Browns, Bean Dip, And Beer

IMG_5422Normally if I’m going to drink an alcoholic beverage, I prefer wine, but it just doesn’t go with NFL football — particularly when the Browns are moments away from playing their most important game in years.  So this afternoon it’s cold Yuengling lager, a hearty, grossly unhealthy, and soon-to-be piping hot bean dip that also features hamburger, pork, sour cream, lots of shredded cheese, and salsa, and some nacho chips.

Go Browns!  Beat the Bungles!

The Death Of “Ming”

It was just a clam, living peacefully in the briny deep off the coast of Iceland.  Its existence was simple and unremarkable.  It siphoned water in and filtered it for food and oxygen, as clams do.  It was content and as happy as, well, a clam.

But this clam was a bit different.  It had lived for centuries, capably performing the simple functions it needed to survive.  It first began its life sometime around the year 1500, when Henry VII was the King of England and Nicolaus Copernicus was getting ready to announce his theory that the Earth revolved around the Sun and not the other way around.  The clam lived in those cold Icelandic waters, not bothering a soul, as Shakespeare wrote his epic plays, as Newton developed the theory of gravity, as the American Revolution and the French Revolution changed the world, as wars were fought and genocides raged and fashions changed and railroads and motor cars and airplanes and rocket ships were invented.

Then, in 2006, the clam’s fortune changed.  “Researchers” found the clam and realized that it was incredibly old.  They called it “Ming,” after the Chinese dynasty in power when the clam first came into the world, even though the clam really didn’t have that name, or any name.  The researchers didn’t know precisely how old the clam was, however, and were of an inquisitive mindset — so they concluded that they should open the clam to try to precisely determine its true age.  The clam was not consulted in this decision.

In the process of opening the clam to satisfy their curiosity, the scientists killed the clam — which may have been the oldest living creature in the world.  Sometimes, science is just like that.  Sometimes, curiosity kills the clam.

The Rewards Of Blogging

I like blogging.  I’ve always enjoyed writing, which I think is fun and mentally relaxing.  Blogging helps to satiate that nagging creative impulse brooding just below the surface.  I feel good when I hit the “publish” button after I’ve finished a piece, and I really appreciate it when one of my postings receives a positive comment.

IMG_5421Sometimes, however, the rewards of blogging can be more tangible.  My recent posting about purchasing new cookie sheets and getting ready to bake Christmas cookies apparently caused Aunt Corinne and her long-time friend, our Loyal Akron Reader, to reach out to Kish with ideas for an early Christmas gift for yours truly.  Yesterday Kish presented me with two first-class cookie sheets, some reusable parchment paper, the King Arthur Flour cookie and cupcake decorating set, and the King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion, the Essential Cookie Cookbook.  The book includes hundreds of cookie recipes, as well as tips on cookie preparation, ingredients, and baking tools.

When baking time rolls around after Thanksgiving, I’ll be diving into the Cookie Companion for new concoctions and helpful guidance.  Thanks to Aunt Corinne, the Loyal Akron Reader, and my lovely wife for their thoughtfulness!  With this influx of equipment, recipes, and advice, this is shaping up to be the best holiday baking season ever.