British baking brought close to home?

I like watching The Great British Baking Show on Netflix, which, I think, is a repacking of The Great British Bake Off. I’m not a baker myself and though I love to eat baked goods, I haven’t seen baking as an essential skill for me to develop. But I’m inspired to re-examine that assumption, but instead of learning the riches of British baking, I’m inclined to try a recipe for something I love from dim sum: Hong Kong Egg Tarts – The Woks of Life. But wait — aren’t egg tarts derived from some European dessert? According to Egg tart – Wikipedia:

The English custard tart and the Portuguese pastel de nata are European forerunners of the Chinese egg tart, which displays characteristics of both. Before egg tart was introduced to Hong Kong, it is reported that it was first found in 1920s Guangzhou. Taking reference from the recipes of fruit tarts, the chefs in Guangzhou turned it into egg tarts by filling egg custards in the middle instead, a similar way to make simmered eggs with milk (燉蛋). However, as butter was very costly at that time, it was difficult for the chefs to make puff pastry for the tarts. Therefore, they may have used lard instead.

The fog of drowsiness

In the morning, when I’m in a deep flow state, the rest of the world recedes to the background (save for brilliant warming sunshine), as my mind moves happily from step to step towards clear goals. Last night, with computer on my lap and Netflix in the distance, I could barely string together the steps needed to instantiate a Docker image. Unable to recognize the state that I call “Mind like quicksand”, I pushed on. I finally had the wisdom to call it quits on my computational work and devote my energies to Netflix. Fifteen minutes later, I was gently snoring — or so my Sweetie tells me.

The consistent Friday miracles

I’ve spent decades of my life attending religious gatherings, but I hadn’t understood the beauty of coming together as a community on a Friday evening (every Friday evening) over a large community meal — until Laura and I and some others from All Souls Parish were welcomed at Congregation Beth El in Berkeley last night.

Grateful for not giving into inertia

After taking a much needed nap this afternoon, I was grateful that I ended up honoring a commitment I had made earlier in the day to venture out, to do something new, to show a kindness to strangers. I could easily have fallen back on the excuse of being too tired. And sometimes I am actually too tired to do new things. Instead, I was rewarded by the warmth of new friends.

Transcripts await listeners to all of the big Sunday talk shows

One of the reasons I have favored CNN’s State of the Union (SOTU) (with Jake Tapper) from among the “Big Five” Sunday morning talk shows is the ready availability of transcripts. Even though I often gobble down an episode as a podcast played at 2x normal speed, I have aspired to return to a closer study of the arguments from the morning; transcripts would clearly help in such a study.

I’m glad to report that I have been wrong in believing in that CNN was alone in providing transcripts. In fact, all the other four Sunday talk shows also have them: