aesmael: (pangoself)

=== Monday ===

Maybe yesterday's post should have been split in two, to separate out the game talk from the workplace whining. In follow-up to that, it seems the person I was filling in for on Saturday is currently hospitalised. I won't write out my speculations as to why, but I hope she will soon be in good health.

Latest surly rescue-cat is being sick at the moment. Has apparently been vomiting quite a bit. Checking on occasionally for status but mostly when I'm around is just sleeping and keeping to self. Cat's been named Lilly by family (I tend to say Lillith) and hopefully will feel better soon. And not pass on whatever it is to the other cats, who at least are still avoiding em.

Trying to redirect my energy more into doing what I want (projects and fun activities) and journalling, and less into social media. It's difficult. There is a lot of inertial habit to overcome and the blank moments. Especially the gaps between, when there just isn't enough time for me to work on anything at all big.


=== Sunday ===

This is about the time of night where I start to berate myself for wasting the day and my life. I should remember that my goal for the day was to do something creative, and last night I defined playing + streaming Zork as counting for that purpose. And I managed to do that! - [the recording can be found here ""https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kdVQGyphFz8""]. Plus I made a slightly fancy dinner. Anything more complicated than microwaving or sandwich feels like victory there. And I'm writing this, and I played some Go,

So, today has been a good day? Good company and good times with, and accomplished some things that are goals, even if small. Reminding myself of this helps to feel better.

aesmael: (writing things down)
Yesterday was a busy sort of day. In the morning I finally made and attended a dental appointment I had been putting off for most of the year (he wanted to remove my wisdom teeth, but first I was travelling and then I felt overwhelmed by the combination of school and work). Had check-up, revealing no further decay, which pleased me, and a fresh referral for getting my jaw x-rayed to find out what extractions may need to be performed.

Also visited the local shops and picked up ingredients. Some of which I used that evening to make a tasty modified Manhattan Crab Chowder (née Clam) and some of which I hope to use later this week (tomorrow, ideally) to make Strawberry Bread, and Bream with Horseradish and Apple Topping. I still need to secure the bream.

Later in the evening, at my sister's urging, I played Skyrim for a couple of hours. That was a bit exhausting. I created an orc character with the aim of pushing for heavy armour martial sorts of actions, but seem doomed to playing a sneaky sort of character as my natural inclinations draw me to scouting and investigating.
aesmael: (it would have been a scale model)

Had the place to myself for several days around the weekend. At first planned to get some pizza, just because I have been wanting some for a while. Decided to get in some cooking practice instead - not done enough of that for a long while due to various circumstances and have been missing it.

Just repeated a couple of things I'd enjoyed in the past, mostly from what was already available in the fridge. Had French Onion Soup for the first couple of days, very self-satisfied at managing to produce something so delicious.

On Saturday, baked a test run of [http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/dairy-free-gingerbread-men-and-women-people/||gingerbread], plus a pot of pumpkin soup for dinner. I was a bit surprised how quick the gingerbread was to make once I'd got the ingredients together. Both, very delicious and satisfying.

On Sunday everyone was back. Disappointing that, was relatively enjoying having the place to myself. Although as always I take such opportunities as an implicit judgement on my fitness to live by myself. So I kept e.g. the kitchen sink cleaner than it normally is with more people living here.

Still think I might do okay at keeping my own place if it were actually my own place, scaled to myself, and not tending to the upkeep of someone else's life and designs. Pets that I could manage myself, a garden I have built up and shaped myself. For now my life does not hold the prospect of that solitary existence; I will either be here, or move in with chosen family in the future.

Sunday evening I went out for an informal Xmas dinner with the weekend and casual staff at the library, since we weren't invited to the proper one with the permanent staff. Non-Australians may be surprised to learn we went to an Outback Steakhouse - was actually quite tasty, would gladly eat there again.

I feel like I did a good job at playing at being an adult and having a social outing. Can't recall doing that voluntarily before except with people I'm dating, or out of familial obligation. Was mostly fun times.

Since the gingerbread was a test run for proper seasonal baking I made good use of it by pcking in a box and bringing in to work to win co-worker favour. Been quite well-received.

Don't like looking after these dogs. Being barked awake in the early morning is not appreciated.

Originally published at a denizen's entertainment. You can comment here or there.

Today I finally got round to baking the strawberry cheesecake slice I've been planning to make for the past few weeks. Was orignally going to make it Xmas Ever for the family but despite my inquiries about kitchen availability beforehand, plans got reshuffled and various things kept coming up until today. So there it is and now it is made, sitting in the fridge as yet untouched.

Am looking forward to eating some of that. I made it last year as well, but felt like with everything going on it got overlooked that time around (for one thing, it didn't get touched until the morning I left for my own little vacation). Worried the crust may be a bit uneven, but it smells good.

Meanwhile, since reading this article on the meal at the beginning of The Hobbit, with accompanying recipe links, I am wanting to try a week of cooking to culminate in a dinner party of sorts. Am sure it would be more exhausting than triumphant, but it isn't likely to happen either, so I don't need to worry about that.

Originally published at a denizen's entertainment. You can comment here or there.

Made food today. It did take a long time, with many relative travails. Slightly incorrect ingredients (the wrong fish), accidentally used all the prawns instead of half, when other half was intended to be used by others for cooking. Lots of mess made, and the sause refused to thicken.

And yet... it turned out to be a rather tasty dinner. Hoki instead of whiting, shrimp paste and sauce, couple of vegetable sides. Enjoyable to eat despite many, many misgivings. But I'm not making it again.  There would be photos if I hadn't lost my camera, and that's a shame.

Despite how long it takes me and the mess needing cleaning, it does feel good to be making food again.

Originally published at a denizen's entertainment. You can comment here or there.

Disappointed in myself at the toy library this morning. Most of the toys I cleaned ended up going in the storeroom as incomplete, and I wonder if I should have been bolder about renumbering parts to fit them. Felt like I could have done a better job with more time, but an extra half hour or so would have made little difference. Actually, I think most of those toys would have needed more work than I could have provided in the time before I had to be at the charity shop. So I suppose I am feeling bad about factors largely but not entirely beyond my control.

I would really like to be able to do more.

Worked the register again most of the day at the charity shop. Very nervous prior to having any customers, but forgot about that once got going. Went mostly well, I suppose. On Monday I had an appointment with my case manager and could have requested she find somewhere else for me, but didn't since the charity shop has picked up for me of late. This probably coincides with not seeing the other volunteers in a week or two. Fewer other people on staff means more for me to do which means I spend less time being bored.

I bought a gift from the charity shop for my sister, who is moving interstate in the next few months. Another copy of the household cookbook I have been working from, in rather better condition. She seemed quite appreciative, which was a pleasant surprise. I had been worried she would not want it. Also bought a few cookbooks for myself, as I had been wanting to start a collection of my own and these were significantly cheaper than the new ones I'd had my eyes on. I assume I will buy those eventually, when I am in a better financial position, but this alleviates the tension between considering a cookbook of mine as progress in life and more urgent financial needs. The books were Worldwide Cookbook, The Australian Heritage Cookbook, and Australia's Favourite Recipes.

Am looking forward to getting to try those out, and hopefully learning lots.

aesmael: (haircut)
Having been six months since my last photo post, we continue with something from just four days after the last one.

Since I had been cooking lately, my mother asked me to make something from a recipe. I no longer remember what it was called, but here are some photos of it in progress and finished.

cuts are for hiding pictures behind )

I think it came out tastily, but very sweet.
aesmael: (haircut)
The next recipe on the list was called scotch broth. Much more ingredient-heavy and decidedly not vegetarian. I liked how it turned out a lot and felt a definite improvement in my general soup-making awareness from the process. Would like to make that and french onion soup again sometime.

3 images, the last especially blurred )
aesmael: (haircut)
I enjoying making tasty food for people, so last year when I started qualifying for unemployment benefits I decided to use the extra money and the big household recipe book to get some systematic practice in.

What I decided to do was to start at the beginning of the book and as far as possible make each recipe in order. I figured by doing so I would improve my understanding of how cooking works in general and build up a base for myself of things I can prepare and eat for daily living.

I did skip the initial chapter on appetisers, so started at the second chapter, on soups. The first was french onion soup, which was surprisingly delicious considering I often avoid onions. I was a bit miffed that when my sister was persuaded to try some later she decided it needed more substance so dumped lumped lumps of vegetables into the pot like unwanted islands. Don't mind people adding their own seasonings after they've tasted it - currently I only spice and flavour as recipes direct, not 'to taste' since I am trying to learn still what my taste is - but if you are going to take the pot of food I've cooked and add your own ingredients and make it into something else... just don't.

Found: one pair photos, onion soup )
aesmael: (tricicat)
I have been finding I enjoy cooking... but not for only myself. Would much rather prepare something to share with friends and loved ones.

Been wondering, too, if I might reverse engineer some of the package food my family buys (they do plenty from pieces too, but that is already in pieces). Still far from a habit of mine, the preparation of food.
aesmael: (it would have been a scale model)
Beware of the cake )

    Also, which I forgot to mention in my previous entry, I have noticed a few promised postings of stories have been missed. Specifically Elegant Girl but probably others. Sometimes from forgetfulness and sometimes from not finishing when I expected to.
    Well, regardless of whether anyone noticed, I apologise for my laxness. To solve this problem, I intend not to post such announcements in the future. Stories will go up when I feel they are ready to. Although I will probably still express hopes about when they will be ready.
aesmael: (tricicat)
    Actually, for our last class tomorrow some of the other students thought it would be a good idea for us to have an informal party and have each of us bring some food from our background. Since I am not familiar with with any English or Scottish food that I would think appropriate or want to cook I decided to go with something invented in colonial Australia (even though I have no idea if any of my ancestors were living here at the time. So, today I will be baking lamingtons.
    They have the advantage of being easy too. Small rectangular prisms of sponge cake, coated in chocolate icing and coconut.

    Yesterday I disappointed myself with my writing. I did write 85 words of Discourteous Joe but allowed myself to be distracted and so did not write all of what I had in mind. It was however the first time I recall going back on something I was in the process of writing and altering earlier parts of the text. So that is (probably) good.
    Since I let myself get too tired to do everything I wanted to do with Discourteous Joe last night I finished with 113 words of my sekrit projekt, which I am tempted to name but won't because I feel like being stubborn about it. It is exciting again, which is good because I was experiencing a lull for about a week there and wondering if I should drop it. I still do not know if I will be able to maintain the necessary pace for it, but I certainly am going to try.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meterZokutou word meter
595 / 9,300
(6.0%)

    Still have not managed to meet my daily target once yet. Right now I am averaging about half of it. We shall see how that goes - my plan to focus on the monthly target as more important and treat the daily goals as averages to aim for but not fuss over seems to be working, as I am less anxious now about not writing enough words each day.
    So long as I manage in the end, that will be okay. And if I do not make it this month, I will set myself the same target next month, and again until I can. No more getting disheartened and dropping out for months at a time; so long as I am writing I am writing, target met or not.

    Word count is not always the best measure of progress anyway. Often I find the best way to improve a scene is to take out as many words as I can.

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aesmael

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