Tuesday, June 24, 2008

And Now For Something Completely Different

The women of my family tend to be fairly well endowed. I guess that's why my mom sent us this article, from Slate. It begins with some familiar thoughts:
As a woman who loves sports, I've always found the concept of breasts bothersome. If all goes according to plan, they will fulfill their intended function for about three of the 70 years that I have them. The rest of the time, they alternate between getting in my way and embarrassing me.

I'm not a sports person, and I do appreciate breasts for their ornamental value, but I have to agree: they do tend to get in the way. I'm somewhat lacking in the inventive spirit, though, so it never occurred to me that breasts could be functional as well as ornamental (aside, of course, from the limited function that nature intended). Not so Adrienne So (no pun intended -- really), who not only hit on the idea of an energy-generating bra but actually ran it past "some scientists."
LaJean Lawson, a former professor of exercise science at Oregon State University, has studied breast motion since 1985 and now works as a consultant for companies like Nike to develop better sports bra designs. Lawson was enthusiastic about my idea but warned it would be tricky to pull off. You would need the right breast size and the right material, she explained, and the bra itself would have to be cleverly designed. "It's just a matter of finding the sweet spot, between reducing motion to the point where it's comfortable but still allowing enough motion to power your iPod," she said.

That was just to lighten up the mood around here. Speaking of lightening up, I recently tried making berry sorbet with agave nectar, a natural low-glycemic sweetener, in place of maple syrup. It came out well. In the process, I learned that the apple juice in the recipe is really unnecessary and that omitting it yields a better texture.

One final non-sequitur based on an e-mail from a family member. Littlest Sister sent me the following message this morning:
I was wondering if you knew of any gooey parve cake recipes (it's my friend Wendy's birthday on Sunday and her roommate needs one)Maybe you could make a blog post about it. Say it's a special request. You need to put something new up there anyway.

"Parve" and "gooey" are a tough combination, but a friend of mine did make a very delicious, rich parve chocolate cake for her birthday, and it turned out to be based on this recipe. She just substituted soy milk for the milk in both the cake and the frosting. It was totally undetectable.

If you want something really gooey, you can make a parve flourless chocolate cake simply by substituting margarine for the butter. This is a good recipe. The biggest challenge is finding high-quality parve chocolate. I like Scharffen Berger, but it's pretty expensive and mostly sold at specialty stores.

That's all for tonight. There are a few more posts in the works, but I may not get around to publishing them until, say, sometime around the battle of Gog and Magog. I'll try, though.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Maybe coconut oil or another flavorful and rich vegetable fat instead of margarine?

James Beard has a great flourless cake roll without any butter. It's like
this one.

I'd think gooey requires carmel, though, doesn't it?

- Janet

elf said...

Maybe coconut oil or another flavorful and rich vegetable fat instead of margarine?

That could work, although the texture isn't exactly the same. I like to use Smart Balance for baking. It's trans fat free. Spectrum shortening is another option. It's just pressed palm oil. It is pretty flavorless, but the texture is right.

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