boiling potatoes

i was boiling some small potatoes on the stove and i pierced one with my fork to see if it was done and it made a very distinct “ummm?” sound. as if i was bothering it. and now i feel like i should just leave them be

How to avoid informed traits

You know those characters that are constantly referred to so smart or so capable or so sensitive (etc. etc.) by other characters or in the narration? And every time it comes up you find yourself shaking your head or rolling your eyes because the character in question  either is as bland as boiled potatoes or constantly acts in ways that contradict those claims without explanation? 

That’s what is commonly called an “informed trait”. You’re told the character is a certain way (or has a certain ability), but there is more or less nothing in the text to back that up. 

It goes the other way around, too, with informed flaws that are supposed to make a character more relatable or interesting - think almost every romantic comedy leading lady who is supposedly “shy” and “clumsy”, but in a cute, endearing way that only ever comes up when the plot asks for it. 

It’s frustrating, distracting, incredibly dull and at times downright insulting to the reader to encounter a story where one or more characters have a bad case of this, but unfortunately, it’s a pretty common weakness even in otherwise strong, well-written stories with interesting and complex character concepts. 

Since characters and how the reader feels about them (whether they are supposed to relate to them, look up to them or feel repulsed by them) can really make or break a story, informed traits are an easy trap to fall into and many a writer’s Achilles heel. 

So, how to avoid them?

This is where the trusty old “Show, don’t tell” comes in. You have most likely been told before that it’s usually better to go for subtlety and leave something to the reader’s imagination than to spell it out, and that is true. 

It’s challenging to imply something without outright saying it. You have to get creative with the details you want to put into your story to get a point across by relying on your audience’s ability to read between the lines, and while it’s absolutely worth it to go the extra mile, you also run the risk of making your narrative too stilted and contrived instead. 

However, there is a fairly simple trick to make your characterization feel more natural and insert it into the story smoothly:

Stop thinking of your characters as possessing certain traits and start thinking of their personalities as a collection of habits, preferences and specific abilities. 

It might not sound like that big of a difference, but it will make translating your character traits into text much, much easier and save you a lot of trouble while editing. 

Some examples:

  1.  A “smart” character

    This can mean a lot of things. You could have a character who is booksmart, learns quickly, reads a lot, can retain information easily and access it when needed, but has trouble applying theoretical knowledge in real life, someone who entertains their friends by telling them about weird facts and trivia, someone who can still recite poems they had to learn by heart when they were ten, someone with a tendency to talk in such complex run-on sentences they frequently forget what they were talking about half-way through. 
    Or you could have a character who is good at problem-solving instead, who likes puzzles and riddles, who gleefully obsesses over odd problems to find even odder solutions, but thinks so far out of the box in order to remain engaged in their current task they often miss the forest for the trees.  

  2. A “brave” character

    Try to instead make a character who can never resist a challenge, who is a thrill-seeker and went bungee jumping about a dozen times already, who enjoys dragging their friends on the most dangerous looking rides in an amusement park and endlessly teases them about how pale they went afterwards. Make someone who simply cannot stand by when they see someone else get bullied, someone with a collection of scars they wear proudly and a story to tell about each one.
      
  3. A “shy” character

    Forget about characters who blush prettily when spoken to and that’s it. Instead, write about a character who can’t make eye contact without forcing themselves to, who stumbles over their own words when talking to strangers, who is afraid of wearing bright colours because it might draw attention to them, someone who is humble and polite, but distant and comes across as cold or uncaring because they have tendency to hide their insecurity by retreating into themselves, even though seeming rude is the last thing on their mind.

Insert these habits into the story wherever they fit best. Be consistent in the portrayal of your character’s behaviour, even as character development kicks in. Adjust deliberately, but reasonably. After all, old habits die hard, so having your character break with one, however minor, can be a powerful moment with just as much emotional resonance as a flashy, dramatic scene meant to convey the same sentiment, and any “big” scenes will likely feel more organic if the reader has already seen traces of the necessary character changes before. 

anonymous asked:

If growing up with a doctor/medicine hating russian grandmother has taught me anything, it's that breathing in boiled potato steam can cure all illnesses. Now all I can think of is Yuuri getting a cold and Victor insisting that "yes, you must inhale the potato steam. I promise it will help- yUURI GET BACK HERE AND BREATHE THE POTATO STEAM ITS FOR YOUR OWN GOOD BABE PLEASE"

I CAN’T BREATHE

Punk (Chap. 4)

Originally posted by satanslifecoach

Summary: You’re head over heels for your best friend Bucky and hate the nickname he gave you as it doesn’t exactly scream romance.

Word count: 1878 

Warnings: Cursing, low-self esteem, chubby!reader x bucky, idk….

A/N:  Sorry for the long wait.  I needed some time.  I’ve got the next few chapters just about ready to go…and I’m gonna try and make them hurt ;) yay angst!


After Natasha successfully slammed you to the mat for the sixteenth time in a row you finally cried ‘uncle’ and ended the hour long workout/torture session.  You’d come here to kickbox and beat the holy hell out of a bag but a certain spider had other ideas.

“I deserve this,” you groaned.  Your chest heaved as your lungs strained for breath. The amorphous blob of a sweatshirt you insisted on wearing while exercising was soaked with sweat and made you feel as if you were slowly cooking in one of Hell’s saunas.  “This is why I hate exercising.”  Nat extended a hand to pull you to your feet but you shook your head dramatically on the mat.  “No, just leave me here to die.  I quit.  You go out and fight the good fight.  I’ll save my skills and start a nice, quiet dart league or somethin’.”  Natasha rolled her eyes and kicked your leg. “No, seriously.  I retire my knives to you.  My guns, throwing stars, all of it.  Take care of Ferd for me.  Tell him his mummy loved him,” you wailed with a huge fake sob.

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The Signs as types of potatoes

ARIES: Boiled potato

TAURUS: A hench jacket potato overfilled with tuna

GEMINI: French fries

CANCER: Mashed potato

LEO: Crisps

VIRGO: Sweet potato

LIBRA: A potato from the ground

SCORPIO: Extra burnt potato

SAGITTARIUS: Wedgies

CAPRICORN: A cold uncooked potato

AQUARIUS: Magic mushroom stuffed potato

PISCES: Apple bacon stuffed sweet potato

Vegan Mac Faux Cheese 🐭 There are lots of wonderful vegan mac and cheese recipes out there. This is one I frequent.

Vegan Mac Faux Cheese

2.5 cups GF macaroni pasta

½ cup raw cashews

¾ cup russet potato, peeled and chopped

½ cup carrots, chopped

¼ cup nutritional yeast

¼ cup unsweetened almond milk

½ tsp. smoked paprika

¼ tsp. garlic powder

½ tbsp. lemon juice

¾ tsp. pink Himalayan salt

¼ tsp. white pepper

Soak cashews in water overnight or add boiling water to them and allow them to sit for 15-20 minutes.

Bring a small pot of water to a boil and add the potatoes and carrots. Boil for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and drain.

In a separate pot of boiling salted water add pasta and cook according to instructions on the package. Drain pasta and reserve ¼ to ½ cup of pasta water.

While the pasta and veggies are cooking add the cashews, nutritional yeast, almond milk, spices and lemon juice to a blender. Next, add the cooked vegetables and blend on high for a minute or until smooth. Mix the “cheese” with the cooked (drained) pasta adding a bit of the pasta water to thin it out to your liking.

I was eating potatoes last night and as I was eating I said, “My, what a superbly featured room and what excellent boiled potatoes. Many years since I have had such an exemplary vegetable. To which of my fair cousins should I compliment the excellence of the cooking?“

And the first time I said it, everyone was talking over me, and so I said it again, but they kept talking. Eventually someone said “What was that you said, again?” and I said, “Oh nothing. I was just proving that I am a well-cultured and well-rounded person but it’s okay. I didn’t expect anyone here to care anyway.”

and that’s the story of how I literally became the awkward mr. collins at my dinner table last night.

Vegan Shepard’s pie Recipe! If you don’t have access to vegan butter you can use oil or margarine in place.

Ingredients:

  • 4 russet potatoes
  • 3 carrots
  • 3 celery stalks
  • ½ yellow onion
  • 2 cups chopped mushrooms (one package)
  • 1 Tbsp. flour
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp fresh sage
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups veggie broth
  • 1/3 cup red wine
  • salt
  • pepper
  • soy milk (or rice milk)
  • vegan butter

Directions:
Peel, chop, and boil the potatoes for 10-15 minutes until soft.
Meanwhile, chop the carrots, celery, and onion, sauté in vegan butter or oil for a few minutes. Add the mushrooms, and cook until the edges begin to darken. add the garlic, and season with salt and pepper. Add the tomato paste, flour, thyme, and sage. Slowly add the veggie broth and wine, stirring continuously. Let simmer for a few minutes to thicken.
Mash the potatoes and add the soy milk and vegan butter. Add more if needed until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Lay the veggie filling into a baking dish, the spread the mashed potatoes over top. At this time, you can get creative with designs and patterns for the top. The rougher the surface, the crispier it will turn out.
Spray the surface with cooking oil. Broil for 10-15 minutes, or until the top is crispy.

Source: X

Påskveckan - Easter week 

Swedish kids are free from school the week of, or the week after easter. In earlier days, all the stores used to be closed on good Friday but now most of the stores are open as usual but are closed during the easter weekend. It’s most common to do the actual celebration on Easter Eve, we usually meet with the family and eat together. (As you may know, Sweden is a very irreligious country so it’s very uncommon to go to church during Easter)

Påsk -en - Easter

Påsklov -et - Easter break

Skärtorsdag - Maundy Thursday

Långfredag - Good Friday

Påskafton - Easter Eve

Påskdagen - Easter Day

Annandag påsk - Easter Monday 

Påskkärring - Easter witch

Swedish kids usually dress up as witches (påskkärringar) on Maundy Thursday or Easter Eve and go around to their neighbors giving them a small hand-made card or present to get some candy in return. This tradition has its roots in the witch huntings during the 1600′s when it was believed the witches travelled to Satan at Blockula to feast on Maundy Thursday. The modern tradition stems from the 1800′s. The children are often dressed up in a dress, an apron and a shawl and may also have a black stuffed toy cat, a broom and a coffee pot.

Påskkäring -en - Easter witch 

Blåkulla - Blockula

Present -en - Gift

Kort -et - Card

Kvast -en - Broom

Katt -en - Cat

Kaffepanna -an/Kaffekanna -an - Coffeepot

Klänning -en - Dress

Förkläde -et - Apron

Sjal -en - Shawl 

Godis och mat - Candy and food

Candy and food is a big part of the Swedish easter tradition. The kids (and sometimes the adults) usually get an easter egg filled with candy and maybe a small gift or money. Here the Swedish phenomenon of bulk confectionary comes in handy because the parents can pick and choose the quantity of candy they think their child should eat. It’s said to be the easter bunny who comes with the eggs. For the food there is often a big buffet or smorgasbord of things to choose from. Some classics are boiled eggs, fermented herring, salmon and boiled potatoes. (Very similar to the food we eat on every Swedish holiday) For drinks there are the alcoholic brännvin and snaps and for the kids there’s påskmust which is a carbonated drink kinda similar to coke (but also not at all, because it’s so much better. Also there’s julmust during Christmas which is exactly the same thing but with a different branding). 

Påskägg -et - Easter egg

Godis -et - Candy

Lösgodis -et - Bulk confectionary

Påskhare -en - Easter bunny

Buffé -én - Buffet

Smörgåsbord -et - Smorgasbord

(Kokt) ägg -et - (Boiled) egg

(Inlagd) sill -en - (Fermented) herring

Lax -en - Salmon

Potatis -en - Potato

Brännvin -et - Brännvin

Snaps -en - Snaps

Påskmust -en - Påskmust

Dekorationer - Decorations

How much you decorate for easter varies from family to family but we decorate less than for Christmas. We usually have something similar to an easter tree which basically is a few branches of birch which gets decorated with colorful feathers and decorations in the shape of chickens, eggs and easter witches. The decorations are mostly yellow or pastel and it’s very usual for small children to make their own easter decorations in kindergarden or primary school to hang in the easter tree. 

Dekoration -en - Decoration

Påskris - et - Easter tree 

Björk -en - Birch

Färgglad - Colorful 

Fjäder -ern - Feather

Kyckling -en - Chicken

Ägg -et - Egg

Gul - Yellow

Pastell - Pastel


Glad påsk! - Happy easter!

Pesach Eating

So, maybe it’s because I’ve always had a complicated relationship with food anyway, but eating kosher for pesach has never been something I’ve particularly struggled with - primarily because many of my ‘ordinary’ meals fit under the remit. 

So I thought I would share the main bones of what I’ll be eating to see if this helps.

Salad + ‘protein’ + matzah. 

This is what I eat most days. The majority of salad vegetables are kosher for pesach. I normally throw in chickpeas & seeds in my salads, so obviously those are to be cut out. Make sure you cut your salad up fine, so you’re not chomping through miles of lettuce. 
Salad bit: tend to look like spinach, red onion, cucumber, raddish, tomato, pickled cabbage/sauerkraut, seaweed (nori) flakes, peppers.
Protein bit, one of the following: smoked salmon, tuna, mackerel, boiled eggs. I don’t eat meat, but obvious deli cold meats. 
Dressing: lemon juice, raw garlic & a spoonful of mayonnaise.
+ matzah if you want something to help scoop.
If you want to bulk it out, boil some little new potatoes and make a fancy potato salad.
(Note, some people don’t eat garlic, ginger or raddish on pesach).


Soups:

Potato and leek soup. Boil some potatoes in one pan. Sweat some onions and garlic, cut up some celery and lots of leek. Throw in your cooked potato. If you have kosher for pesach stock cubes, stir that together in a cup with hot water, and add. Blitz together.

Spicy parsnip: boil one large potato with some parsnips. Sweat some garlic and onions, throw in some celery. Add whatever spice mix you have in, add your potato & leeks. + stock if you have it. Blitz together.

Tomato soup: Boil one large potato. Get lots of large tomatoes, cut a cross into the base. In a boil of boiling water leave the tomatoes in there for 10-20 seconds. Scoop out tomatoes and pop them in ice water. Peel off skins. Cut tomatoes in half and put in roasting tray ‘face up’ (open side up). Put in two large peppers. Drizzle in oil and throw in garlic coves & put in oven. In pan sweat onions, garlic and then celery. 20 minutes in get tomatoes out. Cut up peppers & remove seeds. Add tomatoes (+ there will be a lot of liquid in your roasting tray) to your soup base pan. Pour in water. Use some stock to bulk it out if needed. Add peppers and potato. Blitz together.

I tend to eat soup with a boiled egg (for protein) and matzah.

Steamed fish. 

I have lots of frozen white fish in my freezer. Put frozen fish on a large sheet of tin foil. A little bit of butter goes on the fish with some herbs. Add lemon, garlic and spring onion if you have it. Seal up tinfoil around fish, make sure there’s a gap in at the top so there’s a steamed atmosphere. (Tin foil should look like a little boat). Put in oven. Boil little potatoes and fry some greens, onion and spinach. Serve up all together.

—-

So this is what I’ll eat over pesach, I think I cut out all the things from these recipes that aren’t kosher for pesach. But double check because I’m going from memory on what I cook, and I might have written something silly. (For example I add sweetcorn to everything, and as an ashki I don’t eat Kitniyot. If you’re sefard: go crazy).