This weblog is no longer being maintained. All information here has been ported to EclecticEchoes.com. This site (heupel.com/eclectic) remains only for archival purposes.

September 25, 2004

Fiery Hot Dessert

I have recently been treated to all the fiery foods I could possibly want. Some real burners and some that are subtler but almost all of them delicious. Tonight however my father and I decided to have a taste testing of a couple of dessert sauces of a spicy variety. We got a pint of plain vanilla ice cream as the base, trying each topping in turn with a fresh scoop (small scoop). In hindsight we should have gone from mildest to wildest but…

First up was Sweet Agony Habanero Dessert Syrup. Dad got this one from Salsa Express’ catalog — Wow, does that have a kick to it! On vanilla ice cream it works great for real fiery food lovers. The ice cream tries to keep the habanero sauce from building, but unless you only use a few drops, it’s a losing battle. The sauce has a nice sweet taste, with a definite fruity habanero kick a second or two after it hits your tongue. Like most habanero-based sauces it builds up heat real well too. This one got me sweating and my nose was running. With the ice cream I was able to stay on top of it well, but it really got my attention! I’d say this one was an 8 on a heat scale of 1—10. I can see why it was a 2003 Fiery Foods Challenge award winner!

Next up was a new sauce from the same people — Sweet Agony InCINNerator Habanero Cinnamon Syrup. Hey the Habanero syrup for cinnamon lovers! If you love cinnamon and want a fiery dessert syrup (mmm… maybe on a cheesecake?) this one is for you. The cinnamon definitely comes through and adds a second type of heat to it. Overall still an 8 heat wise, but now it has both cinnamon and habanero heat dancing across your tongue. This one also won an award for the 2005 Fiery Foods Challenge, taking 3rd place in the Best New Food Product category.

Third in the parade was Cibolo Junction’s Raspberry Diablo Dessert Topping from Salsa Express. This one has a little nip, but not so much that those folks (like my wife) who prefer the heat levels a little less intense can still really enjoy it. Heat wise I would say on a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being raw Habaneros), it’s a 2. The chocolate and raspberry are the main flavors with just that subtle hint of a chili nip and taste. This one will be a keeper for my family, especially as even though it’s a chocolate-based dessert sauce, it has no dairy (allergies).

Overall my favorite would have to be the Raspberry Diablo Topping, even though it’s a mild sauce, I think it would work real nice on a lot of desserts. Having said that there are a lot of nights when I would reach for one of the Sweet Agony syrups especially for a cheesecake or vanilla ice cream. One thing for sure none of these makes for a boring dessert!

Still have a ton of GMAIL account invites…see the Mystic Seaport Trivia game if you want one…

Posted by Eric at 01:41 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 16, 2004

R.I.P. CBS News

I generally don’t post on political topics — there are enough political sites out there already — but the whole CBS memo thing…

So now after a week of insisting the memos were real, even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, CBS and Dan are backpedaling

“‘We will keep an open mind and we will continue to report credible evidence and responsible points of view as we try to answer the questions raised about the authenticity of the documents,’ CBS News Anchor Dan Rather said on 60 Minutes on Wednesday.”

…but they maintain that story is still correct! Give me a break! If the story itself is real you should have been even more careful vetting the story and all the supporting evidence so you could stand resolutely behind it, and let the evidence speak for itself. Instead CBS and Dan have destroyed the entire story, and with it their own credibility, because of the lengths they went to try and prove it conclusively using forged documents and highly selective editing of “expert” analysis.

Journalism has taken another blow, another black eye. The whole field has been sunk to new lows in this election cycle, but CBS really has set the limbo bar to a new low.

The funny part to me is that if they had come clean in the initial 24 hours of the outcry, they most likely could have salvaged the core of the story, and been able to come back to it later to make a stronger case. Now, the issue is dead, especially for CBS News and Dan Rather. They can no more claim to be a news organization than I can. They have proven that they are a biased opinion organization that occasionally reports on current events, politics, and the weather. Gee, I guess that makes them, at best, no better a source for information than those guys they smeared trying to deflect attention away from evidence they knew was highly flawed — guys that were “sitting in their living rooms in their pajamas” with “no checks and balances, no vetting, no fact checking.”

“On next Sunday’s show: The entire 60 Minutes staff will debut the CBS News team’s whole new look. Dan Rather will appear on the new living room decor 60 minutes set in monogrammed black silk pajamas, a monogrammed, burgundy crushed velvet, silk lined and edged smoking jacket and handmade Italian leather bedroom slippers. Tune in to see Andy Rooney, Ed Bradley, Mike Wallace, Morley Safer and Lesley Stahl in their favorite pajamas as well! “

:)

Posted by Eric at 03:57 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 15, 2004

Gargoyles on DVD

While working over a stores tabled site redesign, I decided to take a look around and see about a few other CSS designs that were header, 3 columns, and footer, source-ordered and degrade nicely in version 4 browsers. Whew. Anyway I ended up somehow at Ruthsarian Layouts' Skidoo Too: Gargoyles. While it seems to be a good layout, what caught my eye most was the text. It seems the owner is a great fan of Gargoyles, the animated series from Disney a number of years back. Disney is releasing Season 1 of Gargoyles on DVD this Christmas as a test. If it sells well they will do the remaining seasons. So Ruthsarian asks if you like his CSS layouts and site, and want to support him, go out and buy the DVD. Not for him, but for yourself. Considering both Tammy and I enjoyed this series years ago, I think we can try and help out. Especially considering how many people have gotten us books off our wish list in the past 9 months. :06 - Track 6:[3:33]
Posted by Eric at 09:09 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 11, 2004

A Taste of Mystic

I should note that all this weekend (actually starting tonight) is “A Taste of Mystic” organized by the Mystic Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by a whole host of local and regional companies. The admission is free, and all of Cottrell Street, which is right along the river, is closed to traffic and set up as a huge outdoor food court. Most of the restaurants in Mystic are participating, and restaurants from Westerly, RI to East Haven CT are also participating. There will also be live entertainment in the park throughout the event. It should be an excellent event.

At the same time will be the Mystic Rowing festival and the “Battle between the Bridges.” In the Battle there will be national and international team scullers and celebrity rowers racing between the turntable railroad bridge across the Mystic river and the historic bascule bridge in downtown Mystic. If your at the Taste event or in the park enjoying the live bands, you’ll also be in prime viewing location to watch a couple of the races finish.

Personally I’m intrigued and looking forward to a taste of Mystic Market and Catering’s “Triple Chocolate Oblivion” and some lobster rolls and Mystic Oysters.

Update: Definitely a great event. Lot’s of great music and food. Seared ahi tuna, pad thai, Daniel Packer Inne’s shrimp, oysters, coffee drinks, local(ish) beer and wine, Philly steak sandwiches, egg rolls, ribs.. and the deserts… hmmm. I must admit though the Triple Chocolate Oblivion, while very good, was not as good as I thought it would be. Probably my own fault as I built it up in my own mind. It was, in essence, a chocolate brownie with candied strawberry preserves in the crust. It was covered in chocolate and crystallized ginger glacé sauces. Good, rich, but I’ll take Tammy’s dark chocolate brownies with orange zest with something sweet and spicy like maybe Toad Sweat chocolate orange dessert hot sauce. I really have to try that one, very intriguing — orange, cocoa, and habanero, what beautiful mix!

Posted by Eric at 06:56 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

September 08, 2004

Mystic Ship Trivia Notes

I thought I should add a quick note about the gmail invite trivia “contest”.

As people reply with the name of one of the “tall ships” that reside in Mystic or have visited in the past year that we have lived here. I also opened it up to allow people to name one of the many smaller vessels that are famous or daily landmarks in Mystic such as the tugboat Kingston II. In the comments as each ship is named, I have tried to respond with some information about each one. Now I have to admit I am not in any way an expert or authority on Mystic, maritime history or even the ships of Mytic’s past. I am a history and culture buff and like to learn as much about the history of any place I live in. I have not been linking to my sources in the comments because I would rather keep the scavenger hunt fun. Now that about half the invites are gone I felt I should provide links to the sources of some of my information somewhere. I will come back after all the invites are gone (or at the end of the month) and edit my responses with direct source links where applicable, but in general my sources are: the Mystic Seaport, the Mystic & Noank Library, a couple books and pamphlets published on the history of Mystic and Noank, the Mystic River Historical Society, notes from some of the lectures surrounding Mystic’s 350th anniversary, and last of all a good friend who is a great source of information about Mystic and Noank. 

Posted by Eric at 03:51 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 05, 2004

Top scientists finally honored

Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and assistant Beaker were honored recently by the people of England and the BBC in particular.

“Doctor Bunsen Honeydew is a graduate of the prestigious Carnegie-Melonhead University, where he majored in quantum physics, illegible handwriting and pointless miniaturization, while studying under the tutelage of that esteemed scientist and badminton player, Doctor Pinhole Burns.

“Beaker, who began his career as a crash test dummy, attended both Oxford and Cambridge and would have completed his studies if school officials had not notified security. “

Posted by Eric at 08:41 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 04, 2004

Gmail Invites

Got 3 8 6 7 6 2 available to anyone who wants one, leave a comment with the name of a tall masted ship that has visited Mystic, CT this year or one of the tall masted ships, the tugboat or the four major tour boats that permanently make Mystic Seaport their home. Only need one ship name for each reply, and each reply needs to have the name of a ship not already listed by others.

Posted by Eric at 10:40 PM | Comments (36) | TrackBack

September 02, 2004

Shut-Up Indeed

This is why I watch the conventions on CSPAN:

“In the name of all that’s holy, shut up. “When exactly did the primary goal of journalists become not talking to news-makers, but talking over them? CNN, MSNBC and Fox News boast that they’re covering an event the broadcast networks are ignoring. But they’re not so much covering it as smothering it, using the convention as fodder for a 24-hour run of radio-talk-with-pictures. Unless you’re one of the privileged big-draw speakers in the show’s final hour, you’re not just ignored — you’re treated as an annoyance.”

I feel for Robert Bianco. This is why our convention watching (for either convention) is via CSPAN, no talking heads, no opinion pieces, no opinion pieces disguised as factual reporting.

Posted by Eric at 12:37 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack