Angst, Smut, and Explosions

No, Hiding Under Your Desk Won't Save You

The shaming room
Originally posted by arynwy at The shaming room
Originally posted by firefly124 at The shaming room
Originally posted by [personal profile] kikibug13 at The shaming room
Originally posted by [profile] bajoransmurf at Please take a seat in the shaming room...
Originally posted by [personal profile] denorios at Please take a seat in the shaming room...
Since a number of US newspapers have refused to republish the latest Doonesbury cartoon strip which highlights the way Republicans are attempting to undermine a woman's right to choose, I feel it's important to make sure the message still gets across.

The shaming room awaits.

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(no subject)
Having a rough time. maybe better later.

ETA: Fucking Hell! I have PMDD. Bet money on it. *headdesk*

i found a knitting challenge that isn't overly ambitious
6 in 2012 knitting challenge.

The idea is that i name six things I will knit in 2012. and here they are:

  1. A Sweater

  2. A Pair of Socks

  3. A Work in Progress

  4. An Original Design

  5. A Work of Lace

  6. A New Thing That Scares Me a Bit

I'm already working on number 1, 2 is next in line, I know what WIP I want to finish, i'm certain I know what i'm going to design, and the other two? dunno.

Originally posted on and has comment count unavailable comments there.

(no subject)
From everyone: Pick up the book nearest to you. Turn to page 45. The first sentence there describes your sex life in 2012.

--perhaps writing letters is not as harmless an activity as I would have thought.
It's Five Hundred Years After by Steven Brust


Originally posted on and has comment count unavailable comments there.

Postponing the new look
Gmail’s new look is coming soon to everyone. We appreciate your feedback about why you’ve decided not to switch to it at this time.
Please share the primary reason you’ve postponed switching: *

I tried using the new look and didn’t like it.

If you dislike something about the new look, please tell us what changes, specifically, you want to see:

how about EVERYTHING? I don't want you messing with how I use Gmail. it works fine the way it was. It looks fine the way it was. I don't want it to change. I don't want pictograms; I AM LITERATE. I don't want 50% grey text. I don't want pictograms; I AM LITERATE. I don't want stuff tucked away in dropdown menus where I have to hunt for it. did I mention that I hate the pictograms? It's because I'm literate. isn't that pesky?

What is your feedback mostly about?:

Message list
Conversation view
General look and feel




Originally posted on and has comment count unavailable comments there.

How to use a recipe
Anyone reading this who is familiar with my food posts knows that I don't post recipes. I relate the narrative of how I cooked a thing. Part of this is because I don't really use recipes that often. I will when I'm just learning how to make a particular food, and then I improvise from there. Part of that is because of the way I learned to cook - at an early age, from experienced cooks, who told me the story of how something is made while we were making it. So when I write about something I cooked, I'm more interested in telling its story and handing the knowledge over that way.

A recipe is a way to hand down a story of how to make a thing. But the structure of many recipes assumes a previous skill in not just cooking, but reading recipes - specifically, reading what the recipe -doesn't tell you.- For a person who doesn't cook, the unspoken assumptions of recipes can mean disaster, ruined dinners, and yet another entrant into the story of why cooking sucks.

I found a recipe. I haven't actually tried this recipe, but this one looks pretty tasty. I got it from In Jennie's Kitchen, a blog i've never visited before, and it's a recipe for butternut squash soup. You can see the original page here. But for the purposes of this post, i'm just going to copy the recipe and explain how it's read.

Velvety Butternut Squash Soup
Serves 4

The recipe title, and the anticipated serving size. My first question is serves 4 what? Does this recipe serve four as a starting course, or is it sized generously enough to be a lunch entree? I wish I knew before meal planning, but I'm going to guess that it makes around one liter of soup, probably less. But it honestly depends on the size of your squash.

This soup is so remarkably smooth, you’ll be tempted to call it creamy butternut squash soup—except there’s not a spot of cream. Start by roasting the squash in a 400ºF oven, until it’s nice and tender, about 30 minutes (split lengthwise and scoop out the seeds first). Then the your blender does the magic of whipping the soup into a light and airy puree.

A bit of description for the soup, but look wary: There's a few assumptions in the leading description. It's remarkably smooth and by the way you need an already roasted squash. That you already know how to make. Oh and also by the way the recipe calls for a stand blender rather than a stick blender. And that's before you even hit the ingredient list. So, dear reader:

Do you know how to roast a squash? I do. 30 minutes in a 400F oven is the barest description. You'd probably need to find more explicit instructions than that. Yes, you can just cook the squash in the microwave. Lots of people do. I think that there's a difference in flavor and i prefer the oven roasted squash, but honestly what you need here is cooked squash, and that's all.

Do you also have a knife that can handle slicing a raw squash in half, lengthwise? I finally do. It cost $97 CDN before taxes. I hesitate to tell a new cook they need to spend a hundred bucks on a knife, but a dull knife and a raw squash will raise your perspiration and your ire. Some supermarkets will sell squash halves already cut and cleaned of seeds, so that might be an option.

Do you have a stand blender? I do. See the above hesitation about recommending new cooks lay out a lot of money for an activity they're not sure they're going to enjoy. So if you don't have a stand blender, don't run out and buy one because you've never made soup before. Your stick blender will work just fine. In fact, I'd ignore that bit about the stand blender in the recipe anyway and just use a stick. Don't have a stick blender, either? How about an electric mixer? you can smooth out cooked squash and broth with that, it'll just have a texture, and that's fine.

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 leeks, white parts only, thinly sliced
1 small butternut squash, roasted, flesh scooped out
2 cups vegetable stock
1/4 mixed toasted sweetened coconut and almonds
1 teaspoon chopped cilantro

This is your list of ingredients. We've already gone over the by the way you need a roasted squash before you can start this recipe assumption. You do of course want to make sure you have all of these things on hand in sufficient quantity before you can proceed.

But don't move on just yet. Look at 2 leeks, white parts only, thinly sliced. fresh leeks often have a lot of dirt in them. So if you were to nod your head and go on to the instructions and "Heat butter and oil in a 2 quart pot over medium heat" and then pull those two leeks out of the fridge, the butter and oil would scorch before you'd gotten the leeks cleaned and sliced.

Here's a concept that will save you a lot of trouble and frustration in the cooking process, though it's likely to create more dishes for you to clean: Mise en Place. Yes, it's French. It means "to put in place" or something similar. Some cooks just don't do this, some argue against it, but when you're a new cook or if you're learning a new technique, Mise en Place really helps.

So. take a liquid measuring cup, and measure out two cups of vegetable stock (i recommend low sodium pre-made. You can make your own stock. It may not be something you want to fuss with at the moment.) take a smaller portion dish and measure out a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in it. chop (ha!) some cilantro (bah! just cut the leaves with scissors, they don't have to be teeny) and set it in a little dish. scoop out all that cooked squash, maybe even dice it a little, and set it in a bowl or on a plate. take out those leeks, wash the leeks, slice the leeks up really fine, cuss at all the grit, dump the thinly sliced leeks in a colander and rinse (you're going to see a lot of grit on fresh spinach too. It's just how it is.) then shake the excess water, drop the leeks on a tea towel and pat them down a touch. measure your coconut and your almonds - there's a typo in the original recipe, but I'm betting it's a quarter cup each coconut and almond.

Now set out the pot you're going to cook the soup in. If you read ahead you know it should hold at least 2 quarts. If you're not sure, simply measure two quarts of water and see if it fits in the pot. if it's too small, dry the pot with a teatowel and put it back, grab the bigger one, and try fitting two quarts of water in that. Repeat until you find a pot that will hold at least two quarts of water, then dry that one and put it on the stove. Now set out a frying pan. Put out a couple of wooden spoons. Have your stand blender or your stick blender or your electric mixer ready to go.

Okay, -now- you can cook. Let's go on to the instructions.

Heat butter and oil in a 2 quart pot over medium heat. Add leeks and saute until soften and fragrant. Add roasted butternut squash and stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Pour contents of pot into the glass bowl of a blender and puree until smooth, about 2 minutes. Divide among four bowl and garnish with toasted and almond mixture and a sprinkle of cilantro.

Lots of assumptions here. Heat butter and oil in a 2 quart pot over medium heat. In this case you can simply put the butter and oil in a cold pot and then turn the heat on, it won't harm anything unless you have the heat on too high to start. but "medium heat" varies from stove to stove, and we're working with olive oil, which has a very low smoke point compared to other oils. So let's do the sizzle test:

1. heat the dry pot on medium heat. give it a minute to heat up.
2. pour yourself a glass of water. wet your fingers, and flick the pot. what does the water do?

If it evaporates near instantly, it's too hot. Turn the heat down and wait a few minutes before trying again.
If the water kind of becomes little balls that roll around for a second before evaporating, that's a good heat if you were just heating butter or canola oil and sauteeing in that, but that's not what we're doing, so turn the heat down and wait a few minutes before trying again.
If the water spreads and boils with big bubbles but takes a couple of seconds to evaporate, that's about right.

Add the butter and oil. Pick up the pot and tilt it around, covering the bottom, but the important part is to add the leeks the moment the butter melts. You'll be moving the leeks around with a wooden spoon, and your'e watching for the leeks to become soft and to start releasing their smell. you're not trying to brown the leeks, but it won't be ruined if you do wind up browning them a bit. they'll look a little translucent when they're ready.

now add the squash. you'll get a good sizzle when they go in. Stir the squash around a bit, mixing it with the leeks. Steam should be rising from the pot. you're not looking to brown the squash, you're getting it slightly warmed and taking the leeks up into the squash mixture so they don't brown either.

Once you get that mixed, pour in all the vegetable stock. keep an eye on things, but this is a good time to wash your slicing knife, your cutting board, the dishes that held the squash and the butter oil, and your measuring cups, but keep glancing at the pot. when you see the stock boiling, turn the heat down to low, drop a lid on it, and set the stove timer for 20 minutes. this is more than enough time to get your prep dishes washed, so do that.

Once you're fidgeting because the timer's not done but you've got nothing left to do, let's work on the other assumption in the recipe directions: that you know that the only way you're going to get toasted coconut and almonds is if YOU toast them. You see what recipes leave out?

Heat the frying pan. Use the sizzle test, and when the water rolls, drop your coconut and your almonds in the dry pan and stir constantly with the other wooden spoon. (yep, that's why I said two.) stir constantly. everything is always moving. you're smelling the coconut and almonds and watching them stubbornly not brown and then all of a sudden WHAM it happens all at once. scrape the hot stuff onto the dish you'd placed the coconut and almond in before, and set the fry pan on a cold element while the other element cools.

When the timer goes off it's time to puree the soup using whatever instrument of liquefication you may have. hopefully you don't have too much stock and not enough squash. if your squash soup is just too thick, you can thin it by adding a splash of stock, but too thin is just sad. you want it smooth, and it doesn't really matter what instrument of liquefication you use to achieve this.

Once it's smooth it's ready to serve. Pour into a bowl, drop a pinch of fresh cilantro on top, add a spoonful of coconut and almond to the center.

One thing about this recipe: In my opinion the absence of any seasoning is very surprising. I would not add salt if I were using premade vegetable stock, but I would add pepper. I'd probably also add paprika or thyme.

The other thing about this recipe: to be completely honest I'd never roast a squash for the express purpose of making soup out of it. I probably roasted a squash and had some as a side for a previous meal and then used the leftover squash to make this soup. but for learning purposes this recipe stands as a perfectly servicable butternut squash soup recipe.

One last thing about this recipe: if I were feeding vegans i'd skip the butter and olive oil and just use coconut oil for sauteeing them leeks. I keep coconut oil in the house all the time, and my vegetable stock is made with vegetables, herbs, and water. the only thing that keeps this recipe from being vegan is the butter.

Originally posted on and has comment count unavailable comments there.

(no subject)
I just wanted to remind you all that I have a dreamwidth account. I'm cpolk over there too, if you have a DW. Since most of my posts are cross posted, you can pretty much read here or there without missing too much.

Since DW is letting people join without an invite code, this is a good time to get a DW account. if you miss it and it closes again, let me know, I have a bunch of invite codes to share.

An anonymous comment, one leaf among thousands.
I read it, laughed my ass off, linked it to my therapist, who laughed her ass off, made my friend read it in the middle of the coffee shop this morning on a break from our bike ride and he laughed his ass off.

on tuesday I was crouched in a dark bathroom sobbing my heart out. I'd not really gotten out of bed or cleaned all the things or cooked meals like an adult because I just hated myself too much. It spread out over about 6 weeks.

On wednesday I went for a bike ride to do a thing that I had left undone for three months, and on that ride, I rode right *through* and came out the other side.

I read this today.

It is a wonderful gift, you've given me. Because I laughed. I laughed at the evil voice that flays me with loathing. I laughed at it, and it got smaller.

Thank you.

Origionally posted on and has comment count unavailable comments there. comment here or there, as you like!

A quick knitting update
I'm just a little bit shy of halfway through knitting the scarf. it's been suggested that I write the pattern for it and offer it on ravelry, which i'll probably do. the most difficult part will be explaining the grafting, as it's not simple knit stitch.

After i'm done this scarf, I'll be sketching out lace pattern stitches to see if anything catches for Rêveur. I have a few lace motif stitches I really like, it's just a question of whether they will blend nicely together or not.

the yarn bowl is wonderful and I think I'd like to buy another one sometime.

I'm going to lie down foor a bit and then get up, toss some ribs in the oven, and lie down again. Hey. Ribs are a feast.

I'm also thinking that I'm giong to try cooking my steel cut oats blended with some other grains in my slow cooker overnight. doing them on the stove isn't really working for me, and I like the idea of blending my oats with flax seeds, sunflower seeds, millet, and hulled oats that haven't been cut. apparently you can do a big batch, stick the leftovers in the fridge, and then heat up a dose fairly quickly with some water. If anyone has some advice on cooking grains like this for breakfast i'd like them. I decided I wanted to try whole grains for breakfast and don't get me wrong I love my oatmeal but I thought I'd try to figure out what my GF substitute for Red River/Sunny boy is.

Origionally posted on and has comment count unavailable comments there. comment here or there, as you like!

(no subject)
So, Pan-Am.

Is anyone else watching it?

I will admit freely that i wasn't expecting the series i'm getting so far. It played automatically as the next show when I was watching and I let it go, and wound up getting intrigued.

Origionally posted on and has comment count unavailable comments there. comment here or there, as you like!

Castle. Tonight's episode. Spoilers. Rant.

spoilers all up in this cut.Collapse )

okay done.

Origionally posted on and has comment count unavailable comments there. comment here or there, as you like!

I'm not quite in "Idea Infestation"
But while I'm knitting this particular design, which satisfies my requirements, as you might recall:

  1. Textured, but in a complex way, so simple ribbing or garter won't do

  2. Completely without a wrong side, so it doesn't matter how the scarf will be twisted or worn

  3. Started with a provisional cast-on so I can kitchener graft it and so the beginning and end are indistinguishable

and it comes with a bonus quality: Unisex! So I'm pleased about that and while it's not mindless knitting, I'm getting it done.

But I just finished reading The Night Circus and I really want to make a scarf/stole/shawl i'll name Rêveur. It should be red, but I don't like wearing the colour red. This created a horrible conflict in my mind until I hit on what to do: buy white/cream lace yarn, do the design in white, and when it comes time to do the photographs I'll do them in black and white and then colour the scarf red, and call it good.

Origionally posted on and has comment count unavailable comments there. comment here or there, as you like!

My Hat! What a Picnic

X number of things make a post, Right? Right.

1. Currently just a tiny bit hypo-manic and trying to multitask present-tense exchanged paragraph RP (World of Warcraft) since there's been quite a bit of good roleplay going on for me. I play on an RP server but I haven't gotten quite this much emote action in such a long time but I'm Moonguard 2007 levels of busy and it feels pretty good.

2. I still haven't bought a bus pass. I go everywhere by bicycle. Last month I took a long trip to IKEA, got lost in a new neighbourhood because the detour signs were rubbish, and then just aimlessly riding the paths got me serendipitously on the right track. but it was a shagging hot day and I drank a litre and a half of water easy and still felt a bit heat-dizzy faint, as the route wasn't shady at all and it was stupidly hot out.

3. I just remembered that I need to renew my picture I.D. so I should make a trip to do that. maybe the same time I re-apply for my low-income bus pass (I'm glad they're not differently labelled any more; the first year they were, and cashiers would ask me, 'how much is it if you're low income?' and i'd say 50% off and they'd say, 'man, I wish I could get that' and then I'd have a moment where I would just *look* at them and then tell them how little money you have to make in order to get your half off bus pass. one of two things would happen:

a. "Oh."

b. "I qualify. How did you get that? this is awesome!"

Both responses are acceptable.

4. I have to get new picture ID because it will be my birthday soon (just like Bear, only hers is today!) and you know what? I haven't the faintest clue what I want for my birthday. I might have to spend some time thinking about what I could get for myself for my birthday. Considering I have already bought myself all new furniture, a new bicycle, and a Kobo so far this year, I almost feel kinda wackily consumerist for thinking about what to get for my birthday. But I celebrate it every year, and it is an even numbered birthday this year which means that I am on a Social Gathering Year (I spend odd-numbered birthdays alone or with only one friend. Yeah I don't know either. but I've been doing it since I was 17, so why stop now.)

It is also my Life, the Universe, and Everything Birthday, as I am turning 42. I wonder if my gift should be thematic. That's maybe not a good idea because thematic = towels, and I don't actually need towels, as I have heaps of them. Brainstorm with me, here.

5. I have been utterly squirrel-brained about knitting. No, really. I suddenly got this mad idea that I wanted to knit something out of a skein of yarn I bought from my favourite yarn dyer, in the history of ever, and I knew that I wanted it to be three things:

a. A circular scarf, non moebiused, started on a provisional cast on and then kitchener grafted so perfectly you cannot tell where the scarf begins or ends,

b. textured, but in a complex way, so simple ribbing or garter wouldn't do.

c. completely without a wrong side, so it doesn't matter how the scarf is twisted or worn.

Yes. This is both incredibly restricting and dizzyingly variant at the same time. Do you see why I am writing a blog post instead of working on knitting. Even though I want to. I am being creative here. Can you see me, being creative? cat-waxing is just part of the process. so there!

Origionally posted on and has comment count unavailable comments there. comment here or there, as you like!

Signal Boost: Speak Out With Your Geek Out
Originally posted by deathpixie at Signal Boost: Speak Out With Your Geek Out
So, the various nerdish Twitter feeds I follow have been afire this week about an article written by Alyssa Bereznak on the online Gizmondo magazine regarding her experience of the OK Cupid dating site and her meeting with Jon Finkel, world Magic:The Gathering champ of ten years ago. Normally I'd link, but as the author of the article gets paid per click, I'd rather not contribute to her pay packet for what was at best a badly written filler piece and at worst, a mean-spirited attack and link bait. For those who are wondering what she said, however, here's a direct cut and paste quote of the article, under the cut.

My Brief OkCupid Affair With a World Champion Magic: The Gathering PlayerCollapse )

The Australian version of the same article was actually worse, but includes a disclaimer from Gizmodo:

My OkCupid Affair With A World Champion Magic: The Gathering PlayerCollapse )

Okay, context established. Jon Finkel himself took to Twitter to post his version of the dates, which is collected in one easy to read version:

Jon's responseCollapse )

Mountains out of moleholes, basically, with Alyssa apparently being stuck for subject matter and seemingly deciding to go after Gawker/Gizmodo's demographic in an effort to ratchet up her page views. There's a lot of very good articles in rebuttal, take your pick:

“My Brief OkCupid Affair With a World Champion Magic: The Gathering Player” UGH UGH UGH by kiala

How A Girl Named Alyssa Stepped on The Internet’s Last Nerve by Bobby "Fatboy" Roberts

The Science of Gawker's Nerd Baiting by Paul Tassi

Don't Be A Jerk by The Nerdy Bird/Jill Pantozzi

An Open Letter To Gizmodo Regarding Alyssa Bereznak And Her "OKCupid" Article. by Geek Girl Diva

Alyssa Bereznak Just Reminded Us That Women Can Be Predators Online Too by Elly Hart (Gizmodo Australia)

Re: My Brief OkCupid Affair With a World Champion Magic: The Gathering Player by Pop Culture Monster

Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Date Alyssa Bereznak by Geek Mom/Ruth Suehle

and finally, the Dork Tower response by John Kovalic

So, back to the original title of this post. In this article, Monica Valentinelli suggests a "let your nerd hang out" celebration as a more constructive response instead of the rather ugly trolling that's going on in the comments of the original article (and remember, trollers, each click earns Alyssa money, so well done there, d'uh). In Monica's words:


Sometime during the week of Monday, September 12th to Friday, September 16th post about what geeky hobby you love. Then, tell us why we should try it, too. Leave your fears (and edition wars) at the door. Forget about your latest rant. Tap into that well of positive energy and share in the excitement of all things geek.

Let us invite those who would stereotype us to sit at our table and share our interests.

Sounds like a great idea to me. Who's in?

(There's also a Facebook page, for those who book the face.)

How did this happen?
I have cycled daily for an hour's rolling time every day for the last week.

I have cycled over 20km every day for the last week.

Yesterday, I bought a membership at a health club. there's swimming and drop in fitness classes and weight machines and all that. Because When I think of winter, when I *can't* just hop on my bike and combine travel with exercise, I start *worrying* about how I'm going to manage my moods. They're looking for a Zumba instructor and they have 2-3 yoga classes a day. I'm excited about that.

Today, I found out the Bruce actually is a *really* good choice for a winter bike, and I should just get winter tires and wet grease for the chain and then replace the chain come spring, so I don't have to buy a "winter bike" before I buy a step-through dutch style commuter. I don't think i'll be an every day cyclist, but having the option is sure nice.

And guys while Workcycles and Pashleys are bloody brilliant, I think I want to buy another Kona.

this time, the AfricaBike3. I love the idea that they send one of these bikes to someone in Africa for every two they sell on retail. And that price? less than half the price of a Pashley. At that price I can afford a fancy Brooks Saddle (like on the other two bikes I linked.)

I'm physically active. How did this *happen?*

Origionally posted on and has comments there. comment here or there, as you like!

I rarely eat potatoes these days
but I really wanted some potato salad, darnit. And so I made some.

I took a 2lb bag of those little waxy potatoes. the tri-coloured ones were on sale, so I went with that. I cut them in half (I should have quartered them) and boiled them to fork tender and let them chill in the fridge.

Then I tossed them in a bowl and sliced up radishes into disks (1 bunch)
and I sliced up a cup of celery hearts
and I sliced the stalks on my anise bulbs, and chopped some of the green fronds
I had a jar of gherkin pickles, so I cut them in half and added them

I decided against hard boiled eggs, and I wasn't sure my eggs were good any more.

I tossed them and ground up some grains of paradise (pepper if you don't have it)
And added paprika (of course, it's potato salad)
And tossed with lemon juice

and then I added mayonnaise and grainy mustard, and chilled.

Salt to taste. Turned out really good! I really like the anise stalks. I accomplished the varying flavour thing I like so much.

Origionally posted on and has comments there. comment here or there, as you like!

what I ate today was an experiment
I didn't have any meat thawed.

two days ago I washed about 3/4 of a cup of red Quinoa and then cooked it in a can of coconut milk, then I put that in a fridge container for future use.

Today, I took a bulb of anise and sliced it into lengthwise flats, and put them in a pan with heated olive oil on the bottom. I ground some grains of paradise on top, then added a pinch of dried mint and their own fronds. I let the pieces get brown and then pulled them, adding half a dozen halved mushrooms, brown and white.

once they are all sweaty, I'm going to drop some chunks of red pepper in that, put the anise back in, and then add a scoop of the red quinoa.

i also thawed out some frozen butternut squash that I'm cooking in a couple of cubes of the chicken stock I made and froze. I sprinkled a little cinnamon on that. it'll go in last, I'll put a lid on it to warm up the quinoa. then I think I have some pecan halves, just for giggles.

Into a bowl it will go, and then i'll see if it's any good.

and it was all right. the squash was no good. no one flavor really stood out, and the flavors didn't marry. I think I'll carmelize the anise bulb I have left over and do some experiments with flavor combinations, and find out how to handle anise.

tomorrow the ground pork should be thawed. I'm thinking Un-burgers.

Origionally posted on and has comments there. comment here or there, as you like!

Something I want to note here
And it's not going to make a lot of sense.

But I read The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, and The Girl Who Played With Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest and I talked to my therapist about them today and we talked about how Lisbeth Salander is a survior of abuse who fits the resistance model - that she never ever broke to what her abusers wanted her to believe. I told her that she had to read these books because Lisbeth Salander is the first hero I've been able to identify with for years, and she's going to read them starting now, since she's on vacation for the next week.

But why do I love Lisbeth Salander? Because she always knew what was happening to her was wrong. She never doubted it for a minute. When the system collaborated with the agenda of abuse, she knew the system was wrong. And everything she does is natural and understandable if you look at the context of Lisbeth Salander's life. And she resisted it. Even when she could do nothing to help herself but stay silent. That these books are about that core of resistance, that unwavering commitment to Lisbeth being on her own side, that's a portayal of abuse survivor I've *never* seen before, and I love it to tiny bits.

And that led us to the idea that trying to look at a person isolated from the context of their lives is not useful. So often when someone is talking about depression or anxiety it's dissected from the politics of a person's life. And that led me to wondering if there was a way to help survivors of abuse who were currently living in abusive situations.

Here in Calgary, whenever anyone goes to get medical treatment they are asked if they are safe at home. It's the rules. It's supposed to help uncover high risk situations like abusive relationships. And I wondered out loud how many medical professionals realized that the question itself can be unsafe, and just assume that someone they've identified as living in an abusive situation has chosen not to follow up out of denial or whatever.

This might be a situation that doesn't make sense to someone living in a country where you don't have universal health services, but picture this.

A man goes to see a doctor about abdominal pain that discourages him from eating. The doctor asks the standard question about whether he's safe at home, and he blithely says yes, he is, but information from the visit prompts the doctor to ask about the man's wife, who is very patient with him, according to the man. A couple of questions crack open a situation of ongoing emotional abuse centering around criticism. The doctor suggests that the man and his wife talk to a counselor about how to solve problems together.

Once the man leaves, he never comes back, and the doctor never hears from him again.

A week later, a different doctor at a different walk-in clinic sees the same man, presenting the same symptoms.

He's going to see a new doctor because his wife thought the last one wasn't a good doctor who focused on irrelevant nonsense, and found a different clinic.

This has already happened a couple of times. Four months ago, the man had trouble sleeping. His wife demanded to know what he and the attending doctor talked about, and decided that they were all bad doctors who were just marking time and billing for it. The three doctors the man talked to all asked if the man was safe at home, and they all asked whether the man was having difficulties sleeping because he was worried about his wife being unhappy with him in various ways - not improving himself at work, not staying in shape, not stopping the annoying habits that bothered her so much.

What I'm trying to illustrate is how health workers encounter people who are living in abusive relationships, and how abusers remove their victims from support systems like health care workers even though it's mandated to ask about the patient's safety at home. That the question itself is unsafe to answer, a lot of the time. So if that question is unsafe, how can health workers find a way to help someone living in the context of abuse?

That's it. No grand conclusions and not a lot of logic. That's just what I wondered about.

Origionally posted on and has comments there. comment here or there, as you like!

Wow, it did work!

I just successfully posted an entry to DW and LJ using a tiny little linux app on my ubuntu machine. It's very minimal and doesn't include moods or tags but I don't have to screw around with WINE - Something I don't want to do just yet.

Anyway. I've not talked about this in my journal, but I bought a bike on the 1st of June and I love the hell out of it. I've often thought that I'd like to write about my experiences as a new cyclist, but naturally I censored myself because the first thing I think the problem tells me is "No one is interested in your bicycle riding nonsense."

But you know what, Madame Problem? You can fuck off. I am interested in my bicycle riding nonsense. And my bicycle riding nonsense is intersectional with other forms of nonsense I talk about, so there.

Readers, expect to hear about Joy in Every Cog. Thanks.

Origionally posted on and has comments there. comment here or there, as you like!

this is a test

I'm testing something to see if it will work.

Origionally posted on and has comments there. comment here or there, as you like!

I can get in
but it's still sketchy for a lot of people.

So i'm also at cpolk over on Dreamwidth.

if you are on dreamwidth, let me know over here or over there.

I'm not leaving LJ, but while the DDOS is going on I think we need to use lots of different ways to stay in touch, yesh?

So, um. Funny thing.
should post it here for my continuing talk about mental illness, which I do mostly under filter, and I also forwarded to my therapist.

Now this post isn't without context and continuity - it's a post that has a lot to do with a number of conversations I've had in a small collective of women who have come together to talk about depression, anxiety, and other things. It's maybe not what you would expect from a group therapy setting. We talk about a lot of different things.

Apparently we speak powerfully. We had a pair of students witnessing our collective meetings for six months - and at the end of it they told us that it changed their lives. We were amazed, and so pleased to hear that we'd had such an effect on them. It's universal in our experiences that the power structure and system of therapeutic conversations are an unequal power structure - the therapist holds all the power, while the patient is a supplicant. Therapists have nothing to learn from patients, that system says, but patients need the wisdom therapists give them. So hearing from our student witnesses that we overturned what they thought they knew about therapy, that they learned how to conduct therapeutic conversations from *us* - well that was astonishing. It was also wonderful.

Well last week our therapist wasn't at our collective meeting, but instead was at a conference in Vancouver. (we had a collective meeting together even though she was absent.) While our therapist was at a presentation put on by the organizer and the head of a narrative therapy school out west, she spoke up about something the presenter had said.

She told him that she was pleased that he had come right out and started talking about the voice behind depression - the one I talked about in my previous post. (it's unlocked now, so if you didn't see it you can, though the writing makes it obvious that I was talking to one person rather than to anyone who happened to be reading.) She mentioned us, and the things that we have said about depression's voice, and how we thought it was the "big Secret" of depression - something we didn't feel we could tell others about, and why we didn't tell anyone.

Well, that struck a chord with the presenter, the organizer of this conference.

And so he wants us to come to the conference next year, and teach therapists about our experience.

Stop. Look at that. We're not psychologists. We're not experts. We're the patients. They want us to come and teach psychologists and therapists about depression and anxiety, as experts. my mind is blown, it's totally blown.

We want to go. We all do. But we don't know how we'll actually do it, as we have to pay for our transportation, hotel, and food - as presenters I think we don't have to pay to attend the conference. People *I* have learned from through their articles and papers will be attending this conference. I would love to do this. But I don't know how I will pay for it all. I don't know if there are any grants I could apply for, or even who I could ask.

Off the top of my head without actually looking at any prices, I think it'll cost me about (I'm *guessing*) $2500. that's airfare, hotel, public transit, and feeding myself gluten free without being able to cook. hotel's a big expense. If I take the bus instead, that will save me a bit of money, and I might even be able to bring my bike, though that would be a luxury. but riding around vancouver in May sounds pretty amazing, even if the transit system there is really fantastic.

Well I just found out about this today. So of course I don't know how I'm going to manage it. But I want to.

Origionally posted on and has comments there. comment here or there, as you like!

a non-universal guide to how to help a person with depression that does not apply to everyone
MASSIVE SHARING AHEAD. I want to warn anyone reading this that I talk frankly about my depressed thought processes, and that they could might be probably are triggery. Please take care of yourself, and you’re the expert.

…I don’t really know how much I can say about living with non-situational, definitely chemical, definitely not ever going away depression without sounding crazy. But I’ll try.Collapse )

This is actually lifted from a reply I wrote on a different site. I decided that I should keep it, and also that I should share it here in case it has any value for someone else.

Origionally posted on and has comments there. comment here or there, as you like!

(no subject)
hey is there a client for managing your LJ photos that actually works for windows 7?

because I can't manage my photos that are not in a gallery and if I Tagged photos a certain way, it claims to have created a gallery, but you can't see it in the manage galleries list, and a friend who is experiencing the same problem just reminded me of this.

If there was a client that worked or a way to solve these two problems it would help a lot. Thanks!

(no subject)
I always used to daydream about being able to *buy* furniture for my home, you know, rather than getting this or that handed over to me for free because it wasn't needed any more. One the one hand, it's great - free furniture! But I have literally spent decades poring over the IKEA catalog, circling things I think I'd want in my own home, if I could buy them. Which I mostly could not. Decades of notebooks planning ideas for this or that, sketching plans that involved creative DiY projects to create a really cool space.

As the years went on i started hungrily consuming Apartment Therapy and their Small Cool contest - especially since I live in an apartment they'd characterize as Teeny-Tiny since I live in 340 square feet.

Well, now I *can* buy furniture for my home.

And I've been driving myself crazy trying to find a purple area rug.

It's not even really a necessity! It's just that I have a narrow portion of my room to serve as the living room, and I have this idea for two comfortable chairs facing each other with side tables and a way to put your feet up, and I want to define that space with an area rug. the space I'm working with is a little over 10 feet long and a bit under 5 feet wide, and I need to be able to get to the window.

So I'm envisioning a couple of POANG chairs, because they are wildly comfortable - They fit me exactly, so I get in one and tension I didn't know I had melts out of me and I am content to sit there and just relax. There was a more upholstered model that was wonderful, but they were just too darn big to fit in the space i'd had available - over four feet wide, over three feet deep.

I have terrible carpet. it's an extremely low loop thing, looks like high durability carpet, not a berber or anything, and it is darn near psychedelic in its awfulness. look here:

robot e howard

yeah. brown and what the hell is that colour, dead hay?

Anyway, a rug. and I like purple. so I want a purple rug.

OH MY GOD. Anyone who disparages interior decorating in my hearing is going to get HIT. And then I'm going to go tell them to find me a purple area rug. Bastards.

It's pages and pages and pages of BROWN RUGS. Brown espresso tobacco chocolate sienna. BROWN BROWN BROWN. ARGH. you want two colours on your rug? HOW ABOUT BEIGE? bisque cream ecru natural taupe. oh no, you want an actual colour? How about RED?

NO! Purple!

HAHAHAHAHA oh no you were serious? HAHAHAHAHAHA!


"Suspicious comments" and "Spam comments": LJ decision to 'block' spam i
Originally posted by heeroluva at "Suspicious comments" and "Spam comments": LJ decision to 'block' spam is a big FAIL!
So I've been noticing in both my own journal and communities that I haven't been able to see some comments even thought it says there are more comments there than are actually showing up. Instead I'm getting a place holder that says (Spam comment) or (Suspicious comment).

Why are these showing up like this you may ask? In their rush to fight spam LJ has created a new filter that're AUTOMATICALLY TURNED ON in ALL journals and communities, which screens comments that are made with 'suspicious links' ie links that are not on their safe whitelist, so pretty much the majority of the internet. There is no noted way to add to the 'whitelist'.

What really gets me is that they didn't inform people that they were doing this until a week after it was done and that it was automatically turned on.

So how do I turn it off you might ask.

That's simple. Go to your Settings, click on the Privacy tab, and half way down where it says Spam Protection uncheck the box next to "Comments containing a link to a non-whitelisted domain will be marked as spam and moved to a special section." This applies to both personal journal and communities and the opinion has to be manually changed in each one.

While I understand how this could be a good idea, I think they went about it in a very backhanded way, and have implemented it poorly. There was no message to anyone that the link has been screened. It's automatically done. This went on for over a week before they said anything about it. There is still nothing in the FAQs about it even. The only way I found out about this way going through the support pages where people were reporting similar issues.

Please share this!

ETA: This links really illustrates the problems.

Almond butter cookies

1 cup almond butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup ground almond meal
1 tbsp ground flax meal
1 teaspoon Chai spice mix
1/2 teaspoon salt (only add this if your almond butter doesn't have any salt added)
1 egg

mix together almond meal, flax meal, salt and spice mix. blend in sugar. mix in the egg and almond butter.

roll 2 teaspoons of cookie dought and flatten, place on cookie sheet lined with baking parchment.

bake in 350 oven for 10 minutes. pull them out even if they don't look done.

Eat some warm, you owe it to yourself.

you could make a blend of ground cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, powdered ginger, and black pepper if you don't want to buy a specialty blend from the spice house.

This recipe is gluten-free.

Origionally posted on and has comment count unavailable comments there. comment here or there, as you like!

(no subject)
I said I would, and I did. The socks are done. I should probably get a picture.

And then figure out what to cast on for my next socks. I have a design in mind, but maybe I just want to do a mindless stockinette sock. I've never made a just plain stockinette sock.

Also. I made french onion soup. I chopped up three onions, melted 3/8 cup of butter on very low heat, dumped the onions in and cooked them at low heat until they were smelling irresistably sweet, all the sharpness gone, and they were golden in colour. it took about an hour to do.

then I sprinkled a bit of tapioca starch on them instead of flour, stirred them around, and added a splash of red wine and beef broth, unfortunately not a low sodium one. a couple shakes of pepper, and I let it simmer.

It is delicious, and intense. I wonder if I should dilute it with more broth, but instead I put the leftovers in the freezer, and it will be a base for slow-cooked beef in the coming days...i have some stewing beef in the freezer and some excellent carrots. In the old days I would have made a loaf of bread to go with it. What do gluten free eaters eat with their stew, anyway?

I've imported all my journal entries from this journal to dreamwidth. No, I'm not leaving LJ, perish the thought. I was just reminded that I really want this stuff archived somewhere.

...I'm also importing the entries from my other journals to my cpolk dreamwidth account. so the WIP Biting the Sun Fanfic and the WIP alternate seventh year epistolary Harry potter that owes a lot to Les Liaisons dangereuses will be archived here in this journal as well. since most of those entries are years old, they won't do anything too too weird to the continuity of the journal, but i'll have to go through and edit the entries to chain to each other and clean up my use of tags to make it possible for readers to find the stuff if they want to read it here on DW.

Is there a smart way to revise your tagging system and update your old posts to reflect the changes? or anything else I should know before I embark on this task? it won't be for a few days, since the import queue is quite long.

Origionally posted on and has comment count unavailable comments there. comment here or there, as you like!

(no subject)

I cast them on in NOVEMBER. I'm finishing this stupid 1x1 tbl cuff and the garters.


Since I bought some koigu at the yarn store today, even though I h ave more than enough stash for the next six months.

Origionally posted on and has comment count unavailable comments there. comment here or there, as you like!

Creator's Anxiety. I have it.
So i bought two amazing skeins of this yarn from a dyer who lives in Whistler BC, and I had it in mind for a little cardigan. something that would be pretty wearable for me, in a land where you can't ever guarantee that it's going to be hot out, a land where the wind always blows and the nights cool off drastically. Since I almost have Those Damn Green Socks off the needles, I've been doing the knitter's equivalent of sketching, experimenting with construction techniques, thinking about how I'm going to construct the sweater around the most complicated parts - neck, yoke, and armscye, with an occasional panicked thought toward bust shaping and waist shaping - since I'm obsessed with tailored fit. But i hate seams! *whine*

Oh, did I mention that all of this is going to be done while knitting a ribbed lace pattern? Yeah. I come up with these ideas. It's *so ambitious.* I don't know what I was thinking, deciding that I was going to knit such a thing, much less come up with the construction technique on my own. I've looked on Ravelry for advice and patterns that do what I'm wanting to do with this sweater, and I can't find one. So now I'm worried that I've gone and over-innovated.

But it's only yarn. I can frog it and start over.

But first I'm going to knit myself a saddle shoulder and armscye, and then turn around and set a sleeve in, and see if i like how it looks. Because I'm not ready to start just yet.

P.S. None of you told me about Professor Elemental! YOU'RE ALL FIRED. Except defiler_wyrm.

This might be a recipe. I'm not sure. Is it?
Rose-scented mint lemonade

So I took a jug capable of holding a liter of liquid, and I filled it about three quarters full of water. I used water I'd filtered through a brita, but you can use any drinkable water you like.

then I measured out a third of a cup of sugar. I might try a quarter of a cup for the next batch, actually, just to see. I put that sugar in a saucepan, and then I added an equal measure of water and set it on medium heat.

so while that was heating, I juiced two lemons. I think it was about a third of a cup of lemon juice, if you don't have lemons handy. I added that lemon juice to my jug, and then I poured out about 1/4 of a teaspoon of rose water, just a tiny bit into the jug.

Then I took about ten fresh min leaves and rolled them up into a little tube, and chopped them into strips, and added those to the water too.

byt this time the pot was boiling, so I gave it a stir to make sure all the sugar was dissolved, and then that went into the jug.

I gave it a quick stir and then chilled it in the fridge for three hours.

SO DELICIOUS. I think that I might try lavender flowers in lemonade in another batch. I'm going to keep lemons in my fridge forever now. because if I can't think of anything else to do with them, there is lemonade.

No, Mister Cardone, it's actually not bullshit.

"Gluten free is bullshit!! Flour and bread have been a staple of life for thousands, THOUSANDS of years. People who claim to be gluten intolorent[sic] dont[sic] realize that its[sic] all in there[sic] disturbed liitle[sic] heads. People ask me for gluten free pasta in my restaurant all the time, I tell em sure, Then I serve serve em our pasta, Which I make from scratch with high gluten flour. And you know what? nothing, NOTHING! ever happens! People leave talking about how good they feel gluten free and guess what, They just had a full dose! Idiots!"

Very Bad Language All Up In This CutCollapse )
Thank you, have a nice day

Some advice, please
After i'm done with this testing, no matter what the result, I'm going back to a gluten free diet. I cannot believe how terrible I feel eating wheat. I don't *care* about fresh baked bread any more. I could whine to you for an hour about how *awful* a continuous glutening has been for the last month - I actually went on a revolt this weekend and made gluten free cookies and I just finished eating a fried noodle dish made from cellophane noodles that didn't have any gluten in it, though I have a grilled cheese sandwich scheduled for later tonight.

But once i am *done* with the testing, I'm sticking to gluten free, and there's a couple of things that would make that much easier:

A damn good blender and a good food processor. I have never owned even a terrible version of either.

What do you recommend, f-list? I want to make smoothies (so I'll be chopping ice and or frozen fruit) and nut butters. I'm a skilled cook, I deserve good small appliances! what do you caution me against buying? even though this is a treat and a splurge, my dollar value can't go too high. The food processor doesn't have to be a large one, and probably shouldn't, as I am a solo cook.

(no subject)
Somebody just knocked on the door to my apartment (my ACTUAL apartment, the very door to my suite) and refused to respond when I asked them to identify themselves - their only response was to knock again. They did this three times, and I think they went away - it's been nearly an hour and no knock.

I was terrified. I had to take an ativan. I still feel shaky.

If you have a friend who lives in an apartment building with an intercom system and video monitoring set up so residents can visually verify your identity before buzzing you inside - Don't circumvent that. Use the intercom. Identify yourself. Let them see you on video.

Let them know who it is knocking on the door of their home before you get there.

(no subject)
I am suddenly curious:

I have a "brown betty" teapot. I usually boil about 1L of water for a pot of tea. If I am using loose leaf black tea (an Assam leaf this time, but I will probably have a variety if india teas one day) how much tea *should* I be using in the pot? I like a strong brew, and often I will add spices to my tea to make chai.

i'm wondering if I'm using too many leaves.

Also, I want a tea cosy. I have a front loading washer. I'm not sure it'll felt. sulk.

Knitting is just like everything else

I am consumed by a burning desire to knit this sweater.

But not in orange. That's not a colour I would wear. I can afford yarn from Knit picks - they have a yarn that is specifically for fair isle and stranded colourwork in a pleasing variety of colours.

It's vey inexpensive, and it is apparently scratchy and woolly and other such complaints for people who prefer very very smooth merino and the like. Well I can't fault them that, I like a nice soft wool myself, but this is stranded colourwork and steeking and hairy woolly yarn is good for this sort of thing.

defiler_wyrm says a pale green - edamame would be a good choice. and that definitely is a me colour - a green with warm undertones. but i have been desirous of sky blue yarn for over a year now, and they have a lovely example. arcadiax can probably attest to me gazing longingly at the colour in various yarn stores.

But look at that PRICE, folks. I can buy the yarn for that sweater design for about 20 dollars. I could buy the yarn for a second sweater in sky blue yarn. though I'm a warm toned person and sky blue is not a warm-toned colour. I am committing complexion folly if I give in to this blue sky desire.

But perhaps there is a solution. I could find a stranded colourwork sweater that needs a lot of colours, and I could include that pretty sky blue, and arrange things so more flattering colours are near my face and hands. Then I could stop sighing at sky blue every time I see it.

I just don't know what I would knit, and I want to order the yarn for my sweater NOW NOW NOW so I either need to find a second sweater design for stranded work that I like or do another order later.

i made a sweater.

and that turns out to be a rather good portrait, too.

I set the camera on a timer, flopped into my chair, and smirked. Done.

alfredo Sauce
I'm having a bit of a dietary temper tantrum at the moment.

While i'm still sticking to gluten-free, my body is craving carbs. since I just went through two days of fever, I said what the hell and made some rice pasta. once it was done I buttered it and dropped it in a bowl, then added another slice of butter to the pan, then added a good healthy teaspoon of minced garlic, and let the garlic cook just a tiny bit in that. once it smelled perfect, I added a teaspoon of rice flour, blended that in, and took it off the heat, to line the bottom of the pan with whipping cream. a good stir, add some pepper, back on the heat - oh very thick, more cream. there, better.

then the small mound of Parmesan cheese I grated, along with just a little whisper of nutmeg, because I seemed to recall nutmeg in such a sauce. stirred, it melted, I dumped the pasta back in, and stirred, and then back in the bowl.

salt to taste. Eat, and enjoy enormously.

low carb, I would enjoy this over some baked fish. salmon, probably. with asparaguses. nummy. thinking about it I think I would add some sundried tomatoes, minced fine from being packed in oil to this sauce, and then some capers to go with the salmon. ooh, that's sounding pretty good. but I only have smoked salmon at the moment. oh cry me a river, right?

This is not a recipe.
It's just what I ate today.

So I got my shipment from spud and the weekend after a shipment i tend to make some really awesome stuff that revolves around the fresh produce that I get.

This time I had just over a pound of ground beef to eat, and a picture on arcadiax blog of a bunless burger made me sit up and go, "yes, that."

So I sliced up a red onion and let it slowly cook/caramelize in a skillet with some olive oil, while I sliced 500g of mushrooms quite fine, but I only sauteed about half of them, once the onions were done. I dropped a dash of marjoram on the mushrooms when they were nearly done, but otherwise left them unspiced.

Then I attended to my pound of ground beef. I used a generous amount of dill weed on them, and some pepper and onion powder and garlic powder, then i squooshed an egg through, then i added about two tablespoons of pine nuts I had pulsed *very* briefly in a cup with my stick blender. this made a lovely mix, which I then measured out in approx 1 tbsp measures and flattened into teeny patties.

once the mushrooms were done I got the beef on, and then diced up a nice tomato. The avocadoes are still quite green so I put one in a paper bag on the counter to eat another day. then I took an entire head of butter lettuce and washed each leaf, patted them on a towel, and piled them up.

I forgot about cheese, I totally forgot. cheese would have been good. but I can explain. once i got all that ready to go i grabbed a lettuce leaf, put a couple sauteed onions on it, and a couple mushrooms, and a bit of tomato, and then thought, "would olive pate be good on these?" and dug the olive pate out of the fridge and added some and a little cooked medallion of dill and pine nut beef and had a bite--

and ate nine of them standing at the stove cooking the other 18 little patties. OM NOM NOM NOM. it was a haze, I'm telling you. and then thought, "I'm full" and then thought, "oh drat I forgot cheese" and then thought, "I should have cooked more mushrooms."

and then I thought, you know, This would be good with

ground lamb, or chicken or turkey or pork. I could see doing it with nature's burger mix (I used to love that stuff back when I didn't know i couldn't eat it.) but spicy cooked beans or lentils. if you know how to cook tofu (I don't.) crab or lobster bits. scrambled egg. Bacon. bratwurst. fajita style fillings. grilled eggplant. artichoke hearts.

I think this is how lettuce and I are going to learn to get along. I'm not a big salad fan. I rarely eat salad, but I really should be eating more green and leafy. but as an alternative to the tortilla wrap or rice wrappers or bread, i think that's a good way to eat more lettuce. The way I did them today? I think they'd be a good meal for atkins or south beach.

I wonder when I'll actually manage to eat them off a plate instead of hovering over the frying pan scarfing them down.

It's not saucydwellings in here, but
david & bricks
I can't stop admiring my wall of waist-high bookshelves. It really makes that wall look deliberate, and not the jumble of things that was there before. It's not a solid wall to wall arrangement, but the additional shelf made a real difference.

It will need decorative things on top of it. I'm thinking glass. like vases. or plants, or - well i dunno. but decorative things. and perhaps some wall decoration too.

I really should have put that shelf together earlier. it looks so much more put together.

i have my butterflies up on the opposite wall, and that makes me happy.

i'll be spending a few more days working on this space. I'm already really pleased with the changes, though.

I generally think I'm pretty femme, but you can't tell by this meme.
marydell did this meme, and so i'm doing this meme too.

a survey about what beauty products I use and stuffCollapse )

I am staving off scurvy.
Hail Eris
so I have rinsed 1/4 cup red quinoa, and that's cooking.

i've also thawed out some frozen shrimp with jerk seasoning blend sprinkled liberally on them.

I've also halved some crimini and white mushrooms.

i've also peeled a mango and cut it up into chunks and liberally drizzled it with the squeezed flesh of a lime.

I also have half a dized onion stored in the fridge.

when the quinoa is nearly done, I'm going to melt a tablespoon or so of coconut oil, and drop the onion in it, and not long after, the shrimp. after a minute of that I will add the mushrooms. and then when they are sweating and the shrimps are pink i'm going to dump in the mangoes and all the lime juice they are in, and stir briskly, then toss with red quinoa and dump it in a bowl.

I'm anticipating yummies.

I have also joined twitter. I'm clpolk. and I warn you now, I will invite you to do something terribly intellectual on echo bazaar if you follow me and are also a denizen of Fallen London. just so you know.

Important things I learned cooking dinner this Christmas.
Hail Eris
1. It's good to plan these things.

I really think I hit success because I outlined what I wanted beforehand, created a structure, and filled in the gaps. I knew what to expect, what I needed, what to buy. because I looked at cooking times I have things timed very well, too.

2. Planning a holiday meal without mushrooms is FOOLISH.

Squash took a holiday, mushrooms stepped up to help my quinoa experiment along. Really. I planned a meal with no mushrooms. LoL.

3. Eggnog is incredibly easy to make and I should have done it a long time ago.

I took two fresh eggs and cracked them into my eggnog serving jug. I cut up about half an inch of vanilla bean into fine flakes. I whirred this with my stick blender until it was frothy. I added two tablespoons of brown sugar, and whirred while i slowly poured in a cup and a half of fresh whole milk. Whirr, Whirr. then i grated a nutmeg until I had enough that I could cover a nickel with it, in it went, quick whirr to blend.

I put it in the fridge for three hours to chill.

I was then astounded at how AMAZING IT IS.

4. Quinoa is a keeper.

I'd never tasted Quinoa before, and what better day than Christmas to test out a completely untried recipe? I'll need a mesh strainer to continue cooking this as you need to rinse the quinoa before you cook it. it cooks up just like rice - 1 part quinoa to 2 parts liquid, bring to boil and then simmer covered until liquid is absorbed.

while it's coming to a boil, halve a small handful of fresh cranberries, and rinse them to banish the seeds. leave the cranberries in a dish covered in maple syrup. well, not completely covered, you know what I mean. get some maple syrup in there. now halve some mushrooms. I used white and crimini. leave that until the quinoa is nearly done. when it is nearly done, melt butter in your sautee pan. BUTTER. you have maple syrup, don't use olive oil, that's madness. if you're vegan, go with coconut oil instead. sautee your mushrooms and sprinkle good pepper over them until they're starting to sweat. sprinkle a bit of basil over the mushrooms. now invite the cranberries to join the party, maple syrup and all. smell that! you made that! now add your pecan halves, stir it, keep stirring. spoon in some quinoa, keep stirring till its tossed. serve immediately. have sea salt on the table.

THIS WAS THE STAR OF THE SHOW, FOLKS. It is complex, contrasty, textured, interesting, but not dense. mushrooms sauteed in butter with basil is familiar. the Quinoa sucks up the maple, has its own chewy-ness, the je ne sans quoi of a new to me grain. the pecan is a distinct treat. but the tart intensity of the fresh cranberry attacking maple's sweetness raises eyebrows and makes expressions come alive. put a little extra on your plate if you have foraging competition - this dish is disappearing. I don't know if it would have been half so good with squash, to be honest.

and best of all, defiler_wyrm - NO ONIONS.

5. Brussels Sprouts are okay.

but while my roasted sprouts dish was miles ahead of over boiled soggy sprouts, and I played with that sweetness and tartness, i think that the taste of cabbage just isn't my thing, and I have no regrets.

6. I know how to put a spice rub on a prime rib, bygod.

but oven roasting a steak was a stunt and I wound up with a very tasty well done version, but my heart belongs to medium rare. I might try it again but pull it out the moment the outsides are browned and let it rest on the counter while I finish up.

I grinned and said oh, YES! when I read this quote.
"I had a boyfriend who told me I’d never succeed, never be nominated for a Grammy, never have a hit song, and that he hoped I’d fail. I said to him, ‘Someday, when we’re not together, you won’t be able to order a cup of coffee at the fucking deli without hearing or seeing me."

Lady Gaga.

I hear this song and I expect Trent Reznor to start singing any second.

I think I miss Nine Inch Nails.

Cooking for One
I've shared some of the things I've been cooking lately, but I realized that some of you may not know that I'm cooking for one.

I live alone, so I'm not feeding a houseful (I have, in the past.) A lot of the time, recipes simply aren't designed to serve one person. They assume you're feeding four people, and so it can be difficult at times to feel compatible with a given recipe. standuponit rarely experiences that problem. But I do, and perhaps there are readers who are cooking for two, or cooking for one, and

  • feel like it's a lot of fuss and waste to get fancy for one person

  • hate eating the same thing for days on end

  • have limited time to be putting home-cooked on the table

  • don't have the budget to get extravagant with meals

I've felt most of those (I have a lot of free time on my hands, though.) but this fall I've been doing a lot of cooking and I've noticed that I've developed some habits and practices that address a lot of these problems.

what follows is a lengthy explanation for a handful of tips for solo foodies.Collapse )

I started doing more cooking because I need to avoid gluten, and cooking things myself is one of the things I need to do because I have an autoimmune disease that reacts to one of the most common foods on the planet, but that necessity has developed into a pleasure. I love good food and I enjoy cooking and I like the self-nurturing that comes of taking this kind of care with feeding myself.
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What's Cooking at Chez Chels, Dec 25

Fresh Pressed Orange Juice
Starbucks House Blend with Demerra Sugar and Heavy Cream
Greek Yogurt with Honey
Fresh Chilean Blueberries
Honey Nuts and Seeds Granola - Home cooked


Wild-caught Smoked Sockeye Salmon with Capers and Cream Cheese
Carrot Soup with Ginger
Kiwi and Mandarin oranges
Elderflower Presse


Red Quinoa with Butternut Squash, Cranberries, and Pecans
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pears and Thyme
Roast Prime Rib, Traditional

Gluten free shortbread cookies
Peanut butter Buckeyes
Starbucks House Blend with Demerra Sugar and Heavy Cream

Dining guests with screwdrivers and electric drills seriously considered seriously, otherwise we won't have a bloody table to eat on.

The most important Question of 2010
Is feedly brilliant, or just awesome?

LJ has never been a really satisfactory choice for my RSS feed reading, but I do use it. But feedly really really rocks my socks. I've been going hog mad remembering all the blogs I should visit more often but don't because I don't have a simple way to consolidate them.

Dear god people, I have crockpot365, apartment therapy, Hel-Looks and Ikea Hackers on the same page. This ROCKS SO HARD.

Just a quick note to myself

The next time you're in Sunterra Market, looking at that bag of Quinoa?

It's three bucks. Buy it, already.