May 21 2006

Spamulator Update (now with pasta)

Penne with fresh tomato sauce
Behold the most perfect dish ever served by a spinster aunt at room temperature (the dish was at room temperature, too): penne with an uncooked sauce of charred tomato, garlic roasted over cheery glowing coals, olive oyl, and blood orange vinegar; with dry-cured olives, buffalo mozzarella, basil, and toasted pine nuts.

It is with some trepidation that I now compose what I hope will be my last-ever remarks on the tiresome topic of comment spam.

I wish to notify the patriarchy-blaming public that, in the interest of enhancing everyone’s blaming experience, I have implemented the recommended spamulators, and that so far they appear to be working more excellently than I had dared to contemplate. However, since I am dimwitted, it is possible that I have configured them incorrectly. You are encouraged to contact me at the email address on the right if you think your comments have been given the bum’s rush by my bots. However:

Note that if your comment contains more than two links, or an ellipsis, or words like “viaxgra,” “BDSM,” or “Freeman,” and sometimes even if it doesn’t, it could still be caught for moderation. Because of my rigid spinster aunting schedule of taco lunches, plates of exquisite penne, coffee breaks, cocktail hours, and leisurely jaunts to the Hill Country, sometimes I can find the time to moderate comments only once a day, so I’m begging you to give me at least 24 hours before writing to complain.

Let the blaming rage on.


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  1. cypress.typepad.com

    i’m hopeful that the spamulators are not able to detect the posts infected with the dread anti-capitalite heresy; we, well I, struggle to overcome.

    Penne, and that penne dish in particular, inspirational.

  2. doggedknits.com

    Sad irony: here’s what your spamulator has to say for itself:

    Sorry, but your comment has been flagged by the spam filter running on this blog: this might be an error, in which case all apologies. Your comment will be presented to the blog admin who will be able to restore it immediately.
    You may want to contact the blog admin via e-mail to notify him.

    Emphasis, naturally, mine.

  3. Twisty


  4. wolfangel.calltherain.net

    Weirdly, it’s not telling me that my comment is being held for moderation, or that I am considered spam, but my comment isn’t showing up. And when I hit “blame”, my comment text does not disappear. Spooky! I blame the patriarchical spamulator.

  5. doggedknits.com

    Well, at least we know who to blame.

  6. Twisty

    OK, I have edited that annoying but not entirely unexpected bit of sexist geekery out of existence. Thanks, dogged., for the tip.


  7. guerillawomentn.blogspot.com

    Spamulator, schpamulator.

    May I submit my demand for Twisty: The Cookbook.

  8. guerillawomentn.blogspot.com

    Me again. I was so infatuated with that plate of pasta that, as I usually do when infatuated, I rushed headlong into blurting something out before fully informing myself.

    I note that your schedule now seems not to include daily barbecueing of spinster-aunt flesh. May we take that to mean that radiation has now been concluded, Twisty dear?

  9. Twisty

    Kathy A–I just decimated your comment (I told you I was dimwitted). Please re-post.

  10. Twisty

    Nah, I got another week of broiling, but I hate to dwell on it.

  11. waaa!

  12. I have a mozzarella question.

    I am a fan of the fresh, common cow variety sold at Trader Joe’s. Their buffalo mozzarella costs more than twice as much (and TJ’s is the place to go for cheap cheese) — is it really so very much better? I’d also like to note that I’m a big fan of goat cheese, so I do appreciate the importance of the animal species involved.

    Damn but that meal looks good.

  13. hedonisticpleasureseeker.wordpress.com

    freeman gets spamulated? hahahahahha!!!!! I think I scared him off my site a few weeks ago.

  14. “Freeman” has become Twisty’s very own F-word.
    Twisty – I bow to you in all things grammatical, punctuationical and wordical, and therefore was startled to see that you “decimated” Kathy A’s post. I understood that word to mean that one tenth was destroyed. Is the word undergoing a usage shift?

  15. hattie.typepad.com/hatties_web

    Spam me not in mournful numbers.

  16. mypinkshoe.blogspot.com

    That looks delicious. I do something similar with roasted peppers and onions, but your olives and blood orange vinegar bring it to a-whole-nother divine level.

    But, I think anything with pine nuts and a good red wine is worthy of some sort of nameless higher being.

    (And good luck with the comment moderation)

  17. blog.3bulls.net

    Free Bird!!!

    Let’s see if spamulator can handle Skynyrd requests. . .


    [swirls cape]

  18. OK, I have edited that annoying but not entirely unexpected bit of sexist geekery out of existence. Thanks, dogged., for the tip.

    So Phil has got the rocket, ay?

    Frailty thy name is –

    Frailty, of course.

    Best wishes for your imminent day of release from the heavy treatments.

  19. Twisty

    “Decimate” means to kill every tenth person, yes. It has seemed to me today that the spamulator has been killing one out of ten legitimate comments, but even so I used it sort of wrong, and should have said something like “yours was one of the decimated comments” rather than “I decimated your comment.” Of course, in the strict sense of the word, it applies only to actual death of actual living populations.

  20. alphabitch.org

    Charred tomato. Hmmmm. I’ve never done this, though I occasionally toss whole peppers, or eggplants, or heads of garlic, or unpeeled onions on the grill if there is extra space or it’s still going strong when I’m done cooking whatever I’m cooking. I’m assuming that the tomato is charred in much the same manner, though it would require somewhat less time and more attention than a larger, firmer vegetable item — please correct me if I’m wrong.

    I adore room temperature pasta in the summertime, esp. with uncooked sauces such as you describe.

    Also, I’ve never bought or cooked with the buffalo mozarella though I’ve had it in restaurants. I do occasionally buy the sheep’s milk version if they don’t have any other kind fresh. It’s all good.

  21. saraarts.com

    Twisty, that is a lovely sounding dish. You had me with the uncooked sauce. Now that I’m old and things like marinara tend to burn holes in my stomach, I’m a big fan of uncoocked sauces. I’m also a big fan of anything with roasted garlic and pine nuts. Very nice.

    Even nicer is the thought that you only have one more week of barbecuing to go. I know, you said you don’t want to dwell on it. I hope it’s okay, though, if your fans dwell for you on the fact that it’s almost OVER. Hurray!

    Sarah Z, you can learn more about mozzarella here:


    It’s unclear to me whether you already know this, so please forgive me if you do. Here’s the deal, though. Buffalo mozzarella, sometimes referred to as “fresh” or “Italian style” mozzarella, is totally different than the stuff they make into string cheese and those big shrink-wrapped part-skim balls. It’s a startling textural and flavor difference, like they’re not even the same kind of cheese at all. Bottom line: The stuff that comes floating in water is way, way better than the shrink-wrapped stuff, but not suitable for all the same applications. The stuff that comes in water is like little clouds of dairy heaven. The other is rubbery and salty, but also fun in the right context.

    The first time I had fresh mozzarella, here in Boston, was on a crusty bread sandwich with fresh tomatoes, fresh basil, the lightest sprinkling of balsamic vinegar, and an equally light sprinkling of e.v. olive oil. It took my breath away. I don’t think I’d use fresh mozzarella in lasagna, though. It would be a waste. However, both fresh mozzarella and the other stuff are good on pizza, not so much on the same pizza (again with the overkill), but as alternatives for each other.

  22. Twisty

    I must add that buffalo mozzarella has an extra buttery excellence that you just don’t get in the fresh cow’s milk kind. I would certainly never discourage anyone from using fresh mozzarella of any species in lasagne. The stuff improves everything it touches. You know, Americans have turned lasagne into this big heavy cheese-sick belly-bomb, when it could be so delightful. It’s such a shame.

    Part-skim mozzarella? Just say no.

    It’s water buffalo, by the way, not bison. Which may seem obvious, but I once knew a guy who could recite by heart every script of every movie ever made, but he thought pickles came from pickle plants, so I never assume anything anymore.

  23. hedonisticpleasureseeker.wordpress.com

    I highly recommend the Moosewood Cookbook’s version of spinach lasagne bechamel. It’s a “white” lasagne with a pinch of nutmeg. I can’t eat it anymore – – wheat and dairy allergy, dammit – – so I’m passing on this newsbit to the blamer community. Enjoy . . .

  24. saraarts.com

    If used in lasagna, don’t you think the delicate fresh mozzarella, whether from buffalo or cow, might get swallowed up in the goodness that is the fresh ricotta filling? I haven’t tried it yet, because this is the assumption I was making. See, I also like to load that creamy, fluffy, sweet ricotta up with fresh chopped basil, black pepper and an egg.

    Pickle plant. Funny. When I first saw the name “bufalo” mozzarella, I thought it was a region of Italy. I even tried to “teach” this to a guy from Italy, who gently corrected me.

    Not assuming stuff is probably a good plan.

  25. Thank you all for the mozzarella info. I’m used to commoners’ variety fresh mozzarella (though string cheese does have a certain childish charm). “Extra buttery excellence” was the lust-inducing sort of phrase I was seeking (and from Sara’s link: “manteca” is “mozzarella molded around a lump of butter”? Damn!)

  26. Sara,

    Thanks for that link. I’ve been trying to clear up the boconccini vs fresh mozza mystery for quite a while.

  27. head-nurse.blogspot.com

    I am so stealing this recipe.

  28. Yes yes yes! Fresh hard full-cream cheese is mouth heaven.

    Mozarella di bufala is a good but definitely second choice for inside those miracles of frying and risotto – arancini.
    For the most fragrant melting centre get that sheeps cheese, canestrato – and molto fresco.

    I tried Google for arancini and canestrato and it looks like canestrato, and maybe arancini are Sicilian specialities.
    I wouldn’t know, my experience of both is here in a Calabrese-settled corner of Australia.

  29. unimpressed.net


    Arancini are most definitely Sicilian and originated, I believe, as a use for left-over risotto. Well made arancini are one of the most delicious things in the universe, as I’m sure you know.

    I’ll also argue that mozarella di bufala is vastly superior to cow’s milk mozarella or bocconcini. Superior in flavor and texture to such a degree that I generally will not eat cow’s milk mozarella.

    Also, Twisty, that pasta sauce sounds delicious, even if room temperature pasta isn’t really my thing.

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