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exponentiation ezine: issue [4.0:culture]

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Cold Plate Drop Candies

You may or may not have noticed that we live in a time where the most extreme evil consequences to our behavior are considered acceptable and in fact normal, since after all, we don't intend to be evil. However, we are on a sure path to tedious wage slavery, polluted air and water, overpopulation, resource depletion and race war. Luckily, you can strike back -- by making candies.

Especially if you have children, you may have found yourself studying the candy available in this society. Almost all of it has three major flaws: it's expensive considering the ingredient value, it comes in non-biodegradable landfill-swelling packaging, and it's full of weird chemicals that will probably turn your little darlings into bug-eyed mutants. We have a solution.

Ingredients
Sugar
Flavoring

Instructions:

1. Place 3-5 plates in your freezer
2. Heat pan on low
3. Add 1lb sugar, slowly.
Stir constantly -- spoon always in circular motion -- for about 15
minutes. This stuff burns faster than napalm, so no bathroom breaks. Your goal is to melt the sugar, but not caramelize it fully. It will melt into a thick liquid that is no longer gritty under your stirring spoon (it will become translucent).
4. Turn off heat, remove from flame and add flavoring, stirring madly.
5. Using stirring spoon, drop candy in whatever form you prefer -- here we sprinkle it randomly to make small candies -- on plates and return them to freezer. Using wax paper on the plates makes this job easier and cleaner.
6. After 15 minutes, remove plates and let them warm up slightly, then pry off candies. You should be able to store these at room temperature.

Flavoring:

Cinnamon

This is a favorite because it is blazingly easy. 3 tbsp of cinnamon to one pound of sugar produces a sweet candy; adding in 1/5 tsp of powdered red pepper makes cinnamon hots (stir thoroughly).

Lime/Citrus

Wash a lime with ScotchBrite or similar abrasive sponge to remove oils, waxes, coloring, pesticides, AIDS and other artifacts of industrial society. Using the fine mesh of your shredder, make powder of 1 tbsp of rind and then juice 2 tbsp of liquid on top of it. Mash, mix, pound until it's nearly uniform. Wait a few minutes for mixture to half-cool before stirring in.

Ginger

Use 2 tbsp of ginger; see cinnamon instructions.

Strawberry

Use wet towel under running water to remove seeds from 3 medium strawberries. Liquefy with blender and heat on low for 20 minutes, then add sugar as the original recipe calls for.

Your children will kvetch and bitch and moan because after all, these candies didn't come in plastic packaging with their favorite cartoon characters on it. Tell them this is candy for spirited people who would rather spend their money on trees than colored plastic garbage. In about 18 years, they'll get it, and you can look forward to seeing them blow up industry lackey scientists and burn down ecointrusive new subdivisions.

At the time of this writing, making the cinnamon version of these candies cost approximately 80 cents per pound, versus nearly five dollars per pound for off-the-shelf cinnamon candies. This is the perfect activity while waiting for the phone to ring or S.W.A.T. team to finalize entry. Vijay Prozak

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