Another Dark Little Corner

moon phases

Started this before change to "New Blogger", as backup in case of trouble with digiphoto blog "In a Small Dark Room", or rants & links blog "Hello Cruel World" . Useful - at one stage Dark Room was there, but like the astrophysical Dark Matter, we could't see it ... better now, but kept Just In Case.

Your ABC

Click here to find out why.

There is nothing. There is no God and no universe, there is only empty space, and in it a lost and homeless and wandering and companionless and indestructible Thought. And I am that thought. And God, and the Universe, and Time, and Life, and Death, and Joy and Sorrow and Pain only a grotesque and brutal dream, evolved from the frantic imagination of that same Thought.
Mark Twain (letter to Joseph Twichell after his wife's death)
[me, on a bad day]

Absolute Write Paypal donation button:
Absolute Write is one of the leading sites for information on writing and publishing, especially the scam versions thereof. It has a broad, deep online community with an enormous message base going back years. Now it needs help. See the details and discussion here
Preditors and Editors
Everything you wanted to know about literary agents
On the getting of agents
Writer Beware
Miss Snark
Writer's Net

(and my Wish List)

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?
Recipe: Almond-Vanilla Crescent Biscuits  

Almond-Vanilla Crescents

Delicate, crescent-shaped butter biscuits, an Austrian specialty. Substitute toasted and finely ground hazelnuts for the almonds if you want to try something different.
[NOTE: This is written in American. I will have to check what, say, 350F is in Celsius, how much a stick of butter is, and check if the standard US cup is the same as an Australian cup.]

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Baking time: 12 minutes
Yield: 2-1/2 dozen

    1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    1/2 cup finely ground almonds
    1/3 cup superfine sugar
    Pinch of salt
    1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold
    2 egg yolks
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    Icing sugar for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a biscuit tray with greaseproof paper.

In the work bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade, combine the flour, ground almonds, sugar, and salt. Pulse briefly to blend. Cut the butter into small pieces and add to the flour mixture. Pulse until the butter is cut into very tiny pieces, about 15 to 20 pulses.

(To use a mixer and mixing bowl, soften the butter to room temperature. Beat the butter in the mixing bowl until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar, and cream together well. Combine the flour, ground almonds, and salt. Add to the butter mixture in four stages, blending well after each addition.)

In a separate bowl, lightly whisk the egg yolks with the vanilla and add to the flour mixture. Process or mix until the dough forms a ball, about 1 minute.

Pinch off walnut-size pieces and roll on a lightly floured surface into 8mm-thick ropes about 10 cm long. Bend the ropes into crescent shapes and place them on the biscuit tray, leaving 5 cm between them.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until golden and set. Remove the biscuit sheet from the oven and transfer the biscuits to racks to cool. Dust the crescents heavily with icing sugar. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. Freeze for longer storage.

Per serving: Calories 86 (From Fat 53); Fat 6g (Saturated 2g); Cholesterol 22mg; Sodium 6mg; Carbohydrate 7g (Dietary Fiber 1g); Protein 2g.

More ...

Charity may begin at home, but it must go elsewhere  
Oxfam Unwrapped (Oxfam Australia - formerly Community Aid Abroad)

How it works

Oxfam Australia works in 25 countries around the world, and this catalogue only contains real items that we use in our work. When you buy a gift from Oxfam Unwrapped your donation will be used to fund projects that involve the very item you buy. This makes sure that your donation has the biggest possible impact on the lives of people living in poverty.

Your friends will receive a card detailing the present you bought them and the real item goes to those who need it most.

And because you're helping Oxfam Australia fight poverty, your purchases are also tax deductible. You will receive a tax receipt either via email or by post.

Places that examine/audit charities

The Tithing Tree:

Other Alternative Gift-giving Systems

The Smith Family:
Care Australia:
Cambodia Trust:
Street Voices and the KOTO Restaurant in Hanoi:
TEAR Australia:
Opportunity International Australia:
Asylum Seeker Project At Hotham Mission:
Tabitha Foundation (Australia):

More ...

Yet another use for eBay  
Layne's Legacy, by Beading for a Cure.
Layne's Legacy is an annual beading challenge dedicated to raising money for the National Colorectal Cancer Research Association (NCCRA) in honor of our friend Layne Shilling, who lost her battle with colorectal cancer in November 2002. The premise of the challenge is simple: participants purchase a kit which contains a variety of beads. Each kit is identical.
The completed works are as varied as the beaders who created them. In the past we have had jewelry, sculptural work, and decorative items.

When the projects are all finished, they are auctioned off on eBay and all of the proceeds (minus operating costs) go to the NCCRA, donated in Layne's name. This is our way of honoring the memory of a wonderful beader and good friend.

More ...