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The Slytherin Dungeons

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  1. Yesterday
  2. 4 because it's just one of those days, but I'm still feeling oddly cheerful. 🙃
  3. In the morning I felt like 10 because straight up I was given with tone of work!
  4. One because I am rather calm and happy today!
  5. At long last come our last five questions for Winter Fling trivia! You can turn in these and any past questions to me by Sunday, January 30th for up to 20 scales! 16. Which day does the Old New Year fall on this century? 17. Who does Pancha Ganapati celebrate? 18. How many days after Sadeh is Nowruz celebrated? 19. What is the name of the Slavic holiday also known as Butter or Crepe Week? 20. Blue Christmas, which takes place on the longest night of the year, honors those dealing with which difficult emotion?
  6. Right 2 because I just woke up but by noon time I’ll probably be nine because I’ll be well caffeinated lol
  7. Due to real life being pesky and getting in the way, we will continue our regular discussion this Sunday (January 25). In the meantime, please answer the following with a brief explanation for 5 scales. Image and idea courtesy of the wonderful Professor Tarma Amelia-Black.
  8. Last week
  9. We make the traditional foods for the holidays. Turkey and Ham with all the sides. But my grandmother used to make a ton of cookies and pies for everyone in the family. She would make chocolate chip, raise, non-bake, sugar, and a lot more. She always made sure to make a pumpkin and apple pie for everyone in the family. My moms side of the family used to get together once a year and jar up cabbage to be made into sauerkraut to be used for New Year’s Day pork and sauerkraut.
  10. I come from a huge family and we certainly have lots of different recipes and comfort foods. When I was sick I’d always have jam butties (a raspberry jelly sandwich for those unfamiliar with the term) or having adding lots of pepper to a hot water and ox to sweat out a cold. My family are also Italian so homemade pasta and antipasti is very comforting to me. My number one comfort food that reminds me of home however is a dish called Scouse. It’s basically just a huge pot of stew, potatoes, carrots, meat (usually beef) and onions or other vegetables. We usually eat this hot with nice buttery bread. Some even eat it with side dishes like beetroot. It is associated with Liverpool docklands, and gives us our people their nickname “scousers”.
  11. The Legend of Zhang Min is a story told all around China’s Wizarding World community. The legend says that an ancient and powerful wizard, skilled in the crafts of Magizoology, tamed and befriended a dangerous beast by the name the locals gave him: Killer. He was a tremendous Chinese Fireball dragon, huge scaley, red and mean. He sat at the top of a mountain and tormented villagers with his firey breath! It wasn’t until he met Zhang Min, who spoke to him without fear, respected his wishes and wanted to understand him more than kill or defeat him did he cease his attacks on the villagers. It is said on the eve of the meeting and birth of their friendship, at the height of Ainter when the villagers are shivering and wrapping up warm, that Zhang Min rides Killer through the coldest of towns and cities, using his firey breath to light fires and keep the people warm!
  12. I would find a variation of the jalaba (djellaba) to wear! Since it's cool out, I would have the winter variation, made of wool. I'd have a neck-high, long sleeved 'gown' underneath, made of a thick cotton cloth, so that the wool of the jalaba doesn't touch my skin, because wool is itchy to me. The jalaba is of very dark green, with thin vertical white stripes. The under gown is plain, natural color cotton. It has a hood, of the dark green material -- but I'd not have the hood up, because of the headdress I'm wearing, which is of a rich very dark green color, over which is this : Shoes are leather slippers, dark brown. Found a necklace I love!
  13. I immediately thought of a favorite of mine - baklava. It's decadently good and sticky to eat, if not flat out messy. NOM. I got this recipe off the internet (I've never cooked it!) but it seems pretty accurate for what I've eaten, with one very large exception. I vastly prefer the nuts used in the recipe to be pistachio and not walnut. I am showing this recipe, though, to let it be known that there are many many kinds of nuts to be used -- go with your favorite! "Recipe This heavenly Baklava combines honey-soaked layers of flaky phyllo pastry with spiced walnuts. It’s a great make-ahead dessert perfect for the holidays or special occasions. If you haven’t had it before, baklava is a dessert made with layers upon layers of butter brushed phyllo dough with cinnamon scented walnuts in the middle. After you bake it, you pour a citrus honey syrup all over it for the phyllo to soak up. This dessert is quite sweet, but provided you use a good quality honey, you can really taste those nuances, and the texture has the most pleasing crunch and bite. How to Make It Step by Step: The Syrup - Start with your honey sauce (which will need time to cool as your baklava bakes). 1. In a medium saucepan, combine 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup honey, 2 Tbsp lemon juice, and 3/4 cup water. Bring to a boil over med/high heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved, then reduce heat to med/low and boil an additional 4 minutes without stirring. Remove from heat and let syrup cool while preparing baklava The Baklava - Baklava is mostly all about layering and assembly. It’s not really a difficult dessert, but just takes some time to put together. Prepare the Spiced Nut Filling (Tarma note: use the nuts and spices you choose) Place walnuts, cinnamon, cloves, and salt in a food processor: Pulse about 10 times, until the walnuts are well chopped: That’s the filling. It’s so easy! Begin building the layers Place layers of thawed phyllo dough down into your pan, brushing each one with melted butter: You don’t need to brush each layer thoroughly. Just a quick swish across several times, to cover most of it. Assembling the baklava, you want to move relatively quickly, to prevent the phyllo from drying out, so no need to be meticulous with the butter. Once you have 8 layers of phyllo, add about 1/5 of the walnut mixture to the pan, spreading it evenly: You’ll need about 2/3 cup of the walnuts for each nut layer. How to Make It Perfectly Even: If you’re keen on making the baklava really even, here’s how I did mine. I bought a 1-lb box of phyllo, which stated on the box that there were 18 13×18″ sheets. Using a 9×13 pan, you should cut the sheets in half, which gives you 36 total sheets. So for the phyllo dough, I did the layers like this: 8, 5, 5, 5, 5, 8, with walnuts in between each of those sets. Once the baklava is layered, cut it into pieces using a sharp knife: You can do squares, diamonds, triangles, or whatever shape you want. Bake! Bake the baklava in the oven for 50 minutes, until it looks golden on the tops and edges: Then let the baklava cool for at least 15 minutes. After it is cooled for 15 minutes, get your syrup. Pour it over the baklava while it's still hot. You want to leave it without a cover, to prevent sogginess. Let it soak in at least 45 minutes. *** Then the Baklava is ready to enjoy!" Tarma note: Enjoy? Devour!! By the way, if there is anything left (doubt it), it freezes well.
  14. My outfit would likely feature the following clothing: -a wrapped cloth turban for my head (most likely coloured dark black and silver) -a haik, in Slytherin colours, draped across my body like a toga -a white, ankle-length tunic to wear under the haik -a silver necklace with a pendant shaped like the Berber letter 'yaz' - which looks like ⵣ and is pronounced like a Z (cf https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/ⵣ)
  15. This dish is called macarona bechamel (cf https://everylittlecrumb.com/macarona-bechamel/) and it has a pretty involved ingredient list (it features two different sauces): For the meat sauce: 2 tbsp vegetable oil 1 onion, diced 1 lb ground beef 500 g 1 tsp all spice or seven spices 1/2 tsp cinnamon black pepper to taste (approx 1/2 tsp) salt to taste (approx 1 tsp) 4 cloves garlic, minced 1 large can tomato sauce (15 oz or 400g) 1 small carton tomato paste 5 oz or 135 g 1 tsp Italian seasoning or 1/2 tsp dried oregano and 1/2 tsp dried basil 1/2 tsp garlic powder 1 tsp brown sugar 1/2 cup hot water For the béchamel: 1/4 cup butter 1/2 stick, 56 g 1/4 cup flour 31g 2 cups milk 480 ml 1 cup heavy cream 230 ml 2 cloves garlic, minced salt and pepper to taste pinch nutmeg, optional For assembling: 1 pack penne pasta, 14 oz or 400 g 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese 170 g Recipe: 1. Begin by making the pasta: cook to al dente, drain, and set aside. DO NOT overcook! 2. Make the meat sauce next: 2a) In a medium saucepan over medium high heat, heat the vegetable oil then sauté the onion for a few minutes until soft and translucent. 2b) Add the ground beef and cook until it browns, breaking up the beef with a wooden spoon to prevent clumps. (At this stage you can drain the fat from the meat if you want.) 2c) Add the all spice or seven spices, cinnamon, black pepper, salt and minced garlic 2d) Add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, garlic powder and brown sugar and boil for five minutes. 2e) Add the water, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes. 3. Then make the bechamel sauce: 3a) In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, melt the butter with the flour. Whisk for about three minutes until the mixture becomes golden brown. 3b) Warm the milk and heavy cream by combining them in a large microwave safe bowl for a minute so until warm but not boiling. 3c) Pour the warm milk and cream over the butter/flour mixture, whisking constantly. 3d) Add garlic, salt, pepper (and nutmeg if you choose to use it). 3e) Reduce the heat to medium low (so mixture simmers) and continue to whisk constantly for 8-10 minutes until mixture has thickened. 3f) Turn off the heat and set pan to cool slightly. 4. Finish by baking everything: 4a) Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F). Coat the bottom of a 9×13 inch pyrex or ceramic baking pan with a tbsp or so of béchamel sauce just so the pasta doesn't stick to the bottom. 4b) Add 1/2 cup of bechamel sauce to the cooked pasta, and stir to combine. 4c) Layer the baking dish with half of the pasta, then add all of the meat sauce and spread evenly. 4d) Add the second half of the pasta, then all the remaining bechamel sauce. Spread evenly. 4e) Bake for 35 minutes until bechamel has turned golden brown, 4f) Add 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese evenly to the top and return to the oven. Broil for an additional 3-5 minutes, until cheese is golden brown and bubbling. 4g) Let rest 10-15 minutes before cutting and serving.
  16. The principle I chose to write about is Ujima, which means collective work and responsibility. One of the biggest lessons for all of us over the past two years was that we need to work to protect our community in the short term - even if we ourselves may be safe without this protection. And further still, if we do not work to protect others, there will be cascading consequences that affect all of us! I think we've all seen the consequences of this for ourselves in the past two months; even if we've been lucky enough to stay healthy throughout this, the glue that keeps society together has faded away, bit by bit. From medical treatment to postal deliveries to even getting groceries... we probably all felt the difference between now and even the fairly recent past. My hope is that this teaches us to think beyond the very short term of "ME WANT THIS RIGHT NOW" and be willing to do what it takes to make things better for all of us!
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