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Warpy's Journal
Warpy's Journal
September 27, 2016

Secrets of Soda Bread

For decades, I assumed the cross my Irish grandmother cut into the top of her round loaves of soda bread in her upstate New York farmhouse was a traditional blessing. It was a natural conclusion since her bread was as soul-sustaining as communion at an Irish Catholic mass. So I was astounded to learn that the bread cross had a far more ancient – and superstitious – purpose.

When I asked master baker Mary Gleeson, co-owner of Gleesons Restaurant & Rooms in the Irish town of Roscommon about the cross tradition, she answered without hesitation: “You have to cut a cross in the dough to let the fairies out.”

“What happens if you don’t?” I asked.

“I don’t know, we’re scared not to,” she replied, followed by a self-conscious giggle.


Lots of good tips there, including a recipe that looks like it could double for cannonballs come the revolution.

Aerating the flour is good. I found that putting flour, salt and baking powder into the Kitchen Aid and running to mixer for a few seconds to combine them worked. US buttermilk is cultured and quite thick, so you don't need to let it sit around for a week to thicken. And my own recipe, which duplicated soda bread baked by a convent in Boston, uses what I call a big handful of dried currants and a small handful of caraway. I know it's imprecise, but it works.

And don't forget to let the fairies out. You get a crisper crust that way.
September 19, 2016

Sources: Police looking to talk to man seen on surveillance in both Chelsea explosion locations

CHELSEA, Manhattan (WABC) --
The New York City Police Department said the explosion in Chelsea Saturday night that injured dozens of people was "definitely" a bomb, with components indicative of an IED being found at the blast site.

Now, multiple law enforcement officials tell ABC News that there is a man who is seen on surveillance images recovered from both the 23rd Street and 27th Street locations who police would like to talk to. Police are not yet classifying him as a person of interest, and have not identified who he is.

Law enforcement sources tell also ABC News that the explosives in both Chelsea and in New Jersey were set off by cell phones. Multiple law enforcement officials tell ABC News that investigators are exploring the possibility the two explosions in Chelsea and Seaside Park are linked to the same bomber or bombers by what appear to be similar types of cell phones. ABC News is cautioned that this is only a line of inquiry and not a conclusion. The probes remain separate but coordinated.

NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill said investigators are working to determine the motivation behind the bombing and find out who did it. He described the multi-agency effort as a "very complex post-blast investigation."


I hope they find him soon. He's incompetent now but even the worst incompetents are capable of learning from mistakes.
September 16, 2016

Solar tuk tuk completes 6200 mile journey to UK

Tuk tuks are 3 wheeled vehicles, the common form of taxi transit in much of Asia. Most of the engines are 2 stroke gasoline motors, putting out huge amounts of pollution. An Indian engineer proves the sustainability of solar as an alternative energy source for them.

Also in a story at the Beeb: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-37389181

Solar tuk tuks might not be the future in the US, but they are in much of the developing world.
September 4, 2016

The Agony of Trying to Unsubscribe

We've all been there. Here's an 8 minute break from politics as usual. Enjoy!]

September 2, 2016

Islam Karimov: Uzbekistan strongman's death confirmed

Source: BBC

he Uzbek government has confirmed the death of President Islam Karimov, six days after he was taken to hospital with a suspected brain haemorrhage.

One of Asia's most authoritarian leaders, Mr Karimov, 78, died after 27 years in power.

Mr Karimov has no clear successor. There is no legal political opposition and the media are tightly controlled.

Read more: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-37260375

This is going to be the next big mess. Karimov thought he'd live forever.

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