quaint Midgardian customs

Flowers For My Birthday

As I noted yesterday.  It was my birthday a few days ago.  I’m now in the Post-Birthday Slump. Sigh.  Another year older and no closer to ruling Midgard.  The human female’s nasty acetone threat was hurtful too.  I am in desperate need of cheering up.

And since a happy Sigyn never fails to make me smile, we are doing what my beloved likes best, walking and looking for flowers.  No place fancy, just around the block between chilly showers.  It’s not too early for winter annuals.

See?  There’s the smile I needed!  Sherardia is an old friend.

sherardia

And the burr clover is in bloom too.  What fun!

medicago

Of course, it’ll be more fun when it gets around to making burrs.  Watching the human female pick them out of her shoelaces and socks is one of my favorite spring traditions.

Sigyn has found one she really likes.  It’s called “cowboy satchel”—or something like that.

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Tiny, delicate white flowers, heart-shaped fruit, sturdy enough to climb—What’s not to love?

From her high perch, she has a good, close-up look at the fuzzy purple henbit blossoms.

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I will admit to liking this one as well.  Purple is a most fitting color for royalty, they say.

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As well, the flowers look like little sock puppets, all proclaiming, “Hail, Loki!  Ruler-to-be of all Midgard!”

And, since I have magic at my disposal, I can actually make them do it.

What have you found now, my love?

dandelion

“It’s a dandelion!  You can make wishes on them!”

Really?  How quaint!  And what are you going to wish for?

“That you have a wonderful year ahead!”

I tell you, mortals, this woman is too good for me.

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Seasonal Midgardian Art

While the humans are napping-off the effects of too little sleep/multiple long liturgies/too many jellybeans, Sigyn and I have come up on campus to see what’s on display in one of the museums.  Yes, it’s a weekend. Yes, it’s a holiday weekend.  Yes, it’s a holiday weekend and the doors are locked until Tuesday, but when has a locked door ever slowed me down?

This is what we came to see–a whole exhibit of painted eggs.

ruddereggs

No, Sigyn.  I don’t think they’re real.  I think they’re wooden.  I like the one in shades of green, waaay back in the corner.  Which one is your favorite?

Look all you like.  When you’re ready, we can head back home.  I’ve heard there might  be strawberries and Blue Bell…

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A Simple, Soupy Supper

There is a Midgardian children’s rhyme about a footwear-obsessed woman punishing her supernumerary offspring by providing them only potage for their supper and then sending them straight to their nightly repose.*

Clearly, Midgardians view the consumption of soup as a penitential act.  Or at least that’s how I read it.  It makes sense, then, that the humans are preparing and serving a simple soup supper as one of the final acts of their yearly Lenten observances.  (I’d say “festivities,” but Lent’s not supposed to be festive.  Perhaps it should be Lenten “miseries.”

Oh.  Hmmm. Perhaps it won’t be too bad.  Look, Sigyn, there is a marvelous salad.

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Which is apparently not for the soup supper.  How disappointing!  No, it looks as if we shall be saladless.  And breadless, just as in the quaint little jingle about bad parenting.

Different mortals have concocted different soups.  Vegetarian chili, potato, split pea…  All homemade and lovingly simmered.  What have the humans I know brought?

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Look, Sigyn–they’re CHEATING!  Yes, I know they’ve had “the busy week from Hel,” but everyone else managed to make the time to actually cook, so no sympathy from me.  What kind of soup comes in a screaming yellow packet, anyway?

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Made from scratch my eye!  How lazy can you get?!  Just add water and it’s soup already.  Pfft.  No love there.

Personally, I went for the chili.

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*With surreal juvenile literature like that, Asgard’s tales of world-binding serpents, eight-legged horses, etc. seem distinctly less fantastic.

 

 

 

None of This Makes Sense, Part I:The Beef

Apparently tomorrow is a special day for some Midgardians, those whose ancestors hail from a very green and damp bit of the planet’s northern hemisphere.  On this day, they are supposed to eat a certain traditional meal, except that that the natives of that particular bit of Midgard  don’t actually eat it.  The whole assemblage of comestibles is apocryphal, something made up in this country, more or less.  The human female, not being of a very discerning or discriminating nature, has bought into the hoodwinkery and has plunged with gusto into the whole rigamarole of corn, beef, and cabbage.

Here is the beef for the feast.  I am highly suspicious of meat that comes in a bag.

bag

Poke, poke, poke.  Look at that–it broke the tip off Gungnir!  If no one can manage to cut this, we are ALL going to be hungry and need charity.

Time to trim.  Even Volstagg wouldn’t want all that fat.  Here’s hoping my dagger can get through this.  (Sigyn doesn’t need to see this part of the process.)

timetocut

And now Mister Beef gets to simmer all day.

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The human female has wandered off to do whatever it is when she’s not doing anything useful.  This is my opportunity to do a little mischief.   Turn up the heat a little and ploof!  FOOOAAAAAAAM!

splat

The human female will have fun cleaning that up, but it serves her right for tossing out my dagger with the scraps.  I made her comb through the whole garbage with her very own hands, but we didn’t find it.  She will pay for this, you can be sure, and for a very long time.

Sigyn is really interested now because it involves this “cute” little packet of spices.

spices

As I said, the beef will simmer all day long.  I get that. But what about the rest of the meal?

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A World of Dessert

Sigyn and I are doing something different and fun today.  The Biology Department graduate students are having an International Fair.  Different realms and different regions of this realm have set up booths staffed by festively-attired citizens serving different native comestibles.  What a good chance to learn more about lands and peoples I will one day rule!

The human female has been “grazing,” wandering around eating all the main-course samples, dishes with exotic names such as “shrimpandagrits,” “rice pillow-off,” and “filly cheese steak.”  (That last one puzzles me, as I thought horsemeat was not generally consumed in this part of Midgard.)  She has also tried a frightening-sounding dish composed of–and I am not making this up!–moldy corn kernels.  Unbelievable.

While she was peregrinating prandially, I couldn’t sneak bites of what she was having, but now the glutton has filled a second plate with sweets and left it unattended while she goes in search of beverages.  Quick, Sigyn!  Now is our chance!

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There is quite an array of goodies, most of which I recognize.

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But what is this blob?  (poke, poke, poke)

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Sigyn has headed straight for the New York cheescake.  No surprise there.  (I have fond memories of New York.  I came *this* close to conquering it, you know.)

Uh oh.  I can feel something wet seeping through my new cloak.  I must have backed into whatever that gelatinous gray blob is.  Drat!  Now it will have to go to the cleaners, and they always use too much starch!*

Look, Sigyn!  Next to this delectable-looking scone is one of those Kingly Cakes such as I sampled last year.

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I am still not sure about the purple sugar, but I appreciate that someone has produced one in my honor today.

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I have learned that, rather than serving as a votive offering (after all, I do not eat children), the small plastic infant one might find in one’s slice means that one is supposed to provide the next cake.

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Fenrir’s Fleacollar!  The baby is in my slice!  You can be sure that I am not shelling out any money to buy cake for other people to eat, and I am certainly NOT making a cake with my own two hands, so I will have to sneak the infant back to the serving table and sequester it in someone else’s piece.  Let someone else foot the bill!

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*I could magic it clean, of course, but I like to let mortals do my menial tasks.  Keeps them in their place.

 

 

I’m Mostly Here for the Food

Sigyn and I have interrupted our vacation and teleported back to the humans’ house because today is a very important day.  This is the day that mortals all gather to watch one of their sporting contests.  You may remember that it was one of the first human activities I chronicled.  I now understand that it is less about ritualized combat and more about indulging in a one-day love affair with all the values humans claim to hate the other three hundred and sixty four*–aggression, self-aggrandization, crass commercialism, gluttony, gambling, and general braggadocio.

This year’s contestants have for their totem animals either white horses or black cats.  I am not as fond of white horses as I once was, ever since that unfortunate amputation incident, so I believe I will cheer for the feline team.  That will put me in opposition to the mortals, but what else is new?

I’m mostly here for the food.  The humans are hosting some friends to watch the event on the television. (One of the friends is bringing a friend whom “my” humans haven’t met yet.  It should be fun to watch the panic on this new mortal’s face as she beholds the weirdness that awaits.)  The mortals are preparing a wide variety of comestibles to be consumed whilst watching.  Come, Sigyn, let us see what nibbles there may be.

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This…this is it?  What on earth can be made with these ingredients?  (Sigyn, I know the large green object has a “tail,” but it is not an animal.  And don’t get too attached, because…

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..this vegetable is destined for some sort of savory sauce/spread/dip.  I do hope the humans are planning to dip bits of bread or something, because the thought of licked fingers going back in the bowl, over and over is….bleargh.

Ah!  We have been pressed into service! The human female has asked us to soften up these yellow fruits, so that she may juice them.

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Sigyn is trying to hug this one into submission.  I prefer kicking things.  Take that, you hesperidious ray of sunshine!

The juice is ready to pour into this bowl of dry powder.  The human female has grated some of the fruit peel into the bowl as well.  I must admit, it does smell good.

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Oh, now I see.  She is preparing tiny cakes.  Volstagg’s vittles!  She cannot even pour properly!  Don’t look, Sigyn, it’s too awful.

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Poke, poke, poke.  Well, that turned out better than I expected. The small cakes are now golden.  I believe the plan is to pour on a glaze of some sort once they are cool.  There are two dozen.  That comes out to six each for Sigyn and me, with the remaining twelve split amongst the humans.  Sounds about right.

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It is the humans’ custom to increase the enjoyment of the sporting match by betting on what may transpire, at the party, on the playing field, or in the bits of the broadcast that are not actually the sporting event.  They have made up some blank grids upon which they will write items such as, “White horse team scores,” “Penalty for oafish behavior,” “advertisement for a motion picture which debuts much later in the year,” “someone says, ‘what happened?'”, “advertisement for a medicine whose side-effects are more terrible than the disease it treats,” etc.   Whenever one of these events takes place, the square is marked, and the first person to mark five spaces in a line wins a prize.  Since the markers are edible, I understand it sometimes happens that someone forgets what they are about and eats their markers, thus forfeiting the win.

The whole process is unbelievably silly.  Still, in the interest of full participation, I shall make out a card and play along.

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The prize shall undoubtedly be mine…

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*or five, since this is what the humans  call a “leap year.”  Pffft!  They don’t even have an accurate calendar.  How typically primitive.

Holiday Baking

This year, the human female decided to inflict upon some friends and coworkers that insidious Midgardian entity known alternatively as Hermann or Amish Friendship Bread.  Or as I like to call it, the Yeast Beast.

The starter is revolting.  This must be a joke.

yeastbeast

It has been frothing and bubbling on the counter for ten days, stirred and “fed” regularly and giving off miasmic whiffs of alcohol.  Surely no good can come from this!

Today we are baking.  Out come the the sugar and flour and oil and cinnamon and vanilla.

holesinflour

While the human female is stirring and covering every inch of the kitchen with gooey batter, I think I’ll just poke a little hole in the flour bag.  That slow leak should provide amusement well into the new year!

Oh, no!  This baking process has generated multiple baby containers of starter!  They’ll be burping and fermenting and taking over kitchens all over town before you know it!  Quick!  Stop the madness!  Cook it all before we’re outnumbered!

<later>

yeast beast

Well.   I would not have believed that anything remotely edible could result from that nasty starter and all of that goopy batter.  I’m not allowed to gouge out a taste, but the finished product smells pretty good!   Guess the human female can’t screw up everything all the time!

Oh, now wait–what’s this?  She’s made up a whole bowlful of something sticky and brown.

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I heard her talking about making the human male’s favorite… Sigyn, do you suppose this is the larval stage of gingerbread?  I do believe it is!

Sigyn is enjoying helping roll the little balls of dough. I prefer not to get my hands dirty.

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However, I have no scruples about sampling the finished product.  All in the name of quality control, of course.

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By Volstagg’s monstrous belly! She’s not done yet?!  She’s setting up to do something else.

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How many carbohydrates does one household need?

Sigyn is shushing me, saying the dough needs its rest.

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Naptime, Doughball!  Sleep and grow fat.

<later>

Well, the dough has risen obediently and been smacked down for its trouble, and now the human female is making… something long and flat, apparently.

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Brown sugar, cinnamon, almonds, and orange peel.  Either this is the most unusual pizza ever, or we’re not done here yet.

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All right. That makes more sense.  It’s a breakfasty-ring thing.  Very fancy!  But we can’t eat it raw!

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That’s more like it!  Drizzle on some almond glaze and we feast like kings!

Happy Yule from Loki and Sigyn!

hollyivy

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