Author Archives: nbmandel

Coconut pumpkin mousse.

Vegan, gluten-free, a success at Thanksgiving.

Coconut Grove, Salt Lake City, 1939, by Ray King; Univ. of Utah, via DPLA.
  1. Chill a can of full fat coconut milk or coconut cream overnight, or the equivalent.
  2. Lift out the congealed part and beat it till it is fluffy. I wouldn’t attempt this without at least a little electric hand mixer like the one I have. Add a little reserved liquid if you need to.
  3. Mix 1 1/2 cups of pumpkin puree with 1/4 c maple syrup, 2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp each ground allspice and ground ginger, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, and 1 tsp vanila extract. (My friend Belinda suggests heating the puree and spices for a few minutes; she says it removes any metallic taste and blooms the spices. Add the vanilla off the heat.) Fold the whipped coconut into the (cooled) pumpkin mix, chill in small cups.
  4. Serve with something textury on top (I used sugared and toasted chopped walnuts and chopped crystallized ginger) and a blob of extra whipped coconut (I used the whipped coconut in a spray can from Trader Joes, which I find delicious).


Today I set out to make yogurt and made, instead, cheese. Cheese curds, anyway. I don’t know how it happened.


Ides, veg but not vegan

Haruspex Day rolls round again and as I have no access to sacrificial oxen I was constrained to inspect a fried egg this morning.

Eve Golden in a fried egg hat (via DPLA)

Results: sunny and positive to start, wrinkly at the edges, quickly becoming a mess.

Pamphlet from the New England Fresh Egg Institute, 1942 [Univ. of South Carolina Libraries via DPLA]

The whole story in an eggshell.


Today’s metaphor-or-something headline: Melania Trump’s Hat Auction Hit by Plunge in Cryptocurrency (NYT, 1/26/22)


Two annoyances I thought nearly done returned in full force: ants, and a blocked ear. Damned irritating, both of them.


Is it a test?

Why would anyone contract for editing services with a company so feebly detail-oriented that it doesn’t bother to make sure its fake rave reviews don’t duplicate each other?

That jade fylfot charm pawned for one-and-three

The offence that had circuitously brought 'il Rasojo' and his 'lot'
within the cognizance of Scotland Yard outlines the kind of story that
is discreetly hinted at by the society paragraphist of the day, politely
disbelieved by the astute reader, and then at last laid indiscreetly
bare in all its details by the inevitable princessly 'Recollections' of
a generation later. It centred round an impending royal marriage in
Vienna, a certain jealous 'Countess X' (here you have the discretion of
the paragrapher), and a document or two that might be relied upon (the
aristocratic biographer will impartially sum up the contingencies) to
play the deuce with the approaching nuptials.

-- Ernest Bramah, The Game Played in the Dark (a Max Carrados story)

I would leave the fylfot in the pawnshop if I were you.


No.s count

simplicity so often is

somebody explain why authors would consistently leave the issue numbers out of their journal references. you see the volume number, you see the page range, the ISSUE NO. is right there!

yes I am copyediting (and checking every one of these stupid things) why do you ask

Haruspex Day 2021

In Gowanus

March 15 last year I assembled a poem from scraps and read its entrails:

I predict: that things will be very confusing, even surreal. That many of us will pass through what seems like a different world, strangely collectively. That some appearances will soothe our fevers, judged by the feeling of mercury. That we may — or alternately may not — be able to bear. That some possibilities will vanish.

And lo! you can’t say I was wrong. In general I am (making my monicker ironic) a lousy foresee-er; I hate to gamble. There’s seldom enough sooth from the future to cast a fortune. Now the radio station asks its listeners for lessons learned. I guess they want cheerful ones; would they choose the gloomy? It’s to be sealed for a decade. Imagine that, it poses, and I can’t.



Opinions & Ideas No One Asked Me For #2. Getting peevy so early! but I think it’s relatively mild and harmless: I don’t like ice cube perfection cultists. Perfectly clear ice, one cube the size of Rhode Island or two exquisite spheres buffed to remove the join line, exactly 1 cm per side and exactly 17 per drink, crushed and only crushed BUT STOP NO FURTHER CRUSHING, any of that. People who like a cute shape just for fun, that’s different and acceptable; it’s not pseudo religion.