In memoriam

I went to a memorial service for Professor Brentano today. It’s the first one I’ve ever been to, and while it would be inappropriate and not entirely true to say I enjoyed it, it was very moving, and I appreciated the experience. I also found it inspiring, because everyone said such wonderful things. I know people always say kind things about others after they’ve passed away, but in this case I’m sure everything was completely true. He was that kind of person. I hope that when my time comes I’ll be as deserving of such a tribute, even if I never get one. I hope I can live my life well enough to so positively touch so many lives.

After everyone had spoken there was a reception with some great looking food, but I felt weird not really knowing anyone, so I didn’t feel right eating a lot. Then my former GSI for Prof Brentano’s class, Amanda, found me and basically took me under her wing. I don’t know whether that was intentional, or whether it’s just that she’s a kind person, but I really appreciated it. She told me I was free to follow her as long as I wanted to, and she introduced me to various people and pointed out others to me, so even if I couldn’t really hold a conversation with some of the people she introduced me to, I could at least not feel like a complete social failure.

Baking journal: Yesterday I baked cookies according to a recipe in one of new cookbooks, Cookwise by Shirley Corriher, which purports to explain the science behind cooking so that you can see what went wrong when a recipe fails, or you can adjust recipes as necessary to change the effect. The recipe was for chocolate chip, but I made some changes. I used mostly carob chips instead of just chocolate, to cut down on fat, and I also used whatever solid fats I had sitting around, instead of just butter. I think in the end it came out to be mostly shortening, some butter, and some Spectrum Spread (a vegan nonhydrogenated spread which I certainly wouldn’t recommend for plain eating, but which is a healthier fat for baking). I’ve noticed in previous recipes that either the Spectrum Spread or the carob chips are kind of salty, and one or the other or a combination of the two cause some unsightly spreading stuff that burns easily, and the cookies had both these qualities. But as a whole, they were really good, and I’m definitely going to try the recipe again (but without Spectrum Spread, or with only chocolate chips!). In fact… I’ve been eating these cookies almost continually since I baked them, so I just stuck the rest in the freezer to prevent this from keeping up. 🙂

[This post was imported on 4/10/14 from my old blog at]