Boston Cream Donuts

What is Boston cream? Well it is pastry cream or creme patissiere in French. It’s a silky custard made from egg yolks and sugar most often flavored with vanilla. You should definitely refrigerate Boston Cream Pie. The pastry cream is highly perishable and will go bad if left out at room temperature for more than an hour or two and it will soften and not be able to support the heavy ganache on top especially after you’ve started cutting into it. The Boston cream (pie) doughnut or donut is a round, solid, yeast-risen doughnut with chocolate frosting and a custard filling, resulting in a miniature doughnut version of the Boston cream pie.

Even though it originated in the New England area and remains hugely popular there, it has spread throughout. Tim Hortons is famous for their Boston cream donuts which are paired well with a nice hot coffee. Infact a ‘Double-Double’ and a Boston Cream doughnut were Canada’s favourite Tim Hortons items of 2020. The Boston Cream was the top Tim Hortons doughnut across the Atlantic provinces. But it also ranked a very close second in the rest of the country—which pushed it into the top slot overall.

Dunkin Donuts also have a really popular Boston Cream donut. When people go into a Dunkin and are thirsting for a cold frappe on a hot summer’s day or if it’s cold you want a latte, your eyes soon go to the donuts section and most thought this was the best of the filled-donut category. It definitely gives you the chocolate-custardy flavor of the classic Beantown dessert. My only chance in getting a Boston Cream donut was at the Dunkin in New Delhi and it was delicious.

Ghost Sightings

So I don’t believe in ghosts but when I was a kid I did get scared easily. As a kid horror movies that my family watched (Evil Dead, Basketcase, The Omen, Friday The 13th etc) scared the crap outta my pre-teen self. Heck, the first two movies I watched (I say watched but it was more like hiding behind the sofa and peeking at the screen) was at age 4 or 5! By the time I was 10 I had watched the other two as well. And it was common among us kids to try and scare each other using the characters in the movies.

So one of my cousins had this habit of trying to scare the rest of us. He would say that some boogey man would come and kill us and he would try to get us going by just saying “Friday! Friday! Friday” in as dramatic as way as possible on Friday nights. Well one Friday night he kept saying this while he was at my home and scaring me – and would you believe it, the power went out and he got scared too and we ran and locked ourselves in the bathroom! There was thunder and lightning and the power got knocked off!

Another time in my house and another cousin and I had watched The Omen a few days ago. We were discussing the movie and about how we didn’t believe that it was possible to happen in reality. I was about 8 or 9 years old and my cousin is 2.5 years older than me. Once again we lost power and it was very late in the night and so we finally fell asleep. At around 4 am my cousin woke up and saw 4 small flames of fire moving on the street. He couldn’t see anything else or anyone else. He got scared and woke me up. Sleepy me looked out the windows and I saw the same thing.

We got very, very scared and pulled the covers over us and tried to go back to sleep. When we woke up and told this to the adults in the house, they informed us that it was a temple procession for a festival that was being done in the temple near my house. In the dark only the fire from the wick of the small lamps that they (it was a few women) carried by hand was visible which made it look like just four flames moving in the distance. Boy did we feel silly.

End Of The Earth?

There have been many end of the earth prophecies. In most cases it is just the end of life on earth as the planet continues to exist after all life is snuffed out. In extreme religious prophecies (which is nuttier than a 10kg bag of nuts) either all life is killed off or the planet itself gets destroyed. While I do not believe in any of that nonsensical religious drivel, I do think that it is possible that the earth could be destroyed and broken into fragments in the far future or that all life could die out and the planet be left to exist as a barren piece of rock.

Why? This is because I know that there are a lot more planets that are devoid of life and only 1 – that we know – of that has life. While it is possible that there is some planet or planets out there that has life and perhaps intelligent life, I have no proof of that. But I do see planets that do not have an life and some look like they have been decimated by changes. Like perhaps a huge catastrophic global event takes place and the volcanoes erupt, the oceans overflow and flood the lands and all life is destroyed. Or our earth gets peppered by asteroids or a giant meteor or two and life gets wiped out.

At the moment I don’t humanity has reached the kind of level to extinguish all life on earth but I guess some time down the line we might be capable of creation bombs and weapons that can destroy us all. Imagine two superpowers, run by mad politicians and leaders hell bent on all out war and drunk on power, pressing the button for sending out several such bombs out to hit their intended targets and the resulting blasts wipe out everything in it’s path and this causes every known animal, plant, insect and birds to get wiped out and it doesn’t even leave the tiniest of creatures alive. Can you imagine that? What if we don’t do any of this and continue to live out without pressing that button? How will the earth eventually die out?

In about one billion years, the solar luminosity will be 10% higher than at present. This will cause the atmosphere to become a “moist greenhouse”, resulting in a runaway evaporation of the oceans. As a likely consequence, plate tectonics will come to an end, and with them the entire carbon cycle. Following this event, in about 2–3 billion years, the planet’s magnetic dynamo may cease, causing the magnetosphere to decay and leading to an accelerated loss of volatiles from the outer atmosphere. Four billion years from now, the increase in the Earth’s surface temperature will cause a runaway greenhouse effect, heating the surface enough to melt it. By that point, all life on the Earth will be extinct. The most probable fate of the planet is absorption by the Sun in about 7.5 billion years, after the star has entered the red giant phase and expanded beyond the planet’s current orbit

Learning A New Language

I’ve stated it before. The language that I would most love to learn how to speak is French. It’s not just because I love Canada and Quebec and want to be able to go there one day and speak with the natives. I love the French. I love the language, the country and the cuisine. I also love the way that the language sounds.

Also you could speak French in other parts of the world like Belgium, Luxembourg, parts of Switzerland and Morocco.  French is the official language in 29 countries and in all French overseas regions and departments. It is the coolest sounding language in the whole world. You could say that you want to go to the loo in French and it will still sound ultra cool. Je veux aller à la merde (if Google translation is correct) – see?

It’s also the language of love and well it also sounds like you are very refined if you can speak fluent French. Also I think it is good for everyone to learn more than one language. If your native language isn’t English, then learn English. If you can learn one more language, I would suggest Mandarin/Cantonese or French.

Prompt from 81 Topic Ideas for Starting a Blog that Matters at Fizzle.co

Bars Reopen In Kerala, To Sell Only Beer & Wine

Liquor bars in Kerala have resumed operations from Monday though only beer and wine will be sold for now. They were closed nearly a week ago, soon after the latest Covid unlock had commenced, in protest over the hike in warehouse charges by the Beverages Corporation or Bevco which is the wholesale seller of liquor in the State. Bar owners on Monday said no liquor will be sold at bars till their demands are met. The exception has been made for beer as it cannot be sold after the expiry date.

The president of the Federation of Kerala Hotels Associations, V Sunil Kumar, said private bars could resume parcel service only if the government took a decision favourable to them. More than 800 bars and 40 liquor outlets of the Consumerfed across Kerala had shut operations this month citing financial loss. The outlets turned sick as the Bevco increased its warehouse rate and slashed the profit margin of retailers. Bevco had raised the warehouse charge for bars from 8% to 25% and for Consumerfed from 8% to 20%.

Bevco justified the move saying that the increase was needed to recoup the loss it faced during the COVID lockdowns. Following the move, the bars and Consumerfed liquor outlets decided to cease operations from June 21, three days after the sale of liquor had resumed in the state. The profit margin of retail outlets fell to three per cent from 20% after Bevco increased its warehouse rate. Private bar owners said they would incur a loss of Rs 9,000 while selling liquor worth Rs 1 lakh under the revised Bevco rate.

RIP Johnny Solinger

American singer-songwriter Johnny Solinger best known as the lead vocalist of Skid Row from 1999 to 2015 has passed away at the age of 55. On May 8th Solinger revealed he had spent the past month in a hospital due to liver failure. On Saturday, his former band mates in Skid Row announced on social media that Solinger had died.

Johnny Solinger was born in the Dallas–Fort Worth area, where he was exposed to hard rock and country music, and fell in love with them. In 1990, he formed the rock band SOLINGER in Dallas, recording four independent records: SolingerSolinger IIChain Link Fence, and Solinger Live. He enjoyed live performance and radio success throughout the Southwest.

He rose to fame as Skid Row’s lead singer when the band reformed in 1999 following their 1996 split and the departure of Sebastian Bach. The musician featured on two of the band’s albums and two EPs: 2003’s Thickskin, 2006’s Revolutions Per Minute, 2013’s United World Rebellion: Chapter One and 2014’s Rise of the Damnation Army — United World Rebellion. In 2015 Johnny announced on his website that he was quitting Skid Row to concentrate on his solo career but bassist Rachel Bolan stated in an interview that they let him go as they wanted to change the singer due to musical & performance related issues though Snake Sabo stated at the time that the decision was mutual.

A friend of Johnny’s, Brian Lawrence, is believed to have set up a GoFundMe page back in May to raise money for his hospital bills after the rocker was diagnosed with liver failure. However, the page has since updated today confirming that Johnny has died. He wrote: “Update from Paula….Johnny has passed. I was holding his hand. He went in peace. Thank you all. I will take a break from everything but please know I am forever grateful for your love.” Johnny had been married to Argentinian actress Paula Marcenaro, who appeared to pay tribute to her husband on her Instagram stories.

Treats We Enjoyed As Kids

Share your kid’s favourite summer treats.

Since I don’t have any kids of my own, I’m gonna share the summer treats that I enjoyed as a kid along with my sister and our cousins and what I am sure my cousins’ kids also do. One that is a rarity and I think is only really available in parts of India is the ice cream soda. Not the one that you are thinking of, but this is actually vanilla ice cream flavoured soda that you get in bottles. After a day of playing football or cricket with my cousins and sweating up a storm, going and get a few cold ice cream sodas to quench our thirsts was great.

We had these things called sip-ups – semi-frozen flavoured drink or cola in these plastic tubes that you buy from a street vendor or store and then proceed to suck up the juicy cold deliciousness. It was so popular at one time that they even sold it at my school’s cafeteria. Oh man, it’s so funny but I haven’t though about them in ages and this prompt suddenly brought back memories.

Ice cream floats. There was this one cafe at a hotel in Chullikal (near Mattancherry) that served them and I can’t think of any other place that’ve had it. It was basically a large scoop of vanilla ice cream placed inside a glass of Pepsi or Coca-Cola. I think mostly Pepsi as we had a problem with Coke until the late 90s. Those were the bomb and it was a huge treat for us.

Also near my grandmother’s house we had this small little joint called Cool Of Cools. It was an ice cream shop that specialized in these awesome sundaes and faloodas. Faloodas are basically a South Asian ice cream sundae or dish a South Asian with vermicelli noodles at the bottom along with rose syrup and sweet basil seeds with milk. When served cold ofcourse it is amazingly delicious, if you don’t mind the chewing of the basil seeds and vermicelli. Sure to cool you down.

Blog prompt from 30 Blog Post Ideas for June at The Frangipani Creative

Hoping For The Dutch To Win

Along with Argentina, (due to 1986 Mexico World up and Diego Armando Maradona) the team that I support in international football is the Netherlands. Perhaps over the years I have veered towards the Dutch a lot more since I watch a lot of them. Some of the very best players in the world during the 80s & 90s were from the Netherlands. Remember the remarkable attacking duo of Rudd Gullit & Marco Van Basten? Who, along with their AC Milan teammate centerback Frank Rijkard and his defence partner Ronald Koeman dominated the 1988 Euros! Moving on to the next decade most of my fav players in the 90s and 2000s were the core of Dutch players who did well in the next two World Cups and in club competitions. Like Denis Bergkamp, Marc Overmars, Phillip Cocu, Ronald & Frank DeBoer, Edwin Van der Sar, Jaap Stam, Patrick Kluivert, Clarence Seedorf, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink & Edgard Davids.

This Euros they have won their first 3 games which were the group rounds and look to be a strong contended to atleast reach the semis. The Dutch with a perfect record in Group C now travel to Budapest for Sunday’s last-16 tie. The Netherlands played their group games at Amsterdam’s Johan Cruyff Arena and three wins have sparked optimism regarding the team’s chances of emulating the side that won the 1988 Euros. Assistant coach van Nistelrooy says the Netherlands must not be complacent after topping Group C at Euro 2020 and learn from mistakes made at major tournaments in the past.

The Netherlands scored eight goals as they won all three of their group games at Euro 2020 against Ukraine, Austria and North Macedonia. But a different mentality is needed for knockout phase. Since winning the tournament in 1988, the Netherlands have progressed from just two of their seven knockout stage games in the European Championship. And they are looking to win their opening four games of a European Championship for only the second time, having last done so at Euro 2000.

Edit: Nope, they fucked it up and lost. All because of De Ligt who got red carded.

3 Biggest Challenges As A Blogger

3 biggest challenges you struggle with as a blogger and how to overcome it?
1. The challenge of whether to create a blog with a niche (or I have heard genre being used for it as well) or not. So for example if I like hockey or football then my blog is mainly about hockey or football or maybe even just about the team or even teams that I support. If I am into hard rock & heavy metal music then writing only about band news, events, upcoming albums or sharing musical clips.

If I am into movies and tv or only a genre of movies or tv (like horror or scifi) then my blog is only about those topics. Or only about Scifi or only about Star Trek or Stargate or Battlestar Galactica topics. I have thought about that and I still feel the pull to do that but then I would have to give up on all the other topics that I love and am interested it. I couldn’t only pick movies or just tv or only a sport or books! I have way more interests than just that. How to overcome it is to create a personal blog and then you can blog about anything and everything in the cosmos that interests you.

2. Writer’s block – This is something which I know affects all of us. The best writers go through it and they have studied communication and writing. So who are we? The best thing is the blogging community. Like this very prompt, there are lots of sites out there that give you topics and prompts for your blog. If you are like me then you are already aware and use a bunch of prompts any given day. My shtick is to write atleast one blog post every day and there are days when I cheat and just post some jokes or something. But since 2007 I have made it a rule of mine that I will blog every day unless I am too sick to do so or something really wonderful or really tragic has happened.

3. Motivation to keep writing or the lack of it. Most of the bloggers I used to like have long stopped blogging. There’s a few that remain and even they are sporadic these days. I miss that feeling of community that I used to enjoy. I loved getting the comments and replying and then going to their blogs to see what topics they have and sharing my inputs on their posts. I have made some good friends due to blogging and they have all moved to Facebook. Luckily I am still friends with them there. But I think I have to find more blogs and bloggers so I can get that sense of blogging community back once again.

Prompt from 121 LIFESTYLE BLOG POSTS IDEAS TO WRITE ABOUT IN 2021

What Is One Thing You Always Splurge On?

I don’t if you can call this an actual splurge but every Saturday I look at what is available on the delivery apps and then I order food for my parents and myself. On Saturday I do not usually bother to look for deals or different restaurants/cafes with  reduced prices for the same food item. That’s what I do on the weekdays if we want to buy meals or just some nice fish fry (like karimeen) or something like that. I look for coupons and/or discounts that either the restaurant or the delivery app provides.

But on Saturday night I don’t care! I look for something really good. It is usually a bucket of fried chicken or burgers or pizza or maybe I might shawarma or grilled chicken/al fahm or Indian food a la tandoori chicken or butter chicken with naan and the odd biryani. Maybe some Coke or 7up/Sprite with vodka or rum on the side to wash it down. I go all out and do not worry about the coupons or discounts. If it is there, I’ll take it but I usually look at the restaurant and or the dish that I feel like getting. I check with my parents to see if they want something in particular.

That is the one thing that I don’t really mind spending money on. It is food and it is good for you to go all out once a week. I can afford that. Also I like to do that for my folks. Seeing my dad happy with his drink in hand and good food on his plate and my mom not worrying about what to make for the night or get the maid to cook it before she leaves is all worth it.

Prompt from 30 Days Of Writing Prompts For June at The SitsGirls

Ranking The Conjuring Universe Films

I really like the Conjuring Universe that started off with The Conjuring distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures and heralded by James Wan. The franchise has been commercially successful, having grossed a combined $2 billion against a combined budget of $178 million, becoming the  second highest-grossing horror franchise and one of the most critically acclaimed. This list was originally done back in 2019 but since I have watched 3 movies in this franchise since then, I had to redo this list.

This below is my ranking of the films.

  1. Conjuring 2 (2016)
  2. The Conjuring (2013)
  3. Anabelle Creations (2017)
  4. Annabelle Comes Home (2019)
  5. The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (2021)
  6. Anabelle (2014)
  7. The Nun (2018)
  8. The Curse of La Llorona (2019)

Weird Laws In British Columbia

Port Coquitlam
You may find yourself in handcuffs if you don’t keep the cows off the street in Port Coquitlam. Might this law have been enacted after a reckless cowboy drove his cattle through the city streets? Port Coquitlam also has some particular pet-centric bylaws. Rat colonies are not welcome (four is the limit) and the number of pet snakes must be kept to a minimum.

Smithers
Bylaw number 771 in the town of Smithers states that the town is officially a Nuclear Weapons Free Zone. Enacted in 1986, the bylaw may seem archaic now, but at the time it was a symbol of the town’s opposition to the nuclear arms race. By retaining the law Smithers makes its stance on nuclear war very clear.

Oak Bay
Oak Bay keeps strict tabs on animals living within city limits. Bylaw 4013 specifically prohibits “habitually noisy dogs” and your pet parrot must be quiet and confined to your property. Should your parrot be impounded by the city (for trespassing?) it will cost you $6.00 plus boarding fees, compounded daily. Oh, and keep your bees away from your neighbour’s pond. You can be fined for that.

Quesnel
If you keep pigeons in the city of Quesnel you’d best keep a close watch on them. Particularly, do not allow them to perch on anyone else’s property. Alas your birds can only gaze longingly at streetlights and overpass signs. A 1965 law prohibits any public sport that is likely to frighten horses- unless you have obtained written permission beforehand. Another law from the same time period prohibited the display of merchandise on the sidewalk except for “prepackaged frozen confections.” It seems town leaders had an affinity for ice cream.

Vancouver
Selling stoves seems innocuous enough, right? So it’s curious what prompted the 1947 law in Vancouver that made it illegal to sell stoves on a Wednesday within city limits. Fortunately the law was eventually repealed
after almost 40 years.

Canadiens Win The Western Conference Finals

I haven’t been excited for the NHL in a while. Many years ago (Jesus H. Christ, has it it been over 20 years now) I slowly got into ice hockey and watched a few games every month on ESPN. I remember watching a few episodes of a program on the channel in which they would highlight a team each episode and I sat and watched them during the summer. The program ended just before the October NHL season premier and I was excited for watching some games. That was back in the 2000-01 season and I must have watched a handful of games before the playoffs. Watching an emotional Ray Bourque being handed the Stanley Cup straight from Colorado Avalance captain, breaking tradition, sealed it for me. I was emotionally entangled.

Now though my team is the Ottawa Senators, I can get behind any Canadian side winning the toughest team competition/trophy that there is to win. I don’t mind as long as a Canadian side wins. It’s their game and they invented the sport as we know it and the rules and they have the maximum number of players in the league, despite only having 7 teams in the NHL. As the years progressed I started watching less and less games and in the past 10 years I have only watched highlights once in a while but I try to keep up with the playoffs.

This season the most storied franchise in the NHL, the Montreal Canadiens, have finally reached the Stanley Cup finals after 28 years. With an overtime goal in Game 6, the Canadiens sealed a meeting with either the Tampa Bay Lightning or the New York Islanders, who will play their series-deciding Game 7 on Friday. As well, for the first time in Montreal’s 103 year history, the club won the Clarence Campbell Bowl, traditionally given to the winner of the Western Conference champions. This will be the Canadiens’ 35th trip to the Stanley Cup Final, which begins on Monday.

They were seen as a lightweight team before the season began and barely made it to the finals. Dare Montrealers dream to win?

New WordPress Theme & Blog Look

Well, well, well. After a very, very long time as you can see my blog has had a face lift. I have been using the same theme for quite a few years now and I have been thinking that perhaps it is now time for a change.

I started checking on the free themes that you can search for using the theme search option on your wordpress application but the ones I liked just didn’t mesh well with the type of blog that I maintain. I kept checking and checking, installing a few over the past few days that I thought was colourful and which had a design layout that I liked but when I activated them, I just didn’t like the way that it looked. This happens to me. I remember when I first started this blog – after installing it with the help of my cousin I worked all night on getting this website up and running and setting up WordPress. Yes, all night! I slept only 5 hours and then the excitement & satisfaction of finally having my own website space, that I paid for, under my own domain name gaveme a big boost of energy.

I couldn’t wait to start searching for WP themes. I wanted a different look, although I didn’t know exactly what I wanted. I tried out a lot of different looks and I might try to keep changing it from time to time, while keeping this current theme as the main one. There are some really good options that is out there and I really think anyone wanting to setup their own site should get WordPress as their tool of choice. So after trying out around 30 of them in the test runs that they give you, I decided on one that I used for a few months. It was the first of atleast 20 that I have used for more than just the install & try phase.

So having wanted a blog facelift I have been searching on & off for the past 2 weeks, mostly during the weekends and a few hours here & there during the work week and tried out atleast 30 themes before finding this one about 2 hours ago. And I like it. It’s called Biscuit Lite and it is the free version of one of PanKogut’s best selling themes – Biscuit. There is a Pro paid version but they decided to offer a free version with fewer options, but with everything you need to start your food blog.  Biscuit is minimal, simple to install.