wyld_dandelyon: (Default)
Yeah, the con report is a little late. Such is life.

I got to the hotel later than planned (the dentist trip the day before slowed me down), and piled the stuff I would need to teach people painting in the Midwinter Faire onto the little luggage cart I mostly use to take a few of my many instruments to filks, got to the usual area only to see no evidence of that event happening. Well, I thought, maybe they moved it. After a quick walk to programming ops, I found that they'd cancelled the event (too bad they didn't tell me, I would have brought less painting stuff). I also found that they were looking for people to add to several panels I was very interested in, one of which started immediately, so I took my paints and canvasses and spare paper and table cover and all to that room to talk about the allegation that there are only 7 stories (well, seven plot types, as it turned out). It was an interesting panel, and I did some sketching underneath my notes for the panel.



It turns out my in-panel doodles are much better when I expected to spend that time teaching art than they are when I am gearing up my thoughts to talking about writing, though I think I held my own on that front too.

Afterward, the art show found me space to hang some art (in addition to the Capricon Challenge piece) and I did that. This pic was taken before they printed the bid sheets.



The next morning, I got up very early (for me) to talk about Libraries in Space--or more specifically about what a library of a new colony on Mars would be like. That sounds like a planetary library to me, but that didn't make the topic any less interesting.

The final panel I was on was Theology in SF, which was fascinating. It was very different from the other excellent religion in SF panels I've been on at various cons in past years, which was due, partially, to the focus on deity rather than religion. I think it was also partially due to the fact that the panelists this time were primarily people fascinated by the study of religion, rather than primarily people who write science fiction--not that the two are in any way exclusive, because they're not, but the focus was more on views of God or Gods and how that affected various science fiction works, and less on how to make a fictional religion believable. I enjoyed it very much. I was also thanked afterward for representing the Pagan worldview, a thing the audience member in question said she hadn't seen much of. I guess either the popularity of Paganism at conventions is down or, more likely, the rise of the Religious Right and the "alt right" has made a lot of us back at least partway into the closet.

After that, I spent time painting and doing all the things that I go to cons for--chatting with people and filking and panels. One of the highlights was working on my painting of Cathy during her concert (and teaching some painting there, after all). During the filks, I sat with my sister. She painted, being of the firm opinion that a filk provides her with a good excuse to do art. I also painted during the filk, in between singing and playing songs myself and playing along with other people.

Here's a new detail from Cathy's painting. She suggested I add a sea horse, but when I saw a pic of an adult sea horse with a young one, I knew the painting needed more than one.



The con wasn't perfect, of course. I had to tell the Green Room staff how disappointing it was that they didn't keep the ingredients of the stuff in the room so I could tell if I could eat it or not (I've been eating in the green room with these food allergies at Capricon for years now, and in past years, they kept the ingredients panels from boxes in a spiral notebook). So I didn't eat much there. The ice cream in the con suite wasn't safe--but to my shock the hot dogs were (they still had the box!). Also, I brought some food. So I didn't starve, and more importantly, I didn't get sick, which I can't take for granted when I'm not cooking from scratch at home. So that has to count as a win.

And I sold a piece of art -- my Resist! black cat-eared hat. It didn't net me much income, but was a little more than the hanging fees, so overall, also a win. And to think I put the hat into the auction more as a political statement than expecting to sell it!

I guess I should go get some pink t-shirt material and make at least one more hat.
wyld_dandelyon: (Creative Joyous Cat)
Take out frozen bacon (a wonderful left-over partial package of Deirdre-safe bacon gifted by my sister Siobhan) because it's at the top of the freezer, and I'm hungry and don't want to rummage to see what else is in there.

Take one of the only 2 delicata squashes salvaged from my garden that has to be used right away because of wildlife damage, cut off parts gnawed by said wildlife (racoon, possum, or squirrel), peel and cut into pieces. Grumble once again about the half-dozen or more squashes they got away with.

Get impatient with frozen bacon and put it into the pan, cutting across it to make bite-sized pieces before it's fully thawed. (One advantage of cast iron pans is you can cut things in them and not worry about damaging the surface.) Peel and cut an onion and add to pan as soon as the bacon has created some grease to cook it with.

Cook over low heat with the lid on to speed things up, except for removing lid frequently to stir.

Peel and cut two small potatoes. Smile at the cat who thinks peels that miss the compost bucket are funny-smelling cat toys. Add squash pieces to pan. Notice that it lacks contrast. Go out and pick green beans by the light of the cell phone's built-in flashight; rinse, cut up, add potatoes and green beans to pan.

Chop a clove of garlic very fine and add to pan with thyme (also originally from the garden, but grown last year) and white and black pepper. Add a little butter because the food is starting to stick (the onion, potatoes, and squash used up all the bacon grease?!?) and because the potatoes want some butter flavor.

Retrieve the now-neglected cat toys from the floor and add to the compost bucket. Stop cooking as soon as potato pieces are soft, because I'm hungry.

I have no idea what you'd call it, but it was tasty!

Here goes!

Feb. 18th, 2014 09:25 pm
wyld_dandelyon: (Disintegrations and Defenestrations! by)
Me to poor, sore stomach: So, what do you want to eat?
Stomach: Meat
Me: We're out of meat. What about soup?
Stomach: All of the soups we have found that have no wheat, corn, or canola oil are vegetarian.
Me: Sad but true. How about mac and cheese? That has protein.
Stomach: Ewwww.
Me: Beans? Lentils? They have protein.
Stomach: I have too much gas already. How about this buffalo jerky?
Me: This hot *cajun spiced* buffalo jerky?
Stomach: Yeah, that sounds good.
Me: You're crazy.
Stomach: No, I'm hungry. You need protein. Eat the buffalo jerky.
Me: But you are already hurting! It's a bad idea.
Stomach: It's the only thing that looks good. Eat it.
Me: ...
Stomach: Trust me. Eat it.
wyld_dandelyon: (cat is ready)
northern lights tomato i think
northernlights closer

These "northern lights" tomatoes were very good on pizza this week.
wyld_dandelyon: (Cookies)
My family has always made holiday cookies--for instance, my sister Dragon made the Spritz Cookie in the icon here.

Also in the icon is just a bit of a Magic Cookie Bar my Aunt made that year, before I realized I have wheat and corn allergies.  I can't eat the original recipe or my family's variant recipe any more, but that's a favorite cookie for me, so I set out to modify it.

This started out as an Eagle Brand recipe, modified a bit by my family. Using that brand of milk is important in getting the cookies to form into bars. Other evaporated and condensed milks are not identical, and the time I tried substituting some other brand, I ended up with a soggy mess even though I almost burnt the cookies. Luckily for me, the Eagle milk is safe (so long as they don't alter the ingredient--I've found that one must read all labels if food allergies are an issue, as manufacturers do change recipes from to time without making the packaging obviously different).

So, once I discovered my food allergies, I had to modify it further. I made a couple of batches, and found Puffed Rice is safe, but awfully bland. Rice Chex worked better. I suspect Gluten-Free Rice Krispies will be similar to the puffed rice (i.e. bland), but haven't tried them yet.

Anyway, here's my current recipe:

Deirdre-Safe Magic Cookie Bars

1 1/2 cups Rice Chex or other safe cereal crunched into crumbs  (measure after crunching)
3 Tbsp cane sugar
1 stick actual butter (dairy is safe for me; Pat always used Imperial Margarine, but I don't trust margarine any more--however, if you've got a dairy allergy, feel free to revert to margarine)

Mix cereal, sugar and butter thoroughly, melt into 13 x 9 inch pan, press evenly & firmly to make crust.

Then scatter the other ingredients in layers:

1 cup safe chocolate bits (I use Ghiradelli Bittersweet)
1 1/3 c safe sweetened flaked coconut, and
1 c coarsely chopped walnuts,

Finally, drizzle 1 can Bordens Eagle Brand Milk evenly over it all and bake at 350º for 25 min, cool and cut into bars.

2012-12-24_19-10-56_160

Maybe this year I'll try to figure out a Deirdre-safe spritz recipe so I can make Solstice Fairies and other edible holiday art.
wyld_dandelyon: (cat is ready)
So, today was an errand day. Take My Angel to a doctor's appointment, get a call (Surprise!) to go pick up my new glasses, take her to get a small repair done on her glasses, go pick up pet food, etc. None of these places were anywhere near the other errands. By the time we'd picked up the pet food I was tired and hungry. Very hungry. On the way to the pet food store, we input "Indian restaurant" and "Thai restaurant" into the GPS, and got only recommendations to cross our path for about the seventh time.

Finally, at the pet food store, I just input "Restaurant". The closest one was a place called G. Mirch Masala on North 76th Street, which serves Pakistani & Indian cuisine. Unlike Chinese food, where (at least around here) the sauces have all been invaded by wheat and/or corn, Indian food is usually safe for me to eat. The name didn't sound particularly promising, but it was almost next door, and I was hungry, so we decided to try it.

We went in and were offered any seat in the place. An elderly man brought us water and menus and then the chef herself came out to see what we wanted. For once, I got immediate, friendly, accessible advice about what I could and couldn't eat! That alone was wonderful. The food was good too. I had a lamb dish in a spicy tomato ginger sauce that was very strange to my tongue, but the more I ate, the better I liked it. My Angel had some fish that was about as perfect as a filet of fish can be. We also had some of the daal of the day (I have leftover daal!), and My Angel had a mango lassi (fresh mango yogurt drink).

While we ate, the owner came by (several times) and the chef came by too, to make sure we had everything we wanted or needed. Admittedly, Tuesday night is not a big restaurant night, but we had all the attention we could possibl ywant. It was only after we'd eaten that they brought us flyers advertising their lunch buffet ($7.99 weekdays), weekend brunch ($9.99), free wifi (and fax), and they can do parties, carry-out, or catering. Free wifi--I could see me eating lunch there a LOT if only my job was nearby.

Free wifi and good food, and I discovered them in November...makes me think of doing a NaNo write-in there -- a NaNo write-in somewhere that I can eat sounds pretty inspiring, actually.

Even if daydreams of stopping in there to write remain only daydreams, a new-to-me restaurant where I can eat a variety of things on the menu is a very good thing! Here's hoping they have enough business to stay in business.
wyld_dandelyon: (cat is ready)
There's so many reasons, but this story really touches the heart of the matter.

http://lydy.livejournal.com/76885.html

Thank you, [livejournal.com profile] lydy
wyld_dandelyon: (cat is ready)
And because it's a 4-letter word

And because love, in one or another of its guises (romantic, gustatory, etc.) is a primary character motivator. This works for villains too--love of power, love of revenge, love of money, there's plenty of examples.

Ask: what do they love
And do they love it wisely?
That's a certain way
To recognize a villain
Or a doomed, tragic hero


2012-06-27_14-34-07_312
Love this cheese , especially with grapes!
wyld_dandelyon: (great wizard by djinni)
I love having a kitchen garden. It's hard to do in a city full of wildlife (I have squirrels, possums, raccoons, rabbits, and homeless bipeds roaming my neighborhood), but it's satisfying to grow your own food and things picked fresh are much tastier than store-bought.

I found some of my seeds from previous years this winter. Most are 2-3 years old, since I didn't manage to set up my garden last year. That was probably just as well, as we had a drought all year and I didn't have time to water all the time.

But this year (about a week ago) I set up a flat and decided to see if any of my old seeds will sprout. We'll see. In the meantime, I ordered some weird tomatoes--they get stolen less than the normal sort, and besides, I really like the flavors of most of the stripey and purple varieties.

Oh, and fresh herbs! They're so wonderful.

I can buy great seeds
But not sun, rain, or wildlife
Still, this year, I'll try


I got outside briefly today, and dug up a bit of the garden, pulling out the tufts of grass that took root there over last summer. It was too cold for just my shirt and too hot with my coat on, but I got a bit done before bringing my half-frozen fingers back inside.

pea plot please
wyld_dandelyon: (Cookies)
Today, C was for a confused call, not a disaster, but an unwanted distraction nonetheless. And C was for Chat, since #sffwrtcht is on Wednesdays during Criminal Minds. And C is for Criminal Minds, which has characters (another C) that draw me in despite the gruesome subject matter. Of course, C is also for conundrum--I love mysteries!

But for my haiku, I'll turn to one of my favorite things in the world:


C could be Coffee
Or perhaps cauliflower?
No way! Chocolate!


Here's hoping that whatever confounding trials and travails beset you, you can also end the day with a delightful comestible.

(P.S. In the spirit of The Letter C, this is my icon made by taking a picture of home-made cookies.
wyld_dandelyon: (Guitar Angel)
I have a big old Victorian house. One of the corollaries to that is that when the temperature drops precipitously outside (60 to below zero in less than 32 hours this week) it can get a tad cool inside.

That means, to me, it's baking weather. (I'm convinced that there's a reason Midwinter is traditionally cookie and pie season.)

So I pulled out the Namaste spice cake mix. My sister Dragon used a different bag of the same mix to make spice muffins for me for Christmas dinner. She wisely told me to add butter (melted) to the mix before cooking. Looking at the bag, I saw instructions for making carrot cake. Since my Foodie Friend brought me more organic carrots than I'm likely to eat in a month ("they were a great deal and really, really good"), I had carrots in the refrigerator.

I grated carrots, rinsed off and rough-chopped a handful of salted cashews, substituted milk and melted butter for water and oil (I  thankfully do not need to be dairy-free), and baked.
carrot cake and dragon
I thought you might like a picture so I went looking for a suitably photogenic spot. Lo and behold, the dragon puppet wanted to try some. I don't blame her.  My Angel even liked it, and she hates most of my gluten-free stuff.

Now I'm off to make edits to Jrilii's prequel story...
wyld_dandelyon: (Scientist Geek Magician)
Fractals for dinner anyone?

2013-01-09_19-25-35_452
2013-01-09_19-20-50_547

Yum!

And I have leftovers...
wyld_dandelyon: (Guitar Angel)
I finished a story last night, just need to read it over and tweak it a bit, and submit it. It's a novelette, 8,000 words before tweaking, and a prequel to Wild Snowy Chase. Jrilii just doesn't want her tale to be short!  I'd call her greedy, except she really isn't, except when it comes to wanting her people's snow-unicorns to survive and thrive. 

Wild Snowy Chase, which is being serialized over at Torn World, is getting SO close to finished too. I loaded all the bits into one file, so I can read it over now that I know what happened before--it's over 30,000 words, well into the Novella category by SFWstandards, and already a YA novel-length. That kind of snuck up on me!

And to think when I first encountered Jrilii, I thought I was writing a quick short story, something interesting to show what it's like for the people who oversummer in the villages instead of traveling to the summer gathers.

If you want to see the gorgeous picture Ellen drew of Jrilii, or read what I originally thought was the beginning of Jrilii's story, you can find it over here: http://www.tornworld.net/fiction.php?id=17

If not, well, check out a yummy cheese.  Safe Deirdre food, and wonderful with organic grapes:

2012-06-27_14-34-07_312
wyld_dandelyon: (Disintegrations and Defenestrations! by)
I decided this weekend I needed to bite the bullet and get a new cell phone, but virtuously put it off until a couple of writing deadlines had passed (and stories submitted). So, today after work I looked up a close Verizon store, wrote down the address, and called them to check their hours. I told the cheerful, friendly (and doubtless cute) young man on the phone I'd see him soon.

Then I turned the computer off and drove to that address, or at least, the whereabouts of that address. More or less. I drove around for a while looking for it and finally parked and went into the copy shop that was north of the closest address to the south of where the store was supposed to be. Of course, the address on the copy store was based on the cross-street.

That's right. Not only was the store not there--the address wasn't even there.

Naturally, I had neglected to write down the phone number I called. The copy shop only offered internet at $2 per 15 minutes, so I couldn't look it up and call the (probably) cute young man back. They did, however, loan me their paper phone book, which had no such listing. I called a Verizon store listed there, and talked to different, less cheerful fellow, who never heard of the address I had and said I could drive quite a ways to find any of several different stores.

By this time I was hungry and almost out of gas. Right. I headed home, stopping at a gas station on the way.

So here I sit, still with only a partially functional cell phone whose battery is draining like a sieve and no working blue tooth. And I didn't get to meet the (maybe) cute salesman. But at least I'm home where I can go make some food.

Today, I had to choose between being Deirdre of Borg or Deirdre who gets yummy food. But soon, I am determined, I will have my figurative cake and eat too!

Hmm...that would be a better joke if the LG Chocolate wasn't pretty much obsolete by now.
wyld_dandelyon: (Pirate Deirdre)
Joyous Solstice!

I'm not ready for the holidays, but I'm certainly ready for the days to start getting longer again.
In cookie news, I've tried a new recipe that worked really well:


1 cup cashew butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
a few shakes of cayenne (or more or less to taste)
Ghiradelli chocolate bits

Mix the first four ingredients until well blended in a bowl.  Form into teaspoon-sized balls, place on a cookie sheet, and press a chocolate bit (or two) into the center of each one.  Cook until slightly browner in a 350 degree oven (approx. 8 minutes).

Yum!  Now I just need a name for them.

I also made magic cookie bars (the recipe on the Eagle condensed milk)  I put the ingredients on the magic cookie bars in the wrong order, and they separated vertically, which isn't particularly good for the taste.  (I'm using smashed Rice Chex instead of graham cracker crumbs or cornflake crumbs, the two traditional possibilities for the bottom layer).  But they're still good.

Other cookie experiments, assuming I have time to make them, will be shared later.



wyld_dandelyon: (Cookies)
The Gluten-Free Trading Company is having a cookie exchange tomorrow. I may go, or I may not, but it got me thinking about holiday cookies.

I need a whole new set of recipes for holiday cookies now! No flour. No wheat or other glutened substances. No corn--no corn flower, or corn syrup or corn starch.

So I'm off to Google to see what I can find--but it occurs to me that I have friends who cook. Do you have a favorite recipe I could eat? If so, I'd love it if you'd share, either in comments here or in your own journal, with a link here.

I'd particularly like a spritz cookie recipe, so I can make cookies like the one in my icon (which was made by my sister, Dragon).

Thank you!
wyld_dandelyon: (Cookies)
The Gluten-Free Trading Company is having a cookie exchange tomorrow. I may go, or I may not, but it got me thinking about holiday cookies.

I need a whole new set of recipes for holiday cookies now! No flour. No wheat or other glutened substances. No corn--no corn flower, or corn syrup or corn starch.

So I'm off to Google to see what I can find--but it occurs to me that I have friends who cook. Do you have a favorite recipe I could eat? If so, I'd love it if you'd share, either in comments here or in your own journal, with a link here.

I'd particularly like a spritz cookie recipe, so I can make cookies like the one in my icon (which was made by my sister, Dragon).

Thank you!
wyld_dandelyon: (Disintegrations and Defenestrations! by)
So, Sunday and Monday I only ate things I had reason to believe were safe. The foods I ate at work were all things I've been eating safely for weeks, and the dinner, while at a restaurant, was at a restaurant where I've ordered the exact same meal repeatedly and been fine. The only thing I did that I haven't done since being on this diet was go to the dentist, and I did mention the allergies to him--he even checked on the sweetener for the numbing medicine.

So it all should have been fine, right?
Cut for TMI )
Apparently the benefits of not stressing my body all the time with corn and wheat are at least partially offset by having my body be totally unready for a surprise assault.

I wonder if there's anything I could take to help me recover from the (painfully obvious) inflammation through my whole digestive tract the next time this happens?

For the moment, however, I have to figure out what else I can wear that won't press on my belly *at all* for tomorrow at work. 

In better news, these cookies (which I ate several weeks ago, but have not yet blogged about) are great:
wyld_dandelyon: (Disintegrations and Defenestrations! by)
So, Sunday and Monday I only ate things I had reason to believe were safe. The foods I ate at work were all things I've been eating safely for weeks, and the dinner, while at a restaurant, was at a restaurant where I've ordered the exact same meal repeatedly and been fine. The only thing I did that I haven't done since being on this diet was go to the dentist, and I did mention the allergies to him--he even checked on the sweetener for the numbing medicine.

So it all should have been fine, right?
Cut for TMI )
Apparently the benefits of not stressing my body all the time with corn and wheat are at least partially offset by having my body be totally unready for a surprise assault.

I wonder if there's anything I could take to help me recover from the (painfully obvious) inflammation through my whole digestive tract the next time this happens?

For the moment, however, I have to figure out what else I can wear that won't press on my belly *at all* for tomorrow at work. 

In better news, these cookies (which I ate several weeks ago, but have not yet blogged about) are great:
wyld_dandelyon: (a wizard writing)
Last night I realized that my friend Susan Urban was playing as part of February Sky at the local coffeehouse. My Angel wasn't feeling well, having refused to call the dentist for weeks, so I made her eat soup and left her at home. The music was very good, including a new-to-me song about Guenevere:

She gathered her rosebuds while she might, the way the poets urge us all to do.
One kiss from that fair lady's lips might well have launched ten thousand ships,
But she was mindful of the thorns, and gathered only two.

See them perform the song here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_2To9FW011U

While they played, I worked on the next installment of Wild Snowy Chase.

Angel continued to get worse, her cheek getting all swollen.  She finally made an appointment last week for this upcoming Wednesday, but it was clear that she needed more.  This morning, she stopped refusing to go to Urgent Care, so we got up and headed out to get her antibiotics.  She was supposed to take it with antibiotics, and I was starving, so we stopped at Red Lobster. 

She was all for stopping at McDonalds, but their food hasn't sat well in my stomach for long enough that it doesn't even smell good, and I was too hungry to want to be smelling food that would both remind me of my hunger and make me feel at least vaguely nauseous.
Red Lobster worked out fine for her--they brought her soup right away, so she was able to take the medicine--but not so good for me.  When I asked the waiter about gluten- and corn-free, he brought me an "allergen menu" (a great idea, in and of itself)--but it didn't mention corn.  On top of that, almost nothing was gluten-free, not even the fresh vegetables.  The manager tried to contact their corporate headquarters to see what was on the menu that I could eat, with no luck.  So My Angel got a free bowl of soup and I brought her home to finally get some sleep.

I guess I should stick to smaller restaurants.  At least the ones that cook from scratch don't have to hope the corporate office is open and their computer system functional to be able to tell a person what's in the food.

Then I rummaged to find something to eat here.  It wasn't inspiring, but at least it won't make me sick.  I finally ended up heading back to bed myself.  It's much more restful to sleep next to someone who's actually sleeping!  She's definitely feeling better and the swelling in her face is down.

Now I suppose I should try to finish that story...

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