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The Slytherin Dungeons

Prof. Tarma Amelia Black

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Prof. Tarma Amelia Black's Achievements


Basilisk (11/11)

  1. 4 because it's just one of those days, but I'm still feeling oddly cheerful. 🙃
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. Creativity: Kuumba (koo-OOM-bah) To use our creative energies to build and maintain a strong and vibrant community. I choose this, Kuumba, to write about. I feel that there is so much that can be done, without actually doing anything outwardly, but so much inwardly, because, as is said in so many places, like attracts like. Then, what is 'inward' is reflected 'outward'. For example, putting the words "quantum physics + like to like" in a Google search rapidly gets a result of "In quantum physics, two entities or elements which vibrate at the same frequency are drawn to each other. ... Just as we see in quantum physics like attracts like. So, when you are vibrating at a higher frequency, you are opening yourself up to attracting more high-vibrational positivity into your life." The same concept is found in Buddhism and similar 'religion/philosophy/you choose a word' traditions. A search with "new age like attracts like" results in finding a lot of information. This is one of them: "‘Like attracts like’ is the basic premise of the law of attraction. In simple terms, this means things with similar energy levels are drawn to each other. That is, two entities vibrating at the same frequencies are pulled towards each other. This translates to the fact that positive thinking can help you attract good things in your life. Unfortunately, the reverse is also true. Negative thoughts can bring you close to unwelcome events in life." So what is a person creating, when they sit there quietly? Rather, what are they magnetizing to themselves and their environment? This is where their creative imagination, to imagine and 'hold' a frequency which is strong and vibrant and healthy, attracts the very same to themselves. At the same time, the conscious attention to what they are thinking and feeling might be very helpful in becoming aware of what is going on if it is of negativity, and a deliberate choice to think and feel otherwise, to choose to focus on something of 'good' instead of something of negativity, immediately puts the call out to the universe that they've woken up to what they are doing, and yeah, choosing quite otherwise!
  5. (((mutters))) (((Darn you, Red Baron Will!)))) 😕 I was about to post the large bath towel which is huge, and repurposed to live on the bed so Taya can lounge upon it! I'll be back! 😆 Shown is picture of nice repurposed glass candlestick holder. I decided to use it for another purpose than holding candles; now I use it to hold the matchsticks which I use to light the incense sticks. The matchsticks were hot still, for a while, after use, and I didn't want to just put them in the trash so give them a chance to cool down completely before tossing. (No, I don't burn the candles, or the incense, on the towel. (Yes, this is Taya's towel, mentioned above!) When I took the pictures on the regular surface where I burn the candles and/or incense, the clear glass didn't show up very well, so used the dark green to let it be seen more clearly.)
  6. I think they chose to keep him alive for at least a couple of reasons. One, if he died, anything they could get from him, information, use as a hostage, whatever, would be wasted. Two, Merlin seemed to know a lot of what was going on, and I think they were curious what else he could tell them, so curiosity as well as usefulness. Three ( Spanish Inquisition ) he'd set the place on fire. Four, he was someone that they already knew about -- he had a repute. I think Merlin told them his real name because he thought it would help him to stay alive. ( Stayin' Alive )
  7. The memory that pops most vociferously to mind is the yearly family gathering at Thanksgiving, when people of my Dad's family would gather from far and wide to join together and celebrate 'family'. We would all, at an early hour, pile into the car and drive for many hours down to the place where someone would rent a Hall with a kitchen. (There were so many of us that we'd all not fit into anyone's house!) People would bring already cooked food, and food would be cooked there, too. We'd all just meet and share news of the family and enjoy ourselves. After eating there would often be a game of football (not soccer, for those of you in England who are reading this, but the American 'football'), and it was quite amazing to me to see my many apparently staid uncles join me and my cousins and have a wonderful, loud and boisterous time of it. The food was excellent, yes (the homemade pecan pies superb ....) but what I remember most is that this bunch of people really liked being with each other.
  8. Why do you suppose that he chose to burn the room in order to honor Cerdic and give him the burial due a king even though Cerdic was a slave? Cerdic was his friend and mentor and more his family than any of those related by blood. Also, a king is noble, not the accolade given by those in control in order to continue controlling, but a quality of spirit, of soul. As such, Cerdic's slave status was irrelevant. Cerdic was truly noble. What do you suppose Merlin meant by the line: "Cerdic had gone to his gods, and I, it seemed, was going to mine."? I don't think that Merlin has any idea of what, or who, his gods are. However, I don't think he was very concerned about that -- what was of interest to him is that he was going to find out who or what they are.
  9. Something that I really enjoy about Christmas, the days (or weeks) before and after the 25th of December, are all the lights decorating houses and buildings and yards, both the individual houses on the streets, either in the country or in the town (city), and the buildings in the town. Festive, multicolored lights, outlining rooftops, windows, strung up poles in town, sometimes on plants in the yard (not just the trees but sometimes all kinds of plants!) add a certain cheer to the darkness of the early nightfall of winter. Oddly enough, we had a white Christmas this year, and the house across the street was especially pretty with lights strung around the eaves and outlining a window (and a candle flickering in the window).
  10. A bit of lore in the Southwest of North America is the story of the Johnson the Jackalope. Muggles have sometimes caught sight of Johnson, and made up all kinds of stories about him. One of the Muggle explanations of Jackson the Jackalope includes a pretty accurate description: "One of the rarest animals in the world, it is a cross between a now extinct pygmy-deer and a species of killer-rabbit. However, occasional sightings of this rare creature continue to occur, with small pockets of jackalope populations persisting in the American West." ** Jackson the Jackalope doesn't really care if he is spotted. My own opinion is that he is more amused than anything, especially since he knows that he exists (and that others of his kind exist). Jackson is very fast; he can 'hop' like a jackrabbit at an amazing speed. He also can teleport for short distances, which serves him in his quest on the Winter Solstice to visit as many people in the Southwest of North America as he can. (Sometimes he recruits his nephews and nieces to assist him - they are all very similar in appearance and their basic goal is to visit the witches and wizards with the specific message and/or gift for the different individuals.) The locations visited are in parts of Utah, Arizona and New Mexico, with most of the focus on Arizona and New Mexico. He has two ideas for gifts. If the person has been 'good' (and yes, he has his own criteria for what 'good' means), he gives ripe fresh fruit and usually the fruit is out-of-season and a favorite of that person. If a person has been very good, and helpful and kind, they receive extra additional supplies of fruit. If the person has been 'evil' (and again, he has his own criteria for what 'evil' means), the first year he gives the same gift, but it is slightly dehydrated. (Everyone knows what the gift of dehydrated fruit from Johnson the Jackalope means.) If the person continues on the 'evil' path, the next year they get a gift of dried fruit, like jerky. The third year, if they continue to choose 'evil' as their path, the fruit is molding, and that is the last time that Jackson will visit them until they choose another path. Thing is, all the witches and wizards know what the others got. This serves as a warning to everyone if someone is either choosing a path of evil or is sticking to it, which is very useful because so often the 'evil' person can hide their intentions. It also is a method of letting people know who has been hiding their good deeds (if they are not already known). **The jackalope is a mythical animal of North American folklore, in the category of fearsome critters, described as a jackrabbit with antelope horns.
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