Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Poem of the Week

Happy Birthday To Ye!

No one really knows when the Bard was born, but records of his christening on April 26th suggest that April 23rd is his birthday. So many of our ideas about this guy who wrote in iambic pentameter, had no formal education, and who we all had to read in school or otherwise are dubious. There is even speculation as to whether or not Shakespeare wrote all the plays and sonnets which have been attributed to him. Recently, scientists ran his plays through a fancy computer program to compare his work to his contemporaries, such as Francis Bacon, Christopher Marlowe, and the Earl of Oxford. The only writer who used words and phrases similar to Shakespeare's was Queen Elizabeth I, and she was eventually ruled out.

Wielding about 30, 000 words, like so many swords, Shakespeare boasts one of the largest vocabularies of any English writer. Plus, he's responsible for some pretty incredible idioms and phrases, including "foul play," "as luck would have it," "too much of a good thing," "good riddance," "in one fell swoop," "cruel to be kind," "play fast and loose," "vanish into thin air," "the game is up," "truth will out" and "in the twinkling of an eye."

Sonnet 29
When in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself, and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possessed,
Desiring this man's art, and that man's scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least;
Yet in these thoughts my self almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven's gate;
For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Oh My Cod

Serves 2

2 8 oz skinned fillets of black cod (must be fresh!)
2 Tbsp tamari soy sauce
2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 Tbsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp canola oil
1 Tbsp honey
1 1/2 Tbsp chopped shallots
1 generous Tbsp chopped, fresh ginger
1 garlic clove
2 tsp brown sugar

1. Combine all ingredients (except fish) in a food processor and process until your marinade has an even consistency.
2. Pour the marinade in a dish with enough room for both fish fillets. Add fillets and make sure the fillets are coated with marinade. Refrigerate the fish in the marinade for at least 30 minutes or as long as a few hours.
3. Place the fish and the marinade in a pan over medium to medium high heat and cover the pan. The cooking time will vary depending upon the thickness of your fillets. Fish requires about 4-6 minutes of cooking time per inch. If the fish begins to flake, it's already overcooked - so watch carefully. Serve with as much or as little of the sauce as you like.
* Garnish with grated carrots or cucumbers and avocado.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Blah-Blah-Blahg: Food For Nought

So food prices are soaring even though we (the US of A-holes) are producing more corn than ever. The catch is that we are using much of this corn to produce ethanol - fuel which does not really free us from oil dependence on countries which still practice female mutilation and other pleasantries. Nor does this ethanol substantially lower our carbon footprint. So staples like wheat and other grains are at an all time high.

I don't wish to make light of the food riots or the terrifying fact that our water and food supply are dwindling, but I have become shamefully obsessed with a new game which I enjoy playing on my expensive laptop in my first world bed with a full stomach. It's painfully addictive - so be sure to have snacks at hand as you entertain the ridiculous idea that your mindless computer-clicking could possibly be philanthropic.

Check out the fun at