Archive for April, 2011

Traditional Achuran Mooncakes

Posted in General Ignorance on April 25, 2011 by DosTuMai

Spiral Achuran Moon Cake Recipe

For the Moon Cake Filling:

Ingredients:

300g sweet potatoes (purple ones preferable)—start with about 400-500g sweet potatoes unpeeled.

1/4 cup milk

2 oz butter

1/4-1/2 cup sugar (depending on how sweet your sweet potatoes are, just taste and add more sugar to taste)

1/2 tsp salt

Method:

1. Boil sweet potatoes then peel and mash the sweet potatoes.

2. Add the rest of the ingredients to the mashed potatoes and mix till it forms a paste.

3. Roll out into 20 balls. Put aside while making the pastry dough.

For the Moon Cake Dough:

Ingredients:

Water Dough (A)

200g unbleached all-purpose flour

28g icing sugar

pinch of salt

80g cold butter

80g water

Oil Dough (B)

180g unbleached all-purpose flour

pinch of salt

90g oil (I use canola)

½ tsp pandan essence

Method:

1. For the water dough, sift flour, sugar and salt. Then cut butter into flour mixture using fingertips or pastry blender until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add in water and mix to form a soft, non-sticky dough. If it is sticky, you will need to add a bit more flour to get it to be the right texture. You should be able to form a soft ball that won’t stick to your hands. You don’t have to knead it. Cover and set aside to rest for 20 mins.

2. For the oil dough, sift flour and salt. Then, make a well in the centre of the flour and add in oil and pandan essence. Draw in the flour from the sides and mix to form a soft even coloured dough (same thing here, if it’s too sticky, add more dough till you form a soft ball that doesn’t stick to your hands). Do not over-mix. Cover and set aside for 20 mins.

To assemble and bake:

3. Preheat oven to 185 C or 350 F.

4. Divide A and B into 10 equal balls.

5. Taking one piece of (A), flatten and wrap (B) in it. Pinch to seal edges.

6. With the sealed side facing up, roll into a rectangle.

7. Roll up like a snail to form a ‘cylinder’, turn the cylinder 90 degrees, with the end facing up.

8. Roll again into a long thin strip.

9. Using a sharp knife or a pastry cutter, cut the cylinder in the middle into two pieces.

10. With the cut side facing down, flatten the dough, making the edges slightly thinner than the centre. I tend to leave a little hump in the center so that when the filling is wrapped around the pastry, the dough will be evenly thick all around (looks like a Mexican sombrero).

11. Wrap the filling and pinch to seal. Try not to ‘tug/pull’ too hard, otherwise the layers will tear. Best to flatten the dough larger than smaller so it’s easier to pinch. And when you pinch, you will find that the bottom looks ugly—don’t worry about it.

12. Place sealed side down on lined baking tray and bake for about 30 mins until the top and bottom are a light golden brown.

Then enjoy this traditional treat.

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Varoga’s lesson

Posted in In-char on April 25, 2011 by DosTuMai

“Dossie, I’ve just delivered your stuff,” a smiling, familiar face says on a comms channel I frequent. I nod and smile back, “thank you, Ryan. How are you, dear?” I ask.

He shrugs, “same as usual, and you Dossie dear?” I respond in kind, shrugging and setting course to the system he’d delivered my vessel and other equipment, “I’m good, just prowling the space lanes as usual.” My Taranis-class Interceptor turns about, my drones returning back to the comfort of their bay as I begin to warm up my warp drive. “Excellent,” I say to my old friend, “I’m on my way to pick them up.”

I yawn and twitch in my capsule, on-board scanner pulsing every few seconds. A ping comes back; Retriever-class Barge with a container. The small, fast vessel shudders and groans as she drops out of warp, then is immediately thrown around to warp to the nearest asteroid belt.

As the small vessel drops out of warp, I begin the transferral of goods, removing all the ore from his can and placing it into my own. He waits a few seconds then drops a flight of Tech one Hobgoblin drones, my teeth baring in a feral grin, I do likewise and begin tearing into his larger vessel with my Blasters and Hobgoblin II drones.

It was fast, my weapons systems tearing his vessel apart in seconds. I sit and scan the wreckage. Nothing much of use. So I wait and see what he brings out. Proximity warning, a large vessel coming in. I chuckle as the poor man lands his Dominix-class Battleship in the belt, throwing out yet more low-tech drones. I kill them and leave the system, heading out to find something bigger, the nearest vessel being a Federation Navy modified Vexor.

And hour later, I return to find the pilot in local and begin to call him out. “I’m back, did you miss me?”

Returning to the belt I’d destroyed him in, and sit there, waiting. He comes back and drops another flight of Hobgoblin I drones, my own Berzerker II drones flying out to greet his Dominix, I throw a graviton beam into his warp coil, Dual 150mm Railguns spitting hyper-velocity death towards him.

My body twitches within the capsule, adrenalin coursing through my veins. Proximity warning, a Dramiel-class Frigate and Nemesis-class Stealth Bomber from his Corporation just appearing in the area, their arrival announced with a fiery corona of torpedoes impacting on my armor plating.

I chuckle, keeping my drones on Battleship, I switch targets and start to fire at the Bomber. First volley missed, second hitting squarely, most of his vessel’s armor dissipating in the time it takes to click your fingers, the Bomber pilot flees, leaving behind a lingering flash of his Torpedoes. Nanite armor reconstructors barely being troubled by the onslaught, I return my full attention to the Battleship.

Slowly, surely, his vessel crumbles beneath the onslaught, I turn my attention to the last vessel attacking me.

I throw a graviton beam into his warp coil, drones and railguns firing wildly at his ship.

He starts to run, leaving my point range then finally warping out with heavy structure damage. I turn and survey the battlefield, sighing softly to myself as the last vestiges of adrenalin burn itself out of my my blood stream, the power plant of my vessel purring in simpatico, I return to my original plan, and finish moving my freshly re-acquired assets.

Beasties

Posted in OOC Rampancy on April 20, 2011 by DosTuMai

Cycling along happily, I’d just covered 16km by the time I got to my favourite part of the home stretch – a tall and steep hill.

At the crest, I take a sip from my now tepid camel pack and adjust my helmet. You never know what could happen on two wheels. English drivers act like they have to get everywhere in a hurry.

Kind of like NYC traffic – only more space to move.

With a quick glance at the speedo, I start to pick up speed, pushing myself faster, the few cars behind slowly overtaking me.

It was a fun ride, but I needed a shower. Not just need; screw you very much, Sir, get out of my way needed a shower.

Faster, about a quarter of the way down the hill, just touching 30km/h after a glance at the handlebar-mounted computer, when suddenly this little pocket-sized rat-dog-thing suddenly dives out and attacks me. “Shit,” I say, lifting the front then rear wheels off the ground, bunny hopping like a madwoman. As I lift off, I look back to make sure I cleared the beastly little creature.

My head snaps around, just in time to see a car skidding to a halt, heading straight towards me. As I force gravity to take effect and whip the tail around, I realise I’m tilting too far sideways. The front and rear suspension compress then rebound, throwing me off and over the handlebars. I scream as I do a close approximation of Supergirl flailing ineffectually in the air and feel a sudden dull pain as my right shin connects with the hood of the rusting, aged Renault PoS.

I land heavily on my shoulder, rolling out of the fall. Adrenalin coursing through my veins making me heedless of my injury, I threw my helmet at the dog then pick up my bicycle, punching the offending vehicle as I go by, muttering about the damage to my front wheel. Then proceed to limp home.

Later I found that I’d snapped my shin right through, so now I’m stuck in a cast for six weeks.

Fucking stupid little yappy thing.

Queqiao

Posted in Poetry on April 19, 2011 by DosTuMai

在美丽的云,
在天上的河,
十字架的织女。

一个晚上的约会,
在整个秋天的天空,
地球上的超越的喜悦。

矩的温柔的爱和梦想,
所以,伤心离开鹊桥。

我们两个人之间永恒的爱,
应能承受的时间分开。

Katzchen

Posted in OOC Rampancy on April 17, 2011 by DosTuMai

Curled up in my nice, warm bed, I yawn and stretch, rubbing the sleep from my eyes.

I roll over and sigh, something is missing.

Funny how it is, that this feeling of emptiness strikes me.

I close my eyes, a name rising unbidden to the tip of my tongue. It rolls over, bringing up a myriad of feelings.

Reaching over, I grab my teddy bear and lay there for a moment, thinking of her.

How I miss you.

How I love you.

How I need you.

State of Emergency Pt.3

Posted in In-char on April 15, 2011 by DosTuMai

I stand, looking at the bloody mess of the officer then walk calmly in to the guard room and look around, looting the corpses of anything useful. Quickly, I check the system for prisoners, seeing only a single name. I blink, staring at the screen in disbelief for a moment. “It can’t be,” I breathe, my mind reeling in shock. I close my eyes and breath deeply before collecting my wits and moving on, following a mental map.

It wasn’t hard to find my way to the holding cell, all Caldari military stations were laid out in the same manner, the hard part was getting there undetected.

Using a stolen key card, I open the door and walk in to the darkened cell. The tiny room illuminated by a single candle with a robed person sat in front of it, his back to the door. “I was wondering when you’d come for me,” he said without turning. “You wont learn anything new from me.”

I smile, closing the door, “I’m sure I’d be able to learn something new. Like how you were foolish enough to be captured, dear.” The man turns, his face haggard and bruised, covered in dried and drying blood. “Welcome, xingan. Are you a figment of my imagination, or my salvation?” He inquires, his normally calm eyes wild and unfocused. “You look like you’ve had fun. Maybe you’re the harbinger of death, but I have nothing to pay you for my passage into the under world.”

In a few swift strides, I cross the room, my hand closing around his throat, “I am what you trained me to be, Wan Hu. Now, help me up to that vent and I’ll get you out of here.”

He nods slowly, swallowing past my grip, “it shall be as you say, xingan.” Raising slowly to his feet, his movements pained as he walked to the back wall, he braces himself and nods, readying himself to lift me up.

Grumbling to myself as I use his thigh and shoulder as steps, I begin to open the vent grill, my balance unsteady with the ungainly weight of my stomach. A sharp punch and a heave, I lift myself up, into the vent. “Quit looking up my skirt, you dirty old man,” I say, lifting and wriggling myself up into the confined space. He chuckles and averts his eyes, “you know I’ve taken a vow of chastity, so why are you worried, xingan?” He asks, voice tinted with mock sincerity. I throw my compact mirror at him, “Yeah, whatever. Just get your ass up here.”

Crawling through the vents after closing the shaft off, we leave the secure wing and head to the extraction point.

State of Emergency Pt.2

Posted in In-char on April 6, 2011 by DosTuMai

The door wouldn’t open. I sigh and lean against the wall, digging through my purse. A quiet voice bringing my attention back the way I came, “patrol six alpha, area clear, no signs of the intruder.” Cursing quietly, I glance at the keypad beside the door then stealthily slip back up the corridor.

Five men, all carrying assault rifles were around the corner, heading my way. Putting the mirror back into my purse, I check the load on my new pistol, six rounds remained. I lean back, a dagger in each hand and wait. The foot steps came closer then stopped, “roger that,” came the voice before they turned around, their footsteps dwindling as they hurried in the opposite direction.

With a sigh of relief, I turn back and head to the doorway, pulling out a set of wires to interface with the door lock. As I reach it, the door hisses open, a woman carrying some files standing there, blinking owlishly at me. I smile then raise my pistol, shooting her point blank in the face. Another woman stood behind her staring at me in shock. She drops her burden then turns, trying to flee. I grab a handful of her hair and pull back hard, knocking her out as soon as she hits the ground with a loud thud.

Without skipping a beat, I rush in and close the door, sealing it before dragging the women into a nearby room. I prop the unconscious woman up, humming quietly as I start to remove her clothing. Excellent, my mind working a way through the plan as I drop my clothes into a pile. She groans and starts coming to, “it’s a bad time to wake up,” I say, straddling her lap. She inhales deeply and tries to scream, my hand covering her mouth, “Now, now. I can’t have that. Tell me your access code, dear. I may let you live.” She shakes her head, struggling beneath me as I lay the cold steel against her throat. “That’s not the answer I’m looking for. Tell me your access codes and I’ll let you live.”

She glares at me hatefully, attempting to scream and bite my hand. With a sigh, I reverse the grip on the dagger and drive it through her chin to her brain, and wait for her body to stop twitching.

Naked, I bow then kneel between the bodies. I kiss both softly on the lips before stripping them, writing over their flesh with the tips of my daggers. I smile then pose the bodies and get dressed.

The State uniform fit me badly, barely stretching over my stomach. Snatching up my jacket and purse, I leave the room – once more heading to my destination.

The facility was well guarded. Sixteen men and women moving around the area, most of which were carrying shock poles and batons. Some armed with firearms. I check my pistol. Only five rounds left, no spare clips. With a shrug, I look down at myself and walk in, pistol raised.

The guard nearest the door was the first to die. His chest exploding as the incendiary round detonates on contact. The sound of a curse brought my head and hand to the right. A scream erupting from the man behind the twitching wreck of the dead trooper.

The State trooper I’m staring at starts to shout, “put the weapon down!”

I purse my lips, blowing a kiss as I squeeze the trigger, his brains splattering across the wall. “Two.”

Reversing the grip on my pistol, snapping back and firing at the third.

He wasn’t there.

Instinct made me dive to my right moments before the round skimmed my shoulder. Screaming, I tuck in and roll through the open door, right on top of an officer. He kicks out hard, his big, black boot connecting with my already injured shoulder. With a snarl, I slash the man’s Achilles tendon the roll slowly upright. Baring my teeth, I howl like one of the damned, stabbing the kicking and screaming officer repeatedly with my daggers.