Sunday, October 20, 2013

What-What?! Week of October 20th

This past Sunday, my husband took our daughter to the local renaissance faire.  My daughter loved dressing up as a fairy and they had a great time.

Monday, my behavioral economics class started; it looks very promising, with the first week discussing what counts as rational, how humans are irrational, and using decision points to help people be rational.  The idea with decision points is to create a pause that gives you the chance to think rationally.  An example of this is that, if you have a giant bag of popcorn, you’re more likely to eat the whole thing in one sitting than if you had four smaller bags of popcorn.  Because you have to stop and open another bag, it is just enough of a kick to make you say “do I really want to eat this much popcorn?” – even if you do the undesirable action (eating a lot of popcorn), you’ve made a purposeful decision to do so.  So far, it’s really fascinating, and I look forward to next week’s lesson.
Cooking:  Homemade Graham Crackers

These aren’t strictly what I’d call graham crackers; they have no graham flour in them, so mostly they’re just crackers.  That’s okay, though, because you will love them anyway.  These have a strong note of honey, with brown sugar, cinnamon, and a nice crunch.  They are not quite the same in consistency as store bought, but the flavor is far and away better.
  • 1-1/2 cups Flour
  • 1/2 cup Brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
  • 1 stick of Butter, melted
  • 4 tablespoons Honey
  • 2-3 tablespoons Water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix dry ingredients well, then add butter, honey and vanilla.  Slowly add water until dough forms in a ball.  Roll out between two sheets of wax paper (parchment paper works, too), then either cut squares using a knife or pizza wheel, or use small cookie cutters to create fun shapes.  Bake 12-15 minutes, turn the oven off and open it to vent.  Leave crackers in oven for 45 minutes to crisp up.  Enjoy!
Based on the recipe over at Heavenly Homemakers.
Blogging:  Dissenting Voices and The Pioneer Woman

Recently, I have come across forums, blogs, and other websites devoted to tearing down The Pioneer Woman, Smitten Kitchen, and a few other blogs that I read. Right now, though, I'm going to focus on Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman.

One complaint is that Ree is a narcissist. However, I can't help but think that blogging in and of itself is a narcissistic action.  My blog is, generally speaking, all about my thoughts, experiences, and so on.  Or maybe I'm a narcissist, and I didn't even know it? Wikipedia tells me that 1 percent of the population suffers from Narcissistic Personality Disorder.  I always wanted to be part of the 1 percent, though maybe not that 1 percent. :P

The bigger issue, though, is that many posters complain that Drummond isn't genuine. Her blog and her real life aren't the same. To be honest, I kind of knew that some parts were pretend, even without much evidence for it. Many blogs show this fantasy world of the picture perfect life, and The Pioneer Woman is one of them. I view it as entertainment -- fiction. The fact of the matter is that her life isn't like what's shown on her blog and on TV. This is the edited version, showing all the best parts, some of which have been manufactured. My real life isn't as good as what I show on my blog. Why? Because no one wants to hear about how many times the husband and I had to do laundry this week, that's why. And you know what? Some of it is manufactured. I had to cook dinner two weeks ago, and knew that a new recipe would be a great addition to my blog post. It's what we ate, and it was delicious, but we probably would have just had chicken and noodles if I didn't have a blog post to write. Does it make me less genuine? I don't know. I genuinely cooked it. My family's reaction was genuine. Maybe it's only okay because I'm a small-time blogger, and different rules apply?

I'm not sure that I care if Ree Drummond, as we know her through her blog and TV show, is wholly real. Yeah, she swipes recipes from other people, changes some minor things, then posts them as her own. While those actions are obviously not okay (intellectual property theft, anyone?), I think most of the other issues are pretty harmless.

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