zeborah: Map of New Zealand with a zebra salient (Default)
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I seem to be talking a lot lately. I'm sure I'll go back to silent mode soon enough.

Generally every four weeks I go to the library, return four books (mostly unread) and borrow four books (mostly not to be read). This time I grabbed a pile of mostly YA stuff in the hope that I'd read some of them.

So this weekend I've read:
  • Encyclopedia Brown Cracks the Case (a childhood favourite)
  • A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park (set in 13th century Korea, written well and researched well. The only thing that made me blink was the description of spicy kimchi; though various spices were used, hot pepper wasn't introduced for centuries. But the description of celadon-making was wonderful. Celadon is simply beautiful; when I was in Korea I hunted for months to find a piece to bring back home. Linda Sue Park has written more books set in Korea; I'd like to read them.)
  • The Five Ancestors: Tiger by Jeff Stone (formulaic crap about a group of five orphans schooled by secret monks in leet animal-style kung fu, apparently with super talking-to-animal powers thrown in)
I've also read pretty much everything from this list of posts about the cultural appropriation debate than inspired my earlier rant.

I've read a few stories from Expanded Horizons which aims to not be Whitey McWhite in Whiteland (and which rejected one of my stories belatedly but politely and now I see why it's not really their thing). I want to read more. Also read 'Poison', an award-winning sf story by a Henrietta Rose-Innes of South Africa.

I'm going to want to read everything linking to this idea of reclaiming one's own myths.

I've also finished reading 50-pages of a thread on a forum covering an epic 7-month long bait involving about 20 baiters making a 419-scammer's life a misery. I've taken up baiting because it combines fiction-writing, my (not-in-this-context-sexual) mindgames kink, and doing good in the world. Many 419 scammers are in Nigeria and nearby countries eg Burkina Faso. (Many others are in Thailand, Spain, Ireland, Norway, the UK, the USA, Australia... but Nigeria and Burkina Faso are really big ones.) It makes sense to me that if I'm doing this anyway, and if I want to research some part of Africa for the purposes of basing some story there, then that area would be a good one. Particularly since being ignorant about a place is just ignorance, but deliberately letting my mind be filled with only the negative things about a place is stupid.

--

In other news, it looked like rain this morning so I didn't do laundry. Then the sun came out with a vengeance so I did laundry. As soon as the laundry was ready it started raining. A while later I noticed it hadn't rained much and was now well past, so I put the laundry out anyway. As I was doing this it started raining again, and since I stubbornly left the clothes on the line it's now thundering.

In other news again, I have a bazillion of plums. And that's just the windfall. Aside from giving them away, I'm pondering whether I can do a quick-and-dirty preserving job by just cramming them whole into jars and pouring hot sugar syrup over.

(Wow, that's quite some impressive thunder.)

Plums

Date: 2009-03-04 09:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] laetitia-apis.livejournal.com
"I'm pondering whether I can do a quick-and-dirty preserving job by just cramming them whole into jars and pouring hot sugar syrup over."

I assume that you intend to boil or steam the jars after? If so, that's what the Ball Blue Book calls "cold pack", and it's a time-tested method of canning. Doesn't get as much fruit into each jar as cooking them first, but preserves the shape better.

Been over twenty years since I gave up canning, though; you'd best read whatever New Zealand has instead of the Blue Book before proceeding.

I wonder whether the old-time strawberry preserving method would work on plums: put fruit into kettle, add equal volume of white sugar, cook thirty minutes after the third bubble appears, pour hot into glasses with shaved paraffin wax in the bottom, which melts and rises to the top to seal it. (Mom froze it instead, and let it set in the kettle overnight to plump up the fruit.)

--
Joy Beeson

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