x_los: (OMG)
I have got to stop reading so much fucking news, it's such a time!sinkhole.

Casserole dish I invented today to get rid of leftovers, based looooosely on a Nigella pasta bake:

roughly 250g pasta, cooked (measurement related to dry pasta, though)
some lardons
a few strips bacon
couple mushrooms
a red onion
few cloves garlic
Béchamel sort of sauce, with cheese

For the Béchamel thing, start with a roux: do that by taking a tablespoon or two of butter, and a tablespoon or two of flour, and cooking them in a frying pan, whisking/stirring together to integrate. Let that paste cook a bit, get golden. Add milk gradually, stirring to incorporate--make sure the frying pan is a decent size or this will get fucking annoying quick. Add a pinch of nutmeg (sounds weird, but do it for form's sake) and a little bit or herbs de Provence (or other green shit, idk, you probs have oregano). Add some grated cheese (cheddar, parm, mozarella, something). Sea-salt (or regular, whatever) and pepper to taste. Keep adjusting consistency and have this on loooooow while you do other crap, or do it last. One of those little circles that distributes heat that pops under pans like my grandma has might be useful here, if you opt for the former.

Cook lardons and half-strips of bacon (cut) a bit--not all the way, but juuuuust enough so they're not like, RAW? This will prevent nasty-ass diseases. Pig diseases are the worst, did you see the awful pilot of House (seriously what was Wilson doing with his End Moral, and why the fuck did he assume all modern American Jews keep Kosher, does he not go here or something)? So that was awful and made me want to be kosher. Pig worms. Honestly, I ask you.

Anyway, put the pasta in a buttered over-proof casserole dish and then stir your DISEASE FREE pig products in there--dice the bacon. If you're a pussy who can't take the intensity of full-frontal bacon goodness. Or, you know, you like well proportioned bites.

Pop a little butter in the skilled that still has the disease-free bacon grease. Add sliced mushrooms, diced red onions, garlic. Cook, but not ALL THE WAY!!1, just, y'know, a bit. You want the onions to be semi-translucent and the mushrooms to be lightly browned, but not crispy like crispy!Master, because you're going to cook it further, and ew. I read a porn fic like that once.

...and here it is! http://www.whofic.com/viewstory.php?sid=28680

So put those in with pasta and DELICIOUS BACON. Stir. Sensuously. Oh yes.

Leeks might also be good in here, or green onion? Or some white wine in the sauce? Portobello mushrooms? Maybe? Not sure. Anyway.

Is your oven preheated to 200? Um. Probably should have warned you to doooooo that...

So! Now your oven! Preheated! Well done, friend. Put your casserole in there form like 15, 20 min? It'll need to sit for like 10 min when done, but other than that, there you go. It's a bit saucy rather than SET, but you can cook it longer or reduce the sauce initially. And everything in here's super malleable so, idk, GO WITH GOD/WHAT LEFTOVERS YOU YOURSELF NEED TO GET RID OF.

Today )

TSA Forces Woman to Use Her Breast Pump Before She Can Take It Through Security
Elisabeth Moss Would Like You to Stop Asking When Don and Peggy Will Finally Sleep Together
Meet the Transgender Indonesian Nanny Who Took Care of Young Barack Obama
10 of the Most Powerful Female Characters in Literature Kinda balls.
Rick Santorum Makes the Bizarre Promise to Never Speak the Name of Any Former President
For Lasting Romance, Find Out Why She’s Sad
The Ten Weirdest Allegations From Paula Deen’s Home-Cooked Sexual Harassment Complaint
China’s Version of Gossip Girl Might Be Slightly Less Exciting
Wesley Crusher, Teenage Fuck Machine What?! What. What.
First Listen: Krzysztof Penderecki And Jonny Greenwood

Herodotus: AN ACCOUNT OF EGYPT IN TWO PARTS

Jon Stewart Smacks Down Rush Limbaugh Over His Sandra Fluke Comments
Stephen Colbert: Rush Limbaugh Is A Prostitute
Interviewer Position (find out if it pays)
Paypal Pressured To Play Morality Cop And Forces Smashwords To Censor Authors
Who Cares If Piracy Is 'Wrong' If Stopping It Is Impossible And Innovating Provides Better Solutions?
Look into Foundation subs and the Student Essay Prize
‘Millionaire Madam’ Just Your Ordinary Suburban Mom
Paris Fashion Week, Where Eccentricity Means ‘Weird With Money’
Marc Jacobs Didn’t Always Refuse to Pay His Models
Marc Jacobs Didn’t Always Refuse to Pay His Models
Rush Limbaugh Seriously Loses His Shit, Randomly Attacks Another Young Woman
Did Slut Comments Actually Win Rush a Sponsor?
Pregnancy Prevention and the Taxpayer
Barnard, Columbia at War Over Obama, Feminazis, and Cum Dumpsters
Coverage of Women on SF/F Blogs
x_los: (Not My Real Dad)
* What do we think of Pintrest? Is it just tumblr?
* A way to make Old Bay seasoning
* A recipe blog I like the look of
(this, the pork chops, the no bake mint, reeces and oreo truffles, chicken divan, cookie dough brownies, copycat olive garden breadsticks, cookies and cream cookies...)
* Not sure I know enough about GM foods/Monsanto to responsibly sign this. I mean it sounds bad, but do I REALLY grok the situation?
* I don't even LIKE wine much and I want this
12:09 AM
* Have watched the first and most of the second eps (Netflix cuts off mid second ep--weird, will email them about this) of Scarlet Pimpernell. Better than the really trying books, but overall, unimpressed. Turning Blakeney into always a bit of a sexy jackass is cooler, but it diminished the power of his living an elaborate and demeaning lie. In improving the character, it actually takes away from his coolness. On the other hand, more realistic, because for how long WOULD he have had to keep up this pretense? Longer, one supposes, and beginning before the actual revolution that occasions it. People would notice if he suddenly lost 70 IQ points, and comment.

Weirdly while Grant being a dick is fun, his 'oh my god I forgive you/should have trusted you' turn is... really flat and unbelievable. I do not believe this character loves this woman, which is weird because their smoldering love/hate worked well and was compelling. Grant is doing a REALLY different performance from his Doctor (you wouldn't necessarily think it would be), with a much stranger accent (English/period/Bertie Wooster/sneery?), but someone please direct this man. It doesn't work, saying he's capable of immensely affected poise, if that's like, ALL he's capable of--it becomes not a skill, but a somewhat sociopathic personality. Grant's wit and charm is cold and off-putting because other than shouting the name of whoever he intends to rescue more loudly when in danger, he never seems emotionally involved. Where he should be scared, he is, perhaps understandably, placid. Where he should be moved by love or concern, in-script--nothing. He's got civility over disgust and smarmy!civility. Fairly sure he's actually a good actor. Also throughout Ep 1, REG has a terrible nose pimple I just want someone to pop.

Marg. remains as useless as she was in the novel. She cannot go ten min without being captured and is a complete liability. Also at some point Marg's acting goes to hell and she's relegated to looking at him with soupy adoration--Lady Grantham, you're better than this!

Also I see what they were doing with this scarlet coat with gold pimpernels, but um. No fucking wonder people figure out it's Him.
RIGHT THERE.
THAT GUY.
Bad camouflage AND obvious symbolism.

We ended on a crap pun, so I guess that's something. I may watch ep 1 of series 2: Now My Wife is Dead, and see what the fuck they do with that.
x_los: (Default)
* Interesting 'what the fuck should I make for dinner?' style overview of the Obama administration: http://whatthefuckhasobamadonesofar.com/

* Every year, the reach of my massive Holiday cooking undertakings exceeds my grasp, and I am left with some things undone, half finished--the sad ghosts of my ambitions and good intentions. AND ISN'T THAT WHAT CHRISTMAS IS REALLY ALL ABOUT? 

In completely unrelated news, here's a never-decorated not-exactly-to-scale-model gingerbread replica of my row-house, complete with chimney, set-in door and window box, which I had to put out like this and am now throwing away. Wittgenstein's Gingerbread House. I drew the pieces on paste board with a ruler based off a modified Joy of Cooking template, cut them out, made the industrial! sturdy! gingerbread, rolled it out, put the pieces on, cut them out with a knife, baked them, and piped royal icing (sloppily, because I'm not at all used to working with nasty ass but construction friendly English Royal Icing/piping bags) to connect the pieces and mend the broken back roof. I made more to decorate... sigh. 









x_los: (Andrae?)
* Oh my god, my piña colada macaroons with pineapple cream filling are perfect! Rejoice! (Photo not of mine, but of what they'd have looked like if I had a somewhat better piping nozzle x_x) This is my third attempt making French-style macaroons, and while the first time was okay, I believe this was both the easiest time I've had of it and the most successful batch (#2 Friday night was, though not really my fault, an utter disaster). Really not that bad once I got the hang of it! Will have to practice more, but feeling good about this. I guess the next classic culinary challenge would be the croquembouche or something... Idk, what else is notoriously a bitch?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/food/jason_macaroon.jpg

* It's looking like I may have to learn French if I do the Charm PhD (which is quite likely). And not just 'a little', over the next years I need to get to like, Proust-reading levels. Any tips? Anyone else doing that, or want to do that?

* http://husbandstheseries.com/ : This is decently cute.

* No one in London is interested in going to the Lambeth Graphic Novel Readers Group Meet, are they? They always have well planned sessions organized around stuff like big name authors and Arabic Comic Culture, which I know little about. I'm intrigued, but I don't know people in the UK who like graphic novels (the format annoys my gf).
x_los: (On A Ship)
The potentially interesting ones:

--made dinner for tomorrow night (parsnips, carrot, sweet potato and potato in the ham and cheery coke brine I’d frozen from Christmas Eve, with a bit of bacon, marinated and simmered and then cooked down into a glaze in the manner of Joy of Cooking’s Maple Glazed Parsnips (which I made Christmas Day))
--watched a bit of Bed-knobs and Broomsticks while doing chores, but the iplayer’s now cut me off
--watched the very sweet Role Models with Katy while doing visa
--read a lot of news, including this interesting article on Moffat, Sherlock and Sexism in the Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jan/03/sherlock-sexist-steven-moffat (Katy’s rec)
--and this on fandom and social justice issues http://www.socialjusticeleague.net/2011/09/how-to-be-a-fan-of-problematic-things/ (Katy’s rec again)
--watched all of the web short series Husbands while doing chores

I want to get on the damson ice cream or the macaroons while the ingredients are still fresh, but both are noisy, and Katy's sleeping, and I already accidentally woke her trying to put dishes away. x_x

all things )
x_los: (Cleopatra /Look/)
http://www.pippinbarr.com/games/letsplayancientgreekpunishment/LetsPlayAncientGreekPunishment.html : a super fun game, guys. Fill that bath! Oh. Oh wait...

And some other shit I did:

--found way to use the cream, some egg whites and some lemon juice before anything goes off!
--reorganized tupperware, pots, pans
--dishes (soooo maaaaany dishesssss)
--taste-tested new Mancunian roommate’s mom’s christmas cake against my own: nice--they used straight-up royal icing, which I still think is a mistake (though easier to sculpt into this snow effect thing), thicker marzipan and icing layers, a BIGGER cake, molasses?, more alcohol? Their cake is more moist, but I don’t like the crumb-texture as much (it slimes and slicks your fingers and tongue when pressed, rather than crumpling softly, lightly), and it lacks the spice-oomph and crystallized ginger kick of my recipe. I’ll remember the molasses next time and think about making a bigger cake with thicker marzipan and icing, but I’ll stick with heavy spicing, ginger, and the cheap and dirtily pre-made but tasty, easy to roll and nice icing Katy bought. May add more booze in the *initial* cooking, for flavor.
--read up on rezoning in IC, signed petitions and signal-boosted for Anna Sunshine (actual/amazing middle name)

How is it 5am?!

Barking

Dec. 16th, 2011 02:14 pm
x_los: (Four by Toulouse-Lautrec)
Man apparently making peppermint bark (tasty, impressive-looking, expensive in stores, Sir Not-Available in the UK) is the easiest shit ever--thanks Paula Deen (not just for butter anymore!)

This recipe is all about white chocolate and peppermint extract/bits, but you could easily layer or substitute dark chocolate: (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/peppermint-bark-recipe/reviews/index.html?pn=5)
x_los: (On A Ship)
Today I:

* made Katy a big detailed grocery list
* gave her some instructions so she could (very kindly) do two things I needed for me at the bank (GOOD to have those done)
* dealt with the fallout from abandoner!room-mate, telling everyone, doing damage control, posting new ads w/ Katy and showing the house to three people/following up with them (HUGE amount of shit)
* fed the Christmas cakes brandy
* answered many an email
* did some dishes
* made/decorated three Pomanders for the tree (a traditional one, one that says 'Merry Xmas' in cloves, and a Star of David one just 'cause)
* helped Katy a little as she did more decoration--but mostly she did it all, tbh.
* figured out how to fit the caulk into the skeleton gun holster
* made gingerbread dough
* made sugar cookie dough
* made gingerbread house dough (this Joy of Cooking recipe went wonky and needed almost half a cup of water to hold it together--it looks fine now, and I'm more concerned w/ its tensile strength than its flavor, but I *do* wonder what went so wrong. Sas it that the molasses was English and thus different somehow? That I ran out and Morrisons had no more and I had to cut it with black treacle? That is was old as the hills? 
* Endured shitty, shitty migraine
x_los: (Alice)
25 clever ideas: http://www.thedailybuzz.com.au/2011/11/25-clever-ideas_household-tips_storage-ideas/#.TuhxO-dqqAG.facebook

I don't normally go for this sort of thing, but it included some actually quite cute cooking/house tips I'm going to try.

http://www.chow.com/recipes/30185-vanilla-extract : How to make your own vanilla extract, because that shit is expensive.

http://www.drugs.com/imprints.php : An incredibly useful way to identify spare/unlabeled pills you have lying around (provided they're of American origin). 
x_los: (Enterprise!Sherlock)
Christmas Party Menu

The Turduckon is for the lulz.

Party:

AP English!Pigs in a Blanket (Easy)
AP Puppy Chow (Easy) (Make Ahead)
AP Cheese Platter/Crackers (Easy) (Buy--NOT FROM NEALS, TOO EXPENSIVE, OLIS WILL DO NICELY)
VEG Roast Potatoes (Moderate)
VEG Green beans with sauteed mushrooms OR Green Bean/Mushroom Casserole (Prep Ahead)
VEG Roast Carrots & Parsnips (Prep Ahead)
BREAD Yorkshire Puddings (Moderate) (Ask Katy to make?)
MAIN Turduckon (Easy) (Buy, Iceland, £10)
DES L/AC Gingerbread Men
DES L/AC Christmas Cookies (Make Ahead)
DES L Mince pies (Make Ahead)
DEC SH Buche de Noel (Technical Challenge)
DEC SH Gingerbread House (Make Ahead)
DRINK Mulled Wine (Easy)
DRINK Egg Nog (Easy)
DRINK Hot Chocolate (Easy)
DRINK Snowballs (Easy) (Ask Jason to bring?)

Discard Pile:

Stuffing
Dec SH Croquembrouche (Technical Challenge)


Christmas Eve and Christmas Day


Christmas Eve

AP Cheese Platter/Potted Cheese (Make Ahead)/Crackers (Easy) (Buy)
AP Deviled Eggs (Easy) (Make Ahead)
VEG Mashed Sweet Potatoes (Easy)
VEG Fried Okra (Technical Challenge)
VEG Broccoli Cheese (Easy)
Bread Corn Bread (Moderate)
MAIN Will’s Ham (Make Ahead)
DES L Mince Pies (Make Ahead)
DES L Guniness Gingerbread (Easy) (Make Ahead)
DES SH/AC Gingerbread Men and Christmas Cookies (Make Ahead)
DES SH Christmas Cake (Make Ahead)
DRINK Mulled Wine (Easy)
DRINK Egg Nog (Easy)
DRINK Hot Chocolate (Easy)


Christmas Day

Morning

Lox, Bagels, Spreads (Easy, Buy)
Croissants (Easy, Buy)
Bread (Easy, Buy)
Cottage Cheese (Ew.) (Easy, Buy)
cinnamon rolls? ---------------
} TOO MUCH?
egg/sausage casserole?----
DRINK Holiday Lattes (Moderate)


Supper

VEG Maple-Glazed Parsnips (Moderate) (Make Ahead?)
VEG Butternut Squash Gratin (Moderate) (Make Ahead?)
FRUIT Cranberry Sauce (Make Ahead)
BREAD Yorkshire Puddings (Moderate) (Ask Katy to make?)
BREAD Stuffing (Moderate) (Make Ahead?)
MAIN  Goose or Duck (SORT FAST!) (Technical Challenge)
SAUCE Thin Gravy (Moderate)
DRINK Cocoa (Easy)
DRINK Mulled Wine (Easy)
DES L Mince Pies (Make Ahead)
DES SH Pudding (Make Ahead)
x_los: (TARDIS)
Had a pretty good day out w/ Katy, after a rough start. Got woken up after little sleep at 8:30 by hungry/thirsty cat who'd consumed his foodstuffs (and, I suspect, was also just bored/lonely), never really got back to sleep despite trying for several hours.

Katy and I have two anniversaries due to differing opinions as to what marks the official beginning of going out, and this one, Hers, thus my gifts, is split into spending today together out doing fun stuff and then going for Japanese some other evening (since she had to record a Shalka read-through tonight). We began by visiting a Christmas Market at The Water Poet in Spitalfields (something of a fail as there were few merchants and Katy didn't really want to watch the free Christmas films, be bought food, or stick around for the caroling later on (I'd sort of banked on her wanting to do these, as they're Her Sort of Thing). Then we dodged disaster by going to Portabello Market, which, over-populated and over-popular though it is, was v. nice, with a lot of Christmas greenery vendors with actual boughs of holly (NOT IN A SONG! LEGIT-ASS BOUGHS OF HOLLY!!) and mistletoe (I SHIT YOU NOT!). Katy was not nearly as shocked/interested as I was. I mean I'd seen these things like, once. In sad little dry bunches, not in riotous profusion. My mom bought boughs of greenery some years, but like, that was just some fir-strands w/ pine-cones stuck in. And I liked that too! But this was cooler.

Also there were some nice pop-up shops, some decent vendors, and I successfully remembered/spotted... I think it was Lefton? anyway, some mid-century floral cat figurine of a sort that is sometimes valuable and which Katy rather likes. She suspected this particular one of being v. new, though (and thus worth bupkis), and also it lacked an intelligent/curious expression, and I suspected our cat could try to fuck or kill it, either resulting in the loss of a porcelain figurine potentially worth thousands. Needless to say we did not get Sasa a new 'friend.' Still, I'm happy to have remembered it from a conversation last Autumn in Edinburgh.

Some interesting walking around and looking at stuff and buying people presents and NOT buying an AMAZING fuzzy wolf-hat with connected paw-gloves (which Katy may deeply regret some day, I feel), and then we started back. I felt it'd been a nice date thing. Then I had to use the bathroom at McDonalds before we caught the bus. I got stuck behind a looooong queue, and, I eventually realized, specifically behind some clueless tourists who had no idea they were IN said queue, much less holding it up. Eventually bypassed them, after having been queue-jumped by half the known female bathroom-needing world, only for a McDonalds employee to ROAR IN shrieking 'this toilet is broken!!' and slamming the door in my face. Whatever was broken she fixed, and then in the same unfortunately URGENT poor English she demanded I go in and use the thing RIGHT NOW!! I did so, and not fifteen seconds had I been in before an old angry and pretty drunk homeless woman started banging on the door, cursing, saying she was 'about to fucking bust'again and again. So I had to finish as quickly as possible and stumble out still trying to pull up my layers of tights (it was nasty and cold today). I washed my hands veeeery quickly because said woman didn't see a need to close the door as she did her biz. Magical. I fucking hate tourist!London sometimes. Nothing was the speicifically poor homeless woman, the situationally-stupid tourists, or the harried employee's fault, but I felt incredibly frustrated.

Then we got on the bus an hour and 40 min before we HAD to be home (for a 40 min max ride), and due to the police cracking down and arresting a ton of protesters outside parliament (Londoners of African descent who were suggesting, with strongly worded signs and other WMDs, that perhaps it wasn't cool for the UK and associated governments to continue supporting a hideously oppressive, rape-happy and illegitimate regime because they thought said regime could get them a good deal on cheapo laptop components--so obviously people who needed arrested en masse, and violently too!), we were stuck in a traffic jam about 40 min. We got home like 15 min late.

Pretty much pretending the day ended riiiight before I went into McDonalds. Anyway, then Katy did her readthrough, and I made chorizo chicken with potatoes, did loads of laundry, put away dishes, entertained the cat so it didn't yowl much/audibly during the recording, etc. Also watched a chunk of "A Damsel in Distress" while doing this, because the BBC iPlayer almost always has a classic film on dock, and I like to watch them while doing chores so I feel less like I've missed out on an entire era of largely decent-to-excellent film-making (well, at least that's what's come down to me--there very probably were clunkers aplenty, as ever, now mercifully lost to time). Aired out the rooms, which smelled of cat. This necessitated chasing Sasa out of them, opening the windows, hoping no one came in to steal shit for an hour, shutting the door without letting him sneak back in, and putting anti-Sasa notices on all the doors. He sulked in the hall way, pissed at my effrontery. Literally, he did a number on his litter box. His rage!!!waste is prodigious, and fearful to behold. Did a veeeery little Shalka stuff, and talked to flatmate Kasia about Christmas plans.

I need to type up my to-do list for Kasia, who seemed to think I'd be making a few things, and she'd make a few things, and we'd muddle through--she's welcome to contribute anything she likes, but I have a full big ass menu planned out which I'm comfy cooking, and I don't want to be rude, but altering it to do less, when I've so carefully planned that, seems annoying--I'll try to be very out of the kitchen on the Eve and the Day, due to pre-prep, but I'm pretty ready to roll here. Also have to type this up so Katy's mom can do some things, which is both nice and a bit annoying, as I've pretty much spent a ton of time figuring out how to manage this, and well-intentioned offers of help may well throw off my carefully timing, budget and ingredients plans. Also I specifically asked if she wanted anything special, or to make anything at home or at ours, because I didn't want her to feel that her decision to come here meant me taking over or undermined her/striped her of agency/ruined her Christmas, and she said no, so I went with that? Idk.

I'm not good at delegation, but esp. not re: cooking. I know how to get a lot done myself, but not how to relinquish control over steps or whole processes, or how to share space and resources seamlessly. I think maybe I used to be better at that as a kid, but I haven't really had to share kitchen duties for a long time, and the freedom's made me snotty about it. It's a bad trait, but when I'm working I mostly want people who aren't people I specifically REALLY know how to work with, like Katy, to fuck off and stop watching me chop vegetables and remarking on the speed. (Re: that, It's a bit silly to say 'gosh, you're sooooo faaaaast' (a la the other day) when I know my knife-technique is juvenile. I was just pathetic at this in basic high-school culinary arts chef-training, and my dicing's never been sufficiently speedy or uniform, and the mince knife technique, sort of a swivel hand gesture? fanning the knife around VERY QUICKLY rather than lifting and chopping?, is just beyond my skill. I cringe whenever anything asks for minced garlic. I can't even keep the French terms straight. It's this huge, fundamental technical skill that marks an important distinction in the highly sexually segregated world of 'chefs' and 'cooks', and I just do. not. have. it.)

So yeah: maybe typing up the list and displaying it will sort of nicely tell Kasia that while she's welcome to also do stuff, this is the stuff I will be doing, and emailing it to Katy's mom with some nice indicators of thing she could helpfully prep at home and finish here, or make at home and heat here, or make here, time/space/logistics permitting, would be okay. I'm just eager not to insult anyone/ruin anyone's holiday, nervous about doing Christmas at my house/with my food (never done that before), and anxious to please gf and gay!in-laws.

Also I helped edit Mez's uni!personal statement and feel v. virtuous/proud of her.

Apparently Joy of Cooking's 'lowfat' gingerbread men cannot be trusted, as I suspected. Low-fat is the devil's recipe designation, second only to 'atkins/south-beach friendly' in its foul degradation.* Also that's weird b/c I typically trust Joy of Cooking with my life. Also I need to make their cranberry relish soon, having discovered it freezes well. And the chicken broth and lard too. AND SOME BLOODY CHRISTMAS CRAFTS THAT ARE CLASSY AND ATTRACTIVE AND CHEAP. Anyone know any? :/ May have to hunt Tumblr. Ew. Tumblr.

So, gingerbread:

May try this: http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/gingerbread_man_cookies/ without pepper, b/c wtf, pepper?
or http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/9761/gingerbread+men#null , but the lack of molasses concerns me.

These: http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/sugar_cookies/ may well be the antidote to the oddly thin, too-formal sugar cookies I produced in Batch 1. Think I'll try the first.

Hrm, Groupon. This accredited TEFL course for 49 pounds might not be too bad. Idk what that regularly costs, though. All I know is I could use sweet sweet tutoring/teaching monies... Will check it out.

* Speaking of, have you seen Morgana and Brax in 'look, I need to eat to live like everyone, okay?' Please view this trailer for "A Princess for Christmas." And laugh. Until you cry.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0b8t6qXm0w

Buttle hard, Brax.
x_los: (Kermit/Piggy OTP)
Oh my god, they're beautiful. The batter was grainy. It took so *long*--waiting for mold-delivery, over-night marinating, then the actual irksome mixing, then six hours steaming under a careful watch so the water level remained constantly at 1/3 of the molds' depth. I feared I hadn't tied them with twine well enough and water might have been admitted. I forgot a small step (the pie-tin or jam jar lid under the puddings, between the thick ceramic pudding molds and the metal pots) and was petrified.

But I untied the strings, lifted the wax paper and the foil and--beautiful. They look as they should. They smell perfect. Worst case scenario the bottoms are too brown, or even a touch burnt (though I don't think this has happened), or I fuck up the three-hour boil on the day, or the decanting, or the final brandy-bath (though I have two puddings in case of such emergencies). But even in these cases the majority of the pudding will probable be edible (and I can sculpt it pretty again). And I've an heir and a spare. I am shocked and elated and fiercely happy. Well done.

The stir-up prep phase is complete and I can move on to the next, easier level. Nothing except possibly the Bûche de Noël, the goose or duck (haven't decided) on the day and poooosibly the gingerbread house will be so challenging as the mincemeat, christmas cakes and christmas puddings, none of which I'd made before. I've pretty much decided not to try the Croquembouche for the party because to do it well I think I'd need some serious equipment (the tower sculpting piece, because some of the free form ones I looked at seem a bit sloppy), and I already have WAY too many deserts. Also it's something I've never eaten, and I get a bit nervous cooking foods/using ingredients I've never had anything *like*, because I lack a sense of what I'm aiming for and a commensurate awareness of what might work or might not or what's success and what's failure. Edibility, obviously, is something of a success, but it's an issue if your sushi tastes like Salisbury steak.
x_los: (Kermit/Piggy OTP)
Finished menu planning for the Christmas party, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. I asked people what they think is essential, consulted the wiki-list of all UK and US traditional dishes, made a MASSIVE list, and went through to figure out what K and I actually *liked.* Plotted everything onto specific days, into meal-groups, and sorted by food category, ease of prep (Easy, Buy (sub: Buy Immediate, Buy Few Days Ahead), Make-Ahead, Prep-Ahead, Moderate Difficulty, Technical Challenge) and time-frame (Stir-Up (immediate), Make Ahead Next, Make Ahead Few Days Before, Easy: Day Of). Selected final recipes for CCake, mincemeat, and CPudding, wrote out all ingredients. Ready to soak fruit tomorrow, make monday. Will counteract being a week late to start with one extra alcohol feed (should equalize everything).

Somewhat nervous about this, but having looked at everything, feel ready. Less important, but more complicated, than Molly's wedding prep--but still hugely vital. A failed Christmas is unforgivable.

Cake topping: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/christmascake_2359
Cake recipe: http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2011/nov/17/how-cook-perfect-christmas-cake
Stollen: http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2007/dec/02/foodanddrink.recipes (part of christmas morning breakfast, perhaps, if not cinnamon rolls)
Pudding & Mincemeat:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2009/nov/21/christmas-pudding-mince-pie-recipes
x_los: (Kermit/Piggy OTP)
A profile of my favorite hs teacher that talks a bit about his pedagogy: http://archive.columbiatribune.com/2007/sep/20070927feat002.asp

An interesting interview with Naomi Alderman about her new Doctor Who book and Jewishness in Who: http://forward.com/articles/146323/

http://writtenkitten.net/ : it rewards you for writing with kittens! The concept is profound.

10 Relationship Words That Aren't Translatable Into English: http://bigthink.com/ideas/41152?page=1

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/hot-artichoke-and-spinach-dip-ii/detail.aspx dip I may make Tuesday when Ian and Davida come over, before dinner

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/trioofwelshlambwitht_92149 : including the confit lamb I'll make tomorrow and a good way to use remaining kale
x_los: (The Books One)
Today I:

- dealt with the contractors/trowing the cat in my room and out of their way
- dishes
- laundry
- tidying br
- tidying kitchen
- shopping for Katy's mini supper party
- made sour cream and cheese mashes potatoes
- made mushroom gravy with home-made lamb stock
- made roast vegetable casserole thing
- made chicken cordon bleu (http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/chicken-cordon-bleu-i/detail.aspx)
- made dark chocolate loaf cake (http://www.food.com/recipe/dense-chocolate-loaf-cake-nigella-lawson-137303)
- recorded long podcast interview w/ Jon
- helped give party
- cleaned kitchen again
- emailed Cambridge Interfolio letters, at last
- updated housing spreadsheet
- started on readings for my PhD genre writing seminar on classic detective novels (http://letsenhance.blogspot.com/) on Monday
- got Phillippa's availability
- emailed all strong potential room candidates to set up viewings
- took out cat waste
- did a little bit of shalka stuff

MUST:

- read book
- do book review
- do reading for Let's Enhance!
- job aps
- clean up and mail Elodie my notes on her dissertation
- crack on w/ own ep
x_los: (Russian Church)
ZERO EMAILS IN MY INBOX! SUCK IT, WORLD! (Do not email me now JUST to punk me, b/c I will cut you.)

I'm only on their list b/c I've used them to advertise myself as a nanny (what a terrible idea that turned out to me).

Christmas baking and gifts: http://www.netmums.com/family-food/seasonal/christmas-dinner-recipes/christmas-making-baking

Hampers, gift sets: http://www.netmums.com/family-food/seasonal/christmas-dinner-recipes/christmas-hampers-edible-gifts

Preparation Time Line: http://www.netmums.com/family-food/seasonal/christmas-dinner-recipes/christmas-planner-late-november-early-december

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