Certainly advocates are not a monolith, but some of the key advocacy organizations leading the current movement such as Black Lives Matter TO, have not recommended body cameras as a measure to reduce police violence. On the other hand, body cameras seem to be a popular proposal by governments, and a frequent recommendation in police service use of force reviews I’ve read. As I’ve explained before, I think it is best to follow the lead of advocates.
A recent discussion I had about body cameras has prompted me to write up my impressions on the debate in order to formalize my thoughts for any future discussions. In sum, I would characterize body cameras 1) a reform with a small potentialbenefit likely outweighed by a large cost, and 2) furthermore a measure that maintains/increases the scope of policing, which is the opposite of what the defund movement is pushing for.
Homemade granola bars and I have had a long sordid and crumbly history. Recipes that I came across often relied on honey as an important binder which meant that it was used in quantities that semi-obviated why I wanted to make my own granola bars in the first place – I wanted to make something much less sweet! When I tried to reduce the sweetness, the recipes I made trembled at the sight of a knife, crumbling into pieces once I tried to cut them into bars.
A couple of years ago I thought that I had finally come across a granola bar that didn’t crumble and wasn’t too sweet, as it used more nut butter as a binder. But when I tried to make them a second time, full of confidence, huzzah for hubris! as they too crumbled on me.
My introduction to Bouchon Bakery by Thomas Keller & Sebastien Rouxel began with my sister waxing poetic on everything she had made from the book. Even the chocolate chip cookies were probably the best cookies she had ever made.
This scone recipe is a riff off of their savoury bacon cheddar scones, and they are probably the best scones I’ve ever made.
What’s that – a good scone? Yes – a good scone: i.e. the perennial struggle! There are many things that I tend to make terribly over and over again, scones one amongst them. There have been tough scones, flat scones, scones that are just straight up proper paperweights.
These scones are actually, like, good scones – baking up light while tasting like blocks of butter and browned cheese and herbs.
It seems that right now banana bread is taking off! While I’ve never been too big a fan of banana bread, there are exceptions. For example, an exception flavoured with Thai green curry paste and crested with a crispy coconut fragipane of sorts.
I’ve been making banana bread with this flavour profile for years, inspired by a green curry banana bread that was once on the menu at milk bar. Over the years, on the rather rare occasions I’ve made banana bread, I’ve transposed the combination of Thai green curry paste and coconut from one banana bread recipe to the next until I settled on my current favourite. Then four years ago I threw some leftover coconut tart filling overtop and all of a sudden, I had a new motivation to make banana bread.
I’ve titrated the curry paste to be just enough to taste and to warm the mouth with each bite. The banana bread itself is on the fluffier and softer end of the banana bread spectrum, which I find a virtue, though still moist.
my favourite french toast inspired by bb’s diner in toronto – and i try my hand at describing food more …er, descriptively? properly?
This french toast is based on the version at BB’s diner – a Toronto filipino brunch spot in a two-floor house, charmingly retrofitted with what could be pastel-coloured 80s McDonald’s booth seating, houseplants, vibrantly flowered tablecloths and mismatched vintage china. The food trumps even the charming interior design. Their tapsilog is a trifecta of runny-yolked eggs, addictively pungent garlic fried rice and crisp fried milkfish dipped in tart vinegar. Another one: an omelette of fluffed egg melded with melting, charred eggplant, showered in golden rosti. Out of all of this though, the french toast is my favourite.
It looks unassuming – square white bread, sliced at a regular thickness, the custardy interior cooked until a bit firm. But pale gold banana dulce de leche lies below a whispery canopy of powdered sugar, slivered almonds and shredded coconut. The toast itself rests in a pool of what I assume is warmed evaporated milk, tasting opaque and cooked. It is every sort of delicious and comforting; think the mellow flavours, and the tres leches-crossed-with-porridge vibe from the bath of warm evaporated milk.
Lately, my reading list has been dominated by non-fiction – Eating Right in America by Charlotte Biltekoff Maynard, Unsetting Canada by Arthur Manuel, and Superior: The Return of Race Science by Angela Saini to name a few. This list rarely gets shorter; half of them have are annotated with what page I’ve left off on, started but never finished. I read a bit and get distracted, or life gets in the way as it always does (or as I always let it) and then they’re due back at the library so I have to return them and place another hold…
They are all books I very much want to read, but I suppose what I’ve actually been craving is fiction! Immersive fiction! Thorough engrossment with no cracks in concentration for life (i.e. news articles and texts and instagram and oh yeah – responsibilities) to get in the way. Or rather, more so than fiction specifically, it’s character-driven stories.
My most recent complete read was one of those books you sit down and find yourself devouring as smoothly as a croissant or a slice of cake (like – they’re there in front of you and then somehow they’re gone), the memoir We Have Always Been Here by Samra Habib.
in which I make a lot of summery-fruited muffins and discover that sometimes it’s more so the technique than ingredients.
My history of muffins has been spotty – some rather good, plenty very dry, and still no particular go-to muffin recipe. I thought it would be helpful for the efficiency of my muffin-making-future to try a few different base recipes to see what works best for me.
I chose three recipes that varied in their ingredients and technique, two of which I had made before, but never tried to compare. For comparison purposes, I standardized the amount of sugar, using 50g (1/4 cup) for 6 muffins – this was a comfortable slightly-more-than-subtle sweetness, so the sugar could certainly be reduced further depending on your preference. I also used half whole wheat flour and half all-purpose flour in all the recipes.
Some key muffin pointers I tried to follow:
mix less, not more
mix the wet and dry ingredients together with a fork (a KAF recipe pointer)
test for doneness a bit earlier than you expect
As I included one cake-like recipe with creamed butter, I was fairly sure that would be the favourite. However, I usually want muffins to be fast and a relatively painless procedure. So this comparison was not just to identify a favourite recipe out of three, but also to answer the question: just how much are you missing out on when you don’t cream your butter?
The first time I heard of smoothie bowls, I thought it sounded a bit gimmicky. How is this different from a normal smoothie? Why does putting it in a bowl all of sudden make it so hip and Pinterest-able?
Despite my placidly confused disinterest, my friend, with an enthusiastic and generous love for smoothie bowls derived from some time in California (apparently a smoothie bowl destination), decided we must have one. After he ordered this smoothie bowl from this smoothie chain, in a transforming manner kind of like macarons, everything came together and all the hype made sense.
Because it was thick and satisfying and you like ate it instead of drinking it.
And it wasn’t just that having an array of toppings on your smoothie bowl was pretty, but that it added textures! and different flavours! and different combinations of flavours! and it’s simply a pragmatic matter of surface area to explain why you need to put your smoothie in a bowl to achieve that number and variety of different toppings.
Structurally, this danish is based on a blueberry cream cheese bread I remember being very fond of making in elementary school. But now that I’m older I’ve obviously decided it would be much improved with five times the butter … which entails a danish pastry instead of enriched bread!
I ended up loving the simplicity of this pastry enough to make it twice. The second time was for a potluck, where, predictably, the desserts kept on piling up. We ended up sharing the remaining desserts over the course of the following week.