Month: March 2012

The Fruits of My Labor

March in Buffalo can sometimes feel like October.

It makes me think about fall things, nothing like being tail over teakettle. Even if it’s going to be 80 in a month (and there’s a strong posibility that it’s going to be 80 in a month) I’m thinking about applesauce and pumpkin pie.

Price Rite seems to agree with me. Everything’s on sale right now- blood oranges, grapes, apples, strawberries- whatever, it’s all good. Though, to be fair, we don’t really have an ‘in season’ item right now and won’t for months- mud’s in season right now. And…clouds. Mud and clouds.

So I made jam and applesauce. I really like the jam, though I know I did overcook it by a few minutes. Mid says it tastes burnt. I don’t taste it, but I won’t let the next batch boil so long.

1 Year Ago- Random Thursdays

Haunted Western New York- Old Fort Niagara (Niagara River)

When I tell people that I’m interested in the haunted/paranormal history of western New York, one of the first questions (if they don’t look at me like I’m insane) is whether or not I’ve been to Old Fort Niagara yet.

And I have to blush and say that no, I haven’t. I do however have a strange habit of ending up on Goat Island on Christmas Eve, but that’s another entry…

Old Fort Niagara sits at the mouth of the Niagara River. The location of the Fort made it an important landmark prior to the completion of the Erie Canal. After the Canal was finished, however, the fort slowly lost its importance. Regardless, the fort remained after long after that point.

The fort was controlled by the British, the French, and the Americans alternately throughout its history. At the end of the War of 1812 control of the fort was given to the Americans. The War of 1812 was the last time the fort saw armed conflict, but it was an active barracks throughout both World Wars.

The most famous ghost- and the one that is mentioned directly on the Fort’s website- is the headless soldier. Spotted near the well, a headless soldier is frequently reported. The ghost is assumed to be looking for its head. Other stories tell of a dual between two French officers, after which the winning officer killed and decapitated his opponent. He threw the body into the river where it was seperated from its head- and ever since the ghost of the loosing dualist has been searching for it. Yet another variation on the headless ghost pins the origins on a romantic feud.

Read More

Old Fort Niagara

Headless Ghosts

 

1 year ago- A Chicken in Every Pot

The Evil That is Cute

I really don’t think that horror needs to necessarily be doom and gloom and nasty to be enjoyable. I think that it’s possible to make ‘cute’ horror films, and I think that it may even be…a mood lifter? to put cute horror on your watching rotation.

Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil

I will say that this movie was not what I was expecting going into it. For some reason I was thinking zombies. There were no zombies. That elevated my opinion of it. I’m so sick of zombies…Anyway. The film is effectively a comedy of errors- when Dale and Tucker find a college student unconcious at their ‘vacation home’, all hell breaks loose. I thought that this was a really enjoyable comedy and a really easy film to watch. If you have an issue with (deliberately) stereotypical characters or comedy violence, this isn’t the film for you.

Dylan Dog

Part of the reason that I gave up on urban fantasy as a genre was that it felt like it had stopped being fantasy in an urban setting with maybe some sexual content and turned into sexual contet with maybe some fantasy in an urban setting. I’m no prude but it does get boring after awhile. I was really happy to find that Dylan Dog was a pretty easy going, essentially sex free urban fantasy film. With zombies. With interesting zombies- and therein lies the difference. There really isn’t anything new in this film (except some of the zombie stuff) but it’s still a well done little urban piece.

1 year ago- the great frappe experiment

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Blood Orange Mini Cakes

Mini Loaf Pans

Oh, hey look it’s my birthday! Actually, I think it’s what’s called my champagne birthday. I”m 27 on the 27th, and officially into late twenties-dom.

My mom got me this mini loaf pan sometime last fall. I brought it home during Yule, and it’s been sitting in my cupboard since.

I still have a partial bottle of blood orange juice sitting in my fridge. That stuff is comparably expensive- and not really something I like to drink as a juice.

Sadness.

Someone made me a blood orange cake for my birthday last year and I’ve been thinking about making some for myself for about a week now. I knew I wanted it to be a yogurt cake, and I knew that if I wanted Mid to eat it, it couldn’t include actual fruit bits.

Homemade Yogurt

I made my own yogurt recently. Wow, if you haven’t had homemade yogurt, it’s like you don’t know what yogurt is supposed to taste like. It is a lot thinner than storebought, but you can thicken it with powdered milk. Normally you can’t get me within ten feet of plain yogurt but I’ve been eating it unsweetened with raisins and cinnamon.

Mini Cakes

I’ve had Smitten Kitchen’s blood orange olive oil cake on my pinterest sweet food board for awhile now. The original has fruit bits in it…and a lot less sugar because I wasn’t paying attention and got measure happy. I’m actually okay with how sweet these came out becase now I don’t need to worry about frosting mini cakes.

For a stronger orange taste, cut back on the sugar and fold orange bits into the batter. I think that this will be splendid with cranberry for the holidays as well.

Blood Orange Mini Cakes

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1 3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup yogurt

1/4 cup blood orange juice

3 eggs

2/3 cup olive oil

1 3/4 cup flour

1/2 tea baking powder

1/4 tea baking soda

1/4 tea salt

Preheat oven to 350.

Mix juice and yogurt. Mix into the sugar.

Mix in olive oil and eggs.

Stir in dry ingredients, starting with 1/2 cup of flour at a time.

Ladle into mini cake pan.

Bake at 350 for approximately 25 minutes. Make sure to watch it. Mine went from runny to dark really fast.

Posted to here

Market Yourself

Deer Woman

When in doubt fall back on two classics: Kolchak the Night Stalker (the original series) and Masters of Horror.

Master of Horror really should have run more than two seasons. I’ve written about some of the other entries in the series before. I watch the shorts when I can’t think of anything else to watch.

I don’t think that Deer Woman gets mentioned very often, and unfortunately I think I know why. Compared to entries like Cigarette Burns or Pro-Life, Deer Woman is a weak piece. But it’s also laugh out loud funny.

At least to my sense of humor anyway. The…well…the monster, I don’t know what to call it, is literally a running joke in my family. Trust me, you’ll never think about red checked flannel the same way again.

It’s not the best horror-comedy ever made, but it’s worth it if you can’t think of anything else to watch.

1 Year Ago- Homemade Coffee Creamer

Sunday Legends-Spring Has Sprung

Housekeeping!

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1 Year Ago- Radio Silence

I wasn’t sure what week to put this on because Ostara was last week but Easter isn’t for another 2 weeks…but I’m just going to do it now.

Ostara, or Eostre, is a Germanic goddess from whom the word Easter is derived. A fertility and/or seasonal goddess, her recognizition was marked with water, the color white, bonfires, eggs, and other images that are now more commonly associated with Easter. The hare may or may not be connected with her role in the recreation of natural (crops and such) fertility as well, though there is suggestion that the connection may be stronger in relation to Freya- another dominant female deity, though one of a different pantheon. However, it’s been argued that that connection is even weaker than with Ostara, where the connection would seem to be more obvious. Regardless of whether or the connection holds, the link between rabbits and fertility should be fairly obvious…

It should be noted that in terms of certain neopagan paths, many of the traditional Ostara markers have been rolled into Beltaine which falls in May. The bonfire connection is much stronger there, with the act of jumping the fire to bless the coming year and the emphasis on fertility. Ostara as a festival on the other hand is more about the return of spring and promise of fertility- such as the planting of crops, whereas Beltaine is more about the growth of crops, birth, and more literal forms of fertility.

However it should be noted that in Beltaine, it’s suggested in some paths that relationships and sexuality should be avoided for fear of insulting the recently reunited divine masculine and feminine, which is a proscription not in place for Ostara. Ostara is as much about rebirth as she/it (the festival) is about fertility and the emphasis is about the shift out of winter in the same way that Candlemass/Imbolc is the returning of the light promised at Yule. Falling on the equinox, Ostara is quite literally the return of spring.

The Legend in Popular Culture

It’s been argued that most of the ‘commercial’ trappings of Easter, including the ham, have much stronger historica ties to Ostara and Ostara like celebrations than to do with any other, with their emphasis on rebirth and return of the light. I’m not arguing for or against it, but it is a historical theory that these activities and images (especially eggs) date back farther than Easter celebrations.