10/18/18 – Meeting The Dad




Yesterday I wrote about how much Zorilla is based on me. But this is the exception. That controlling “dad” stereotype isn’t in my genes.


  1. War Pig

    The recipe. Here you go, NOBI

    I can do the Texas Fudge Cake but my sis-in-law got the hummingbird recipe and she will not share. :-(p It’s all family fun, really.

    Texas Fudge Cake
    – by Grandma War Pig

    Preheat oven to 375

    Hint: Use nonstick coated pots when possible

    Boil Together:

    – ½ cup butter (usually one stick)
    – 4 heaping Tablespoons cocoa (I use either the special dark Hershey’s cocoa powder, or Ghirardelli’s)
    – 1 cup water (I filter mine as the municipal water has a foul, chlorine taste)
    – ½ cup Crisco shortening (can or stick)
    – ½ tsp salt (you need the salt to bloom the chocolate flavor)

    Pour the above while still hot, over:

    – 2 cups sugar
    – 2 cups all purpose flour (do not sift) – cake flower is too light for this cake
    – 2 large eggs

    Mix and stir, adding:

    – ½ cup buttermilk
    – 1 teaspoon fresh baking soda
    – 1 teaspoon vanilla (I use pure Madagascar bourbon vanilla extract because a cake this rich deserves the best)

    Place batter mixture in a very well-greased, 13 X 9 pan or equivalent and bake for 30 minutes.

    5 minutes before the cake is done, boil together:

    – 1 stick of butter
    – 4 Tablespoons cocoa
    – 6 Tablespoons milk

    Pour this over 1 cup of confectioner’s sugar, stir until dissolved, add 1 cup chopped nuts (optional, I prefer walnuts). Use this to ice the cake while it is still hot in the pan and serve it out of the pan. Let cake cool for at least 1 hour before serving. Some of the icing will soak in and make the cake even richer.

    This is an extremely heavy and rich cake that serves many people. When done well it looks like coal. That dark. It goes superbly well with coffee, and grandma would add a dollop of whipped cream, flavored with rum, amaretto or bourbon (for adults only) to make it sinfully decadent. Diabetics beware!

      1. War Pig

        Sorry about the handle misspelling. Typo on my part. I has dyslexic fangers many dayz and I am occasionally too arrogant to thoroughly check things. The old “I know what I’m doing!” mistake.

        The cake is truly tasty and works very well for Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthdays, etc. Nobody expects diet food on a feast day. 😉 It was wildly popular among my children’s and grandson’s friends. Always requested at family reunions.

        Sometimes when I try to make a diabetic version for a cherished family member who is VERY diabetic I add a single square of Hershey’s chocolate along with the Splenda. It helps with the texture of both cake and icing.

        During late autumn and winter I am also requested to make chocolate cream pies from scratch – no pudding mix. There I use the Ghirardelli cocoa almost exclusively as you can’t hide cheaper ingredients in a pie. Hershey’s dark will substitute for the pies but not regular Hershey’s cocoa, and I never use Nestle’s. Never had any luck with it. Ditto for the shortening in the cake. I use real butter and Crisco to get the texture I require. Wesson will not work, nor will butter flavor Crisco work as a butter substitute. Real butter and real Crisco. Grandma used to use genuine leaf lard in place of the Crisco many years ago, but she switched to Crisco for two reasons. 1) It had gotten almost impossible to get good leaf lard that is not aerated or homogenized or pasteurized. 2) Crisco lasts longer without refrigeration before spoiling. A smaller reason was cholesterol problems as she aged.

    1. Owen Smith

      Can anyone translate that from US units to weights and measures the rest of the world uses for baking? Giving quantities in cups is a peculiarly US thing (I don’t know about Canada), we use grams for dry ingredients and millilitres for fluids. Teaspoons are alright, but the rest is a mystery to me. And our ovens are marked in centigrade, but a straight conversion should suffice for that since 375 can’t be centigrade, I assume it’s Farenheit? Sticks of butter? We weigh it in the UK. Crisco shortening? Crisco is a water based sex lubricant in the UK. All purpose flour? My mum hasn’t heard of it, we just have flour (old school or self-raising) and strong flour for baking bread.

      Luckily we do still use minutes to time things in the UK. It never ceases to amaze me how something so simple (one would hope) as baking can be done so differently.

      1. War Pig

        Ummm. you can Google all that and convert it directly, or ask Alexa or Siri if you have a digital assistant. This is the way the British used to measure before they were conquered by France.

        1. Owen Smith

          We never used cups or sticks of butter etc. in the UK for baking. I have recipes from a couple of my great grandmothers and they are in pounds and ounces for solids and fluid ounces for liquids (fluid ounces make no sense to me). Ovens had been in gas mark, farenheit or centigrade in the UK and I have conversion tables for all of those.

          I didn’t mean to cause any offence, I’m fascinated baking can differ so much!

          1. Gregg Eshelman

            Fluid ounces are a measure of volume, no matter the mass. One sixteenth of a US pint or one twentieth of a British pint. Both approximately 0.03 liter.

      2. Muzhik

        @Owen Smith,
        It struck me that no one had responded to you re: American Crisco. Crisco is hydrogenated cottonseed oil. The process turns the oil into a fat that is solid at room temperature. It was originally supposed to be used as a substitute for tallow or lard in making both soap and candles. (One of the more popular introduction-to-soapmaking-recipes is based around mostly Crisco with some olive oil and coconut oil.) It’s long shelf life made it popular, especially in the southern US where the heat and humidity made lard hard to use and keep from going rancid.

        Hope this helps.

      3. Meran

        Use cake flour not bread flour or pastry flour (regular milled white flour -2Tablespoons of flour, replacing it with cornstarch)
        I’ve begun weighing my flour too. But different flours have different weights per whatever volume measure is quoted. Check gluten free sites for help in conversions since most of ipus are going that way too. Sometimes the manufacturers/Miller/company can give you equivalences.
        A stick of butter is 1/4 pound.
        I’m severely allergic to the protein in milk, includes butter. Crisco, butter flavor sometimes works as a replacement but not always. Coconut butter in sticks has a similar consistency as real butter but sometimes tastes too coconutty. There are also some really good conversions for all this on food allergy sites since they work constantly with conversions and substitutions.

  2. Coyoty

    He’s just upset he probably won’t be getting grandchildren he wouldn’t have known about except for the alien who abducted his children coming back for him.

    I guess when it’s said that way, it does sound upsetting.

    Maybe some wedding cake will make him feel better.

    1. War Pig

      Splenda works, sort of. I’ve tried agave but the texture gets funny sometimes. The problem with cane sugar is that it not only sweetens but has specific chemical reactions with the other ingredients than can be hard to simulate with non-sugar substitutes. I know that you have to use more Splenda than the one-for-one that they claim. Usually 50% more. Using agave you also have to play with the liquid amounts a little sometimes, depending on humidity, etc. With sugar it works every time. I have diabetics in my family and I am careful about my own hemoglobin A1C (half Native American), so I limit myself to small portions and not many of them in a week. I really, REALLY miss cyclamates. I think their supposed dangers were far less than the dangers of obesity and diabetes we’re seeing today.

    2. Gregg Eshelman

      One thing you can’t do successfully with home cooking without real sugar is pickling and jams, jellies, and fruit preserves. Through experimentation my mother found a 50/50 mix of sugar and sucralose (Splenda) will work.

      She tried 100% sucralose but the pickles got mold growth even inside the sealed jars. The heating alone of water bath canning isn’t enough to kill any spores, it must have the sugar. Despite being made from sugar the chemical structure of sucralose doesn’t have the anti spore and bacteria properties of sugar.

      1. Bonker of Things

        The trick is in the water activity (and no, it’s not about how much the water exercise). Sugars reduce the water activity and once it’s below 80% (pure water being 100%) most microorganisms have trouble surviving, though it should be <60% to ensure that nothing nasty lives in the stuff you cook (if you intend to store it). Lowering the water activity can be done through other means too, such as increased gelatin or pectin concentration (which is why aspic dishes were popular in the past) but with the drawback that it most often changes the texture into a harder one. It will actually work with sucralose or any other sugar derivatives as well, though the amount required will be close to that of regular sugar and, thus, so sweet that it's inedible.

  3. Herandar

    Kinda shocked to hear Mauricio refer to Zorilla directly as “Dad”. In spite of all that Mau has already undergone, with the grudge he’s held onto for years, I’d expect to hear a stiffly formal “Father” until some serious rapprochement, or some idiotically noble sacrifice that wraps up the story.

    He’d say Dad to others (like Emily a couple of strips back), but not when addressing Mr. Z himself.

  4. Peter Rogan

    So many quasi-functional illusions coming together here! Wezzle, with his/her romantic fixation on Mauricio. Jabby, still thinking he can and has killed the unjust. Mr. Zorilla, who thinks he’s seen it all (and has never lost his human-centeredness). And Mauricio, pretending he’s still human instead of a nanobot construct. So, so many self-deceptions here in just six panels. I don’t think there’s room for them to get more wrong, though of course that’s exactly what they’re going to collectively do.

  5. Muzhik

    That controlling “dad” stereotype isn’t in my genes.

    Just wait until you have daughters. I’m a DODO (Dad Of Daughters Only), with 3 of them.

    Daughters. They’ll break your heart every time.

      1. Muzhik


        I had a dream — since thwarted — of getting an apocalypse-quality machete, complete with a carrying case, and a sharpening/honing stone. And every time a new boyfriend/victim would arrive the first time, I’d invite him into my study, close the door, and have him sit in a comfy chair across from me. Then, as I would slowly sharpen the machete, I’d engage the young man in conversation, covering subjects such as my friend who has a patch of very hilly, rough land, and the poor guy who went trespassing, stumbled into a pit breaking his leg, and was there for days, very long and lonely pain-filled days, until someone thought to look for him there. And every sentence would be punctuated by the long slow “schwing” of the sharpening stone against the blade.

        Eventually, I’d wipe down the blade with an oily rag, sheath it, and ask brightly, “So! What do you two kids have planned for tonight?” My goal would be to have the young man reply in a quiet voice, “An evening of prayer and scripture study, sir.”

        Yessirree. My daughters would thank me for being the local psychodad. Eventually. After their own kids started dating.

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