So the speculation about Harry dabbling in drugs fueled by “Carolina” lyrics is built around a fandom invented narrative of how raw and honest Harry is about his gentle tip-toeing to the edge. But anything real or imagined about Zayn and drugs is built around a fandom invented narrative about what a destructive scumbag he is. Ok.
I know how some of y'all are and I know why. This is just an unfriendly reminder that I see you and you disgust me.
For those of you who are interested, this is how I make mochi. I used to do it the traditional steamer way but that took forever, and this is just as tasty but pretty quick to whip up! Also, there’s no possibility of you accidentally spilling boiling hot mochi all down your arms as you try to transfer the glop between cheesecloths (yes that’s happened to me and it was NOT. FUN.). If you don’t know what mochi is, it’s a Japanese sweet rice treat that is absolutely addictive: chewy and soft and YUM. I’m part Japanese and lived in Hawaii for a lot of my life so it’s a staple comfort food for me! I used to make it only for New Year’s and special occasions, but now that I microwave it I can make it whenever I want. Which is good, because look at how gorgeous it is:
Microwave Mochi Recipe (makes about 20 pieces)
1 ½ cups mochiko (glutinous rice flour. Sold at most grocery stores in the Asian food section, look for a white box)
1 cup white sugar
1 ½ cups water
2-4 drops vanilla (this is optional, or you could use coconut extract/other flavorings instead, but I like vanilla)
Approximately 4 drops of food coloring. Traditionally you color mochi pink or green, so 4 drops of either green or red, but of course the color is really just up to you.
First you need a microwavable bowl. I use a tupperware container, it’s shallow but wide, like a pan. Any microwavable container that’s big enough would do though, I imagine.
Mix mochiko and sugar together in the bowl/dish until well blended (I use a fork). Add water to mixture and stir until no lumps are left, the mixture should be liquidy and smooth. It has a consistency similar to that of warm syrup. I like using a fork because it’s easy to break up the lumps and make sure the water’s well-integrated. Now add vanilla and food coloring, and stir until color is even throughout mixture.
Put microwavable dish into the microwave and loosely cover with plastic. If you are using a tupperware container that comes with a lid, like I do, then just rest the lid askew on top of the dish so that it can vent but is still mostly covered.
Ok, now here’s the trick on how to make sure it turns out nice. Microwave the mochi on high for seven minutes total, but not all in one go. Here’s how I do it: Microwave 2 minutes, then take out of microwave and stir with that handy dandy fork. The edges will be more cooked than the middle, so mix it all together and try to get it as even as possible, then place back in microwave. Microwave 2 more minutes, then repeat; mixture will be stickier now. Microwave 2 more minutes and stir again, then microwave 1 more minute, take out and stir, and you’re done! The mixture will be really glossy and brightly colored now, and very very hot. It will also be basically glop, so stirring is more just folding the mix a little to make sure it’s even. So to sum up: Microwave 2 minutes and stir, repeat twice more so you have a total of 6 minutes, and then microwave for 1 minute and stir one last time. I microwaved for eight minutes once and the mochi wasn’t nearly as good, it got hard, so STICK WITH THIS TIMING.
The mochi will be VERY hot. Let it sit for … I’ve never timed it, but I’m guessing it’s about five minutes. Basically you need it still warm, but not hot. You want it to still be pliable so you can shape it, but don’t want to burn your fingers! While the mochi is cooling, you can make the powder you need to coat it in. This is also very simple:
½ cup potato starch (again, should be in Asian food aisle. Some people use cornstarch. DON’T USE CORNSTARCH.)
¼ cup granulated white sugar
Pinch of salt (not very much at all, you don’t want your mochi to taste salty, eew. I think the original recipe I’ve adapted this one from called for ¼ t but that was too much for me, so I just use a tiny pinch now. Your call.)
In small bowl, combine potato starch, sugar, and salt.
… There, you’re done making that! Easy, right? XD
Now it’s time to shape the mochi.
[Technically, you could just leave it in the pan to cool completely (depending on your dish’s shape) and then cut it up into pieces with a plastic knife. If you’re planning on doing that, then mix the mochiko up in a separate bowl and oil your microwavable dish with vegetable oil before pouring mochi mixture in to cook. I’ve never done it this way though so I’m not sure how well it would work, considering you’d be stirring a lot. If you want to try though, it’s probably doable.]
The most important thing to remember is that warm mochi is incredibly sticky, but it doesn’t stick very much to plastic. This means that whatever utensils you’re using/surfaces you’re putting the mochi on should be plastic! To shape my mochi I actually use two plastic spoons I got from Yogurtland, haha, but to each their own.
Anyway, once the mochi is cool enough, take a plastic spoon and scoop up some mochi! Approximately a Tablespoon per piece is what I do, but the size is really up to you and your spoon. I use two spoons so I can scoop with one and then use the other to separate the scoop from the rest of the mochi, and to make sure the scoop is shaped nicely–you know, like when you shape cookie dough with two spoons? Like that.
So scoop up a dollop of mochi, and then drop it into the starch/sugar/salt mixture. Roll it around in the starch until it’s coated. Then pick it up with your fingers and just roll it in the palms of your hand until it’s a nice smooth ball shape. This is fun because it’s so squishy, like a stress ball. And finally, place on a plate to cool! You don’t have to worry about it being sticky any more because the powder coats it to keep it from being sticky. Aaaaaaaand you’re done! Just repeat with the rest of the mochi until the mochi is all nice and powder-coated, and that’s all. All that’s left is to eat all the mochi, which is, alas, way too easy to do. So yummy.
More fun things to do with Mochi:
Make mochi ice cream! No more going to the store for your mochi ice cream fix, just make your own! Microwave only six minutes (2 + 2+ 2) and then shape as usual but flatten instead of leaving a ball shape. Scoop a bite size dollop of ice cream, place in center of flattened mochi, and fold mochi closed around ice cream. Make sure it’s well coated with the powder, and return to the freezer to eat later :D
Wrap the mochi around other things too: Lychees, strawberries, sweet red bean paste …
If you add cocoa powder to your mochi mix before microwaving it, you make chocolate mochi!
You can also use green tea in lieu of plain water to make green tea mochi! I’ve never tried substituting other liquids but I know coconut milk works, and I am planning on making a batch of chai tea mochi soon :D
This recipe turned out pretty long because I ramble but honestly this stuff is SUPER easy to make. So have fun with it, happy eating, and happy new year! :)
The weeks flew by. Sam and Dean worked a few cases here and there, but it was mostly quiet. Louisa kept training with Sam during the day and catching up on her reading at night, she was getting pretty good at doing research for them when they were out hunting. Sam had given her a list of monsters to start with, but she had gone through that a lot faster than Sam had imagined she would and he had kind of just left her to do her own thing after that.
Her hand to hand combat was improving rapidly. She was a natural at reading her opponent, predicting their next move, and even though Sam had been her only opponent so far he had really tried to mix it up and make things a little more difficult for her.
“Do you think I’ll ever be ready to go on a case with you guys?” she asked Sam after one of their daily sparring sessions.
He had waited for this question for a while to be honest, Louisa wasn’t exactly the sit back and watch kind of girl, which was something he admired about her. It wasn’t just Sam’s call to make, Dean had to be okay with her tagging along too and even if it seemed like the two of them were on better terms now, he really doubted that his brother would be willing to bring her with them.
“First you need to learn how to handle a gun,” he excused.
“Can you teach me?” she asked, her blue eyes widening with hope.
“Dean would probably be a better teacher than me,” he thought out loud, after all it was Dean that had taught Sam everything he knew.
“Well… I don’t see him offering to help anytime soon, so I’ll guess you’ll just have to do,” she teased.
“Gee, thanks,” he snorted. Earning a laugh from Louisa.
“You are most welcome.” She grinned, playfully swatting his arm.
Another thing I’m finding myself loving about the open ending of the Black Sails finale is that we’re left free to make whatever the hell we want out of Treasure Island.
Knowing Silver from Black Sails now adds so much more depth to his motivation in going after Flint’s treasure, and raises so many more questions. Did he do it out of spite towards Flint because he was right? Was it in a vain attempt to help Madi’s cause? Was it simply a sad case of Silver trying to reclaim some of the old glory that he gave up? To taste the fear and respect of a crew once more?
Conversely you could argue that Silver hears about an expedition to find the treasure and joins it to try and stop it from being found because of how it tore everybody apart last time, perhaps only relinquishing because he respects Jim (or, you know, he got caught out).
You can argue that the events of Treasure Island never actually happened and the whole thing is made up, that Stevenson heard about Flint’s lost treasure and decided to write a story about honest Englishmen recovering the treasure and thwarting the dastardly pirates they meet along the way (this does completely confuse the line between fiction and actual historical events but I elect to ignore that xD and besides BS has been flouting that since the beginning).
It could make sense then that the characters are a little mixed up, (i.e. Ben on the Island instead of Billy) because the writer is going off of rumours and sketchy accounts of what happened. And also why the trail to find the treasure is so elaborate in the story when we know that Flint and Dooley never really planned out where they buried the cache.
Maybe Billy did make it off the Island and lived the rest of his days terrified of the moment in which Silver caught up with him, somehow acquiring a map along the way, maybe Billy even created the clues and the map himself.
Maybe James and Thomas decided to holiday on Skeleton Island, dug up the cache and reburied it somewhere else, setting up all the clues leading towards it xD.
Who the fuck knows, but the beauty is that all interpretations of Treasure Island (and the 20 year gap between it and BS) have been validated, and whatever the truth actually is matters little, because Flint’s ‘curse’ is complete. Whatever happened, how, when or why Silver went after the treasure does not matter because Long John Silver will be known forevermore in history/literature as a villain, as a feared and monstrous pirate - even if there was much more to John than that, even if the truth was that he just lived out his days like Flint in a quiet retirement.
The fiction around actual events is far more interesting than the truth, and in time it will come to find it’s own truth. What lasts is what people want to believe, this is what Jack tells us, and even in just watching Black Sails we the audience have been left to make our own meaning of the story of both it and Treasure Island, to embellish it as we see fit through interpretations, through art or fiction of our own etc. I get why some see this as a kind of cop-out, like Silver’s non-answer about his past, but in this story about stories, I kinda love it.