Mimsy Were the Borogoves

The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false-face for the urge to rule it. Power is what all messiahs really seek: not the chance to serve. — H. L. Mencken (Minority Report: H.L. Mencken’s Notebooks)

Franklin Golden Syrup Recipes—Wednesday, July 27th, 2022
Chocolate oat cakes and walnut creams

The chocolate oat cakes are a cross between baked oatmeal cookies and unbaked oatmeal candies.

I recently bought an old Franklin Golden Sugar Refining Company cookbook—a pamphlet, really—from about 1910. The Franklin Sugar Refining Company of Philadelphia was one of the biggest, if not the biggest, sugar refineries in the United States—and probably the world. They don’t exist today; they’re just a side-note to a company that itself doesn’t exist. Their cane syrup doesn’t exist either. Today, most syrup for baking is made from corn instead of cane.

I didn’t realize when I bought this book that golden syrup was cane syrup. I especially didn’t know that golden syrup was a special kind of cane syrup, one that’s difficult to find nowadays except in specialty stores and through mail order. But I decided to go all the way—so many of the recipes mention the unique flavor of golden syrup that I decided to test them using it. I bought Lyle’s Golden Syrup as a substitute for Franklin’s.

Golden syrup has a wonderful caramel flavor. If this is what golden syrup used to be—and from the description of some of the recipes, I’m pretty sure it is—it’s sad that it isn’t more available. It has a wonderful creamy caramel flavor great not just for baking but also for pancakes and waffles.

There are surprisingly few histories of golden syrup online. As I write this, the Wikipedia entry is barely more than a stub. The Lyle’s page and most British pages about golden syrup focus on Lyle’s, not on the syrup itself.

Franklin Golden Syrup Recipes (ePub ebook file, 9.2 MB) is a very short collection of recipes. Unlike other branded syrup recipe books I’ve seen, it focuses exclusively on baked goods and candies. There’s nothing here about using the syrup on hams or in casseroles. I’ve also made it available as a paperback flipbook.

On education, the left is mired in the fifties—Wednesday, July 20th, 2022

The left loves to accuse conservatives of wanting to turn the clock back to the fifties. This, it turns out, is typical projection. From government to education, the beltway left is stuck in the industrial assembly-line mindset of the fifties. They believe that any attempt to modernize either government or education is an attack on morals.

Even today, any attempt to allow parents a choice in schools other than the one-size fits all government-run approach is met with end-of-the-world nonsense. This is often even true when those choices are other government schools such as schools in different districts or charter schools.

The ridiculous lack of even basic security in schools is a direct result of schools being run as a fifties-era government monopoly. You often hear older people lamenting that they used to be able to keep their doors unlocked, but times have changed. Businesses used to be able to keep their buildings unguarded, but times have changed.

And it’s true. Times have changed. We used to be able to keep our doors unlocked. We used to be able to open the unguarded doors of our businesses and not go bankrupt from crime. But we recognize that times have changed. And so we no longer keep our doors unlocked and our buildings unguarded.

Schools, because monopolies tend to get stuck in their heyday, still keep their doors unlocked, despite the ease of having one-way doors that only open from the inside. They still keep students unguarded, despite the dedicated teachers available in every class. Teachers who often end up protecting children by dying to defend them, rather than protecting children by training to defend them.

Pretend your school is a bank. Or a sporting event. Or anything not run by government. All of them storing important things or hosting important events, but none as important as educating children. All of them have better security than schools. Much of it is simple security that doesn’t even add more expense: doors that only open from the inside, and training for employees. And of course, others forms of security does add expense, such as security guards and automatic alarms. But businesses pay for these because they work.

Who is Trump running against?—Wednesday, July 13th, 2022
Gary Gygax: Know the Rules

President Trump has been taking flack for his endorsements lately. Honestly, looking at endorsements like that of Mehmet Oz over Kathy Barnette, I can understand it. But I completely understand his withdrawal of support from Mo Brooks, who went on to lose his primary. The media is describing Trump’s unendorsement as “a personal grievance”, but the issue is far greater than mere personalities.

Watching state secretaries of state and county elections officials stonewall basic election integrity checks—the kind of basic fraud checking that any business does to verify that what comes in matches what goes out—it’s become increasingly obvious that election fraud in 2020 was not your standard margin of fraud.

Election fraud has never been something we should ignore. And yet not only is the left telling us to put fraud behind us, supposed conservatives in the beltway are also demanding that we put fraud behind us. The scuttlebutt about Trump’s not endorsing Mo Brooks is that Brooks switched from talking about the steal to advising that we put the steal behind us. The news media is calling it a “personal grievance” between Brooks and Trump.

I don’t know how much or even whether Brooks backed down from acknowledging the 2020 steal. I don’t live in Alabama and can’t trust anything the media says. But the 2020 election steal is not “a personal grievance”. If Brooks is really telling us to put concerns about an obviously stolen election behind us, he’s wrong, and dangerously so. Putting fraud behind us threatens every future election.

That’s the kind of thinking that helps conservatives continue losing. And it’s the kind of advice Trump doesn’t take well, for good reason. Conventional wisdom is that Trump has to focus on his opponent, not on election fraud. But that’s a drastic misunderstanding of what this election is about.

Trump wasn’t running against Hillary Clinton in 2016 and he isn’t running against Joe Biden in 2024. Biden1 is going to lose worse in 2024 than he lost in 2020. That doesn’t mean the Republican candidate will win. Whatever candidate the Republicans put up in 2024 is not running against the Democratic candidate. They’re running against the establishment that put Biden over the top even though Biden lost. Running against Joe Biden is running against the wrong person. Trump appears to recognize that his true opponent is not Biden, and that he can’t win if all he does is beat Biden.

Election 2024—Wednesday, July 13th, 2022

Positioning for election 2024 is already started; the campaign will heat up very quickly after November 2020.

January 6 for Non-Dummies—Thursday, July 7th, 2022

“For nearly 18 months, American Greatness has covered this issue like no other outlet. American Greatness here provides the definitive list of what people need to know about January 6, 2021, and related hype.”

Julie Kelly has a great and short summary of what didn’t happen at the January 6 protests.

Every state should plan to secede—Wednesday, July 6th, 2022
Texas flag on a Pecos wall

The Texas legislature meets every two years. They met in 2021, and they’ll meet again in 2023. The Texas Republican Party’s legislative priorities for the 2023 session are very mainstream. Secure elections, end child mutilation, the kinds of things that nobody except the beltway class could oppose.

There is a larger document that goes into more detail about what Texas Republicans want, however, and item number 33 states that:

Texas retains the right to secede from the United States, and the Texas Legislature should be called upon to pass a referendum consistent thereto.

This is clarified further down at item 224:

We urge the Texas Legislature to pass [a] bill in its next session requiring a referendum in the 2023 general election for the people of Texas to determine whether or not the State of Texas should reassert its status as an independent nation.

As things currently stand, this is a bad idea and would pretty much kill the Republic. With Texas out of the United States, no conservative would ever win the presidency again; the Supreme Court would fall and from there the Constitution would be discarded.

Texas secession is a nuclear strategy, and should be saved for when such drastic measures are the only option.

A much better idea is Representative Biedermann’s 2021 proposal, House Bill number 1359, to provide a referendum to Texas voters asking them:

Should the legislature of the State of Texas submit a plan for leaving the United States of America and establishing an independent republic?

It’s not clear if Biedermann’s idea is to have the plan and keep it available, or to have the plan and immediately use it; the latter is a bad idea. The former is so necessary it’s crazy we haven’t already done it. A plan to secede is very different from actual secession. Making plans for how secession would operate is one of the best ways to make secession unnecessary. Every state should have such a plan.

Let mortal tongues awake—Wednesday, June 29th, 2022

Samuel Francis Smith’s America is a staple patriotic song at religious gatherings around Independence Day and other patriotic holidays. It’s more commonly known as “My Country, ’Tis of Thee” because “America” appears only obliquely in the lyrics as “Thy name I love” in the second verse. It is short, otherwise direct, and a wonderful combination of looking forward to liberty and looking backward to what that liberty cost.

Smith wrote America in 1831, when some people could still remember the events of the revolution and some were beginning to recognize the likelihood of further bloodshed in the name of liberty. He lived past our Civil War, and wrote hymns to the freedom secured through that great sacrifice, too.

The four verses rise from the birth of liberty, through the physical country, to hope for the spread of liberty, and end on a plea to God as the author of liberty to preserve and protect our country as a free country.

The several verses added later going into more detail about the beauties of our land seem excessively inventorical. The original second verse handles our country’s physical beauty just fine. I see no need to belabor the point. This is a hymn, after all, but not only that, one of the beauties of the hymn is it’s simplicity. Making it really long kills part of what makes it a great and memorable hymn.

The lyrics in my 1925 Hymns of Praise Number Two are:

    • My country, ’tis of thee,
    • Sweet land of liberty,
    • Of thee I sing;
    • Land where my fathers died,
    • Land of the pilgrims’ pride,
    • From every mountain side
    • Let freedom ring!
    • My native country, thee,
    • Land of the noble free,
    • Thy name I love;
    • I love thy rocks and rills,
    • Thy woods and templed hills;
    • My heart with rapture thrills
    • Like that above.
    • Let music swell the breeze,
    • And ring from all the trees
    • Sweet freedom’s song;
    • Let mortal tongues awake;
    • Let all that breathe partake;
    • Let rocks their silence break,
    • The sound prolong.
    • Our fathers’ God to Thee,
    • Author of liberty,
    • To Thee we sing;
    • Long may our land be bright
    • With freedom’s holy light;
    • Protect us by Thy might,
    • Great God our King.
Ice cream from your home freezer—Wednesday, June 22nd, 2022

One of the amazing things about reading old cookbooks is learning completely different recipes for making common foods. I used to think ice cream either required going to the store, or buying yet another single-purpose appliance to do the churning. I grew up in the seventies, and when we made ice cream it was with a time-consuming hand-churned ice cream maker, filled with salty ice. We had to crank it outside, because the salty ice turned to water and was released through a drain hole about, as I recall, halfway up the side.

But as I wrote in Revolutionary Refrigeration, recipes immediately after the introduction of the home freezer make ice cream by just sticking it in the freezer and letting it freeze. Maybe taking it out once to whip it. A lot of these recipes show up under different names in other cookbooks. Many a mousse or parfait is indistinguishable from ice cream once it’s been frozen.

I’ve divided these recipes up into those that use whole eggs, those that use egg yolks, those that use egg whites, and those that use gelatin. The basic idea is the same in each case: make a syrup-like mixture, either a custard or a meringue or a gelatin, and fold in whipped cream. Add flavoring to either the sugar mixture or fold the flavoring in with the cream. And freeze it.

These are all very good ice creams. If you’re looking for something quick, look at the toasted ice cream made with egg whites. If you’re looking for something rich, look at the egg yolk recipes.

A full three of these recipes come from the Southern Living Desserts Cookbook. The entire Southern Living Library is a great collection, and the Desserts book is one of the best. That may be partially because I have a sweet tooth, but I definitely recommend this book, and, in fact, all of the books I stole these ice creams from.

Whole eggs

This maple ice cream from the 1942 Montgomery Ward Cold Cooking cookbook is one of the easiest of the egg-based recipes. There’s no separating the eggs or even folding the cream into the syrup or eggs.

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