1. Position a rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 325°F. Lay a double thickness of paper towels in a baking pan large enough to comfortably hold eight 4- to 6-ounce heatproof custard cups or ramekins. Set the cups in the pan (the paper towels will keep them in place).
2. Heat cream, cardamom, cloves and ginger in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until the mixture just comes to a full boil. Remove from the heat and let stand for 15 minutes. Place chocolate in a 4-cup glass measure. Return the cream to medium-high heat and reheat to boiling. Immediately pour through a very fine sieve set over the chocolate, pressing down on the spices to extract as much flavor as possible; don't stir the chocolate. Let stand for 3 minutes, then gently stir until the chocolate completely melts and the mixture is well blended and smooth. (If the chocolate is not completely melted, microwave it for 20 to 30 seconds on High, then stir.)
3. Wipe out the saucepan, add milk and sugar, and heat just to boiling, stirring until the sugar dissolves. In a slow, thin stream, gradually stir about two-thirds of the boiling milk into the chocolate. If the mixture looks separated at any point, stop adding milk and stir the chocolate until it is smooth again before continuing.
4. Whisk egg, egg yolks and vanilla in a small bowl until well blended. While constantly whisking the egg mixture, add the remaining milk in a slow, thin stream. Strain the egg-milk mixture through a fine sieve into the chocolate mixture; stir well to combine. Evenly divide among the custard cups, about 1/4 cup each.
5. Place the pan on the low oven rack. Add enough very hot tap water to come 3/4 inch up the sides of the cups. Bake until the tops appear barely set when the cups are jiggled, 16 to 20 minutes; don't tap the tops as this will mar the surface.
6. Transfer the cups to a wire rack. Let cool thoroughly, about 1 hour. Cover with plastic and refrigerate until chilled, at least 3 hours and up to 3 days. Let warm up just slightly before serving. Garnish with a dollop of whipped cream and a small piece of crystallized ginger (if desired).
Tips: You can use either whole cardamom pods or the peppercorn-size seeds for this recipe. Crush or bruise the seeds with the side of a chef's knife or a heavy-bottomed pan to help release the flavor. If necessary, substitute 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom; the flavor will be fine, but the texture will be a little less silky.
Almost any semisweet or bittersweet chocolate will work in this recipe, although if you choose an extra-bittersweet one with more than a 65% cacao content, reduce the chocolate to 4 ounces and increase the sugar to 1/4 cup.
NOTE: This same branch broke shortly after I was back inside. Goddess does protect fools and ships named Enterprize.
Wow! It used to be that I had weather sense. Farmer’s blood makes you good that way. So yesterday I was 100% certain there would be no snow. It was in the high 30's and raining. No snow by late that night either. So I was assured of my weather forecasting. Those idiots on the Weather Channel didn’t know jack. A foot of snow. HA!
I enjoyed and was very amused by folks at the store. I was stocking up for the Super Bowl. These folks were going crazy. Which is normal here, even with less than an inch protected. I mean c’mon people, we live in a snowy part of the world. But I digress.
As I stood in the rain, I wondered how anyone could predict snow. Well insomnia is a wonderful thing. I have seen a mere wimpy dusting grow into 18 inches. And it is still coming. The county is in a state of emergency, and I’ve got once in a lifetime winter shots from my own yard.
It is that surreal sticky stuff too, which we never get. So, climate change? Yes I believe. We just don’t get over a foot of snow in a few hours. We are lucky to see two to six inches in the heaviest storms here. Yes, this winter’s storms have officially topped that. We may have had one or two storms to top this, but they took days if not weeks to lay down this amount.
There is another storm on the way too. What makes me sad is that this grand abundance is going to waste. Subzero temps belong to the dear sweet polar bears that are dying from the heat. Where they are, bears are starving, dying from the warmth, and being picked off easily by poachers on the now brown grounds.
That’s the terrible thing about climate change. The right weather will no longer be where it belongs. I suppose humans will always adapt, but how long until animals are a wistful memory? I know this new climate is making the relied on powers of farmers and others who can feel the weather nil. It is as if the Gods in their anger have decided to no longer allow us to see what is coming.
But I don’t ever place blame on Diety. We have done this to ourselves. Perhaps Mother Earth herself is getting rid of us. We are the most destructive, violent, and wasteful species. Whatever we get, we deserve it. I truly believe in climate change and the destruction it is causing. I hope others join me before it is too late.
UPDATE: Whilst walking out to check on a relative I indeed found places where the snow was over three feet. Luckily people here are born to the snow. So while the lifting effect on the cleavage was sweet and funny, I also had a measurment tool, me! Super Kitty to the rescue! LOL!
Of course when I reached the shelter the relative asks: "What did you walk up for? I'm fine." When I explained not even 911 could get through and I was very worried, all I got was: "Oh."
OK, Michael. Since you are the inspiration behind all of this, I’ve decided to dedicate this year’s goal to you. A whole year of water for children and their families, Michael! Think of driving up with this huge truck, and just offloading kits.
And no, I’m not stopping once I reach my goal. Care2 has so much amazing stuff to do. Petitions, sharing and reading articles, clubs and more. Did you know I can share photos or videos too? I try to keep my page updated, and of course do this sharebook thing when the spirit moves me.
Exciting thought it is, there are days when you are so tired, you just can’t give. You need to sit down and relax with a cup of coffee, meditate, whatever. That helps refresh me so I can get back on my skates and power through. Yes we switched to hockey metaphors, thanks for noticing.
I know a lot of people here don’t like you, but that is their choice. Having you for an inspiration is awesome. Just listening to Earth Song straightens my spine and puts courage in my heart. I feel like a mighty lioness, capable of anything. Anything good, mind you.
The sweet riffy, RHPS moments aren’t bad either. Sweet chorus! And yeah, I’ve do care, that’s why I’m here, fighting to make a difference. Speaking of which, we’ve given 35 days of water so far.
A lot of awesome Care2 friends have helped out with comments, stars, articles, and getting e-cards. We’ve got a long way to go to hit 366 but we will get there. If we don’t I’m tying every Care2 member to a chair and playing something they find hideous at full blast, LOL!
Love you forever, Michael. And I’ll always watch over your kids any way I can. They have been super brave and I know you’re proud of them.
UPDATED STATEMENT: Breastfeeding is the First Line of Defense in a Disaster
na, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Washington, DC--The Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA), United States Breastfeeding Committee (USBC), International Lactation Consultant Association/United States Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA/USLCA), and La Leche League International (LLLI) strongly affirm the importance of breastfeeding in emergency situations, and call on relief workers and health care providers serving victims of disasters to protect, promote, and support mothers to breastfeed their babies. During an emergency, breastfeeding mothers provide their infants with safe food and water and disease protection that maximize their chances of survival.
This week, the International Milk Bank Project and Quick International Courier coordinated a shipment of milk from the HMBANA member banks to supplement a mother's own milk for the premature, medically fragile, and orphaned infants aboard the U.S. Navy ship Comfort stationed off the coast of Haiti. This milk will help this small group of infants. In this highly unusual circumstance the infrastructure associated with the Comfort's resources allows U.S. sourced donor milk to help fragile Haitian babies.
Donor milk, however, is not a solution for the large number of infants and young children affected by the earthquake in Haiti. Members of the public who wish to promote the survival of mothers and babies in Haiti can donate money to the following organizations: UNICEF, Save the Children Alliance, World Vision, and Action Against Hunger. These organizations are using best practice to aid both breastfed and non-breastfed infants. Members of the public can be confident that donations to these organizations will support breastfeeding and help save the lives of babies.
Interventions to protect infants include supporting mothers to initiate and continue exclusive breastfeeding, relactation for mothers who have ceased breastfeeding, and finding wet nurses for motherless or separated babies. Every effort should be made to minimize the number of infants and young children who do not have access to breastfeeding. Artificially fed infants require intensive support from aid organizations including infant formula, clean water, soap, a stove, fuel, education, and medical support. This is not an easy endeavor. Formula feeding is extremely risky in emergency conditions and artificially fed infants are vulnerable to the biggest killers of children in emergencies: diarrhea and pneumonia.
As stated by UNICEF and WHO, no donations of infant formula or powdered milk should be sent to the Haiti emergency. Such donations are difficult to manage logistically, actively detract from the aid effort, and put infant's lives at risk. Distribution of infant formula should only occur in a strictly controlled manner. Stress does not prevent women from making milk for their babies, and breastfeeding women should not be given any infant formula or powdered milk.
There are ongoing needs in the U.S. for human milk for premature and other extremely ill infants because of the protection it provides from diseases and infections. If a mother is unable to provide her own milk to her premature or sick infant, donor human milk is often requested from a human milk bank. American mothers can help their compatriots who find themselves in need of breast milk for their sick baby by donating to a milk bank that is a member of the Human Milk Banking Association of North America.
USBC is an organization of organizations. Opinions expressed by USBC are not necessarily the position of all member organizations and opinions expressed by USBC member organization representatives are not necessarily the position of USBC.
United States Breastfeeding Committee (USBC) The United States Breastfeeding Committee (USBC) is an independent nonprofit coalition of 41 nationally influential professional, educational, and governmental organizations. Representing over half a million concerned professionals and the families they serve, USBC and its member organizations share a common mission to improve the Nation's health by working collaboratively to protect, promote, and support breastfeeding. For more information about USBC, visit www.usbreastfeeding.org.
United States Breastfeeding Committee 2025 M Street, NW, Suite 800 Washington, DC 20036 Phone: 202/367-1132 Fax: 202/367-2132 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.usbreastfeeding.org
American Humane would like to make you aware that a commonly used injectable veterinary drug manufactured by Teva Animal Health, Inc. -- ketamine hydrochloride -- has been recalled. The original ketamine hydrochloride recall has been expanded to include ketamine manufactured by Teva but sold under a wide range of other brand and product names.
If you work at an animal shelter or animal control agency, please check carefully to ensure that none of the recalled drugs are being used at your facility. If you do find any of the recalled drugs, stop their use immediately and contact your sales representative for more information.
Ketamine hydrochloride is an injectable anesthetic agent commonly used for surgical anesthesia in veterinary clinics and animal shelters. Butorphanol is an injectable opiate used to control pain from surgical procedures in dogs and cats.
A press release dated Dec. 21, 2009, posted on the FDA website stated that the ketamine recall was the result of “an increased trend in serious adverse events associated with this product, including lack of effect, prolonged effect, and death.” The recall took place following the questionable deaths of five cats undergoing anesthesia with ketamine.
My job is to assist God's creatures. … I was born with the drive to fulfill their needs. I take in helpless, unwanted, homeless creatures without planning or selection. I have bought dog food with my last dime. I have patted a mangy head with a bare hand. I have hugged someone vicious and afraid. I have fallen in love a thousand times. And I have cried into the fur of a lifeless body too many times to count. I have Animal Friends and friends who have animal friends. I don't often use the word "pet". I notice those lost on the road side and my heart aches.
I will hand raise a field mouse and make friends with a vulture. I know of no creature unworthy of my time. I want to live forever if there aren't animals in Heaven, but I believe there are. Why would God make something so perfect and leave it behind? Some may think we are masters of the animals, but the animals have mastered themselves. .. something people still haven't learned.
War and abuse make me hurt for the world, but a rescue that makes the news gives me hope for mankind. We are a quiet but determined army and we are making a difference every day. There is nothing more necessary than warming an orphan, nothing more rewarding than saving a life, no higher recognition than watching them thrive. There- e is no greater joy than seeing a baby play who, only days ago, was too weak to eat. By the love of those who I've been privileged to rescue, I have been rescued. I know what true unconditional love really is, for I've seen it shining in the eyes of so many, grateful for so little.
I am an Animal Rescuer. My work is never done. My home is never quiet. My wallet is always empty, but my heart is always full.
One of the hardest lessons for those not raised pagan to learn is absolute trust. No matter you were always drawn to the Old Gods, everyone who meant well assured you leaving the church, meant abandoning God. Now of course that is foolish, but remember people mean well, and the instinct to stay safe, if unhappy is strong.
So imagine becoming for lack of a better term, a priestess of Bast. To make matters worse, you take on Anubis as your Lord. Never mind if you also worship the old way, or what have you, you horrid evil pagan. Besides, how can all these Gods defeated by the "One True God" protect or care for you?
Er, well no, She wasn’t. A lot of the Bible, while wonderful, was an explanation of past events. So though not even mentioned by name, Bast was considered defeated on a not so perfect re-writing of history.
Every religion has stories of" how our God beat up their God", and if you can link it to the past, or believed past, so much the better. And just because most if not all of Egypt has turned from the Old Gods does not invalidate them.
Well sooner or later, if you want to be in that temple, you must leap. You must have faith Bast will catch you before you reach hell, or homelessness, or poverty, or whatever else your old religion promised you for straying.
And will She even deign to pick up a sorry mess not raised as a pagan? Of course She will. Bastet will always protect those She calls to Her. Remember, as a face of the one Goddess, She has just as much power.
She is not, as monotheists believe, some weakling that needs many others to support Her. True She is a specialist, but She has power a-plenty to care for Her children. Answer the call of the sweet and darling Bastet.
OK leap year is a wonderful excuse to give out 366 gifts here on Care2. For myself, since I both love children, and water, I’ll be giving away 366 water purification kits. We tend to take water for granted here in the US. Even despite grim warnings that it may be running out faster than oil.
Water is the most precious and vital resource we have. But we have far too many wasteful practices that are at last catching up with us. I’ve watered my garden with 90-95% rainwater the last several years. Yes, it is smaller than when I ran as much water as I wanted, but it is better for the environment, and my wallet.
People in drought prone areas are being paid to dig up water hungry lawns and replace them with rock gardens or other choices. Pool sales are dipping in these areas as well. Homeowners are getting greener washers, showers, and toilets. Forgoing the daily shower while it may seem gross to some does help the environment. So does a stoppage of chemical use in the garden. Many chemical make plants even thirstier than normal.
So I’m urging all my visitors to try and match me. You earn points for just about everything you do here, and the selection of gifts is very impressive. I don’t expect you all to choose water of course. Offsetting carbon, feeding animals, and mosquito nets are all also wonderful causes.
I realize that is a lot of work in an already busy world. But think of how little the people who receive your gift have. If even drinkable water is a much-needed gift, they deserve our compassion and our help. Be a super hero. Give today.
A million thanks to Lee for sharing this wonderful poem with me. I am posting it as a loving tribute. Not only to Bast, but to the countless Mothers who suffer needlessly at the hands of mankind.
May the great Goddess bless then all, and keep them safe from harm. May her blessings extend to all who love and fight for felines both domestic and wild.
Beloved of Bast"
It was a perfect sunny afternoon for a catnap and the old farm cat lay sleepily in a pile of straw near the barn door. The sun warmed her tabby coat and she stretched and flexed her claws and yawned pinkly. The bees droned in their pursuit of pollen, birds twittered in the trees and lulled the cat called "Mother" into a deep sleep. She dreamed of stalking mice in the dark corners of the barn, and her whiskers twitched and teeth chattered in anticipation - although if the truth be told, her mousing days were long over and her ribs showed from hunger. She curled up more tightly as if to protect the kittens who had been so much a part of her life for over a dozen years. It was her hundred children, and their children, and theirs, that caused her to be called "Mother," and it had been many generations since anyone remembered her given name.
A gentle breeze played against her fur and her slow breathing rasped back and forth in the rhythm of deepest sleep. She never heard the stealthy pawsteps as they approached and she was only awakened when a shadow passed in front of her and blocked the sun.
"Mew?!" she awoke with a start, and blinked heavily at the silhouette of a large cat standing before her. She sat up stiffly and squinted into the sun as a small gasp escaped her.
Before her sat the most beautiful cat she had ever seen, with a pelt like burnished gold, stripes of tawny brown, large sapphire colored eyes, and tall ears with tufts. Around her neck she wore a chain of gold from which an amulet hung, and from her brick red nose to the dark wild markings around her tail, she was the image of feline beauty.
Mother was too stunned to speak. The golden cat turned her gaze from Mother and surveyed the surroundings, and then she spoke.
"Blessed cat called 'Mother,' you are old and tired, and I have come to take you home. I have known of you for many years, and of your trials and tribulations. As of today, that will all be forgotten and you will dwell in my temple, where you will want for nothing. My servants will care for you. You will have a couch in the sun, fresh fish, and the love and respect of all."
Mother struggled to find her voice, not quite understanding if this was a dream or not.
"And who may I ask are you, and where in the world did you come from?!" Mother finally managed to stutter.
The beautiful cat smiled slyly. "I am Bast and I am from another time and place. I dwell in the Temple of Bubastis near the River Nile - which is rather nice, as temples go - and I am the chosen of Ra, the sun god, the protectress of mothers and children, the goddess of fertility...and several other things which I don't recall at the moment."
"What would you want with me, and why would I want to leave here?" Mother asked. "This is my home."
Bast looked at the barn door hanging on one hinge, the pile of manure nearby, the junked and rusted vehicles of Man, and she sniffed.
"Home? It's not much of a home, is it?"
Mother followed the golden cat's gaze around her world and hung her head.
"I know it isn't much to an outsider, but it's all I've ever known."
"Dear cat," Bast said softly. "Leave this place. Your children are mostly gone now, run over on the road, dead from starvation, riddled with disease and suffering, their young stolen by hawks, shaken by dogs, tormented by human boys - and the few who remain healthy are breeding out of control. All of you barely manage to scratch out an existence. The Man and Woman here don't appreciate you. When is the last time they held you, or stroked you, or tended to your wounds, or buried your dead and mourned the loss? They throw you a few crumbs on occasion, but even on the coldest nights you must burrow into the straw for warmth. Come with me to my home,
where you can warm your old bones on a hearth,
where you will never again know the gnawing of hunger."
Mother blinked and the truth somehow made the world she called home seem barren and delapidated. She swallowed hard before answering.
"Your Most Beautifulness, I can't deny that what you say is true, but I am needed here. Who will make sure the kittens don't stray into the fields and lose their way, or fall into the stream? What if a rat should appear, or a coyote - who would warn my family? What if the Man should fall ill or die? - maybe the Woman would need comforting."
Bast looked at her and narrowed her eyes to slits.
She was more accustomed to commanding than conversing.
"Dearest Mother. You have earned a better place. You have nursed kittens until your breasts ached. You have watched the young you worried over die. The Humans are fools! They are blind to beauty and hardhearted. If they truly loved you, would you sleep here in the straw alone, without so much as a kind word or a caress? Come away with me to my temple of gold
and live for all eternity in paradise."
Mother slowly shook her head "no."
"I am sorry, Most Gracious Cat, but I cannot. This is my home, such as it is. I forgave the Man and Woman long ago. I belong here to these hills - these are my trees, my stream, my barnyard. My children and their children and their children need me. Please don't think me ungrateful,
but I am, in my own way, happy."
Bast swished her tail. Not being obeyed was a new experience for her, but in deference to such honesty and loyalty,
foolish though she thought it, she spoke kindly.
"It is clear, Dear Mother, that I cannot change your mind, but neither can I leave without rewarding you in some way.
Surely there is something you want for yourself?"
Mother pondered a moment. She'd never had very much, that was true, but she also didn't have much of an idea of what else a cat could have, or would want.
"Well, I suppose I'd like to keep my claws - I've heard some cats have theirs chopped off by Humans and I can't imagine life without my claws."
It was Bast's turn to shake her head.
Was there ever a cat less demanding than this one called Mother?
"Keep your claws you shall Mother. But there should be more...let me think. Yes! All tabby cats will wear the mark of my amulet around their necks to commemorate this meeting. Still, that's not much. Let me think some more.
"I have it! From now on, all cats, if only so faintly, will wear the mark of "M" on their forehead, in honor of the cat called Mother.
Hmmm...that still doesn't seem like much."
Bast closed her eyes and twitched her tufted ears. She lashed her tail back and forth in thought, and stamped her paw with impatience.
"I know!" she announced and licked her paw in satisfaction. "From this day forward, even after you leave this earthly 'home' of yours, your spirit will always be present. At the edge of the forest and field, Man will see a brown tabby cat from the corner of his eye. As he rides in his motor car, he will spy you by the side of the road. As he turns the corner on a dark night in the city, there you will be. Under lamplight, against fence posts, in the alleys, on doorsteps, you will be there as a constant reminder to Man of what he has foolishly ignored - the simple, quiet, loyal and forgiving heart of a brown tabby cat. That, Most Honored Mother,
beloved of Bast, will be my gift to you."
With that pronouncement she shook gold dust from her luxurious fur and strode imperiously out of sight. Mother nestled into her straw, and began licking her paws. She hadn't any understanding of what had transpired and wondered if it had been some sort of waking dream. The sun shone, the bees droned, and the birds resumed their twittering. Mother slept soundly away.
The days passed one after the other, and all was as it was before, or so it seemed.
It was nearly dusk one day, a short time later, when the Man returned home from the fields. He leaned heavily on the back door frame of the house as he removed his work boots and allowed them to drop with a thud. The Woman was occupied with setting the table for their supper and a fire blazed in the grate.
"I thought you said you found the old mother cat dead yesterday?"
he said to his wife.
"I did, indeed," the Woman replied. "I set her out this morning with the trash."
"Odd. I just thought I saw her next to the woodpile as I came in," he said.
"Funny you should say that. I was walking up from the mailbox this morning and I could've sworn I saw her at the edge of the field."
In her temple, in a land and time far away, Bast smiled.
he United States, locked
in the kind of twilight
disconnect that grips
dying empires, is a
country entranced by
illusions. It spends its
intellectual energy on
the trivial and the
absurd. It is captivated
by the hollow stagecraft
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We have just posted, as a
news story (click here)
this urgent call for
humane, medical release
for Herman Wallace of the
Angola 3, recently
diagnosed with liver
International has just
launched a campaign
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We have just posted, as a
news story (click here)
this urgent call for
humane, medical release
for Herman Wallace of the
Angola 3, recently
diagnosed with liver
International has just
launched a campaign
calling for Herman's