It's football season! I stayed up much too late Thursday night watching the Patriots play the Raiders, because they had to go and make it interesting in the second half: a tipped extra point, a blocked punt, and it was a two-possession game with the Raiders deep inside Pats terrority with about four minutes left. The Raiders got the touchdown, but the two-point conversion failed on Randy Moss's offensive pass interference (!), and then the Pats got the first down and could run out the clock, and I could go to bed. Of course, I had to get up at 1 a.m. when the dog started yelping and whining, so I got even less sleep than football could account for.
Yesterday started out cranky and sleep-deprived, but a stroll to the library in the lovely fall sun, and then sitting in that same lovely fall sun with a book, helped quite a bit. Not a library book, a manuscript for which feedback was long overdue; the only thing I got at the library was the first volume of the Fullmetal Alchemist manga. I'd been vaguely planning to read the manga after I finished watching the anime, so as to get events in one order, but, well, it was there and it seemed a good thing to encourage the library to buy more, and I knew it didn't have anything I hadn't seen already. (The library also had a display of anime and manga action figures—I have no idea why, there weren't any labels or anything. It had the Ed and Al from this set, and this Hawkeye which I rather like, though I can resist it quite handily because it doesn't also have the dog.)
We also ended up watching Holes on TV Saturday night. Reviews of this made it sound incredibly complicated, but I didn't give it my full attention until fairly late in and didn't have too much trouble following it, and I enjoyed the last bit. A strange story, in that it is fantasy but doesn't feel like it, but it's well-acted and interestingly done. (IMDB's trivia page has an absolutely mind-boggling description of an earlier draft of the script; I guess I should just be impressed that the draft didn't get produced.)
Today I got the not-unexpected news that my iPod's hard drive was dying, all of 45 days after it came out of warranty. Grr. I disapprove of extended warranty plans on principle, but if I'm going to be the kind of klutz who drops a small hard drive at least twice in a couple of months, I might have to think about it. I also got the latest Young Wizards book, Wizards at War, which I'm partway through, and the new Discworld book, Thud.
1.5 lbs lean ground pork
1 medium onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper (* I just ground a bunch over, and didn't bother measuring)
1 cup water
1 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
Pastry for a 2 crust pie
Cover pork, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper with water and bring to a boil. Add allspice and nutmeg. Cook 30 minutes. All more allspice to taste if desired. Ladle hot meat and some liquid into piecrust and cover with top crust. Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes then lower heat to 350 degrees, bake 30 minutes longer. Serves 6.
(* I would've liked a little more direction on the "Cook" bit, being unsure at what level. I settled for a fairly high simmer, but ended up adding a little more water at the end, just so I'd have some liquid to ladle into the pie. Next time a little bit more liquid would be good, and also a little more allspice. Also, the premade piecrust suggested covering the edges with foil after 20 minutes to keep the edges from burning, which works well but is easier said than done.)
This worked really well. Next time I will try the recipe my mom has, which is more like Grand-Memère's because it has potatoes. It's sized for four pies, but I don't see any reason it couldn't be scaled down to the same proportions and times as the one I made tonight. Here's the recipe:
4 lbs. finely ground pork
1 lb. extra lean ground chuck
4 medium onions, finely chopped
1 t. salt
1 t. ground cloves
5 medium potatoes, cooked and mashed
Put meats, onions, salt, cloves in large dutch oven and mix together with large spoon. Cover with water and bring to a slow boil, stirring occasionally to break up meat. Simmer 3-4 hours. Drain well and add mashed potatoes. Mix well. Put in a pie crust and put top on. Bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes or until browned.
What do you all think?
And now I am tired, and so my book log entries on Last Call and Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell are going to have to wait yet another day (they are proving strangely difficult); I'm just using this icon because I like it.
(Yes, still ignoring news in order to function; have donated, scheduled donations for the next several months, and put "110 Stories" up outside my office for the week. And I hate feeling like I need to disclaim all this.)