• Apron Optional: Slow Jams

    For the special red, white and blue holiday, Apron Optional whips up a batch of buttermilk blueberry scones paired with handmade raspberry and strawberry jam for a summer snack that’s both patriotic and delicious.
    For the special red, white and blue holiday, Apron Optional whips up a batch of buttermilk blueberry scones paired with handmade raspberry and strawberry jam for a summer snack that’s both patriotic and delicious.

    My fellow Americans:

    It’s almost the 4th of July, and in the spirit of the holidays, this blog is going red, white and blue — literally. This week, my editor Julie Rene Tran and I made raspberry strawberry jam along with blueberry scones.

    Now, I’m going to go ahead and tell you I’ve never made scones OR jam before and I was a little nervous trying either for the first time. Well—there was one time I made bacon jam, but that is a COMPLETELY different (and delicious) story.

    As kitchens go, mine is pretty small. A few years back, my parents renovated the kitchen at our house (it used to be tiny!). Any time we had a lot of people over for dinner, I never understood why my mom was always telling everyone to get out of the kitchen. After this particular cooking experience, I think I finally understand just how overwhelming it can be if you feel crowded in your kitchen (at one point there were five of us in there, I believe).

    Much to my surprise, both the jam and the scones were delicious. I would say that if you have an electric stove, you’re going to have to be a bit more patient with the jam. The sugar will probably take longer to dissolve, but hastily turning up the heat could result in a mass of burnt syrup in your saucepan with a side of broken dreams (which are not nearly as appetizing on a scone).

    As for the scones, the key is to handle the dough as little as possible. As far as baked goods go, it seems counterproductive to leave lumps and clumps of powder, but resist the urge to continue blending. Mix everything just enough to combine the ingredients, even if you are twitching with the desire to smooth things out.

    After all is said and done, make sure to put your jam in the fridge, unless you have decided to take the proper canning process upon yourself — a task I chose to forgo.
    That’s all for now, I hope everyone has a great 4th of July weekend! Mine will be JAM-packed with friends, sparklers and some patriotic fruit preserves (and perhaps some better puns).

  • The Basement Tapes: UT alumnus finds fame in world of rap

    Former UT student and local rapper Roosh Williams has opened for music artists such as Bun B, Big K.R.I.T., and Curren$y.
    Former UT student and local rapper Roosh Williams has opened for music artists such as Bun B, Big K.R.I.T., and Curren$y.

    In a fame-hungry generation saturated with entertainment realities such as MTV, American Idol and YouTube, it’s not hard to get your five seconds of stardom. But whether there’s talent to make it beyond the five-second marker, now that’s the bigger question.

    For UT corporate communication alumnus, Roosh Williams, however, his talent in rapping has proven he's not just another wanna-be rapper.

    Born Soroosh Faegh, the Houston native first spit rhymes during choir in middle school. Then last year, his poetic verses, streamed with creative plays on words and rhymes, got noticed and have landed him great successes, such as opening for Yelawolf, The Cool Kids and Curren$y.

    The Daily Texan spoke with the rapper during Basement Tapes about the meaning behind his name and his first interest and performance in rapping.

    The Daily Texan: So your real name is Soroosh Faegh. Why did you decided to add the Williams?

    Roosh Williams: First of all, I don’t think my real name is like ‘fuck yeah.’ Second of all, the ‘Williams’ is kind of expendable. The Williams is the Williams. It could have been fucking Johnson, shit, Patterson, but it’s just to Americanize it basically, cause I feel like that represents who I am, you know? You wouldn’t be able to tell who I am from my real name. It makes it commercial and just as funny, almost kind of like a joke.

    DT: What’s the joke?

    RW: My last name has always been hard to say, so it’s just funny because I have always been a well, decent spoken person, like you wouldn’t be able to tell if you were talking to me, without seeing me, you wouldn’t be able to tell what I am.

    DT: You didn’t want to embrace that you were different?

    RW: Mhm. I also think when I’m rapping it’s not a character but it’s a mode I go into. It’s not representative of my real name. It’s a mode so I switch into gear — not some Batman, Superman shit. Well actually yeah, kind of like some Batman, Superman shit. [laughs]

    DT: So when did you first get into rapping?

    RW: I first began fucking around with it when I was in sixth grade in choir [laughs]. I just noticed I kind of rhyme, ‘like I can do that?’ and so I just started doing it.

    DT: You were telling me earlier of all the rappers you’ve opened up for. What was your first opening?

    RW: I opened for Lil’ Flip on Aug. 1 of I think last year.

    DT: How did that come about?

    RW: It was for some fraternity party and I had dropped my name like ‘yo, if ya need people to perform and stuff like that, let me know.’ And they were like yeah, we’ll give you a shot and they paid me and I did my thing. And it was really good and I got started after that. After that I got booked in Oklahoma City; like I was in Oklahoma City three weeks later.

    DT: Can you name some of the artists you’ve opened for?

    RW: Lil’ Flip, Curren$y, Big K.R.I.T, Bun B, Juvenile, The Cool Kids, J.Cole, Wale, Yelawolf …

    DT: Of all the performances, which one would you say was your best?

    RW: I think it was Yelawolf in Austin. It was at Mohawk. We just rocked that shit. I perform with a drummer so that shit is crazy in real life.