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Satsuma liqueur

The satsumas were late this year, with fruit ripening through March. The sad thing is that now as winter approaches, there are hardly any fruit for the upcoming winter season. Perhaps the rains will help with next year’s harvest. In any case, earlier in the year I experimented with making satsuma liqueur, and found that less is more when it came to accompanying spices: Most anything other than vanilla (like cinnamon, star anise, cloves, allspice, or ginger) resulted in a drink as medicinal as an unremarkable cough syrup—without the pleasant citrus flavor! So here is a simple infusion that highlights satsuma’s subtle aromas.

Satsuma liqueur steeping

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An annotated bibliography of California horticulture resources

Here is another project for the reference and information services course: An annotated bibliography of California horticulture resources for librarians, located at http://horticulture.wikidot.com. In addition to being a handy tool for reference librarians, I wanted to created this because of my interest in gardens and botany.

Again, some caveats:

  • This bib is aimed mainly at librarians who work in academic or special collection organizations. Some of the language is LIS-y. For instance, I use the term subscriptions to refer to paid (non-free) resources like serials (journals, magazines) and databases.
  • I’d love to continue to maintain this bib—especially for corrections and additions relevant sources. But because of my schedule, I don’t know how often I’ll be able to update it.
  • This uses Wikidot’s platform, currently with a free account. This means you might sometimes see ads near the top of the pages.
  • Wikidot is generally for creating wikis, and those sometimes offer collaboration. However, I have turned off editing and comments, due to scheduling and the bib’s objective as a tool rather than a forum.

A subject guide to webcomics

For my reference and information services course (Libr 210) I created a publicly accessible tool to introduce people to the glorious world of webcomics, located at http://libraryschool.libguidescms.com/webcomics. I was inspired to create this because I could not find a subject guide dedicated to webcomics. Sure, there are many that mention it (a page, at most), but they mostly focus on graphic novels, comics strips, and/or manga. Not a bad thing, obviously, but the webcomics world is so diverse and burgeoning, that I hope pointers in the form of a library pathfinder will present the medium in a friendly, organized way.

Oh, and because I love reading webcomics. :)

I hope you find this useful! Some caveats:

  • I’d like to continue maintaining this resource, but depending on my schedule I don’t know how often I’ll be able to update it.
  • This uses Springshare’s LibGuide platform, within a free sandbox environment. This means you might sometimes see an ad banner at the top of the page.
  • Because of the sandboxing, I do not know how long it will remain live. Indefinitely, maybe?
  • Because of the sandboxing, it’s missing some of the niftier features and designs that paid developers have access to. RSS does not seem to work, for example.
  • Since I needed to keep the lists of suggested webcomics short (not too long and ever-scrolling), there’s a chance your favorite might not be listed. There are tens of thousands of webcomics; it would be an untenable task for me to maintain that level of content. However, if there are webcomic resources (books, websites, videos, conventions, even scholarly sources) you would like to suggest (or corrections), please let me know. I cannot promise to add them, but they might make it in eventually.

Hazelnut financiers (also good with cashews)

Financiers are a good way to use up egg whites, especially after a summer’s accumulation of making ice cream. Typically made with almond meal, I made these with a meal from roasted hazelnuts. Delicious. I also made another version with cashew meal, which were milder, but still tasty. In the future I might trying this out with hazelnut meal that has been lightly roasted in a pan.

hazelnut financiers

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Mexican chocolate brownies topped with pine nuts

I first encountered this brownie while perusing Sunset Magazine many years ago. Alice Medrich’s brownie recipes from Seriously Bitter Sweet (2013) also provided helpful measurement tips. Furthermore, I added a nice, warming kick of chile powder—i.e., ground dried red chile peppers, not the spice mix containing additions of cumin and oregano.

Mexican chocolate brownies with pine nuts

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Bing cherry wishniak

It’s cherry season!

This recipe is a slight variation from Homemade Liqueurs, by Dona and Mel Meilach (1979). The trick is to find sweet, flavorful cherries in the prime of their season—which for me are Bing cherries. Note that this particular liqueur might take a while to mature. I made a batch in 2013, and only now is it starting to smoothen and round out. I expect, er hope, that it’ll be even better in several months, or even in another year or three!

cherry wishniak from the fridge

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Dark gingerbread cake with rum and citrus

This recipe has been sitting in my files for years, and while we’re on the cusp of summer, gingerbread cake is a comforting reminder of what is behind us—and something to look forward to. This cake uses a lot of ginger, both fresh and powdered, and you could use either oranges or lemons for the citrus. It’s great by itself with a cup of tea or coffee, or served with lashings of rum-augmented whipped cream, or spoonfuls of lime or lemon curd.

Gingerbread cake out of the oven and pan

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Goodbye OpenID

I’ve decided to stop using OpenID on this website for several reasons:

  1. The OpenID plugin for WordPress was last updated in 2012. I have stopped following its development, and I have also stopped trying to get past/possible issues to work properly with my site and theme. I just have not had the time for the past couple years, with other things on my plate.
  2. My OpenID provider (eponymous) has ceased operations.
  3. Other more popular (read: more easy to use by more people) means of authentication have cropped up, like reusing sign on info from Twitter, Facebook, Disqus, etc. Not sure when I’ll add these here—I’d like to, but please refer to the last sentence in #1.

Iwaruna.com maintenance has become minimal, and will likely remain so for the time being. (“Unless something comes up,” etc. ;) I want to continue to post about once a month, mostly food oriented stuff, because that content is ongoing.

Thank you for reading!

Yorkshire pudding with poultry sausages, or toad in the hole

After many years of trying to encourage volume and height in our Yorkshire pudding attempts, I finally found a dependable recipe via Jamie Oliver. This is yet another variation on popovers, where an eggy batter needs rest (if containing gluten), a hot oven, and a well-greased pan. With sausages, this becomes the comforting dish, toad in the hole. My variation uses a bit less oil, in a broader roasting pan, with poultry-based sausages (chicken apple, or turkey apple) or sausage patties.

Toad in the hole

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Even better orange chocolate chip cookies

Or, version 2.0 of chocolate chip cookies. Over the years, I’ve found version 1.0 a bit too flat (in texture), a bit too hard-chewy, and even a bit too bitter. I’ve found a better source of chocolate chips (Guittard’s baking wafers), and a great resource for hacking the recipe.

Better chocolate chip cookies

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