For Those Of You Playing The 'Maverick' Drinking Game

I salute you. But get yourself to a hospital now.

Vice-President Debate

It’s a bit like going to a Cat Power concert, isn’t it? There’s a chance for a decent performance, but also the chance of the greatest on-stage trainwreck you’ll see in years. Will it be Biden, who has FDR on TV during the Great Crash, or Palin, who seemingly can’t name a newspaper?

(this is all distracting me from having to admit that Boris managed to get something right today)

Not That I Can Read The Whole Story

But this sounds pretty scary. Especially for some of my friends who work at universities across America…

A Banana Republic With Nukes.

So, I guess the idea is now to wait a month and write a bill that’ll pass in a Democratic Congress?

And it was a good thing that McCain suspended his campaign to get this through, wasn't it?

Recipe: A Summer Wasting

This weekend’s FoodScience! entry has very little food science in it, I’m afraid. But before you grab the pitchforks, it’s a deconstruction of a popular dish! Surely that can save me, right? Right?

So, I’ve been thinking for a while about how to put a twist on nachos. My first thought was to invert it somehow; a set of cheese and tomato crisps covered with a nacho purée, for example. But it seemed a bit too much effort for something that would end up tasting vastly inferior to real nachos. Eventually, I hit on the idea of changing the flavour aspect of nachos: switching them from savoury to sweet. A fruit salsa on top of tortilla chips, perhaps. But there was something lacking. The chips would still be too savoury for my tastes.

(I think it’s fair to say I have a sweet tooth. I have appalled friends by how much sugar I can eat in a single setting)

Yesterday, I had a breakthrough; I got a copy of Elizabeth Falkner’s Demolition Desserts in the post. After I managed to prise it from my sister’s clutches (a somewhat difficult task, even though she only has the use of one hand. The love of chocolate is strong in her), I had a brief flick-through. It’s got some spectacular recipes, but what caught my eye was “Suddenly Last Summer”, which is constructed from peaches sautéed in wine and honey, served on a bed of olive oil filo crisps.


I scampered off to Tesco in order to get some fruit. It was time for sweet nachos.

The olive oil filo crisps are actually a minimal version of baklava. Which means I did two recipes on my to-do list at the same time. Hurrah! Anyway, the ingredients:

Tortilla Crisps

  • 8 sheets of filo pastry
  • 1 pack of pistachio nuts (say around a cup or so)
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 12 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons demerara sugar

Oven to 180°C! Shell the pistachio nuts and grind them down. They deserve it. Stir the sugar, cinnamon, and salt intto the ground nuts, and give the mixture another pulse or two in the food processor. Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper and brush with olive oil. Put a sheet of filo pastry on top of the paper, brush that with more olive oil, and then sprinkle some of the nut mixture over the top (you’ll need sixteen sprinkles, so divide accordingly!). Put another sheet of pastry on top and repeat the process. Then again. And one more time. So that’s four sheets of filo pastry, and the top should have a sprinkling of the nut/sugar/cinnamon/salt mixture.

Place in the oven for 10 minutes. While that’s cooking, repeat the process with another four layers of filo (if you want, you can make even more, but I think two sets is enough. Trust me). When they’re done, take the sheet out and leave to cool for a bit.

Next! The fruit. Now, I may have missed a trick here; perhaps the syrup should have been red. I’ll rectify that next time. Again, I borrowed from Demolition Desserts (I really wanted to make something from it, and as I’m not going to be around much this weekend, it would be my only chance for a week), making a black pepper-tarragon syrup.


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 12 cup liquid glucose
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon tarragon
  • Lots of fruit

Bring the water, sugar, and corn syrup to the boil. Simmer for a minute, then take off the boil and add the peppercorns and tarragon. Leave for ten minutes before straining the syrup out into a jug. Meanwhile, take your fruit (I used strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries), and sautée them for a minute or two in a pan with butter, sugar and a little Cointreau. Oh yes.

So, we have our salsa. And we have our tortilla crisps. Yes, crisps. But, the special thing about nachos, especially nachos bought at, say, sporting events, is the horrific orange cheese substance that is slathered over the top. Originally, I thought about a sweet mascarpone sauce, but Stacie pointed out that coloured white chocolate would also work. As I still had half a vial of orange food colouring and some white chocolate, it seemed the best way to go.

Cheese Topping

  • 150g white chocolate (use 300g if you want lots!)
  • E102 food powder (makes children hyperactive, remember)

Melt the chocolate in either a double boiler or the microwave, and mix in the orange powder until it gets rather orange.

Then, it’s quite simple! Break up the filo sheets into shards, place them on a plate, put fruit on top, pour on some of the syrup, cover it all with the orange chocolate, and serve!


Remember to book your diabetes test in the morning…

One Thing I'll Be Happy About

…is never to hear “those of you on Main Street” ever again…

Really, D-Day can never be topped? Huh...

Yes, my live-blogging tapered off a bit. Seemed to be a draw as far as I could see, but apparently independents preferred Obama, which is good news!

On Fox News Right Now

Financial News backed by a music bed that completely rips off Godspeed You Black Emperor’s Moya. When they go for the Dead Flag Blues remix, we’re really in trouble…

Craziest US Election in Living History

You know, the Democrats should simply rush Dodd’s bill through Congress tomorrow and smile…



WASHINGTON, DC–Mere days from assuming the presidency and closing the door on eight years of Bill Clinton, president-elect George W. Bush assured the nation in a televised address Tuesday that "our long national nightmare of peace and prosperity is finally over."

"My fellow Americans," Bush said, "at long last, we have reached the end of the dark period in American history that will come to be known as the Clinton Era, eight long years characterized by unprecedented economic expansion, a sharp decrease in crime, and sustained peace overseas. The time has come to put all of that behind us."

The Onion As Prophet.

The President's Secret Plan To Fight Inflation

Sec. 8. Review.

Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.

So if Henry Paulson decides that he’d rather spend the $700bn on going to Disneyland instead, there’s nothing that anybody can do about it?

An anonymous Democratic congressman writes:

Paulsen and congressional Republicans, or the few that will actually vote for this (most will be unwilling to take responsibility for the consequences of their policies), have said that there can’t be any “add ons,” or addition provisions. Fuck that. I don’t really want to trigger a world wide depression (that’s not hyperbole, that’s a distinct possibility), but I’m not voting for a blank check for $700 billion for those mother fuckers.


I’m open to other ideas, and I am looking for volunteers who want to hold the sons of bitches so I can beat the crap out of them.