Parsnip Parsimony- A vegan baking and science blog.

“You’re crazy, Susie!”

Archive for February, 2008


Posted by Susie on February 14, 2008

… That would be me, of course. As you all were way too aware, I’m sure.

Well, as a weak try at an excuse, I suppose the reason I’ve not been posting more of my baking/baking science blog posts is that I’ve been doing waaaaay too much science and really no noteworthy baking- when I do find the time to throw any flour-stuff in the oven, its only purpose is to provide me with something nutritive I can wrap in tin foil and eat at school during my super-long days where the only thing I have available to eat is soy lattes, nasty vegan “nutrition” bars they sell at the same place as the lattes, and whatever I have the foresight to bring with me. Even then, its usually two apples that I stuff in my backpack- one for each apple sized side pocket- and not fancy schmancy baked goods.

So yeah. School is good though. O-chem II, Biology (biochem, genetics, development), and Physics w/calculus I. All with their respective labs. I mean- so far, so good, I haven’t gone too insane… but on the other hand, I didn’t sleep last Thursday night. This one take home test NMR puzzle thing problem was being a pain in the butt and took me something like 10 hours to finally get an answer to. Sheesh.

Of course, its not just ALL been homework I’ve been occupied with. With the example of some excellent individuals on my egg replacer testing board leading the way, I’ve figured out that the way which I used to research things (before this quarter, really) really sucks. I mean- before, I was reading out of date textbooks (which they sell for cheap), and using totally the wrong keywords for totally the wrong databases to try to find information. It was the method of research that I ended up schlepping together when I was in highschool and interested in acousics: I would try my damndest to read vintage, over-my-head books on acoustics, even though I had nowhere near an adequate understanding of the physics or math required to understand where the acoustics principles were really coming from. I could get the gist of things though. I can’t believe its taken me … lets see… six? SEVEN? (holy potato! Not seven! hmmmm. Six and a half, lets say.)… years to finally improve the efficiency of the way I research stuff. I can only hope it gets better from here. Oh. I suppose that maybe all this school might be helping me understand the terminology in research articles that would send me running for wikipedia a year ago.  So moral of the story? (are you listening? listen to this part!) The moral of the story is that the value of introductory science and math classes, even though they are not the “fun” stuff, should not be overlooked, because without them, the fun stuff can’t get very far. The other moral of the story is if you are a highschool chemistry teacher, and your student is really into acoustics, and is trying to read Benade and Helmholtz, and that maybe if she seems to think that the general physics material is boring, and only wants to read about advanced acousics, that MAYBE, just maybe, instead of chastising her in front of the class, grading her tests more harshly than the other students, and heaven forbid, causing her to change her mind about her recent decision to become a science major so that four years later, when she DOES realize that it is inevitable that she study science after all, she must take freshman level classes at the awkward age of 22!, that instead, perhaps, you encourage her curiosity, show her how her physics textbook has applications to acoustics in the later chapters, and then drive home the point that the boring math of general physics really IS advantageous to understanding advanced acoustics after all, and that she had better just suck it up and learn the math if she knows whats good for her. On the other hand, if you did all that, that student might end up trying to get a degree in acoustics instead of food science when all is said and done, and seriously- wheres the money in acoustics? …. so maybe that grudge I hold SHOULD be a little bit smaller. I’m not earning musical instrument repairperson wages! yay! (Its the one nice thing my HS science teacher did for me, I guess.)

Wow. Didn’t mean to go on that rant. Oh well. I always liked that rant, in any case. Feels good to get that out of my system. What was I talking about again? Oh! this blog and how I’m slacking on it!

I always feel hesitant to post a blog post that is not, in some way, a report of something I’ve baked. And since I haven’t had the time (or energy when I do have the time) for baking, I haven’t been posting. It takes me a long time to do a blog post. I have to plan a thing to bake that seems like a relevant experiment, bake the damn thing, take pictures, remember to do measurements, and then the REALLY time consuming part: I need to ramble about it. It takes me a long time to compose my ramble. I guess I’m particular about rambling.  Which brings me to my question to you all: What do you think about my making blog posts that aren’t “reports” of things I’ve baked? Yes yes yes. I know- its my blog and I can do whatever I damn well please with it. But still. I do try pretty hard to not fill this blog with non-content, and instead, focus on things that seem relevant to me. (Yeah. I know. “Relevant to Susie” is probably a very weirdly composed category.)  But really- I know this is blog is kind of weird as far a food blogs go anyway, what with the rants about gluten, and now, the rants about bad science teachers, but what if, what if!, I started blogging about different, but related, subjects? I mean-  I could talk about school (and try not to be like “and then I went and talked to this person and then I had a coffee and then I… you get the picture), or I could talk about food sciencey stuff that I find interesting, but that doesn’t directly relate to food I make and take pictures of.

So. Does any of that sort of thing sound like something you guys would like to read, or would you just rather wait until I’ve got more time to bake more things to read about that?

PS: I have gotten quite a few emails and other messages from people wanting to test on the egg replacing test board. I swear I’m not purposely ignoring anyone inparticular, its just that I have such little free time that I’m even neglecting the testing board itself WAY more than I should be. I do intend to reply to the lot of you, so hold tight and please accept my apologies  for ignoring your polite emails so rudely! Also, I’ve been seriously thinking about just moving speculation and discussion about the improvement of the egg replacer thing out of the private board and into the public (on this blog). I think I would type a huge thing first about all the stuff thats been tried in the course of all the testing and all the remaining uncertainty and speculation about what might end up working, so that everyone can be on the same page in trying to work out the weirdness of this thing. It does seem like the right thing to do, but when the hell am I going to find the time to type a huge thing? (HA! She said at the end of a huge thing. I mean an ORGANIZED huge thing! and huger than this!).  So people who I haven’t emailed back about testing, don’t feel bad, because even if I don’t ever get to it, it might be public accessible soon anyway.  So yeah. Neat-o.

I’m going to bed!

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