

#110 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2007, 10:09 PM:

Teresa, I'm still trying to figure out why I googled apotheosis - I thought it was you that used the word upthread, but couldn't find it. I've heard of the apocolo-whatever, and (personal opinion warning) it would be really fun to pumpkinify some of the people in DC. (I saw the oar, but read the text from UMich which explained a lot of what was going on. The symbolism gets a bit deep in there.)

#111 ::: Anne Sheller ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2007, 10:12 PM:

Happy birthday, Patrick! You share the year with my brother Joe, though his doesn't come around till August.

#112 ::: Aconite ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2007, 10:14 PM:

P J Evans@110: "Apotheosis" is in the alt-tag for the image. If you have a slow connection, like I do, you get to see it before the image loads.

#113 ::: Claude Muncey ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2007, 10:35 PM:

Aconite @ 112

In all honesty, that's where I got the hint to try apotheosis. I would suspect that Jim McDonald hit it on his own, first try.

Only I am to blame for the pun, of course.

#114 ::: Nancy C ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2007, 11:39 PM:

Squid at 81 in re the recipe given at 18 by me:

This is foolproof bread. There is very little you can do to ruin it. Honestly. I used to bake it in the dorms, and have had to bake it at the wrong temperature for a while because someone else was using the oven. I usually break it into two loaves, rather than a single flourosphere.

You can also substitute 3 cups whole wheat flour for 3 cups of the white, but be sure to make the first cup with the yeast white.

It has the added advantage that there is no milk, butter, or eggs to go bad in a dorm fridge.

#115 ::: Steve Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2007, 11:42 PM:

Tom Womack at #78 wrote:

> I hate to interrupt the festivities, but there appears to be another Wierd Quoting Problem.

Fixed, I think. Please tell if you see any more weirdness. I suspect other components than the AuthorName need some quote filtering, but this will do for now.

#116 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2007, 11:59 PM:

Aconite @ 112:

I'd agree, except I was at work where the connection is normally very fast. Something ran through my mind really fast and left that word behind, though. (Let's mix a metaphor here: that train of thought got derailed early, too.)

#117 ::: Meg Thornton ::: (view all by) ::: January 03, 2007, 12:44 AM:

Rams @35, Teresa @37, Rams @38

Thanks ever so...

(It's my own fault, I suppose. After all, I *was* the one who purchased Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children with some of my Chrimble money. Doesn't stop that blasted tune from being a right 'orrible earworm, though.)

#118 ::: Greg ::: (view all by) ::: January 03, 2007, 02:40 AM:

"if people throw their hats in the air to celebrate things, do they ever get their hats back at the end? "

From "The Lost Works of H. P. Lovecraft: "The Terrifying Story of the Hats"

"I repeat to you, gentlemen, that your inquisition is fruitless! I *know* what I saw! It was at a holiday sporting-event--the one called 'base-ball,' where the fans were getting ready to salute the Brooklyn Dodger Fred Merkle, for his fine work on the field. As he came out, there was a great cheer, which had started as a dull roar. The ladies applauded, and the gentlemen were quite pleased.

To salute him, they threw their hats in the air…

And then, the screaming, oh, gentlemen, the screaming! For the hats were not just hats, no, now they had *wings* and horrible ropes--nay, tentacles! They swooped down on the defenseless crowd, plucking their heads off like so many snapped toothpicks. Oh, the screaming, oh, the panic!

But those who were snapped were the lucky ones. For in some cases, the hats jammed themselves back onto selected heads, with a strange noise emanating from within--my God! It was SLURPING!

And when their feasting was done--for that's what it was, gentlemen--the hats flew in a great, swooping motion, into a terrible dark hole which opened up in the sky.

This is why I urge you not to wear your hats! Or to throw them!

You tell me it cannot have happened. Then where, I ask you, is Ms. Amelia Munson, and her eight-year-old daughter Sarah? Devoured by the hat-like-things they were! The hats! The hats! Oh, Cthulu! I see them still!"

#119 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: January 03, 2007, 04:05 AM:

Intrigued by the never-seen-before concept of pumpkin ice-cream (Am I not even now sipping a cool mango green tea in this summer evening?), I clicked the link above (Harriet # 107). Fortunately I had swallowed my ice-tea, because the Google Ad next to the recipe said

Family Desert Recipes
Chocalate cake, candy & ice cream. Kids favorite recipes. Yummy!
Teresa, being a child of the desert herself, could probably verify this.

#120 ::: "Steve Taylor" ::: (view all by) ::: January 03, 2007, 05:59 AM:

test 1, please ignore

#121 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 03, 2007, 08:29 AM:

'VAB Serge' also goes back only to early 2005

That sounds about right, Harriet. That's when I started going around the whole blogosphere. And I dare not find out how many posts I have out there, just in ML.

#122 ::: Mary Aileen Buss ::: (view all by) ::: January 03, 2007, 09:41 AM:

Epacris (#119): here in the northeast US, pumpkin ice cream is commercially available around Halloween and Thanksgiving (which is Fall here--pumpkin season). It tastes a lot like pumpkin pie, only creamier. Yum!

--Mary Aileen

#123 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: January 03, 2007, 09:46 AM:

Nancy C @ 81, I have to confess that I mostly just wanted to make the joke about "Chocolate Salty Flourospheres." It fits the meter of the song's chorus better than the original, even!

Xopher @ 101, Gah! Again! I meant to get this down after I'd gotten home from work, but completely forgot, and it would only have been an approximation anyway, as I was winging it. If I were to do it again, I would make cookie dough as though for Chocolate Chip Cookies, but short on white sugar, substituting a paste of honey and cocoa powder (the first time, I added these seperately on top of my regular dough mixture, and had difficulties with the consistency) to taste/color. Then fold in cinnamon chips. It might help to refrigerate the dough before forming the cookies.

When these bake, they're going to get very dark because of the honey, so watch for subtler signs of done-ness. You'll absolutely need parchment paper for these, or you'll never get them off your pan, and cooling racks are going to be essential to the consistency, as well.

I only made a small batch of two dozen for my Halloween party, and they certainly vanished quickly. The best picture I could find of them, sadly, is here. If I didn't have a pie and a half in the fridge that need eating, I'd try for a new batch tonight. Maybe next week.

#124 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: January 03, 2007, 02:07 PM:

#91 Xopher--I'm not sure that's ever been raised, but as a matter of fact it isn't. My given name is either a Spanish adjective or one of those bits and pieces* that are used to make up Germanic names. It's the sort of name the nice, damp homebody has on soap operas, where she's always the last character to find out her husband is sleeping around with everyone in town--and can't figure out why he would.

*There's a proper technical term for this, but my brain is full of other stuff today and is not helpful.

#125 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: January 03, 2007, 03:21 PM:

Skwid #123:

At the risk of appearing the world's biggest most naive idiot, I must confess that until your post, I had never heard of cinnamon chips, and in fact googled it to make sure it wasn't a typo. Do they defy description?

#126 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: January 03, 2007, 03:34 PM:

Cinnamon chips are basically cinnamon flavored high-temperature-melting fat with a brick-red sort of color, and they're really, really yummy. You can also use them melted for all sorts of things; there are a variety of recipes out there. Hershey's makes them...I'm sure there other sources, as well, out there somewhere. If you can't do or are bored with chocolate, they make an interesting alternative in either regular cookie dough or (highly recommended) oatmeal cookies.

#127 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: January 03, 2007, 04:52 PM:

Wish I'd heard about these before Christmas. For me, Lent begins on Jan 2. Oh well, I shall bear them in mind for next year. I bet they go good in gingerbread things?

#128 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: January 03, 2007, 05:28 PM:

bored with chocolate

This has to have been a typo, since that's a phrase no one could possibly type deliberately. Bored? With chocolate?!?!?!

Well, but. There are still Bush supporters. I suppose people who are bored (?) with chocolate could exist too.

#129 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: January 03, 2007, 05:31 PM:

Perhaps I should have phrased that "bored of baking with chocolate?"

I knew there was an issue with the original phrasing, but figured my continued sanity was implied...

#130 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: January 03, 2007, 06:27 PM:

Some of us are still scared by chocolate and working our way back gradually. This after an unfortunate conjunction of what had to be quintuple chocolate cake and one of those violent episodes of Martian Death Flu that cause you to lose eight pounds in less than two days. It took me over a year before I was able to even smell the stuff, although white chocolate was an exception. I can take milk chocolate quite well now, but I've still to touch my Christmas Scharffenberger. We'll see.

#131 ::: MD² ::: (view all by) ::: January 03, 2007, 06:28 PM:

First things first: All glory to the glorious.

Given my strange memory lapses (sometimes I don't remember doing something at all, sometimes I remember doing it while I only imagined it), this is a must.

Add to that, as soemone pointed out already, a "must" use.

Then: I've years ago read the Apocolocyntosis, but I must say that "Pumpkinification" is an incredible word that just make me want to read it again in english.

Also: Pumpkin ice cream ! I've got to find some now (will go right next to carrot and violet ice creams as far strange desert experiences go).

Happy Birthday to the lord of the place.

And a (bit) late Happy New Year for everyone else.

#132 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: January 03, 2007, 06:48 PM:

MD² @ 131 - Pumpkin ice cream = not so strange. Pumpkin beer = strange. Like drinking a slightly alcoholic undersweetened pie. Very filling. Both are probably out of season by now, so you many have to wait until the September to try either.

I'll take a pass on the violet ice cream. I suspect I'd like it more that rosewater ice cream (yuck). Carrot could be good, though.

#133 ::: Lexica ::: (view all by) ::: January 03, 2007, 06:49 PM:

I suppose people who are bored (?) with chocolate could exist too.

*raises hand*

Come sit next to me, Xopher. You pass me your fruit-based desserts (mmm, lemon-lemon-LEMON!!!) and I'll pass you my chocolate-based ones. Everybody's happy that way, and we can both go away shaking our heads ruefully and murmuring "wow, you don't know what you're missing, do you?"

#134 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: January 03, 2007, 07:19 PM:

Damn, I *hate* it when they upgrade PHP and register_globals gets unset and breaks my website. It's like when they upgrade MySQL and all the old-format tables I didn't know I ought to have converted to the new format get hosed.

I like to think it's the universe telling me I need to actually learn to program for real instead of this lazy monkey-see-monkey-do stuff I've gotten by on all these years. There would have been nicer ways to tell me, but I probably wouldn't have listened.

On a totally different subject: I, too, am a chocolate-indifferent freak. Boulder's wonderful Breadworks bakery makes their bread pudding with chocolate chips, which certainly doesn't render them inedible, but really, when I'm craving bread pudding, I am not craving chocolate. I am very rarely craving chocolate, in fact. Someone suggested I add chocolate chips to my annual fruitcake exercises and I couldn't form a coherent reply out of sheer surprise.

In other news, happy new year, y'all.

#135 ::: MD² ::: (view all by) ::: January 03, 2007, 07:23 PM:

Carrot is good. As is violet I thought.

I'll have to pass on pumpkin bear as I don't mix well with alcohol.

#136 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: January 04, 2007, 02:00 AM:

Nicole @134

Someone suggested I add chocolate chips to my annual fruitcake exercises...

Blech! I have a mild aversion to chocolate and fruit in general, and a serious tendency to nausea if the fruit in question is raisins.

Legacy of a childhood with chocolate covered raisins on long car journeys. I'm prone to carsickness, and the taste became associated.

I hope that the idea of adding chocolate in any form to fruitcake remains surprising and uncommon.

#137 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: January 04, 2007, 02:52 AM:

MD² - don't forget to add in lavender as another "odd" ice cream flavor. Well, I find it odd because I don't care for the smell of lavender, so why would a person want to eat it?


#138 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: January 04, 2007, 05:33 AM:

One lovely moment out of many at Minicon in 2001: it's late at night, I decide to leave the party and go to bed; I tell Tom Whitmore, "It's time for my apocolocytosis." He gets the joke. (The next day I repeat it to Jo Walton, who does also.)

#139 ::: Steve Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: January 04, 2007, 06:09 AM:

Tania at #137 wrote

> don't forget to add in lavender as another "odd" ice cream flavor. Well, I find it odd because I don't care for the smell of lavender, so why would a person want to eat it?

I like lavender as lavender - we've got a huge bush growing out the front of the house - but I've got little sympathy for any processed form.

We visited a lavender farm once, and in the kiosk/ticket office we were assaulted by a nightmarish wave of lavender potpouri, lavender soap, lavender fruit cake... I'm sure they would have been selling lavender ice cream if they'd thought of it.

Do not try lavender fruitcake. It will not make you happy.


#140 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: January 04, 2007, 07:34 AM:

#129 Sqwid: Oh, OK. THAT I can see.

#133 Lexica: I understand not liking chocolate, at least intellectually; it's got a bitter tone that some people are sensitive to. I can't stand coffee, for example. And some people just don't care for its flavor or effect; de gustibus non disputendem est, after all. I also understand acquired taste aversions like abi's, and I consider them tragic (the very smell of peppermint makes me queasy).

What I can't understand is someone who does like chocolate getting bored with it. Chocolate is ancient and ever-new; chocolate, all alike, no season knows, nor clime; as chocolate was in the beginning, so it is now and ever shall be, flavor without end, aché, so mote it be, amen.

I do agree that adding chocolate to fruitcake is an abomination. Chocolate is too strong and penetrating a flavor to add to fruitcake. That said, if someone else baked it, I would taste it to see if I'm right (I am nothing if not an empiricist when it comes to delicious things).

#141 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: January 04, 2007, 08:35 AM:

One summer I brought a tub of "Ballard Broccoli" ice cream to a Vanguard party. Let's just say it remained untouched. It was designed for the middle of salads in hot weather: I don't know if they even make it anymore.

#142 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: January 04, 2007, 08:48 AM:

A local restaurant, now alas deceased, used to make rosemary ice cream. Delicious, especially served over the brownie-like cake with which they paired it.

#143 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: January 04, 2007, 08:55 AM:

I like chocolate just fine; I'm just not one of the (evidently many) people in whom it provokes a singular rapturousness. Sure, it's good stuff, lots of complexity at the high-quality end. One of the more intense taste experiences I ever had was drinking a hot chocolate supposedly prepared as it would have been in the 17th century, at the 1657 Chocolate House in Kendal, in the Lake Country. But I can say the same for a lot of foods and flavors. I can easily get as excited about the variety, subtlety, and exciting nuances of vanilla. Or malt sugars, particularly as expressed in various bottlings north of Hadrian's Wall. And don't even get me started about European-style butter.

#144 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 04, 2007, 08:57 AM:

Steve Taylor @ 137... Lavender fruitcake? My wife tells me that the town of Gilroy, south of San Francisco, makes garlic ice cream.

#145 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: January 04, 2007, 09:00 AM:

Xopher, re:#140 --

"Bored" is perhaps not quite the right word. "Wearied of," or "surfeited unto temporary aversion."

This is the tragic side effect of having to bake a dozen flourless truffle cakes daily for several weeks, on top of the usual quantities of brownies, chocolate chip cookies, chocolate cupcakes... It gets worse when you one day start the Hobart before the liquid chocolate mixture is sufficiently cool, and wind up wearing chocolate over your entire right arm and torso. (Let's hear it for the shielding properties of chef coats. I was unharmed, although uncomfortable.)

I was unable to face eating chocolate in any form from mid-December to Valentine's Day, that year.

#146 ::: "Charles Dodgson" ::: (view all by) ::: January 04, 2007, 09:28 AM:

On the subject of odd ice cream flavors, I write to you from the greater metropolitan area that's home to Toscanini's, where you can frequently find such varieties as khulfee (not a typo), mango (served occasionally in Swissair First Class), green tea (big in Japan; here, not so much), vienna finger cookie, etc., etc. Their vanilla and chocolate (several varieties) are excellent --- but I can't remember the last time I saw them serving strawberry. (Then again, if vanilla is what you want, you might be better served by Herrell's --- depending on the day, they may have Vanilla, Private Stock Vanilla, or Hi-def Vanilla...)

#147 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: January 04, 2007, 09:44 AM:

We just finished gobbling up a package of pumpkin/chocolate chip cookies from the bakery at the local Fry's -- yum! (They also make a pumpkin pie that's more like a mousse than usual, without the intense flavors that most people like better than I do.)

On the whole, I can take or leave chocolate (except in very cold weather, when it seems to have a lot more charm), but can't live without my Dannon coffee yogurt.

#148 ::: crazysoph ::: (view all by) ::: January 04, 2007, 09:44 AM:

Lavender ice cream - I'm having to remind myself, "De gustibus non disputandem est" (or "non est disputandem"? an old friend always used to say it the first way, but Google's given me the second).

I've actually made lavender ice cream, and, being pre-disposed to liking it, I did. Though I could empathize with one of the /g/u/i/n/e/a /p/i/g/s guests who remarked on the "perfume" rather than flavor. It probably helps to have a really rich ice cream, and pair it off with a taste like chocolate.

Crazy(back to lurking the eruidite conversations)Soph

#149 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: January 04, 2007, 10:01 AM:

Why Green Tea ice cream isn't fantastically popular, I'll never understand...it's delicious. As is that other Asian Ice Cream staple, Red Bean.

#150 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 04, 2007, 10:06 AM:

crazysoph @ 148... In French, the saying goes as "Des gouts et des couleurs on ne discute pas."

#151 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: January 04, 2007, 10:31 AM:

Epacris (119), we wouldn't have turned down any of those des(s)erts, though pumpkin bear (135) would have given us paws.

Steve (139), a wave of lavender everything would be nauseating -- far more so than (f.i.) orange or rosemary. (Or orange and rosemary: an attractive combination, especially if you add freshly ground black pepper and a little dab of garlic.) Lavender has that cloying sweetness that sticks in the back of your throat, like overstrength doses of lily or gardenia or tuberose.

#152 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: January 04, 2007, 10:39 AM:

Faren at 147: Dannon coffee yogurt, yes!!

#153 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: January 04, 2007, 10:46 AM:

I've met pumpkin ice cream. It was delicious (I seem to recall - this was some time back - that it was a goat's-milk ice cream as well).

Chocolate in odd places - sometimes it's used in small amounts for the overtone (or undertone) it gives. Think of mole poblano (or mole del palacio, as I've also seen it called).

#154 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: January 04, 2007, 11:12 AM:

Serge #144:

The Gilroy Garlic Festival is a yearly chance for people in and around Gilroy to make just about *any*thing out of garlic. We never bothered to go when we lived in the Bay Area, but we've seen various food/travel shows that covered the event.

#155 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: January 04, 2007, 11:16 AM:

I've had lavender ice cream at a Very Tony Berkeley Restaurant, it it was fine.

I actually happen to like lavender, and keep liquid soap scented with it in preference to more air-freshener sorts of things. The aromatherapy people think it's excellent for relaxing you and makng you sleepy; sometimes when I'm having a bout of middle-o-night insomnia, if I remember I'll get up and smell the soap dispenser. Works fairly well.

#156 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: January 04, 2007, 11:18 AM:

I have a recipe that I occasionally make for rosemary biscotti. There's another recipe that's kind of fun for tuiles made of rosemary and potatoes.

#157 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 04, 2007, 11:19 AM:

Right, joann, that's when my wife told me such ice cream is available. I'd be curious to taste the garlic flavor, but I'd probably need a pint of mouthwash afterwards.

#158 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: January 04, 2007, 12:10 PM:

Rikibeth 145: I can understand that temporary surfeit. I made 7 dozen (more than that, actually, but that was my gift yield after I discarded (into my own belly, by and large) the grotesquely imperfect ones) hand-dipped chocolates before Christmas, and two batches of Plutonium Brownies as well.

I found myself putting the parchment paper with scraps of chocolate on it right in the trash without licking it or trying to save any of the chocobits. I still ate some of the brownies, though. I smelled like chocolate for days.

Satiety, I can believe. Boredom, not.

#159 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: January 04, 2007, 12:41 PM:

Skwid @ 149:
Why Green Tea ice cream isn't fantastically popular, I'll never understand...it's delicious. As is that other Asian Ice Cream staple, Red Bean.

Trader Joe's routinely sells boxes of little mochi-covered ice-cream bonbons in a variety of flavors, including green tea; iirc the usual other suspects are vanilla, chocolate, coffee, and strawberry. The mochi shell is flavored to match the ice-cream contents.

However, I've never seen TJ's carry the red-bean ice-cream mochi balls made by the same company. Those can be found at Asian supermarkets, along with competing brands of ice cream with or without mochi but which extend the flavor palette to ube (a kind of purple yam), durian (which I've never worked up the courage to try), mango, coconut, and so on.

#160 ::: debcha ::: (view all by) ::: January 04, 2007, 01:05 PM:

"Charles Dodgson" (#146) wrote about Tosci's khulfee ice cream.

Just a heads-up that 'khulfee ice cream' is tantamount to saying 'ice cream ice cream' (much as 'chai tea' translates as 'tea tea.') Khulfee is traditionally flavoured with cardamom and sometimes rosewater, although my mom makes a great mango version.

I'm partial to Toscanini's burnt caramel, myself.

#161 ::: Lexica ::: (view all by) ::: January 04, 2007, 01:43 PM:

debcha @ 160:

I think it's more like saying "gelato ice cream" - because gelato (and kulfi/khulfee) are made differently from American-style ice cream (no air whipped in), adding "gelato" adds meaning.

A menu I saw once listed "masala spice chai tea", just to make the redundancy more redundant.

The recipe for kulfi is not too far from the prototypical Indian dessert recipe: combine heavy cream, sugar, and butter; simmer until reduced to a solid; deep-fry; submerge in sugar syrup. Ooof.

#162 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: January 04, 2007, 03:13 PM:

Of course, anyone saying the phrase "chai tea" (#161) just makes me think of the episode of the Simpsons where Homer asks Lisa how people like her deal with all the problems being smart creates. She kind of shrugs and says, "Oh, chai tea, tai chi."

#163 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: January 04, 2007, 03:29 PM:

Faren @ 147 - We just finished gobbling up a package of pumpkin/chocolate chip cookies from the bakery at the local Fry's...

Surely not this Fry's.

And I used to like coffee yogurt, but having discovered real Greek yogurt (Fage brand, actually from Greece) stocked by both Trader Joe's and Whole Foods, I've permanently sworn off flavored yogurt. The stuff may be $1.89 per 8 oz container, but it's so good I don't mind the expense. Chocolate, on the other hand, I can take or leave.

joann @ 155 - I put rosemary oil in unscented liquid soap. Very soothing aroma.

Teresa @ 151 - Orange and rosemary are (to me) a natural for roast pork. I've been known to punch garlic slivers along with rosemary needles and orange peel into a pork roast. Being inside the meat keeps the rosemary from singing.

#164 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: January 04, 2007, 03:43 PM:

Being inside the meat keeps the rosemary from singing.

Bet it wouldn't have stopped Rosemary Clooney!

#165 ::: MD² ::: (view all by) ::: January 04, 2007, 04:31 PM:

Teresa Nielsen Hayden #151: Epacris (119), we wouldn't have turned down any of those des(s)erts, though pumpkin bear (135) would have given us paws.

-blush-

Ok, I can see how I made the desert/dessert mistake, my mind just copied from the previous posts (strange thing, I have trouble with spelling, whatever the language: I only memorise the word's shape, not it's actual spelling, and it often happens that I need to write several variations of a word on a piece of paper till I find the "proper" shape... with text editors, switching fonts too often too fast can confuse the hell out of me).

But bear/beer ?

Psychopathologic self-destructive tendencies. I don't see any other explication given the time I spent reminding myself to avoid that very mistake.

That or I really need to sleep once in a while (not that both solutions are mutually exclusives).

Green tea serbet is better than green tea ice cream I always thought (red bean [not red been, not red been, NOT red been] is really great though).

My favourite's still my friend's father homemade longan serbet.

Puzzled by garlic ice cream (there's got to be a way to put that in a vampire story, and actually make it work). I've got to add that to my list.

Also, I won't be eating any more breadfruit ice cream unless threatened with horribly bad movies, and don't recommend the experience.

#166 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: January 04, 2007, 04:36 PM:

#163: "Surely not this Fry's."

Most, if not all, Fry's outlets have coffee shops in them.

#167 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: January 04, 2007, 04:49 PM:

Xopher #164 --

No flame can keep my oils whole
While on this pork I'm clinging --
If I'm not safe inside the meat,
How can I keep from singing?

#168 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: January 04, 2007, 05:16 PM:

Caroline (167): *starts to talk, stops, tries again, stops, silently bows*

#169 ::: Bernard Yeh ::: (view all by) ::: January 04, 2007, 05:51 PM:

Re: #147, 163, 166

Faren was likely talking about the Arizona (and maybe other parts of the Southwest) supermarket chain, instead of the California (and some other outposts like Austin, TX and Phoenix, AZ, with a lot of Silicon Valley transplants) electronics chain. Not to deny that most Fry's Electronics now have in-store cafes and have more than one aisle of (junk) food products.

Interestingly, they used to have the same ownership (15+ years ago) and still have the same (or very nearly the same) logo.

If you travel between the Bay Area and Arizona like I do (I have family in Phoenix), mentioning Fry's (without qualifiers) is a source of confusion and amusement. Additional confusion and amusement was caused by the introduction of a Fry's Electronics in the Phoenix area some years ago.

#170 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: January 04, 2007, 06:18 PM:

Xopher, you were my inspiration.

#171 ::: kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: January 04, 2007, 06:23 PM:

Sqwid @149
Why Green Tea ice cream isn't fantastically popular, I'll never understand...it's delicious.

I know why for one of my friends it isn't popular.

He was with friends at an Asian cuisine restaurant, where they shared a multitude of small plates, tapas style. As my friend finished up, the waiter brought dessert, a bowl of tasty green-tea ice cream. My friend took a healthy big spoonful.

When he regained consciousness, lying on the floor with concerned friends and staff watching, he understood as few men have understood before that wasabi can look exactly like green-tea ice cream.

#172 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: January 04, 2007, 07:13 PM:

I'm not fond of chocolate -- given a choice, I'd have fruit. I like green tea ice cream, though.

#173 ::: miriam beetle ::: (view all by) ::: January 04, 2007, 07:27 PM:

ok ok fine. i can't let one more weird-ice-cream-flavour-post go by without mentioning that i'm here in vancouver, & we always make sure to take out-of-town guests to la casa gelato, & also visit it frequently without such provocation.

they, among their 218 on-site flavours, always have
garlic ice cream
wasabi ice cream
several ice creams for which the names are only printed in chinese, as well as asian favourites such as
drangonberry ice cream
green tea ice cream (of course)
red bean ice cream
i once sampled aloe ice cream, the fella said they had made that on impulse, cause someone had an aloe plant.
i have a friend who makes it a point of pride to try their way-outest flavours, but i usually like my ice cream, uh, sweet. my favourites are
chocolate grand marnier
vodka cranberry
(girl-drink ice creams!)
my boyfriend is partial to their
lemon sorbet
apple-pie ice cream
i tried their halvah ice cream once, cause i will try anything halvah-related. it was weird.

mmmmm. my boyfriend's brother gave us gift certificates for christmas. they are hanging on the magnet board enticingly.

#174 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: January 04, 2007, 07:29 PM:

Please understand. I do like chocolate. It's just that for the last couple of years I've had what could most accurately be called an overlay reaction, from which I'm slowly recovering. (But I do suspect that I'll never again be able to eat those super-bomb chocolate torte/cake things, e.g., chocolate decadence.)

#175 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: January 04, 2007, 09:10 PM:

skwid@149: why separate them? Green tea ice cream with red bean sauce is \wonderful/.

For that matter, Minado (Japanese buffet chain) has a green-tea sheet cake; definitely good for ending a meal of different flavors.

kathryn@171: that seems to me to have required a certain lack of attention; I've never seen wasabi as glutinous as even cheap ice cream, and only at the abovementioned Minado have I seen that much wasabi in one lump -- most restaurants are stingy with it.

#176 ::: Steve Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: January 04, 2007, 09:52 PM:

I used to have green tea ice cream at a local japanese restaurant, and loved it. Sadly I no longer know of a local source. I suppose I could always show a little motivation and make some...

kathryn from Sunnyvale at #171 wrote:

> When he regained consciousness, lying on the floor with concerned friends and staff watching, he understood as few men have understood before that wasabi can look exactly like green-tea ice cream.

I was having dinner with an Indian friend once - her first Japanese meal. She saw a blob of wasabi on the plate and tried to put it in her mouth. I grabbed her wrist, physically stoppping her, and explained that it was probably not the right thing to do.

And then - a precious memory that I sometimes reflect on before carefully storing it away again - she said "It's allright - I'm Indian", and stuck the blob of wasabi in her mouth.

As I knew, and she discovered, chili and wasabi attack the body in different ways.

On odd foods in general: I once accidentally made a chili and vanilla milkshake, simply through inadequate cleaning, and it was excellent.

#177 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: January 04, 2007, 10:09 PM:

Re: 164/167 - I tried writing "singeing" but it just plain looked wrong. For once, I'm pleased with a typo.

I know that most Fry's (electronics) have cafes. but their pastries always looked pretty industrial. I also wouldn't put up with the frustration of shopping there (smelly salespeople, crummy checkouts, dreading ever needing to return anything) just to buy some cookies.

#178 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: January 04, 2007, 10:28 PM:

Flashback.

First Japanese restaurant in Lenexa, KS. about 1985 or so. One of our lab managers asked me to come with him to try it out, most of the folks there were pretty redneck and unadventurous (it was a veterinary vaccine manufacturer that has gone out of business).

I had had Japanese food. JB hadn't. We both ordered fairly simple meals, I ordered a tuna sushi appetizer and a tempura lunch special, he ordered the exact same thing as I did. When they brought out the tuna, I tucked in after mixing up a little wasabi with soy sauce. He picked up the whole lump of wasabi with his chopsticks as if to eat it. I said, "you know what that is, don't you? I would not eat that like that, if I were you." He calmly said 'yes,' popped the lump into his mouth, gave it a bit of a chew and swallowed. Then his eyes just about bugged out.

"Why didn't you warn me?" he asked.

"You said you knew what it was," I replied. "So I assumed you really did."

(we had had a bit of give-and-take because he'd got a degree from K-State and I've got one from KU. He was rather more polite to me about stuff after that.)

#179 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: January 04, 2007, 10:57 PM:

Tania @137: Whilst visiting the folks in NOLA this Christmas/New Year's, I had occasion to introduce my husband to the Creole Creamery. When a childhood friend introduced me to it over the summer, I discovered the joy that is Lavender-Honey Ice Cream. If one likes the smell of lavender in the first place, I can't see any reason why one wouldn't like it--and if one doesn't like the smell of lavender, well, there are other flavors to try. This time around I tried the Balsamic Strawberry. It was very good too, but if I hadn't been told the name of the flavor I would have simply guessed Strawberry Cheesecake.

Apparently they aren't the only ice cream place uptown that does lavender ice cream. When I was misremembering it as being on Magazine, everyone was sure I was talking about Sophie's. But then, every single snowball stand in the area does Wedding Cake and Frog-In-A-Blender, too, so "odd" isn't always the same as "identifying". Sometimes it's just regional.

#180 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: January 04, 2007, 10:57 PM:

#178 Barbara, and others before. Another of my many cultural disconnects, this. Wasabi and chillies. I know, I know, I ought to like them. I know contemporary or, especially, fusion cuisine (of which I hear many good things) isn't possible without them. But - I hang my head in shame - I don't care for them.

It's not that I've never eaten them. I'm quite fond of good Indian food, for its wonderful aromas and strongly contrasting taste sensations, and I can manage a fair degree of chilli warmth, if I must, to gain that. I just don't like it. I think it detracts, and I realise that this is like saying that fear detracts from bungee-jumping.

And wasabi. One hears that Japanese cuisine is all about delicacy, simplicity and subtlety. With a condiment that's like eating red-hot ground glass? How does that work? (I can't stand the squick factor of raw fish, or some of the ingredients either, but that's a different issue.)

I suppose I'm just going to have to remain in the culinary dark ages.

#181 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: January 04, 2007, 11:00 PM:

I made wasabi buttercream once. It was wayyy too sweet, oddly enough; even sweeter than the buttercream without the wasabi.

Larry #177: As far as I know, 'singing' is the correct American -ing form for both 'sing' and 'singe'. But you were talking about rosemary, and I just couldn't resist the pun.

#182 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: January 04, 2007, 11:10 PM:

And yes, part of me being "chocolate-indifferent" involves becoming easily bored with chocolate. Really. Actually, really, BORED. As in, "Can I have something else now, please? Something a little more savory and spicy, maybe, like candied ginger? Or maybe a vanilla-bean creme brulee? Seems like every dessert or candy you think to throw at me has chocolate in it and I'm all bored with chocolate." (Xopher, of course, you have the right to disbelieve me. Y'know. If it helps you sleep better at night. Is there a real difference between "temporary surfeit" and "boredom," anyway?)

#183 ::: debcha ::: (view all by) ::: January 04, 2007, 11:29 PM:

Lexica (#161): on khulfi ice cream and gelato ice cream...hmm, I'm not so fond of the 'gelato ice cream' construction either. A phrase that can equally well be construed as redundant or contradictory wouldn't be my first choice of words. Also, I am pretty sure that the khulfee ice cream at Tosci's is regular ice cream flavoured like traditional khulfi, not actually made khulfi-style, with the resultant mix of creaminess and ice crystals (someone who's had it recently can probably comment). The 'masala spice chai tea' thing made me laugh out loud - thank you.

Dave Luckett (#180): When I make Indian food (which is rare, as I think it is a cuisine specifically designed to keep women subjugated :), I often put little or no chili in it. Its absence is often not even noticed among all the other spices; I agree that it's not integral to the flavours at best and a distraction at worst.


#184 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: January 04, 2007, 11:37 PM:

Dave, I'm with you -- not a wasabi fan, not a bit. Not so big on chilis, either. However, on home-made sushi night (lots of sushi rice, everyone brings a maki ingredient or two, and then we take turns with the bamboo thingie), I get a lot of weird looks by putting the Crystal hot sauce out next to the soy sauce dippers.

#185 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: January 05, 2007, 12:02 AM:

Earlier this year, I went to a Chinese buffet place. It was in a downtown area with a lot of hispanic residents.

The place's cold table had a selection of "sushi" rolls. As I was loading up my plate, a Mexican (I assume) fellow who was next in line asked me what was in the rolls, and what the smear of green stuff was. He mumbled something and quickly moved off to corral a kid.

I realized, after getting to my table, that what he mumbled was "Ah, like guacamole."

I did not hear any screams of pain, so I figure someone else may have warned him about the stuff.

#186 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: January 05, 2007, 01:01 AM:

Nicole @ #179 - Friends in Seattle introduced me to lavender ice cream. They become rapturous. Balsamic Strawberry sounds interesting, I'd give it a try. As far as food regionality, I've never seen Pickle Juice SnoCones outside of the south.

Xopher @ #181 - Wasabi Buttercream? What for? How intriguing, a quick search on Google give me almost 10K hits. I love wasabi. Bachelor dinner when I'm home alone - half a can tuna mixed with soy, sesame oil, and wasabi, poured over the top of fresh sticky rice from the rice cooker. Sometimes I crumble nori on top, if I have any in the house. Dang it, now I'm getting hungry.

#187 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: January 05, 2007, 02:09 AM:

Dave @180,

Perhaps you haven't had wasabi, and instead have had the very common green-colored mustard-horseradish powder mush.

Here's a description of the flavor of real wasabi. I've only had it a few times- it's much higher with the complexity, not so much of the glass shards effect. One used to be able to purchase it by mail from an Oregon grower, but it looks like they've stopped that. Darn.

On Japanese cuisine- have you had the chance to try izakaya restaurants? They're the "relax after work with a drink and some food, another drink, more food...repeat" restaurants of Japan. There aren't too many of them in North America*, but they can give a great view of the diversity of modern Japanese cuisine.**


* in the San Francisco Bay Area the ratio of izakaya to 'sushi / tempura / udon' type restaurants seems to be about 1:40. Other than in Vancouver, the ratio for the rest of North America is likely worse.

** or visit Japan, I suppose. Worldcon's there this year. You can get the definitive answer as to if your dislike of sushi exists in the presence of perfect sushi.

#188 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: January 05, 2007, 09:25 AM:

Re Fry's: Bernard (#169) explains it -- yep, I meant the grocery store. To make things even more peculiar, the older and less flashy Fry's downtown has its own gas station outside, so we can use our discount card to fill up the van. My husband's quite happy with that, while I like the nearer store's baked goods (excellent challah, too).

If any diabetics are reading this thread and feeling deprived, go to today's column by Jon Carroll for a fellow sufferer's wintry lament for bakeries past.

Since I've become cream-intolerant (just milk fat, not milk), maybe I should feel that way about the ice cream discussion, but I'm much too happy with my coffee yogurt. (Lizzy, good to find another fan here!)

#189 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: January 05, 2007, 10:47 AM:

debcha #183: When I make Indian food (which is rare, as I think it is a cuisine specifically designed to keep women subjugated :), I often put little or no chili in it. Its absence is often not even noticed among all the other spices; I agree that it's not integral to the flavours at best and a distraction at worst.

I love making Indian food, although I don't make the fiddly things like vegetable balls and potato rolls. But a curry or a biryani just doesn't seem whole to me without a little burning. It's not a flavor element, you're right -- it's just a sensation. Sometimes I think it heightens my sensitivity to the flavors of the dish. Somehow it rounds out the flavor without actually being much of a flavor itself. (Of course one must strike a balance -- if it becomes physically painful to eat, it's counterproductive!)

I suspect, however, that I tend toward the non-taster end of the spectrum.

Kathryn #187 -- I didn't even know there was such a thing as real wasabi until recently, when some friends gave me a copy of Harold McGee's book "On Food and Cooking." I'd thought it was the Japanese word for that preparation of horseradish. Now I really want to acquire some.

#190 ::: JC ::: (view all by) ::: January 05, 2007, 11:28 AM:

I had sweet corn ice cream last weekend. I thought it was pretty good actually. It was kind of like eating frozen popcorn. My chocolate fatigue with ice cream comes when I realize that almost every Ben and Jerry's flavor I see in the store has chocolate of some form in it. (The nut based flavors, for example, pistachio and butter pecan, get a reprieve.)

As for wasabi, it's pretty easy to order wasabi powder, paste and rhizomes via the web from companies claiming to sell the real thing. (Presumably, the rhizomes actually are the real thing.) I bought some of the powder before I realized that drying it removed the volatile compounds which make it interesting. I may have to try the paste or rhizomes (if I can afford it) some time.

It does look like that lots of ritual has sprung up around the wasabi preparation though. (Whenever this happens, I always wonder how much of it is actually necessary. e.g., do you absolutely have to use a sharkskin grater?)

#191 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: January 05, 2007, 12:34 PM:

Nicole #184: (Xopher, of course, you have the right to disbelieve me. Y'know. If it helps you sleep better at night. Is there a real difference between "temporary surfeit" and "boredom," anyway?)

It would be completely discourteous not to believe you when you describe your own mental state. I believe you; I just don't understand. And I mean I don't understand in the same sense that I don't understand a perfect sphere with seven identical planar faces. How can these things be, I wonder. But you say it, and it's your mind and palate, so I must accept it.

As for the difference between a temporary surfeit and boredom...perhaps it's subtle to others, but to me it's like this: I watch four or five episodes of Farscape in a row. That's enough Farscape for a while, but I'm not "bored with Farscape;" you can tell because for example I stop at the end of an episode, not in the middle. IT didn't get boring; I just had my fill. Queer as Folk, on the other hand, I genuinely got bored with. I stopped watching in the middle of an episode ("Oh, not this again"). I turned it on from time to time, said "Yep, still boring," and turned it off.

And this of a show that not infrequently featured hot male nakedness!

There's another thing. I and many of my friends are accustomed to eating to the point of physical pain on Thanksgiving. We are by no means bored with food when we stop; we're just limited by our physical capacity. (Admittedly we eat past the point of what non-"Hobbits" would call satiety, but filling up the corners is traditional.)

I don't know about you, but my satiety point for chocolate is rather lower than that for, say, a nice napa cabbage-radicchio-scallion-kalamata-pepperoncini-in-a-chili-ranch-dressing salad (something I make and eat a lot). Part of this is because intelligent people control their intake of theobromine at SOME level, even if it is the I-love-everyone, scrape-me-off-the-ceiling, collapse-in-helpless-giggles-because-someone-said-"teeth" level. Satiety in such mind-altering substances is a different order of thing.

Tania #186: As an experiment and a goof. I never actually put it in chocolates, but some of my more spice-crazed friends said they liked it, but it was too sweet. I may try it again, and actually put it in chocolate to see if it's weird and cool or just weird and horrible.

If everything you try works, you're not trying enough things.

#192 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: January 05, 2007, 01:37 PM:

Speaking of Harold McGee, his second book, The Curious Cook, has a chapter that lays out the proportions to make sorbet-type ices out of pretty much any type of fruit, with the addition of various amounts of sugar, lemon juice, and water.

Also, when Haagen Dazs first started to sell their water-based chocolate sorbet, I noticed that based on the ingredient/nutrition label, its formula seemed to be equivalent to a 1:1 mix of Hershey's (or I suppose other brand) chocolate syrup and water. When I attempted to replicate it along those lines, it came out pretty close, though at this point I can't remember whether the Hershey's syrup I tried was the kind in the squeeze bottle or in the metal can. However, the results were also pretty good from the "chocolate syrup" recipe in (iirc at this point antepenultimate edition of) The Joy of Cooking.

Meanwhile, it looks like Pacific Farms' routine packaging sizes for wasabi-root slurry are 10lb and 40lb. My taste buds will be quivering under a rock in the corner, thank you.

#193 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: January 05, 2007, 01:50 PM:

JC @190: My chocolate fatigue with ice cream comes when I realize that almost every Ben and Jerry's flavor I see in the store has chocolate of some form in it.

I recall reading it was a classic baker's dodge to throw some chocolate in when one of the other ingredients went bad; i.e., when making a cake and you found that the milk had spoiled slightly, the stronger flavor of chocolate would mask the taste of soured milk.

Not that I'd suspect Ben & Jerry's Homemade Holdings, Inc. would do such a thing...

#194 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: January 05, 2007, 03:36 PM:

There used to be a TV show in Japan that was hosted by the equivalent of morning drive time DJ's, who would haul an audience member or two out of the audience near the end of the show to compete in little contests. The one I saw featured a three-foot table with a lip around it, which had a three-foot in diameter spinning disk in the middle. They then dumped about sixteen croissants in the middle of the spinning disk so they would keep tumbling and scattering and had the contestants compete for who could grab and eat the most croissants first.

The joker was that one of the croissants was filled with wasabi.

Talk about sadistic...

#195 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: January 05, 2007, 03:38 PM:

Caroline @189,

Here's an article on the logistics of fresh wasabi, including how to purchase or grow it. They list two sources (including the one I'd (misread) thought no longer sold the root).

It's now been 5 years since my trip to Japan, and my mouth-memory of real wasabi has faded. But it was a much more complex and interesting flavor than mustard-horseradish dough. Think fresh mixed wild mushrooms vs. dried button mushrooms: that level of difference.

If Pacific Farms does sell 6 for $22, I'd be tempted to find one or two more people to share a purchase. My climate zone (soon to be oceanside 17) is similar to Pac.Farms' (ocean 17 or 5).

#196 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: January 05, 2007, 07:29 PM:

This happened almost 46 years ago, so different cuisine, but a similar story:

We were being transferred to Guam and were to spend three days on Treasure Island getting vaccines. My smallpox vaccination wouldn't take (over and over) so the Navy finally let us go after three weeks. During those three weeks, I turned six and my brother was four and a half. We celebrated at a Chinese restaurant and my brother insisted on putting the mustard on his food. My parents protested strongly and he put it on anyway. After his first bite, he drank everybody's water and went running to the water fountain (you don't see water fountains in restaurants much anymore). He's still pretty adventurous with new food, but he does ask about it first.

#197 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: January 05, 2007, 07:44 PM:

Did my first post-getting-back-home grocery shopping of the year last night.

As always, I visited the "crap we're trying to get rid of" shelf in a back corner. Found a couple of boxes of Falafel mix, and something that intrigued me enough to take a risk: A big sack of carob powder. Maybe two pounds worth, for $2.20.

Carob isn't chocolate. It evokes memories of ditzy {aunts | mothers | kindergarten teachers} trying to be healthy and exotic. But still . . . any ideas? What is it good for, as opposed to being a poor substitute for?

#198 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: January 05, 2007, 07:48 PM:

Kathryn @195: Oooo, thanks.

I would love to try growing it, but I'm afraid it might not work -- I'm in zone 7 with lots of sun, hot-as-hell summers (and warm everything else), and no rocky stream. (If I'd bought one of the houses nearer the bottom of the street I would have a rocky, albeit probably polluted, stream.) I suppose I could try it anyway, with a shade cloth as illustrated on the page you linked, and lots of watering....

#199 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: January 05, 2007, 07:52 PM:

Also, I think this thread adequately illustrates why my dream about a Making Light meetup turned into a dream about a huge potluck buffet with all sorts of interesting food.

#200 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: January 05, 2007, 08:05 PM:

Caroline @198

Given hothouses, there must also be coolhouses, no?

mmmmmm. Hot summers- (or are they humid hot summers?). I'm moving within (a long walks) walking distance to the ocean, an ocean which here stays about 55F. No tomatoes for me.

Sigh. When I lived in California's central valley my garden peaked at 13-15 varieties. mmmmmm, tomatoes. And then peppers, and tomatillos... Been told there's a few Siberian variants that grow in west San Francisco.

#201 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: January 05, 2007, 08:18 PM:

Kathryn, Shepherd's Seeds originally came from Felton, over on the cool side. They had tomatoes, IIRC. Perhaps there's a specialty Santa Cruz place that carries some kind(s)of tomatoes?

#202 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: January 05, 2007, 08:25 PM:

Larry Brennan #163: Thanks to you, I'm now stuffing my face with Fage yogurt. Holy mother of God, this stuff is delicious. I don't think I'll be giving up good ol' American fruit on the bottom (or good ol' American plain yogurt with granola) anytime soon, but hot damn.

#203 ::: Stephen Sample ::: (view all by) ::: January 05, 2007, 08:41 PM:

I've made both fresh ginger ice cream and a dark chocolate/red poblano ice cream (inspired by xocolatl and mole negro, so there was some cinnamon and clove and black pepper as well).

The fresh ginger one is astounding, and even seems to be tolerated well by people who don't like spicy foods.

My recipe for the chocolate/chili one needs a little tuning still (the flavors don't quite settle down together yet: I may try toasting the peppers and spices first, and simmering the puree with the chocolate for a while), but it's also quite good--though people who dislike chili might disagree ;-).

Both of them seem to almost short-circuit my mouth, which spends the first several spoonsful saying HOT! COLD! HOT! COLD!

And in the less-work-by-me option, there are several good paleterias around here that have flavors like mojito (mint/lemonade), tamarind, and pear/cardamom. Mmm. Locopops.

#204 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: January 05, 2007, 09:26 PM:

DaveL: proper wasabi use \is/ all about delicacy; sushi should have just enough wasabi to contrast with the sweet/rich fish. I know people who speak of the first bite at their favorite sushi place as "having a religious experience"; I don't believe that blowing the top of my head off qualifies as such, but we know everyone has the gout.

As for the squick factor -- how (undercooked) do you like your steak? I was also squicked by the idea, but was led to it, at age 25, in the company of trustworthy friends; you may be old enough not to be interested in stretching that far.

#205 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: January 05, 2007, 09:40 PM:

Stephan @ 197, I have made a very good carob cake (with sour cream--recipe from an older edition of Joy of Cooking, IIRC). The trick is not to expect chocolate. Carob is its own thing.

#206 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: January 05, 2007, 09:49 PM:

Cool-summer tomatos: try Nichols in Oregon. I've grown their 'Oregon Spring' (and its cousin 'Santiam' which they used to carry). They've got a lot of other interesting vegetables.

#207 ::: Steve Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: January 05, 2007, 10:40 PM:

Julie L. at #192 wrote

> Speaking of Harold McGee, his second book, The Curious Cook, has a chapter that lays out the proportions to make sorbet-type ices out of pretty much any type of fruit, with the addition of various amounts of sugar, lemon juice, and water.

Thank you! That may be the most useful sentence written on the net this month. We own (and love) McGee's first book, and I hadn't even realised there was a second.

More importantly, my wife frequently tries making new types of sorbet with whatever fruit catches her eye, and there's a substantial amount of gusswork involved in getting the formula right.

#208 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: January 05, 2007, 11:25 PM:

Steve Taylor @ #207: You're welcome :) Actually, the new edition of On Food and Cooking has been revised so thoroughly that I think of it as McGee's third book.

The Curious Cook appears to be searchable on Amazon; if you start with the phrase "medium-sweet fruit ices" and open up the sample at page 172, all four pages of formulas will be available-- the table for medium-sweet water ices is on p. 170, and the sweet water/fruit ices are on pp. 173-174. However, I do of course recommend actually buying the book, which certainly contains additional topics of interest.

Every summer, I make big batches of sorbet from in-season fruits-- it's an especially great use for the slightly overripe ones which are sometimes discounted and set aside for jam at the farmers' market. I've just cleared out a batch of melon sorbet from the freezer and still have several quarts each of apricot and strawberry. The medium-sweet ices (esp. the water-diluted ones) tend to be fairly rigid and resistant to scooping, but by the same token make excellent popsicles. The fruit-only ices are good for compact storage purposes, but (as McGee notes) their flavor can be a bit overwhelming unless diluted out, whether by making them into ice cubes and adding them to water, or popping some into a blender with juice/yogurt/fruit to make smoothies.

#209 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: January 05, 2007, 11:44 PM:

I like Caroline's dream (199) about the Making Light food meet-up. Would we be able to tell who was who by the food they brought?

At this time of year, I think I'd be the pair of legs sticking out of the heap of citrus. The craving is upon me. I've already had a whole pummelo this evening, which is more than enough. I don't need the ugli fruit in the kitchen. Even though I can smell it from here.

In hot weather, you have to be wary of our local paleterias. Tamarindo is a great flavor, but the kind that are seasoned with salt and chile powder take some getting used to.

#210 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: January 06, 2007, 12:39 AM:

CHip: The thought of eating raw fish is something I cannot control by intellectual ratiocination about it. The reaction is visceral: the knowledge that I am eating raw fish would make me throw up. Don't ask me how I know this. Trust me, you don't want to know, and I don't want to revisit it.

I will be at Worldcon this year, all things remaining on track, but I will not be eating raw fish. But perhaps my general opinion on Japanese food has been formed by only having had bad Japanese food. Perhaps this will change when I eat good Japanese food. Perhaps.

#211 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: January 06, 2007, 12:40 AM:

Teresa: how are the peelers holding out? Do you need another box?

#212 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: January 06, 2007, 11:15 AM:

Dave L @ 210

Avoid sashimi. Some sushi uses cooked fish (the varieties of tuna are, I think, the only ones frequently used raw), and you're safe with soup and anything that's teriyaki or sukiyaki. Beyond that, you'd have to consult an expert in foods japanese.

#213 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 06, 2007, 11:23 AM:

Teresa @ 209... Does this mean you are seriously considering a meetup, culinary or not, possibly in 2008 at the Denver worldcon? I'm not sure what I'd bring, but it probably wouldn't be Quebec's infamous 'poutine'. Just looking at all the cheese drowning the French fries would be enough to mess up one's bad-cholestoral levels.

#214 ::: Nancy C ::: (view all by) ::: January 06, 2007, 12:39 PM:

If there was a Making Light meetup at the Denver worldcon, I'd try to figure out how to get to the Denver worldcon. Heck, I'd be willing to help with the setup and preparation, and all the work that would go into making it happen.

#215 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: January 06, 2007, 01:21 PM:

Dave @ 210 - I can understand the resistance to eating raw fish. I discovered sushi in my late 20s and gradually became more adventurous.

But, as PJ said at 212, there's lots of good food in Japan that doesn't involve raw fish. One key ending to look for is -yaki. My Japanese doesn't go past domo arigato and konnichi-wa but I believe that -yaki means grilled or (not deep) fried.

If you like octopus (or are willing to give it a whirl) you can buy takoyaki on the street. They're little fried octopus dumplings. Mmmmm. Okonomiyaki is like a giant pancake with all sorts of good things on it.

If you feel still less adventurous, try shabu shabu, basically a big, broth-based soupy fondue-y thing you do yourself at the table or at a special bar with built-in soup pots. There are also lots of places to get various teriyaki dishes, noodle dishes (soups and cold noodles), and tempura (fried battered goodies).

I really want to find a Japanese cooking course.

FWIW, there are some things I avoid. For instance, I really dislike uni (sea urchin). It's a nasty custardy blob, usually served on a disk of sushi rice wrapped by a sheet of nori (dried algae). It's considered a delicacy. I try it every couple of years (usually around my birthday) and decide I don't like it all over again. That and ama ebi or raw shrimp. Bleh - but I can eat it to be polite.

I strongly suggest you take advantage of the opportunity to try new things. I discovered that unagi or eel is one of my favorite foods, especially when it's freshly grilled.

It's also worth noting that Japanese restaurants are amazingly easy for foreigners to navigate because most of them have beautiful models of the foods they serve in the windows along with the price. Even non-Japanese cuisine restaurants do this. More traditional places will use Japanese numerals, so just keep a little notepad with the digits and you'll be fine.

#216 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: January 06, 2007, 01:57 PM:

#215 ::: Larry Brennan winced:
FWIW, there are some things I avoid. For instance, I really dislike uni (sea urchin). It's a nasty custardy blob, usually served on a disk of sushi rice wrapped by a sheet of nori (dried algae). It's considered a delicacy. I try it every couple of years (usually around my birthday) and decide I don't like it all over again.

Uni is one of the things that _must_ be fresh in order to taste at all reasonable. I avoided uni for years, because it always tasted like the tide was far, far, out, and had been baking in the hot sun for hours - and then ended up with it as a part of a combo plate at a truly excellent restaurant. It made a convert of me :)

#217 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: January 06, 2007, 03:53 PM:

More adventures in food -- Anna Tambour has an interesting post on frozen quince, and other dishes you can make with the fruit (complete with photos).

#218 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: January 06, 2007, 05:13 PM:

I'm going to the Japanese worldcon, planning to arrive two or three days early, and I intend to dash around Tokyo at the speed of light trying every variety of interesting-looking cheap food that isn't nailed down.

#219 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: January 06, 2007, 05:55 PM:

Did the recent modifications include a change to "Last X comments" such that X now equals 1000? I always thought it said 400.

#220 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: January 06, 2007, 07:01 PM:

Patrick, take pictures!

#221 ::: Mary Aileen Buss ::: (view all by) ::: January 06, 2007, 07:17 PM:

joann (#219): Yes it did. I love the change; now when I can't get to my computer for two days, I'll still be able to see where I left off.

--Mary Aileen

#222 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: January 07, 2007, 12:13 AM:

Teresa @209 -- That dream was a lot of fun. I think you can tell a lot about a person by what they bring to a potluck, and it would be great fun to try identification by covered (or uncovered) dish. I'd probably bring a curry if it happened now; a salad if it happened in the summer.

Kathryn @200 -- they're humid hot summers. I've never lived anywhere that didn't get humid; I'd like to try it sometime. However, I am grateful for the lovely long growing season.

#223 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: January 07, 2007, 12:49 AM:

X now equals 1000, yes.

#224 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: January 07, 2007, 02:25 AM:

And V equals 500, and I equals 100. Because we're 100 times as awesome as the Romans.

#225 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 07, 2007, 10:02 AM:

Nancy C wrote about a worldcon meetup in Denver: I'd be willing to help with the setup and preparation, and all the work that would go into making it happen.

So would I, and not just because Denver is within easy driving distance of Albuquerque and because we have a minivan that could carry a lot of stuff.

#226 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: January 07, 2007, 04:46 PM:

Wow, Serge's definition of "easy driving distance" is very, very different from my Rhode Island-molded one. Very, very, very different. Very different.

#227 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: January 07, 2007, 08:13 PM:

A gathering of the fluorosphere at next year's Denver Worldcon seems entirely plausible. It seems highy likely that T and I will both be there.

#228 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 07, 2007, 08:17 PM:

Welllll, ethan... Sue and I have driven the 1100 miles between Albuquerque and the Bay Area so often that Denver does feel next door.

Let me know what I can do to help with a fluorosphere gathering, Patrick.

#229 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: January 07, 2007, 09:26 PM:

ethan, the West has very different ideas about distance than the East. My brother, who lives in LA, couldn't understand that a drive of less than 7 miles could take 2 hours...when it's across NYC in a blizzard. He arrived wearing soaking-wet sneakers.

#230 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: January 07, 2007, 09:59 PM:

ethan - Easy driving distances in the West also vary by season. In the summer, shooting over to Spokane from Seattle is pretty easy - not worth flying. In the winter, you need to carry chains and watch the weather reports. I-90 can sometimes be closed for whole days due to snow and avalanche control. Furthermore, many passes are simply closed for the winter, so roundabout routing needs to be accounted for.

#231 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: January 08, 2007, 03:13 AM:

I'm already a member of Denver 2008, so sign me up.

#232 ::: Dave Bell spots something spammy ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2011, 03:05 AM:

# 232 Looks like a spam probe...

#233 ::: Stefan Jones sees spam ::: (view all by) ::: January 21, 2012, 12:47 AM:

Generic message, link to chat site.

#234 ::: Lin Daniel sees rude spam ::: (view all by) ::: July 16, 2014, 10:36 PM:

Oy

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