company of three, black peppermint tea

Tag: im not procrastinating what


by bezzle

It’s been a while since I made a post involving cookery; today’s one is my first attempt at making croquettes.

Once again, I got the house to myself and had to make lunch, so I decided to try my hand at croquettes having never made or eaten one before.  I cook with potatoes almost every time I’m left alone in the house (actually, now that I think about it, every time…) and I bought a potato cookbook at the last bookfair I went to.  The book, Potato: A definitive guide to potatoes and potato cooking, happens to be the same book as the one I picked up at a library a week earlier, something I only realised after I got home that evening.

Croquettes are very simple to make – they are basically mashed potato covered in breadcrumbs or some other dry topping.  Here’s my own twist on the recipe, with some added narration.

First step is to make mashed potato.  I was only planning to cook for myself, so I only peeled one potato.  I kept the peelings to make crisps later, but the potato was slightly green under the skin, so out went those peelings.  Was feeling gypped, so I peeled another potato that was nicer and not-green and placed the peelings aside.

They were both large potatoes, so there was going to be much more than one person’s serving.  Placed them into a pot, filled with water to the depth of the cut potatoes and boiled for about twenty minutes.

Instead of using milk for making the mashed potato as you usually would, use egg yolks.  Egg yolks are used instead of milk to give a firmer mash, so the croquettes don’t fall apart.  I used two, a lick of olive oil (about two teaspoons?) and some salt and mashed, then mixed in a handful of grated cheese.  You can add pretty much anything to the mashed potato, like herbs, spices, or whatever floats your boat and doesn’t require additional cooking.

Then shape blobs into the cylindrical things (no longer than your palm, I would suggest) with the aid of some flour, and coat in beaten egg.  Then coat in some dry topping – I used breadcrumbs.  While I was getting the bag of crumbs out of my pantry cupboard, I saw it had that gross webby stuff, a dead moth and a hopefully-dead larva in it.  So I took two slices of fresh bread, turned on the oven and popped them in, which still had some remaining heat from when I baked the peeling-crisps (and burnt them, oops).  About ten minutes in, only after the top side of the bread was done, I remembered that we had a toaster.

Then I had to crumb the bread, and that was my second boo-boo.  I used my hands to crush ’em, when it would have been less messy, less painful and more efficient to use a plastic bag and a cup.  But there I was, mauling toast with my hands.  I still have the marks on my hands – toast is hard and sharp, the buggers.

I think croquettes are supposed to be deep-fried, but the cookbook lists baking and pan-frying as well, so being a health-conscious (ha!) person I went for the pan-frying.  (Actually, I used a wok.  Close enough.)  Fried them over medium heat, and I had to wash the wok between frying as some of the crumbs are shed and create this burnt sediment in the oil.  I made an even seven croquettes, but I ate the ugliest one to see what it tasted like and so I wouldn’t have to take a photo of it.

And then I fried the leftover beaten egg and ate it.  In case anyone cares.

by cloudier

the futurist: the misandry bubble

It is already wrong when a contemporary group seeks reparations from an injustice that occurred over a century ago to people who are no longer alive.  It is even worse when this oppression itself is a fabrication.  The narrative of female oppression by men should be rejected and refuted as the highly selective and historically false narrative that it is.  In fact, this myth is evidence not of historical oppression, but of the vastly different propensity to complain between the two genders.


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irrelevant things on youtube

by bezzle

Transliteration: kore ga ima wadai no ianfu desu ka?

Translation: is this the comfort women (which are the current topic)?

I found this on a leaked Kara Speed Up music video on youtube.

Why I wish I could have been a Japanese high school student

by bezzle

– sailor uniforms, ribbons and gakuran.  OMG why do their uniforms look so much better.  GAKURAN~

– field trips.  They look like so much fun!  Like camp, I guess, but school camp (at least at our school) doesn’t seem to focus on just having a good time and bonding with friends.  Also being able to wander about/sightsee 8D

– cultural festivals.  The closest our school got was the 50th anniversary fete…and that was not very fun for me.  I love the idea (again based on deepening relationships with classmates) of having classes work together and plan stalls and cafes and eep it sounds so exciting!  At our school it’d probably take too much energy/time away from studying or something.  *sigh*

– after-school clubs >:D I’d totally want to start an animanga/otaku club! gahaha *fangirl mood ACTIVATED* OR OR something like the friendship club in Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai and lounge about playing games

– I’d be in Japan.

“There’s a divinity that shapes our ends, rough-hew them how we will.”

by cloudier

Isaac Asimov

WHEN I was going to college, the United States was not yet out of the Great Depression, and I knew that I was not going to get a job after I graduated in 1939. The only thing I could do was to go on to graduate work, obtain some advanced degrees, and hope that the situation would have improved by the time I was through.

Now the problem was this: In what subject was I to get my Ph.D. (assuming I could be smart enough to get it and could find the money for tuition — for in those days there was very little in the way of grants to help out the impoverished)?

I was hung up between history and chemistry. I thought I could handle either one, but there was no question in my mind that I was more interested in history.

However, practical reasoning entered the field. I said to myself, “If I get my degree in history, then the chances are that if I get a job at all, I will get one in some small college, far away from my beloved city of New York, and that I will be working for a mere pittance with almost no possibility for advancement. On the other hand” (I continued saying to myself) “if I get my Ph.D. in chemistry, I may get a job with a large research firm for an ample salary with lots of room for advancement and with a chance, even, of winning a Nobel Prize, since I am so brilliant a person.”

So I went for chemistry, and eventually, after a four-year delay because of World War II, I obtained my Ph.D. in chemistry in 1948.

The result? I went to work in 1949 as an instructor in biochemistry in a small medical school, far away from my beloved city of New York. I was working for a mere pittance and with no possibility of advancement. (Nor, I quickly realized, was there any chance at all that I would come closer than a light-year or two to a Nobel Prize.) As I frequently say: “There’s a divinity that shapes our ends, rough-hew them how we will.” (Hamlet said that also, and he may even have said it first.)

Chemistry was a big flop in another way, too. I really didn’t like it and I was no good at it (except for being able to learn an encyclopedia of stuff about it, entirely because I can learn an encyclopedia of stuff about anything). What’s more, as time went on, I grew less and less interested in it and, eventually, in 1958, I was fired simply because I was so uninterested in it that I refused to do any research. (I didn’t mind teaching and writing books about it — I loved that.)

Of course, by that time I had another career, that of writing. In fact, my writing career began even while I was in college, when I was deciding what to do with myself — history or chemistry. Becoming a professional writer was a third option, but one that I didn’t consider for even a split-second.

At the time I made my decision, I had sold a story or two, but never in my wildest imaginings could I possibly have believed I would ever do more than make occasional pin-money out of those stories.

And to tell you the truth, for a long time, I never did more than that. By the time I began my work at the medical school, I had written 68 stories and sold 60 of them in the course of eleven years. That was not too bad considering that the major part of my time had to be spent in my father’s candy store, or at my graduate studies, or at a wartime job. However, in all that time, my total earnings for all eleven years amounted to $7700.

After I had been at work at: the medical school for half a year, my first novel, Pebble in the Sky, was published, to he followed soon by others, and royalties started coming in; but even at the time I was fired in 1958, my literary earnings amounted to only $15,000 a year, enough to keep me going for a while in the absence of a job, but not enough to make me comfortable. (By that time, I had a wife and two children to support, too — and I was middle-aged.)

Now let’s go back in time, to the point when I was first thinking about writing. Again, I had two choices. What I really wanted to write was historical fiction. I wanted to write a new kind of “Three Musketeers.” The only trouble was that that would mean research. I would have to spend at least three years doing research in order that I might spend one year writing, and I didn’t want to do that. I just couldn’t do that. I wanted to write, not sit around taking notes.

The alternative was science fiction. That required research, too, for I had to know science. But I already knew science thoroughly, and besides I could make up science of the future — so I began to write science fiction, and as you all know I did pretty well.

But only pretty well. What was it that made me rich and famous? I’ll tell you. As I continued to write science fiction, the urge to write historical fiction continued to gnaw away at me, and the impossibility of spending enormous time at research continued to keep me from doing anything about it — until a brilliant thought occurred to me, a thought that was at once encouraged by the great editor, John W. Campbell, Jr.

Why should I not write historical fiction of the future? I would deal with a social system, with politics, with economic crises, with everything that is to be found in history, except that it would all take place in the future and I would make it up. I wouldn’t have to do any research.

Therefore, I began writing my Foundation novels, and my Robot novels, and, in due course, I became rich and famous.

Twice I had shoved history, my one great love, to one side, and despite that, it was history, in the end, that made me. I repeat, “There’s a divinity that shapes our ends, rough-hew them how we will.” (Is it possible Hamlet stole that from me?)

5 myths about prostitution

Indeed, the high-end sex workers I have studied routinely see themselves as acting the part of a counselor or a marriage therapist. They say their job is to feed a man’s need for judgment-free friendship and, at times, to help him repair his broken partnership. Little wonder, then, that so many describe themselves to me as members of the “wellness” industry.

on marketing and stuff

People who are satisfied and secure in themselves and don’t see a need to change the way they are generally make terrible consumers of products designed to enhance one’s self-image based on the norms these same corporations are dictating to us. So these companies expend every resource they have in their marketing arsenal to make sure we never become those kinds of satisfied people. They hate satisfied people, because satisfied people don’t make them any money! And because they control the messages about sex, they can also control the most effective way to make you insecure and dissatisfied: by causing you to wonder if you are getting laid enough, or are getting laid by enough women, or whatever.