My heart burns for you.
My heart burns for you.
This is a fresh pig’s tongue as might be available from a specialty butcher. Not very appetizing, is it? What if I told you it was most delicious, and that I created a recipe to cook it?
Pork Tongue prepared in a pressure cooker
3 fresh pork tongues, cleaned
3 cloves garlic
2 bay leaves
1/2 medium onion, sliced thickly
Salt to taste
Place tongues in pressure cooker, any kind, and add 1 cup water or broth and all other ingredients. Put on lid and bring to a boil. Cook at medium-high for 20 minutes. Cool off under cold running water in the sink and remove. The rough skin on the outside will peel off.
Eat as is, or shred for tacos. Pork tongue has a light flavor than beef tongue, which is on the gamey side. Once it’s shredded you can feed it to guests and they won’t know what they’re eating. Imagine the surprise when you tell them!
I’ve posted almost 1,000 randomly generated names on Twitter so far, and I thought it would be interesting to showcase my favorites. These are names up to June of 2018 that may be used for characters, either in a story or in a gaming situation.
|Queen Kapranje Liegestrud, an imaginary Scandinavian monarch
Chanphry of the Hollow Eye, an evil sorcerer
Queston, Necromancer of the Wounded Finger
Valdandis Oorf, AKA The Red Beetle, a notorious scoundrel and thief
Laird Corbrit Glengally, a Scottish highlander
Lady Taffuma Grinform (Steampunk)
Lyrilette of the Brown Kirtle
Chryserto of the Numinous Phoenix
Pirate Captain Squint-Eyed Nicholas
Satatareth, The Angel Of Good Hygiene
Outlaw Gold Tooth Pearl
Shenplen of the Violet Shoes, a mystic
Lady Khanstandia Torjanelle
Smerri Peachlake, a Hobbit
Halina of the Genteel Cloak
Whiskey Wesley, a cowboy of the old west
Sally Hawk, a cowgirl
Gosti Threeclasp, a Hobbit
Gandian Graymurgh, a wizard of Middle-Earth
Injun Dutch, a cowboy
Preacher Ford, a cowboy
Luthnox the Slippery, thief and rogue
Pellaphor the Eternally Amused, a wizard
Grantliet Moonbull, Man at Arms
Tal Avoch, a Star Wars villain
Toxic, perhaps, and firing on all cylinders.
It’s not only the translations of One Thousand and One Arabian Nights that have changed over the years; illustrations of the classic have changed as well. The oil painting Alnaschar’s Fortune, by William Ewart Lockhart, embodies a realistic, dramatic Victorian style, but starting in the 20th century, children’s book illustrators showed a move towards abstraction and fancifulness influenced by the larger art trends of their time. The above watercolor by Virginia Sterrett has a slinky 1920s Art Deco feel, halfway between the more realistic Maxfield Parrish and the later stylizations of Erté. The empty space above the princess may have been left for the book’s title, but many interior illustrations of the time showed generous amounts of unoccupied space as well, such as this illustration by Sterrett’s contemporary Kay Nielson.
As the Arabian Nights hodgepodge of Persian, Indian, Arabic, and Jewish tales is presented as belonging to a unified mythical “East” that never really was, the illustration combines elements of various Eastern cultures as well: a Chinese-style headdress on the princess, Ancient Egyptian collar, sheer North African pantaloons, Indian slippers, and Turkish minarets in the background, with the small pursed red lips and sultry eye makeup of a 1920s It Girl.
|The Tale of the Serpent-Charmer and His Father
The Porter’s Tale of His First Brother
The Mishaps of the Concubine and the Parakeet
Queen Taryal and Her Slave-Girls
Zariq and the Swallow’s Curse
Princess Awaryet and the Amiable Miller
The Fat Serpent-Charmer and the Lazy Fakir
Garden of the Forty Mice
Kelemen the Gem Cutter
The Hyena, the Spider, and the Acrobat
The Six Lamps of Al-Ibhreen
The Wise Son and the Silent Daughter
The Gazelle, the Devil, and the Jewess
The Voyages of Zartu the Traveler
Princess Zulakka and Her Flying Coffee-Set
A Letter to the Renowned Imam of Zarrush
The Barber’s Tale of His Grandfather Six Times Removed
The Ten Cunning Pilgrims
Khefren and the Mishap of the Forty Melons
The Twelve Daughters of Rhanaziah
King Quryn and His Sons, Baraz and Sidyal
Bendaisha the Ghoul
Queen Faykhaat and the Learned Seamstress
The Sultana Who Became an Envoy
The Tale of Young Wasdul and His Grandmother
The Old Weaver and His Magical Loom
The Dillemna of Emir Quaaz and His Elephant
The Twelve Queens of El-Zarinda
The Lady Arzeena and the Ghost of the Cripple
The Journey of Queen Rubanja and Her Brother
Sharqeera the Baggar-Woman and the Talking Spider
Faldan and the Golden Orange
Some kinky, Aubrey Beardsley-like shenanigans are going on in this
Arabian Nights illustration by early twentieth century book
illustrator Kay Nielson. Not for kids.
All the books I’ve read for my 2019 Reading Challenge up to July, with ratings and links.
4. What you will read to your grandchildren: A children’s book (middle grade or younger).
A Swiftly Tilting Planet, by Madeleine L’engle.
5. East meets West: A book taking place in Asia (Turkey to Japan, Siberia to Vietnam)
The Last Samurai, the Life and Battles of Saigo Takamori, by Mark Ravina.
9. Best friend: A book with a dog on the cover.
Being a Dog, by Alexandra Horowitz.
14. Crossing the (color) lines: A book about a person of color (PoC), any variety, written by an author of the same variety.
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, by N.K. Jemison.
25. Flights of fancy: A book in which airplanes figure prominently.
Jet Age, by Sam Howe Verhovek.
39. Tuesdays with Balaam’s Ass: A book with a non-human (animal or fantastic creature) main character.
Tales from Watership Down, by Richard Adams.
49. What you read: A book you loved as a child.
A Wizard of Earthsea, by Ursula K. LeGuin
Tales from La Vida, a LatinX Comics Anthology edited by Frederick Luis Aldama
One Thousand and One Arabian Nights is a treasure trove of literature of the fantastic. I’ve randomized its pseudo-Arabic names and places here, and the titles of the stories themselves also make for an interesting randomization stew. They stick to a simple formula of “Tale of the Something” or “Something of Something” repeating elements such as relatives preceded by a numerical designation (e.g. second sister) and characters referred to by adjective and an occupation ( the wise washer-woman.) Animals are frequently used in titles as well: peacocks, monkeys, fleas. Often they are given human attributes, Aesop’s Fables-style. Randomizing these titles for me was fun and quick.
|The Unseemly Harem of Sultan Muzhein
The Strange Voyage of Zedefren and his Parrot
The Adventures of Nevanja the Slave Girl
The Wise Hashish Eater
The Young Queen’s Story of the Pigeon and the Ogre
The Three Devout Barbers
The Tale of the Seventh Youth, Faraed, and the Apple of Darkness
The Romance of Turmash and Kishranja
The Dream of Queen Simyel
The Emir’s Grandfather and the Raucous She-Goat
The Tale of Bishera and Her Grandmother
The Pomegranate Slave Boy
The Goat, the Fish, and Sultan of Falga
The Princess Zoyana and the Young Doctors
The Tale of the She-Ghoul and Her Child
An Entry in the Journals of Sharhan the Fortune-Teller
The Sheik’s Aunt, Zariyah, and the Sparrow
The Three Tailors of El-Hahmut
Badzar and His Marvelous Palace
The Young Wife’s Trials
The Unwise Boy and the Ghoul
Adventures of a One-Legged Pilgrim
The Story of the Spinster and the Senmurv
The Lady of Haraaz and the Three Honey Jars
The Tale of King Waszrin and His Daughter
Zhuphena the Prophetess and the Invisible City of Yediz
The Lady Dirun and the Strange Pilgrim
The Devout Gem Cutter and the Clever Tray-Maker
The Mare, the Sparrow, and the Efreet
The Voyage of Sahmira the Slave Girl
Princess Esmrilla and the Cripple
The Beggar and His Pet Scorpion
The Curious Asp King
Princess Therina and the Aspiration of the Three Onions
by Mark Ravina
[Challenge # 5: A book taking place in Asia (Turkey to Japan, Siberia to Vietnam.)]
I really wanted to like this book. It’s a biography of Saigo Takamori, a Japanese historical hero who might be compared to Abraham Lincoln in American history, a down-home politician who embodied national values and perhaps died for them. Saigo was a politician of the Samurai class towards the end of the 1800s, a time when Japan was experiencing rapid change. The bulk of the change was regarding its struggle to move from a feudal state of disparate kingdoms only loosely united by an emperor to a true, cohesive national state. Envoys from Western Europe and the superior technology they offered exacerbated this change. In Saigo’s lifetime steamships replaced sailing ships and the first railroad lines were constructed. (Before that, everyone walked everywhere.) In the reading the book, I can see how this period of rapid industrialization was directly responsible for Japan’s involvement in WWII and everything that happened after.
I did learn a fair bit about the guy, which was good, and I’d like to know more, so in that sense the author, who was a professor of Japanese History at Columbia, did his job. But it was oh so dry. A fine book with lots of scholarly information, but it’s more of what a biographer would read for background material — it did not act as a biography itself. Not knowing much about Japanese history I got frustrated with all the names, places, and dates with nothing about them that made them come to life and engagement. The book had no glossary either — you had to look up the glossary on the book’s website. I would have liked a chapter on the samurai and the ruling system of the time as an introduction so things would have made sense.
So, I can’t recommend this unless you have a solid ground in Asian history.
Oliver Ledriot’s sneering Black Queen is all a Faerie villainess should be.