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Is it still a roast if it's not roasted?

Regardless, thanks everyone for the advice. I really do think the paprika y'all recommended did the trick in covering the freezer-burn. I added some onions, garlic, celery, and carrots, as well as some grainy mustard and ye olde packet of onion soup mix. Too much onion? Impossible. Filled with water about halfway.

About 11 hours on low in the crock pot, then I dipped out most of the broth, skimmed the fat, added some balsamic vinegar to brighten up the flavor, and reduced it on the stove by a lot. Cut the remaining fat off the meat, removed the vegetables from the crock, shredded the meat and added it back in with the reduced broth. As an experiment, I took some of the very soft vegetables and forced them through a sieve back into the pot. It changed the texture a bit, but overall didn't do much.

In conclusion, the meat's on the dry side, but tasty enough, with a good sauce. Conditions outside are what I'm inclined to call a freaking blizzard, though people who are natives of this frozen wasteland might just call a heavy snow. They're crazy. In other words, I'm really happy not to leave the house today and to eat some resurrected cow and maybe some mashed potatoes and steamed peas.

And because I don't feel like making a new post, here're some Yuletide recs. I'm slowly meandering through the collection. I have no plan.

Jingu All the Way, Journey to the West, gen, 2300 words. Monkey's mouth gets him in trouble, as usual, and his good heart gets him out again. I read this aloud to some friends yesterday, alcohol might've been involved, and it works wonderfully as a tale told by mouth, and wonderfully as a Christmas story. I can't claim to have read Journey to the West all the way through (seriously it's long) but I'm familiar with the story and familiar with the kind of storytelling it represents, and this fic is a great partner to both.

Though I Sang in My Chains Like the Sea, Rivers of London, gen, 11000 words. I waited until bedtime to read this one, and took a deep breath to brace myself before opening it, because I was quite frankly expecting a dull story about Nightingale being Sad Gay. I was very happy to be wrong! This is genuine casefic, matching canon in form and tone, and exploring yet another aspect of the magical yet rational world of Newtonian magic. Nightingale is in fact gay -- is there word of god on this? I'm 90% sure he's supposed to be queer in canon, but as far as I know it's never said, aside from Peter momentarily assuming he was being cruised in the first book -- but that's not the point of the story or of his narration. The story is about how much the world has changed in his long life, and how he chooses to approach his changing reality. ♥♥

Her Need Will I Answer, Valdemar: Tarma & Kethry, gen, 8000 words. Another one that feels like it could come from canon, complete with a Mercedes Lackey-style moral -- though thankfully lacking the preachiness I associate with Lackey these days. Our heroines are out of the mercenary business, but that magic sword Kethry's hauling around isn't in the habit of caring whether or not she's getting paid for rescues these days. Need drags them on yet another noble adventure, involving a very special, very ... pale horse. The end feels a bit rushed, like the author was running out of steam by that point, but the plot is satisfying and Kethry's introspection on her relationship with her family, her sister, and her sword is note-perfect.


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June 2016

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