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August 14, 2003

Outrageous Recipes
Posted by Teresa at 12:44 AM *

I can’t properly characterize the Outrageous Recipes website, which I found while looking for a recipe for scrapple and headcheese, except to say that it deserves its name, and that scrapple and headcheese are two of the most conventional recipes there. I’ve got to wonder who invented this one:

Spam Shake

1 can of Spam
1 tin of anchovies
2 12oz cans of beer
4 oz tomato juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup chopped up parsley
1/4 cup chopped scallions
dash of Tabasco
salt (if you’d need it), pepper to taste

Put it in a blender and blend until smooth. Serve chilled with a celery stick.

[Recipe Index]

Comments on Outrageous Recipes:
#1 ::: Carlos ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2003, 01:24 AM:

The Hormel hangover cure.

Looks a little upscale, though. Scallions, anchovies, parsley? A can of V-8, two cans of Schlitz, and some horseradish. Maybe an egg.

#2 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2003, 01:29 AM:

Sounds like something Dennis the Menace would whip up for Mr. Wilson. ("We're out of sour cream. Let's use this white shoe polish!")

#3 ::: alison ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2003, 06:02 AM:

teresa, i can't help but add this new recipe to your latest post/thread. i was going to email direct (and please forgive me for posting the whole thing--i am inept on the shortcuts right now. ) i wondered if you see the same trite yet hilarious ramifications of this dish. please say you fell down....please.

Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, August 14, 2003; Page A04

Scientists in China have, for the first time, used cloning techniques to create hybrid embryos that contain a mix of DNA from both humans and rabbits, according to a report in a scientific journal that has reignited the smoldering ethics debate over cloning research.

More than 100 of the hybrids, made by fusing human skin cells with rabbit eggs, were allowed to develop in laboratory dishes for several days before the scientists destroyed them to retrieve so-called embryonic stem cells from their interiors. Although scientists in Massachusetts had previously mixed human cells and cow eggs in a similar attempt to make hybrid embryos as a source of stem cells, those experiments were not successful.

Researchers said yesterday they were hopeful that the rabbit work would lead to a new and plentiful source of embryonic stem cells for research and, eventually, for medical use. But theologians and others decried the work as unethical.

Some wondered aloud what, exactly, such a creature would be if it were transferred to a womb to develop to term.

The vast majority of the DNA in the embryos is human, with a small percentage of genetic material -- called mitochondrial DNA -- contributed by the rabbit egg. No one knows if such an embryo could develop into a viable fetus, though some experiments with other species suggest it would not.

Congress has been mulling legislation for years that would outlaw certain human cloning experiments, with some opposed to any creation of cloned embryos for research and others sympathetic to research uses as long as the embryos are not allowed to grow into cloned babies. No law has been passed, however, in part because of researchers' warnings that the proposed restrictions are so far-reaching that they would hobble development of new medical treatments.

The new work, led by Hui Zhen Sheng of Shanghai Second Medical University, appears in the latest issue of Cell Research and was highlighted in a news report in the journal Nature. Cell Research is a peer-reviewed -- if little-known in the United States -- bimonthly scientific journal affiliated with the Shanghai Institute of Cell Biology and the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Some researchers yesterday said they were frustrated by the lack of details in the paper.

The team said it retrieved foreskin tissue from two 5-year-old boys and two men, and facial tissue from a 60-year-old woman, as a source of skin cells. They fused those cells with New Zealand rabbit eggs from which the vast majority of rabbit DNA had been removed. More than 400 of those new, fused entities grew into early embryos, and more than 100 survived to the blastocyst stage -- the point at which coveted stem cells begin to form.

The approach could help scientists wishing to mass-produce human embryos as sources of human embryonic stem cells. Stem cells can morph into all kinds of tissues and may be able to reverse the effects of various degenerative diseases. But to make cloned embryos, scientists need both normal body cells -- such as skin cells -- and egg cells, which have the unique capacity to "reprogram" the genes in body cells and make them behave as though they were embryo cells.

Because human egg cells are difficult and costly to retrieve from women's ovaries -- and because human egg retrieval poses risks to the donors -- scientists have been wanting to know whether animal eggs may serve as well. A major question has been whether the remnants of mitochondrial DNA that typically remain in an animal egg would be compatible with the nuclear DNA contributed by the human cell.

The new work suggests that the answer to that question is yes, scientists said -- though with a number of caveats. Most important, researchers said, the paper stops short of proving beyond a doubt that the stem cells retrieved from the hybrid embryos are truly capable of growing for long periods of time in lab dishes, and that they can turn into every known kind of cell.

Even so, said Douglas Melton, a Harvard University cell biologist and cloning expert, the work is a big advance because it offers a new system for exploring the mechanisms by which egg cells get adult cells to act in embryonic ways. That could provide deep insights into human development, wound healing and tissue regeneration.

He noted that although this is the first creation of a human "chimeric" embryo -- a reference to the fabulous chimera of Greek mythology, which had a lion's head, a goat's body and a serpent's tail -- it is not the first time scientists have blended human cells into lab animals. Some mice, for example, have been endowed with human brain cells or portions of the human immune system for research.

The Chinese work, Melton said, is "extremely interesting, and I hope they pursue it."

R. Alta Charo, an associate dean of law and professor of bioethics at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, noted that the work passed muster with Chinese ethics authorities, who had demanded, among other things, that the embryos not be allowed to grow more than 14 days.

"Short of putting one of these embryos into a woman's body for development to term, I don't think this work harms anyone alive," Charo said.

She said the experiments should force opponents of cloning research to identify more clearly than they have until now exactly where they would draw the line against human embryo cloning -- in effect: How human does an embryo have to be to have the moral standing these advocates confer on embryos?

Richard Doerflinger, of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said he felt certain that the human-rabbit embryos were human enough to deserve protections.

"I think because all the nuclear DNA is human," Doerflinger said, "we'd consider this an organism of the human species."

a9 2003 The Washington Post Company

#4 ::: Robert L ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2003, 07:34 AM:

Basically a variation on steak tartare--in fact would probably work with raw ground beef...

#5 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2003, 09:07 AM:

Tell me what you see.

Meanwhile: It's really best not to put long articles into the comments threads, especially not entire copyrighted articles. If you'll send me the URL for that one, I'll fix it.

Here's how to handle it in the future. You make a link to the piece. It's very easy. I'm going to use pointy brackets, { }, in place of carets, the shift characters on the period and comma keys, because carets won't show up here. But when you do it for real, you use carets.

1. Copy the URL for the piece you want to refer to. I'll be using Making Light's URL,, as my example. I've italicized it to make it easier to see what's part of the URL and what isn't.

At the point where you want to insert the link, you type:

{a href=""}here's a link{/a}.

(Remember to use carets, not pointy brackets.)

Hit "preview" at the bottom of the screen. That will let you test the link to make sure it works properly. If it doesn't, you probably left out one of the quotation marks or something: an easy fix.

When other people see your message, that string of characters will come out like this: here's a link.

#6 ::: David Moles ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2003, 10:25 AM:

Several of these aren’t really “recipes”, more sort of “disgusting personal habits.”

(And I’m not trying to pass judgment; I only mean “disgusting” in the literal sense of putting one off one’s appetite. I seem to have lost interest in breakfast after reading the “recipes” for Choco Dogs and Cheddar Coffee. On the other hand scrapple and headcheese turn out to be a lot more normal than I’d been led to believe.)

#7 ::: --k. ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2003, 10:41 AM:

Which reminds me of nothing so much as the pork martini.

(PS: You can get carets-- < and > --by typing the following strings: &lt; [for < --"less than"] and &gt; [for > --"greater than," get it? Cracks me up every time].)

#8 ::: Holly Messinger ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2003, 12:43 PM:

I hope none of your readers have morning sickness while reading that.

#9 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2003, 01:26 PM:

I guess we'll need to come up with some good human-rabbit hybrid recipies.

#10 ::: eleanor rowe ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2003, 01:59 PM:

Re: Human rabbit hybrids.....

...that through these, Bugs Bunny may become a partaker in the devine nature...

Theresa, thank you for the linking lesson.

#11 ::: oryto ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2003, 02:51 PM:

I feel very odd doubting a professional editor about this, but: I've always been under the impression that a caret is the ^ character, used in proofreading as an "insert here" symbol. The < and > characters are usually referred to in my world as "angle brackets." I've never seen the term "pointy brackets" before, and would describe the { } characters as "braces" or "curly braces."

Is the terminology different at Tor?

#12 ::: Holly Messinger ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2003, 02:51 PM:

It's not an unusual food, but it's an unusual recipe: chicken pot pie without celery in it, and with a real crust on top instead of canned biscuits.

I made this up a couple of years ago because I couldn't find one I liked.

#13 ::: trinker ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2003, 03:38 PM:

Oryto, my experience is the same as yours. This is a caret ^ and the others are angle brackets and curly braces, or curly brackets. These are square brackets [ ].

And Teresa, congratulations on finding recipes that make me flinch. Normally people post "bizarre and disgusting recipes" (fluffy mackerel puddding, f'rinstance) and I just think, "hmm....".

#14 ::: Sylvia Li ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2003, 07:09 PM:

The commonest error, I think, is to forget the closing tag because one gets distracted by the url, which is long and complicated, anyway, and gets in the way of visually double-checking that all the right structural pieces are there. So, what I do is type this first:

<a href="">link text</a>

Usually I want to paste the url in, anyway, so it's just a matter of positioning the cursor between the double quotes, and doing a paste.

#15 ::: lightning ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2003, 12:12 PM:

Does anybody actually eat stuff like this, or is it just "gross-out" humor?

#16 ::: Mary Kay ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2003, 01:07 PM:

lightning: Well there are people who drink beer floats (that's right ice cream in beer) so nothing would surprise me.


#17 ::: lightning ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2003, 05:17 PM:

Yeah, I remember the flap in college, the first time some people saw me putting ketchup on scrambled eggs at breakfast. (You mean everybody doesn't?)

Thing is, I've known a couple of people who like to try to gross people out like this. They never actually eat their concoctions (fruit salad with marshmallows, BBQ sauce, and horseradish is one I remember). They just make it and wave it around. (I remember my Starving Student days enough to be appalled at the waste of food.)

#18 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2003, 08:56 PM:

Oryto, I keep seeing references to stuff in HTML being "in carets". If that's the term that's likeliest to be understood, I'll use it. (Unless I have a snotty preference for some other term, in which case the rest of the species is on its own.)

Sylvia, I frequently do the same thing, especially when I'm putting together one of my mega-links where every word in a phrase, or every syllable in a word, or every letter, is a separate link. (See Particles 04 August.)

Trinker: Thank you. It had the same effect on me.

Lightning, I'm sure those are real. People who were just making up gross combinations would make up different combinations, just like people who are inventing imaginary sexual kinks make up different kinds of kinks than the people who actually engage in them.

I'm equally appalled at the waste of food on an unfunny joke. They must never have gone without.

Mary Kay, imagine Guinness and good French vanilla ice cream. I don't know whether that's the combination they use, but I could see liking that one.

#19 ::: Bruce Arthurs ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2003, 12:18 AM:

I may regret admitting this, but the Spam Shake recipe actually sounds like it would be rather tasty.

On the other end of the spectrum... Teresa, could you share the recipe for Duke's Mixture? The jar you gave Hilde and me ran out many years ago, but I still remember what a wonderful seasoning it was.

#20 ::: Robert L ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2003, 05:11 AM:

Somehow all this reminds me of is a really clueless, inpoverished roommate years ago who looked in the neary bare cupboard and cooked up...oatmeal with sweet relish...

#21 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2003, 10:10 AM:

About the greater-than and less-than symbols' names: I always call them brokets (broke-its) myself. I'm not sure where I got this, but I'm sure I didn't make it up.

#22 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2003, 10:22 PM:

Robert, I had a similar experience with someone who cooked up macaroni flavored with almond extract.

Bruce, forgive me, but I have not the least recollection of anything that goes by that name. What was it like? Do you remember anything that went into it?

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