Monthly Archives: April 2011

Recipe Wednesday: Strawberry Pie

Over at her blog, Emma has posted recipes on Wednesday for the past three weeks, this week with an entry on Crispy Sesame Crusted Brussels Sprouts.  Because I also like cooking and am especially proud of my recent success making Strawberry Pie, I thought I’d share the recipe.  It’s from this month’s Cook’s Illustrated.  The picture is mine however.

 

strawberry-pie

Fresh Strawberry Pie (Cook’s Illustrated, May/June 2011)
Ingredients:
For the filling:
4 pints (about 3 lbs.) fresh strawberries, gently rinsed and dried, hulled*
3/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp. cornstarch
1.5 tsp. Sure-Jell for low-sugar recipes**
Generous pinch table salt
1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 baked 9-inch pie shell

For the whipped cream:
1 cup cold heavy cream
1 tbsp. sugar

* I only had three pints of strawberries so I used defrosted frozen ones for the puree
**Be sure to use Sure-Jell for low- or no-sugar recipes (pink box).

Directions:
To make the filling, select 6 oz. misshapen, underripe or otherwise unattractive berries, halving those that are large, about 1½ cups.  In the food processor, process the berries to a smooth puree.  You should have about ¾ cup puree.

In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch, Sure-Jell and salt.  Whisk to combine.  Stir in the berry puree.  Cook the mixture over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, and bring to a full boil.  Boil for 2 minutes (it seemed to cook faster for me), scraping the bottom and sides of the pan constantly.  It will be foamy at first and then darken. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the lemon juice.  Let cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, pick over the remaining berries and choose the most attractive ones; halve only extra-large berries.  Add the berries to the bowl with the glaze and fold gently with a spatula until the berries are evenly coated.  Scoop the berries into the pie shell, piling into a mound.  If any cut sides face up on the top, turn them face down.  Remake the mound if need be until you find it attractive.  Refrigerate the pie until chilled, about 2 hours.  Serve within 5 hours of chilling.

Make the whipped cream just before serving.   Cut the pie into wedges and serve with whipped cream.

 

What I Wished For

[Note: this is how I remember the conversations with Paul.  He may have different memories.]

Heading home yesterday on the bus, I posted a Tweet along the lines of

The hottest idea I can think of right now is someone giving me a bath, washing my hair & putting me in pjs. & beating me. A bit.

My thought was we might get to play a bit this weekend when my dad goes away. When I got home, I played some Oblivion (more on that another day), Paul solved the dinner problem with a run to Carl's, and I snuck off to take a nice bath.

I was just undressing when there was a knock at the door. Struggling into my robe, I felt annoyed. Is there no alone time to be had in the apartment? But when I opened the door it wasn't my dad suggesting ice-cream. It was Paul.

"if you leave the door unlocked I'll come in in a bit & wash your hair."

Mmm. Nice.

"but only if I also cane you before bed."

I protested quietly. My dad was home.

Paul countered. My dad after all sleeps soundly. And the small cane is silent.

I left the door unlocked.

Paul came in and carefully and throughly washed and conditioned my hair, rinsing it with many pitchers of water.  I sat in the bath, feeling the warm water run over me, feeling all cared for and clean.

"Clean pjs tonight" he said as he left. I almost retorted that I *always* wear clean pjs as he must know from the laundry pile, but instead was quiet, pouting only to myself.  I thought about being caned with my dad in the other room.  It felt risky and naughty and I knew, knew that Paul was serious.  

Dressed for bed, I sat through some National Geographic program on the Pope (!!!) until my dad announced he was tired and going to bed.  Paul was awfully quick to agree with him he would be tired after so much driving.  We watched a bit more of the program which seemed designed to annoy Paul.  

Finally he reminded me to take my meds (I'd already done so), do any final bedtime things and then go and stand facing the closet. This because I've managed to fill the corner with stuff to take to the dry cleaners.  

When he came in he went to the closet.  I heard the rattle of the rattan canes, the quiet swish as he found the right one and the he took down my pjs and put me across his knee (this is a "nursery cane" made for otk use).  I was warned that my hands would be pinned behind my back if I couldn't keep them in front of me.

The thing about being caned otk is that while it isn't as hard as a longer heavier cane, there can be a lot more strokes a lot more quickly.  I gasped (quietly) and drummed my feet at the sting. Paul put up with my wiggling for a bit and then pinned my legs with his.  The sting went from painful to close to unbearable.  Tears clouded my eyes and I longed to wiggle away or make noise or something.  

But between the strokes, I could hear my dad snoring.

It wasn't a long caning but seemed to go on and on.

I slept insanely well last night. This morning, no marks at all.  

 

Discussion, Disagreement and Discord

I was raised in a family that was both loving and, at the same time, abusive.  There was physical abuse from my father which left its marks on me, most of which are long in the past and have been healed by the consensual play I've engaged in with Paul and others.  The ones that left the most lasting scars have been my mother's anger.  Disagreements with her were fraught events.  She never argued fairly and would say anything in moments of heated anger, expecting all would be forgotten and forgiven when the moment had passed.

I wasn't like that and would burn inside at the injustice, thinking of what I should have said long after, never feeling good about myself because of the personal attacks.  At the same time, politics and religion could be discussed civilly with disagreements encouraged and fair debate encouraged.  Needless to say, by the time I reached adulthood, disagreements left me feeling frightened.  Even though I would hide that fear and take on issues that mattered to me, I still felt inwardly vulnerable, wanting proof that disagreement wouldn't mean dislike or abuse.  For the first few years after I came out in the scene I avoided all disagreements with anyone in the scene, carefully sidestepping issues.  This was not easy as we were on Usenet, but I knew with regard to spanking I felt too vulnerable, would be too easily hurt.

Yes, I got past it, kind of.  But the discussion this week here and on Indy's site with Ludwig and especially Kaelah has reminded me my childhood is long past.  That one can disagree with passion and civility.  I appreciated their honesty and their thoughts, even while wishing I could convince them to side with me instead.  We're not close friends (really we're more friends of friends) but I didn't feel there was discord or dislike, rather that we were hashing out our positions, looking at the common ground and the disagreements, marking where each point lay and why it was there.

This isn't much of a blog post except to say that's a big deal for me. And I appreciate it.

H8 – Keep ‘Em Out of Sight

h8
As many of you know, I’m not exactly white. I’m Mexican American or as I prefer to call myself, Chicana. My father and my grandparents were born here in Los Angeles, but my great-grandparents came up from Zacatecas, Mexico.  I grew up in Los Angeles where having a white mother didn’t make me anything but Mexican.  That said, I didn’t experience too much discrimination.  My parents were very careful, protecting my sister, brother and me from the hate and fear that my father’s face and skin color could evoke.  Still, up through the 1980s, they had a hard time moving into white neighborhoods.  Realtors refused to show them homes, tried to steer them to the browner parts of town.  And this was with my mother being white.

My uncle’s family experienced all that and much more. My cousins don’t have a white mother to temper their skin tone and that color’s effect on the neighborhood.  When they moved into a white part of town, a “welcome wagon” met them with a chicken casserole and a request that they keep their children in the backyard for fear the sight of these brown children would lower property values.

So what you say?  Sad, but these are different times, right?

I say wrong and I’m calling our spanking community out on it. What groups like Crimson Moon and Ms. Margaret’s SCONY are doing by not allowing M/M spanking in their groups, what SpankingTube is doing by not having M/M searches come up in their general search is the same damn thing as racial redlining was in a previous generation.  It maybe legally right, but it’s ethically reprehensible.

But, but, some people don’t like M/M spanking.  So what?  I don’t like oral sex.  I don’t ask that it be banned or shunted off into a corner so I don’t have to stumble upon it.  I just avert my gaze and look at something I do like.  For those of you who think you can’t learn to stomach M/M spanking, I urge you to free your mind and grow the fuck up.   If your arousal is so fragile that the sight or suggestion of M/M spanking can take it down, you may need some medical help.  Not everything in the scene has to exist specifically to get you off.

But, but, you agree with me.  Really. You wish these spanking groups or SpankingTube didn’t discriminate.  Then live your beliefs.  Don’t patronize them.   Don’t use their sites.  Don’t go to their parties.  And let them know why you’re not.  That you’d like to, but because of their policy toward M/M spanking in our scene, you can’t.  Then go places like Shadow Lane and SF-CP that are open to everyone whatever their orientation.

But, but, Mija, you’re ranting.

Yes. Yes I am.  Don’t hate. You know you don’t want to.  And don’t support people who can and do.

ADDED: For more information on what SpankingTube is doing and why it sucks see this post by PaulThe Problem with SpankingTube.com

For a less rant-y take on M/M spanking see this post by IndyHomophobia in the Scene.  And another one by Indy here: Homophobia in the Scene, Revisited.

—-

PS. What did my uncle do? He had his twin brother move in next door with his family.  And then two put up a basketball hoop so all the kids played outside in the street, property values be damned.

So what’s up lately?

Lately?  Lately hasn't been very kinky, but not in a bad way.  I've been caught up in getting ready to graduate — planning a huge party for next month.  It's not that I have that many friends, but my extended family, once I get beyond the nuclear, is very very big. Guess that's what happens when Irish and Mexicans marry and both stay in California forever. 

I've also been doing some professional stuff, trying to get myself ready to go on the job market next fall. Fall seems forever away as it isn't even summer yet, but I know from last year how fast it all sneaks up. And then there's looking for a job to tide me over next academic year as my current job runs out in August. As my therapist remarks, who wouldn't be stressed out under the circumstances?  Therapy is going well too, though my therapist keeps remarking on my tendency to beat myself up, or "use a stick" which I always find a bit disconcerting given that she does know about my masochistic tendencies. 

In other news, my dad is still living with us. I'm not sure about Paul but I've made peace with this.  The truth is, as much as I miss our privacy, I love seeing him every day and will miss him when he finally is able to move out. He reminds me how much my family has always loved me, even when, at times, it's felt otherwise. 

So even without regular spankings, life is good.  And see, because of Paul, I live in a world where spankings are always possible even when they aren't actually happening.

This, in fact, suits me fine.  

Life is good.