Sep. 17th, 2018


Salt and Pepper Fest 2019!

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Sep. 11th, 2018


Unicorn Chasers

Because it's That Time Of The Year (the anniversary of The Day Everything Went Pear-Shaped Back In 2001) and a lot of people, whether they're aware of it or not, are probably feeling niggly, bad-tempered, and finding their brains are finding them a lot of things to get miserable about for some reason, I figure I'll do a short post of Unicorn Chasers - the sorts of things on the internet that can cheer you up.

My current one is the series Under The Wing of A Nibel Dragon by Gothams_Only_Wolf over on AO3. This is a gorgeous series which is set approximately 15 years before the start of standard Final Fantasy VII canon, where an 11 year old Sephiroth gets what is turning out to be the best fix-it in the history of the fandom. It contains a five-year-old Cloud Strife who is as cute as a button, a Vincent Valentine who wakes up fifteen years early, and a lot of other characters, some new, some recognisable.

Waiting for the Great Leap Forward is another thing I've been using to deal with my current case of the crankies. Mostly for the line about "Dr Robert Oppenheimer's optimism fell at the first hurdle" - this is a wonderful song about what it feels like to be down here at the sharp end of life, rather than up at the top where the decisions are made. Billy Bragg gets it, I think.

I will also recommend Scandinavia and the World which is a beautiful comic by Humon, full of mostly kind-hearted humour about the ways that various countries are perceived to behave, both internally and externally. Humon is a Dane, who has lived in England for a while, and a lot of the comics focus on the interplay between Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland, but there's also visits by a lot of other nations as well.

So, what does everyone else use as a unicorn chaser? Share some links in the comments!

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Sep. 9th, 2018


Five Things Make A Post 09 SEP 2018

1) Today has been a very pleasant sunny interlude in the middle of two rather damp and soggy weeks. I've even managed to get the last of the laundry from last week dried. Which is good, because I'm going to need the rack again tomorrow, when it's due to rain again (100% chance of showers, according to the Bureau).

2) I was also able to use today's warmer, drier weather as an excuse to air out the house, which had been starting to get just a tad musty as a result of about three months straight of having all the doors and windows as shut as they can manage to try and keep the weather outside.

3) Still keeping up with my readings and such for university. This week's endeavour is going to be writing a 1000 word essay comparing two articles in terms of critique and evaluation for one of my units (due Friday midnight). The trick there, I think, will be writing down everything I can come up with, and then editing this down to 1000 words. Basically, it's four paragraphs. If that (surely they could have given us a bit more word count?).

4) I realise I am definitely betraying my mature-age-student-ness in the above point. I am also not ashamed.

5) I don't have anything to fit here.

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Sep. 6th, 2018


Meg Reviews Recipes: Cornflake Honey Slice

Source: The Australian Women's Weekly Cakes and Slices Cookbook, ISBN 978-1-74245-497-9, (c) Bauer Media Limited 1987, Special Collectors Edition, reprinted 2014. p116.

This is a very easy slice to make. It consists of six ingredients - four dry ingredients which you measure into a bowl and combine, plus butter and honey. You melt the butter, mix in the honey, then pour the combined butter and honey mixture over the dry ingredients, stir to combine, drop the whole lot into a lamington tray (or other low-sided flat tray) and bake in a 180C oven for twenty minutes. Then leave it to sit for fifteen minutes before chopping it into slice-sized pieces, and letting it cool in the tin.

This is definitely a slice you could get young school-age kids to help cook - most of the work involved is in measuring the ingredients, and the recipe itself is a pretty forgiving one, so a few grams over or under isn't going to destroy anything. You'd have to supervise them with melting the butter, and possibly with stirring in the honey to the melted butter, as well as the business of getting things in and out of the oven, but other than that, you could pretty much get a five or six year old to do most of the work involved in this slice, and they'd have something they could say they cooked at the end of it. Which is always a good way of getting kids started with cooking.

The slice smells gorgeous while cooking (I'm drooling as I write this while it bakes...), and comes out a nice golden-brown. Chopping it up is fairly straightforward, although I think the next time I make this, I'm going to line my lamington tray with a bit of baking paper, since I foresee a slightly difficult time getting some bits away from the edges without breakages (the recipe says to grease the tray; I'm lazy and don't like scrubbing things, so I'll line it next time). The book gives a keeping time of one week, but I suspect this is the minimum keeping time in the Women's Weekly test kitchen, where they're all burned out on baked goods (in a household with small children or people with a bit of a sweet tooth, it probably won't last even that long!).

One thing to be aware of: if you don't line the tray, you're going to have to grease it very generously, or be willing to spend a bit of time levering the finished and cooled slice out of it (I wound up using a dinner knife rather than a spatula to lever things out, and had to re-cut a lot of it). This slice shatters easily, so I suspect even if you do line your tray and lift everything out easily, you're still going to be left with about a cup or so of crispy shattered remains when it comes to cutting things up. Mind you, those could possibly be used as a sort of praline topping on ice-cream or something like that, if you're fanatic about avoiding waste.

The finished product is crisp, crunchy, and sweet. There's a slight taste of honey, but mostly it's just sweetness and toasted cereal/coconut flavours to be had. Very pleasant overall, and as I said, easy to make, with the hardest bit being removing it from the tray at the end of proceedings (something which is probably easy to avoid with a bit of baking paper). I'll probably be making this one again, possibly with a few variants on the honey and the type of sugar (I'm interested to see what a variant made with golden syrup or brown sugar might turn out like).

Difficulty: 0.2 out of 5 - as above, this could largely be mixed up by a six-year-old with minor adult assistance.
Spoons/Fuss and Bother: 0.5 out of 5. Very little standing involved - just while the butter is melting; everything else can be done seated at the kitchen table if necessary. The mixture is very easy to mix up - all the ingredients are very light-weight, so arm and shoulder strength issues would only be of significance if you're having trouble with 200g - 500g weights. Some standing and arm strength issues might come into play with chopping up the slice, but I suspect those could mostly be overcome by cutting up the slice after giving it a shorter cooling time, and as mentioned above, lining the pan first.
Overall: 5 out of 5, mostly for ease of preparation and satisfactory final result.
Considerations: Contains butter and honey, so vegans won't be particularly keen on it (although if you substitute in a vegetable margarine and golden syrup, you'd have something vegans can consume). Main ingredients are cornflakes and rolled oats, which may or may not be suitable for people with gluten sensitivities depending on the brands you purchase; other major ingredients are coconut and sugar. Do not live solely on a diet of this, your dentist will hate you. Couldn't say how it would work out with regards to kosher or halal considerations, but I think it should be okay for those (if anyone wants to let me know otherwise, please, do feel free! I'm well aware I'm not fully up on the subtleties of either of these).

ETA 07 SEP 2018: I've been informed by the lovely [profile] princesskessie that rolled oats are NOT considered gluten free in Australia (see her comment below). She suggests quinona flakes, sorghum flakes, millet flakes or rice flakes as reasonable substitutes.

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Sep. 4th, 2018


Swap claiming is open!

If you're interested in creating some Snarry for the holiday season this year, check out the Secret Snarry Swap prompt list and sign-up!

Also, I really should have done this before but the BBTP master list from this year is up. You can see all the fantastic entries in a bunch of different fandoms on either DW or IJ.

June 2018



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