NoH: Morning & Coffee

[original first post of a blog linked to a discontinued email]

I’ve always wanted to have a blog where I could post my thoughts, my ideas, and my research. So here it is, after 4 years trying to figure out how to and swapping urls and blogs, I’ve finally decided: heck, I’m doing this.

Every blog needs a beginning and morning’s usually the start of the day. And for (other) people that can include coffee. I’m not a fan of the stuff, but it came up in my morning writing drabble so I endeavored to learn a bit more about it. Especially how it’s made Palestine, Syria, and Jordan.

Wikipedia informed me that the Levant has Turkish coffee, which is less a different type of coffee bean and more a method of brewing the coffee. From what I can gather it seems to require at least three periods of boiling to create the best, but not burned, flavor. Also, foam is important. Having the liquid be completely smooth seems to be key.

I wonder if Turkish coffee would taste better than the stuff I’ve tried because it’s done so precisely.Ā 

Anyway, a quick google search led me here, which states that it’s not boiling, it’s foaming that you want. And it doesn’t have to be done three times. But what’s important is the freshness and (again) the foam. The finely ground coffee beans are added to the warm water (ratio of amount taken into account) and sugar is added to taste and it’s left to heat up. It’s important not to stir it and wait for foam to start forming. Then you can stir a little, if you want. But, again, it seems to be more about the flavor.

Isn’t this interesting, everyone? And I realized while researching this that I can use it in a short story/novella I’m writing (it’s a novella, I think, clocking in at 26k words. I’ll see what its final length is — if it’s long enough I’ll grow it into a novella; if I can hack it in half and still keep the story together, I’ll prune it into a short story)

Interestingly, the top link on a google search of “how to make Turkish coffee” reiterates that it’s the fineness of the ground coffee beans and the thickness that makes it good. But it also, in contrast to the one above, states that the sugar should be stirred in (although I believe the first one mentioned that the sugar could be stirred in once the coffee had settled on the bottom?). And it uses “boil” in its recipe, although I think it means the same thing — heat the coffee up enough to expel flavor.

One aspect of its method that stood out to me was that the foam was removed. Wikipedia (which cannot always be relied on) and the first link claim that the foam is important. The video and recipe make a point of removing the foam.

I will have to look into this more.

Oh, and welcome to my blog. It’s nice to meet you and it’s good to be here. šŸ™‚


Knowledge is Key: Questions to ask yourself as a creator

I’ve been thinking… When you (as a creator, especially white ones) decide to add diversity to your cast…

First, gold star.

Second, here’s some question that may help make sure you don’t make as much a mess of it as you might. (I can’tĀ gaurentee these are fool proof; they’re just a logical procedure I think makes sense and I hope will beĀ helpful. Additionally, it’s what I try to do in my writing, though this isn’t limited to writing.)

Continue reading

Embalming and other fun stuff

A/N: I actually wrote this near the beginning of the month and meant to expand it with resources and links. I may do that later. But for now, have my preliminary research.

So, this NaNoWriMo my story is a homage toĀ Over the Garden Wall,Ā colonial New England autumn and anything to do with the dead. Since my main character is a necromancer in training.

From the beginning I knew that my MC was traveling through the lovely autumnal setting because he was going to getĀ somethingĀ as a means for the next (and final) stage of his initiation into becoming a full-fledged necromancer.

That, naturally, led me to a quick inspection of what ingredients were needed in preserving dead bodies — as I had an inkling that whatever it was, had some connection to body preservation, so as to ensure either easier transportation or …?

Either way, my preliminary investigation gave me these substances to work with:

  1. cinnabar
  2. bitumen
  3. various cedar oils

I have a feeling the final substance/item will be one of my own invention, with mixed properties of this world substances.