Step 0 is find lard. Don’t waste your time at Safeway, head to a Mexican market, they have it by the bucket.
This was my first time making hot water crust pastry. I was very wary of burning my hands with boiling water and lard. It was odd because normally when making pastry you’re moving quickly so the dough doesn’t get too warm and you don’t want to over work the dough.
For hot water crust, you move quickly so the dough doesn’t get too cold and you almost can’t over work it.
You have to roll out the pastry fairly thin and then cut out circles of the correct size for the top and bottom. I always find something in the kitchen to act as a guide.
For the filling, cook the quails’ eggs in a pan of boiling water for two minutes then refresh in cold water, peel carefully and set aside.
Put the onion, pork, bacon and parsley into a bowl, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and mix until well combined.
Spoon a little of the mixture into each lined pie case, place a quail’s egg in the centre and spoon over a little more filling.
Brush the edge of each pie case with a little beaten egg, place the lids on top and crimp the edges together to seal completely. Make a small hole in centre of each pie and bake in the oven for 40 minutes.
When the pies are cooked, set them aside to cool for 10 minutes. If making the jelly, dissolve the stock cube in the boiling water. Soak the gelatine in a little cold water until soft then squeeze out excess water and whisk into the warm chicken stock.
(N.B. I did not do jelly because I was planning to eat them for dinner)
Verdict: B+ It was fiddly and the first time with hot water crust was odd. I did enjoy the crust and would use the pastry again. The quail eggs were annoying (sorry state bird!). They were difficult to peel and they had an odd taste, sort of sour.
I would bake this again, if only because my family really liked them, but I would probably omit the eggs unless I was really trying to impress someone.
I have one more night to finish my part of Nightmare Moon (husbeast is working on wings and horn). I realized last night that the hoof guards were going to need to be sewn on by hand. I don’t like the way the glue I have looks.
I got the hoofguards cut out, traced the helmet, cut out the eyeholes and prepped the mane & tail.
P got into bed and then I threw on Underworld and got to sewing.
(N.B. I love hand sewing. It’s a bit crampy but I find it very satisfying)
My little falcon is four years old and well into My Little Pony.
Halloween is coming and she wishes to portray Nightmare Moon.
As both a loving and a crafty mum, I’m making her a costume.
We started with research and creating a Pinterest board. There are some very cool interpretations out there. I decided on a decorated set of sweats.
We bought embellishing fabrics. It took me ages to find a periwinkle to match the illustrations. Everything was lavender, which is too red, or light blue, which is too blue. We also found some sweet, spangled tulle – upper right in the pic – that I can match with some regular tulle for the mane and tail.
We washed the fabrics, some by hand, some in the machine. Got them ironed and then set out to get the design done. I went with freehand sketching and it’s coming out really well.
Fun fact about me, I have an interior voice that is always looking for the ways that I’m not good enough. It told me that being “able to draw” meant that one should be able to draw something with no reference – just hey presto, with no model or anything. This is, naturally, bullshit.
I measured the sleeves and legs to get the right size. I got some reference images up on my phone and traced out the hoof guard motif onto paper and breastplate design right onto the hoodie.
Then I transferred the breastplate onto paper, added another sheet and traced out the back of the breastplate. I’m going to have one piece wrap around and I’m feeling very clever about it.
She has school Halloween on the 28th, so that’s my deadline. More to come!
Some of this is just backlash, the pushback against the half-billion dollar hype machine that Destiny embodies. We knew this was coming; we should only be glad that the gaming press and public had the good grace to wait until the game came out to begin rebelling against it.
But I’m struck with a curious idea for a project, and maybe this is so obvious that it’s already been done to death and I just didn’t notice (wouldn’t be the first idea I’ve had after everyone else). How about an enthusiast game site about just absolutely hating the state of video games? I know there are guys out there like the Game Grumps, Curmudgeon Gamer, Yahtzee, maybe more. What I’m thinking is a character who is cynical and pessimistic right up front about everything about modern game marketing and marketing-driven design.
I’m pretty excited for Destiny, the mashup of Borderlands and WoW from mega-successful Halo developers Bungie. It’s been a while since I had a game that I regularly plop down and play with friends when I have some gaming time, and Destiny sounds like it might have the lifespan to fit the bill. Something’s been nagging me about the look and art style, if not the actual experience of playing Destiny, though, and with the latest update from IGN.com regarding the way that Destiny will treat sequels, it hit me.
Oh, Mass Effect. It’s Mass Effect. Duh.
Look at those purple psychic auras around the characters, the smoothly planed guns, the portable black hole attacks. Bungie is trying to beat Bioware to the punch of making the next multi-game sci-fi epic. I enjoyed the stuffing out of Mass Effect, but I didn’t play it for the shooting, and I’m not 100% sure that Destiny is going to have enough scenery and story to take and hold my imagination the way Mass Effect did. I’m glad that the market for this kind of setting is strong enough that Activision was willing to sink a reported half a hojillion dollars into propping up the franchise, though. And I’m truly intrigued by the idea that if a player buys Destiny 2 and likes it, they’ll be able to go backwards and play Destiny 1 with the same character. How will that work? And does that mean that the world and story of Destiny will have to be fragmented and episodic enough that it can be played through in any order? How will they have a sense of narrative arc in that case?
Problematic. But this is what you get for trying to puzzle out the entire structure of a large new franchise based on brief promotional videos. I should probably know better by now.
I’ve just begun playing a new-ish mobile game called Ingress. It’s been out on Android for a while but only became available on iOS this week. Ingress is an MMO that allows you to interact with a world map based on where you are in real life – landmarks such as churches and public art installations appear on the map and can be tapped in order to gain territory around them, as long as you are physically within about 40 yards of them. Likewise, a currency called XM is scattered liberally around the streets of the map, and you pick it up by physically walking by. You spend XM to build up friendly landmarks, which then give you weapons that you use to break down enemy-held landmarks and eventually take them over.
The game so far is rather rough in some ways while weirdly polished in others. The tutorial is hidden away in a menu and I required multiple attempts at it before I understood what I was trying to do, yet the map is gorgeous and the missions in the game are fully voiced. The best thing about Ingress is the combination of watching your little phone scanner screen moving you around the map and realizing that there are probably other players out there who may notice you moving toward their territory – in real life, wandering around peering at your phone concernedly like you are trying to use a Swedish GPS app – and prepare to retaliate.
Ingress is free to download and play, and as near as I can tell does not bother you for money. The game will occasional reward a successful hack with an in-universe news item via YouTube, so it’s possible that they are making their money off of YouTube views somehow. Or it’s possible that Google is just fronting the whole thing as an experiment. Either way it costs you nothing to download Ingress and try it out; I’m enjoying the creepy vibe and strange mix of Foursquare and Watch_Dogs.
SonicRob: in other news, a guy thought he bought an XBox One off ebay for $750. The auction was “for the item pictured”. It turned out the auction picture was a picture of a photo of an XBox. SonicRob: so he got that with a “thank you for bidding” note written on the back FyreHaar: oh shit FyreHaar: fuck the auctioneer FyreHaar: fuck him FyreHaar: no excuse you fraudster SonicRob: fucking psychopath SonicRob: like, buying up a bunch of new consoles and then gouging on ebay is already borderline scammy *pretending* to do that and then actually committing what’s essentially a con, and then *smiling the dude’s metaphorical face* with a thank you note borders on sociopathic.
FyreHaar: http://www.amightygirl.com/marie-curie-bobblehead FyreHaar: LOL SonicRob: glow in the dark? really? FyreHaar: of course!
SonicRob: that’s like a commemorative MLK rifle bullet. FyreHaar: It’s slightly different FyreHaar: but yeah, I see the parallel