So, I just finished…

So, I just finished putting a chicken to roast. We'll see how it comes out -- I kinda made up the recipe as I went along, using what I had to hand. So the bird was stuffed with about a cup of mixed dried fruit (apricots, sultanas, cranberries), and I made what you could loosely call a glaze to go over it (saute one onion and a teaspoon cumin seed in butter, add half cup dried fruit, a 1/2 tsp each ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, Ceylon curry powder, two tablespoons passion fruit preserves (apricot preserves would have worked fine too), a little water, cook down some). It sounded good in theory, and it smells pretty yummy, but we'll have to wait and see how it tastes. I do really like fruit and meat combinations; it's funny how it's tremendously common in medieval cooking, mostly not common now (it comes out for the holidays, but people don't do it on a day-to-day basis), and very common in fancy restaurants now. Food fashions are strange.

Random bits and bobs this morning, I think. I have a student coming by at 1:00 to take a quiz; aside from that, it's just cleaning up e-mail, paying taxes, reading history, etc. I have to write the Ada paper this weekend, come hell or high water -- I think I'll try to do it tomorrow morning.

I'm listening to the soundtrack from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Melancholy music. Suits my mood.

10:30. I keep forgetting to mention this week's offerings at Strange Horizons. I'm a goober. We have an interview with Lynn Flewelling; I'm particularly pleased about that because Lynn was an author I feel like I discovered, in an odd way. I had read her first novel, and enjoyed it quite a bit, and added it to my list of queer stuff in sf, because she has several gay characters. Lynn dropped me a note about that not long after, thanking me for listing her, and offering to send me a copy of her next book. I took her up on that offer, which I feel a little guilty about, since I would have bought and read and listed it anyway. :-) Ah well. Anyway, she's doing very well, and it's a good interview. We also have a story by D.K. Latta (one of our first repeat authors in fiction, I think), that is really different from his last one with us. "Something on the Bed" is a story about the monsters under the bed -- but it's from the monsters' point of view. Very cool. And there's a really interesting review of a book I haven't read yet, Point of Dreams; what I found interesting was its discussion of various types of Renaissance magic, most specifically, the art of phytomancy -- working magic through flower arranging. :-) Good stuff.

12:30. Chicken evaluation -- good concept, poor execution. I should have reduced the fruit glaze to a much more liquid thing than I did; the pieces of fruit that remained whole all charred, ending up little use to anyone. The skin ended up pretty tasty nonetheless, so I think the ingredients were a sound combination -- on the other hand, I don't usually eat the skin, so I'm not sure it does me much good. If I were making it again for myself I think I would skip the glaze and just pack the chicken with a mix of fruit, chopped onion, and the spices. Since I'm not eating the skin anyway, it doesn't make sense to do anything with it. Of course, I'd probably want more fruit than actually fits in the cavity, so I might stew some separately as well, and then mix that with the stuff cooked in the bird. If I were serving it to guests (who might like the skin), then I'd take some of the stewed fruit, add the preserves, some honey, and some port, reduce it down to a fairly thin glaze, and use that to baste the bird. Live and learn...

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