Daily Archives: March 20, 2011

5 posts

Utah does something crazy… for once

I know what you’re thinking. It’s Utah. What craziness could ever happen there? It’s totally not an insane mix of hillbilly death cult and fly-by-night Xango pyramid scheme zombies.

Well apparently they took a break from telling their third sister-wife to “STFU MARGENE OR YOU’RE GOING BACK TO THE “BAD” COMPOUND” and finally got around to some important state business:

(CNN) — Until this week, Utah had 24 state symbols, from tree (the blue spruce) to insect (the honeybee) to even cooking pot (the Dutch oven).

Now it’s added an official state firearm — the John M. Browning-designed M1911 pistol, becoming the first state in the nation to have one, according to the state legislator who sponsored the law.

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert signed the new symbol into law this week.

Look out, Arizona. Utah just made you its BITCH. Apparently this initiative was the brainchild child of something called a “State Rep. Carl Wimmer, a Republican who was a police officer and SWAT team commander.”

“There was more controversy than I anticipated, but it really passed with bipartisan support,” Wimmer said. “One of the biggest comments from the critics was that we should not honor an implement of death. And my response to that has always been that this firearm does not represent an implement of death. It represents an implement of freedom.”

YEAH. Guns aren’t deadly weapons. They’re all about giving freedom. Such the freedom to defend America from your fourth sister-wife WHO JUST FUCKING CANNOT LEARN HOW TO WASH THE DISHES RIGHT AFTER DINNER.

Where’s my gun at?

(Hat Tip: Mr.Anansi)

Crass Fiction: Angel’s Advocate

When I received the late Sunday night phone call, my heart pounded as I raced to answer it. Customarily, this was my day of rest, after a typically relentless week of fielding numerous pseudo-emergencies, both personally and professionally. Instinctively, I knew that this urgency was very real.

Disbelief and panic echoed in the voice of my caller, the husband of a dear friend of mine, informing me that she had just been in a tragic accident. As the details filtered in, our male egos dissolved, through the catalyst of his grief and my shock: in a coma… critical care… near-drowning… possible brain damage. My inward response to hearing this was a bold proclamation of dissociative denial: ‘No fucking way!’

I learned that my friend Amara had been walking on the beach near her tropical home when she encountered a young boy flailing in the surf, trying to rescue his small dog. Being the patron saint of both animals and children, Amara didn’t hesitate before jumping in to try to save the pair. Perhaps because she knew this stretch of ocean so well, Amara was able to pull the boy and his dog from the water separately and escort them to safety. However, she had nearly drowned in the process of doing so. If not for the boy’s quick thinking (calling emergency from her cell phone, which he’d retrieved from the purse she had flung onto the sand before delving into the water), she never would have even made it off the beach alive.

After I hung up the phone, my eyes darted to an aesthetic greeting card next to the phone on my desk. I had been saving the card specifically for Amara. Impractically yet instinctively, I filled thee blank card with a written invocation: ‘You will wake up. You’ve come too far to let go of the promise of your purpose.’

I had no doubt that if Amara died now, she would do so fully at peace with the life she had thus far lived. I supposed that her richly cultivated spirit might even manifest in another blazing reincarnation. But I wanted her here and now: in this body; in this life. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to continue living without her; it was more that I simply couldn’t imagine the world without her in it.

Amara had saved my life emotionally – at one point, we were lovers for a brief time – and I knew that this was my chance to return the favor, albeit psychically. Deliberately and forcefully, I retracted my energy deep within me. Projecting my consciousness several thousand miles away, I envisioned myself entering the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital where Amara was being monitored. Just as my awareness entered Amara’s physical space, the alarm bells on the vital statistics monitor beside her bed went ballistic. In a flash amidst the cacophony, I witnessed her unmistakably diminishing signs of life and the chaos of the medical rescue team as they converged upon her hospital room.

Amara herself was completely detached from all the earthly commotion. Immediately, I sensed that she was preparing to leave this corporeal plane. Instantaneously, I reached out for her mind and spirit in a gentle yet profound psychic choke-hold. Reiterating the same command that I had written only minutes earlier, I said aloud “You will wake up. You’ve come too far to let go of the promise of your purpose.”

As I reached for and held Amara’s essence, I felt her rise to meet me, letting go of her blissful free-fall into the Void. I felt her serene smile subsume me in a nodding acknowledgment of my passionate command, and I knew in that moment that our sacred filial covenant for this lifetime had been restored. Every fiber of her being responded to my implied reminder, echoed in the clear recognition of her one-word answer:


Making Homemade Ricotta and then Italian Bread With The Whey

This fall I stumbled on a recipe for homemade ricotta. I had no idea that making ricotta was even an option in an apartment kitchen, let alone a kitchen that can barely fit two people standing side-by-side. But there it was – an incredibly easy ricotta recipe on Epicurious. And, in the comments following the recipe, a woman talked about making bread from the whey left over from making the ricotta. Holy shit.

Homemade Ricotta (via Epicurious)

2 quarts whole milk

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Very slowly bring the milk, cream and salt to a boil on moderate heat and stir occasionally to keep it from burning. Then lower the heat, add the lemon juice, stir it constantly and watch it curdle.








At this point you will think, “Wow, what a mess. This was a tragic waste of time.”

But, continue on anyway. Line a colander with the cheesecloth, and place it over the bowl. Slowly dump the curdled mess into the colander.

Let it sit for an hour. Then you will be in awe of yourself. You will pat yourself on the back while simultaneously calling your friends, co-workers, parents, ex or current lovers, your veterinarian, and your old college roommate.

You just made homemade ricotta!

And not just any homemade ricotta, you will have made the best ricotta that you have ever tasted. Slightly lemony, thick and soft, ricotta. (See top photo.)

Take a bow, and then get back to work – because collected in the bowl is a lot of whey, and you’re going to make 3 loaves of incredible Italian bread with it. (Recipe via Eating Small Potatoes with a few tweaks)

Homemade Italian Bread

5 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. salt
1 tbl. sugar
4 1/2 tsp. yeast

3/4 hot whey
1 cup warm water
5 tbls. melted butter

Additional ingredients (to your preference) are cornmeal and sesame seeds.

Add dry ingredients to the bowl and stir.
2. Heat the whey and water in a saucepan. Pour butter into the whey/water mixture.
3. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stir well until combined. (At least 5 minutes.)
4. Divide dough into 3 loaves. Pat the dough into a rectangle and then roll up into a cylinder. Pinch seams and edges, then shape.
5. Place the loaves onto a sheet pan sprinkled with cornmeal. Cover and rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
6. Paint the loaf with egg white and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
7. Bake at 425F for 30 minutes.

Amaze your friends and astound your enemies with your culinary prowess.

And leave your own recipes, because after all,  it’s Recipe Sunday where we are all about food.

This Week In Crasstalk

Hello Crasstalk. Hope you are having a great day. We have had some great writing here in the last few weeks and Team Crasstalk feels that it is time to start recognizing some of the great stuff you all have taken the time to put together. We can’t include all of the fantastic posts, but we hope that this will be way of telling you all how much we appreciate all of your contributions to Crasstalk. This will be a weekly feature, so please email us your nominations.

Let’s go back all the way to last Sunday and wonder about the mystery of the death of a tragic socialite. We can move from the past to predicting the future in this post.

We also had a very servicey week. We had advice on how to dominate your computer, your dog, or your irrational sports rivals.

We also had some fun pop culture, some fun nerd culture, some fun youth culture, and even some fun Scandinavian culture.

Finally, we had this conflict-inducing post (read the comments), which lead to this.Which was pretty funny (sorry Arken).

Once again, thanks for all of your contributions to Crasstalk. Please support the writers of this site by sharing their posts with the social media links on each page. Have a great week.