lwood: (Default)
2011-02-10 01:24 am

Open Letter to My Dead Grandmother

Hrafnar's Disablot was tonight, and not only did I honor my grandmother as usual, but Laurel and I between us made a dish she always made for my mum, but mom never shared: poppy seed roll.

I wrote her a letter tonight, but as it's not like she can read it, I may as well make it open. More details behind the cut. )
lwood: (Default)
2010-10-26 09:56 am

Heart Stew

A few nights, in accordance with some experimental stuff [livejournal.com profile] dpaxson and I are doing, I'm making heart stew...which I've never made before, but organ meats tend to want one of two things: seared or braised, because there's a vast gum-rubber land in between.

This recipe is my own creation, but I found it tasty!

Ingredients )


Method )
lwood: (Default)
2010-10-12 12:44 pm

Book Signing with [livejournal.com profile] dpaxson in Seattle!

In association with [livejournal.com profile] erynn999, Diana and I proudly present: something to do this Saturday night!

Diana Paxson ([livejournal.com profile] dpaxson, author of Taking Up the Runes, Essential Asatru, Trance-Portation, and a stack of fiction books as long as your arm, will be at Edge of the Circle Books in Seattle THIS SATURDAY, October 16th, from 4-6 PM for a book signing.

Whoever's left standing at the end of the affair will help us decide where we're going for dinner--a pubmoot may well break out! Have there been any stories that we wouldn't tell you because "you'd have to get us drunk"? This may be your chance!

[livejournal.com profile] dpaxson has been a strong influence in modern paganism and heathenry for over twenty years, involved in organizations at all levels. Currently, she serves as Clergy Coordinator for The Troth, as well as editing its magazine Idunna and substantiative contributor to Our Troth. On the local (San Francisco Bay Area) scene, she runs the open heathen group Hrafnar as well as serving as secretary for The Fellowship of the Spiral Path.

Our apologies for the short notice! I hope you'll be able to join us.
lwood: (Default)
2010-09-20 01:15 pm

The Problem of Iced Tea, and Two Solutions

Tea.

Almost everyone in Europe, Asia, Australia, and North America have something to say about tea, and here I strictly mean the (variously) prepared leaves of Camellia sinensis, steeped in water.

Musings on the Icing of Tea, and why it is Considered Harmful in certain contexts. )

Thus do we define, as Cariadoc of the Bow puts it, the Iced Tea Problem.

One of the answers listed in his Miscellany is sekanjabin, which I had the good fortune to try while sojourning with Jennifer/Wander/[livejournal.com profile] lferion in Atenveldt (and then discussed with him later). It boils down to a thicker-than-simple syrup, which one may dilute to taste, thus:


Cariadoc's Sekanjabin Recipe )

Sekanjibin, of course, is not the only answer to The Problem of Iced Tea. In an episode of Good Eats that first aired in 2006, "Just Barley", Alton Brown introduced the US--at least the foodie/geeky subset, to barley water. The picture in the Wikipedia entry I linked to looks more like the Russian malted rye soda that I drank at one of my other events this past summer, but never mind.

Barley Water Recipe )Of course, this recipe and its accompanying rant are completely wasted on those who can't handle gluten-bearing cereal grains. For most of you, I would recommend substituting brown rice for the hulled barley--except you, [livejournal.com profile] bearfairie, because anaphylaxis is so not a good look for you! Obviously, I need to experiment with millet and quinoa waters. 8-)

So! Therewith, my current thoughts on The Problem of Iced Tea, and my current favorite solution: barley water!

To your health!

-- Lorrie
lwood: (Default)
2010-09-16 10:38 am

Obscure Post is Obscure

Last night, the wolf ran with me awhile; it had been too long, and it was good.

Last night, I saw the earth call to the wolf, the ravens, and the eagle, calling the wind that bore them to her breast, and under her breast, as a hawk to the hand, naming and naming until the wind, and will, and dust coalesced to a man-shape—back so long that it couldn't've been "past", only "ago". This, too, was good.

This morning, the local mated pair of ravens laughs as they fly past my window: new memory and old thought winging together. This, too, is good.

-- Lorrie
lwood: (Default)
2010-08-08 03:16 am

Finnish Rye Sourdough Recipe (ALL rye!)

Yesterday, I found a recipe online for a Finnish all-rye sourdough bread (scroll down the comments to hansjoakim, who translated this from the Finnish), which I have extracted and executed. Here it is, expanded with notes that I hope prove helpful to you:

Finnish Rye Sourdough Bread )


I have yet to actually eat any of this, but it looks proper and sounds right when I thump it. *grin*

Sourdough breads keep longer, and better, than conventional yeast breads. If I had to hazard a guess, I would say that the lactic (et al) acid provided by the sourdough's bacteria do a happy little denaturing number on the proteins. Thus, a loaf I made for [livejournal.com profile] count_geiger and I back on Thursday isn't stale yet--so, do not worry about it being day-old, or even longer, as long as the loaf remains sound.

Happy Baking!

-- Lorrie
lwood: (Default)
2010-08-08 02:20 am

On All-Rye Sourdough Starter and Bread

I've been baking many different sorts of bread lately--being that flour, even whole grain flour, qualifies as fairly cheap thrills, not to mention the nutritional benefits.

Having combed over several web pages and consulted my Bread Bible, once back from the Brushwood trip I set out to make an all-rye sourdough starter. This wasn't exactly covered in my sources, but it seemed to me that if I proceeded roughly as for a wheat starter, I would not go far wrong (and if I did, I refer you to my first point: Flour Is Cheap).

For dizzying arrays of further information on sourdough, check out Sourdough Home.

This is what I did, and it worked. )


Oh, you wanted to bake with it? Or how often to feed it, how to maintain it, and other exciting things?

Visit Sourdough Home. They have much advice to give--this foregoing is based on their data, as well as Rose Levy Birnbaum's Bread Bible and my own experience.

My first bread with this was taking RLB's "Sourdough Rye", using my all-rye starter instead of her wheaten one (stiffened as per spec in the book), and taking the ratio of bread flour : rye flour in the bread proper all the way up to 1:1 instead of, er, I seem to recall one part rye to five parts white. It did all things in the right way, resulting in a dense, chewy shotput of a loaf that rose in a way I figured appropriate for a mostly-whole-grain bread.

Why?


In a word: gluten. )


As for an all-rye sourdough bread, I've just completed a matched pair--see the next post.

-- Lorrie
lwood: (Default)
2010-08-08 01:15 am

Fiber!

What's keeping me from roaming the streets of My Fair City and joining up with the latest demonstration/riot?

  1. Fiber Arts (this post).

  2. Editing ancient issues of Idunna for republication (not terribly interesting if you're not in the project, really)

  3. Exploring whole grains and baking sourdough bread.


I suppose, taken together, it's a real high fiber diet...

ANYWAY!

Of late, I have undertaken rudimentary studies in several fiber arts that were of interest in Northern and Western Europe Back in the Day--especially if I could pack it up and take it on one of my trips. Here's a quick run-through...


Spinning on a Drop Spindle )


Nalebinding )


Card/Tablet Weaving )


Sprang )


Actual Weaving )


Knitting )


There. Next, a few notes about the baking, brewing, and other food things of late.

-- Lorrie
lwood: (Default)
2010-08-07 11:53 pm

Sojourns in the Wild Places!

Wow, it's been...entirely too long.




May )


June )


July )


And now we are home, with intent to stay here for a tidy few months. But how do I keep busy...?

Stay tuned!

-- Lorrie
lwood: (Default)
2010-06-24 08:15 pm

Everyday Spinach with Mushrooms

Similarly, that same [livejournal.com profile] countgeiger likes his spinach this way, because it is "not wet".

Everyday Spinach with Mushrooms

Per person:

5 oz spinach (baby or adult, doesn't matter)
2 oz brown mushrooms, sliced
enough of your oil-of-choice to cover the bottom of a skillet
1/2 onion, diced to 1/2"
pinch of salt
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
splash tamari or soy sauce

Place sliced mushrooms in microwave-safe bowl and cook on high power for two to three minutes. Remove and press into a sieve or colander, extracting a lot of liquid, and set aside.

If using adult spinach, roll several leaves together into a cigar, and slice crosswise into 1/2"-1" long pieces. Baby spinach can be used as-is (but costs twice as much). In either case, place spinach into a bowl and microwave that too, 2-3 minutes per serving or until wilted (but not undead). Remove and press into a colander or sieve, extracting yet more liquid, and set aside. Your spinach will have reduced ridiculously in volume, 2/3, 3/4, or more.

While spinach is cooking in microwave, heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Once a drop of water sizzles in the pan, add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened and translucent, about five minutes. Add garlic and stir until fragrant, about thirty seconds. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, until mushrooms are fully browned. Add spinach to skillet and combine with mushrooms, onions, and garlic until spinach is heated through, then add tamari or soy sauce and cook until the sauce is absorbed, perhaps two minutes more.

Serve immediately.
lwood: (Default)
2010-06-24 08:01 pm

Everyday Whole Grains

Okay, so. White carbs aren't so great for you. Whole grains are better, yah?

But they're haaaaaaaaard...and healthy things taste yucky and and and--!

Try this--start this rolling while you get the rest of dinner together, it should be done by the time the rest of it is. You will have lost some nebulous "healthful points", yah, but slightly-less-healthy things you're willing to eat have got to, IMO, be better than the wholly healthy thing you feel sentenced to eat before chucking down the disposal in self-loathing, right?

[livejournal.com profile] countgeiger like this enough to eat the leftovers.

Of his own free will.

And this is a man who'll freely admit that his favorite diet would be hamburgers and milkshakes if you left him to it.

So:

Savory Weeknight Whole Grains

3 parts whole grains of your choice: rye berries, wheat berries, hulled (not pearl) barley, brown rice--I've not tried this with quinoa, buckwheat, or whole oats, YMMV.
5 parts water

two Tablespoons unsalted butter (or other grease, but butter browns best) per 1 1/2 c grains
one onion per every 1 1/2 c grain, 1/2" dice
pinch of salt
one-half ounce dried mushroom per 1 1/2 c grain, torn or pounded to 1/2" pieces

Preheat oven to 375°

Melt butter in an oven-safe Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid large enough to hold the grains and water over medium heat. Once butter has melted and foaming subsides, add onion and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions have softened and become translucent, about five minutes.

Pour water into a kettle or saucepan, and place over high heat as soon as the onions are cooked. Add grains to butter and onions and, while water is heating, toast grain in oil, stirring frequently. As the grain toasts, it will smell pleasantly nutty.

When water comes to a boil, remove from heat. Add one-fifth of the water to the grains, which will cause some thermal drama. Add the rest of the water and the crumbled dried mushrooms, cover, and place in the preheated oven.

Bake at 375° for 45 minutes, while you cook the other things. Grain will be chewy, but not crunchy.
lwood: (Default)
2010-03-23 02:06 am

Beautiful Math!

Yes, math is hard, and many of us would rather go shopping.

But--math is pretty! Look! Click the clicky, watch the pretty math go by!

lwood: (Default)
2010-03-09 06:03 pm

Kitchen Science FTW!

This year, I am corning my own beef, celebrating the fact that when the Irish got to New York City, their Jewish neighbors introduced them to kosher salt and a nice brisket, and Irish promptly substituted this for the (back) bacon in their boiled dinner.

You, my friends, know this as "corned beef and cabbage".

Fun Kitchen Science Fact: corned beef is pink because of KNO3, better known as saltpetre--which has no effect on the male anatomy, although all that green beer you're swilling with it probably will. As KNO3 can be used to make things go boom, it can be difficult to acquire--I tried several stores (a pharmacy, a health food store, and my favorite occult shop) before finding it at my second favorite occult shop for $2.50/oz (limit 2 oz due to boom).

Want some? Come to Hrafnar's Lore Night on 17 March! Topic...well, topic is tbd, but wouldn't you like a nice brisket?

-- Lorrie
lwood: (hrafnar logo)
2010-03-01 09:38 am

Pantheacon 2011: BOOK ROOMS NOW: (408) 453-4000

I have just called the Doubletree San Jose and reserved my rooms for NEXT YEAR's Pantheacon. All the computers have done their little dances, and you--YES YOU--can reserve your room RIGHT NOW and have it be part of the Pantheacon room bloc.

Room rates are $93 for non-pool-view, $103 for pool view, per night, for one to four adults.

This is the main con hotel, the one that always sells out months and months before the convention. Do not delay--reserve yours TODAY!

The dates for next year's Pantheacon are 18-21 February, 2011. Be sure to mention that you're with the con for the special room rate when you call.

Call the hotel directly: (408) 453-4000.

-- Lorrie
lwood: (wizpod)
2010-02-22 12:33 pm

I <3 xkcd...

It's only funny because it's true. Love Sympathy to my sibling sysadmins...

lwood: (Default)
2010-02-20 05:42 pm

[livejournal.com profile] dpaxson's Apple Birthday Cake

Today is [livejournal.com profile] dpaxson's sixty-seventh birthday1, and I've been asked to bring the cake and ice cream, while Suleiman the Magnificent Spiffy performs his usual arcane awesomeness with a pork roast.

Now, it's a little-known fact that Herself the Birthday Girl isn't much of a one for chocolate. Given her druthers, it's caramel every time, so that's where we're starting from.

I did consider a tres leche cake, that sensuous mouthgasm of yellow cake soaked in condensed (thus part-caramelized) milk, topped with whipped cream, and there's some half-and-half in there somewhere which makes this technically quatro leches, and I was very nearly inspired to throw in a can of dulce de leche as well--and that would have been Quite Good, no mistake.

But then, I remembered that guaranteed-magnificent spiffy pork roast. Pork, as all men know, cuddles up right well with onions. How could I pick that up and run with it? Well, I might consider caramelized Vidalia ice cream...on a bet...if I had an ice cream maker...and it were Vidalia onion season...maybe if I hadn't blown the Vidalia onion mead for Dísablót...

Wait, wait, wait. What else goes well with pork, and also onions?

Apples! )
lwood: (Default)
2010-02-20 01:07 am

Latest on Booking for Next Pantheacon: 27 February

Here is [livejournal.com profile] pentaclemoon's latest to the Pantheacon FB group (soon, doubtless, to be echoed on [livejournal.com profile] pantheacon:
Okay people - we love the fact that you love PantheaCon. With that said, you're gnna have to be a teensy bit more patient to get your room reserved. I just got an updated load date for the room block. Saturday Feb 27th is the hard date I have been given by our Event Manager at the Doubletree for when you can call in. You all can try callilng on Friday the 26th, but don't expect too much. She confirmed for me that Friday is when they will be downloading the room info from one system to the other (hotels are rather archaic and have multiple systems that do not talk to each other without LOTS of poking and prodding). Hopefully this will go smoothly and you will all get to Ro-Sham-Bo for rooms by the end of the week!

So there you are, then. Move your calendar appointments, and may the fastest clickers win!

Meanwhile, if you think that Pantheacon has rather outgrown its current hotel, check this post in [livejournal.com profile] pantheacon to find out why we haven't moved yet. Then, as long as you're there, why not join [livejournal.com profile] pantheacon and hear all of this first-hand?

-- Lorrie
lwood: (Default)
2010-02-17 12:17 am

Want a Room at the Doubletree for Pantheacon 2011? Call Sunday!

I'm posting from my phone and on the road, so with little of my usual flair and panache.

If you want to ensure a Doubletree room for next year's Pantheacon, you can make a reservation as soon as this SUNDAY, 21 February. Synchronize your watches...

Edit: I know what pentaclemoon just posted; I read that too, so I called the hotel. What I reported above is what Reservations told me just now. Sorry for any confusion from the apparent contradiction--if I get better info I'll retract/correct immediately, of course!

-- Lorrie
lwood: (hrafnar logo)
2010-02-10 12:47 am

On Danish-Westrian Cabbage

A few minutes ago, I started cooking six pounds of (pre-shredded! the decadence!) red cabbage, to which I added apple cider vinegar, honey, and a bit of water. The recipe is cited as "Danish", as opposed to the one on the facing page which is "German". The cookbook was written by Danish-American expats living in Southern California, with a little help from their friends, as I'd mentioned before.

The smell wafting through the apartment right now touches me in some deep, comforting place—even though my mother's cabbage expertise began and ended at "white cabbage boiled until dead". I admit to a certain nostalgia for the sulfurous plume that arises from a good boiled dinner (e.g. corned beef and the aforementioned Really Most Sincerely Dead cabbage). The red cabbage smells like and unlike that, which is probably for the best.

Soon, I will (in accordance with the prophecy recipe) add a dollop of pomegranate jelly, which was probably some kind of lingonberry preserve back in Ye Olde Country.

But I didn't "back-correct" it, even though I have a jar of lingonberry preserves in the refrigerator.

No, I find the pomegranate is a nice touch, withal: a reminder that we're not, in fact, in Ye Olde Country, and that, just as our foremothers of spirit cooked tasty, healthful food with what was to hand, so can we--with what comes to hand here in California, which does not include bog berries like lingonberries, but does include cabbage, apple, onions--and pomegranates.

Some other day, I will make the one from the "German" page.

It has bacon.


I'm making red cabbage because [livejournal.com profile] auntiematter won't be here to make and serve it herself--I don't have her recipe, but when she makes it, no matter how much she makes, she simply cannot make enough.

May mine go half so well.

-- Lorrie

PS: In the Chronicles of Westria, [livejournal.com profile] dpaxson immortalized the Santa Ynez Valley as the Danehold, a heathen enclave on Westria's southern border--hence the title here.

PPS: Well, Westria's southern border except for those years when the summer is rather too long and boring, and the young lads do what young lads do, which, given the givens, means "go raiding into Elaya and accidentally capture Santibar". What, doesn't every jarl want a deepwater port of his very own as a Midsummer present?
lwood: (Default)
2010-02-09 01:26 pm

HALP! It's February!

Last night, on my calendar, was the last night of calm before ZOMGWTFBBQPantheacon--[livejournal.com profile] dpaxson and I opted to postphone rehearsing our parts for the Odin Ritual we (and [livejournal.com profile] hilarypoet, [livejournal.com profile] trogula, [livejournal.com profile] bearfairie, and more!) are doing Sunday morning in favor of reading to one another, aloud, from The Curse of Chalion which, while a fantasy novel, is one of our favorite books to recommend to the chronically god-bothered.

We stand by our decision. *grin*

In the meantime, this is why I probably won't have seen whatever deathless prose you approach me with for the next nine days:

Today, I start pre-cooking for Wednesday--with the complication that, as [livejournal.com profile] seasword's flight has been thrice-cancelled, [livejournal.com profile] auntiematter will not be here to cook or attend. In her honor, I'm-a cooking red cabbage, although I am coin-flip ambivalent about whether it ought to be Danish style as seen at California kitschy cult classic restaurant Pea Soup Andersen's (special star ingredient: pomegranate jelly*!) or German style (special star ingredients: apple and bacon!). Also, I have this pork shoulder and this bottle of [livejournal.com profile] dr_beowulf's Vidalia Onion Mead (one of only two still known to exist) and they're a-gonna get funky overnight, oh yes.

Tonight is trance class, although with P-con prep reaching a fever pitch, we're not sure how many will actually show up.

Tomorrow-day, I will start a batch of barley in [livejournal.com profile] dpaxson's slow cooker, then pick Elisheva up from the airport (YAY!).

Tomorrow-night, Hrafnar's Disablót.

Thursday: not only Elisheva, but also [livejournal.com profile] erynn999, as [livejournal.com profile] countgeiger does The Sensible Thing and goes to the Con a day early to set up as part of His Staffly Duties. The rehearsal [livejournal.com profile] dpaxson and I put off to read to each other will probably happen here instead.

Friday through Monday: PANTHEACON!

Tuesday: The sun will rise. The hobbits will rise somewhat later. A car will leave the Bay Area for an Overnight Jaunt to an Undisclosed Location.

Wednesday: That same car will return.

Thursday: The visitors leave. [livejournal.com profile] dpaxson and [livejournal.com profile] lwood fall down, go boom.

Friday: If I had a job, I would be calling in dead.

Saturday: [livejournal.com profile] dpaxson's birthday!

Sunday: Funeral for a friend.

Monday: [livejournal.com profile] countgeiger's Birthday!

And that's the lot--holy cats! I have to go to the store!

-- Lorrie (zoooooom!)

* - We had this at the restaurant and quite liked it--it was the last straw that finally talked me into buying their cookbook, which isn't just "food from the restaurant", but also contributions from the Solvang/Buellton community, so there's not only contributions from all over Scandinavia and Contintental Europe, but also Mexican--and a frybread. It wanted but for a couple Chumash recipes to be a proper Santa Ynez Valley(Danehold) culinary trifecta. However, the waitress at the restaurant sheepishly admitted that the pomegranate jelly (which woulda been local not long ago) had been replaced, at the restaurant, by grape. Concord, from the taste. Rest assured, it won't have that on my watch...