Saturday, January 21, 2006

Creamy Fudge in the Kitchen

What a week? Started off with Democrats indicating they were giving up and ended with . . .

Elaine's asked if I'd mind including this from the Feminist Wire:

More Senators Announce Opposition to Alito
More Senators have announced their opposition to Samuel Alito for the Supreme Court. Encouragingly, no additional Democrats have announced support for Alito since Ben Nelson (NE). Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL), the Democratic Whip, announced his opposition to a packed auditorium at Northwestern University School of Law.
"In the record, the writings, the words, and the life of Samuel Alito, I searched for evidence of his caring heart -- evidence that for the next two or three decades he would use his position on the Supreme Court to enlarge our freedom, protect our privacy, and respect the delicate balance of power and responsibility our Constitution creates," said Senator Durbin. "At the end of the day, at this historic moment, I cannot say with confidence that Samuel Alito meets that test."
Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), in announcing his opposition, said, "Based on his record, I am gravely concerned that Judge Alito does not believe the Congress has the authority to protect the fundamental rights of all Americans."
Other Senators who have announced publicly their opposition to Alito include Patrick Leahy (D-VT) (the Ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) (the only woman on the Judiciary Committee), Ted Kennedy (D-MA), Ken Salazar (D-CO), and Max Baucus (D-MT). Senators Leahy, Baucus, and Salazar all voted for John Roberts in September.
GET THE INSIDE SCOOP with The Smeal Report and the New Leif blogs at
TAKE ACTION Call your Senators and urge them to oppose Alito
DONATE Make an emergency contribution to the Feminist Majority's Save Roe Campaign. We must be a strong voice in this crucial fight to save Roe and the Supreme Court for women's rights.
Media Resources: Harkin statement 1/19/06; Durbin statement 1/19/06; Feminist Majority

I'm happy to include it (and flattered to be asked by Elaine). It's from Friday and it demonstrates how much we the people can do. We shouldn't get cocky and think it's over because it's not. But we should realize the power of people power. That's what turned it around.

Cedric had asked last week if I had an easy recipe for something sweet? I can't think of a better time to note a dessert than after all the hard work of this past week. I would dub the following Katrina vanden Heuvel's Sweet Victories Creamy Fudge if it weren't for the fact that the battle's still raging. So keep fighting but take a moment to note what we've accomplished.

This recipe is from my friend Nancy. She saw it in a magazine years ago but has no idea which one it was today.

Creamy Fudge
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
4 cups sifted powdered sugar
4 squares unsweetened chocolate, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring
Pinch of salt
3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Combine cream cheese and powered sugar in mixing bowl (or food processor); mix until throroughly blended. Add melted chocolate, vanilla flavoring and salt. Stir in walnuts. Spread mixture in an 8-inch quare pinned lined in buttered wax paper or foil and chill for several hours (or overnight). Remove from pan and cut into small squares. Makes about 3 1/2 dozen squares.

This is an easy recipe. You melt the chocolate in a sauce pan on the stove or in the microwave. If using the stove top, stir frequently. If using the microwave, microwave in thirty seconds bursts. It should take no more than three thirty-seconds periods and you should stir the chocolate after each thirty-second period.

"Chill for several hours" does not mean, as Mike found out last year, put in the freezer for a half hour. At Thanksgiving, I was especially swamped and Mike and his younger sister (who says "Mother do not mention my name! I have friends!") pitched in the way all my children always have. Mike will tell you that he's not an experienced cook. But when I handed him this recipe, he got it down pat with no problems at all except for thinking the fudge would be ready sooner if he put it in the freezer. Had I not stopped him, we would have had ice crystals in the fudge. This isn't a "frozen dessert."

Put it in the fridge and leave it for a few hours. You can cook the meal itself, serve it, eat and, by the time you're done with that, the fudge should be ready.

Mike and his sister will make this now themselves and can eat the entire thing with help from their father. If you have a sweet tooth, this is perfect for you. It's a little too sweet for me and one square is usually all I will have.

Mike created an e-mail account for me this week and it is in my profile. He also helped me add some details to my profile. I received an e-mail from June whom I don't recognize as a member of The Common Ills community. I'm glad members have shown me so much support and encouragement with their e-mails but I had no idea anyone else would be visiting this website.

June sent me a thing from another website that was making fun of the cover of the new issue of Ms. Magazine. She wondered what I thought of it? I think it's a great issue and was anticipating purchasing it since C.I. spotlighted it. I bought it Wednesday and would encourage everyone to check it out. As for the cover, I think it's a wonderful photograph. But then maybe I'm just a dull homebody who's raised eight children? Maybe that's my problem?

I was talking to Wally's mother about the issue and about June's e-mail this morning. She said that was the website Wally had heard wasn't even bothering to take the trouble to get the word out on blocking Samuel Alito's confirmation to the Supreme Court. Somehow that made sense.

I don't know what bothered someone so much about the cover, that Jane Fonda has a dog or that she's wearing pink and photographed against a pink backdrop? Or maybe it was just Jane Fonda herself that bothered?

Seems to me that someone wanted to slam for some reason and she found a way to do it in a very superficial manner. I love Ms. Magazine and am a big fan of Jane Fonda and Robin Morgan so I don't see any problem with the cover. At the checkout counter, the cover didn't elict hisses but compliments. But possibly if you're level of "contribution" is to slam a photo, a non-cheesecake photo, you have enough problems already?

Maybe something's seriously amiss when you attempt to critique a photo but confuse it with a cover? One cover, the non Ms. one, trumpets weight loss ("30 DAYS TO THIN!" it proclaims) and "THE $$ QUIZ THAT COULD MAKE YOU RICH!" while Ms. trumpets "The Women of Today's ANTI-WAR MOVEMENT" and "How to TEACH PEACE."

I'm not really sure what superficial comparisons contribute to a feminist dialogue but possibly that's the extent of contribution some can make?

If I seem mad, I am. It's a great issue and, instead of noting anything in it, someone decides to act alarmed that it features a woman with a dog on the cover -- as though that's something that's never been done before outside of Good Housekeeping. Maybe since C.I. had already featured the cover the week before and spotlighted the issue, the person felt there was nothing to left to say but attack the photo?

Or maybe it's just more anti-Jane sentiment? Does that website suffer from "War Got Your Tongue?"

I have no idea. It's silly nonsense, if you ask me. And we have more important things going on. If anything is a "step backward," I'd argue it's a site that doesn't have time to note the need to fight Alito's confirmation.

But what do I know? I'm just a lifelong feminist, a working class woman with eight kids. Maybe I'm not "edgy" enough? Who knows?

I hope that answers June's question about what I thought of the thing she forwarded. June seemed bothered by the item. If it helps June any, Wally's mother and I were bothered as well.
Apparently "edgy" requires cutting the contributions others make? Wally's mother is convinced that the writer just has a problem with Jane Fonda and says the same writer had a problem with Eve Ensler's most recent play so maybe it's just a need to "kill mommy"?

Whatever it was, it added nothing to a discussion. For something that does that, you can read the latest issue of Ms. Magazine. And you can keep fighting the Alito nomination.

Please visit NOW's website where you'll find a pop up with the following:

Don't Confirm Anti-Roe Nominee to Supreme CourtSenators Must Filibuster Samuel Alito
These are the faces of
women who died because they could not obtain safe and legal abortions.
If Roe v. Wade is overturned, these pictures could include your daughter, sister, mother, best friend, granddaughter . . .
Don't let George W. Bush and the U.S. Senate put another anti-abortion justice on the Supreme Court.
Read More
Take Action NOW
Support NOW's Emergency Work to Save the Court
Tell A Friend to Take Action to Save the Court

Focus on the things that really matter and leave "edgy" to the "trendies." Take it from someone who remembers the pre Roe v. Wade days, blocking Alito's confirmation matters.

On other issues that matter, please read Ruth's Morning Edition Report which provides a summary of John Conyers' hearing Friday. Lastly, Cindy e-mailed C.I. about my "build up" at The Common Ills. Cindy, I appreciate the support but I'll disagree with C.I. on this matter. If you know anything about C.I. you know copping to the blame is perfectly in keeping; however, the facts tell a different story. While C.I. has been hitting hard on Alito and the NSA spying, I've still been noted eight or more times at The Common Ills and considering this is only my third post and my third week, I think that's been a pretty big buildup. It should also be noted that C.I. stayed on the phone with me, on a Saturday where there was no time for it, to talk me through setting up this site and to talk me through my first entry.

Everyone has been very helpful and very welcoming. Knowing C.I.'s tendency to reject all compliments and to take on any blame, I'll have to kindly correct the impression that I haven't had an adequate buildup at The Common Ills. It's been a busy and rough week for the community and I'll echo Gina and Krista from this morning's round-robin and say thanks to C.I. for "coming back from the brink of exhaustion to rally the community yet again."