2 sticks (8 oz.) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups all-purpose flour
5 oz. unsweetened chocolate
¼ cup cocoa
1/2 cup bourbon
2 T half and half
½ tsp. salt
2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 T. vanilla extract
1 tsp. baking soda
Confectioners’ sugar, for garnish
Fresh raspberries and mint leaves, optional
Preheat oven to 325
1. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler
2. Put the cocoa in a 2-cup measuring cup. Add enough boiling water to come up to the 1 cup measuring line. Stir until the powder dissolves. Add the whiskey, salt, and half and half. Let cool.
3. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter until fluffy. Add the sugar, and beat until well combined. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract, baking soda and melted chocolate.
4. With the mixer on low speed, beat in a third of the whiskey mixture. When liquid is absorbed, beat in 1 cup flour. Repeat additions, ending with the whiskey mixture. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, and smooth the top.
5. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour.
6. Transfer the cake, still in its pan, to a rack. Unmold when the pan is cool to the touch. and sprinkle warm cake with more whiskey (At this stage I had to do some reconstructive Cool completely before serving, garnished with confectioners’ sugar, raspberries and mint leaves.
I sauteed onions, garlic, eggplant, and lamb and then cooked them covered in
white wine (Barefoot Sauvignon blanc), lemon juice, tomato sauce,
oregano, salt, pepper, a few peas for color, and a dash of curry powder (to offset the
bitterness of the eggplant -- you can't taste it.) It's delicious with the little red potatoes and I'm sure it would also work well with rice.
If you're cooking eggplant for something like this, be sure to peel it, cube it, salt it liberally, and let it drain for about a half hour in a colander, then rinse off the salt and dry it in a dish towel. This USUALLY gets rid of the bitterness. If there's just a little bitterness left, you can add a touch of curry or brown sugar, but if there's too much then you just have to throw away the damn eggplant and buy another. Our grocery stores have had a run of bad eggplants, so we were really happy when this one (grown by a local farmer) turned out perfect.
We have referred in the past to the economy which used to be practiced by our fore-fathers. Thus, for instance, it was customary to use leeches over and over again and there are instances of infection with syphilis by leeches that had been previously used on luetic patients. But we believe that the everlasting cathartic pill beats everything in the line of economy. This pill was a little bullet composed of metallic antimony which had or was believed to have the property of purging as often as it was swallowed. It is not conceivable that it might have had such property, for it is possible that a minute amount was dissolved by the gastro-intestinal juices and this amount, plus the suggestion, was sufficient to produce cathartic action. Then again the everlasting pill probably aided peristalsis by its mechanical weight and motion. The bullet was passed out, recovered from the feces and used over and over again. This, as Dr. J. A. Paris says, was economy in right earnest, for a single pill would serve a whole family during their lives and might be transmitted as an heirloom to posterity.
The "everlasting antimony pill" is mentioned by Dr. Stephen Maturin in The Ionian Mission.
"It appears," writes B.C. Seeman (1860) "that human flesh is extremely difficult to digest, and that even the strongest and most healthy men suffer from confined bowels for two or three days after a cannibal feast." Here is Seeman's account of the vegetables which "in Fijian estimation" are properly eaten with human flesh (bokola), from a collection of nineteenth and early twentieth century botanical writings called In Pursuit of Plants by Philip S. Short:
There are principally three kinds [of vegetables] which, in Fijian estimation, ought to accompany bokola [human flesh], -- the leaves of the malawaci (Trophis anthropophagorum Seem.), the tudauo (Omalanthus pedicellatus Benth.), and the boro-dina (Solanum anthropophagorum Seem.). The two former are middle-sized trees, growing wild in many parts of the group; but the boro-dina is cultivated, and there are generally several large bushes of it near every Bure-ni-sa (or strangers’ house), where the bodies of those slain in battle are always taken. The boro-dina is a bushy shrub, seldom higher than six feet, with a dark, glossy foliage, and berries of the shape, size, and colour of tomatoes. This fruit has a faint aromatic smell, and is occasionally prepared like tomato sauce. The leaves of these three plants are wrapped around the bokola, as those of the taro are around pork, and baked with it on heated stones. Salt is not forgotten.
The botanical illustration shows Solanum uporo or Solanum anthropophagi, AKA Cannibal's tomato. Via Wikimedia.
If you've read Moby Dick, or seen the movie, you'll know what a crow's nest is . . . but did you know it originally had crows in it? According to the US Navy's Origin of Navy Terminology:
The crow . . . was an essential part of the early sailors' navigation equipment. These land-lubbing fowl were carried on board to help the navigator determine where the closest land lay when the weather prevented sighting the shore visually. In cases of poor visibility, a crow was released and the navigator plotted a course that corresponded with the bird's because it invariably headed toward land.
The crow's nest was situated high in the main mast where the look-out stood his watch. Often, he shared this lofty perch with a crow or two since the crows' cages were kept there: hence the "crow's nest."