Staff of Life

by Belle Waring on February 3, 2014

In comments below, godoggo suggested that no self-respecting Jew would give a damn about what was in plain white bread ever. This may be the wrongest thing ever said on the internet. (Probably not, though.) roy belmont also wishes us to note that there are two senses of trolling, that in which you…oh, read the postscript.

Step 1: get Belle’s dad to make it for you, in lovely Bluffton, S.C. Fallback Plan:
Belle’s Dad’s White Bread
1. boil 1 peeled baking potato, cut into 1-inch cubes, in enough water to cover, until potato is soft
2. sprinkle 2 1/2 t instant yeast (from a jar) over 1 c cooled, scalded milk mixed with 2 T white sugar (welp, they allus say “scald” and that but it just means warm the milk up but not too hot or it’ll kill the yeasties. You can use a bowl in the microwave. If you could give it to a baby, it’s an OK temp–so, use the same test: put some on the crook of your inner arm. It should feel blood-warm but not too hot.)
3. cover yeast/milk mixture with cloth and sing to yeast [TOTES CRUCE]. You should improvise here. “Oh, so happy yeasties all the time, making bread, we love you, full of life…etc.” Peek under cloth after 5-15 minutes depending on where you live, and if it’s bubbly then it’s ready. (Hot, moist places it goes faster, obvs.) Everyone in my family genuinely sings the “oh, so happy little yeasties all the time, we love you little joys, beloved creatures…etc” song every time we make yeast bread.
4. Pour water off potato into measuring cup. Discard all but 3/4 c. Return to potato and mash along with 2 T unsalted butter (please spend extra and buy President. We likes it.) Just with a fork, it can have small lumps. If you care put it through a potato ricer or food mill.
5. Mix milk/yeast mixture with potato. ADD 1 t SALT OMG I FORGOT THIS AT FIRST I HOPE NOBODY MADE THIS ALREADY! Add 2 c flour and mix well with a wire whisk.
6. Continue to add flour 1 c at a time, switching to a wooden spoon, but no more than 6 total. If it’s wet, knead it with the dough hook on a stand mixer (but for the love of God don’t tell my dad I told you this.)
7. IRL you guessed right about how much potato and water, and it’s not wet, and you knead it by hand for 10-15 minutes (this sounds like a pain but it’s literally child’s play: make them do it.) If there are no children, you have a round thing, right? And you fold the bottom over and press it with the heel of your hand, away from you. And then you turn it a quarter turn. And then you do it again. Wait, you should read that even if there are childrem, though letting them stand on the counter and throw the dough at the counter, hard, a billion times, is a totally legit way to knead dough. But have a clean floor. And no dogs.
8. Grease your largest bowl with butter, put the dough in it, cover with clean dishcloth, let rise in a warm, draft-free place for about an hour, or until doubled in size (draft free for real. Put it in the closet with the hot water heater if it’s winter, or a room with all the doors and windows closed if not.)
9. Punch the dough down and let everyone smell the special smell. Mmmm. Alcohol.
10. Knead it some more. Eh 6 minutes. Divide with dough scraper, flatten with your hands into rectangles, roll them up, pinching to seal, and put one in each of two buttered loaf pans.
11. Again with the dishcloths and the draft-free, but only 45 minutes. Pre-heat the oven to 400F.
12. Just before you put the bread in, slash the tops three times diagonally with a razor.
13. Bake 10 minutes, then reduce to 375, then bake…eh? Like 45 mins more, till bread is nicely browned.
14. Take the pans out and put them on cooling racks briefly; then turn the loaves out. A properly cooked loaf will sound hollow when tapped with a knuckle on the bottom, sort of like a ripe watermelon should.

You must let them cool off a bit before slicing them. This will be difficult as everyone will be standing in front of the loaves (which traditionally rested atop the closed washing machine in my youth) and hopping from foot to foot going “now? Can we eat it now? Now?” Under ideal circumstances my dad will have made you whole figs preserved in syrup with paper-thin slices of lemon, or Concord grape jelly, but whatever.

P.S. roy, roy, roy, roy. Naturally there is a difference between attempting to catch something with scales for lunch and waiting under the bridge for the trippy tapp tap of the billy goats’ hooves. But unless you intend to travel back in time and prevent Skynet usenet from being invented then there is no reason to belabor the point now. And one can imagine humorous pastiches: perhaps sensei, oni-like in appearance to the uninitiate but resembling Tripitaka otherwise, is sitting below the bridge, fishing in the stream? He both demands payment and keeps an eye on the float down there, bobbling in a stiller pool? Fercryinoutloud.

P.P.S. Mebbe he has even side-baited it with a big ole hunk of stale bread? (But it ain’t my dad’s I will tell you what. I don’t think in the last 30 years anybody’s done that. Made breadcrumbs or croutons, maybe, but fish bait? No sir they have not.)

P.P.P.S. When I was little and my parents were sort of um…anarcho-syndicalist punk hippies running a communal-ish farm? I wanted hair that looked like the Sunbeam Bread Girl. My mom was just like, nope, no, no missy. She did let me dye my hair with henna, though, that was cool.



Plume 02.03.14 at 5:42 am

Belle Waring,

But if you use the Tiqqun method of making bread, you try to find all the bread that has ever fallen from the sky, through aeons of time, from the left side, and the right side of god(dess), and you collect it and you do the same thing for fallen shards to bake it in, and you collect those and you put them together again and you bake the bread inside that and you share it with the world and then Shekhinah appears and we all rejoice.

I sing in hymns
to enter the gates
of the Field
of holy apples.

A new table
we prepare for Her,
a lovely candelabrum
sheds its light upon us.

Between right and left
the Bride approaches,
in holy jewels
and festive garments . . .

And trolls shed their trolldom and rejoice too at the sight of Shekhinah.


Belle Waring 02.03.14 at 6:21 am

Plume: I love you man! [Pulls in for dude style ‘hug/back-slap combination’ while eyes glisten, passingly].


godoggo 02.03.14 at 6:29 am

I once knew a French chick (OK, her other native language was Wenzhouhua, but, you know, French enough) you actually used to reminisce about the mayonnaise back in the old country. This is… inconceivable.


Belle Waring 02.03.14 at 9:09 am

godoggo, my man, again, have you ever made mayonnaise? Like, from scratch? With egg yolks and olive oil in it? Or perhaps mayo’s snooty cousin aïoli, which you have undoubtedly spent $10 on in a restaurant to go with your fish stew one time and which is just mayonnaise with garlic and saffron in it? That shit is good. Natcherally as a chile of the South on my father’s side I must also take a stand in the raging Hellmann’s Mayonnaise (sold as “Real Mayonnaise” West of the Rockies and overseas but with the same distinctive blue label and no I don’t even know why) vs. Miracle Whip battle royale. Families have been torn asunder by this controversy. Brother has literally been pitted against brother in the same trailer, in my step-mother’s family. Hellmann’s all the way. Honestly, you haven’t lived until you’ve made a tomato sandwich with mayonnaise on homemade white bread, with a tomato still warm from the sun in the garden, and salt, and pepper, and nothing, and stood over the sink to eat it while tomato juice runs down your arms and (in the case of our kitchen) endless rainbows from a mobile we made of hanger wire, fishing line and old chandelier crystals plays over the rows of tiny patent-medicine bottles we find in the river, cobalt blue and poisonous green, often iridescent from their long stay in the blackest slick clay. We use them for bud vases; each one can hold a single gardenia or a tiny spray of breath-of-spring.

And what the hell do Jewish people put on a damn BLT if I may–oh. Damn. I feel bad I mentioned it now, with so many people deprived of one of life’s great pleasures: sitting at a kitchen table covered with waxed cloth, with a big old plate of sliced fresh tomatoes from the garden, and butter lettuce likewise, and a ton of home-smoked bacon fried up to perfect crispness in a cast-iron skillet, and the toaster right up on the table so everybody can keep toasting those slices of homemade white bread, thick or thin how they please, tan like mine or near burnt like my pop’s, and tenting them against each other so they are warm but not damp, and slathering them with mayonnaise before peppering the hell out of them, forcing them flat, and eating them right up along with those open bags of Lay’s potato chips. I used to could eat (as they say) six or seven BLTs like that when I was a skinny 15-year-old.


e julius drivingstorm 02.03.14 at 9:47 am

Dukes mayo works for me. Butterbread from Flowers bakery ( I guess with plenty of preservatives cause it lasts and lasts) and either Oscar Meyer or Wrights bacon and for the love of heaven toast the bread richly brown and use Tasti-lee (sic, maybe) tomatoes ’cause they’re a worthy effort with sea salt (for pedantry) and fresh course-ground black pepper and heck, I’m so hungry I think I’ll go micro a TV dinner.


Collin Street 02.03.14 at 10:15 am

The jews invented the fish part of fish and chips, you know.

Pointed out by a book I was reading the other day: deep-frying isn’t exactly a common technique in native english cookery, and the people present in england who do have a tradition of deep-fried battered fish is… well, your east-london jews, innit. One of those “Oh, of course” things.

So in melbourne we go and use flake and ruin it all.


MPAVictoria 02.03.14 at 11:26 am

Belle you are…. Amazing.
/ godamn I want a BLT now


oldster 02.03.14 at 11:52 am

she’s not just amazing, MPVA, she’s fabulist.


William Timberman 02.03.14 at 12:38 pm

Corroboration: My family were strict Miracle Whip eaters. When I left home — at 17 — I switched to Hellman’s, and have stuck with it ever since. Part of an adolescent rebellion, I suppose. One of the weirder parts. Taking refuge from my Southern upbringing in California, I learned the wisdom of ripe avocado slices on a BLT.

And hey, if you’re going to mention the South, and white bread, what about pimento cheese?


Harold 02.03.14 at 12:50 pm

My Southern father said white bread was ruined forever when they discovered they could wrap it in plastic.

The French have the right idea, it should be only be eaten a few hours out of the oven.


Joshua W. Burton 02.03.14 at 1:49 pm

Thanks for the recipe, Belle, and for making a neighborly peace offering of same.

At the risk of further winding godoggo up (don’t worry, I won’t respond), the deep South is hatched out in blue — as in, careful, there’s probably milk in that — on the same kosher travel map where Madrid, Krakow and the Cuban part of Miami are hatched out in red. It’s yummy unplain bread, though, and even better as bread pudding three days later.


Joshua W. Burton 02.03.14 at 2:30 pm

Oh, and when I bring back the bread basket:

Put a 3- or 4-quart pot of water on to boil. Zap 1/4 cup of water in a Pyrex measuring cup for 13 seconds in microwave, to just above blood-warm. Drop in 1 T dry yeast and set aside. Put 3/4 cup water in a bigger Pyrex, add 1/3 stick unsalted pareve margarine, 4 T of good honey, 1 t of salt. Zap that for 2 minutes, until hot enough to melt the margarine. Dump the larger Pyrex into mixer bowl. Add 2 cups of flour, start bread hook slowly, just to stir. (This assumes you own a Kitchenaid; it won’t work with a cheap mixer. Kneading by hand is slower, but gets the same results.) Batter must cool to blood-warm, not hot, before other ingredients go in. By now the pot of water is boiling. Slide it into a cool oven, take off lid, close oven. You now have a warm, moist place (in any weather) that will stay that way for hours, perfect for bread to rise.

Yeast should be alive and bubbling happily by now; if not, send it to olam ha-ba and start a new batch. Toss it in the mixer; rinse the small Pyrex. Use small Pyrex to check 3 eggs for blood spots: the first two and the third white go into the mixer along with two more cups of flour. Reserve the third yolk, or at least half of it, and add 1 t of water; stir to invert the emulsion and set aside for glaze. The last 2 cups of flour require judgment; temperature, humidity, and the size of the eggs will vary the result. As the kneading continues, add 1 cup, then the last cup a quarter at a time. You’ve hit it when the dough just barely pulls off the bottom of the bowl; if it pools at the bottom, you need more flour, but if it breaks up into dry bits or seems tough, you’ve overshot (correct with a teaspoon of water). Now sit back and let the mixer do the work, about 6 minutes with a Kitchenaid, or 12-15 minutes with enthusiastic hands.

Throw the whole mixer bowl into the warm moist oven. Come back in 90 to 120 minutes. Punch down. If shabbat isn’t crowding you, give it another hour, and punch it down a second time. Lightly flour a pareve baking tray, and dump out the dough. Get it floury on all sides, so it doesn’t stick. Break it in two, repeatedly: eight little balls for two big loaves, or sixteen for two little loaves and two to freeze for next week. Roll each ball into a worm, tapered at both ends: about 18 inches long for big hallot, or 12 inches for “just the family” size. Four worms to a hallah; join 1 and 3 by the tail, and 2 and 4. The braid is the same as a havdalah candle: under two, then back over one, first from one side, then the other. Don’t pull the bottom tight; you want it to spread out flat and wide underneath.

Let finished loaves rise for one more hour, two if you’ve got time. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (make sure pot of water is out!) while you paint your loaves with egg glaze. (Synthetic brush, please.) Add seeds if you like them, maybe one loaf sesame and the other poppy for contrast. Bake for 25-30 minutes for 4 small loaves, or 35-40 minutes for two big ones. Let rest for 5 minutes, turn over and let the bottoms steam for 5 minutes more, then cover for the table. (The hallah gets insulted if it sees me bless the wine first.) B’teavon!


Trader Joe 02.03.14 at 2:34 pm

@5 I second ejulius drivingstorm in recommending Duke’s mayo…Hellman’s is fine, but I’d take Duke’s any day.

@4 Belle – if the tomatos are as perfect and ripe as you’ve described, I’m not going to mess them up with mayo and bacon, I’m just going to slice them with maybe a pinch of salt and pepper (taste first then decide)….perfect tomatos are in season for about 3 weeks maybe 4, I can eat bacon year round and put it with the tomatos that are a little early or a little late (and avoid like the plague the tasteless hothouse tomato that has more frequent flyer miles than I do).


Joshua W. Burton 02.03.14 at 2:35 pm

That was six cups of flour in all, in three batches of two. Rereading, I saw I’d been ambiguous and I could be misread as a total of only four. You’d know you had it wrong when it looked like pancake batter, of course.


Belle Waring 02.03.14 at 2:37 pm

Mmmm, pimiento cheese. I think there’s some kind of pre-prepared version of this maybe? In my house my step-mom just mixed up cream cheese (in a block, because this was before they charged you extra for injecting air into the cheese with a dangerous industrial process) with chopped up pimiento-stuffed green olives from a jar, and paprika, and cayenne pepper. Again, tasty. Shit, deviled ham is tasty! I kind of was even thinking about pea and ham salad the other day, with canned peas and pieces of ham cut off of a ham on like the last day before soup, and mayonnaise, and…they has got to be something else in that salad. “Salad,” excuse me. Not celery. Carrots? Mmm. I’m sure it’s actually revolting, but as a kid I tolerated it OK. Later in life I’ve been to eat at Russian people’s houses and they eat that exact salad, but exactly.

Timberman: that’s a pretty deep form of rebellion right there! At my pop’s we have to have both, because my step-mom is a Miracle-Whip person. Every once in a while you’ll run out of Hellmann’s and think, “damn, it can’t be as bad as all that.” Now, I love sugar. I take five teaspoons of sugar in my coffee. Six if it’s a big cup. Left to my own devices I will just wander around eating greek yogurt with honey, and granola, and dragonfruit, and sweet mochi, and mangoes, and clementines, and Ferrero Rocher golden crunchy wunchles. I put sugar in things all sneaky so people can be like “that was really good corn we got back there in at that stand in Pritchardville!” Naw, I fried a shallot in butter, put in all the corn I cut off the cob and then run out with the other side of the knife, added half-and-half, and salt, and then two pinches of sugar like it was salt. It was only OK corn, but it’s incredible creamed corn.

So when I say that Miracle Whip is too sweet it’s like…I’m telling you that is too damn sweet to put on any self-respecting sammich. Too sweet for a ham sammich made with my dad’s ham roasted in two liters of Coca-Cola! You’re laughing, you poor dumb motherfuckers, but your eyes would light up with joy if I made you some biscuits and my dad cut you some perfect slices of dense, cold, cooked ham (from the next day) and you put butter on there and hot mustard, made from the powdered kind. You wouldn’t be laughing, except with joy, and with a feeling of comradely pity for your poor old ignorant former self, not knowing how good ham baked in Coca-Cola was. “Aw, past self, you poor bastard,” you’d be thinking. “You couldn’t have poured piss out of a boot with instructions on the heel.”


Belle Waring 02.03.14 at 2:45 pm

Thanks for the recipe, Joshua Barton! I make pretend challah by just putting egg yolks in there and no potato and an additional milk and more sugar, but then I don’t keep kosher so what do I care!
Trader Joe: true, but the point is that outside there are four to six 25-ft-long rows of tomatoes. You are going to be putting up tomatoes, and peeling and then freezing them to go in the big chest freezer, and all that schwazaa. So many tomatoes. The funny result is that I don’t hardly eat them, because…bleh. I eat cherry tomatoes. And I sprinkle tiny amounts of sugar on them, like a light salting. All other tomatoes taste kinda like styrofoam, mostly. The farm stand by the Wainscott Beach in East Hampton has great tomatoes, actually, just at a later time in the year than the south.


Joshua W. Burton 02.03.14 at 2:50 pm

Thanks for the recipe, Joshua Barton! I make pretend challah by just putting egg yolks in there and no potato and an additional milk and more sugar, but then I don’t keep kosher so what do I care!

(1) Burton, not Barton. (2) Honey, not sugar. (3) Take the trouble to do the 4-braid instead of a regular 3-braid; the compliments are worth it. And don’t skip the egg glaze.


Joshua W. Burton 02.03.14 at 2:55 pm

By the way, “Burton” is really hard to spell in Hebrew in a way that reliably gets the correct pronunciation (and not “Barton”) from native speakers. Bet-vav-resh-tet-vav-nun was what I finally had them put on my office door; it was that, or change it back to my grandfather’s unlamented Budansky.


William Timberman 02.03.14 at 3:09 pm

On store-bought pimiento cheese: when I was a kid, it came in a jelly glass with one of those vacuum-sealed tin lids that you could lever off — carefully — with a table knife, and then, when the glass was empty, which didn’t take long, you could add it to your collection of drinking glasses. It was also orange. Whether or not it had cream cheese in it I couldn’t say. Kids didn’t ask what was in it, just please make me another one, please, please. My family, that is to say my mother, sometimes made her own. I remember grated longhorn cheese, Miracle Whip, and pimientos from a jar. No olives, I’m pretty sure. I don’t know what seasoning there was, if any. I suppose I could check Paula Deen’s Web site, if she still has one….


Belle Waring 02.03.14 at 3:20 pm

Sorry, Burton, my bad. I will have to look at the braid; I don’t off the top of my head know how to do what you’re saying unless you’re just grouping two together for one pass and a different two for the next. But…margarine? I have a sad. Also, what’s wrong with fertilized eggs? I mean, they don’t look real nice in a meringue, but…
William Timberman: yeah I do know that stuff. I like the tiny glasses you get left with after you use the glass of, what the fuck, chipped beef? Little weeny ones with stars pressed into them.


Joshua W. Burton 02.03.14 at 3:42 pm

I will have to look at the braid

This is topologically equivalent, but she uses a confusing shortcut to get there in half as many steps. The big braids (6 and 12) she shows off are even prettier, but we can only seat sixteen so they’re de trop for our table.

But…margarine? I have a sad. Also, what’s wrong with fertilized eggs? I mean, they don’t look real nice in a meringue, but…

I put in the kashrut details and compromises just in case you ever decide to make it for Jewish friends; if they’re not friends, then of course godoggo’s approach will suffice to keep them from coming back. Fertilized eggs: see Lev. 7:26-27. Definitely use butter if you’re not serving meat, but for this recipe margarine is a better make-do than liquid cooking oil.


Joshua W. Burton 02.03.14 at 4:03 pm

I can’t find any videos of “the easy way” as I know it. Number the positions, not the strands, left to right. At the end farthest from you, join the tip of 1 to 3, then 2 to 4. Tuck 4 under 3 and 2, then bring it back over 2. Tuck 1 under 2 and 3, then bring it back over 3. Repeat the last two steps until you run out of rope. Join the ends pairwise (1 and 3, 2 and 4) at the end near you. This braid has four rows of “bumps,” two above and two below. Do the “under” part of the tuck loosely enough so that the below bumps splay out to the sides and make a wide bed for the above bumps to sit proud on.

Nowadays you can get great tomatoes almost anywhere, if you’re not stingy. But Israeli-grade cucumbers are still surprisingly hard to come by in the diaspora, contra Numbers 11:5; even in foodie places like Berkeley, it’s hit or miss. Ask those Birthright kids for their fondest memory of the trip, and you’ll hear a lot about salad.


Belle Waring 02.03.14 at 4:07 pm

Dude, I live in Singapore and have the best cukes evar, that problem is solved. Japanese ones.


Joshua W. Burton 02.03.14 at 4:13 pm

Yep, those are the ones. I mentioned it just because there are a surprising number of heirloom tomato snobs who have never had a real cucumber and think they’re in the salad for decoration. Sweet onions, not too many, about 4/4/1 with the tomatoes and cukes. Lemon juice, never vinegar; good olive oil, a pinch of salt and lots of za’atar.


GiT 02.03.14 at 4:21 pm

“. You wouldn’t be laughing, except with joy, and with a feeling of comradely pity for your poor old ignorant former self, not knowing how good ham baked in Coca-Cola was”

Reminds me of a simple pulled pork recipe I used which called for root beer (pretty much just slow cook pork shoulder in root beer, then mix up with your preferred bbq sauce). I wonder how coke and root beer compare as ham cooking liquids.


adam.smith 02.03.14 at 4:32 pm

Re: braiding – I recommend the Cooks Illustrated trick to stack two simple braids. (I.e. take 2/3 of the challah dough, form into a simple 3-string braid, brush with eggwhite, form another 3-string braid from the rest of the dough, stack on top and brush again.

This gives the bread a beautiful structure even when you’re using very soft dough (which makes for better challah). (Also, if you’re being traditional and you do two loafs you get a total of 12 strings for the 12 tribes).

I find challah quite robust to changes in recipe – I prefer melted butter, but olive oil is a very nice twist, too, for example. Given the wonders of modern yeast, the rising times can be reduced quite a bit – in a pinch I’ve started challah at 5 and even 5.30 for a 6.30 dinner etc. The one thing that I’ve found hardest is not overbaking it. I bake hotter than Joshua – at ~375F/190C to get a nice crust without overbaking the interior. Then I use a quick-read thermometer to test whether the bread is done – tapping on the bottom will do for regular bread, but it’s way to imprecise here. You’re looking for 170F/75C.


godoggo 02.03.14 at 5:29 pm

To be kosher, eggs must come from kosher fowl and be free of bloodspots in the white (albumin) and the yolk. Each egg must be checked individually after it is opened. If there is blood in an egg, it is forbidden.

Eggs from a chicken that died are forbidden by rabbinic enactment.

If eggs are found in a chicken after shechita, they are considered meat and need to be kashered. (They should be soaked and salted by themselves.)

If an egg containing an embryo is cooked together with other eggs, none of the eggs are kosher.

1. Blood Spots:

a. If the blood is in the kesher-knot, it is forbidden by the Torah.

b. If there is blood in any egg, it is forbidden.

Today most eggs are non-fertilized and are not forbidden from the Torah.

2. The Halacha says there are two ways to identify a kosher egg. It will have one side round and one side pointed and a yolk inside with white around it.


godoggo 02.03.14 at 5:33 pm

Also bear in mind: “The following three things a person should neither walk between, nor let them come between him and another man: Dogs, palm trees, and women.”


MPAVictoria 02.03.14 at 6:32 pm

Man that all sounds like a ton of work. I respect the conviction of Jews who manage to follow those requirements. I never would be able to.


Trader Joe 02.03.14 at 6:36 pm

“I wonder how coke and root beer compare as ham cooking liquids.”

Coke is superior to root beer. Dr. Pepper is superior to both. Don’t limit yourself to pork either – slow cook a brisket with Dr.P and something vinegar based (chile sauce, ketchup, worscestershire….) soft as butter and kosher too.


The Temporary Name 02.03.14 at 6:48 pm

I’d like to offer a belated thanks for the CT endorsement of Hereville.


roy belmont 02.03.14 at 7:42 pm

You want a little glimpse into how my mind works?
Sort of huh?
I thought, reading the OP, well I’ll just bop in there lightning slim and say
“I’m just waiting for the Miracle Whip”
and smugly swiftly go on to other more substantial internet pursuits not involving food.
And there it went already at Timberman comment 9 or something.

So okay.
Aunt Penny’s White Sauce?
Not bread related unless we’re making SOS, or any one of umpteen other essential nutrition gravy-centric winter meals (anything gravied-up on top of noodles any kind), in which it is the greasy rich smooth hearty ambrosial sine qua je nes sais of quick comfort eating.
It is winter. It is my birthday.
Right now today.
Last trip to the store they had discontinued AuntP’sWS.
The only store in 100 miles of here that had it to begin with.

How long, Lord, how long?

I got some Uneeda biscuits
and a half a pint a gin.
Uneeda biscuits and a half a pint a gin.
The gin’s all right,
but the biscuits gettin a little thin.


SusanC 02.03.14 at 8:07 pm

In comments below, godoggo suggested that no self-respecting Jew would give a damn about what was in plain white bread ever.

Thou shalt not feed the trolls was a regrettable omission from Exodus.


Joshua W. Burton 02.03.14 at 8:42 pm

Thou shalt not feed the trolls was a regrettable omission from Exodus.

It’s a bit later, in Numbers 11, and the advice is just the opposite: feed them until it comes out their nostrils, then disemvowel them while they’re still chewing. I can work with that.


godoggo 02.03.14 at 9:09 pm

I actually have a response that would be in all caps and followed by a “victory dance” animated gif, but I think I’ll restrain myself for the time being.


godoggo 02.03.14 at 9:15 pm

But seriously, Josh, google “Jews” and “white bread” and then scroll past the crap about Nazis. You are in dire need of some culture.


roy belmont 02.03.14 at 9:28 pm

Plus miraclewhip wrong because Belle @4.
Plus image of boat with stout fish-lines streaming down and misshapen but hirsute muscular creatures strung along at depth spinning around submarine hydroplaning like submerged faceplanted waterskiers invitingly crippled maybe a little blood wounded-like motions with hooks hidden in their softer parts.
Troll trolling.
For pity’s sake.


godoggo 02.03.14 at 9:33 pm



MPAVictoria 02.03.14 at 9:44 pm

Really since Mao and Hector have been banned I don’t think there are any genuine trolls left among regular commentators here. Sure there are some weirdos and jerks but no actual trolls that I can think of.


roy belmont 02.03.14 at 9:46 pm

Mao was abb1. I have no theories about Hector.


godoggo 02.03.14 at 9:50 pm

Really? abb1 used to go on constantly about “Zionazis.” Mao never did that. Unless you have some inside information I don’t see the connection.


Harold 02.03.14 at 9:55 pm

Seedless rye.


godoggo 02.03.14 at 10:00 pm

“Jewish rye” is further seasoned with whole caraway seeds

Kids today, I swear.


The Temporary Name 02.03.14 at 10:05 pm

Really? abb1 used to go on constantly about “Zionazis.” Mao never did that. Unless you have some inside information I don’t see the connection.

Writing style, the way arguments were framed, the practically libertarian naiveté.


MPAVictoria 02.03.14 at 10:10 pm

“Writing style, the way arguments were framed, the practically libertarian naiveté.”

Count me as a third person who always assumed they were the same person. Can’t prove it of course.


Harold 02.03.14 at 10:15 pm

My grandparents always ate seedless rye — almost always. I buy it in their honor and also because I like it better than almost any store-bought bread.


godoggo 02.03.14 at 10:15 pm

OK, I never saw him at this blog. Maybe he wrote differently here.


roy belmont 02.03.14 at 10:26 pm

MPAVictoria at 9:44 pm
there are no genuine trolls. all trolling is a deception, all of it is false praxis. e
ven the condemnation of trolls and trolling is in its stripped nature a falsifying-through-identification-of-the-false.
the sack of the troll persona is open at both ends. meaning and identity, pushed toward it, will simply fall through.
it exists, like the sea anemone only not stuck to a rock, to filter the bits of nutrients available in the tidal flux of human discourse.
even the moderation of, even the banning of, trolls, is simply an elaboration onto and an extension out upon the false praxis of trolling.
the immune response to a disease is a part of the constellation of the disease.
the sincerest fire of outrage against the troll partakes of the spectacle of the troll’s manufactured image, replacing the artifice of trolling intentionality with an authoritative finality that has no substance without the troll’s essential deception as and in its foundation.
which has itself in its originating core a refusal of the truth of genuine discourse.
that refusal of the genuine making the assumption of any deeper genuinity, even genuine falsity on the part of the troll, impossible to construct without resort to the troll’s original duplicity, at least such as would be necessary to begin the task of construction.
this is ultimately the most pernicious aspect of the troll’s position in modern discourse.
one must pretend to not see them and their work, a response by false practice whose effect is an emptying out of the mind’s necessary processes of accumulation, or one must engage the troll in an equality of granularity. but as we have shown this is itself a non-genuine act.


godoggo 02.03.14 at 11:01 pm

I wonder if what I would get at a “soul food” restaurant in L.A. would be much different than the “Southern” cooking Belle talks about (I’ve never been, unless you count the food stalls at music festivals).


godoggo 02.03.14 at 11:03 pm

Although being a quasi-vegetarian limits me anyway.


Ed Herdman 02.03.14 at 11:13 pm

I hate coleslaw generally, but nice coleslaw on pulled pork is pretty great to have every now and then. Don’t forget the veggies, too – lots of little things I enjoy occasionally, like okra, yams, and seasoned collard / mustard greens / kale.


MPAVictoria 02.03.14 at 11:20 pm


It is by trolls alone I set my mind in motion. It is by the trolls of web that thoughts acquire speed, that blogs acquire comments, the comments become a warning. It is by trolls alone I set my mind in motion.


dbk 02.04.14 at 12:28 am

To return to the point, sort of: Hellman’s definitely, unless I make my own, which I do for company because in the country where I live, good cooks make everything from scratch, including condiments. I try to fit in.

w/r/t bread, I occasionally make it, too, but cheat (have a bread-maker, sorry).

w/r/t BLTs on white bread / slice of sun-ripened tomato slathered with, uh, Hellman’s: yep, yep, yep.

w/r/t trolls: I dunno, I’d kinda miss ’em; let’s not forget that trolls have lately been inspiring some pretty awesome Blogging by Belle.

P.S. to all the other CT bloggers: I read you too.


Belle Waring 02.04.14 at 4:18 am

dbk: take the dough out of the bread maker right before the maker itself would bake it and put it into the oven, even in a freeform loaf, like put big cornmeal on the pan and form the dough into a ball by pulling the bottom of it into itself repeatedy and tucking it into itself and it’s done. Do the slashes to allow for expansion. OMG YOU MADE THAT BY YRSELF!

Also: e’eryone: you can fool all the people in the world into thinking you made your own mayo with the judicious addition of high-quality olive oil and lemon juice to Hellmann’s. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.

Also also e’eryone: godoggo is not a troll. He was just expressing ‘pinions about white bread and why it’s OK to eat fish. Land’s sakes, you think you’d remember what trolls were like after just one week of freedom. (Plus the continued existence of mcmanus-sensei but y’all are supposed to be able to deal with that now.)

godoggo: there is an actual ancient Indian philosophy of which foods it is acceptable to eat based on how many senses they have, and humans have five obviously I suppose, but then they manage to implausibly parcel the rest out so that at the end fish have one. “One?!” I nearly shouted in class. “What? Plants have one maybe, because tropism, also four-o-clocks or venus fly-traps–no that’s two. Even though you didn’t know about fishes’ electro-magentic sensory apparatus, you know they can see and feel and taste, right, or they would never reject poison, but they do?” Ancient philosophy is stupid.

If you went to a soul food restaurant in L.A. it would not be super-different but some. Wait, that’s wrong, more accurately it would only have some similarities. Like: well-prepared fried chicken. The biscuits and cornbread at a commercial establishment can just never be alllll that good unless the place is really little. Even then, only the cornbread can be good. If I have to make biscuits for 50 people, I make like 4 batches; I don’t try to do’em all up at once. It’s like pie crust that way. You need “a light hand.”

Depending on how vegetarian you are you might also be shit out of luck, because although if you came over to my house in Singapore I would make you every vegetable dish in the world in a vegetarian way, at a soul food restaurant, the chances that there is a bunch of pork in there with the okra or collards is nigh-certain. If it’s a small enough, good enough restaurant that it has a changeable menu, then yes, it’s prolly great. Are you saying you eat fish? They do have feelings, yo. We are also killing every single living thing in the ocean so that a tide of toxic jellyfish can bloom in the black depths, sweeping all before it, so it can’t be ethical qualms holding you back from bacon. Just set the pescetarianism aside for a time and go get some Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles. Not that anybody in the world would ever eat waffles with chicken, except at a church breakfast, but whatever. Damn, Roscoe’s.

MPAV: haha! Excellent. I probably shouldn’t have been drinking so much of that partially poisonous internet juice, but it’s too late now.

Ed Herdman: I do not, I say, I do not forget about vegetables! I remember vegetables every day! I tell you what, next time I’ll tell you how to make squash casserole. (Y’all are going to think “there is no way there should be so many saltine crackers in any–” SHUT UP.)


js. 02.04.14 at 4:26 am

Sorry totally OT, but Mao at one admitted to being abb1 (and Henri Vieuxtemps and Data whatever.) Obviously, can’t really be bothered to look up the post.

Slightly more on topic, home-making mayo is hard? Am
I the only one who finds this? Made my hands hurt the couple of times I tried it and wasn’t even that good. Totally going to try the Hellman’s + olive oil + lemon juice. That sounds really great.


Alan White 02.04.14 at 4:51 am

Belle: ever use Martha White self-rising flour with lard/butter and milk for biscuits? I only say this in part because (i) I’ve made them and they are wonderful though I can’t find MW flour anymore in Wisconsin and (ii) my mom wanted to name me Martha if I had been a girl. In my youth she used Loretto (small town TN) self-rising flour (no longer available–jeez–not since the 70s) for the biscuits and red gravy from that same flour and bacon grease. I have her WW-II era biscuit-cutter and it gives her form to my paltry imitations. Bread of life? Literally there is no figurative.


Joshua W. Burton 02.04.14 at 5:11 am

He was just expressing ‘pinions about white bread….

Erm. Well, it was either that, or opinions about kosher travelers and self-respect. Given the context of Corey’s Birthright thread, the latter reading is a plausible escalation of an undertone that was already there, while the former is just a bit of random whimsy that fell flat. I didn’t see it on my own, but now it’s been said I’d very much prefer to accept Belle’s theory and think better of godoggo. So, I will.


Harold 02.04.14 at 5:15 am

I remember mayonnaise made from scratch in Italy, beaten by hand (with a fork) for half an hour. It is festive fare. Thick, deep yellow, and redolent of olive oil. But when I tried to make it myself with a blender it didn’t work, assurances from the cookbook that it was easy as pie notwithstanding.

I find Hellmans fine for every day. It may not be the real thing, but it is what it is, and it is perfect for tuna salad and not bad with French fries, if one is so inclined. Hellmans must have found the “bliss point” recipe.

Durkees Famous Sauce is good too, especially with whole wheat bread sandwiches. On the whole, for various reasons, these days, however, except for a piece of toast at breakfast I have cut way down on bread — in sandwiches or in any other form — and find I don’t miss it.


John Quiggin 02.04.14 at 5:25 am

“Mao at one admitted to being abb1 (and Henri Vieuxtemps and Data whatever”

Odd. I remember HV being a bit weird, but not an obvious troll, unlike the others.


John Quiggin 02.04.14 at 5:26 am

Mayonnaise (the commercial kind, which is all I’ve ever tasted) is one of the few things that
(a) I don’t like
(b) is clearly bad for me

Since (b) is unlikely to change, even with a homemade recipe, I’d better not try it for fear that it will affect (a)


Belle Waring 02.04.14 at 5:29 am

Ooooooh. I see, Joshua W. Burton. godoggo’s a pretty low-key dude, though.
Alan White: British people use self-rising flour all the time and it is available here in Singapore. I can’t deal with its confusing ways. Is they enough salt?! I use regular all-purpose flour in S.C. (which, non-Southerners may be interested to know, is different in the South than elsewhere, being softer), Crisco, baking powder, salt, and buttermilk. Unless there’s no buttermilk and then I sour milk with 1/2 t rice vinegar. Here in Singapore, all-purpose flour is also quite soft, as no one bakes much bread. A’Tall. I have a couple of biscuit cutters, one is from my dad. I sometimes imagine all the biscuits that have passed through that cutter and into delicious wunnerfulness.
js.: homemade isn’t better enough than my cheat unless it’s the star of the show. But maybe you just don’t have powerful enough whisking/stirring muscles?


godoggo 02.04.14 at 6:25 am

I remember one time when Sawicki was talking about BBQing pork ribs and I said, “It doesn’t matter how you cook the ribs, you’re still going to jew hell.” Boy howdy he got pissed for a second but it was still funny.


godoggo 02.04.14 at 6:27 am

…”how you cook the pork,” that is.


godoggo 02.04.14 at 6:37 am

No doubt part of it was guilt.


MG 02.04.14 at 6:39 am

I am loving this thread. Also on the homeade=awesome, Hellman’s=good, Miracle Whip=CANDY EW bandwagon. Also, why has no one mentioned aioli yet.

Because: science, I might have to try this Veganaise


MG 02.04.14 at 6:50 am

A super quick, super good coleslaw is to take the following:
– A sliced cucumber
– Thin matchsticks of carrot
– Thinly sliced small head green cabbage
– Thinly sliced red pepper
– Put everything in a glass or ceramic
– Sprinkle with a hefty shake of kosher salt — mix it up — add more salt
– Pour white vinegar all over the mess and toss again
– Put in the fridge for the day and it is great for the week
Also, you can use more or less of the vegetables. And it looks pretty!

This is SUPER with BBQ.


MG 02.04.14 at 6:51 am

Ak! That should be “Glass or ceramic bowl”


Belle Waring 02.04.14 at 6:51 am

MG: “Also, why has no one mentioned aioli [sic–ed] yet?” May I direct your attention to comment 4, hmmmm? Mines has got a diëresis, so it’s extra fancy. It’s like having five more threads of saffron.


godoggo 02.04.14 at 6:52 am

Speaking of Sawicky, “We’ve been mostly dead but we will attempt to revive. Check back in late July (2013). — MBS”


godoggo 02.04.14 at 6:52 am

Which is passed, isn’t it? Oh, well.


Belle Waring 02.04.14 at 6:59 am

Non-biscuit-makers or non-biscuit-making-parent-havers may not be aware that raw biscuit dough is somehow the yummiest thing in the damn world. I don’t know why; it’s just bland and salty, and by rights it oughtn’t taste much better than Play-Doh. But…so…salty…so…plain. So good. SOOOO GOOOD. And it ain’t like raw pie-crust is good or something! So it’s a mystery of life, and yet I think all the Southerners here can confirm that if your mom or dad is making biscuits and letting you cut them out and you eat one of the tiny circular-edged triangles left between you will just be in heaven. How saving things are you being? Is your pops going to re-roll the scraps? I don’t re-roll; I push them together with my hands, along the surface, and then cut again. Then I feed the tough ones to John. There, I said it. I am a bad person. When I told my children this they were genuinely aggrieved on their dad’s behalf. “But he won’t notice and I will!” I protested! “This is why you’re a Slytherin!” was their rejoinder.


MG 02.04.14 at 7:00 am

Belle — #4 must have been why I was thinking it! Also, Aioli+Mustard is the bomb.


etv13 02.04.14 at 8:06 am

Okay, I have to speak up for Miracle Whip. I come from a Miracle Whip family, and it doesn’t taste sweet to me, it tastes tangy. Hellman’s/Best Foods just tastes rich and bland — okay, but not worth 150 calories/tablespoon.


SusanC 02.04.14 at 8:48 am

@71: I am right that “biscuit” means something different in British English vs. (Southern States) American English? In British English, “biscuit” refers to what the Americans would call a cookie. But I think in the southern US “biscuit” refers to what the British would call a scone (softer, thicker, and less sweet than a cookie, and possibly with optional sultanas in it).

By co-incidence, I was planning to bake soda bread today.

And the above discussion reminds me why I use olive oil as the fat in my bread recipes … the traditional recipe I’m working from would call for butter, but I avoid it in case anyone is vegan .. and it also avoids including milk, for kashrut reasons.

(I am part-Jewish by maternal descent, but not religiously observant. So I don’t care, but sometimes people I am cooking for do.)


Pat 02.04.14 at 9:51 am

I hate to be a hater, but it’s necessary: This thread is unconscionably goyish.


MPAVictoria 02.04.14 at 11:24 am

“I am part-Jewish by maternal descent, but not religiously observant. So I don’t care, but sometimes people I am cooking for do.)”

The mark of an excellent host! :-)


Belle Waring 02.04.14 at 3:09 pm

SusanC: you are sort of kind of ish right, insofar as American biscuits are not the same thing as British biscuits, but you are pretty much a billion percent wrong in that NO BISCUIT CAN HAVE ANY RAISINS IN IT EVER and no right-thinking American knows what a sultana is. Scones are sweeter and heavier, having butter, more sugar, and cream where an American biscuit (being savory while nonetheless being a vehicle for jam/honey/etc.) has no sugar, uses lard or Crisco (which is fake lard, yes, I know it’s revolting, blah–NO IT ISN’T), and buttermilk or milk. Scones are good, but mostly because they hand you little pots of clotted cream and strawberry jam to put on top of them. You could probably substitute tufts of peat moss with similar effect. Also, don’t let me be biting through something cake-like and just discover a raisin all floating around in there, hells no! I feel like bugs have got up inside. You push’em all together in a black fruitcake or in some oatmeal raisin cookies where you can see them. N.B. you think these latter are biscuits but you are also wrong, because, and I’m really sorry about this, although British people and their diasporic colonial descendants make awesome packaged cookies (TIM TAM SLAM TIME!) they kiiiind of usually suck at making homemade cookies. Not you personally though, yours are probably killer. Because you put lots of brown sugar and butter and not too much flour or too many eggs, right, so nothing turns out cakey and revolting right? Because if I wanted to eat a cake, I would eat a damn cake, I wouldn’t eat a disappointing cookie. Not something extraordinarily hard, with an insufficient amount of ginger in it, that had the lasting power of elven wayfarer bread and the strength of those ceramic plates they put in the front and back of your kevlar vest if you go hiking in Afghanistan, either, right? Just, you know, checking.

Pat: well, that’s kind of the point, isn’t it? I’m perfectly capable of cooking food for people who keep (a certain kind of/degree of) kosher. It just doesn’t come up as much in Singapore as in SF or NY or DC. But I didn’t know that about the fertilized eggs, actually. In the South we always say they’re lucky. The chickens here are free range, almost all, and easily 30% of the eggs are fertilized, I’d say.


William Berry 02.04.14 at 7:36 pm

roy belmont @40: “Mao was abb1. I have no theories about Hector.”

For better or for worse, Hector has always been Hector. Years ago (Sullivan/ Kelley era, roughly) I was guilty of the thought-crime of subscribing to TNR (to be fair to myself, their cultural stuff, which is what I was mainly interested in, was rather good). Their website, in the late ’90s, is where I first became aware of the online comment world. Hector was on almost every thread, carrying on with the same old crap. I always wondered why so many bothered to engage him. He was still there when I stopped subscribing in the early post 9-11 period (when the magazine really went off the rails).

Ed Herdman @51: “I hate coleslaw generally, but nice coleslaw on pulled pork is pretty great . . .”

Plain old (mustard, pickle, onion) cheeseburgers are awesome with cole-slaw. I always have slaw put on my S&S steakburgers. Johnny Rocket’s CBs come with slaw (and everything else), and they are sinfully delicious— and about one million calories, unfortunately.

I make my slaw the easy way: Buy a bag of pre-cut (cabbage, carrot), add some finely chopped parsley, salt, and freshly ground black pepper (a lot), and use T. Marzetti “Traditional” cole-slaw dressing. Easy, but damn’ near perfect. I love to cook, but I don’t like to waste time preparing things you can find excellent versions of in the supermarket, so I don’t make salad dressings. In addition to the cole-slaw dressing, T. Marzetti’s “Ultimate Blue Cheese” (iceberg wedge w/ tomato, craisins, and bacon bits, for steak dinners; and don’t forget the cab or malbec!), “Supreme Caesar”, and “Sweet Italian”, which are the ones I use, are excellent.

On the subject of mayo, I’ve tried many kinds including home-made, and Hellman’s (olive or canola oil versions) is, for me at least, as good as any. In Latin America (my wife is from Lima, and we spend a good deal of time there), mayo with lime juice (mayonesa) is popular. Hellman’s makes a version, but it makes more sense to just add fresh lime juice yourself.

Best roasted/ baked/ rotisseried chicken dipping sauce ever: seven or eight parts Hellman’s, one part lime juice, one or two parts (more or less, to taste) green chile habanero. Nuke a few seconds and fork-blend until very smooth. Brings new life to even the driest breast meat. This is very similar to the delicious pale-green sauce that is served in the pollo de la brasa places all over Lima.

A note on biscuits:

The best I have had, I remember from childhood. My black irish/ 1/8th cherokee maternal grandmother (Mississippi dirt farm born and raised) used a lot of lard and all-purpose white flour and baked in a thin steel pan in a hot wood-fired oven. Brown almost to scorched on top and bottom, smoky hot and fluffy on the inside. Now that was a biscuit.

The memory of these biscuits has inspired me to invention: In the not-too-distant future (a couple of years after I retire, which I plan to do in a few months), my wife and I intend to re-locate to Lima and open a modest-sized restaurant (it’s the thing to do there for ex-pats). I aim to reproduce grandma’s biscuit recipe as nearly as I can and serve them with my excellent (if I may say so) white gravy (The secret: brown the flower almost to scorching in plenty of bacon grease, with plenty of salt and black pepper, before adding the milk. It won’t be white, but it will be good.). The invention part, or coinage, actually, will be my name for the dish: las biscuitas y salsa blanca. Really hoping that someone hasn’t already coined the term biscuitas! If not, then, this mention is my claim to priority!

True biscuit story (biscuit story that is true): My dad was a teenager in WWII (barely missing the draft when turning 18 in 1945) and, like my mom, grew up dirt poor. During rationing, most lard was sold to the government. The government gave out mineral oil as a substitute (plenty of that from TX, OK). The first time my grandmother used it, she baked up a huge batch of biscuits using liberal amounts of the stuff (in those days country folk loved their food swimming in grease of one kind or another; recall the flour and fat-back grease gravy— no milk!— in “The Grapes of Wrath”). Damn’, those were some good effing biscuits. Disaster for the whole family. Remember Olestra? That mineral oil was the same thing, but worse.

And they only had a one-hole outdoor toilet!

[BTW, I hope “Woody” isn’t monitoring this thread. I am sure he would think that talk of biscuits and gravy and mayonnaise is at about the same level of triviality as pop music.]


js. 02.04.14 at 8:19 pm

Odd. I remember HV being a bit weird, but not an obvious troll, unlike the others.

My recollection is that the Crazy (or the trollishness) would really come out on select threads, but mostly this seems right.

But maybe you just don’t have powerful enough whisking/stirring muscles?

Totally! Hope the Hellman’s recipe doesn’t involve excessive whisking.

Also, anyone looking for further enlightenment re American vs. English uses of ‘biscuit’, ‘scone’, etc., need look no further than here. (Well, you may need to look further, but it’s a start!)


roy belmont 02.04.14 at 8:52 pm

js 79-
What I saw of abb1’s (not Mao’s) increasingly abused and eventually banned presence was that the scorn and abuse was a lot more due to the voicing of sincerely held unacceptable opinions than to the bratty incoherence of obnoxious craziness.
A consistent feature of a lot of “polite” discourse, here and elsewhere, and the often vicious response to what it finds outrageously insulting to its perceived moral superiority, is the whistling innocent ignoring of what that vicious response can cause in its targets. Including the weight of negativity in consequent reaction.
abb1’s defense of his position on the I/P nightmare for example. It’s entirely missing from your dismissal of crazy trollishness. Steady patient rebuttal to increasingly hysterical shrieking accusations of anti-youknow.
I saw that. Repeatedly.
It was a dark time.


William Timberman 02.04.14 at 9:24 pm

Coleslaw. Not my mother’s, my wife’s (Well ex-wife’s, but that’s another story) with some of my own grace notes.

Thinly sliced cabbage. A quarter head at a time, cored. Use a really sharp knife for the slicing, or, if you’re a fraidy cat, a mandolin. Pull the heavier ribs out and eat ’em, or use ’em for soup. Finely chopped green onions. (Don’t be shy.) Dress this with a generous amount of well-beaten mayonnaise (Hellman’s or equivalent store brand) and red wine vinegar, larded with equally generous amounts of dill, fresh or dried, and Kümmel. (That’s caraway seed, for the non-teutonic.) Put in the fridge and let the ingredients get acquainted with one another, at least a couple of hours.

Set this out with some cayenne-and-beer-battered fried catfish, accompanied by hush puppies, some fresh corn ears, and a can or two of beer, and go straight to heaven. Watermelon with salt and pepper, and a few more cans of beer afterwards, and you can almost feel yourself turning into Justin Wilson.


MPAVictoria 02.04.14 at 11:26 pm

I hate to be the one to remind you Roy but you spent the better part of 500 comments defending an obvious racist and homophobe. So please forgive me if I do not take you opinion on trolls very seriously.


godoggo 02.05.14 at 12:48 am

Personally I found them both entertaining, entertainment being the main thing I’m here for. That said, I do seem to recall a post on abb1’s old blog about him being “rather proud” of playing havoc with the comments somewhere. I wonder if it’s in the Internet Archive?


godoggo 02.05.14 at 12:54 am

Correction: “kinda proud.” Also, the blog’s heading is “proud member of the troll community.” See what I mean about entertaining? What, you don’t?


roy belmont 02.05.14 at 1:17 am

If I’ve given you the impression that I want you to take me seriously, about anything, I apologize for misleading you.
You can take me as seriously as you want or don’t want, but what I want has nothing to do with that.
What I want is to use this forum to express myself, about things I think are important, in ways I find suitable, against a tacit program of demanded intellectual integrity and rigorous something something logic something.
I learn from doing that.
I’m sure you’re learning from doing that as well. Good for us.
One thing you don’t seem to have learned yet, even though I explained it to you as carefully as I could at the time, more than once, is that I wasn’t defending the values you find so objectionable, in either the commenter or his subject in that 500+ thread.
I explicitly stated then that I wasn’t in agreement with them as per their stated values.
I disagreed with them explicitly, in print.
Without ever not defending their right to be heard.
Their right to be heard. Their right. To be. Heard.
And there’s a nice little segue to the abb1 issue.
I saw, personally, threads where abb1 was treated to disgusting levels of antagonistic hate speech for saying then defending his saying things the objectors found so objectionable they felt free to insult and deride him.
Shrieking hysterical scorn and derision.
I am not the defender of any iteration of any other commenter. I don’t care if defending their right to speak is taken to mean a defense of what they’re saying. Not my problem.
But I do not like people who argue from nasty okay because right. I do not like them even a little tiny bit. And I am way tougher than I sound.
This kind of inarticulate meanness in place of rational discourse is not now yet entirely absent from the comments threads at El Crooked Timber, but it is way way more nice here now. And some other places too. Good.
The recent posts about the ASA boycott would have been impossible ten years ago, and in fact there was a policy at CT for some time foreclosing any mention of the so-called I/P conflict.
Clearly that has changed.


MPAVictoria 02.05.14 at 1:30 am

Roy you and I obviously have very different interpretations of what you were doing in that thread. Anyway it was a bad impulse on my part to bring it up as it was not really on topic. So my apologies to all.


Zora 02.05.14 at 2:02 am

A comment re the earlier bread recipes: both call for dissolving the yeast in liquid. This used to be necessary, for cake yeast and active dry yeast, but now that instant yeast is so readily available (at least in the US), there is no need complicate breadmaking with this extra step. Just add the yeast to the dough.

I don’t make straight-through white bread any longer (always use some wholewheat flour, usually make sourdough and retard the dough overnight) but I do make challah. I get good results with Peter Reinhart’s methods. I would recommend his book Artisan Breads Every Day, which recommends stretch-and-fold and retarding. See the book or the online bread forum, The Fresh Loaf.


godoggo 02.05.14 at 2:08 am

Challah also kind of sucks.


The Temporary Name 02.05.14 at 2:10 am

Oh! Come and see the violence inherent in the comment system! Help, help, I’m being trolled!


godoggo 02.05.14 at 2:35 am

I really miss Max.


Pat 02.05.14 at 4:07 am

@Belle Waring 77, we had at least one chicken growing up with a proclivity to lay eggs with two yolks. (The reason for this I suspect I know, but that’s another story.) I think I’d be horrified if served such a thing in a diner, but as kids my siblings and I used to fight over them. I don’t remember if we called them “lucky” or the like, though….


Joshua W. Burton 02.05.14 at 5:19 am

A comment re the earlier bread recipes: both call for dissolving the yeast in liquid. This used to be necessary, for cake yeast and active dry yeast, but now that instant yeast is so readily available (at least in the US), there is no need complicate breadmaking with this extra step. Just add the yeast to the dough.

No, no, no. If the yeast jar (or envelope) was improperly stored before purchase, or has aged out in your fridge, it may be dead and you won’t find out until too late. How hard is it to proof it for three or four minutes, just in case, while the other ingredients are mixing?


Zora 02.05.14 at 5:27 am

“No, no, no. If the yeast jar (or envelope) was improperly stored before purchase, or has aged out in your fridge, it may be dead and you won’t find out until too late. How hard is it to proof it for three or four minutes, just in case, while the other ingredients are mixing?”

I have been baking bread for years and have never run into dead yeast. I buy large vacuum-packed bags of instant yeast at Costco and store the yeast in the refrigerator. Moreover, none of the bread books I own (Reinhart and Hamelman) require proofing the yeast before mixing the dough.

If you’re buying small packages of yeast from a supermarket with a low turnover and storing them in the cupboard for a further year or two, perhaps proofing might be necessary. Might.

However, I have killed my sourdough starter :)


godoggo 02.05.14 at 5:53 am

I’m gone.


dk 02.05.14 at 11:44 am

Pat @ 90

Will you please tell the story about the two-yolk egg? I am very curious now.


Belle Waring 02.05.14 at 2:03 pm

Damn, Pat, this thread is partly about True Tales of The Old South and similar: you got to tell us about the eggs now! Was there some family tragedy in the henhouse, too vile to refer to at the supper table, except obliquely? Still unmentioned, save for those rare occasions when all the grown children get together at the family home and drink red wine, and smoke your youngest bro’s killer sativa, and you all stare at the blue-white fire playing low over the blackened logs while the red and yellow flames leap like a hundred, a thousand imps from the new wood, and suddenly one of the big branches caves in, and sparks bloom up the chimney like ill-omened stars, and each of you looks into the eyes of each, knowing that the time has come to talk again about…the eggs?

Zora, I know, people have been saying that for ages, but my pops has been doing it all his life, and I have been doing it all my life, and I put the salt in the second liquid addition so it doesn’t kill the yeast–I’ve got, like, a thing going on. Also, when would the singing happen? I am being blandly literal; my family sings the “oh so happy yeasties, full of life, tiny friends, beloved creatures” etc. forever, always, every time. Even in a recipe that’s just water, olive oil, flour, yeast and salt I generally give the yeast just a tiny pinch of sugar to snack on along with a couple T of the flour in lukewarm water at the start so they can start grooving. When would we sing? WHEN WOULD THE YEAST SONG BE? I cain’t hannle it.

I suppose my children shouldn’t do it all their lives as well; someone has to break the cycle of tragedy, but uh…I haven’t baked with them in ages, so I was thinking I might do so this weekend. It’s going to have to be the yeast song. I make one recipe pretend challah (melted butter, eggyolks, etc.) and then divide it so one is just “challah” and the other I make into cinnamon rolls (by rolling big and flat and then covering with butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and a little garam masala, and then rolling up, and slicing). The cinnamon rolls do the second rise in the fridge overnight and then you can bake them in the morning to have with lemon cream-cheese frosting/glaze. Which Violet won’t eat. Because she’s CRAY. But our new oven is even stupider than the old; our previous rental had a LaGermania in which only the top element worked. Now we have a freestanding little oven and it takes 100 hours to bake anything.


oldster 02.05.14 at 2:31 pm

Like the garam masala in the cinnamon rolls. Hope to try sometime. However, must correct you on allspice. It is a food detractive.


Belle Waring 02.05.14 at 2:35 pm

Tiny amounts. It will MAKE an apple pie. MAKE IT. But yeah, it’s bitter, I don’t put much in at all. It’s like mace, you don’t over-do it.


Niall McAuley 02.05.14 at 2:48 pm

Allspice in Large Amounts (with a little saltpetre) is what you want for Spiced Beef.

Mmm, christmassy.


oldster 02.06.14 at 12:39 am

I make my own apple pie, thank you, and I don’t need any help from disagreeably heavy and cloying non-flavors.


Zora 02.06.14 at 1:15 am

Belle, agree that yeast grows better before you add the salt. That’s why I often make three-day bread: overnight with just yeast and/or sourdough starter, water, and flour; next day add rest of ingredients, including salt; knead, then stretch-and-fold; retard in refrigerator overnight; proof and bake the next day.

The overnight yeast/water/flour mixture is called poolish, if it’s fairly liquid, or biga if it’s a stiffer mixture. You could sing the Yeast Song over the poolish.


godoggo 02.06.14 at 3:29 am

“Your comment is awaiting moderation,” so I guess I might as well dump it here:

Therefore gird up your minds and fix your hopes calmly and unfalteringly upon the boon that is soon to be yours, at the re-appearing of Maxspeak.


Alan White 02.06.14 at 3:36 am

Damn for once I am additive rather than subtractive for making good thready talk. All it took was biscuits.

Amateurs: use Bisquick and cut in butter and milk/buttermilk. Read fricking directions and do not try to atomize the butter but leave it drop-discrete. Form the dough and cut out those suckers with your decades-old Aussie aluminium press, or use an empty small tin from canned peas to do the same, and bake. I served em to my mom on my 50+ visits to TN from WI when I tried to explain why I was teaching something called philosophy in a Northern state and she still called em passable. This the woman who could tempt her way by Peter into the gates of heaven with just one of her scratch biscuits.

And William Berry above: that’s my childhood white gravy. And I just might travel to get fantastico comida que mucho mejor que tengo ahora.

Don’t stop humanizing the Internets Belle.


William Berry 02.06.14 at 3:05 pm

Alan White @102:

If you’re in Lima some three or four years from now, remind me of this thread, and we’ll comp you a dinner with all the trimmings. We are going to call the place Irene y Rosa after our yank and peruana mothers.

If you like red meat (and I do mean red!), I can do a wicked rib-eye as well.


Alan White 02.06.14 at 5:13 pm

William (if I may) @ 103. Now that is an offer I cannot refuse! Great name for your restaurant; it really trips off the tongue.


MG 02.07.14 at 3:15 am

William Berry – after reading your excellent post, I was forced to go out and get Peruvian BBQ takeout and came home with a whole chicken, quinoa salad, golden potatoes and extra sauce containers of sauce. My family thanks you!


godoggo 02.08.14 at 7:49 am

Anyways, L.A. being L.A. veggie soul food is an option here.

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