Non-Cornish pasties

Aug. 19th, 2017 01:00 pm
azurelunatic: Chocolate dessert, captioned No Artificial Shortages  (no artificial shortages)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
Belovedest has mentioned a few times that it's hard to get your hands on a nice meat pasty around these parts. I contemplated the matter and asked a few questions.

At length, it seemed like it was a good day to try.

My reliable source for understanding the principles behind what I'm cooking is Serious Eats. So I read through the pie crust stuff again. (Incidentally, the site is a clickbait hole for DELICIOUSNESS.)


Clickbait: http://www.seriouseats.com/2015/03/science-of-pie-7-myths-that-need-to-go-away.html

Science: http://sweets.seriouseats.com/2011/07/the-food-lab-the-science-of-pie-how-to-make-pie-crust-easy-recipe.html

Recipe: http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2011/07/easy-pie-dough-recipe.html
2 1/2 cups (12.5 ounces; 350 grams) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons (25 grams) sugar
1 teaspoon (5 grams) kosher salt
2 1/2 sticks (10 ounces; 280 grams) unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pats
6 tablespoons (3 ounces; 85 milliliters) cold water

I looked at the amounts involved.

There was no way that I was going to be able to fit all that flour and butter into my food processor, which is an attachment to my stick blender. I looked closely at the amounts.

It so happens that the ratio of cups of flour to sticks of butter is 1:1. So I decided that I could make a test batch, one cup and one stick. The salt and sugar is less important, and in fact the sugar is kind of not what I wanted for a pasty dough.

I put 2/3 of the flour together with the butter and a bit of salt, then added a little water and more of the flour. (Probably not how I should have done it.) Then I mixed it in a larger bowl with a little more water. My hands are rather hot, so I tried to cool them down with ice.

I wrapped it up in cling wrap and let it cool off in the refrigerator. I pulled it out a few hours later, and quartered the dough. I saw that it had distinct stacked layers, like a good steel blade. I was thrilled.

I rolled it out in the best tradition of my mother, between two sheets of parchment paper. (There is no rolling pin in this kitchen. I used a glass.) I stuck it back in the refrigerator, still between the sheets, to wait while I prepared the filling. (Parchment paper and waxed paper are easier to handle than cling wrap, for this.)

http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2012/01/cornish-pasty-british-meat-hand-pie-recipe.html

This was not a Cornish pasty. [personal profile] wohali said something about a chicken curry pasty, and I went "Oooo!" and she advised that you can use pretty much any chicken curry recipe, just dryer than usual.

I went for it.

My basic chicken curry is chicken plus a brick of golden curry sauce plus assorted vegetables, and oil as needed. This time I decided to cook the chicken thigh meat so it would be easy to separate from the bones in my multifunction fancy rice cooker, along with some spiced oil left over from a previous recipe, and some dry onions. I cooked the vegetables and the curry brick separately, only combining them all (and some potato flakes to sop up water and oil) at the end. My partner is much better at handling chicken meat in all its phases than I am, and stripped the meat from the bones before I mixed them together.

I did roll it too thin, and I let it get too hot when filling it.

Despite the holes, I stuck the crust together with egg wash, and egg washed the outside. (I used the leftover egg wash to make a little bit of curry scrambled egg, which my partner ate on top of their salad.)

I'd wisely said that if the food was not going to be ready by 10pm, we should eat something else. The pies came out of the oven just as we were finishing chicken nuggets, but we still had enough room to test half a pie each.


Mmmmmmmmm.

I will be making these again. And the dough process is relatively simple with the tools at hand, so my partner (who can follow a recipe, but isn't yet the cocky ass in the kitchen that I am) may wind up learning the process too.


I put together a bit of sweet pie dough just now, and it's chilling in a ball in the refrigerator. I'm thinking that some fruit pies might be in order...
sporky_rat: Jars of orange fruit, backlit (food)
[personal profile] sporky_rat

It has been a week. It's been a busy week, but a week none-the-less.

We have Nico this weekend because Jenna's gone to Florida to go get her dude and drive with him back so they can get Nico registered for school. School started a week and a half ago, but he couldn't be registered because the school district can't accept the notarized paper stating that Jenna lives in the house that doesn't have her name on it.

Weird, I know, the utility folks accepted it.

My meds have given me back my ability to eat. It's distressing because it's hard to feed yourself with a minimum of effort. I see a lot of oatmeal in my future. (It's easy to cook. It's easy to eat, especially if I put a glug of maple syrup in it.)

I did cookie balls so they can baked off at will and did up the five ingredient biscuits from Budget Bytes that require heavy cream instead of butter. They usually work pretty well. I like them. They're tasty and easy.

I have grapes, kiwi, a cantaloupe of some sort (it's got a fancy name), we'll have corn on the cob tonight and I need to figure out something for these beets.

Family.

Aug. 17th, 2017 02:28 pm
azurelunatic: A red apple with a bite out of it, captioned in Star Trek font "What no-win scenario?" (what no-win scenario)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
I am scared of my family right now.

My immediate family are largely good people who generally behave with kindness to all, and abhor the concepts of white supremacy and fascism like any decent person.

My aunts on my father's side are pretty awesome. Hippie Uncle is great, and Woodworking Uncle has good intentions and maybe a few distortions due to assorted experiences of privilege, but he does not appear to go out of his way to fuck other people over.

My aunt-by-marriage scares me. She's a doctor, and things she has said about transgender people, and gender in general, make me feel unsafe around her.

My uncle who is married to that aunt has good intentions, but does not appear to be in a position to temper his wife's attitudes.

"Racist Cousin Anna" has said some things about Mexicans that made me turn away from her. She's married to the older of that uncle's kids.

Both those cousins have posted things about guns and Muslims on Facebook that make me scared, like they wouldn't hesitate to support laws that would marginalize my friends, or might use one of those guns on someone.

I don't have the scariest family in the world. And I'm still skittish of saying anything that might prompt them to stop seeing me as their tame cousin and start seeing me as Other.

Agent Carter is back up!

Aug. 16th, 2017 12:36 pm
sporky_rat: Nyota Uhura in TOS Mirror Universe uniform (star trek)
[personal profile] sporky_rat
However, I don't remember how to start IRC on the commandline for Ubuntu (I do remember my password but not the instructions).

Also, um. How does one go about updating Ubuntu? I'm not quite sure which edition I'm on but it's definitely a few years old. (When did I take Microbiology? At least that long ago.)

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

Aug. 13th, 2017 10:06 pm
kiya: (uphold maat)
[personal profile] kiya
Well, instead of packing for my summer vacation, or something.

I went to a protest thing.

I blabbed about it at twitter, and I managed to get it to thread more or less correctly I think, so I will just link the top of that. At some point I will figure out how to get there to be twitter autopost things here, I hear it's possible but I do not know hoooowwwwwwwwww.

Anyway, the link is https://twitter.com/kiya_nicoll/status/896902155470127105

To-do

Aug. 13th, 2017 10:51 am
kiya: (pondering)
[personal profile] kiya
Travel plan sorting, notes for self.

Mostly only interesting to me )

Glacier

Aug. 12th, 2017 10:17 pm
azurelunatic: The (old) Tacoma Narrows Bridge, intact but twisted. (disaster waiting to happen)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
I feel very much like I'm talking about the things that don't matter, but the things that matter very much are private and inward and delicate, and to share such things widely would not be the done thing.

So: life bits, in passing.

The freezer (the thinner, left, door of the two-doored refrigerator) has had ice on the bottom -- at first just a little bit, and a few cubes that had fallen out of the ice maker -- for a while. We've had "de-glacier the freezer" on the to-do list for a while.

This morning (I think?) it hit critical, while I was -- ah, yes, it was this morning, because I was retrieving the frozen vegetables that I'd use in lunch -- searching around for something that turned out to be in the bottom drawer.

The drawers in this freezer are wire baskets with snap-on (and fall-off) plastic fronts. The bottom drawer was blocked from pulling out because the ice on the bottom was too high.

I grumbled, laid down the kitchen utility towel (one of the old ones with fraying and maybe a hole or two) and grabbed a knife for ice-pick duty. (My partner was unavailable for help, on some other unspecifiable but definitely important mission of internet mercy. Godspeed, friend.) Anyway, it would probably not have benefitted from two people. So I whacked at the ice for a while, and got it mostly on the towel. I tugged at the drawer.

The drawer shot out with surprising ease, given the big chunk of ice still attached to the bottom. I had words. I went for the cooler-bag.

It turned out that the ice sheet was attached to the basket by only a few wires, and once I figured out how to get it in the sink at the right angle, I was able to use hot water to get the ice off those wires. I left the larger sheet in the sink to thaw and drop its inclusions all over the sink, like boulders on a cleanly carved valley.

The ice had come out in one piece. There was still a little coming down the slanted surface of the bottom back, and a little more below the vent that disperses cold air or something. I swiped it out with a different kitchen towel that was due to be washed soon anyway, and reported back to my partner (after they emerged from their task).

The stuff went back in, a little more organized than it had come out, with a few things put in the fridge to thaw.

A generous double handful of the frozen mixed vegetables went in the frying pan, along with some bacon and potato. It would be slowly cooked into glorious lunch with cheese. A proper weekend brunch sort of item.

I found the strawberries I'd put aside when I got the big thing of them, frozen into a sullen frisbee sort of shape in the bottom of the round container. I pondered, tried chopping into it with a not-big-enough knife, then the brainstorm hit. I retrieved the largest of the melamine bowls (the ones with the lids) and popped the disc in.

Then I shook it.

A whole bunch of frozen strawberries make some gawdawful noise, being rattled like rocks against a hard surface, but it does tend to break them apart quite handily. I liberated a few to chuck in the food processor (an attachment for my stick blender, which I finally found at some late point in the packing, so it went in my Bachelor Kitchen Box) to turn into dust to grace the top of the lemon jelly. (Lemon jello plus shreds of frozen strawberry? RECOMMENDED.)

I also got some mending done this morning. There are some shirts that need their necks re-hemmed, plus under-layer shorts that had started blowing out at the crotch but were still otherwise in good shape. I had found one of the dismangled (a typo, but I'm keeping it) pairs of shorts, and sacrificed it for patches.

I will need to either repair my sewing machine (I dropped it while trying to get it set up) or locate the Sidewinder. The sewing machine still lights up and stitches, but something is awry in the bobbin winder. This is the second sewing machine that I've jacked up such that it won't wind bobbins anymore. Additionally, something else is wrong with the actual bobbin nest -- I believe some plate fell out. So it's harder to load, but at least it does still sew.

Kitten has decided that I am an acceptable surface to sleep on/against, and has started doing just that. It's cute, until I need to move, at which point she meows accusingly. Sometimes she settles back against me, and sometimes she stalks off and sits in her accustomed place on Partner. (Partner sleeps on their back, face up, sometimes guarding their bladder area with their hands against kitten massage even as they sleep.)

just a passing through to say

Aug. 11th, 2017 01:03 pm
sporky_rat: The Roman Orator from Rome. Text: listen the hell up! (listen to me!)
[personal profile] sporky_rat
My love for Ke$ha will probably not fail me.

An Updated Hello (2017)

Aug. 8th, 2017 06:52 pm
stormyhearted: (be a good one)
[personal profile] stormyhearted
Since it's been over four years since my Quick Hello post, I figure it is probably time for an update.

I continue to go by Juni most of the time, though you may also know me as Kat. I'm 31, living in North Carolina very near Raleigh; I have three benevolent feline overlords that I am exceedingly fond of. I work at Barnes & Noble, and I'm an on-again-off-again online college student, majoring in Creative Writing.

Aside from work and writing, my life consists of being perpetually tired, knitting, weaving, crocheting, watching CSI reruns, lots and lots of reading, collecting Funko Pops, baking, and generally feeling like a walking disaster. Other relevant details about me: I'm a Hufflepuff; I'm pagan with strong agnostic tendencies; I have Major Depressive Disorder and ADHD-PI; I don't have any better grasp on How To Adult™ than I did a few years ago, but I've developed a better attitude about it (less panic, more shrugging).

I have almost certainly rambled on enough, but feel free to ask any questions you'd like!

Hacker-Kitty

Aug. 8th, 2017 01:47 pm
azurelunatic: Monkey King swings his cudgel  (monkey king)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
My partner got one cat in the breakup, the cat who trailed them through the shelter while they were looking at different cats, and who lap-kittied at them the first chance she got. (I suspect that my partner got this cat by dint of having made sure to pack her along with the other important things when they fled the household of abuse. The ex took all the other pets, including the second cat who adored my partner.)

Miss Air Raid Siren had two types of notable damage when she was adopted: first, she had been front-declawed, and second, she is quite food-insecure. She cannot just be left to free-feed, and I gathered that it was a bit of a production to feed all the cats in such a way that everyone got their fair share. (Another of the cats had been a bit of a vacuum-cleaner himself, so it wasn't just her.)

When the ex's regimented schedule had demanded that my partner be home at the appointed hour every day to feed "the kids", all was well ... at the expense of my partner's labor, and my partner's ability to have an actual social life and do things with friends.

Now, this cat does appreciate being fed. She's earned a few names on account of her increasingly vocal demands to be fed, typically starting about an hour before feeding time. (Most of them are even printable.) And if the feeding is late -- oh, my. (Everyone has come to the understanding that while an hour late is no big deal ultimately, it's probably better for whoever is present to feed her, if it's anything beyond that or if she appears to be in any actual distress. And then tell the Human In Charge, because she will cheerfully make as though she's Never Been Fed, Ever when a food-giver returns home. Even when she's already eaten.)

So when my partner was living with Host Family #2, they borrowed some wet/dry automatic feeders (with ice pack) in service of being able to be out & about and spend the night away, without overly distressing the cat. This worked reasonably well.

Then they returned the feeders. They then tried to replace them.

Friends, do you know how very goddamn many nearly identical compartment feeders with a rotating lid exist on places like Amazon? A very bloody lot, as it turns out. And not all of them are up to the challenge of being worked at by a determined and highly food-motivated hacker-kitten.

Candidate Feeders 1 and 2 had a spring-loaded lid. Hacker-Kitten dug at it with her little blunt pussywillow-paws until the lid crept back, then held it there (somehow) and stuck her little face in, and ate extra portions.

Candidate Feeder 3 looked like the loaner feeder, but Hacker-Kitten batted at the protective plastic cover on the brain/engine core, and broke the manual advance button by standing on it, then dug it open despite the lack of springs and claws. Subsequently the thing didn't work at all.

Candidate Feeder 4 was the same model as 3, but I'd taped down the core's cover in a way that defeated the attempts to open it that way. After the evening meal, I put it up out of harm's way for the night, and put it down again in the morning. She ate her breakfast on schedule, but come 5:30pm or so and she'd dug the top around to the next meal, early.

This morning when my partner put it out again (only dry food, this time) loaded with today and tomorrow's meals, a little past breakfast I saw she'd opened the dinner compartment just a little. So I put it up, and sent my partner the link to the (not cheap) feeder I found that will do 1/8 cup increments of dry food and uses an entirely different mechanism. I'll put it down when I leave for my event this evening, then see what she's done to it by the time I return...

We're hoping that Feeder 5 will do the trick.

It would be ideal to be able to give her both wet and dry food on a timer (and keep the wet food refrigerated, naturally) for 2-3 days. But failing that, just dry food will keep her fed well enough that she won't be yowling and desperate if an evening out goes longer than planned. (Usually we feed her early if we think we'll be out significantly past her dinner. But that doesn't always work.) Provided she doesn't eat it all early...

another wistful moment

Aug. 7th, 2017 07:34 pm
cheyinka: A sketch of a Metroid (Default)
[personal profile] cheyinka

I wish people were complaining about having to have Bill Clinton anywhere near the presidency ever again. I wish people were squabbling over "First Laddie" as a term. I was so hopeful and it all got smashed and I don't know how I'm going to feel right about politics ever again.

2017-02-27

vandroid-helsing:
It used to bother me a little that Star Wars characters talked as if the Empire had been around forever (”before the dark times”, Obi-Wan says, exhausted) when the prequels tell us it’s only been about twenty years.
But since the inauguration, I get it.

Character planning: Diane Carter

Aug. 6th, 2017 09:38 pm
contrariwise: (Default)
[personal profile] contrariwise
http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Diane_Carter

PB Sandrine Holt
http://octonaut.insanejournal.com/32164.html
http://asylums.insanejournal.com/wonderfalls/130687.html
http://starboard.insanejournal.com/105608.html

Obviously not the fancy clothes because she'll be managing the Meadowes family store.

Parents both muggleborn, killed by Death Eaters in the first war when she was barely a month or two old. No family to take her in so she was adopted by Felix and Joanna Meadowes along with three other children. She's never known any other life and they are absolutely her parents and have her loyalty but there's always been an undercurrent of anger to her too.

Kid PB Katie Chang
http://twatty.insanejournal.com/92044.html
http://asylums.insanejournal.com/licorice/5559.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diana_(mythology)

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