Sunday, October 21, 2012

Oh, and by the way

I've had a birthday. I realize this happens every year and is not in itself particularly remarkable, but I think this one was significant for the fact that I no longer have any claim to the phase of life known as mid-twenties.  At 27 my grasp upon it was slippery at best, but now, a year later, I've been officially kicked off the team. I'm in the 28-30 crowd.

I'd like to take a moment to acknowledge what this means. As a 28-year-old I'm now older than a significant number of music stars ever became--I guess this means I've passed the cut-off date for rock-n-roll. If I took up drugs, tight skirts and loud music now I'd be seen as pathetic and rather disgusting--a cry for attention from a has-been who never had-been. MTV is not trying to rock my vote anymore--no journalistic article, even a really patronising one would describe me as a girl, or even a young woman now--just a woman. I'm one of those Real Adults you hear about as a youth and secretly fear--a responsible adult doing responsible things with money, property, community and nation.

Except I don't really have any property, and aside from the pension plan at work and repaying loans for my MA I'm not doing much with money that most 20 year olds aren't already doing. (Reader, if you're a 20 year old with an advanced degree, I'm impressed but a little baffled.) As far as community goes, I work with technical theatre students for a living, so while I may be taking a bit more responsibility for their health and safety than they are, I'm hardly in a position to be a good influence on the next generation. Seriously, they're artists. If you're too overtly well-meaning toward them they bite.

I voted early in the US election by email and now get to sit tight and watch it play out. As much as Ward Cleaver of the Mormon Party scares me, there's not a whole lot I can do or say from the UK that would impact anyone's vote--ex-pats around here are already going to vote for Obama, I'm preaching to the choir when I sign a petition, and no one reads this journal without already knowing me and my views pretty well. (Hi Mom!) Romney has the cold dead eyes of a killer, but a lot of Americans apparently look for that in their leadership so who am I to burden them with sanity? Meanwhile Cameron is a self-aggrandising nonce who is striving to cripple the NHS so he can eventually justify dissolving it and giving his cronies in the private insurance industry some coin, but that's blatant to every nurse, cabbie and coal miner in the UK and no one seems able to do anything about it--especially me, as I can't actually vote here. 

I may be 28, but I'm just as left-wing, pro-choice, anti-theistic, counter-patriarchal, feminist, state-education supportively idealistic as any naïvely youthful 27 year old. Hear me roar.

Saturday, October 20, 2012


Ginger Biscuffin Noms

2 US Cups white lily flour (all purpose would probably work too, just sift it)
1 US tablespoon baking powder
1 US teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons sifted buttermilk powder (MUY IMPORTANTE! NOT milk with vinegar!!)
½ teaspoon ground ginger
(chunks of stem ginger would be nice too)
2 tablespoons nice shortening (who am I kidding, Britain has nothing. Buy Crisco from America.)
grate a sizeable handful of butter into it, probably a bit more than a quarter cup
1 US cup Ginger Beer (Old Jamaica works nicely, but stir it to flatten it first)

Heat your shitty-ass oven to 425 Fahrenheit. Mix ingredients in listed order, whisking dry ingredients thoroughly before cutting Crisco in, then grating butter directly into the mixture. It should resemble...erm, well it's sorta granular with the little chunks of butter in there but I can't think of anything not gross it's similar to. Add ginger beer in small splashes and stir in well. Mixture should be sticky (I wound up using about ¾ of the ginger beer, but that may change with the humidity so be prepared.) Spoon into a muffin tin (or roll it out and use a biscuit cutter if you're feeling classy) and entrust to your oven for about twenty minutes, or until it passes the toothpick test. There should be enough butter in there for the ginger biscuffins to just fall out of the tin when they're done, so fling onto the counter to cool. Yields about 8 muffins, maybe more if you roll out into biscuits.