eruthros: llamas! (llamas)
[personal profile] eruthros
If I don't post things, then they just build up and build up in semagic until it seems insurmountable. Today I have decided to say "fuck that" to that problem, so here are ... a bunch of misc and unrelated things, some of which have been in semagic for months.

1. We made lots of awesome food for American Thanksgiving which was like three weeks ago now, but this text has been sitting here for most of those weeks so I'm posting it anyway. I might forget how to make these tasty brussels sprouts by next fall! The menu was:

  • Turkey with roasted vegetables. (The vegetables were mostly for stew later.) This was [personal profile] thingswithwings's job, mostly, because I'm crap at meat. She also made the gravy, hurrah!

  • Cranberry sauce. (My mom's "recipe.")

  • Browned brussels sprouts with cheese, mmm.

  • Roasted garlic mashed potatoes. (They were divine, partly because I dumped the whipping cream left over from the pie into them instead of milk.)

  • Sweet potato-orange things, a recipe from my grandma. (Adjusted to eliminate things like marshmallows.)

  • Pumpkin pie. (This is a recipe that I've made a bunch of times before, always substituting heavy cream for the milk and reducing the honey to 3/4 cup.)
Everything came out really well, and was tasty, and this was possibly the best turkey I've ever had. Also! Everything on the table was local except the cinnamon and ginger in the pumpkin pie, the salt and pepper, and the oranges and orange juice. And everything was organic except the (awesome local pastured) cheese on the brussels sprouts and the (pasture-raised pig) lard in the pie crust.

So, if you're interested, here are some details:
A. The world's easiest cranberry sauce, courtesy of [personal profile] eruthros's mom:
Ingredients: 8 oz cranberries and the small (12 oz) container of concentrated orange juice.
Wash the cranberries and put both of these in a heavy pot to simmer for an hour or so. You don't need to add sugar or water; the concentrated juice has a lot of fructose in it. The resulting cranberry sauce is tart, fruity, and really cranberry-orangey.

B. The brussels sprouts:
Ingredients: about a quart of brussels sprouts, a handful or two of fine-grated cheese (we've tried pecorino romano, and that was tasty, and also our local aged gouda, which is REALLY tasty), some medium- or high- heat oil (canola works fine), salt and pepper.
Wash the spouts, remove any unattractive outer leaves, trim the stems close to the body of the sprout, and cut in half along the length of the sprout. Toss the halves with a bit of oil until they're evenly coated. Heat oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Put the sprouts in after the oil is warm, flat side down, and shake some salt/pepper over them. Then cover and cook about five minutes (or until tender and tasty, if that takes longer for you). Remove the cover, increase the heat, and cook until the flat side is dark brown. Then toss them around a bit with a spatula to get some more browning on the round part. Then put in a bowl and dust with the grated cheese between layers. Then nom. Really nom. Like, we made these as a side dish for maple-roasted salmon a couple weeks ago, and then were more excited by the brussels sprouts.

Tangent: if you don't like brussels sprouts, you might be sensitive to PTC (phenylthiocarbamide) -- lots of people can taste related compounds, and some people taste them more than others, and if you taste them a lot they taste really really bitter. By which I mean, don't let anybody tell you brussels sprouts aren't bitter if they think they are. This is one of those weird body things where you can have not at all the same experience as someone else. Neat! Unless people are trying to convince you to eat brussels sprouts. Also, if you never did the PTC paper strip taste test, it's pretty neat and you can get the strips cheap.

C. Sweet potato orange things from [personal profile] eruthros's grandma:
Ingredients: a sweet potato, three or four navel oranges, about a quarter cup of brown sugar, a couple handfuls of chopped (toasted if you're fancy) pecans, and, um, "some" brandy or rum.
Cook the sweet potato however you like; I usually bake it because I'm lazy, but you can also peel and cook in water on the stove or in the microwave. While it's cooking, wash and halve the oranges and scoop most of the insides out into a bowl, squeezing out any remaining orange juice. (Leave some pulp in, though, so that the white orange rind isn't sitting up against the sweet potato when you cook it.) Mash the skinless sweet potato with the orange pulp and juice, brown sugar, and brandy or rum, and then add the toasted pecans and stir. Scoop the sweet potato into the oranges and stand them up in an 8x8 pan to roast in the oven until warm. Tastes like the 1950s! But with less sugar.

We turned a lot of the leftover turkey into turkey stew (we added a few more vegetables and sauted some onions and used the drippings), and then we put the stew into pot pie. It's very old-school cooking over here.

2. I'm currently going to PT threeish days a week for hand and wrist and knee and ankle and etc joint pain, and I still have partly immobilized hands. It makes me cranky and anxious, especially because nobody seems to know what's wrong, and why this problem is worse than the previous ones. But! I have a new doctor, and he is thoughtful, talkative, and believed me instantly when I told him what hurt and where. Given that one of my PTs is still telling me it's posture (oh, of course, I slouch too much, no wonder my thumb popped out of joint!), I'm so tremendously relieved. I shouldn't have to be relieved when my doctor believes me, but I am. When I said "I try to do the gym and at home pt, but it always hurts" he said "I will tell your physical therapist to stop asking you to do it. And send you to aquatherapy and a different pt instead." When I said "this time it hurt below the knee" he said "can you describe the pain?" When I said "I honestly can't tell if the NSAIDs are doing anything" he said "okay, let's try a fancier NSAID for a week and then move on to other options." Oh heavens, the joy.

On the other hand, I am now taking enough medication that I had to write down what I'm supposed to take when, which is new and different. And I'm having to work on things like "you can take the elevator" and "it is okay to decide not to do something because of pain." (Me: I won't take the elevator! It is only four floors, and it's no big deal, and I don't need it, and anyway people will look at me. My knees and hips, two floors later: Um, ow? Me: Okay, but I can't change to taking the elevator now, that would be ridiculous! My knees, two floors later: You know what's ridiculous? THIS.) Recently [personal profile] thingswithwings was like, but would you be happier if you took the elevator? And I went, oh. Hmm. Intriguing point.

3. Some things I forgot about when I was doing yuletide nominations, so now I'm putting them here for next year:

  • Carol Emswhiller - Carmen Dog

  • MT Anderson - The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing series

  • Sherman Alexie - The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

  • GK Chesterton - Father Brown series (After Sherlock Holmes, these were the first detective stories I read as a kid. I totally thought Father Brown and Flambeau should hang out all the time.)

  • Gabriel García Márquez - Cien años de soledad / One Hundred Years of Solitude (WTF, how is there not fic for this in the archive? It is a crime.)

Also, let me recommend those books. Especially the first two. I have a spare copy of Carmen Dog if anyone wants it, and I might have a spare advance reading copy of Octavian Nothing I.

Plus a new fandom to me:
The Lost Room (Actually, I think what I want here is a tv show spinoff. Or, barring that, a bunch of fusion fic. I just saw the miniseries this week and really enjoyed it; have any of y'all seen it?)

3a. It is a sad state of affairs when your yuletide story notes are long enough to be posted to the archive. *pokes at file* Now, if only I had a story...

4. Some random things I have learned from [community profile] kink_bingo:

  • If you disable google's safesearch, there is almost no image search that won't result in either blowjobs or porn sites.

  • I will clearly spend the rest of my life forgetting that CBT means something different to most people. (Me: "... oh, your cognitive behavior therapy group was talking about insomnia! Right! Took me a minute there.")

  • There exists a hand-cranked vibrator for your sustainable sex toy needs.

  • It is really difficult to find erotic art photography that isn't basically about fetishizing the whiteness of white skin or, occasionally, the darkness of black skin against white skin. The soft lighting that differentiates "art" photography from "porn" photography is also about an increased focus on skin. This is not news to anybody else, but I hadn't thought about it before. (This comes out of my recent attempts to find more images for icons and banners, and my difficulty finding images that aren't that washed-out white-white-skin.)

4a. This isn't a random thing that I learned from [community profile] kink_bingo, it's a true story from planning last year that I've always meant to post so I won't someday forget it. So, okay, as T'wings posted some time ago, we always end up having conversations about kinks in cafes and things, often at great length.

So: we were in a cafe at nine am on my birthday, because my shitty old landlords were showing my apartment on short notice and I didn't want to be there having to say "oh, it's a lovely place!" and other lies of tenants. We were sitting having pastries and talking about the history of fucking machines and how much I hated my landlords and watersports and why this cafe had the best hot chocolate and how to classify bondage categories. Next to us were eight or ten people in suits having a breakfast meeting and sharing folders of businessy stuff.

They finished their coffee-and-meeting and started trickling out of the cafe. I was sitting there finishing the last of my hot chocolate while two low-level peons put the chairs and tables back where they belonged, and I was sort of idly staring past them. And a skinny young besuited guy said, "That was a hell of a meeting, wasn't it?" And then he noticed me, just behind him, and said "Oh, I'm so sorry, ma'am!"

Yes: he apologized for swearing in front of me. For saying "hell."

After we spent half an hour talking about various kinds of fucking machines.

5. I want a firefox extension, and I can't find it! Here's what bugs me: when a website I went to twelve times six months ago shows up first when I type something into the location bar, and I don't care anymore, and I don't want it there! Sometimes I try to overwhelm those websites by going to the ones below several times to flood them out, but that's a pain in the ass (and assumes that I care about the twelve websites below, when in fact some of them are probably also sites I went to three times a couple months ago.) I'd much rather be able to just, like, right-click and remove things. Does anybody use such an extension?

THERE. Now I have a completely blank update field. And I'll add some stuff from today to make sure it stays that way:

6. This Penny Arcade strip pretty much explains the way I feel when people say things like "you're just watching it to hate it."

7. Oh my god, lj, seriously? You're seriously going to make gender a mandatory field and make male and female the only options within that field? Seriously? I just. Fuck that shit. I can't put words to my RAGE.
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eruthros: Delenn from Babylon 5 with a startled expression and the text "omg!" (Default)

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