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Everything posted by Aurelia

  1. Happy Birthday to Aurelia

    Thank you, Betsy! :-)
  2. Dan Schechtman, the man who stood his ground

    Tonight I'm getting an introductory text on piezoelectrics and this development will be helpful to keep in mind.
  3. My Standup Comedy Debut

    I love your bit about !
  4. Happy Birthday to Aurelia

    Thank you, Betsy for those lovely images! I love Mucha's elegant and daring figures. And thank you, Brian, most happily for your poetry. It's delightful! Reminds me of Atlanta, a heroine of a manuscript I once read. And it has a dancy way of tripping of the tongue. Beautiful! Thank you too, John, Ray, Thales, Carrie, Paul's Here, and Mercury. I heart The Forum and it's members.
  5. Happy Birthday to Nicolaus Nemeth

    Happy Birthday Nick, with big hugs!
  6. The Poetry Of Brian Faulkner

    I really love this, Brian. So uplifting and happy!
  7. ... Or as she calls it in her very diluted German, "Sugar Kuga". I call it kugen. This is an old family recipe which is a different but, I've discovered, very similar to German coffee cake, zuckerkuchen. I think my family's recipe must have been derived from that traditional cake at some point but after two emigrations, first to Russia then America, and god knows how many generations of cooks, it's become more of a tart than a cake. It basically consists of two thin layers of crust with a fruit filling spread thinly between, topped with sugary cookie crumbs, baked and sliced into wafer-like bars. It's a simple enough concept, except that if the crust or filling is too thick the result is distinctly pie-ish. The trick of the recipe is to roll out the crusts to something like an even sixteenth of an inch [or until you can just start to see through it] and maneuver it onto a baking sheet. My grandma has an uncanny ability to do this by hand but I've found that rolling the dough onto parchment or wax paper makes the whole process much easier. I've tried it with plastic wrap as well, but the plastic stretches when you're rolling the dough and is awkward to handle. Also a double-wide unrimmed baking sheet will prevent a headache. As for the filling, date and pineapple are both traditional in my family [date being my favourite ], and I've also had success with pumpkin. I've tried some of the more common fruit fillings like blueberry, cherry, and apple but they were too thick and produced an uninteresting flavour [much more suited to pies]. Though, whatever you like, this recipe lends itself to experimentation. My improved and clarified recipe is as follows: You'll want to start the filling first since they tend to take a while to boil down. Date Filling: In a sauce pot mix 1 pound finely chopped dates, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water and boil on medium until it reduces to a smooth consistency. Stir often and watch that the sugar doesn't burn. Pineapple Filling: Mix 1 can of crushed pineapple, 1 cup sugar and 1 tblsp. flour in a sauce pot and boil on medium until it thickens to a spreading consistency. Stir often, the pineapple is less likely to scald than the date, but still needs to be stirred. Dough: Mix together 5 cups all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1/2 tsp. baking soda in a large bowl. Cut in 1 1/2 cups [10 oz] lard until it's a flaky crumbly paste-like mixture. In a separate bowl beat together 1/2 cup whipping cream, 1/2 cup water, 3 eggs, and 1 tsp vanilla extract. Mix in the liquid ingredients with the flour-lard dough. It will be very sticky, but you don't want too much flour in the dough, so carefully mix in 1 tblsp increments of flour until it just becomes workable with your hands. By now the filling should be nearing the correct consistency. So divide the dough into 8 parts and roll a single part out onto parchment or wax paper until it's an even 1/16th of an inch or as thin as you can make it, whichever comes first. Use the paper to transfer the rolled dough onto a baking sheet and peel it off carefully to reuse for the other 7 parts of dough. Spoon the filling from the burner onto the rolled dough and spread it thinly. Roll out another portion of dough and transfer it on top of the filling. Pinch the edges together so the filling doesn't boil out. Brush the kugen with melted butter or margarine and prick liberally with a fork. Top with a crumb mixture of crushed sugar cookies [vanilla wafers], cinnamon, sugar, and anise seed [or extract] to taste. This process works much more smoothly if you have one person rolling the dough and another assembling the kugen. Bake at 450 degrees for 5-10 minutes or until it has browned nicely. Set out to cool on a rack, then trim the edges and slice into bars.
  8. Happy Birthday to B. Royce

    Your poetry is such joy, Brian, it speaks of a happy life. I'm glad for your happiness and thank you for sharing your beautiful work. Cheers, Happy Birthday!
  9. Happy Birthday to RayK

    Happy birthday, Ray. I hope it was filled with much enjoyment.
  10. Happy Birthday to Michael Jenkinson

    Happy Birthday, my darling. The world is a little more shiny today with you.
  11. Canadian Publisher Persecuted for Cartoons

    Well, I also strongly disagree with that premise. There is difference between a law that furthers my life and a law that infringes on my liberty. However, I don't in my argument imply such a premise, or I didn't mean to. What I meant is that whether a law is moral or immoral isn't an obvious fact like the existence of the sun or a stone. It's something that needs to be learned by a diligent thinking process, and the fact of the matter is that many people make errors and evasions in that process. If it were up to each individual who decided a law was immoral, whether or not they were going to obey it, then we would end in anarchy. When a law is immoral the proper course is to change the law or the people/system that made it, not throw away the principle that makes law possible.
  12. Canadian Publisher Persecuted for Cartoons

    The product of that idea is anarchy. If everyone followed only those laws they judged moral, assuming they won't get caught, then there is no way to guarantee individual liberty when those liberties are judged immoral by some. I'm not saying, of course, that morals can be whatever anybody wants them to be. I'm saying they're objective, rationally established and not everyone is bound by rationality. Given the abundance of religious, environmentalist, and socialist people in our country I think it's clear how dangerous it is to be arbitrarily subjected to what others judge moral. The rule of law is so vital to a properly functioning government precisely because it protects men from the morality of others.
  13. Christmas lights!

    Wow, FC, that's fantastic! Almost worth a trip to Ohio. I love the music he chose too, it has a punch that goes well with the sudden sprays of light. The best I've ever seen myself is the display done by the Phoenix Zoo at their annual "Zoolights". The camera angle isn't that great, so bear in mind that these trees are [from my memory] 2-3 stories tall and line a walkway about a block long. Standing in the middle of that walkway is pretty intense. My family goes every year and it's the one of the few things I've sorely missed of Arizona since moving to Indiana.
  14. Pardon my absence...

    It's nice to see your smiling face. I hope you're doing better.
  15. Happy Birthday to Aurelia

    Thanks everyone! I know my posts are rare, so it's nice to be remembered by such lovely people. ::toast:: Here's to 22 surpassing 21.
  16. Happy Birthday to JRoberts

    Happy birthday, Jason. May each new year be your reward for the last!
  17. Organizing your house/room

    Carrie, I've always had rather small spaces to work with too, so I understand your dilemma. Some things I do to maximize the space are: try fitting your dresser in your closet rather than leaving it out, even if you have a small closet and the dresser is cramped in there you can just close the door [or lacking a door, curtains are very simple to make or buy], and your bedroom will have more space. Windows also help open up a room, so when placing furniture arrange them evenly along the edges of the room [to retain the most floorspace] around the windows. Also consider empty places in your apartment and what you could put there, even if it is unconventional, so you can remove things from more cluttered areas and even out your use of the space; for example I have three large bookshelves, and I put one in the foyer/entrance of my apartment, instead of having a hat-stand. But beware of buying lots of bins or storage systems when a simpler solution will do, unless you know exactly where it will go and how it will save space, because adding boxes and bins will just take up more space. Hope this helps, and a happy home-improvement!
  18. Happy Birthday to Nicolaus Nemeth

    Happy Birthday, Nick! Hugs, kisses, and good cheer.
  19. How our brain reads words

    I second that, you make a eloquent demonstration of the importance of context in word recognition. After a couple minutes consideration I was only able to piece together 3 of the 4 words. Whereas the full sentence and Free Capitalist's paragraph became obvious after only slight hesitation.
  20. Pushing Daisies (2007)

    Pushing Daisies is quickly becoming my favourite show of the season. I'd characterize it as a fantasy-mystery. The basic premise is that Ned has the power to bring things back from the dead with a touch. The caveat's are that if he touches them again they revert back to being dead - for good, and if they stay alive-again for longer than a minute some similar thing nearby will die. Enter Emerson the detective, Ned's partner in solving murder cases for the reward, and Chuck [Charlotte Charles] his childhood sweat-heart who happens to be dead [or previously dead]. Solving murders makes the show suspenseful and Ned and Chuck add a complicated romance because they can't touch. These plot drivers are set to a whimsical, brightly colored, witty background. All in all it is a lovely little heart-warming treat that starts with a mystery but leaves you smiling. For now, all the episodes are available free to view at's episode player. They're available on Thursday's, the day after they air on network television. Old episodes will probably stay up all season.
  21. Pushing Daisies

    Hi Betsy! I'm digging this modern fairy tale. Could you please post it for rating?
  22. The Office (2005)

    Season 4 seems to be starting with a bang funny clip
  23. Easter Dinner

    Christians were very good at spreading their faith by making it amenable to pagan traditions. Despite Jesus's death, Easter is a time of rejoicing for Christians because his resurrection is what is stressed. To them it is a very literal "rebirth of life". It isn't surprising that they wouldn't find it offensive, the mixture between pagan and Christian ideas is very thorough when it comes to holidays/traditions. ~Aurelia
  24. Jihad in cyberspace

    I am neither intimately familiar with the employees nor the operators of Microsoft. I don't know what they're capable of; if they're compromising the integrity of their work or not. To compromise the height to which one may achieve is indeed condemnable. But I question how you judge the quality of said product. What is the judge of a product's quality if not how much others approve and are willing to pay for it? One of the first rules of economics is that the value of something is only finally decided after it's been traded, ie once you've ascertained how much someone wants it and is willingly to pay for it. What is the value of a product, say, if you expend all your effort and genius on it, perfecting it, and no one wants to buy it [whether because it doesn't suit their needs or it's too expensive]? What value have you created? I'm saying that Microsoft is a good company because it excellently performs the function of a company. That is, it makes an enormous profit by selling a product that consumers demand [demand meaning, desire and willing to pay].