Thor Cake

Thor Cake

Apparently oats were originally a weed found in wheat and barley crops that eventually became a crop on its own. The Greeks and Romans of classical times regarded oats as coarse and used them mostly as animal fodder. The Romans called it avena, and considered them only fit to feed barbarians.

Their neighbors, the Celtic and Germanic peoples, took an entirely different view and used oats extensively. In the northern and upland regions of Europe, oats are the only cereal which will ripen in the cold wet climate. Oats were first cultivated around 1000 B.C.E. in Central Europe. The first record of the cultivation of oats in England is a location called athyll (“on oat hill”) in Anglo Saxon records from 779 CE. There is a record of the bishop of Worcester’s oat lands mentioned in a boundary charter dated 984 CE. Ground oats mixed with milk, cream or water was a very common meal for working people. It was not until the fifteenth century that flour made from oats was first referred to as oatmeal.

1 1/2 cups oatmeal

3 cups all purpose flour

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup molasses

1/2 cup golden syrup

3 teaspoons ground ginger

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or lard

1 teaspoon allspice

1/8 teaspoon mace

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

3 teaspoons cinnamon

2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 egg

1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C).

Soak the oats in the milk in a small bowl for a half hour.

Whisk together the rest of the dry ingredients in a larger bowl. Stir the brown sugar and the egg together in another large bowl. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the butter and stir in the molasses and golden syrup. Mix the butter/syrup mixture to the brown sugar mixture. Stir in the dry ingredients until just blended. Place in a greased 9 X 11 inch pan. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until the cake starts to come away from the sides of the pan. A toothpick inserted into the middle should come out clean and the cake should spring back when touched.

Alternatively you can roll the batter into small balls, roll them in oatmeal, and bake them on a cookie sheet until brown.

Chinese Lantern (Physalis alkekengi)

Chinese Lantern (Physalis alkekengi)

DESCRIPTION:

A unique plant, and gardeners definitely love unique! The round pods that form near the fruit of this plants are so cool looking! They are paper-like in texture, and definitely add interest to a container or flower display. However, anyone who has grown them knows how easily they can take over, making them a lot more annoying than cool. You might be tempted by these interesting plants, but there are definitely better options out there.

BE AWARE:

If the berries on this plant are ripe, they’re edible. But if not, they can cause headache, vomiting, breathing problems, and numbness.

Stay away! This plant is aggressive, weedy, and potentially deadly. This is enough to put it in the “don’t plant” category.

Cold Poached Salmon with Herb Sauce (Örtagårdssås)

SALMON:

1 whole salmon, weighing about 1 lb. 12oz filleted and pin-boned

FOR THE POACHING LIQUOR:

7fl oz white wine vinegar

1¾oz sugar

1 leek, sliced

1 onion, sliced

2 carrots, sliced

10 peppercorns

3 bay leaves

FOR THE SAUCE:

3½fl oz sour cream

2 tbsp mayonnaise

small bunch each of parsley, dill and chives, finely chopped

½ unwaxed lemon, zest and juice

pinch of caster sugar

TO GARNISH:

1 lemon, sliced

½ cucumber, sliced

Begin by making the sauce. Whisk together the sour cream, mayonnaise and herbs. There should be about 1 tablespoon of each chopped herb. Add the lemon zest and a squeeze of juice, then season to taste with a pinch of sugar, salt and pepper. Refrigerate until needed but serve at room temperature.

Bring all the ingredients for the poaching liquor to a simmer in a large pan along with 2¾ pints water and 2 tablespoons of sea salt. Simmer for 5 minutes then pour into a fish kettle or large high-sided oven tray set over a medium heat.

Carefully lower the salmon fillet into the liquid, ensuring it is completely covered (if not, add a little more water). Bring to barely a simmer and cook for 10–12 minutes until the fish is just cooked. Lift the fillet out of the poaching liquid and onto a plate, carefully peel off the skin and allow to cool completely.

Serve garnished with the lemon and cucumber slices and the room temperature sauce alongside.

Sylvia Plath Fig Tree Metaphor

“I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn’t quite make out. I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn’t make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.”

~ Sylvia Plath, “The Bell Jar”

Sophie Scholl’s Final Words

Today in History –> Seventy-eight years ago today Sophie Scholl (along with Hans Scholl and Christoph Probst) a twenty-one year old German student and anti-Nazi political activist, active within the White Rose non-violent resistance group in Nazi Germany having been convicted of treason was executed by the guillotine.

In February of 1943, the [White Rose group] was apprehended when leaving pamphlets in suitcases all across the University of Munich. Sophie took to a balcony that overlooked a courtyard and scattered reams of flyers as students exited classes. Her action was witnessed by the school’s janitor, who reported Sophie and Hans to the Gestapo. After being interrogated for nearly 24 hours, Sophie emerged from questioning with a broken leg but a steely spirit. She was quoted as saying, “I’ll make no bargain with the Nazis.”

The students’ hearing began a mere four days after their arrest and, because all pled guilty, they were not allowed to testify. Still, Sophie did not sit quietly throughout the proceedings. She interrupted the judge throughout, with statements like: “Somebody had to make a start! What we said and wrote are what many people are thinking. They just don’t dare say it out loud!” and “You know the war is lost. Why don’t you have the courage to face it?”

She was allowed one official statement: “Time and time again one hears it said that since we have been put into a conflicting world, we have to adapt to it. Oddly, this completely un-Christian idea is most often espoused by so-called Christians, of all people. How can we expect righteousness to prevail when there is hardly anyone who will give himself up to a righteous cause? I did the best that I could do for my nation. I therefore do not regret my conduct and will bear the consequences.” She and her fellow defendants were sentenced to death by execution, which was carried out within hours of the decision. On the back of Sophie’s indictment, she wrote the word “Freedom”. Her reported last words were, “Die Sonne scheint noch”—”The sun still shines.”

Her last words:

How can we expect righteousness to prevail when there is hardly anyone willing to give himself up individually to a righteous cause. Such a fine, sunny day, and I have to go, but what does my death matter, if through us, thousands of people are awakened and stirred to action?”
~ Sophie Scholl

Daily Life in Winter

“The winter is so beautiful, and yet it can be so hard sometimes that it makes me cry happy-tears thinking about the summer. This winter has been extra hard. Crazy amounts of snow and extreme cold weather for over 3 weeks. It takes a lot of energy to keep up the normal life. But it also gives a lot of energy with all the beauty that the winter brings. It’s a love-hate relationship.

In this video I share glimpses of what I’ve been up to for the past month. Both the struggles, but also all the beautiful moments. I also share some behind the scenes of my previous video, when I went on a road trip to the very North of Sweden to record some footage.”

~ Jonna Jinton

Anika Chebrolu: 3M’s 2020 Young Scientist Challenge Winner

14-year-old Anika Chebrolu was just named the winner of the 2020 3M Young Scientist Challenge, an annual innovation competition hosted in partnership with Discovery Education. The eight-grader from Frisco, Texas earned the ‘America’s Top Young Scientist’ title for using in-silico methods to identify a molecule that can selectively bind to the Spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in an attempt to develop a potential cure – in the form of a novel antiviral drug – for COVID-19.

When Anika entered 3M’s 2020 Young Scientist Challenge her original goal was to identify a lead compound that could bind to a protein of the influenza virus to develop a novel anti-influenza drug. But she switched gears when the COVID-19 pandemic quickly spread across the globe. In an interview with CNN, the young scientist whose future goal is to be a medical researcher and professor explained, “Because of the immense severity of the COVID-19 pandemic and the drastic impact it had made on the world in such a short time, I, with the help of my mentor, changed directions to target the SARS-CoV-2 virus.”

Of her reasons for entering the Young Scientist Challenge Anika said, “I have always been amazed by science experiments since my childhood and I was drawn towards finding effective cures for Influenza disease after a severe bout of the infection last year. I would like to learn more from 3M scientists to pursue my drug development and with their help, would like to conduct in-vitro and in-vivo testing of my lead drug candidate.”

In taking this year’s top prize, which includes the ‘America’s Top Young Scientist’ title, a $25,000 cash prize, and a one-of-a-kind 2 day/1-night destination trip, Anika competed against nine other finalists.

Source: Women You Should Know Website