As the "reblogging" culture of Tumblr becomes more pervasive, I thought I'd better make it clear what I'm okay with you doing with my public posts. Everything listed here is in addition to commenting on my journal, which is always welcome.

All of these permissions extend only to noncommercial use of my content. You may not use any of my content for commercial purposes.

My Fanfiction

YOU MAY: Write remixes, sequels, prequels, responses, or whatever. Make art or illustrations. Review, recommend, discuss, and link to fics. Translate a story or record a podcast of it so long as you let me know and give me appropriate credit as the author. Print or save copies (please make sure my name is attached as author).

YOU MAY NOT: Add my story to any archive without my permission. Repost any story in its entirely on your own journal, blog, or Tumblr even if you credit me.

My Nonfiction Public Posts

YOU MAY: Link, discuss, write response or follow-up posts on your own journal, blog, or Tumblr. Quote portions of my post(s) as needed.

YOU MAY NOT: Repost any post in its entirety on your own journal, blog, or Tumblr even if you credit me.

If you have any questions, just drop me a line here or PM me.

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master list of my fiction

Fandomless: Blue ship
This list includes all of my posted fanfiction, except for unfinished things and a few short pieces that I never even gave titles to. All my stories on LJ are also tagged; see the "fic" tags on my sidebar.

Within each category, stories are listed in reverse chronological order with the most recent at the top. I've included only the title and main characters here; see the header of each story for rating, any warnings, etc. Generally speaking, the first character listed is the POV character.

Please let me know if there are any problems with these links.

2013 Addendum: This post is no longer being updated. All of my newer stories and most of my old ones can be found at An Archive of Our Own, which has handy search features. They're also here on LJ and you can find them using my tags.

Blake's 7Collapse )

Buffy the Vampire SlayerCollapse )

DiscworldCollapse )

Doctor WhoCollapse )

due SouthCollapse )

Harry PotterCollapse )

Simon Pegg and/or Nick Frost fandomsCollapse )

TintinCollapse )

is it Yuletide yet?

Fandomless: Blue ship
Fic is posted, though I'm still fiddling with it a bit.

Today is the Sunday-equivalent of my work week, so I'm doing laundry and cooking. I wanted to use up some lamb shoulder that's been in my freezer for a couple of months, so I'm braising the lamb with preserved lemon and olives, spiced with ginger, cinnamon, and turmeric. The recipe is one I've made before with chicken and loved, and I thought lamb might be even better with those strong flavors.

Later today I'm going to bake a pumpkin loaf with cream cheese frosting. I'm merging two different recipes, because I want a flavor profile that's close to the pumpkin cream cheese muffins they sell at Starbucks, but in convenient loaf form.

I seem to have bought a ham for Christmas. I've been craving ham for a long time, but to get decent quality ham you have to buy at least a half ham, and that's a lot. But hams were on sale, and a quantity of ham (nine and a half pounds, or almost four kilos) that is ridiculous at any other time seems less so at Christmas. It's not as though I'll have any difficulty thinking of ways to use the leftovers.

I have Christmas Eve off (OMG YAY! I was not expecting that) and that's probably when I'll cook, because I've become attached to the idea of going to see The Imitation Game when it opens on Christmas Day. Though, could there be a more depressing movie to watch on Christmas? And I still can't get definite info on whether it'll actually be playing in my city on Christmas.

What are all of you up to? Cooking anything tasty? Reading/watching anything good?

ETA: The lamb was delicious. The slightly-tart savoriness of the broth beautifully balances out the richness and gaminess of the meat. I've added a recipe of sorts below the cut.

Lamb with preserved lemon and olivesCollapse )

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December meme

Fandomless: Blue ship
Two cooking-related questions this time as I try to catch up.

[personal profile] genarti asked me to talk about baking bread.

I like to bake bread for practical and personal reasons. Practically, it's cheaper to bake bread than to buy it, and the result is better, fresher bread than any I could buy except in the kind of expensive artisan bakery we don't even have around here. Then, personally, there's the satisfaction of learning a skill and of creating something nice out of basic materials. A lot of people talk about the zen of slowness or the stress relief of kneading dough, but those don't play into it for me--I kind of hate kneading and will avoid it when possible, and I'm just not a spiritual/meditative kind of person. My pleasure in bread is material and direct.

One of my favorite bread recipes, and a very easy one should anybody want to try it, is this one for a no-knead four-grain crusty bread. It has a very full, rounded, grainy sort of flavor. For best results, though, start baking at 475 for 20-25 minutes, then drop the heat to 450. This makes a crisper crust.

[personal profile] the_rck asked about my favorite herbs, spices, and/or sauces.

I could go on about this at great length, and possibly will.

I grew up eating food that almost never used herbs or spices. The occasional pot of chili using a tiny amount of a mild commercial chili powder, or some garlic bread using garlic powder, was as exciting as it got. One of my favorite things about cooking, over the years, has been discovering new, interesting flavors.

Herbs: My favorite herb for western-European-style cooking is thyme, because it's so versatile and does lovely things in the background without ever becoming too much. I also like basil, though I don't use it often because it's expensive to buy, doesn't keep well, and I don't have a garden to grow my own. For other cuisines, I adore cilantro/fresh coriander, which is used in lots of cuisines (Indian, Thai, Vietnamese, Mexican come to mind) and has a lovely bright grassy freshness. I'm lucky enough not to be one of those people to whom it tastes soapy. Possibly my favorite herb ever, though, is curry leaves, which as far as I know are specific to South Indian dishes. Curry leaves are like magic. They smell, frankly, kind of scary (like tangerine-scented asphalt) but they make everything they're in taste so, so moresomely good.

Spices: Chiles! There are so many kinds and they're all gorgeous. I love mild fruity anchos, and smoky chipotles, and the hot smoked Spanish paprika I've been putting on everything lately, and intense little Thai chiles, and our local New Mexico green chiles that do wonders for eggs and cheese and other rich things. I also adore cumin, and Indian mustard seeds (which are deliciously nutty when fried in oil until they pop), and cardamom in sweets. And almost every other spices I've ever tried, but I won't list them all.

Sauces/condiments: Fish sauce, fish sauce, fish sauce. And my new loves, the Korean sauces doenjang (a fermented soybean paste, like miso on steroids) and gochujang (chiles with fermented soy paste and sugar). I've been falling in love with fermented vegetables, too, which are sort of a condiment: Tianjian preserved vegetable (a fermented Chinese cabbage with tons of garlic) is wonderful on congee. In a western vein, I have a terrible weakness for hollandaise sauce, and also cheese sauces on anything. And one of these days I'm going to make a real Mexican mole sauce, the kind with chocolate, which is a massive undertaking but so delicious.

Crossposted at Dreamwidth (comment count unavailable comments); you can comment here or there.


December meme

Trying to catch up on the talk meme a bit while I have connectivity.

miss_morland asked what my favorite animal was and why.

I know this a tediously predictable answer from a single person of a certain age, but . . . I really like cats. The average cat is the right degree of affectionate for someone like me. They're not irritatingly dependent the way dogs are, and they're also not potentially aggressive and scary the way dogs are. Nor are they unsociable and other the way a gerbil or a fish is. Of course there are exceptions; my ex-housemate had a cat that fixated on me with terrifying devotion and used to follow me around the apartment, getting underfoot as often as possible. But generally cats aren't overwhelming. They come and sit on your lap for a bit and then they go away again about their business. I like that in a creature. (You can all see why I have never wanted children, right?)

One of these days I want to get a kitty of my very own, but I need to be much more financially stable first.

An anonymous person asked what I like about classic British television.

I think that British television from what I unashamedly think of as the Golden Age (late sixties through early eighties) was objectively better written and better acted. I can make a guess as to why that's the case: the BBC was less commercialized then and even commercial television often strove to do at least some "quality" programming, so the writing of dramas wasn't dumbed down to attract as broad an audience as possible. Less commercialization also meant actors weren't cast primarily for being young and hot; looks still certainly played a role, but less of one than now, I think, and what counted as being acceptably attractive for television was a lot broader. This allowed acting ability to be a factor as well.

Other more subjective considerations also make classic British TV more to my taste than modern TV. For one, storytelling was allowed to take its time; even shows like Doctor Who weren't required to be all action every second, and Who in particular used a serial format that meant stories developed over, typically, four to six 25-minute episodes rather than being shoehorned into 45 minutes to an hour at most. The slower pace (for all shows, not just Who) meant there was room for interesting little details and charming moments that didn't necessarily advance the main plot! Guest characters got actual development instead of being drawn in the broadest possible terms! A modern show would never allow time to be taken up by scenes of, say, two characters competing in a warplay game (which happened in Callan), a one-off character worrying about his mother (Colditz), or some minor baddies complaining about their working conditions (Blake's 7). But those scenes are marvellous and I love them!

Another reason is that classic shows seemed to feel less pressure to include a heterosexual love story as a main plot thread, nor to demonstrate the heterosexuality of every single character. As I've said elsewhere on this topic, the reasons for this often aren't good--they can include a lack of interest in female characters (though this was by no means universally the case) and a homophobic assumption that no admirable character could possibly be queer even if their heterosexuality isn't demonstrated--but the effect for me can be liberating. I like not having to struggle against a huge weight of canonical heterosexuality in order to make a space to breathe, or at least to interpret queerly. Of course, modern shows are more likely to have canonical queerness, but there are lots of exceptions. Callan had three or four canonically gay men, all presented with extraordinary empathy given the culture of the time, while there are plenty of modern shows with no queer characters at all and every avenue of queer interpretation deliberately blocked. Plus, I'll usually take a show where an important main character or two can be seen as queer over one where there is canonical queerness, but only among minor or non-recurring characters.

One of the things I loved about this year's first series of Grantchester is that in tone, aesthetic, and to some degree structure it was very like a classic drama, but also had a canonically gay character in the main cast. A rare instance of the best of both worlds.

Crossposted at Dreamwidth (comment count unavailable comments); you can comment here or there.

I really hate it when people are required to work on major holidays, unless their jobs are crucial to the health or safety or others. In general I disapprove of supermarkets, restaurants, etc. in the US being open on Christmas.*

And yet.

The Imitation Game is supposed to open nationwide in the US on Christmas day. Since I don't have any Christmas plans apart from Yuletide, I'm extremely tempted.

And then there's Yuletide. Judging by past performance, I may not have a working internet connection on Christmas day. I would hate not to be able to read my Yuletide fic on Christmas, especially since I'll probably have to work the next day. But Starbucks will be open.

If you listen carefully, you can hear my principles creaking under the strain.

(If I left a big tip at Starbucks, would that make it less wrong?)

*Obviously this doesn't apply to, say, a kosher bakery. Nor to any owner-operated small business whose owner chooses to personally work on a holiday. I'm thinking of larger businesses, and also of the fact that where I live, the overwhelming majority of people are at least culturally Christian and would probably quite like to have the day off.

Crossposted at Dreamwidth (comment count unavailable comments); you can comment here or there.


spoke too soon

Yeah, no sooner did I post happily about how my internet was back than it went out again. I have no idea when/if it will come back. I'll be around when I can.

In other news, I'm waiting impatiently for The Imitation Game to finally open where I live, and eagerly but nervously for the final episode of Cabin Pressure. And I've been rewatching the early episodes of Lewis; later developments had made me forget how much I loved the show at first. But now I'm up to "Life Born of Fire" and I don't know if I can bear to watch it again. It's so full of fail and ungood weirdness, plus I think of it as the beginning of the show going wrong. Then again, the episode's ending pleases my inner hurt/comfort addict very much.

Yuletide proceeds apace. I've been editing the early parts of my story and I think this morning I finally managed to write it an ending. It's been a struggle, but I'm getting there, and I think I may quite like it once it's done.

Crossposted at Dreamwidth (comment count unavailable comments); you can comment here or there.

Fandomless: Blue ship
[personal profile] lilacsigil asked me to talk about finding queer subtext and queer text and what each one means to me. I'm going to focus on male/male subtext and text because that's what I'm into.

For me it all started, literally, with subtext. When I was a younker and beginning to be interested in stories about men together, there wasn't much actual queer text to be found. The rare ones that existed were mostly biographies; I was probably the only ninth grader in history who went around reading a biography of Tennessee Williams. And it was actually some discussion in a Beatles biography of Brian Epstein's homosexuality that made me consciously realize that I was drawn to the idea of men having sex with men and/or loving men. But I'd been unconsciously drawn long before that, in everything from buddy shows to war stories. My first ship, unaware though I was, was probably Snoopy and the Red Baron. *facepalm*

In fiction in those long-ago days of the early 1980s, even when queerness was text it was usually subtext. more under the cutCollapse )

Crossposted at Dreamwidth (comment count unavailable comments); you can comment here or there.

stir-up Wednesday

Fandomless: Blue ship
Well, once again, the surest way to bring back my internet connection is to tell you all that it's gone. After four or five days without, I can once again talk to you people who live in the box!

Today I have a day off and am baking. Right now it's bagels, later on it'll be my Christmas fruitcake, which was delicious the last time I made it, two Christmases ago already. I'm fiddling with the recipe a bit by using about 850 grams of fruit and 50 grams of chopped candied ginger (thus omitting the peel and glacé cherries, which I don't like). I'm also planning to bake it in a 9x5 loaf pan, which has nearly the same area as the deep 20 centimer round pan I don't possess. I'll make fruitcake muffins out of any excess batter.

Also today I'm going to cook some veggies into forms that can be kept in the fridge to eat over the next few days (green beans in mustard vinaigrette and, um, something involving cabbage that I haven't figured out yet). And I need to do my laundry. And I really really need to work on editing my Yuletide fic.

My life: it's one thrill after another.

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December meme

Fandomless: Blue ship
This is the post I was supposed to make on December 1, for [personal profile] just_ann_now, who asked me to talk about the Points series and maybe the Mathey/Lynes series too.

I first read Point of Hopes many years ago, when it was still fairly new. I loved the characters and above all the worldbuilding; at the time I was a (post)graduate student in English Renaissance literature, and I loved all the details borrowed from real European Renaissance cultures and the way Melissa Scott (who has a Ph.D. in Renaissance military history) and co-author Lisa A. Barnett used them to build something new.

I appreciated the m/m subtext I thought I was seeing in the first book, but I never expected it to be followed up on. So when the second book appeared and the characters with the subtext had become an actual, canonical, textual couple, I was thrilled. Point of Dreams is among the first sff novels I remember reading that not only had queer main characters but presented queer characters in a completely normal way, not as warped or damaged or tragic. (Scott's novels still make up a considerable share of this lamentably, and now in 2014 almost inexplicably, small category.)

I can't comment on the newest book, Fairs' Point, because I haven't read it yet.

The Points books are great for fanfic, because the universe is sufficiently complex that you feel there are interesting aspects still to explore. Also because one of Scott's weak points, in almost all her books, is relationship-building. Romances in her novels happen mostly offscreen, and even for non-romantic relationships, it's rare for her books to offer much interaction between characters that isn't directly related to the plot. (This is a pretty common issue with sff, in my opinion; the genre dictum that everything must advance the plot deserves more skepticism than it gets.) Even the novella Point of Knives, written specifically to show how Rathe and Eslingen became a couple, is a bit sketchy on the emotional development. Hence, big opportunities for fanfic.

(Side note: some fans of the British TV series The Professionals are convinced that Rathe and Eslingen began life as avatars of Bodie and Doyle. I'm not sure how this idea started, but I'm not at all convinced. I don't see the resemblance, apart from Rathe being a cop who's not very tall and has curly hair, and Eslingen being tall with dark hair. The characters' personalities are very unlike their supposed models.)

I'm perhaps a little tired of Rathe/Eslingen fic, or at least I'd like to see people write about aspects of their relationship other than "how they got together"--which, as I've noted, has now been canonically addressed anyway. If anybody's considering writing fic about the two of them as an established couple, especially fic that shows us their relationship as a couple and not so much the mystery-solving-partnership aspect, you have an eager audience in me, at least. Or backstory fic about either of them. Or fic about Istre, which was one of my Yuletide requests.

I don't know if I'll write in the fandom again, because I am the very model of a fannish butterfly these days. But who knows? Once I read Fairs' Point I may feel inspired.

As for Death by Silver, I enjoyed it almost entirely and will be glad to read Death at the Dionysus Club as soon as I get the chance. I love the Victorian setting and what I can figure out of the magical system (it's a different universe from the Points books), and I'm just hoping the authors get a Britpicker from now on. The characters have a more developed emotional life and backstory than Rathe and Eslingen (possibly a little too angsty, but not overpoweringly so) and I was pleased to see less shying-away from showing the romantic and sexual relationship between them.

Sadly there are only two fics on the AO3. Why, fandom?

Argh, I feel like I'm doing a terrible job of saying anything interesting about Scott's work. It means a lot to me, in ways that are hard to explain apart from OMG LOTS OF QUEER CHARACTERS THIS IS AWESOME. But, you know, it is awesome to have lots of queer characters with individual personalities and interests, in every class and profession, with stories that don't revolve around their queerness but don't silence it either. Also there's magic and Renaissance astrology and theatrical technology and fashion and gossip and politics and special Victorian gentlemen's clubs. Both series provide rich, rich worlds full of people and things, and I love that.

Crossposted at Dreamwidth (comment count unavailable comments); you can comment here or there.

a scarcity of internet

My internet connection* has gone again (its newest trick is telling me I'm connected but not actually letting me connect to anything) so I don't know how much I'll be around until/unless it starts working again. It's the busy season at work so I may not have the time or energy to haul my computer to someplace with free wifi very often. So if I don't reply much or in a timely way, that's why. Sorry!

*It's not really my connection--I piggyback off of an unsecured wifi because of budget issues. That's why I can't call the provider and complain.

I miss you all!

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I wrote a thing!

In a fandom I don't believe any of you are familiar with, alas. "The Cross-Time Adventures of Colonel Tick-Tock" is an occasional segment in the Thrilling Adventure Hour podcast. It's a sort of comedy steampunk time-travel adventure, with a strong strain of affectionate Doctor Who parody, some charmingly inept fake English accents, and pretty much canonical queerness. It's very silly and occasionally poignant, a tone I hope I've captured in my fic.

Here is a list of all the Tick-Tock segments, and here is where you can download them. If you listen to everything it's about three hours worth of material. Give it time to grow on you; I didn't like the early episodes but the character and the format both get much more interesting. If you want to skip some of the dead wood, I'd recommend listening to "Electric Rivalries" (TAH #31, the best of the early Tick-Tock bits), "Hey Caesar" (TAH #100, introduces some recurring characters and helps the next, excellent episode make more sense), "Mrs. Parker and the Doctaparatorious Paradox" (TAH #120, guest starring Karen Gillan, who played Amy Pond on Doctor Who), "Horse Play" (TAH #154, in which Colonel Tick-Tock memorably meets Casanova), and most importantly, "Confederates" (TAH #174), which is the basis for my fic.

The Colonel Tick-Tock I envision looks nothing like the ridiculous Colonel Blimp figure from the Thrilling Adventure Hour graphic novel, which you can see at the link above to the list of episodes. Judging by other characters' reactions, he's actually dashing and attractive, so in my head he looks a lot like Captain Owen Triggers as played by Nicholas Jones in the old BBC series Wings; images at the linked post.

Title: Time Enough
Fandom: The Cross-Time Adventures of Colonel Tick-Tock (from The Thrilling Adventure Hour)
Characters: Colonel Tick-Tock/Bob McCrumbs, some special guest stars
Rating: Teen
Word count: 2473
Summary: Colonel Tick-Tock and Bob McCrumbs make history right (sort of) and discover something that's been there all along.
Notes: This can also be read here at AO3.

click here to readCollapse )

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if everyone else jumped off a cliff . . .

Fandomless: Blue ship
. . . I too would join in the December posting meme.

Ask me almost anything (fandom-related or not), pick a date in December, and I'll try to post about it. However, because my internet access is not super reliable, I may miss the assigned date.

The only topic I'm going to refuse in advance is my job, because you don't really want to read another whiny post about how much I hate my job any more than I want to write another one. Any other subject is probably fine, and if you happen to ask a question I'm not comfortable answering, I'll just request a different question.

1: Melissa Scott's Points series ([personal profile] just_ann_now)
2: Queer subtext and queer text ([personal profile] lilacsigil)
5: My favorite animal and why (miss_morland)
7: What I like about classic British television (anonymous)
9: Something about baking bread ([personal profile] genarti)
10: My favorite herbs/spices/sauces ([personal profile] the_rck)
12: Favorite Sherlock Holmes story ([personal profile] magnetic_pole)
15: If I could design the perfect canon to be fannish about, what would it entail? ([personal profile] st_aurafina)
23: 3+ historical reference works I wish existed (halotolerant)
24: Favorite Christmas story/stories (sallymn)

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Today I treated myself to a movie and saw Pride, which I loved. It's the semi-fictionalized story of a group of gay and lesbian activists who worked in support of the striking miners in 1984-85 (and it's much, much more fun than that description makes it sound). If you've seen The Full Monty or Brassed Off you'll be familiar with a lot of the tropes, but really, "a group of disparate people work together against oppression and become friends in the process" is the kind of trope I can get behind. Plus, the movie refreshingly focuses on friendship and solidarity, and while there are established couples in the story, there's no central romance. (Though I did find myself rather shamefacedly shipping Mark/Dai.)

Other good points: 1) The story includes a fat woman whose weight is not in any way ever at all an issue. Isn't even mentioned, while her intelligence and courage are very important to the story. 2) The story is unabashedly political and doesn't feel any need to present the government and corporations' view. 3) It doesn't avoid difficult topics, like the increasing tension between lesbian and gay male activists or the growing AIDS epidemic, but these things never overwhelm the main story.

Also the performances are very strong. I especially like Andrew Scott as Gethin, Imelda Staunton as Hefina, and Paddy Considine as Dai. Dominic West nearly steals the show as Gethin's boyfriend Jonathan, and for once I actually liked Bill Nighy as Cliff.

I hope lots and lots of people will see this and start writing fanfic.

Crossposted at Dreamwidth (comment count unavailable comments); you can comment here or there.

another post of things

Fandomless: Blue ship
1) Reading: I made a second attempt to scale the summit of Wade Davis's 600-page Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory, and the Conquest of Everest, and succeeded this time. It didn't quite do what I wanted of it, or what the title promised. In the opening chapters Davis does a good job of establishing the 1920s Everest expeditions in the context of the war, colonialism, ideas of masculinity, etc., but then there's no follow-through. The book turns into a straightforward narrative of the 1921, 1922, and 1924 expeditions, and often with a rather odd focus to boot. Davis spends many many pages on the 1921 expedition, most of which involved trying to find a route to the mountain itself, and he follows every little side trip and false start in excruciating detail, whereas he writes much less about the 1922 and 1924 attempts to reach the summit, and the story of Mallory and Irvine's disappearance is compressed into about 15 pages.

Last time I tried to read this I complained about Davis's weirdness on the subject of sexuality, and that didn't get any better on re-read. More under the cutCollapse )

2) Listening: the anon meme (yes, I've started going there--there's a lot of good discussion on many fannish topics, and it's surprisingly well-modded) got me interested in The Thrilling Adventure Hour, so I've listened to the podcasts of "Captain Laserbeam" and "The Cross-Time Adventures of Colonel Tick-Tock." They're both comedy/parody: the former is a superhero story in which, among other things, the hero may be developing a romance with Philip Fathom, The Deep Sea Detective (who is not entirely unlike Nolanverse Batman); the latter features a sort of gay steampunk Doctor Who. If you check these out, give them long enough to grow on you. I was deeply underwhelmed by the early episodes of both, but both get better as they go on. I keep wishing there was video, though, because there are a lot of moments when clearly something very funny is happening onstage that the dialogue gives no hint of.

I might try the "Sparks Nevada: Marshal on Mars" segments next, though I'm not at all a fan of westerns or western tropes.

3) Cooking: on my most recent days off I made more bagels and also baked an apple pie, something I've never done before. Oddly I had more trouble with the bagels than last time; for some reason the dough came out stickier and they were harder to shape. The pie turned out pretty well, though I had some difficulty rolling the dough out big enough. Also, I had no idea how long it takes to peel, core, and slice ten apples. (Answer: a very long time. I was listening to "Captain Laserbeam" which helped alleviate the boredom, but still. A very long time.) I used honeycrisp apples, one of the most commonly recommended kinds for pie. They tasted nice and kept their shape well, but they were perhaps a little too crisp for me.

In a completely different culinary vein, I also made Korean vegetable stew with soybean paste. I only loosely followed the linked recipe: I again used a bonito and konbu dashi instead of the dried anchovies, and the vegetables I used were potato, kabocha squash, Korean daikon, onion, and some frozen broad (fava) beans for something green that would benefit from simmering. The latter may seem odd, but I've read that broad beans are widely used in China, so I figured it wasn't completely bizarre.

4) Yuletide: have reviewed canon. Am writing. Am over minimum word count, yay!

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Grantchester 1x05

under the cutCollapse )

Crossposted at Dreamwidth (comment count unavailable comments); you can comment here or there.

post of things

Fandomless: Blue ship
1) Over the past couple of weeks, my job has gone from "ha ha, try to get enough hours to live on, sucker!" to "OMG SO MUCH WORK." This is because Christmas is, in retail-land, upon us. I'm glad for the hours but my feet hurt.

2) On my days off I made bagels! This is thanks to [personal profile] wisdomeagle, who directed me to this recipe. If I'd known how easy bagels were I'd have tried it ages ago! I used the brown sugar substitution for the malt syrupt, which I don't have, and made half plain bagels and half sesame bagels. They freeze pretty well, though they should probably either be toasted or reheated in an oven after thawing.

I also cooked braised pork ribs and kimchi, modifying the recipe here and there based on what I had on hand. I used a regular bonito dashi rather than anchovy dashi, regular kimchi that had been around for a bit in my fridge rather than the specially packaged "old kimchi," cayenne pepper instead of the Korean chili flakes (I used a little less than a full tablesoon), and omitted the jalapeno and green onion at the end. I'd have liked to include the green onion but I was out; I think the dish was quite spicy enough without the jalapeno. Though some googling tells me that the cayenne I used is much hotter than Korean chile flakes, so if you're using the right chiles, adding the jalapeno is probably fine. Anyway, despite the substitutions it was very nice.

3) Yuletide! I'm pleased with my assignment and have actually started writing. Hoping to avoid last-minute panics this year.

4) What I've heard about the most recent Doctor Who episode makes me glad I quit watching again. I think I probably won't give the show another try until Moffat is gone, because vague spoilersCollapse )

5) In happier fandom news, the new BBC show Grantchester is pretty enjoyable! And has canon queerness. The mystery plots are meh but it's worth it for the characters, in my opinion. Also the lead actor is awfully pretty, if that sort of thing appeals to you.

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recipe Friday (on Monday)

Fandomless: Blue ship
On Thursday I accidentally cooked a pot roast. The accidental part was that I had originally intended to cook beef rendang, but then at the last second I found that I didn't have enough lemongrass. Nor did I have the time or energy to go out and buy more lemongrass, but the beef had been thawing in the fridge for a couple of days and needed to be cooked, so I improvised a pot roast based on what I had around (i.e. an onion, a stick of celery, some dried shiitake mushrooms, a few fragments of dried porcini mushrooms I found while looking for the shiitakes, and some sherry). So on Thursday I ate pot roast with mashed potatoes, then on one of the intervening days had some leftover pot roast over pasta, and tonight I made a sort of cottage pie with the remaining pot roast topped with the leftover potatoes. I was amused to realize it was in fact the same meal as on Thursday, only upside down. (But for some reason the pie tasted better than the original pot roast + potatoes. Maybe it's true that stews and braises get better--within reason--after they've been around a while?)

I still want to make beef rendang, but now I have no beef. I'll need to wait for beef chuck to go on sale again, I guess. Or beef short ribs, if I'm incredibly lucky. It's a dish I've wanted to try for years, in part because, while I love the idea of braised beef, I have seldom loved the thing itself. But to my taste it's very hard to go wrong with coconut milk and spices.

Speaking of braised beef, a while back I picked up some beef cheeks on sale. They're in the freezer, and I'm thinking of cooking them for Thanksgiving. Anyone have ideas for how to cook them that are more exciting than the usual "stew them in wine or beer" sort of thing? (I don't think they're suitable for beef rendang because they require v.v. long cooking.)

In other cooking news, I think I might try baking an apple pie on my next days off.

Crossposted at Dreamwidth (comment count unavailable comments); you can comment here or there.

Yuletide letter

Dear Yuletide writer,

First of all, thank you for writing for me. I'm thrilled that you share my interest in one of these fandoms, and I can't wait to read your story.

What follows is a little more information about what I like and don't like. But I want to say right away that I hope you will write a story you find interesting and enjoy writing, even if it goes in a different direction from the things I mention here. It could well turn out to be the story I didn't know I wanted.

click here for more information and my requestsCollapse )

Crossposted at Dreamwidth (comment count unavailable comments); you can comment here or there.


cooking and such

I cleaned my oven today. Also scrubbed the kitchen floor on my damn hands and knees. (There's an apartment inspection tomorrow. They'll only be going into random apartments, and I know that it's to make sure you're not living in filthy squalor, not to see if you qualify for the Clean Freak of the Year award, but I get paranoid. And on a practical level I try to use these things as motivation to do the cleaning I needed to do anyway. Yesterday I washed the windows!)

I also did a bit of cooking. I have some Khorasan wheat aka kamut that I picked up a while back because it was on clearance very cheap. There aren't a lot of recipes around for it, so I improvised what was meant to be a sort of jambalaya-ish thing only with Middle Eastern flavors. I added a little too much water so it was more like a stew, but it was still quite tasty. inexact recipe under the cutCollapse )

I also roasted some pears and made a caramel sauce. This is based on a recipe from one of James Peterson's books, but I don't have the book anymore and reconstructed from memory. What I did under the cutCollapse )

Both dishes felt very autumnal and wholesome. I've been eating a lot of junk food lately because I've been working more hours than usual and I feel awfully tired when I get home, so it was nice to have something home-cooked and full of grains and beans and veggies and fruit.

Crossposted at Dreamwidth (comment count unavailable comments); you can comment here or there.



Fandomless: Blue ship
when regiment is gone


December 2014



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