Thursday, January 25, 2018
I stumbled across this the other day:
Now as awesome as they are, there were things in there I couldn't do. For example, veal. I don't do veal. I wasn't too keen on the idea of milk in my meatballs*** either. However, I followed the basic idea of the recipe- as in baking them. I even went a step further and used them to make a tomato/red gravy/sauce*. Here's my interpretation of the meatballs. And my friends, it is REALLY worth it, either with the original or my alterations.
_______________________________________Manly Meaty Meatballs:
2lbs 80/20 ground beef (make sure you use 80/20!)
1 lb ground pork
1/2 lb pancetta or thick cut bacon, minced
1/3 cup finely diced yellow onion
8 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp salt
1 tbls of adobo**
1/3 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/2 cup bread crumbs
24 oz can of tomato puree
14 oz can of tomato sauce, unseasoned
12 oz can of tomato paste
1/4 cup oregano (you can absolutely decrease this-- I'm a huge fan)
1 tbls garlic power
2 cloves of garlic minced
2 tbls basil
1 tsp bay leaf
salt to taste
It's best to use dried herbs for this because it's not going simmer on the stove/in a crockpot like it should be.
First, on the stove:
Combine the tomato products with the herbs and blend it well; make sure the paste blends through- there should be no lumps. Allow this to heat through for about 1/2 an hour before proceeding to the second part.
Preheat the oven to 350*F
Mix the meat and eggs together by hand. It's squishy. Deal.
Add the onion and garlic, and mix well.
Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
In a 13X9 pan with high sides (or use a dutch oven if you have it), take a ladle or two of your gravy/sauce and coat the bottom.
Using an ice cream scoop, make the meatballs. Pack them well; you want to get rid of the air in them. Now pop it out and make sure it's round. repeat with all meat in the bowl. I got about 25 meatballs out of this.
Ladle the gravy/sauce over the meatball. Cover them with the sauce-- make sure there are no exposed parts of the meatballs.
Put the pan in the oven, uncovered and cooked for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Mine were ready in 1 1/2.
Serve alone with crusty bread or over a little spaghetti. There should be WAY more tomato sauce than you need. Freeze or refrigerate for future use. I hope yours is as good as mine. Best Meatballs Ever.
My picture is coming; I'm using an old camera**** with a CompactFlash card and I have to go find the cord to up load the shot. I also meant to Pin This to Pinterest last week so that I could have for my October challenge, but I messed up. I won't count it, but I WILL share it.
*I hate getting into the argument about sauce and gravy, so I always refer to it this way. However, in my house it's always tomato sauce.
**I love adobo. I use it everywhere for everything.
***I have been informed that using the milk with the breadcrumbs is meant to keep the meatballs moist; it's an interesting concept and I may give it a try next time, but these babies were plenty moist.
****That camera thing is a whole other post. Argh.
*****Original meatball post from here: http://www.esquire.com/food-drink/a24664/best-meatball-recipe/
Originally posted Oct. 2nd, 2011 at 10:35 PM
Friday, December 29, 2017
Let's talk about fandom and expectation for a moment.
Since we have a swath of fanboys who think they own Star Wars, let me explain this concept of "audience privilege" that's become an issue, and why all those who have started calling the FMC "Mary Sue Rey" are not allowed in the real fandom.
I'm an author. I spend many hours, weeks, months--and hell years, at this point crafting a story. I am also a HUGE Star Wars fan. Always have been. Since I was 4. I have fanfic, yup.
I had, through the 90s, read most of the now-non-canonical expanded universe (EU) after Return of the Jedi. Somewhere around 100 out of 150 books. (I stopped when one of Han and Leia's children force exploded.) I had mad love for Mara Jade, and I adored the protagonists, the Yuzaan Vong. I would have paid serious money to see those guys on screen.
Imagine my delight when I heard there were 3 new movies in the works. Oh, my yes! Yes! Anakin's turn to the Dark Side! I was so excited! Thrilled!
But the reality... oh the painful reality.
Jar-Jar Binks. A child Anakin. Virgin birth and Midichlorians. A very stoned Yoda. Intergalactic C-SPAN. Jedi who don't DO ANYTHING about a slave trade.
...and that was just Episode 1. We had two more of these to endure, including more Intergalactic C-SPAN and what for all the world was a FDS hygiene commercial.
Walking out of the Intergalactic C-SPAN--I mean, Episode 1-- I felt betrayed. I felt let down. As I sat watching the credits roll, I decided to turn my fandom down from from an 11, to about 8. I would remain true to the originals, but not this horrible travesty.
But my fandom went to a 3 when I received a gift for my birthday. My friend skipped down the drive way happy as a clam, pleased with herself. "Jenn! Look what I found! I know how much you love Star Wars, and I know you'll love these!"
Padmé Amidala Window Clings.
"I thought you'd love to put them on the back window of your car."
Not a chance in hell. Not in this life, not in any other life.
So, I had myself an introspection. I had, to that point, spent hundreds, if not thousands of hours, immersed in the SW EU. I had spent years writing stories about Luke, Leia, Han, and eventually their kids, Chewie, different partners for Luke. I watched and read everything I could on SW--even the Christmas Special, and the bizarre "Splinter of the Mind's Eye" book.
How had my dedication to this world, this fandom, chosen to repay me?
A very stoned Yoda.
Padmé Amidala Window Clings.
And I realized that there must be moderation in fandom. These stories, these characters were not mine. They weren't ever going to be the story *I* wanted. Not ever. And all my time and dedication and love spent would never be returned to me. No matter how much time, energy, and money (can't forget that!) I put towards this, it was never going to return any of it.
I was feeding a black hole.
It would continue to take and take. And I would watch, the accretion disc neither growing nor shrinking, simply pulling in every thing I would willingly give it. I thought that by feeding this monster, I could get it to love me.
But it was a monster, and all it did was eat. And it was devouring me.
This is true of ANY rabid fandom. If you keep feeding the monster in the black hole, you're stuck. You'll watch and feed, and be there forever. Hoping for some little sign that what you adore knows you're there, and sends you just a trickle of love.
It won't. Ever.
So I stopped talking about Star Wars. Stopped dead. Anyone asked me things, I didn't answer. I didn't read anymore of the books; I back away.
This was not MY story to tell.
It was never was, and never will be.
And so, I found other things to like and enjoy. Harry Potter. Star Trek. New book series, like Black Dagger Brotherhood, and other genres, like romance. Gasp! But I found that by spreading my love around, I was happier. While I still say "Fuck the Space Diner!" to Ep. 2, it's countered by "Rhage is mine. Go find your own vampire," and, "I really don't like The Prisoner of Azkaban."
And now. We have a new series.
I adored The Force Awakens with the gusto of a fangirl. It was wonderful story telling, new characters to love, new planets, fresh story telling.
Of course there were things I didn't like. I won't forgive them for deleting Mara Jade.
However this is not my story to tell.
And then came The Last Jedi. Oh, lemme tell you. The brilliance of the storytelling, the CGI, the dialogue! The use of thmes, real cinematography by someone who had studied it. The brilliant lack of sound in space for both Leia's survival and Holdo's suicide. My filmmaking nerd threw her head back and laughed and laughed in satisfaction.
Of course there were things I didn't like. Canto Bight and the casino? Unnecessary. Rose's character was shallow, a plot device. She could be used better.
But it's not my story to tell.
Repeat that. A million times if you have to. It's not my story to tell. I am there without expectations, to be entertained.
And I was. And it was good.
When I write a story, a book, I write the story as I believe it should be told. They are my characters and I control their destiny (we won't get into the psychology of character development). I am the author. You are the reader. I entertain you, you are entertained.
Will you experience disappointment if I kill off X? Duh, yes. Does that give you the right to go to my book at the retailer and essentially rip me a new asshole?
But, Jenn--you killed X, and that shouldn't have been. You should have done Y or Z or perhaps even W. But he should never have died and for that you are a horrible writer and you suck and should be ashamed. I'm starting a petition to have you rewrite the story the way I want it!!
Okay, there. Right there. When did this become your story? Have you put in the time? The sleepless nights? The deleting of scenes? The torture of the story going off arc? The writer's fog? The days of blank pages taunting you?
Not your story.
"Audience privilege" is not a thing. If you're not invited in on the project (i.e., they hand you a script and say 'welcome!'), you don't get a say.
That's where fandom gets dangerous. Really, really dangerous. The fanboys have actually created a petition to have Disney (ooh, is that an uncaring black hole I see before me?) to remove TLJ from canon. They will send death threats to people, they will bully and berate people [women] who enjoy it.
That is a step too far. Too far, gents.
(And, to be fair: MAJORITY male fans. Hence my choice of 'fanboys.')
Trekkies have a leg up on you. Why? They let go. They let the story happen. Come on, haven't you see Star Trek V: The Piece of Shit? And YET. ST: I, II, III, IV, VI, VII, VII, First Contact, Nemeshit--er Nemesis, The Reboot (fondly called Lens Flair the Movie), Into Darkness, Beyond, the TV shows...
Trekkies let it go. Trekkies have fun arguing about Picard vs. Kirk (Picard, btw, 100%). Trekkies are some of the most hard for fans you've ever seen, and they love it. All of the damn contradictions and opposing stories and 'what the hell--ah well. Enjoy!' moments.
Perhaps you think this is your story.
Feed the monster, boys.
This isn't going to go the way you think it is.
Monday, June 5, 2017
Sunday, June 4, 2017
No one starts out to be a superhero.
But there's my cousin—mask and costume—and I'm convinced she's certifiably insane.
Beth hit it big in Hollywood and created a baseball team so I could play. She started taking martial art lessons and she decided she was going to start ninja'ing around New York City. And that had nothing to do with us losing our mothers and her brother when we were young
See? Insane. I mean, who the hell wants to be a moving target?
Well, I'm not really one to judge. After all, I took those lessons too. I'm out there with her: hiding in shadows, avenging the less- fortunate, saving the damsels in distress--and bachelors in a bind--getting shot at, threatened with death, chased with swords and tossed into situations we had no business being in.
Let's just say that we’re in trouble if phone booths ever go out of style.
We kinda liked it. I guess we're both nuts But no one starts out to be a superhero. No one wants to be the last of a breed of ninjas.
And, no one really wants to learn the art of dying.
Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Sunday, March 5, 2017
And finally, we arrive at the beginning of the superheroes. These are the stories that I have loved writing my whole life and I hope that you all enjoy them as well.
The Art of Dying
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks
Friday, January 13, 2017
So this year is going to be the year of releases. It's time to get these stories moving! First up, for the new year is Slip the Waves, an entry at the Hotel Paranormal.
SLIP THE WAVES