Saturday, March 22, 2014

cane sugar can’t be beet

If you like burros, child labor in dangerous conditions and dudes shredding stalks of raw sugar cane, this video is so for you.

They are making PANELA, a lump-sugar staple here in Mott Haven. 

I used it as brown sugar for pickling fennel from a Food52 recipe.

You’ll need jars. 

We like Bonne Maman preserves and their jars are ideal.

Take 2 cups of good, white wine vinegar and thin it with a cup of cold water.

To that add 3 or four cloves of raw garlic, chopped, one teaspoon of red pepper flakes and two teaspoons of mustard seed. 

I used one teaspoon of black and one of yellow.

Then add about half the zest from a small orange.

Panela is more complex than plain sugar which means it breaks down more slowly. 

There’s no sugar rush and the energy lasts a long time. And it’s delicious, like solid molasses.

Grate Panela until you have about 6 tablespoons, packed.

Add some fennel frond and bring the whole thing to a boil, then turn it off and let it sit.

It’s time to cut the fennel!
Cut the stalks off first and save them for your stock bag in the freezer.

Slice the bulb in half along the stalks and lay the halves flat side down on your cutting board.

Now slice through, leaving a bit of the root to hold the ¼” layers together. 


That’s all there is to it. 

Pack the jars like an undersized suitcase and then fill with the very hot brine.

Spoon the seeds evenly among the jars--one large fennel filled five--then cap tightly and give them about a week in the fridge.

Get gherkin on it!

Friday, March 21, 2014

skirting the issue

Upskirters rejoiced in Massachusetts earlier this month when the highest court in the state (no less) ruled that it is not illegal to secretly photograph underneath a woman’s clothing.

Say whaa??
Michael Robertson was arrested in a sting on the Boston subway, apprehended using his cell phone to take photos up the dress of a female decoy surveillance officer.

A lower court found Robertson guilty of violating the state “Peeping Tom” law.


So he hired a female lawyer named Michelle Menken to represent him, and they appealed.

Interestingly enough another woman, Justice Margot Botsford of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, let him off.

Technically, there is nothing illegal about this if the person being photographed is not “nude or partially nude.”

Menken argued successfully that women in public have no “reasonable expectation of privacy.”

Since Robertson’s victims were fully clothed, using stealth and a camera to shoot photos up their legs was perhaps a violation of the women, but not a violation of the law. 


Maybe Robertson should shoot up this guy’s skirt next,
 and see how that justice works out.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 20, 2014



things are looking up


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

the truth is hidden outback

Everybody is out to make a buck, even at the expense of United Nations World Heritage protection.

So is the Australian government by exploiting protected, old growth forests in Tasmania.

Rivers that once flowed unfettered are now dammed and damaging wildlife.

The government got caught in a lie last week.

It assured the United Nations that 182,000 acres had already been despoiled and might as well be given to the loggers.

Except that photo evidence from ecology groups show that 90% of the land in question is actually “pristine, magnificent forest” not yet touched by human influence.

There is little doubt some business and some politician stood to gain. For now they have some explaining to do.

Australia is the only continent not connected at one time by landbridge to the rest of the world, so their flora and fauna evolved separately and differently from ours.

It’s immaculate and unique.

But not for much longer 
if the Australian government has its way.

Monday, March 17, 2014

leading from behind


Mayor Bill deBlasio handed the St. Patrick’s Day organizers the prize they sought today: 

Our Mayor bailed on the tradition of marching in the green to avoid discriminatory practices of the organizers.


Mayor Koch, wcpo

But that was the easy, political way out.

Mayor Dinkins, wsj

A leader with the courage of his convictions would have marched wearing a rainbow tie and a big, green shamrock on his lapel.

Just let them TRY to tell the Mayor HE can’t march.
Mayor Giuliani, nydailynews

Bill deBlasio should have upheld New York tradition, 
put gay pride front and center in the spotlight 
and shoved bigotry right up the asses of the organizer’s. 

Where it belongs.

Mayor Bloomberg, wsj

But no. 

Bill deBlasio slipped out the back door.