Thursday, December 24, 2009

I cheated

I'm no big fancy Catholic or anything, but I love me some advent calendar chocolate. There is just something about the fake chocolate goodness that is the surprise chocolate behind those little cardboard windows that gets my saliva going. Advent calendar chocolate is a treat. When I was in London I bought myself a fancy Harrod's advent calendar which, I'm unhappy to report, did not have any bells and whistles. The chocolate did taste as perfectly un-chocolate as the best advent calendar chocolate I've ever eaten, so I was happy with it. Like most children, I cheated and finished it early. It started out simple. Starting on about the 10th, I skipped a few days, so that on the 15th I could eat six pieces of chocolate. Then, for a couple of days I ate one every day. Then, on the 20th and 21st I slacked and forgot to eat any, but made up the difference on the 22nd. Last night, I did the unthinkable (to an adult it might be unthinkable anyway) and ate today's chocolate piece and finished the box of advent calendar chocolates early. This morning, I am depressed. I don't have any advent calendar chocolate to eat today and I feel like my whole Christmas is ruined.

Luckily for me and my funk, I saw a bunch of chocolate articles today that helped me feel better. Two are sad so I feel guilty about my cheating and therefore am happy to have had an advent calendar at all. The third makes me happy that people are using cacao refuse in ways other than dumping them in a, well, dump.

First, the sad chocolate:

The price of cocoa is rising, so it is believed that manufacturers of chocolate and chocolate artisans might be raising their prices or using more milk chocolate and artificial ingredients to make up the difference. For me, this just means that I will be able to buy the good chocolate less often, but I will stock up on Reese's peanut butter hearts and eggs when the time comes and create what I can only describe as a makeshift chocolate bomb shelter for when the chocolate economy crashes completely and I need my sustenance.

The shit is hitting the fan in the Ivory Coast Cacao World. There are cocoa regulators in jail right now for suspected embezzlement and their employees are not getting paid.

The happy chocolate news:

UK company Biomass UK Limited is working with Ghanaians to process cocoa pods for electricity and stuff for export. This news will surely make you want to sing Electricity, Electricity!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Piracy, of the Bio- variety

Many of you have probably heard of the GI (Geographical Indication) that can be granted to a food or product made in a particular geographical region. Some examples are Roquefort cheese, Corsican honey, Champagne, Parma ham, etc. In France, it is governed by the AOC. (The site is in French, obviously, so if you don't read French, pardonnez-moi!) This designation ensures that no one outside of a region can make a product similar to that region's product and label it as coming from that region. I've probably made the explanation more difficult than necessary, but I tend to over-write when I 'splain.

Anywho, I saw today in my fantastic google alerts that India (yes, the whole country) has started a Traditional Knowledge Digital Library in an attempt to stop, or slow, BIOPIRACY. The full story is here.

Basically, what they are doing is creating a database of traditional Indian medicinal, spiritual, and wellness recipes, cures, exercise, lifestyles, etc. to prevent patents being given mistakenly to incorrect Indian naturopathy.

Sounds dandy to me! In any event, I think the database is a good idea to store and maintain Indian natural and homeopathic traditions. However, I just hope that people don't go into the database and try things out without getting advice from their doctors first. Since I'm superwoman, I've been OK with taking whatever natural remedies I've wanted over the years, but I don't suggest the same for everyone.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Good News, Bad News; Old News, New News

I'm not, and can't imagine myself ever becoming, a vegetarian. However, I go for days and sometimes weeks without eating meat. There are also times when I go for days eating meat every day. I try to eat a semi-healthy diet, but I don't put restrictions or rules on what I eat and I certainly don't punish myself for eating something that isn't exactly good for me. Anywho, I was reading an interview with Sarma Melngailis in the Village Voice and I appreciated what she said about not being strict herself and how she gets a lot of flack for not being a strict raw foodist or vegetarian. I've only ever eaten raw veggies before, so I'm really interested in trying her restaurant Pure Food & Wine. If a diet that is geared more towards raw food makes you feel better, I'm willing to try it.

We've all heard about Kirkus closing. The NY Times, ResourceShelf, LISNews, AdWeek, Poynter, and PW have all written about it. There's more, I'm sure, but the web is fairly incestuous and they all link to each other, so if you get on one the pages here, you can find the rest.

The BBC and the British Library are getting together to make a digital baby of their assets.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Je t'aime

My dream kitchen looks like a Parisian Patisserie - just like this one! The famous Angelina's has opened a shop devoted to sweets and I want to live there.

The British Library unveils its huge storage facility. Obviously I'm a fan of the printed word, so I'm glad to hear them say that the library "is all about preserving the knowledge of the past and the present for the future" and not just throwing everything out when they need room.

Interesting - an online Government Comics Collection! Who doesn't love government comics? The database is run by The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Library

Friday, November 6, 2009


I only recently started drinking beer. In fact, I've been drinking it for less than a year. I never liked it and I will always consider myself a whiskey gal. However, earlier this year, a friend and I went to a chocolate and beer tasting. I thought the chocolate would help smooth my way into beer-drinking-dom, or something. It helps that the chocolate was Vosges and the beer was Rogue (coincidentally, these company names sound extremely similar). Anywho, the beer was excellent and the pairings made me enjoy beer for the first time.

Personal Anecdote Alert!: My brothers drank a lot of beer (like, a lot) so I used to have a bottle of Dead Guy Ale when I was younger because I like skeletons and things. To make a long story short (I know, "Too Late!"), I kept an empty bottle of glow-in-the-dark Dead Guy Ale on my shelf for years, which means that it was fate that Rogue would be my first good beer experience.

I saw this article about Lowenbrow boxes becoming the "bricks" of a new library in Germany. Obviously, it didn't last for long, but the memories will go on and on.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

International Goodness 2

I forgot I had started a post oh so long ago and the article I had sitting here is really amazing, so I'll start my new linkage with it:

Women Librarians in Nigeria convene to figure out ways to eradicate poverty

School and multiple jobs and soap-opera-scale drama in my personal life has kept me so, like, busy and stuff? I'm going to have to slowly get back into posting links. I really want to start writing more about my work and school and eating (etc., etc., etc.) and I will - starting today!

SLJ has a piece on "Librarians as, um, Crap Detectors" and I couldn't agree more. I keep saying to anyone who will listen that librarians will always serve a purpose and will always be important. We weed books and information so that the patron (of all varieties) will have access to the most relevant, um, stuff.

I loved this quote in an article about librarians at Wright State University, “Every student has a librarian, find yours." This was said by Sue Polanka, Head of Reference and Instruction. This should be (one of) the motto(s) for librarians everywhere. It could be something like, "Everyone has a librarian. Find yours!"

This is just weird and there is so little written that I have no idea what the whole story is. However, the headline made me laugh a little. None of my schools ever had a lollipop man!

Here is a small piece on the increasing efforts to manufacture fair trade chocolate.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Books, Books, and Candy!

This book sounds really interesting to me, as who doesn't enjoy reading about a slow hemlock death?

Biker Poet anthologies are now on my must read list!

When I was in Vegas last Christmas, I loaded up on whiskey fudge from the international supermarket near me mum's house. I bought a few varieties and can't wait to get more the next time I go out there. (I would share it with my brothers [maybe].) Anywho, now this BonBon scotch bar candy looks just as good and it is now on my list for when I see my sister in California.

The title is the best part of this article: "FDA: Pistachio Plant knew some nuts were tainted" (heh heh!)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Stuff and stuff

I agree with the author here: academic librarians need to teach research methods, not computer skills.

Kindle DX? No thanks, not for me, but Princeton is giving them away!

If you really want to get technical, OSU is not burning books, they are merely migrating to more digital collections, which results in the loss of physical items. This is why I think there needs to be some sort of book landfill or place somewhere where people can go and scrounge around the landfill of thrown-away books and take some home.

You've read the news stories, the blog posts and watched the specials, but if you are anything like me, you would have found it hard to fully grasp the way the world economy is growing (or not growing). I need visuals and this article and this accompanying "parking lot" map helped me visualize the situation. Hundreds of ships just sitting around Indonesia you say? Why yes, I did say that. Now what are we going to be doing with all of these ships if we end up with an economy where we eliminate the need for these ships? What's this I hear about reducing or trying to eliminate carbon footprints by not moving food around the globe as much as we have been?

ASEAN Cocoa Contract update

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

For your viewing and reading pleasure, fer sher

I love old pictures! I've been reading a lot of old chocolate books and they have some of the coolest pictures in them. This is from a website showcasing old photos from Sri Lanka.

Libraries that Twitter - yet another article about it!

As an aside, read Marion Nestle's blog. Not just because I told you to, but because it is not only funny, but informative on current food politic topics.

Monday, April 27, 2009

No time for 'splaining

Ghana + World Food Crisis

WTF? rant against NYC locavores

Nigeria + Cocoa

One of many links
to that chocolate study everyone is yapping about

Urban Garden from place of animal cruelty (obviously from my alert for cocoa!)

Ghana + Cocoa refuse potential

SWEET! Chocolate disguised as Swiss Army Knives!

World's Worst Chocolate? Judge for yourself, as I haven't tried them all . . . yet

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Libraries are everywhere!

The 14th Congress of Southeast Asian Librarians took place yesterday and you can find a recap here and here

Nigerians pushing for library advancement

Nestle sales decline (surprised?)

Man gets imprisonment with 6 months of hard labor for stealing 1.5 bags of cocoa beans

Rising cocoa prices are benefiting growers in Ivory Coast - which is a good thing!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Too much to handle

I've been posting things on Facebook, but I see too many articles that I want to keep and don't want to post too many and end up bothering my friends.

New York Chocolate & Confections Company will start producing chocolate at the former Nestle plant

Seattle Public Library is facing big cuts, including layoffs and extended closings

145-year-old book returned to library

Kindle users' strife with accounts being locked, etc.

"Chocolate may not go straight to the groin . . ."

Chocolate innovation center opens in Wisconsin

Cars & Chocolate - why growing in Africa makes sense

Discourse on the unfairness that is farming in Africa

Nigerian farmers ask state to raise subsidies

Thursday, April 2, 2009


Tomato Products Wellness Center joins Healthy Lives this April

Providence, RI Culinary Arts Museum showcases the evolution of our food culture

AIV Microbiology's Paul Hall Receives 2009 NCFST Award for Food Safety (I just copied the whole title because I'm tired this morning)

I was interested in this post because it is about a Benefit Tea at Monticello to benefit a library, but what caught my eye was the link to the local school lunch program. I rarely see so convenient a link to get information on school lunch menus. This is very impressive.

Indonesian government wants local cocoa production to increase by 300% (!)

Cocoa farmers in Ghana looking for ways to make a disease-free cacao planting materials

Honolulu wants you know that they have a chocolate industry

Ivory Coast gets debt-relief

Sunday, March 29, 2009

It's been a while . . .

Roasting is the most important step to making good chocolate, as Willie Harcourt-Cooze can tell you.

The Government is trying to save the cacao industry in Trinidad & Tobago.

Swollen Shoot Disease threatens Ivory Coast harvests.

YES! Energy is being harnessed using cocoa bean shells! There has always been a question as to what to do and where to put the shells leftover when manufacturing chocolate. If this works and the shells can be used to make energy - I'm all for it! Although, I should look into it more to see how viable it is.

Everything Else:

New Cacao Pearl Resort in the Philippines; more here

Why is Godiva offering "invitation only" events? You have to be on a list that Communispace has, then answer a survey - just to be invited. Sounds pretty biased to me.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Don't take chocolate away from me!

Toronto budget cuts include cutting 36 librarians

Nestle set to open plant, bringing needed jobs to Indiana

Why haven't I heard of this novel Bootleg? It is about the possibility of a world where chocolate and other sweets are banned. It may be a YA novel, but it still sounds interesting!

Homeless man cooked his way into a better life for his family and himself

Fat Duck sicknesses increase ten-fold

Mrs. Obama promoting food banks and soup kitchens, while actually volunteering at them

More on Chavez targeting food and farms

BPL starts fund drive to keep libraries open 6-days, and to make sure service is not affected by cuts

Thursday, March 5, 2009

I'm backlogged

Segment from Dave Frye's doctoral dissertation on breakfast cereals

Culinary Museum on my 'to-do' list

Senators push for boost in FDA

WIC changes list of approved food

Is the FDA broken?

I hope to God no one messes with my chocolate

Cocoa shells as fuel source. I knew the day would come when people would realize HOW useful and good chocolate is for you!

Cadbury's UK is converting about 20% of products to fair trade

I want to live under the sea

National issue of people not taking advantage of food pantries is seen in Minnesota

Construction for Prague's new national library to go on?

Philabundance and the Food Bank of South Jersey launch food drive

Monday, March 2, 2009


Chinese experts and consumers skeptical of China's new food policies (via USA Today)

Heston Blumenthal discusses the closing of the Fat Duck (video) (via

Food Safety at Home and Abroad, etc.

China adopts Food Safety Law (via Bloomberg)

China passes food safety law (via AP)

Beijing tightens food safety laws (via WSJ)

China passes new food laws after milk scandal (via Australian Broadcasting Corp.)

ASEAN (The Association of Southeast Asian Nations) pledges cooperation to deal with food safety issues (via PhilStar)

The Fatted Duck closes after food poisoning affects dozens

Statement from the Grocery Manufacturers Association concerning our safe (or not so safe) food supply

Cookbook aimed at Food Banks looking for recipe ideas to use with the food they are given

Chocolate Gala benefits food bank

Relevant to my research: The cocoa bean and Belize

Friday, February 27, 2009

Hot & Steamy

Professor now allowed to use Goucher College library

Cool ocean-inspired jewelry sales to benefit coral reefs - here is the press release

THE Harold McGee says we can use loads less water to boil pasta to save energy (it also saves time)

I don't mind pimples so much when the advice to get rid of them is to stop eating chocolate - as if!

The cacao genome will be mapped
. I mean, it is the world's sixth largest crop after all.

I love all of these words (hot, steamy, chocolate, cake) and the fact that they are all in the same name of something, I now need to try this!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

This and that

I hate doing this, but I want to put this link somewhere to remember some places in Brooklyn I want to try for good food (and especially chocolate)

Harvard is feeling the pinch and consolidating their libraries

The title of the article is, "Sex can't be taken off the library's shelves". How can I not link to it?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The New Colossus

By Emma Lazarus, 1883

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

Saturday, February 21, 2009


Dubai stinks

People will never learn that beach replenishment is temporary and they should just stop fighting Mother Nature

Charity/Community Service
Culinary students cook for homeless
Culinary Caper event benefits Meals on Wheels
"Men Who Cook" fundraiser benefits Women's Center

They tell me to eat more chocolate. I say, "OK!"

In Switzerland, people eat an average of one chocolate bar a day. This is why I need to live there!

Hershey Plant closed on 2/20/09

Six strange title shortlisted (or you can read it here)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Wonderful News

There's more than gambling in Las Vegas - the food is pretty good too.

I am sure the vegetarians and vegans will have a field day with this news piece that says beef is the most inefficient food to produce and cows produce so much methane.

The Joy of Cooking got fat, but just don't tell her.

Swedish Newspaper asks users for help on researching articles
after (but not because) the WSJ fired their librarians.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

So much to do, so little time

Mayor's Office and City Council putting up their dukes regarding the closure of 11 libraries in Philadelphia

Wall Street Journal closes library. This can only mean that news will get worse because we all know journalists (esp. in NYC) can't research if their life depended on it.

Congress is "outraged" over peanut/salmonella issues

Monday, February 9, 2009

To dump or not to dump (sand)

Southampton residents (or anyone else living on Long Island for that matter) and the councils-that-be are continuously debating various manners of beach replenishment and who should pay for it. I say, don't live on the shore and don't fight mother nature - you will lose.

Florida's Indian River County residents might soon be paying a new tax to pay for sand pumping.

Aliens at Sea!!! (Don't worry, it's just the scientists taking about microbes and kind of doing a good job of describing their work to garner attention.)

Direct quote from article on the rise of Food Stamps in Oregon.
“We do not have the legal authority to tell people that they can’t buy junk,” Stewart said.

Lifeway Foods, Inc. (the makers of Kefir, which I love!) set to buy Fresh Made, Inc.

Going back to our roots: in Calaveras County, CA, officials created Calaveras Farm to Family to assist people in need by organizing local farms' donations to shelters and food banks to provide for families in need. Starting out as fresh food donations from local farms, the program will grow to incorporate teaching farming and planting skills to families.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Two dudes plan to bike across the coast of Australia to raise awareness for two organizations I care a lot about: Surfrider and C.A.R.E.

"Looks like Kansas City has the major food groups covered: world-class barbecue, beer worth bragging about and exquisitely fun chocolate." This was the great first sentence to the Kansas City Star's piece on a local chocolatier's recognition in Food & Wine magazine.

Health Librarians guide you in the right direction when looking online for information.

School officials concerned over the threat of not having healthy lunches for the kids any more.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Can I get a What What?

I wish I could go to this year's Vegas UnCork'd. Will someone send me please?

So many great things combined into one Culinary Weekend! Alton Brown, the Smithsonian, food, sustainability and science!

Obama blames FDA for food crappenings.

Welfare is still being cut, despite economic downturn.

Chefs hope that Obama will improve food policies.

Exhibit at the Morgan Library & Museum showcases drawings from the New Yorker magazine dating back to 1927

Sunday, February 1, 2009


Senate House Library may be joining forces and merging like long-lost lovers with University College London.

Library Thing is added to the catalog at the Institute of Social Studies.

Not much going on besides this. I'm still trying to find that perfect free (or cheap) event to go to on 2/14. I'm all set to go to a beer and chocolate lecture/class thing with a friend on 2/13, but I think I can find something nifty to do that Saturday also.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Some of these library links are pretty important IMHO

You can make up your own mind, but instead of pasting all of these on Facebook, I'll put them here, as usual.

Lead Poisoning is causing worry with librarians over the safety of children's books.

Not that I'm not interested in the other stories, but because I work in Serials, the Georgia case is close to home regarding e-resources.

ACRL announces the the recipients of the 2009 Excellence in Academic Libraries Award

The essay of one of the runners-up of the federated search writing contest

OK, here on in it is food and other stuff . . .

Farm show Cook-Off

Disneyland uses cooking oil to run choo choo trains

Ghirardelli wins award for their semi-sweet baking chips, which contain no dairy and are vegan friendly - I shan't comment on the vegan part, but I do love me some Ghirardelli.

Please don't forget the oceans!! It seems that too many people forget that the oceans need help too and without research, studies, testing and action, we will suffer for it.

Although the words cocaine, Texas and beaches don't often go in the same sentence, this time they did.

I love you and I'll miss you Scharffen Berger!!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Some light reading

Sam Kass, the Obama's personal chef, is now assistant to the White House Chef Cristeta Comerford.

Calculating carbon footprints can be fun and funny!

Sorghum genome described - could help better the food supply in Africa

China's grain issues might impact world markets

Baby born in library

Who wouldn't want this guide to amputations, operations and some other stuff from the 18th century??

Monday, January 26, 2009

CHOCOLATE!! (among other things)

This event is meant to "exhibit every possible use for chocolate". I love the sound of that!

Santa Cruz Chocolate Festival

18th Annual Chocolate Affair

Rhode Island Chocolate Festival

And, because I'm a water baby:

More plastic than plankton in the ocean

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Easy Peasey or what-have-you

Word on the street is that a lot of people are afraid to bake. I'll be the first to tell you that my baked goods are usually pretty ugly, but they are still pretty easy to make. I do have a couple of rules that I personally abide by because I like things the way they are supposed to be.

1. When I make anything that involves melting chocolate, I use the darkest chocolate I can get, and never use milk or semi-sweet to bake with.
2. When I make a crust, I never use Crisco. Pie crust is delicious with just some flour and butter, why muck it up with that oil crap?
3. I do use Crisco in some cookie recipes, but heck, some of the best tasting cookies have Crisco and it isn't like I'm putting an entire tub-o-oleo in it or anything.
4. Yeah I measure stuff, but I am the most imperfect person on the planet so really, an extra drop of bourbon or an extra chunk of chocolate, or a little extra sugar that 'accidentally' falls into the bowl isn't going to kill me, so . . .
5. There are no rules.

I like recipes because I am good at following directions. I don't like when people tell me what to do, but a recipe is different. So, anywho, that's my two cents on baking and scaredy-cats. And, no, you are not getting your money back.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

More links and such

Activists are changing the way food is brought to millions of people in need.

Whole Foods' appeal to have the FTC investigate their purchase of Wild Oats Markets is rejected.

For decades, I've known people who chose beer over wine to pair with food. Now, apparently, it is a trend. It will probably die out soon though, as the people who thought it was silly for that dude who drank beer with their fancy dinner come to realize he was ahead of his time!

Chili contest raises money for 'Pig Lips' scholarship, which is for people interested in pursuing agricultural degrees.

Commander's Palace cooking lessons! I want!

You really can get arrested for overdue/unreturned books! See? And here.

Book Buddies program in AZ.

Old Sesame Street rocked!! And they could kick your ass!

Testing for lead leads to ban on anyone under 12 at this library.

VALE's efforts are merged with the OLE project.

Piracy can affect YOU (and the fishing industry) too!!

Deep tidal water resources are being used to create energy.

I love how my tax dollars are used to pay for sand to constantly be hauled to and dumped on rich bitches' beaches!

This program at UNH sounds amazing! The first EcoGastronomy program of its kind.

Big European chocolate business becomes bigger European chocolate business.

My dream event! Chocolate, aquariums and old people!

T-T-ennessee Chocolate Fest!!

Friday, January 23, 2009

First Entry - what else but links?

Another Journal I'll never be published in because I don't know the right people or something.

Oooh, fancy, Social Libraries

Someone out there is looking for the perfect wine accompaniment to your chips and wings. I call it "Fancy Junk".

Book I want about the evolution of kitchens called, coincidentally, The Evolution of America's Kitchens!

If only Albany was closer! I would love to check out the Evolutionary Cooking Series at the State Liberry.

Mmmmm . . . camel milk chocolate

Who doesn't trust archaeological evidence of something? No one I know because it is, like, fact or something.

Old, bad, London Jazz - in a book! Sounds fun!

Holy Shit! The Huffington Post really does suck and obviously hires people who write straight BS and BS only. Maybe journalism needs to be re-defined because the journalists out there are not journalists.