Archive | September 2014

CSA Beets

CSA = Community Support Agriculture

CSA != Confederate States of America (in this context)

The Underwood Family Farms is my CSA supplier and I yet again ended up with an overabundance of beets. “What to do with the beets?” is one of those oft-repeated questions among CSA members.

Roasted beets with feta and arugula are wonderful, but sometimes the heavy, earthy flavor of beets is too much.

Borscht? No, I haven’t tried that one.

I frequently end up with muffins. Beet muffins don’t sound really appetizing, so I try to pass them off as just muffins unless someone asks.

Finding the right muffin recipe is important. Once I tried a new beet recipe that used chocolate and regular red sugar beets. I thought this would make a great red-velvet type muffin, but instead, well, as a co-worker put it: “They taste like dirt.” I wasn’t offended by the comment because I totally agreed. They really did taste like dirt. The cocoa powder brought out the earthy flavor of beets and this wasn’t really a good thing.

I tested a variety of pumpkin, carrot, and basic muffin recipes and finally I found a carrot muffin recipe from Vegetarian Lost and modified it for beets. Using whole wheat flour, a little oat bran, and a few spices provides a tasty, healthy muffin and masks the heavy flavor of beets. Shredded raw beets seem to work best as using roasted mashed beets can end up with chunks of beet, which have a not-so-appetizing texture.


1/2 cup very soft butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2-3 cups shredded raw beets (red, candy cane, orange, or whatever beet variety is lying around)
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup oat bran
1/4 cup soy flour (another flour type can be substituted)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 generous teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of salt, or two

1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Cream butter and sugar with a mixer.

3. Mix in eggs and then, shredded beets. Use the smallest possible shredding blade with a food processor to shred beets.

4. Add the dry ingredients onto the wet and blend with the mixer.

5. Heap into the greased muffin cups and bake for about 20 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean.

Makes 12 muffins.

The Pastafarians

It’s articles like this one about a Pastafarian wearing her colander for her driver’s license picture that just sometimes makes me wonder how much “news” out there is really just made up.

Pastafarian Colander

She looks so happy.

But, there is a Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster and, yes, they wear colanders as their hats. The spaghetti monster also appears on t-shirts, a race car, as a statue, as a stained glass window, and in other various art forms. You can even become an ordained minister of the church. Oh, boy, “By the power invested in me by the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, I now pronounce you husband and wife.”

Or is it, spaghetti and sauce?


Yeah, I thought the “interrobang” was super cool when I stumbled across it yesterday. It’s an exclamation mark and a question mark either superimposed on one another; i.e., , or if you don’t have the actual symbol for it, one after the other. Anyway, I’m late to the party! Or should I end that with a ‽‽‽‽‽

The Merriam-Webster dictionary online uses the following definition:

a punctuation mark designed for use especially at the end of an exclamatory rhetorical question

So, how late am I to this party? The first known use is in 1967. Yeah, way back then. Not only that, it’s already been on the Simpsons and once that happens, you know it’s old hat. It’s been the name of a publication, worn as a piece of jewelry, and written up in an Huffington Post article. (All this according to comments at the definition page at the Webster’s site.)

There’s even a comedy web site called The Interrobang

Funny how just one word can generate so much activity.

Eadweard Muybridge

Muybridge Buffalo galloping
American Bison Cantering by Eadweard Muybridge, Waugsberg [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Eadweard Muybridge lived an interesting life (1830 1940)  as a photographer and is especially famous for a series of photographs of a horse running. He was commissioned by Leland Stanford to photograph his horse, Sallie Gardiner, in order to resolve the question of whether all four legs of a horse were off the ground at one time when trotting. Anyway, the Wikipedia article about his life has more examples of his photography.



Akismet has caught 11 comment spam posts since I activated it. Some are kind of funny since because they don’t make sense they are so obviously spam.

These are so bad it’s hard to imagine that anyone would fall for it:

  • “I just stumbled upon your blog and in accession capital
    to assert that I acquire in fact enjoyed account your blog posts.” Huh?
  • “Usually I do not learn article on blogs, however I would like to say
    that this write-up very forced me to check out and do so!” Oh gosh, I am so over doge-speak.

Focused Spam

  • “The orange-haired fashion phenomenon thrilled a star-studded audience…” Yeah, but what does that have to do with me?

Obvious Spam

  • Hermes Birkin Handbags. That was it. That was the entire comment.
  • Oh my goodness! Awesome article dude! Many thanks. That was the comment for the default Hello World! first-post for WordPress. 


It took less than 24 hours for some comment spam-bot to find the standard first post for WordPress and spam-comment it. :/