chasing shadows again

Black-Raspberry Glaze from

  1. Drain 1 pt frozen black raspberries and reserve juice.  (Measure juice and add water if needed to make 1 cup).
  2. Thoroughly combine 1 tbsp sugar, 1 tbsp cornstarch, and 1 tbsp Grand Marnier (orange juice can be substituted for Grand Marnier).
  3. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.  Boil 2 minutes.
  4. Combine 1/2 cup hot glaze with berries and spread over cheesecake (brownies will be substituted for cheesecake!) then slowly pour the remaining glaze over the fruit, forming a shiny glaze.
  • Glazes one cheesecake

Raspberry-Glazed Brownies from

  1.  Make brownies per directions on box.  (Duncan Hines Brownies Plus Milk Chocolate Chunks Mix is suggested.  I have never tried these.)
  2. Combine 1 square (1 oz) melted unsweetened chocolate, 2 tbsp softened butter, and 2 tbsp cornstarch.
  3. Stir in 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, 1 tbsp milk, and 1 tsp vanilla extract.
  4. Add 2 tbsp raspberry jam.  Mix well.
  5. Spread on top of cooled brownies.
  • covers 1 batch (24) brownies

Raspberry Glaze from Perfect Puree of Napa Valley:

  1. In a saucepan, combine 8 oz red raspberry puree, 1 tsp cornstarch, 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice, and 2 tsp sugar.
  2. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until clear and slightly thickened.
  • makes 1 cup glaze

You!  You know who you are!  Any of these look good?


if I had it
I would give you the world and all of the stars
nowhere else makes me feel beautiful
the careless smiles I get here
are not the same
as the triumphant leer of the men who buy me drinks
then try to take me to their beds
which I will leave in the morning with nothing more than what I came with
hollow and sad
as the walls which do not cradle homes
only furniture
walking through this market
feels like coming home
as if the colors and the gravel and the sky can cradle
what the shells of apartments and houses cannot
I can feel the leaves of orchids and rows of Thai silk
reach out to touch the bananas and the old books
who throw spiderwebs of their souls out to
jewelry and crepes and honey and soap
offering to hold the world
offering to hold me
though I know that the closest I will come to that promise
is the brush of fingers
as I pay for orchids and honey
the artwork and the silk and the jewels
that I wrap around me like a quilt to keep out the dark

Walking through the open air market always feels like coming home. This time before the market, we stopped at Sirius Coffee where the same man as last time made my coffee, and I swear that somehow he puts love in it. Or maybe that’s the extra chocolate. This time when I asked for a small mocha after contemplating, he negated that decision with a “how can more chocolate and more whipped cream be wrong?” He wins. I love that place. It has an internet cafe kinda thing, and one day I may go there to write to you, where I can have many mochas. If anyone reading this makes it to Pahoa and does not go in for coffee (and to read the many, many bits of paper and stickers on the counter) you are missing something you should have had. If you never make it to Pahoa, you are doing the same, but more understandably so. I understand that not everyone will fly to the islands, though much like Fuji, it is something I cannot imagine living without. There are some things, some places, that add a kind of richness to the world. I have cherished all of them I have found, though I have found few of them.

Today there were people to say hello to, people who are starting to know me. I was not going to buy honey, but my honey seller (there are two and I only buy from one – he charmed me and I think he may charm bees) had honey sticks! I still had honey for both the altar and the kitchen (and for my Ravyn, I so have to mail you your honey! Remind me!), but honey sticks! I could not say no. Anyway, he always makes me smile. And last time I was there I tasted both his new kinds of honey but didn’t buy any. 😦 I need to make money so I can buy his honey and ship it all over the earth. People who tell me what flowers the bees were eating and show me the different tastes that makes and talk to me like I’m a person should get my money. I just have to have it first.

Again, the man who sells the used books out of his truck was there, and though I have books I still looked and brought home a book on Islamic art. There are other book sellers, but this one has the unusual things, and he talks to people. He does not talk as much to me, but many people he recommends books to. I suppose he has to learn what I like first. That is where I bought Snow Falling on Cedars which I loved for its peaceful kinda sleepy longing and truth. More people should be able to use darkness to show us light. I highly recommend that book to anyone.

I brought home an orchid, who I believe is named Ishmael. He is in my room now and I smile to look at him. Delilah, the night blooming jasmine I have planted in a pot to live with me (Lucien’s sister cutting!) is here too, on the corner of my desk. So is the lumpy lemon tree I planted from a seed, who needs a name. So anyone who knows what a lemon tree might be named should tell me here. Ishmael and the lemon (who I think is also a boy) are sharing a wire basket because Ishmael is too heavy on one side and topples over.

We have a coffee plant too now, and it seems to me that the coffee, the vanilla, and the cocoa plants should all live together. But then, I’m weird. We have a few more cocoa bean I should start. I want to make a shade thing for the cuttings with some mesh, so they will not fry. I need to sort through my books and decide which will be boxed (until I have shelves, at least). And I need a table. I kinda want to make one. Then I can build in boxes to hold pens and plants!

I have to finish my resume and stuff (and do secrets!) and organize and…I’m just full of things to do. But I will leave you with quotes from the two beautiful cards I got at the market today.

“We often confuse spiritual knowledge with spiritual attainment. Spirituality is not a matter of knowing scriptures and engaging in philosophical discussions. It is a matter of heart culture, of immeasurable strength. Fearlessness is the first requisite of spirituality. Cowards can never be moral.” ~ Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

“What is needed is a realization that power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice. And justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.” ~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr


Who wants to have drinks in Tijuana?

This post is unapologetic chaos.

Have a seat at one of our tables. Toast to love, to passion, to prosperity. Not interested in a drink? Can we tempt you with a chocolate Voodoo doll?

Don’t worry, our bar staff is fully qualified to handle a zombie horde! In the event of a zombie attack please follow the instructions located on the reverse side of your menu. Zombies may be a sign of the alien invasion – fear not! If you’re cool enough, they can’t actually do anything to you.

Yes. I am in a very odd mood.

This post is for my Ravyn (who has put up with many links to various *ahem* indecent chocolates and has been promised, or perhaps threatened, with the delivery of them to his door by mail). But other people as well may enjoy this little trek through the Internet in search of chocolate things from the tantalising to the absolutely tasteless, with frequent side trips (sometimes to skateboards!).

I’ll begin with Nirvana Chocolates – where you can fill a custom box of chocolates (16 or 32 pieces) with your selections, or choose one of the ready made packages. Check their Zen Collection for their candied orange peel covered in dark chocolate – which strikes me as the perfect gift for someone, I’m just not sure who. I have yet to order from here – but I certainly plan to.

For something a touch closer to my definition of bliss Shari’s Berries ships chocolate covered strawberries (which I am very much in love with). Most fascinating to me are the Old World Map Treasure Chest and their Tuxedo Berries. Looking for sweet but sugarfree? – they even have sugarfree chocolate dipped strawberries. Look around for all kinds of gift possibilities – coffee, fuzzies, silver…this site offers a pretty good range of stuff to chose from if for some reason the chocolate covered strawberries are not enough.

Chocolate tours? You’re not dreaming! Try tours in Belgium, London, New York, Chicago, Boston. For a listing of other tours visit cocoajava’s tours and destinations list. Chocolate tours seem far more common than I ever imagined (as I didn’t realise they existed!).

Chocolate Skateboardsno chocolate, but skateboards! (What? Were you not aware that I had the attention span of a fruit-fly? I couldn’t help it!)

Specializing in chocolate mice and penguins! I don’t think I need say more. Visit Burdick Chocolate to see these adorable creations! They sell many other chocolate things, including chocolate dipped fruit, but the mice and penguins are a must see.

Send Virtual Chocolate! (WARNING: Some may view this as teasing!) In addition to sending virtual chocolate you can see chocolate quotes, a chocolate poem, links to real chocolate, books on chocolate, and chocolate computer wallpaper. Fun to poke around.

Educational chocolate? The Field Museum in Chicago has put together a chocolate exhibition. It’s wandering about the country, teaching everyone about chocolate! Check when it (hopefully) comes to a city near you! I’m tempted on the 2009 Seattle one. But then I’m always looking for excuses to visit anywhere.

Want to see the reason I’m wondering if one really can cover zucchini with chocolate if it’s cooked with sweet spices? Check out Chocolate & Zucchini for recipes. This one for Gelée de Chocolat, Ananas et Violette (which was placed conveniently on their main page but may become displaced with time) is begging me to try it.

More Chocolate Lover’s Links @ The Merry Chocoholic

Wonka Chocolate Factory!  Possibly-probably fun.  Except I must flee in terror as oomp-loompas could come for me here at any moment now, if they realise a way in is also a way out!

et cetera