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(with "nougat" = gianduia, i.e. a mix of paste from ground and roasted hazelnuts and cacao)

Read more... )
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For close to 4 years now I am bicycling to work if the weather is kind-of-OK (not freezing, not more than 32°C, no rain or thunderstorms) and I can make the time. (This years was not good for bicycling, but anyway.)

For close to 4 years, everyone who I told said, "Are your driving along the canal? You really should, you know..." But I never did.

Yesterday, still a bit short on breath because of a lingering cold, I decided not to brave busy main roads, complex left turns, posters for a show of giant vermin, and 17 traffic lights, and instead go for the unknown.Read more... )
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Notes to self:

For yeast dough, put the butter in when you start the second stage. Later, and it won't bind well. Kneading by hand will fix it after a while.

For shortcrust, use cold or soft butter.

For crumble, use very cold butter in thin slices, or it will become shortcrust.

Pay attention when baking. It's not a forgiving craft.


I *do* know all that.
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We used the three-day-weekend for a relaxed character-driven role playing game Read more... )

We cooked chicken casserole (feeds 6 to 8) Read more... )
And a pull-apart bread for dessert Read more... )
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Today's supper for two (would have fed three if I had had bread, but we were only two, so that was fine):

Chop a small onion or a shallot and gently brown it in butter.

Peel one sweet potato (about 400 grams) and dice. Cook in enough water (~ 1 litre) with tiny bit (about 1 teaspoon) of instant veggie or chicken broth, a laurel leaf, and a small twig of rosemary. When soft, add a package (200 grams) of pre-cooked chestnuts and let it simmer for about 5 minutes.

Take out the laurel leaf and the rosemary. Puree the soup. Add more water if needed. Do not bring to boil again, it will attack you.

Take off the heat, add chili flakes, salt (not too much) and ground black pepper to taste, and a splash of sweet cream.

Crumble 100 grams of mild greek sheep cheese and add to the bowls. (Note that the cheese is salty!)


In other news, ankle is getting better. Only hurting a bit now.
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I guess I shouldn't sleep in. :-(


Sep. 5th, 2016 11:33 pm
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I slept in this morning and got nightmares for it. I tried to dodge something, or run away, and twisted my amanged ankle so far that the pain woke me up.

I considered what I had just seen and done and learned, and thought, "This makes no sense at all. It must have been a nightmare." And then, "Just because it makes no sense at all does not mean it's not real..."

At which point I got up, put on my ankle brace and made coffee.
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And likely to be for the next week, too, because while mornings are fine, afternoons are still quite bad, and sitting at a desk (or at the piano) for more than one hour feels as if beavers are gnawing at my ankle from the inside. At least the swelling is kind-of down (only 1.5 cm more around than the other ankle, down from 3), I can walk without a stick (most of the day), and the sock-sized bruise is down to pale yellow and a few purple blotches. I am very annoyed that this is taking so long and argueing vainly with nature.

I went to the pool yesterday, that was kind-of OK, but with very weak legwork I could do only 750 metres, and it took me 35 minutes. However, it was nice and cool. (Ankle *hates* heat. No socks, no bedcovers, no warm water, no massage, or the beavers will wake and go to work.)

I made plans for the library/piano room. Maybe I can get up from the sofa today and make some pictures of the table, and offer it up on ebay. It's the wrong table for that room, because it's a living room (or dining room) table, it seats four to six and can be used as a desk if needed, but it is not the right size or shape for a library or guest room.
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Via [personal profile] trobadora. I'm not flocking, because nothing here is exactly personal or identifying information to any but those who already know me.

Anyone wants to do it, consider yourself tagged.

Read more... )
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I sprained my ankle bouldering (indoors -- there's a limit to my taste for adventure, and especially to my current degree of skill) last Sunday. Fell out of an overhang too high to land easily, but too low so sort myself out before making ground contact. So now my foot looks as if I were wearing a thick black-purple-and-blue sock under the light orthosis, I'm sick off work, and can sleep (with the help of some ibuprofen) or sit on the sofa as much as I want, but unfortuantely, I cannot do anything else. Not even cook, or go to the pool, or declutter some drawers, or sit at my desk and do overdue paperwork.

At least my cats are happy to have their human available and un-busy all day.


Aug. 9th, 2016 11:42 am
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gacked from [personal profile] legionseagle

Bolded to show ones I've read. It's hard with the older ones, which I may have read in translation 30 or more years ago.

Grimspace by Ann Aguirre
Primary Inversion by Catherine Asaro
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
Range of Ghosts by Elizabeth Bear
Flesh and Spirit by Carol Berg
Chime by Franny Billingsley
Daughter of the Blood by Anne Bishop
Tithe by Holly Black
The Long Tomorrow by Leigh Brackett
Cordelia's Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold
War for the Oaks by Emma Bull
Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler
Synners by Pat Cadigan
Foreigner by C.J. Cherryh
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke -- didn't finish.
Survival by Julie E. Czerneda
Tam Lin by Pamela Dean
King's Dragon by Kate Elliott
Black Sun Rising by C.S. Friedman
Slow River by Nicola Griffith
Dragonsbane by Barbara Hambly
Fly by Night by Frances Hardinge
Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb -- didn't finish
The God Stalker Chronicles by P.C. Hodgell
Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson
Valor's Choice by Tanya Huff
God's War by Kameron Hurley
The Killing Moon by N.K. Jemisin
Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
Daggerspell by Katharine Kerr
The Steerswoman by Rosemary Kirstein
Beggars in Spain by Nancy Kress -- didn't finish.
Deryni Rising by Katherine Kurtz
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan
The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin
Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie
Ash by Malinda Lo
Warchild by Karin Lowachee
Legend by Marie Lu
Dragonsong by Anne McCaffrey
Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire
Dreamsnake by Vonda N. McIntyre
The Thief's Gamble by Juliet E. McKenna
Sunshine by Robin McKinley
His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik
Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor
Diving into the Wreck by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
The Female Man by Joanna Russ
Old Man's War by John Scalzi -- what is this doing on the list?
A Door Into Ocean by Joan Slonczewski
The Grass King's Concubine by Kari Sperring
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
City of Pearl by Karen Traviss
Her Smoke Rose Up Forever by James Tiptree, Jr.
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente
The Snow Queen by Joan D. Vinge -- probably.
Farthing by Jo Walton
The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells

That's one kitchen sink of a list.
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* Take a kind of cruise along the Norwegian Coast
* Hold a kaffeeklatsch
* Practise the piano
* Do my paperwork for the retirement office and sent it in
* Read about 5-7 books
* Cook squid for the first time and took picures of it
* Went to a boulder hall again
* Found out what is wrong with my front squats and attempts at push-ups
* Re-gained the ability to do backstroke. I can now manage 50 metres without getting cramps or attempting to breathe water
* Sorted through 628 holiday pictures
* Tidied up 6 drawers
* Went through my wardrobe and gave what I no longer want to wear to charity
* Spent a very nice day with flederkatz (cooking squid, looking at holiday picutres, and other things)
* Invited my cat minders for dinner
* Remove the dead plants from the balcony
* Got a new telephone
* Cuddle the cats a lot
* Got new litter boxes
* Spend too much time on the internet :(


* Get my hair cut
* Go to the dentist
* Tidy up my bookshelves
* Give away the old stuff in the cellar
* Practise the guitar
* Prepare the next role playing game
* Tidy up the kitchen cupboards
* Go weightlifting regulary
* Visit my father
* Go hiking
* Get reimbursement for last years vaccination from my health insurer
* Get Serious Cat Jerome to keep calm when noise happens
* Create the cooking blog that Ceridwen, flederkatz and I are talking about
* Finish a story
* Manage to not get panicky about work

Not too bad, all in all. Now, if I had three more weeks of vacation, I'd be perfectly happy. As I don't and have to go to work tomorrow, I am already as scared and angry as Serious Cat Jerome when noisy people are outside. I'm not going to hiss or spit, though. I think. Just keep my hackles raised.


Jun. 24th, 2016 04:06 pm
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I have emptied a bucket of water on the balcony to cool it down a bit, and Tully the Tabby laid down right in the water.

Guess where he and his damp fur are now... and if you say "on your lap, and, um, aren't you wearing white trousers today?", you win a virtual cookie.
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For nearly a decade I have had "get paperwork with retirement office in order" on my to-do list. cut for paperwork )

And, talking about solutions: I have finally got around to asking a trainer at the gym what I'm doing wrong -- I can't get the bar in position for a front squat or overhead press without strangling myself, and I cannot do a single push-up even after 5 years of working on it: My right shoulder just crumbles away under me.

Turns out, I have this very nice balancing-a-book-on-my-head posture. Activated core muscles, shoulders straight, shoulder blades drawn together a bit, head straight. And the trick, in both cases, is to put your shoulders forward. To hold the bar, or to stop myself from sagging and ending up with a shoulder position that does not allow for power transmission from my upper body muscles to the floor.

In less exiting news, to solve the on-going cat crisis, I have bought two more litter boxes. Hope it helps, because now I will have to swipe up three times as many litter particles. Would three miracles in a day be too much to ask, or do I get a discount?

Argh, cats

Jun. 20th, 2016 08:50 am
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I was woken this morning at half past five by a heap of baking trays and baking dishes clattering on the stone floor. I had put them on a chair a few days ago when I was using the oven, where they are usually stored, and had been too lazy to put them back.

I had not even put on my glasses and extrated myself from the comforter when the screaming began.

Serious Cat Jerome hates, just hates loud noises. But he does not run and hide, oh no. All this adrenaline has to go somewhere, so he attackes his brother Tullamore the mild-mannered tabby with teeth and claws. (As often as not there is blood on the floor.)

Maybe I should let them fight it out, that has been the recommendation so far. But this damanges Tully, and it is not the usual fights about who gets to have/keep the fluffy pillow, or who has looked at whom sideways. It's Jerry losing his marbles and running amok because of an external trigger.

Aleister and Eliphas were fighting occasionally, which was quite cute. Fur was flying, but there wasn't a scratch on them.

I try to calm down the kittes and show them that there's nothing to fear by giving them a treat if I have been the one causing the noise. But noise happens without me. This morning, I put them into different rooms and went back to bed, but even now, close to four hours later, Jerry is stalking Tully, Tully is growling, Jerry hisses, Jerry refuses food, Tully is hiding in his box, and I have to leave in an hour and really don't know what to do.
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Though I cannot blame "not writing" on "travelling"... but just a few notes here, for me to keep track of my life.

Currently I'm on holiday, but at home. Trying to do something about my to-do list, because I barely managed to keep up with the necessities so far.

May 6th to 9th we had a choir weekend in the Bayerische Musikakademie in Alteglofsheim. I did not get lost in the building this time!

May 10th to May 15th I was home because of a family emergency. I did not really plan that. Fortunately, I got time off work on very short (4 workdays) notice.

May 26th to May 29th we were at the choir festival in Stuttgart. It was OK. Hot. Some thunderstorms. A bunch of good and a few very good choirs, but nothing that knocked off my socks. (Maybe the Swingles. But they were kind of in a class of their own.)

Jun 7th to Jun 14 I took the Hurtigruten Boat trip from Kirkenes to Bergen, Read more... )

I read Naomi Novik's "Uprooted" (nice, liked it), Perceval Everett's "God's Country" (good, hated it), Catherine Asaro's "Carnelians" (OTT, but fun), and half of Daniel Kahneman's "Thinking, Fast and Slow" (very interesting, but I argued a lot with it in the margins).

Other than travelling, we played our on-going SF campaign on May 22nd, Read more... )

We had a few performances with the choirRead more... )

Sunday Jun 5th I held a Kaffeeklatsch Read more... )

I'm feeling kind of OK now. As long as I do not think about having to go back to work in a week's time. Maybe I'll write something more about the Norway vacation. But, knowing myself, most likely not.
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Not because it was snowing (it wasn't) but because after posting yesterday's long (flocked) ramble about being exhausted and tired so much, I considered that it might not be the best of ideas to tire myself out in cold water and *then* pay money for the climbing gym.

So I slept in, had a good breakfast (porridge with dates and chestnut flour), read a bit "Sandman: Overture" (which is overwhelming, so I'm reading it in small increments), then drove to the climbing gym to meet friends. We climbed for about 90 minutes or so -- I'm still only doing the easy and very easy problems -- and had coffee and cake afterwards. The others took off to indoor water park, and I drove home. I do not like indoor baths, or water parks. Actually, I like cold days at the outdoor pool.

Instead I went home, slept some more, did the washing, cooked dinner, read the newspaper and a lot of stuff on the internet (just discovered, played with the cats, wrote some book recs on a different site, read some more, and now I'm going to prepare a lunch box for tomorrow and then go to bed.

A good day, all in all.

My day

Mar. 13th, 2016 09:41 pm
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If I do not forgive myself all the postings I did not make in the last four months, I will probably never post anything again, so, forgiven. Kind of.

My day )


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