Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Croutons and Rainbows

T. sure makes great croutons and oatmeal cookies! A husband could eat them all day!... The Seattle Post-Intelligencer has an especially good Letter-to-the-Editor column today. Click here and scroll down to "Peace and Prosperity Are Significant Achievements." See what I mean? (The letter was written in response to this article.)

U2's manager doesn't like Radiohead, doesn't like iTunes, and doesn't especially like music fans. He thinks that the state ought to be able to disconnect "repeat infringers" who have the temerity to download free music. Read about it here. What's a "repeat infringer," anyway? The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) claims that it is illegal for me to copy a CD that I purchased onto my own computer. In other words, I'm supposedly not allowed to back up the CD or transfer it to my iPod. (Presumably, I have to buy a separate downloadable copy for that.)

Last fall, Radiohead took the daring initiative of making an advance copy of their new CD "I N / R A I N B O W S" available to their fans as a free download. I wasn't all that familiar with Radiohead other than knowing that they were well-regarded. But this was a chance for free exposure, so I took it. And guess what? "I N / R A I N B O W S" is good. It's rhythmically and musically complex while not sacrificing anything to tunefulness. (Jazz critic Fred Kaplan agrees with me -- scroll down to "Jazz and Radiohead.") I liked it so much that I bought the formal CD release (the download, while free, was not of the best quality) and picked up "Hail to the Thief" (good) and "OK Computer" (near great) in the bargain. Whatever U2's manager thinks of Radiohead, their strategy created at least one new fan. 

1 comment:

Scrumpy's Baker said...

I think these are the best oatmeal cookies ever...

Loaded Oatmeal Cookies with Brown Butter Icing

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
2 1/2 cups quick-cooking oatmeal
1 cup raisins
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Brown Butter Icing, recipe follows

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease 1 or more cookie sheets. Using an electric mixer, cream together butter, shortening, and sugar in a bowl until fluffy. Add eggs and beat until mixture is light in color. Add buttermilk. Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice; stir into creamed mixture. Fold in oatmeal, raisins, walnuts, and vanilla, blending well. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto cookie sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Drizzle with Brown Butter Icing.

Brown Butter Icing:
1/2 cup butter
3 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 to 4 tablespoons buttermilk

In a small saucepan heat the butter over medium heat until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Remove saucepan from heat; stir in 3 cups sifted powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Stir in enough buttermilk (3 to 4 tablespoons) to make an icing of drizzling consistency. Drizzle on warm cookies.