cimorene: (distance)
My favorite way to eat pasta is with some form of pesto sauce but my second favorite way (because tomato sauces sometimes don't agree with me and artichoke sauces take a bit more prep) is: Read more... )
cimorene: A vintage nouveau illustration of a reclining woman embracing the enormous head of a dragon (cuddle time)
I was there with six female classmates, our teacher and the school's dapper little vice president, and our Finnish co-participants from two other community colleges elsewhere in Finland from our collaborative anti-racism project.

The ranting about the wasteful, stupid scheduling and the misleading advertisement of the trip )

We were given our freedom at dinnertime Tuesday and Wednesday, from 2-7pm Thursday, and up until 1:30 on Friday, so I think that by visiting Christiania and one museum we actually did pretty well. Stuff happened:

  • Had vegan food from a homecooking potluck restaurant thingy place in the hippie independent region Christiania on Thursday afternoon. My graphic designer classmate and I both wanted to go there, and several of our other friends tagged along, but two of them got scared because they had somehow failed to grasp from our numerous explanations in advance that there would be a lot of pot and hippies, which are apparently ~super scary~ things. The food was delicious.

  • Saw the Little Mermaid statue.

  • Visited the Danish National Museum on Thursday. Wandered around inside by myself and was really impressed by the Danish history part. There's a room full of enormous Viking runestones and a lot of other archaeological things going back to Denmark's prehistory - Viking longships and human sacrifices and now-extinct animal species from a bog, weapons and armor and coins and a ton of stuff from medieval churches, an awesome statue of St George and the dragon where the dragon is making a hilarious face. Also saw a couple of temporary exhibits which were cool. Then I went to the "ethnographic" wing - not on purpose, because I expected it to be enraging just from the name, but I kinda got lost, and it was. Also a bit smelly and a lot of stuff severely poorly labeled. I get the feeling there may have been some budget cutbacks in the museum, and the Danish history part is really the only part that's been safe.

  • Was severely underwhelmed by the hostel (Generator, a chain). Our 6-person room was very small; my mattress & duvet had suspicious stains. There was a faint smell. There was NO SOAP. The reception desk, which is staffed by young foreigners from all over whom I STRONGLY suspect are underpaid, sells things like toothpaste and soap for an extremely steep price. They also rent hairdryers for an extremely steep price. They also don't rent hot water kettles, but offered to SELL us hot water, one cup at a time, from their bar, at a cost of 5kr, around 66 cents in €. The bar is open all night and there's a terrace attached which was under our window, and it produced wall-rattling horrible eurodance music and really loud conversation all day and all evening till quite late.

  • Surprise hookah bar + nobody expects the surprise butthurt racists! )

  • Went to bed in single-sex hostel room with my classmates. Woke up with a strange man in the empty bed that we had in fact already pre-paid for. In conclusion, what the fuck, Generator hostels? This is some potentially dangerous, definitely illegal, highly sketchy, extremely fucking stupid bullshit. )

  • After that I went to Designmuseum Denmark with my Mexican classmate. It was amaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaazing. I am now a big fan of Danish modernist designer Hans J. Wegner, whose life's ambition was to design "just one good chair".

All my photoposts from my photoblog:

Copenhagen, part 1: city streets
Copenhagen, part 2: The Little Mermaid & architectural details
Copenhagen, part 3: Danish National Museum
Copenhagen, part 4: Designmuseum Denmark and Hans J Wegner, "Just One Good Chair"
Bonus: lion selfie in the park
Gates of Christiania
people & VW vans

cimorene: a pink polka-dotted teacup on pink ground (tea cup)
Recipe courtesy of my crunchy aunt Jenny

1 cup (2.4 deciliters) sunflower seeds: hulled, soaked 2 hrs., rinsed, then sprouted (0-18 hrs)
1 cup (2.4 dl) walnut halves/pieces, soaked 4 hrs., rinsed, & sprouted (0-8 hrs)
juice of 1 lemon
4 cloves garlic
~1/8 large onion
3-4 Tablespoons miso paste, or to taste
1 cup (2.4 dl) water

Chop garlic & onion in a food processor. Add walnuts and chop coarsely. Combine miso and water. Add miso/water and all other ingredients to the food processor and blend until smooth.

Serve with vegetables, crackers or bread, in spring or nori rolls, for stuffing peppers or mushrooms, etc.
cimorene: (stfu)
Yet another thought that I only realized after the fact was too long for Twitter

(3:04) Posting on DW feels so weird and artificial when I'm used to Twitter and Tumblr.

(3:05) It feels like making an Event out of what seems like just more of the same disconnected babble that is always in my head.

(3:06) Like in order to qualify for a Blog Entry, it should be a position piece, or a reminiscence, not just 20x too long for Twitter.

(3:06) But I can't start posting these things on Tumblr, because Tumblr is like 98:2 noise: signal and the tagging system is shit.

(3:07) ... Not to mention the COMMENTING system, geez. I am not comfortable having personal interactions or conversations there. Awkward & weird.

These tweets on Storify

The gap between Twitter, Tumblr, and DW is long stuff that doesn't seem all that important but which you nonetheless might want comments on and/or would like indexed and taggable.


Dreamwidth's (or rather, LJ-style) calendar-based archive browsing, the ability to bundle and rename tags and to label memories, and the nested commenting and notification/tracking features on DW are too useful to me as a blog owner to just abandon.

And for fandom purposes, LJ-style comment pages, notification and tracking features, and the community concept are similarly indispensible, until we get another good non-instantaneous mailing list/messageboard substitue.

But the filtering functionality you can get on Tumblr with Xkit or even just Tumblr savior, not to mention the ease of posting and embedding media and the reblog+comment concept, are still irresistable - and that doesn't even touch on the ability to search and browse across the site by tags, which is a huge boon to fandom.

What would the ideal solution have to look like, anyway? What do I even want? )
cimorene: (crack)
... the shelf in our dish-drying cabinet spontaneously collapsed last week, sending the stoneware inside of my BRAND-NEW, ONLY USED ONCE slow cooker to fall on the edge of the sink and shatter, breaking several other pieces of crockery.

via MarlaneDesign

(The over-sink dish-drying cabinet is a universal Finnish convenience found in 100% of Finnish kitchens and kitchenettes that I have seen, and also a completely brilliant innovation which is incredibly useful even for dishwasher-having households. Unlike most amazing Finnish innovations, this one hasn't caught on much internationally - even the Swedes haven't picked it up, although an Estonian friend informed me it had been almost universally adopted there.

Ours, however, is ancient and the shelf supports of very low quality. This isn't even the first time one of the shelves has done this, just the most expensive one.)

Hopefully we can buy a new inside for the crock pot, but I've been busy since then as well as depressed by the event.


I hate this kitchen.

In other culinary news, I'm now eating nothing made with milk or milk-derivatives including yogurt and cheese (except pizza), although I haven't given up (lactose-free) butter for baking and (lactose-free, partially) butter spread for sandwiches. As a result, I now

  • keep paying 5€ for lunch like everyone else, but being forced to eat a SERIOUSLY shitty salad [INGREDIENTS: iceberg lettuce, sparse out-of-season cucumber and tomato chunks; topping: oil and vinegar that isn't even balsamic] because the vegetarian option's main ingredient at the school restaurant is cheese, or, to add insult to injury, the veggie option is literally ROOT VEGETABLE PUREE SOUP which is basically baby food, one of my favorite dishes and extremely easy to make without anything animal-related whatsoever, but Finnish people just love to fill it up with milk for NO REASON.

  • can smell that things were made with milk. I was never able to do that before. I don't have the greatest nose, obviously, but it was a surprise.

  • know that coconut milk over granola is actually pretty good, but the texture is weird.

  • have discovered a new favorite oatmeal topping, namely peanut butter, coconut milk and sugar topped with banana slices.

  • have been thoroughly repeatedly traumatized by the sheer overwhelming quantity of "paleo"-related pseudoscience that comes up when you put the words "vegan" and "recipe" together in the Pinterest search box. Which is perhaps ironic, since the basic paleo diet, from what I understand, is quite positive towards meat.
cimorene: (face!pie)
Using the slow cooker for the first time for a tex-mex chicken dish.

In my first trip to the internet in search of recipes yesterday, I turned up a lot of stuff that either was cheese-based, or seemed to fall into a few main categories: tex mex, chili, and chicken soup. I did see a few Asian and barbeque recipes that all called for pre-made sauces and seasoning mixes that aren't available here, but they were the outliers.

Anybody have any slow cooker or potentially slow-cookable soup/stew recs that are milk-byproduct and red meat -free?
cimorene: Screencap of an iChat conversation bubble that says "Dude?" (huh?)

Blowfish "Ranuka" and "Rona" in Earth Fawn
cimorene: A vintage nouveau illustration of a reclining woman embracing the enormous head of a dragon (domestic)
So, around Christmas, after the first couple of interest-gauging posts I made on the subject, I started thinking about running a Legolas/Gimli fest. But early in January, before I had progressed to planning anything, someone enthusiastic zoomed in and adopted the idea, decided to run a Big Bang instead of some other kind of fest, made the rules and set up the community herself, and then closed sign-ups within like 2 weeks (I think?) before I got around to visiting the community she made. She and other (young?) people on Tumblr are referring to the pairing exclusively as "gigolas" now.

So although I did want to participate initially, the window passed before I made up my mind whether a Big Bang in general, or that time frame in particular, was doable considering my general lack of writing over the past few years.

(It's kind of appalling to think how little I've written in a few depressed years without a fandom to belong to, compared to how much I wrote in 2006-2008, or the speed at which I wrote my teenie badfic - not that I want to return to my age 20 levels of planning and proof-reading.)

At any rate, it would have been a relief to have someone who actively wanted to organize things doing so in principle, but I missed the boat and hence the added incentive to actually write a story. But then again, I haven't really recovered from midwinter, so who knows if I'd actually have written or just dissolved into agonized procrastination, even for a more length-agnostic fest like I was imagining.

Now I'm back to pre-December status, i.e. wondering if I actually have enough creative energy & drive to decide to write a new Legolas/Gimli story, let alone to actually plot one.

I think part of the problem is that after Martin Freeman's rape joke, my brain somehow conflated my "ugh Freeman" and my ever-escalating disgust with Moffat for a giant ball of ICK that leads to a slippery slope of enumerating to myself, with blazing eyes of flame, all the things about them that are enraging. This has made it a lot harder to get into the new Hobbit movie.

I mean, I actively enjoyed the first one and am the opposite of disturbed by the movies being made longer; I can see where reviews that find the length boring and unnecessary are coming from, but I enjoy Middle Earth on film too much for that, and I don't need anything to be happening in it to be enthralled, basically. But every image of Freeman is still acting on me like a giant pile of fresh, stinky dog poop, possibly on fire, within arm's reach of my face: GET IT AWAY FROM ME, UGH UGH UGH, lots of upset scrunched-up facial expressions etc.

I mean I have no doubt that plenty of men in Hollywood have made equivalent rape jokes, odds are one in every show or movie. And the dude is no Jared Padalecki - his microaggression didn't have a person as its object, and he didn't try to claim reverse oppression or anything. So I'm not actually planning to boycott films he's in - on the contrary, I do want to see The Hobbit, even if it is still an undeniable sausagefest where literally everyone is white. But I just... am finding the dog poop effect is currently effectively killing my fannish enthusiasm. Hopefully the effect will fade when the association is less... fresh.

But meanwhile it dampened my excitement for the new movie down to a kind of sluggish, listless trust that I will no doubt probably hopefully enjoy it when I get around to seeing it, under a lot of procrastination.
cimorene: Elizabeth Garvie as Elizabeth in P&P (1980), sitting alone in a smocked white dress, reading Darcy's letter (working)
The really great thing about Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries is the combination: Roaring Twenties + mystery + ass-kicking jack-of-all-trades female protagonist. (Like, actually the REALLY great thing is that last one, and it would have to be pretty disappointing after that to get me to quit watching; but the other parts are also independently exciting and putting them all together produces an alchemy that's even more exciting than the sum of its parts.)

It also reminds me of a couple of medieval mysteries I've seen, but the execution of them wasn't really great.

I've already lamented that Cozy Mystery + Regency + female protagonist wasn't a thing (I lamented that a couple of years ago, before I saw Death Comes to Pemberley. I think I remember the book existed at the time, but I didn't read it, because I wasn't looking for Austen fanfic so much as a Miss Marple-like character in a pastoral Austen AU).

I just wrote a rant on Twitter culminating in the realization that my current ideal show would be like Endeavor + that episode of My Little Pony with the pastry thief. The detective would be a young, brash pony lacking somewhat in social skills who burned out of her academic career before being hired by the police, and she would be in the pastry theft unit, apprenticed under a kindly but somewhat less brilliant middle-aged pony with a very soothing voice, and she would solve a different pastry theft each week. Then there would also be a lot of pastry and pastry-making in the show, obviously. Mmmh, pastry. (I deleted the rant afterwards because it was way too long and also, incoherent.)

My favorite episode would, of course, be a locked mansion pastry theft because locked mansions are my favorite. (The episode of MLP with the pastry theft takes place on a train, which is obviously great, but it's not as great as a locked mansion.)

Next step: steampunk my little pony star trek parody comedy of manners... with dragons???
cimorene: Elizabeth Garvie as Elizabeth in P&P (1980), sitting alone in a smocked white dress, reading Darcy's letter (working)

1. Timberland "EK Savin Hill Tall" in Tobacco 2. Rocket Dog "Beany" combat boots in Tan Porter
3. Cat "Alexandria" in Peanut 4. Clarks "Marble Mine" in dark brown
cimorene: art by autumn whitehurst (godlike)
The problem with treating seasonal depression with sun lamps is that you're supposed to use them near the beginning of your day - in fact I've read before people recommending not after noon - and this requires that you are awake in the morning.

  • My current class schedule is only on T/W/Th, and

  • [personal profile] waxjism is currently only going to her work practice placement, which is Monday afternoon and Wednesday morning, and skipping her classroom hours, which are currently focused on middle school level math.*

    *Literally. Like, converting percents to decimals to fractions and doing basic arithmetic with them.

  • [personal profile] waxjism watches NHL hockey games live in the middle of the night every day and consequently sleeps all day every day except the aforementioned M/W

  • Today, for example, the sun was up only between 9:06 (>30 min after my classes start, more than an hour and a half after I have to leave in the morning) and 16:21

  • To throw my internal clock and my brain even more out of whack, I was sick for the last 1.5 weeks of class in December and the first 2 weeks of class in January as well as part of Christmas break. In that time I got behind my classmates, missed the essential orientation sessions for the new semester schedule, and failed to clean anything in the flat, which started looking EVEN MORE like the wreckage of a raucous party and/or small tornado than before.

So not only is it impossible for me to be awake in the morning of every day apparently, it's also impossible for me to even be awake at roughly the same times every day. If I imposed a strict sleeping schedule on myself of going to bed and getting up as if I had class every day I'd probably end up with insomnia in the four-day weekend part, and also I'd basically never see my wife.

If I sleep till the middle of the afternoon and then turn the sunlamp on for a few hours, I'm worried it will have me staying up even later.

And unrelatedly, eliminating milk from my diet has gone great EXCEPT that my parents sent a bunch of my favorite flavored cocoa mixes from the US in their holiday present packages, and even though they are the kind made with water and not milk, I have noticed stomach upset after drinking them - something that wasn't apparent before when I was consuming milk from other sources. Apparently the dehydrated milk in them retains the qualities that my digestive system dislikes. But giving up mint and raspberry cocoa entirely?!?!?!?!? - So it seems like the only alternative might be learning to make them from scratch so I can make them with a milk substitute, which is obviously much more trouble than making them from a mix. :(

But again unrelatedly, this time on a very positive note, my parents gave me a Crock Pot for Christmas! So now I need to get some recipes for it - I've never had access to one, and reason to acquire them, before now. Very excited. I only have one, which is my favorite chicken dish for Thanksgiving/Hanukka.
cimorene: art by autumn whitehurst (godlike)

1. Dr Martens "Ava" in black 2. Red or Dead "Thimbles" in black
3. Cat "Misa" in Peanut 4. Cat "Corrine" in Sienne/Coffee
cimorene: the antique shop by john watkins chapman (studying)
Since the beginning of December I've been sick like three weeks. (There was a break in between! Two different colds, and the second one turned into a sinus infection that stuck around for more than a week after the cold was over.)

Then it got down to like -17° C (it was in the -12 — -14° range last week) and I didn't want to run errands, so I ran out of the tea tree oil that I need for my face before New Year's and was out of it for more than two weeks before I dragged myself to the mall to buy more. (And it has a short shelf-life, so it's not a good idea to stockpile! I could buy a bottle in advance, maybe, but no more than that. As it is I run out around once per month. The bottle is only 10 ml.)

That was enough time for my face to break out in three places, ugh. Fortunately once I got the tea tree oil, its power to heal zits more quickly was still in effect. I'm sad about the red scars, though. Those are still gonna last for a long while after the zits heal.
cimorene: (sleek & stylish)
I just found out that my dad is my sister's long-distance cheerleader when she has to catch a bug inside her flat to release outside, and he has been doing this for years.

When it comes to Crunch Time (ie time to put a bowl or something over the bug) she'll say "Okay, I have to put the phone down now!" and hang up, but then she'll call back after to notify him that she successfully ejected the bug from the premises.

"One time I walked by him talking on the phone and he was saying solemnly, 'That was really brave,'" said my mom.

So this could be useful. Like I could call my dad on the phone when I'm afraid of my inbox and let him coach me through the process.

Although the only thing that upsets me as much as I've seen my sister get upset about grasshoppers are like, having to initiate conversations with people. And I'd need two phones for that one probably. ("Turku Health Center Tallbacken 2." "Can you hold a second please? - Daddy, a nurse answered the phone! She said the name of the health center!")

Honestly, I'd moved in with Wax when I was her age, but a few years before that I was living alone, and I did have to call my dad a lot. He's definitely coached me through filling out scary forms that had to be mailed places. And also with leaving my room and braving the horrors of a communal kitchen to make myself food.
cimorene: a pink polka-dotted teacup on pink ground (tea cup)
Aside from me (I don't like fudge), everybody who saw this fudge ate it, made alarming noises and loved it. Usually they ate tons of it. I will clearly be making it again.

Fudge with pecans by Swedish celebrity dessert chef Elisabeth Johansson
This recipe from Lantliv Mat & Vin 6.2013, translation mine
24-30 pcs

100 g milk chocolate (3.5 oz)
100 g dark chocolate (3.5 oz)
15 g butter (1 Tbsp)
½ can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla sugar (can substitute 1/4-1/3 tsp vanilla extract)
1 ½ dl marshmallows, mini or large ones chopped up (0.63 US cups)
1 dl pecans, coarsely chopped (0.42 US cups)

  1. Chop the chocolate and melt it with the butter and condensed milk in a double boiler setup [e.g. in a metal bowl resting on top of a saucepan in which a half inch of water is simmering - not boiling - over medium heat]. Remove from heat, let cool slightly, and stir in the vanilla sugar [or vanilla].

  2. Fold in the marshmallows and pecans without stirring too much, as that will melt the marshmallows.

  3. Spread out the mixture into a foil pan lined with baking paper. Let cool in the refrigerator a couple of hours, then cut into cubes with a sharp knife.

Note: I've read elsewhere that the bowl on top doesn't have to be metal, but I can't remember what the other option was.

Note 2: Stirring the chocolate with a spatula as it melts is not strictly necessary, as it's impossible to burn it with a double boiler... but it does ensure it melts completely. And more importantly, it's fun because it looks really cool. However, since the mixture is incredibly thick and sticky, good luck getting it out of the bowl without a spatula.

Note 3: I doubled the recipe because I couldn't think of anything else to do with half a can of condensed milk, but I had no problem getting rid of the fudge. In fact, it was all gone within 4 days, over the course of 2 family parties.
cimorene: (Default)
Almond shortbread filled with gingerbread chocolate ganache soounds delicious, if a bit rich. I had been wanting to make some lemon cookies this christmas, but I got this recipe in a Swedish country living Christmas recipe magazine for my birthday, and they looked so decadent that I had to try them.

But from the very beginning, everything went wrong! First of all, these cookies are like shortbread, in that they are just butter and sugar with some flour in and dense as a post; but they're unlike shortbread in that half the butter is replaced with a solid 200g of marzipan. Butter for shortbread is easy. You just let it soften to room temperature, then beat it in the stand mixer. But the recipe calls for the 200g of marzipan to be grated.

It turns out that grating marzipan is a pain in the butt. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone ever, but I did think that chilling it first would possibly make the process easier. Probably not actually fun, but easier. That occurred to me after I'd done half of it though, and I didn't really have the time to wait for it to chill.

This recipe also calls for egg yolks, which is another difference from any kind of shortbread I've ever made, and when I was trying to add those I bumped my hand on the stand mixer and dropped half an eggshell into the dough. :| [personal profile] waxjism and I later spent several hours altogether picking fragments of eggshell out of the dough, because I didn't have any spare marzipan (though I had plenty of extra of all the other ingredients of course). Too bad I didn't just throw them out at this point and make gingerbread or meringues instead. :|||

So anyway, after this, instead of flattening all the dough into a cm-thick single cake and then scoring it in fingers or cutting out big circles with a juice glass like I typically do with plain shortbread, this recipe called for it to be rolled out thin. That's bad enough with a drier dough, but it's horrible with any sort of shortbread, as I have discovered over the years (chocolate shortbread and green tea shortbread are two of my favorite cookies!), because it's so oily. On the plus side, the dough does stick to itself, but on the minus side it also sticks to the rolling pin. I'm very grateful that we finally bought a marble pastry rolling pin and that we had plenty of parchment paper on hand for squishing the dough between, but very sad that we can't afford an island with an enormous solid butcherblock top because having to spread parchment paper out and tape it down in order to get a big enough working surface is really not fun. Also the edges of the paper kept coming up even though we taped them down. :|

NOTE: Wax's mom has a big flat silicone sheet for rolling dough out on and it makes it way better. I must go to Kodin Ykkönen and get one of those myself because it was GREAT.

NOTE II: I hate marshmallows which is probably why I never noticed before, after 9 years here, that they don't have them in Finland. I just found out. So I was like, "So what do you do for Rice Krispies Treats?!" and Wax says they don't have them; so there's my contribution to the next Bring Us Ethnic Food From Your Homeland potluck sorted.

The cookies did not brown as well, taste as good, nor have as nice a texture as the plain butter shortbread I sometimes make, which I think is partly the marzipan and partly the thinness. The hint of almond isn't a bad idea, but almond oil or extract would probably work fine.

And the gingerbread chocolate ganache filling (which was very simple to make out of dark chocolate, gingerbread spice mix and coconut milk) was fine, but the result was one of those TOO MUCH!! desserts, from my point of view. And I can't help thinking there could be a better use for gingerbread ganache elsewhere.

I was also a little bummed by my usual sugar cookies and never got around to making my usual meringues at all, and nobody made gingerbread in the whole family. I wish I had gone with the original pecan sandies and lemon biscuits and gingerbread plan instead. :(
cimorene: art by emilie autumn (flirty)
"I thought that now the kids are pretty grown up, we could have a movie night together and pick a nice animated film... but when we got there they all wanted to watch the same thing: Monster High. Not one of them wanted anything else." - sister-in-law

Dear Mom & Dad,

I'm sorry that for all of 1988 the only video I ever wanted to rent was Barbie & the Rockers.

cimorene: (distance)

Art "Harlem" in beige; Lola Ramona "Elsie Longboot" in black multi button
Dkode "Nabila" in brown & black
Art "Oteiza" in black & "New York" in black
cimorene: Screencap of an iChat conversation bubble that says "Dude?" (huh?)
  1. Tags: Torture, Graphic, Its all good though!

  2. [Bookmarker's tags:] WHY?!

  3. “This is happiness?” John asks, utterly heartsick, holding up his wrists and rattling the chains. “You’ve sold me for six gold mines and protection along the northern border.”

  4. Ori had the spider's poisonous venom coursing through his body and unless Dwalin had sex with him, the young scribe would die.

  5. Inspired by a dildo.


cimorene: (Default)

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