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Tapioca Pearls

 ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: S. C. 
  To: phaedrus 
  Sent: Tuesday, March 06, 2001 12:04 AM

  I want to make tapioca pearls, but how do I make them in less 
  than one day if possible?

Hi S. C.,

I don't think you really want to make tapioca pearls at home. Almost all of the (non-instant) tapioca sold in stores is pearl tapioca. The only other form is as a flour.

The pearly white grains used in Tapioca pudding come from the roots of the cassava, or manioc, a plant native to South America. Most cassava comes from Brazil and Indonesia. The cassava is a shrubby plant that grows from 5 to 12 feet high. Its fleshy roots may be 3 feet long and from 6 to 9 inches in diameter. It is about 20 percent starch. The crop is raised from cuttings from stalks of the previous season.
The roots are fed into a grinding machine through which a stream of water is kept flowing. The ground roots, mixed with water, pass through a revolving sieve. Here, the coarse fibers are separated from finer starchy material. The starch passes through the meshes of the sieve and then into a screen-covered vat where the last of the fiber is removed.
After a series of washings, the starch is spread out to dry. When dry, it is lumpy and must be ground to make flour. Granular tapioca is produced by moistening the flour and shaking it in a hammock-like device to convert the flour into pellets. The pellets are then passed through screens and dried in shallow iron pans over charcoal fires. These pellets are called "pearls." If you really can't find pearl tapioca at your store, here's a place you can buy it: SFHerb


Computer Viruses

Folks, I highly recommend that you install anti-virus software on your computer. I have been online for fifteen years, and I never had a computer virus until last November. There seem to be more viruses around now than ever. There are couple of software packages out there that anyone can use to create a Visual Basic virus. If someone has this software, hey don't have to be a computer hacker to create a virus.

Before November, 2001, I didn't think I needed anti-virus software. After all, I had been on the Internet for years and had never gotten one. However, one day in November, my computer started acting a bit odd. Nothing I could put my finger on, just different. I backed up most of my important files on a ZIP disk and then I downloaded "Inoculate It!", a free antivirus package, after reading about it at the antivirus site. When I ran it, I found that a virus called Hybris had infected my computer. I then went to Symantec and read about the virus.

A computer virus is basically just a small program of piece of "code" that can make copies of itself. In other words, it can reproduce. Add to that the ability to attach itself to outgoing e-mail, and you have something that can spread itself just like the flu virus can spread.

The Hybris virus is a particularly evil form of computer virus. The basic thing that it does is to go in and install itself in your /windows/system directory. Then, it renames one of its own files as "wsock32.dll" and replaces the real "wsock.dll" file in your /windows/system/ directory. What this does is allow it to send itself to every e-mail address in your Outlook address book. It copies itself into an attachment to an e-mail sent to each of those addresses. When the recipient opens the attachment, then his computer is infected.

In order to "cure" my computer, I had to delete several files from my /windows/system/irectory - these were listed on the Symantec site. Then, I had to replace my infected "wsock32.dll" file with a clean copy.

I did those things and then ran "Inoculate It" again. The software showed my computer as being clean.

A couple of days later, I bought a new computer. I transferred my files from the old computer and re-installed several programs that were compressed *.zip files. When I thought I was done, I hooked up the new machine and began to use it. It has Windows Me and it came with Norton 2001 anti-virus. When I did the initial anti-virus scan, I was shocked to find that my new computer was infected with the Hybris virus, too! Reading some more about the virus, I found that it was able to insert itself into *.zip files. The zipped files that I had installed on my new coputer had carried the virus to it. Luckily, Norton 2001 was able to fix everything with no problem. To disinfect the old computer, I had to go back and fix each *.zip file individually.

So, to prevent this from ever happening again, I turned on every module of Norton 2001, at the highest security level. It checks every e-mail that I get to make sure there are no viruses even before I see it, and it continually monitors my computer for any of the changes that are associated with computer viruses. Not only that, but I then downloaded a personal firewall program called "Tiny Firewall" and installed it, also at the highest security level. A firewall isn't really an anti-virus program, it's for protection from hackers, but it will tell you if your computer is trying to connect with outside sites without your knowledge, which is something that some viruses do.

So, when I got the virus-laden e-mail from S.C., Norton 2001 warned me and immediately placed the e-mail in a quarantine file where it could do no harm. I could then delete the virus at my eisure and still read S.C.'s e-mail question.

Please folks, protect your computer. There are new viruses every day, and some of them with erase everything on your computer. It's a sick feeling when you sit down at your computer to get on the Internet and find that Windows won't boot.


  1. Buy a good antivirus software package like Norton 2001 and install it. Yes, MacAfee is good, too, but I prefer Norton, and I've tried both. If you just can't afford to buy Norton, then download Inoculate It!. It's freeware! Don't wait until you get a virus. Some of the newer viruses block your computer from going to the anti-virus websites!
  2. If you get Norton, set it up to check your e-mail for viruses. Inoculate It doesn't have this feature.
  3. If you find that you already have a virus, go to the Symantec site above for instructions on how to get rid of it, or to the site above.
  4. Never, never open an e-mail attachment from anyone you don't know.
  5. Since new viruses are discovered every day, your anti-virus program must be updated often. most of them have an automatic update feature. You just go online, click on update, and the software gets the latest virus definitions from its home site. To be safe, you should update weekly.
  6. To protect against hackers, particularly if you have DSL or a cable modem, get a personal firewall program. There are free ones!
  7. To keep up-to-date with the latest virus information, regularly visit sites like Symantec or the anti-virus site. This stuff may be boring to you, but it's a lot more fun that having to reformat your hard drive (or replace your computer) and re-install everything that hasn't been lost forever.
  8. There are other things you can do, but many of them require some computer expertise. For instance, to protect against viruses that infect your wsock32.dll file, you can right click on your wsock32.dll file and make it "Read-Only". To protect against VBS (Visual-Basic Script) viruses, you can turn off automatic scripting. Symantec offers a little program that allows you to toggle automatic scripting on and off as you need it.

Strawberry Pizza Forever

----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Michelle 
  To: phaedrus 
  Sent: Sunday, March 11, 2001 8:03 PM
  Subject: Strawberry Pizza

  I once had a recipe for strawberry pizza. All I can remember is 
  it begins with a sugar cookie base for the crust. Then after it 
  bakes add cream cheese pluse something I can't remember and it tops 
  off with fresh strawberries in a glaze. Can't recall if there is 
  anything else. it is now berry picking time here in florida and my 
  family and friends are longing for this mouth watering tasty dessert. 
  Can someone help, please?


Hi Michelle,

Below are several recipes for strawberry pizza. There was quite a lot of minor variation to be found.


  Strawberry Pizza

  1 pkg pillsbury chocolate chip or sugar cookie dough
  1 pkg cream cheese
  8 oz Cool Whip
  1/2 cup vanilla
  1 tsp vanilla
  1 qt strawberries, cleaned, hulled, and cut

  Roll out cookie dough into jelly roll pan. 
  Bake 10 to 15 minutes at 350 degrees.
  Cool. Mix together Cool Whip, cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla. 
  Spread over cooled dough. Top with Strawberries when ready to serve. 
  Can be made 24 hours ahead.
  Strawberry Pizza 


  1 box of sugar cookie mix (Duncan Hines) 

  Mix according to package directions. 
  Spread cookie mix on lightly greased pizza pan. 
  Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. 


  8 oz. cream cheese 
  2 cups confectioner's sugar 
  8 oz. Cool Whip 

  Mix cream cheese and sugar together. 
  Fold in whipped topping. 
  Spread on cooled crust. 


  1 pkg. store-bought strawberry glaze 
  1 quart strawberries, sliced 

  Mix glaze and strawberries together. 
  Spread over cream cheese mixture. 
  Strawberry Pizza

  2 cups flour 
  2 sticks margarine 
  1 c chopped nuts

  First Layer: 
  8 oz cream cheese, softened 
  3 cups confectioners sugar 
  12 ozs Cool Whip

  Top Layer: 
  1 cup sugar 
  1 c water 
  3 T cornstarch 
  1 small box strawberry Jello 
  2 pints strawberries, sliced 

  Crust: Melt margarine, combine with flour & press into pan. 
  Sprinkle nuts on top & press into dough. 
  Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown.
  FIRST LAYER: Blend cream cheese & sugar, fold in Cool Whip. 
  Spread onto crust, peaking up sides so top layer won't run off.

  Top Layer: Combine sugar, water & cornstarch & bring to a boil. 
  Cook until clear. Cool a little. Add Jello & cool completely. 
  Add strawberries & pour on top of pizza.
  Strawberry Dessert Pizza


  1/2 lb. butter (2 sticks)
  2/3 cup sugar
  1 egg
  1/4 tsp. baking powder
  1/8 tsp. salt
  1 1/2 tsps. vanilla
  2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour


  8-oz. pkg. cream cheese
  1/4 cup strawberry puree (about 4 strawberries in a blender)
  1 Tbsp. honey
  2 Tbsps. sugar
  3 pints fresh strawberries
  Optional glaze:

  1 Tbsp. honey
  1 tsp. water

  For crust, cream together butter and sugar with a mixer until fluffy; 
  add egg, baking powder, salt and vanilla till mixture is smooth; 
  add flour and mix till a smooth dough is formed. Place finished dough 
  between two sheets of wax paper and refrigerate for about 20 minutes. 

  Remove from refrigerator and roll the dough out to about a 1/4-inch 
  thickness and in a round shape. Place the dough in a greased 12-inch 
  pizza pan and bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 25 minutes or 
  until crust is a light brown. Cool completely.

  For topping, combine cream cheese, puree, honey and sugar until smooth. 
  Spread evenly over the cooled cookie crust, leaving a 1/2-inch border 
  uncovered. Place whole strawberries around the outside border and use 
  sliced berries to fill in the middle of the pizza.

  If desired, blend glaze ingredients and brush over the top of the 
  finished pizza.
  Strawberry Pizza
  Ingredients: For two 9 inch pizzas


  2 cups flour 
  1 cup butter 
  1/2 cup powdered sugar 
  16 oz. cream cheese (light cream cheese is optional) 
  1 cup sugar 
  2 1/2 cups strawberries washed and stemmed 
  2 tablespoons sugar 
  2 tablespoons corn starch 

  Blend all of the ingredients for the crust together and press the 
  dough into the bottom of the 9 inch pie pan until it's evenly distributed. 
  Don't worry about greasing the pan. Just bake it at 375 degrees until 
  golden brown. 

  Now for the filling I use 16 ounces of cream cheese. You can use the 
  light it tastes just as good as far as I'm concerned and 1 cup of sugar. 
  Now you blend all of this together. Once the pie crust cools you 
  spread the filling on the crusts. 

  Now for the finale. In a medium sauce pan sweeten the strawberries 
  with the sugar, then add the cornstarch and bring all of this to a 
  simmer. When the mixture is thickened remove it from the heat and 
  let it cool and then spread this over the cream cheese filling. 

  This follows the recipe but I've also used fresh sliced berries on 
  the cream cheese. Chill it and it will be ready in about an hour. 
  Strawberry Pizza  
  2 c Flour 
  1/2 c Sugar, confectioners 
  1 c Butter 
  1 c Whipping cream 
  8 oz Cream cheese 
  1 t Vanilla 
  3 pt Strawberries, fresh 
  1 c -- Water 
  1 pk Gelatin, unflavored 

  Cut together flour and half of the powdered sugar. Add butter and cut 
  together until crumbly. Pat into buttered 10-inch pizza pan. Bake at 
  400 degrees for 8-10 minutes, or until light brown. Set crust aside 
  to cool. 

  Whip cream and set aside. Blend cream cheese, remaining sugar, and 
  vanill Fold into whipped cream. Spread on cooled crust and chill.. 
  Cut and mash together 1/4 of the strawberries, and mix them with 
  water and gelatin. Spread gelatin mixture over crust and cooled 
  cream center. Place remaining strawberries on top pointing up. Chill 
  at least 1 hour before serving. 

St. Joseph Bread

From: "phaedrus" 
To: Tanya
Subject: Re: page not found????
Date: Tuesday, March 13, 2001 4:11 AM

----- Original Message -----
From: Tanya
To: phaedrus
Sent: Monday, March 12, 2001 8:50 PM
Subject: page not found????

> I was looking for a recipe for St. Joseph Bread and found your site Lost
> Recipes "Previous Cases" but when I clicked on a date to access it, I 
> got a "Page not found" message. What is going on with that site?
> Tanya

Hi Tanya,

I don't know why you had a problem, the link to the previous cases page worked fine for me. Maybe the link in the search engine was bad. Try this one to the front page, then go to the Archives from there:

Below is the St. Joseph Bread recipe.


St. Joseph Bread

5 lb. flour
2 Tbs. salt
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 tbs. baking powder
2 tbs. anise seed
Combine these ingredients in a large bowl
Work in 1 1/4 cups crisco

In another bowl combine:
4 1/2 cups warm water
3 pkgs. of yeast or 3 tbs. of yeast
Dissolve yeast in warm water
Add 5 eggs, beaten

Add liquid ingredients to four and crisco mixture.  Mix well and
knead on floured surface.  Place in greased bowl and allow to
rise until double in size.  Then cut into 25 pieces and form into
shape of cross, bambino, heart, beard, crown, or staff.  Allow to
rise a second time, brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with
sesame seeds.  Bake at 350* until golden brown.  Cool.

De-Greasing Fried Eggplant

 ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Helen 
  To: Phaed 
  Sent: Sunday, March 11, 2001 8:55 AM
  Subject: Secret to greaseless fried egglant

  Dear Phaed:

  One of my neighbors missed out on Martha Stewart's segment ton eggplant.  
  She explained what to do in order for the eggplant not to absorb the oil.  
  All I could think of was quickly frying in hot fat then draining on 
  (in the  old days) brown paper bags.  She said that does not work.   
  Please do you have a recipe for greaseless, fried eggplant ?  
  I no longer fry mine, I bake/broil the slices (according to the mood I am in); 
  I do the same with breaded veal cutlets and meatballs.  
  This does not appeal to her.

  Thank you.  

Hi Helen,

Well, I don't watch Martha's show, although I do visit her website occasionally. There was nothing on her site about reducing the amount of grease absorbed by eggplant when frying.

However, I did find this tip in my files:

You must batter the eggplant. Battering reduces the amount of grease it absorbs. Batter it and then let it dry in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes before cooking.



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