January 2nd, 2021

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The Magic of Chocolate

Here is a fantastic article about the history of chocolate with regard to magic, power, feminism, colonialism, and Latina heritage.  \o/  I am impressed with the depth, breadth, and respect it covers.  Some highlights:

* Chocolate is an entheogen and an aphrodisiac.  Yes, that actually makes it a terrific vehicle for magic

* It isn't addictive, but it is supremely seductive.  Despite banning a bunch of other native stuff, not even the asshole conquistadores could resist the sweet siren song of chocolate.

* Ethics of magic rely a lot on cultural context.  Where people routinely get screwed, the ethics tend to focus on survival rather than respect.  If nobody gives a flying fuck about anyone else's free will, then the magicians in that culture tend to use magic to balance a very stacked deck.  This is also why all the Afro-Caribbean stuff is so hardcore: only the most effective bits survived brutal oppression. 

* Men would rather risk being hexed or poisoned than make their own morning brew.  

* If you oppress people and force them to work for you, then you damn well deserve  to be afraid.

Rose and Bay Awards

The 2021 Rose and Bay Awards are now open for nominations! Please make your nominations and pass the word to all the crowdfunders you know and encourage them to participate.  It would be especially helpful for folks you know via places like Kickstarter or Patreon, as I'm not on those sites.

These are the handlers for the 2021 award season:

Art: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith Nominate art! Vote for art!
Fiction: [personal profile] freshbakedlady Nominate fiction! Vote for fiction!
Poetry: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer Nominate poetry! Vote for poetry!
Webcomic: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith Nominate webcomics! Vote for webcomics!
Other Project: [personal profile] zianuray Nominate other projects! Vote for other projects!
Patron: [personal profile] nsfwords Nominate patrons! Vote for patrons!

Easy Curries

I got to thinking about Patak's curry simmer sauces today.

Any mixed food with a vegetable in the first 3 ingredients is likely to be healthy. As a general rule, you want to see whole foods in the first 3 ingredients. (I consider water okay too. It may not have nutrients but is unlikely to be harmful.)

Patak's Tikka Masala Curry Simmer Sauce (water, onion, tomato) 
Patak's Butter Chicken Curry Simmer Sauce (water, onion, tomato paste) [Easy Egg Curry +peas]
Patak's Jalfrezi Curry Simmer Sauce (water, red and green bell peppers, onion) [Hawaiindian Curry]
Patak's Roghan Josh Curry Simmer Sauce (water, tomato, onion) [Easy Roghan Josh]
Patak's Dopiaza Curry Simmer Sauce (water, onion, tomato) [Easy Mutter Paneer +peas]
We usually make the Tikka Masala with chicken chunks.  Considering that there is also vegetarian tikka, I'd like to try it with mixed vegetables in addition to the chicken chunks.

Tasty but less healthy:
Patak's Korma Curry Simmer Sauce (water, sugar, desiccated coconut)
I'm surprised by how trashy this korma recipe is, considering how healthy the others are. Real korma is based on nuts or coconut without added sugar. WTF even.

Then I found this korma recipe that is primarily onions, tomatoes, and coconut milk pureed in a blender. I am strongly tempted to try it, and will probably create my own version as I doubt it needs a whole damn can of coconut milk. One blob is enough to moderate the Jalfrezi, and then we have to do something else with the rest of the coconut milk, so if we could get this to work it'd be a nice match.  Hmm, nuts or nut butter ... I wonder if we could make a korma with Nut'n'Seed Butter?

Not worth eating:
Patak's Mild Curry Simmer Sauce (water, red bell peppers, raisins)
We tried this with eggs and potatoes, but we didn't care for the sauce.  All we could taste were the bell peppers.  :P  But if you like bell peppers, it's worth considering.



It started spitting a few flakes earlier and is now snowing a bit more.  The temperature is high enough that it's melting on pavement but clinging to the grass a little.  :D  Very pretty to watch the white flakes drifting down.  

Most of the day it was spitting rain off and on.
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Today's Smoothie

We toasted the New Year with a bottle of Post Muscadine Grape Juice.

Tonight we made a smoothie with:
1 cup Post Muscadine Grape Juice
1 cup Brown Cow vanilla yogurt
1 banana
1/2 cup Great Value mixed fruit (pineapple, strawberries, peaches, mango)
1/2 cup ice

:D 3q3q3q!!!

The color is pale yellow, the texture slightly creamy.  The flavor is utterly divine, and symphonic in its complexity.  The muscadine juice has top, middle, and base notes with a definite floral quality, and the fruit blends in beautifully.  If you are a muscadine fan, I heartily recommend that you try this.