charisstoma: (Default)
Title: After Life Comes
Author: charisstoma
Word count: 417

The room was sparkling white, as it was all the time. There were no shadows here. It was a cross between bus station and comfy doctors’ office; the use was pretty much a combination of the two. Here your record was examined and your destination assigned. It was a busy place.

And yet, one individual had time to turn to another for advice.

“Where would be the best place for this one, do you think?”

“Oh, her. She has almost been here many times. So finally she made it?”

“Yes, but where should she go?” was asked again.

“Well she writes…”

“And she loves cats,” the other added.

“It says she was a counsellor of those whose life choices weren’t wise …”

The other frowned, “that didn’t help her any with her own life. So much pain.”

“She does have close family here that love and are loved by her.”

“But she still needs an occupation if she’s not going to be shuttled back into another life time .”

“hmmm some of the story topics… Zombies, Wizards, Djinn, Familiars, Selkies, just to name some and all it seems with a, ahem, an earthy one might say highly erotic bent.”

“Bent, huh?” was said with a grin.

“Yes,” was nodded, “definitely bent.”

“Over what kind of item were the characters bent and then what happened?” was asked.

“Ranel, you know what happened next. I saw you just now scan some of the stories.”

A grin was the only answer.

“Well she could be a story idea instigator, a plunny is what I think she has called it. She’d do well at that, since she’s had experience on both sides of the creation.”

“You don’t think that will be too much temptation?”


“She also has a unique history of being a victim and counsellor that could work well initiating ideas to those treating patients on how better to help those similarly in pain.”

“Perhaps too close to the subject. She deserves peace from her own painful past.”

“Okay. I give up. Let’s ask her. But the cats need to respect the limits.”

“As if,” the other rolled his eyes. “But excellent idea.”

A young beautiful souled person stepped forward.

“Mary or Meridae or Meri, whichever or all you would like to be called, I assume you’ve had adequate time to familiarize yourself with what we do here and some of your options. We’ve read your history. What do you see yourself doing here on this plane?”

Meri grinned.

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Lemon cake served with a goats’ cheese cream, lemon curd, sugared almonds and roasted rhubarb

Lemon cake served with a goats’ cheese cream, lemon curd, sugared almonds and roasted rhubarb


For the lemon cake
75g/2½oz unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
3 medium free range eggs
2 lemons, zest and juice only
200g/7oz caster sugar
75g/2½oz crème fraîche
150g/5½oz plain flour
1 tsp baking powder

For the glaze
75g/2½oz icing sugar
1 lemon, juice only

For the lemon cake, preheat the oven to 180C/170C Fan/Gas 3. Grease and line a 20cm/8in square cake tin.

Melt the butter and set aside to cool slightly. Put the eggs, lemon juice and sugar in a bowl. Using an electric whisk, beat until the sugar is dissolved. Whisk in the butter and crème fraiche. Sift the flour and baking powder over the top and gently fold in. Stir in the lemon zest and spoon into the prepared tin.

Bake for 45-60 minutes, or until golden-brown and risen (the cake will split along the top). Put the cake on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes before removing from the tin. Place a tray or a piece of baking paper underneath the rack.

For the glaze, whisk the icing sugar and lemon juice together in a bowl then pour over the still warm cake. Remove the tray or paper from underneath the cake and pour any excess back over the cake. Allow to cool before serving.
For the roasted rhubarb
300g/10½oz rhubarb, cut in 2cm/¾in pieces
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 orange, juice only

For the roasted rhubarb, preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6.

Arrange the rhubarb in a single layer in a roasting tin. Sprinkle over the sugar and drizzle over the orange juice. Roast for 8-12 minutes, or until just tender.
For the lemon curd
4 lemons, zest and juice
110g/4oz butter
175g/6oz caster sugar
4 free-range eggs, beaten

For the lemon curd, put a heatproof bowl over a pan a gently simmering water (don’t let the bowl touch the water). Put the lemon zest, juice, butter and sugar in the bowl and whisk occasionally until the sugar is completely dissolved. Beat in the eggs and whisk until thickened and cooked through. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely.

For the goats’ cheese cream
110g/4oz mild soft goats' cheese
50ml/2fl oz double cream
2 tbsp icing sugar

For the goat’s cheese cream, put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
To serve
100g/3½oz candied almonds
4 tbsp lemon balm leaves or baby basil leaves

For the sugared almonds, preheat the oven to 130C/110C Fan/Gas 1 and line a baking tray with baking paper.

To serve
Cut the cake into cubes or small slices and arrange on serving plates. Dress the plate with lemon curd, roasted rhubarb, goats’ cheese cream, sugared almonds and lemon balm or baby basil leaves.
charisstoma: (Default)
Well the Wells Cathedral anyway. Someone immortalized him in stone.

Ren made it to church
The salamander represents Eternal Life.

wells cathedral -
lizard corbel in north transept, c13. this may be a later c13 repair after damage to this part of the crossing, built right at the cusp of the c12/13. it looks 1280 rather than 1200
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Spicy Ginger & Apple Self-Saucing Pudding

Prep:20 min COOK:55 min

Arm yourself with a spoon and a bowl of this comforting pudding. It’s full of warming ginger and juicy apple chunks, making easy to battle those chilly winter nights.


800g (approx. 4) granny smith apples
1/4 cup (55g) caster sugar
150g butter, melted (7 T)
1 ¼ cups (190g) self-raising flour
1/4 cup (55g) firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
60g crystallised ginger, finely sliced
½ cup (125ml) milk
1 egg
2 tablespoons golden syrup (corn syrup might work)*

1 cup (150g) lightly packed brown sugar
1 tsp corn flour
20g butter, room temperature (~ 1.5 T)
2 teaspoons Queen Vanilla Bean Paste
1 3/4 cups (435ml) boiling water

Method - Pudding

Peel and core the apples, cutting each apple into 8 wedges. In a frying pan over medium-high heat, cook apples, caster sugar and 50 grams of the butter, turning occasionally, until caramelised (approximately 7-8 minutes). Set aside to cool.

Preheat oven to 180C (fan forced) (356 F). Grease a 2 litre ovenproof dish and spoon in apple mixture.

Combine flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, ground ginger and crystallised ginger in a bowl. Add milk, egg, golden syrup and remaining butter (100g) and stir until smooth. Spoon batter over apples, spreading to cover.

Method - Sauce

In a medium bowl, mix together brown sugar and corn flour. Add butter, Vanilla Bean Paste, salt and boiling water. Stir until butter has melted and mixture is combined. Gently pour over pudding batter, being sure to leave at least 2cm of room at the top of the baking dish. Bake for 45 minutes and serve warm with ice cream.

*recipe - Golden Syrup
This is an inverted syrup (which is one of the things that seem to be sold as "golden syrup"). Recipe that works for me: cook 1:1 (by weight) sugar and water for ~1h at 80-90°C with the juice of one lemon per litre water, then boil it down to ~118°C (gives a light golden color, a thin honey like viscosity)
charisstoma: (Default)
Creamy Lime Squares

Preparation time: 15 minute(s) Cooking time: 12 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 16

A citrusy dessert is perfect for a nice warm day. The squares were creamy and sweet but also tart at the same time – and the serving size just right!


The Crust
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for pan
2/3 cup almond flour or ground nuts (any you prefer)
1 cup (4 ounces) graham-cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoons grated lime zest

The Filling
2 large egg yolks
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup fresh lime juice (around 5 medium limes)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (around 1 medium lemon)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush an 8-inch square baking dish with melted butter. (This step is important because it will make it easy for you to remove the parchment paper later.)
Line bottom with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on two sides.

Whisk almond flour/ground nuts with graham-cracker crumbs, sugar, and zest.
Mix in butter.
Press mixture into bottom and 1 inch up sides of prepared pan.
Bake until lightly browned, 8 to 12 minutes.
Cool crust, 30 minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks and condensed milk.
Add lime juice and lemon juice; whisk until smooth.
Pour filling into cooled crust; carefully spread to edges.

Bake until set, about 15 minutes.
Cool in pan on rack; then chill at least 1 hour before serving.
Using parchment paper overhang, lift out of pan, and transfer to a cutting board.
With a serrated knife, cut into 16 squares, wiping knife with a damp kitchen towel between each cut.

Recipe adapted from and photo courtesy of: Red Black Apron


Jun. 1st, 2017 07:36 pm
charisstoma: (Default)
What the Heck Is a Hellbender—And How Can We Make More of Them?
Why the Saint Louis Zoo decided to invest in this slimy, surprisingly adorable amphibian


Jeff Briggler is leaning face-down in a freezing Missouri stream. Breathing through a snorkel and soaked up to his wetsuit-clad armpits, the Missouri resource scientist peers under rocks and probes into dark, underwater crevices. This is how you look for the rare, elusive survivors of the Carboniferous period, commonly known as hellbenders.

When he emerges, Briggler is holding a wriggling, pebbled and frankly adorable creature the size of a man's forearm. This slimy serpent is actually an endangered Ozark hellbender—though that modifier may be changing. The animal that Briggler drops into a blue mesh bag was born in captivity and has thrived in the wild against all odds, thanks to a series of conservation experiments by the Saint Louis Zoo.
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easter tree

Easter tree in Germany. 10,000 eggs...WOW!

source -->

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Armadillo lizard (Ouroborus cataphractus )

The Armadillo lizard (Ouroborus cataphractus )is a lizard endemic to desert areas of southern Africa. The natural habitat of this lizard is scrub and rocky outcrops. It is diurnal. It hides in rock cracks and crevices. It lives in social groups of up to 30. The Armadillo Lizard possesses an uncommon antipredator adaptation, in which it takes its tail in its mouth and rolls into a ball when frightened.
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A scandalous Art Nouveau collaboration that set Paris all atwitter at the turn of the century.

See & Read more... )

Those who think that Hector Guimard was the only eccentric architect to produce Art Nouveau in the Parisian daily landscape will be left speechless by the 29 Avenue Rapp. Built in 1901 by Jules Lavirotte, this seven-story creation is probably the most extreme example of the ornamental delirium that is Nouveau that the French capital has hidden away. Lavirotte didn’t do it alone, but collaborated with his friends, the ceramist Alexandre Bigot, and other fellow sculptors to create this flamboyant and voluptuous façade, making them winners of the annual architectural frontage of Paris that same year.
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Accused of having an incorrect visa, Mem Fox detained by immigration officials at LA airport
DEBORAH BOGLE, Books Editor, The Advertiser
February 22, 2017 9:33pm

AUSTRALIA’S best-loved children’s author, Mem Fox, was left sobbing and shaken after being detained for two hours and aggressively interrogated by immigration officials at Los Angeles airport.

Fox says she’s unlikely to ever travel to the United States again after being made to feel like “a prisoner at Guantanamo Bay”.

President Donald Trump had created the climate for this sort of behaviour, she said, adding: “This is what happens when extremists take power.”

Mem Fox. Picture: Matt Turner
En route to Milwaukee for a conference on February 9, where she was to deliver the opening keynote address at a literacy conference, Fox was ushered into an airport holding room and told she was travelling on the wrong visa. This was incorrect and the US Embassy in Canberra has since apologised. Fox, 70, said that by the time she checked in to her hotel she was shaking and sobbing.

“I am old and white, innocent and educated, and I speak English fluently,” she said. “Imagine what happened to the others in the room, including an old Iranian woman in her 80s, in a wheelchair.

“The way I was treated would have made any decent American shocked to the core, because that’s not America as a whole, it really isn’t. It’s just that people have been given permission to let rip in a fashion that is alarming.”

The irony that the two most popular of her more than 25 books published in the US, Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes and Whoever You Are, are both about diversity, was not lost on her. Nor was the fact that the theme of the conference she was attending was inclusivity and diversity.

Fox has visited the US more than 100 times since 1985, and is widely known there as an author and literacy educator.

After returning to Adelaide, she made a complaint to the US Embassy in Canberra, and received an emailed apology. An embassy spokeswoman told The Advertiser consular cases were not discussed with the media for privacy reasons.

Her experience has confirmed in Fox the importance of her new book, I’m Australian Too, about multiculturalism, illustrated by an Indian-born Australian, Ronojoy Ghosh. Fox wrote the book in late 2014 in response to what she saw as a rising tide of antagonism towards immigrants and refugees. “And it’s got worse since then,” she said. “I just feel that the hate speech that is going on is trying to change that aspect of our national character and it would be heartbreaking if that happened.”

Originally published as Mem detained in Trump’s America


Feb. 16th, 2017 10:22 am
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'Evangelical Pastafarianism Tough day for the woo fairy -- Noodelicious'

Been told this did not crossover to Lj like it should.
Will fix when I get home.
Lj is filtered from me.
charisstoma: (Default)

I is pretending I is dog.

SACRILEGE! HOW COULD YOU! BLASPHEMY! At worst, it is dogs who are pretending they are very hairy cats! Now take your plunny and go! Write! Think of this - a kitty who is also a WERE-CAT! Muwahahaha ::evil::

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Blame dyoklako and probably Meridae, my ninja fiction-est, and Sherlock

Title: The Unsuspecting Consultant
Author: charisstoma
Word count: 675

Someplace it lurked. Henry knew he was here. Lurking.

“You need to get over yourself, you know.”

“And you think this why?”

“You’re twitchy, ‘Sherlock’.”

“Something you know?”


“Ha. I don’t think so.” Henry opened a drawer in the desk. At the bottom of it a package was lying, innocently, with a small beige envelope sticking out from under the ribbon where the red bow was centered.

“Open it.”

“I don’t want to.”

“Well if you won’t then I will,” George reached into the drawer, pulling out the gaily wrapped package and put it on the desk top. “Shall I read the card first? Yes,” he answered himself and plucked the envelope up, pulling the card out and turning it over to read the neat printing. He started, dropping the card.

“Still want to open it, George?”

“Fucking? What? You knew?”

“Message is different each time and I didn’t know where.”

Why would he say that to you, if he’s your friend? And it smells awful.”

Henry looked at him like he was a half-wit. “Stink? Because he’s rotten?” Then he shrugged, “doesn’t matter. No really, though if I had to hazard a guess …” he grimaced. “No! Don’t. Don’t open it!”

“Well someone has to,” George took hold of the wrapping, ripping it open. He gasped, “It’s an onion.”

Sighing heavily Henry said, “Yes. A ninja onion. We take turns. It was his turn this time.”

“But it smells awful.”

“Actually it’s a he, an onion shifter. We’re onion shifters. You’ve got your finger up,” Henry inspected the onion, but not too closely, in George’s hand, “if you’d move your thumb a bit to the left you’d be very deep into him.” Henry grinned, “I think he likes you. He’s beginning to drip.”
“Since you found him, George ...” Henry edged toward the door, “shower is over there. Don’t worry Lee will show you the way. He needs one … badly and you both will after he’s done with you.”


“I have a feeling Lee will add you to his list for Ninja Stalking. Welcome,” he smiled, “I’ll just leave the two of you to it.”

The door snapped shut and the onion grew in size developing arms, legs and a head with wide smile.

“Hello you. So I’m Lee and I need to shower. Do come with me, you can scrub my back and I’ll scrub yours. Turnabout is fair play after all and I do believe if I let you out of my sight you’ll try leaving. Henry probably locked the door anyway. He’s such a romantic.”

Considering he was dreaming, George went along with it, believing that he’d wake up hard and aching, probably before getting to come, in his own bed.

The sun on his face woke him. George sighed, stretching, a smile on his face because as a dream it had been better than good. Then he stilled as an arm snaked around his waist and a naked body fitted itself behind him with evident hard interest.

“Good morning. Ready for a great way to start the day? I am,” Lee nuzzled.

“Um. Okay. But first, just to satisfy my curiosity, I’m not going to catch anything from you like onion-ness and you don’t have sex with Henry, do you?”

“Not usually to either of those things, though if you want to try a three-way with Henry I could probably talk him into it. Want me to ask him?”

“Maybe … sometime. You were saying….”

“Of course love, let’s get my sprout up your ass.”

George moaned, clenching down and shifted his ass a bit to the left to help Lee find the right place, then grinned as Lee gave his own moan. His grin faded as Lee seemed to grow inside him.
“What’s happening?”

A kiss was planted at the base of George’s neck, “Don’t worry. That’s my bulb. You’re going to loooove this. Once you’ve had an onion bulb you, you won’t want anything else … unless you’re into real pain and want a ginger.”


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