February 20th, 2007


Licorice Madness

I don't remember a time when I didn't love licorice*. One of my very early memories is of a recording from the library of a story involving black jellybeans. We borrowed it multiple times in part because the whole idea of somebody else liking black jellybeans really stuck in my head. Even today, when it's Easter, I will always take the black ones nobody wants, and in my head I go back to that story.

Over time have been excited by the idea that there are products outside of traditional licorice candy that can be licorice-flavored as well. In addition to many, many candy varieties -- including all manner of sticks, bites, drops, jelly beans, gum, etc. -- I've also had licorice gelato, coffee, and toothpaste (Tom's of Maine makes Fennel flavored, close enough). Ouzo, anisette and absinthe are also rather similar to licorice -- he he, they're liquorice! And anything with a lot of anise in it, like Italian anise cookies, is sort of licorice-y.

Products I'd like to try or invent: licorice milk, licorice milk shake, and licorice cake. A licorice cake would be an anise cake with chunks of soft, non-salty licorice (I suggest something like Kookabura from Australia) in it. With licorice icing! And of course it would have to be served a la mode, with licorice gelato. Licorice yogurt would be good, too, and I'm sure it probably already exists in Germany somewhere.

The only licorice-y thing I don't like? Concentre de Mauby, this stuff from the Caribbean (Haiti or Jamaica, not sure which) that Caleb and I tried out in college. It's like pure concentrated licorice, but it's really vile. It's mean to be diluted but no matter how much we diluted it, I just couldn't enjoy it. Finally we poured out the remainder of the bottle onto a fire ant mound. Surely it killed them!

* Note that "licorice" always means black licorice. People say to me they like "red licorice but black is gross." Friends, "red" licorice isn't licorice, it's something else. I happen to like that too, for all its artificial flavor, but it's not licorice.
ice cream

Occasionally I exercise some willpower

Tonight I got this wicked craving for ice cream. Chocolate ice cream. There is none right around here to be had, alas... but there IS the diner and they do at least have good chocolate malteds... and I DID think about going... but...

I talked myself out of it and made up a bowl of fat-free yogurt with cinnamon, honey and raisins. Which is NOT chocolate ice cream but will have to do.
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Now THAT is writing!

A few weeks ago I was at a bookstore and they had a Ray Bradbury anthology on sale, so I grabbed it. I remember loving his stories when I read the in middle school and high school, plus of course Fahrenheit 451 is one of my favorite books. Anyway, I've started reading it and, well, it RULES. There are something like 25 stories, plus Dandelion Wine, and so far every single one has been brilliant, really intriguing, and beautifully written. Interestingly, I have to agree with the writer of the book's introduction, who notes that Bradbury's stories aren't really so much Science Fiction as Fantasy. True, I think the writer was just being a typical snot ("Sci Fi? Oh, no, do not belittle this!"), but still, the stories remind me much more of Storm Constantine's stuff than, say, Isaac Asimov's. Another thing about the stories is that they're very inspiring, as many of them aren't that long but are still quite powerful. They'd be great to study as far as learning how to construct a story.

EDIT: Just read one called "The Small Assassin." About a baby assassin. Love, love, loved it. About an evil baby. The ending is great, too. The whole thing is like that "Talking Tina" episode of Twilight Zone actually.