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Happy Independence Day to everyone in the US. And I hope it's a very good day for everyone else as well.
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I was shooting publicity shots today, for a house and gardens tour that benefits the local historical society. As anyone who's been round here a while has probably noticed, I'm not really a professional photographer--I can shoot well enough to illustrate an article, and that's about it. Fortunately, that's all that the tour's publicity needs call for, so I end up volunteering, when I'm able--my mother does their publicity, and it means that I get to see some really stunning houses and gardens.

These are a couple of welded sculptures that I thought were particularly nifty. You might be particularly interested, maybe, [livejournal.com profile] wsr?

Click here for images )
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Haddock baked in cider (Theodora Fitzgibbon. Irish Traditional Food. (Dublin: Gill and Macmillan, 1991), 55)

1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons flour
salt and pepper
4 large fillets haddock
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
Sprig of fennel or lemon thyme, or a bay leaf
2 shallots or 1 small onion, sliced
4 lemon slices
1/2 pint dry cider

Lightly grease an ovenproof dish with some of the butter. Mix the flour, salt, and pepper and roll the fish fillets in the mixture. Lay the floured fillets in the dish, then add the herbs, shallot or onion, and the lemon slices. Pour cider in the dish and dot the fish with the remaining butter. Cover with foil and bake gently at 180 C, 350 F, Mark 4 for half an hour. Take of the foil and glaze for a few minutes under a hot grill, but not long enough for it to dry up. Serves 4.
###
I used to make this with hake, living in Cork City. (Yes, I learnt to cook in Ireland. It's not nearly as funny as it sounds.) I've not cooked it in years. Should remedy that, someday. Although hake can't be got here, there's haddock, I think.
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Last night, we were intending to eat supper quickly. Mother'd planned on doing something we often do in such circumstance, a frozen "shrimp scampi" thing that makes a meal if one combines it with sautéed tomatoes and zucchini and then adds pasta.

When I got home, she had the pasta water on the boil and the vegetables laid out for cutting. We then discovered that there was no such packet of shrimp scampi in the freezer.

So:

We pulled regular frozen shrimp out of the freezer. There were no fresh onions or garlic handy (bad us!), so out came frozen onions and frozen garlic purée in little cubes, along with some frozen basil purée. About a double handfull of the frozen onions, three cubes of the garlic, two cubes of the basil. Mother went about defrosting the shrimp in the sink, whilst I put the onions, garlic, and basil (separate bowls) in the microwave to defrost.

I halved and sliced two zucchini, quartered and sliced about five plum tomatoes. I probably should have quartered the zucchini.

Sautéed (at high temperature, borderline stirfrying in a mix of grapeseed and olive oil) the onion and garlic, after pressing water out of the onion, with a few grinds of black pepper. Probably got them a little too brown, because I was distracted.

Scooped them out of the pan, threw in the zucchini. On reflection, I should've done the shrimp at this point instead. Softened the zucchini with red pepper and black, reserved the lot in a bowl.

Then the shrimp. Till pink, with red pepper, black pepper, and a little bit of fennel seed. Next time I'll increase the fennel seed, slightly.

Out with the shrimp, and in with the tomatoes and the zucchini. Got them heating, and threw in the basil purée. I should really have used more basil--I was concerned it would be as strong as dried. On reflection, that was a foolish assumption. Also more red and black pepper. Had meant to throw in white wine, but it seemed liquid enough with the tomatoes, etc, so I didn't. Threw in the onion and garlic.

Added the shrimp. Smelling it, and thinking about how much red pepper I'd used, I squeezed in half a lemon to reduce the heat--it wouldn't have been a concern if it were my father and myself alone, but my mother can't take so much hot pepper. On reflection, this may have been unneccessary, but it's hard to say.

Reduced the liquid a bit further. Added the pasta (farfalle, cooked just to the edge of al dente, so it wouldn't suffer with being heated a bit more in the pan). Served three comfortably, with a little bit left over for lunch.

Took slightly longer than Plan A, but I still made the session and managed to get in a couple hours of good tunes. (Despite the twit with the spoons, who was apparently both visiting from away and related to somebody and therefore wasn't shut up. It's probably just as well that I don't know Con Fada Ó Drisceóil's "The Spoons Murder" well enough to sing it.)
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I thought this was cool. Two reports on the same story, here, each giving a slightly different perspective.

Fossil Feathers Revealing Extinct Moa's True Colors

Scientists 'rebuild' giant moa using ancient DNA
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Ranma, Kasumi, and the Mice at Work in the Garden (soft R, 970 words)
A Ranma 1/2 fanfic by Andrew yclept Aelfwine
#
The characters and situations of Ranma 1/2 are copyright Takahashi Rumiko and the appropriate publishers. They may not be used or reproduced commercially without permission. The use of these characters and situations is not to be construed as challenge to said copyright. They are merely borrowed for this work of non-commercial fanfiction, from which the author derives no financial benefit.
#
Warnings: civilised mice, soft R for (all-human) sexual situations
Pairings: Ranma/Kasumi/Ukyou/Kodachi, Nodoka/Genma/Soun, Akane/Ryouga/Akari, Kunou Tatewaki/unnamed male
#
Notes: This started out as my response to [livejournal.com profile] wsr's request in the Drabble Me Meme, but I felt as if it needed something more, so here it is, expanded by 250 words or so. Enjoy!
###
It was a quiet day in Nerima. That wasn't as unusual as it had once been.

The change had all started when Akane eloped with Ryouga and Akari. Almost immediately afterwards, Kunou Tatewaki had come out, moved to San Francisco with a hunky foreign exchange student, and traded on his good looks and samurai heritage to build a career as kendo instructor to the stars.

Kasumi had done her family duty and married Ranma, and duty had quickly turned to love. A few quiet conversations with Kodachi, culminating with Kodachi crying her eyes out on Kasumi's shoulder, had led first to a series of three-person dates and then to the Kunou daughter becoming part of their household. Kuonji Ukyou had followed her, and the happy foursome had settled down, pursuing home-based careers--Ranma and Kodachi teaching martial arts, Kasumi teaching flower-arranging and etiquette, and Ukyou finding success as a writer of everything from sentimental children's fiction to sizzling action-romances.
Click here to read more )
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Not the Usual Solution (550 words)
#
The characters and situations of the Harry Potter series are copyright J.K. Rowling. They may not be used or reproduced commercially without permission. The use of these characters and situations is not to be construed as challenge to said copyright. They are merely borrowed for this work of non-commercial fanfiction, from which the author derives no financial benefit.
#
Warnings: Harry/Ginny, Lee Jordan/Millicent Bulstrode, silliness, yours truly.
This is something vaguely resembling [livejournal.com profile] tree_and_leaf's fault, in a sense. ;-)
Sorry it's not Kasumi and civilised mice, [livejournal.com profile] wsr, but something came up in her twitter about "hints of mpreg" and I simply couldn't resist writing it. ;-)
###
The sun was bright in Godric's Hollow, and all was right in the world. Ginny Potter sat on a park bench and watched her three youngest children as they played with their eldest brother, who was currently a Welsh Corgi. I hate to say it, Ginny thought to herself, but I'm rather pleased the Animagus talent skipped a generation. I can imagine Harry turning into a dog or a bear or whatever every time a diaper needed changed or one of the older ones needed the Talk.
Click here for the rest of the story )
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Driving home last night, my father saw something cross the road. Too big for a bobcat, much less a housecat, long tail, tawny-coloured...

He can't say it was a mountain lion for sure, but can't think what else it could've been.

The Eastern Mountain Lion (Cougar, Catamount, Painter, whatever you'd care to call it) is officially considered extinct, but there are reports every now and again. And I suppose this is another one.
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Got an anonymous review on FFN for Harry's New Pets, chapter 4, today.
From: Mister ()
-------------------

I am...disappointed. In Hermione. In Gerard. The things that happened to Hermione should have her parents grabbing her, banning her from magic altogether, and running away as fast as possible. And it would be understandable as they seem to be good and loving parents. I'd do it to protect my daughter from slavery and a society where such things occur with little oversight.
Click here to read more of anon wanker's review, and my comments which I can't send him personally cos he's not given me any way of responding. )
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The Unexpected Benefits of Getting Lost (5400 words)
A Harry Potter fanfiction by Andrew yclept Aelfwine
#
The characters and situations of the Harry Potter series are copyright J.K. Rowling. They may not be used or reproduced commercially without permission. The use of these characters and situations is not to be construed as challenge to said copyright. They are merely borrowed for this work of non-commercial fanfiction, from which the author derives no financial benefit.
#
Warnings: Ron being a git, yours truly, heterosexuality, lack of explicit content, geekery, Irish characters from alternate universes, Diana Wynne Jones references, Harry/Ginny, pre-Hogwarts, AU
#
Well, this is a bit of a departure for me. "Harry and Ginny meet before Hogwarts and bond" has been a popular fanfiction trope for a while now; I've read a few, but somehow I didn't think I'd ever write one. And then this popped out of my head, somehow.
###

"It's my turn, Ron. Come down and let me have the broom." Ginny Weasley said. Her brother had been circling the paddock and pretending to make Wronski feints for the last fifteen minutes, and they'd agreed this morning that they'd take ten minute turns each on the broomstick, as measured by the old kitchen timer Mum had let them have. Ginny had given up the broomstick promptly when it was the end of her turn.

"No, Ginny," Ron said. "This broomstick's too powerful for a little kid, and you're only a girl, besides."
Click here to read more )
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Yes. It doesn't necessarily stop them doing things they will regret, but we only have to look at human beings to know that regret isn't necessarily effective for said purpose.
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Happy Birthday, my friend! I hope it's a wonderful day for you.
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There's this meme going about. I have forgotten the exact wording, but the gist is that you challenge your flist to ask you to talk about things you don't usually.

So, please ask away. Although I add the caveat that sometimes people don't talk about things because they neither know nor care about them, so hypothetically the answer might be "Haven't the foggiest."


Same caveat applies to me, FWIW. I'd also be grateful if nobody asked about anything that's both personal and NSFW, as this is an unlocked post. ;-)
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About fifteen minutes ago, when it was still fairly light. Quite bold of him. Or her, whichever. I wish I'd had my camera out, sos I could've tried for a photograph.
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The Lord of the Rings: A Source-Criticism Analysis

Experts in source-criticism now know that The Lord of the Rings is a redaction of sources ranging from the Red Book of Westmarch (W) to Elvish Chronicles (E) to Gondorian records (G) to orally transmitted tales of the Rohirrim (R). The conflicting ethnic, social and religious groups which preserved these stories all had their own agendas, as did the "Tolkien" (T) and "Peter Jackson" (PJ) redactors...

It's hilarious, or at least I think so.
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Jesus, lots of things. I miss some people very badly, I'm trying to write something that's not flowing, not able to let myself write what I feel like writing, and awkward situations continue to be awkward.

But I did at least have a nice chat in Irish on the phone, and played some tunes with somebody on Sunday whom I've not played with in a while. And I've a gig on Saturday, although as usual the money will be small to non-existent.

Geantraí

May. 29th, 2009 03:35 pm
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Tribute to Tommy Makem, filmed in Matt Molloy's Pub in Westport, Co. Mayo.

Róisín White's doing the introduction here--I'm hoping she's singing later on, although I haven't the time to watch the video through just the now. I took a class from her a couple of years ago--she's a brilliant singer.
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Bon Anniversaire, Azalais!
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I'm thinking the previously posted ficlet needs a different title. And, for lack of a better idea, I was thinking simply Gabrielle's "But 'Arry is mine!"

The first thing that popped out of my very rusty French was something like "Mais, 'Arry, c'est à moi!" or "...il est à moi!" Or perhaps to drop the "mais." But something makes me think that's not on. Any thoughts? I know there are folk on my f-list with better French than mine.

Merci!

I am so bloody tempted to say that Veela actually speak Irish amongst themselves, and what she really said was "Ach is liomsa Harry!" But that seems a bit much...
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Il M'Appartient!
In Which Gabrielle Delacour Makes a Discovery (1000 words)
A Harry Potter fanfiction by Andrew yclept Aelfwine
#
The characters and situations of the Harry Potter series are copyright J.K. Rowling. They may not be used or reproduced commercially without permission. The use of these characters and situations is not to be construed as challenge to said copyright. They are merely borrowed for this work of non-commercial fanfiction, from which the author derives no financial benefit.
#
Warnings: polyamoury, femmeslash, het, fantasies of something closely resembling D/S, teenaged Veela with desperate cases of unrequited love.
#
Author's Note: In case anybody hasn't already noticed this, I can't write drabbles to save my life. This was my piece for [livejournal.com profile] antoshevu in the Drabble Me meme. I cut it down to 780 words to fit into the comment box, but then I thought that I might as well put the whole ficlet up here. The shorter version is better in some ways, but I do think the extra 200 words add something. You can read it here, if you want to make the comparison.
ETA: Thanks so much to [livejournal.com profile] antoshevu and [livejournal.com profile] carlanime for helping me with my poor rusty French for the title ("He Belongs to Me!"). Merci bien!
#
Gabrielle dropped the invitation on the table. She felt like banging her head against the wall. The Weasley girl... very well. After all, Englishmen were so wrapped up in their silly notions of propriety. It would be some time before her Harry could accept the things a girl six years younger wanted to do with him, and he might as well have someone with whom to practice his masculine skills. The Lovegood girl... fine. Let him have his taste of variety before experiencing Veela perfection.

But this, this was... there were no words. "Fleur, surely this is a jest, a joke. Both of them? They will marry 'Arry? Together?"
Click here to read further. )

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