ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem came out of the December 6, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] kyleri. It also fills the "Must Be Doin' Somethin' Right" square in my 12-1-16 card for the IPod Shuffle Music fest. This poem has been sponsored by [livejournal.com profile] starcat_jewel. It belongs to the Shiv thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.


"A Slow Ripening Fruit"


The prison was changing.
Even Shiv couldn't help noticing.

Acting Warden Lincoln wasn't
just easier to get along with and
a lot more fair than Daley had been.
He actually wanted to fix things.

Lincoln had gone through
the suggestions box and
called meetings -- with
inmates as well as staff --
in search of improvements.

Dr. Bloch was taking advantage
of the new leeway, beefing up
Shiv's diet until he wasn't hungry
except for an hour before meals,
when he was supposed to be.

That part had been explained
very carefully in the interest of him
not plumping up like a Christmas pig.

After the success with Shiv and
the entire table full of fruit, Dr. Bloch
had also gotten it into his head that
introducing inmates to new foods
might improve their diet, and
therefore their behavior.

He had started putting out
sample cups of things that you
could try for free at lunch, which
most of the inmates ignored.

The gardeners pounced on them,
though, and Shiv -- who wasn't a fan
of rabbit food but had loved the fruit --
experimented now and then.

Then one day Dr. Bloch called
and said, "I need a favor."

"O ... kay?" Shiv said, baffled.

"Remember telling me about Sanquez
and the jicama?" Dr. Bloch asked.

"He doesn't hog it," Shiv insisted,
sitting up to glare at the viewscreen.
"We just know that he likes it, so we
let him take first, because he's important."

"And then most other inmates don't
get any," Dr. Bloch said. "It's nutritious,
I want people to try it and like it. Since
you already like it, I could use your help
setting a good example for the other guys."

"Uh ... I am not a role model," Shiv said.

Largo stirred on his couch, snorting
with laughter, and it wasn't over the show
that had switched from the main viewscreen
to the tablet computer in his lap.

"You like jicama, I'm pitching jicama, so
that makes you perfect for this project,"
Dr. Bloch said firmly. "I've set up for
a tasting in the small dining room,
with several different recipes and
raw jicama with assorted dips."

Shiv licked his lips, fondly recalling
the small cups of cream cheese dip
stuck full of jicama and pepper strips.

Then he remembered the rules.
"The little kitchen's in the private wing,
and I can't go there," he pointed out.

"You can with special permission,"
said Dr. Bloch. "I've already cleared it
with Acting Warden Lincoln, in case
you were interested in attending."

Shiv winced. "That's gotta cost."

"I asked you for a favor, remember?"
said Dr. Bloch. "I'm offering you
two hundred points to help."

"Let me get my shoes on,"
Shiv said, scrambling off his bed.

He was ready to go, in fact
bouncing on his toes, by the time
Mr. Vanburen arrived to escort him to
the kitchen/dining room in the private wing.

It held over a dozen people already,
and yet it didn't seem too crowded.
Most of them were Hispanic and kept
looking at Sanquez for their cues, though
Dustin and Kincade were there too.

Dr. Bloch was talking with Sanquez.
"So I thought -- oh, hello Shiv, thank you
for joining us! -- that if we had a core of
people who already like a certain food, then
they could encourage others to give it a try
when it's put on the serving bar," he said.

"Hi?" Shiv said, uncertain of his welcome
even though Mr. Vanburen had simply
dropped him off and then shut the door.

He got even more confused when Sanquez
beckoned him firmly to the head of the table,
but Shiv knew better than to disobey.
He sat right he was told to sit.

"There's a method to the madness,"
Dr. Bloch murmured. "We will start
serving from this end of the table,
so people can see how it's done."

Because some of them probably hadn't
sat down to a nice family dinner in years,
if ever, Shiv realized. "Good idea," he said.

Kincade anchored the far end, which
was odd, because he and Sanquez
were rarely out of arm's reach.

It made sense, though, to have
someone else to boost the manners
down at the foot of the table.

Alejándro brought out the food
and said, "Doc got us the jicama,
which is today's special. Then
the cucumber, red bell pepper,
zucchini, and summer squash
come from the organic garden."

"Thank you, Alejándro," said Dr. Bloch.
He introduced the jicama, and Shiv
remembered most of the details. Then
he described the herb and lemon dip,
the jicama and mango salad with chile and
lime, the Mexican stir-fried vegetables,
and finally the fragrant jicama pie.

As promised, Dr. Bloch passed around
the salad and the stir-fry. The raw jicama
had been cut into sticks and put in cups,
while the dips were already on the table
gathered on trays in even smaller cups.
There was even a jar of pickled jicama.

It made Shiv antsy to have people
watching him like he knew what
he was doing, but you didn't get
two hundred points for nothing.

Dr. Bloch talked them through
the process of exploring new foods,
although the other guys were paying
more attention to Sanquez scarfing down
his share of jicama -- and the fact that
there was actually some of it left.

"Smells kind of like cattail?" Dustin said.

"Oh yeah," Shiv said as he dumped stir-fry
on his plate. It was probably edible. "If you like
cattail, you should love jicama. Try some."

Dustin stared at him. "Where in the world
did you ever get a taste of cattail?"

"There was this camp," Shiv said
with a shrug. It had mostly sucked,
but the scenery was gorgeous and
he had learned how to forage from
a counselor who felt that 'food security'
would improve the boys' behavior.

It hadn't, but the lesson stuck,
and it meant Shiv didn't go hungry
as often as he used to do.

Dustin did indeed like the jicama,
although some of the other guys
wrinkled their noses after trying it.

"If you don't like it, then you don't
have to eat it," Dr. Bloch told them.
"However, we made several recipes so
you could compare how jicama tastes
when raw, pickled, or cooked."

That inspired some people
to sample the different dishes.

Shiv finished his salad and stir-fry,
then took a piece of the pie. It was
similar to apple, but not the same.
"Kind of bland," he decided.

"You don't like it?" Dr. Bloch said.

"I can eat it," Shiv said. "I just think
it'd be better with apples mixed in."

"I wonder if there's a recipe for that,"
said Dr. Bloch. "Excuse me." He got up
to check the viewscreen in the wall, but
after a quick search, he came back and
reported, "I can't seem to find one."

"Maybe use a recipe for apple pie?"
said Shiv. "There was this book where
people made a green pumpkin pie that way."

"We could try simply adding apples
to the jicama pie filling," said Alejándro.
"There's some pie crust left over."

"Do you even have apples?"
Shiv asked. He hadn't seen any.

"Oh sure, this place has a pantry,"
Alejándro said as he headed to
the back of the room. Soon he
returned with two green apples.

It didn't take long to slice them
and put the pieces into a bowl.

Next Alejándro brought out
a whole jicama, but when he tried
to peel it, he frowned at the peeler.
"This thing's gone dull," he said as
he hacked a few chips off the jicama.

"No problem," said Dr. Bloch.
"I brought a sharpener."

And he handed the peeler to Shiv.

"Uh ... are you serious?" Shiv hissed,
holding the tool between two fingers.

"If you want to try your idea, pitch in,"
Dr. Bloch said firmly. "Otherwise,
it looks like we're having apple pie."

Shiv peered at the peeler and said,
"It's got tiny teeth on it. I don't know
if I can keep it the same like that."

"If you can't, just straighten
the blades," said Dr. Bloch.

It turned out that Shiv could do
the teeth, but not near as fast as
he could sharpen a plain edge.

"Yeah, I can, but it'll take a while,"
he said. The points had to be recut
one at a time, and there were dozens.

"Just straighten it," said Dr. Bloch.

So Shiv swept his fingers across
the twin blades and then handed
the peeler to Alejándro. "Be careful,"
he said. "This is really sharp now."

"Thanks," Alejándro said as he
pushed the peeler against the rind.
"That ought to help with -- woah!"

A slice of peel flew across the table.

"I said," Shiv repeated, "that's sharp."
He hoped that Alejándro wouldn't
skin his fingers with the peeler.

"Okay, I got it now," Alejándro said.
He adjusted his grip and went back
to peeling the tough root, which
behaved better this time.

It would've gone quicker if Shiv
had cut it up himself, but he didn't
want to draw any more attention.

Some of the men were already
eyeing him more than he liked.

"No inappropriate requests,
please," said Dr. Bloch.

The other inmates looked away,
but they didn't agree with him.

Sanquez cleared his throat sharply
and said, "No mas, chicos," which
made them all mumble obedience
in a blur of Spanish and English.

Shiv felt grateful to get them off his back.

He had a good chance at early release,
and he didn't want to waste it making
shanks at this point in time.

Soon Alejándro had the pie filling
finished and the pie in the oven.

He washed the peeler and handed it
back to Shiv. "Could you fix it like it was,
or is it stuck like this?" he asked.

"I could probably fix it, but that would
take a while," Shiv said. "It's fussy,
all those little teeth like that."

"How long would it take?"
said Dr. Bloch. "You don't have
to answer that, but if you do, I'll
comp you the time in the craft room."

"Half an hour to an hour?" Shiv guessed.
"I've never done anything like it before."

"I'll set up an hour, and if you need
more time, then you can always
finish it later," said Dr. Bloch.

"Sounds good," Shiv said, because
free craft time was not to be sneezed at,
and anyhow he needed to practice making
fancier edges if he wanted to make the knife
that Tolliver and Simon had requested.

Sanquez picked up the conversation then,
turning it to some new television show in
Spanish called Todos los Gatos, about
a bunch of people that nobody knew if they
were superheroes or supervillains yet.

"They let you watch that?" Shiv said.
"But it sounds like it has fighting."

"It does," Kincade added. "We've been
discussing it in Ethics and Issues class."

That was one of the fancy ones offered
only in the privileged wing, so Shiv hadn't
been hassled to take it yet and hadn't cared.
But if you got to watch the good shows in it ...
then maybe he would reconsider that.

"That makes it seem almost fun," Shiv said.

"Some days it is, others it's a headache,"
Sanquez said. "When you move up, you
should give it a try. I bet you'd have
some interesting insights." He
clapped Shiv on the shoulder.

Shiv wasn't used to people inviting
him anywhere, but there was something
tempting about how Sanquez treated him
that made him wish for more of it.

He liked the room, too. It was
light and airy, with a kitchen along
one wall, then long tables and chairs
of some pale creamy wood.

The meal wound down -- they'd
eaten all the jicama -- and some of
the guys left for other activities.

As Shiv stood up, he began
stacking plates automatically,
remembering how that had
worked back in his gang.

"Extra points if you want to stay
and help clean up," Dr. Bloch said.

"I -- oh," Shiv said, looking down at
the plates in his hands. "I guess
I hadn't thought about that."

"The points aren't a bribe, Shiv,"
said Dr. Bloch. "They're an illustration.
They make the natural give-and-take of
society a little easier for people to see.
It's good that you started clearing
the table before I offered any."

"Okay," Shiv said, and took
the dishes to the sink to wash.

The apple-jicama pie was beginning
to smell good, which reminded Shiv of
the time one foster family actually tried
baking that green pumpkin pie. It hadn't
tasted exactly like apple the way the book
said it did, but he'd enjoyed it anyhow.

That was one of his few family memories
that didn't utterly suck to look back on.

Alejándro took the dishes as Shiv
finished washing each one, dried them,
then handed them to Dustin to put away.

Dustin still seemed nervous around Shiv,
but it wasn't as bad as it had been.

By the time the pie came out of the oven,
there were only six of them left -- Shiv,
Dustin, Alejándro, Sanquez, Kincade,
and Dr. Bloch supervising the project.

"Should we eat a second dessert?"
Alejándro wondered, looking at Dr. Bloch.

"Typically, no, but we could each take
a taste of a new recipe," the doctor replied.
"Also, some people might be hungry again."

"Oh yeah," Shiv said, cutting himself
a piece of the pie. "Bottomless pit, here."

"Like Adoncia and the churros?"
Alejándro guessed, looking at Sanquez.

"Seems like," the older man said, then
explained, "Adoncia is a speedster in
Todos los Gatos. She has a sweet tooth,
and she's always eating something."

Shiv was bemused at the idea of
folks actually learning from a TV show.

It scared him, a little, that someone
was writing about soups who were
in the gray zone and other people
were paying attention to that.

On the other hand, it meant
that nobody was hassling him
about taking a whole piece of pie
when they were just cutting out
bite-sized pieces to sample.

It was good pie, too.

Shiv listened to Alejándro
noodling around some ideas for
different spice blends, and Dr. Bloch
chipping in with what vitamins would be
in the spices he suggested, like how
cayenne had lots of vitamin A.

Sanquez and Kincade bantered
back and forth about some of
their favorite vegetable pies,
because of course Sanquez had
latched onto the jicama while
Kincade still favored pumpkin.

Dustin kept quiet, watching Shiv
from across the table, but at least
he wasn't flinching away now.

Shiv listened, and the easy flow
of conversation squeezed his chest
for some reason he couldn't name
but didn't want to let go of.

It made him fiercely homesick again.

Sanquez even invited him to come back
for dinner, whenever he made it
into the privileged wing.

That was an oddly sweet thought
as they took their leave of each other.

When Dr. Bloch offered to walk him
back to his cell alongside Mr. Vanburen,
Shiv just nodded, too tangled up inside
to talk about what happened.

"You know, Shiv, friendship is
a slow ripening fruit," Dr. Bloch said
as they walked. "If you're not used
to sticking around long enough,
you might not have seen that."

Shiv didn't usually get a chance
to stick around anywhere, whether
he wanted to or not. So maybe
Dr. Bloch had a point there.

"It's weird," he managed to say.
"They acted like they didn't
mind having me around."

"You did a great job of
demonstrating that jicama
is tasty, and you got along
with everyone," said Dr. Bloch.
"I think they enjoyed your company."

"Weird," Shiv said as they turned
into the wing that held his cell.
"If you say so, though, I guess
I must be doin' somethin' right."

"You are indeed," Dr. Bloch said
as he unlocked the door of the cell.
"Would you like a little hint?"

"Sure, I got no clue," said Shiv.

"Invite them back," said Dr. Bloch.
"Pick one or two people you saw today,
and ask them to do something with you --
take a walk outside, play a game, whatever.
Friendship is meant to be an exchange."

"I'll have to check my budget,"
Shiv said, trying to recall the balance.

"Remember you have two hundred
new points to do it with," Dr. Bloch said.

"Oh yeah," Shiv said, brightening.

"Ask Ambrose if you get stuck for
ideas on friendship," said Dr. Bloch.
His hand was warm on Shiv's back as he
nudged the boy inside. "I'll see you later."

"Hey, doc?" said Shiv. "It was nice
of you to ask me over. If you need
another favor like that, I'm good for it."

"Then it's been a morning well spent,"
Dr. Bloch said as he locked the door.

Largo grunted a welcome, his eyes
glued to the viewscreen on the wall.

"You're watching rats?" Shiv said.

"Ratatouille," said Largo. "Yeah, it's
about a rat who wants to be a chef.
I just started a few minutes ago,
you want me to rewind this?"

"Sure," Shiv said, and sat down
on his bunk, because you didn't sit on
Largo's couch if you wanted to live.

The movie was about rats, and food,
and friendship, and Shiv thought
that he almost understood it.

* * *

Notes:

Alejándro Duran -- He has fair skin that tans dark, green eyes, and dark brown hair cut short with a short beard and mustache. His parents are Puerto Rican but they moved to Nebraska in 1975. His heritage includes Spanish, Greek, and a little American. Alejándro has a Ñeta gang tattoo and shares their loathing of abusers. He has a serious tendency to hold grudges, too. He is currently serving time in the Nebraska State penitentiary in Lincoln, where he allies with other Hispanic inmates. He is one of Ragno's contacts for trading contraband. Alejándro also works in the organic garden there.
Qualities: Good (+2) Loyal, Good (+2) Observant, Good (+2) Smuggler, Good (+2) Subtle, Good (+2) Tough
Poor (-2) Unforgiving

Kincade King -- He has brown skin and black eyes. He has black body hair, but his head is completely bald. He has prison tattoos over much of his front, his left arm, and a little on the right. Across his collarbones is a large banner saying "Lord Have Mercy" and his belly says "Warrior." Originally an enforcer, Kincade worked his way up to boss. His gang outside deals primarily in protection services and the occasional side of revenge-for-hire. He is currently serving time in the Nebraska State penitentiary in Lincoln, where he leads most of the black inmates. Kincade grew up in the inner city and has little education. He has quite a sweet tooth, and loves chocolate. He also appreciates cars, with a good grasp of models and mechanics.
Qualities: Master (+6) Gangster, Master (+6) Tough, Expert (+4) Leadership, Expert (+4) Strength, Good (+2) Adaptable, Good (+2) Car Fan, Good (+2) Favor Trading, Good (+2) Strategic Thinking
Poor (-2) Uneducated

Sanquez Abarca -- He has light brown skin, brown eyes, and black hair. He has two teardrops tattooed below the outer corner of his right eye, and another on the left, indicating that he has killed three people. His heritage is Hispanic and he is bilingual in English and Spanish. He is currently serving time in the Nebraska State penitentiary in Lincoln, where he leads most of the Hispanic inmates. His outside gang smuggles an assortment of things including drugs, weapons, and people; but they don't do much distribution to end users, they are middlemen connected to a vast network of other criminal organizations. Sanquez is getting older, though, and his battle damage is catching up with him. He has a lot of aches and pains from old injuries.
Qualities: Master (+6) Smuggler, Master (+6) Networking, Expert (+4) Logical-Mathematical Intelligence, Expert (+4) Reading People, Good (+2) Fan of Classical Spanish Music, Good (+2) Constitution, Good (+2) Tolerance
Poor (-2) Stiff and Sore

Dustin Hall -- He has tawny-fair skin, brown eyes, and curly black hair to his shoulders. His heritage includes Winnebago Omaha, Mexican, Nepalese, and American. He's been called everything from "spic" to "prairie nigger" -- also "spoon-licker" because he likes people with superpowers -- and is heartily sick of all of it. He is 21 years old.
Dustin used to handle supplies for Boss Batir in Lincoln, Nebraska until he was captured in a police raid on a weapons cache. He is currently in the Nebraska state penitentiary in Lincoln. There he networks with Ragno and some other inmates run the shadow economy of the prison. He's happy to deal in light contraband, doesn't really want to deal in weapons anymore, but feels conflicted about whether or not to return to his old boss. Who has done bupkis to help him in prison.
As a quartermaster, Dustin can find just about anything, anywhere, and enjoys the challenge of getting the goods. He is a people person, but until recently he hasn't been around very good people. He's very good friends with Ragno, and completely freaked by the chayne incident. Shiv made Dustin uneasy before the incident, and downright frightened after it.
Qualities: Expert (+4) Quartermaster Skills, Good (+2) Loyal, Good (+2) Supervillain Henchman, Good (+2) Strength
Poor (-2) Internalized Oppression

* * *

"Wishing to be friends is quick work, but friendship is a slow ripening fruit."
-- Aristotle

This is a small dining room with attached kitchen, available for dinner parties in the privileged wing. It also provides space for the small-group or private cooking lessons. It has its own pantry for supplies.

A little hunger is good for you; if you're not hungry before a meal, you're probably eating too much. However, waiting too long between meals, or not eating enough to fuel high activity, can lead to low blood sugar. Learn to recognize the different types of hunger and respond appropriately. This poses a challenge for Shiv because he's used to being kind of hungry most or all the time. Fortunately Dr. Bloch knows how to talk him through it. Not being half-starved is definitely improving Shiv's grip on his temper.

Crudités are raw vegetables customarily served with dip. Jicama, zucchini, and bell peppers are a few favorites. Parmesan cream cheese is just one of many popular dips. An attractive and convenient way to serve these is to put a small amount of dip into a cup, then add a bunch of veggie sticks. This is one of the healthy snacks that Dr. Bloch has been offering to Shiv, who isn't particularly into greens but does seem to like crisp juicy things.

Eating together is essential for human bonding and intimacy, and thus encourages prosocial behavior. Family-style dining, in which everyone shares several common dishes, facilitates these effects. Family-style dining is used in childcare to teach healthy eating habits and good relationship skills. For similar reasons, the prison encourages such meals among inmates in the standard and privileged wings. Here are some general guidelines on family-style meals.

Poor diet contributes to violence and crime. Unfortunately, local-America does not ensure that inmates receive enough food, nutritious food, or even safe food. In Terramagne-America, the state is responsible for keeping inmates in good health, and therefore liable if they are malnourished in the absence of disease or other factors outside prison control. Good nutrition vs. bad nutrition can make a huge difference in both physical and mental health. Healthy eating programs and health literacy information can improve inmate health and behavior. It is not ethical to conduct experiments on prisoners without consent, and there are extra safeguards to protect them from abuses. However, it's perfectly okay to offer inmates the chance to opt into programs seeking to improve their health through nutrition or other safety-approved methods. In this case, Dr. Bloch thinks that better diet could lead to better health and behavior, so he's trying to coax inmates in that direction.

Variety is essential to a healthy diet, especially vegetables. Tips for encouraging people to try new foods include breaking the process into small steps and offering things repeatedly. Dr. Bloch hopes to hook people on new foods by making it easy to try them and by showing how much other people enjoy them.

Eat the Rainbow capitalizes on how different colors in food indicate different nutrients. White foods such as jicama provide fiber, potassium, and magnesium. Learn how to eat the rainbow as part of healthy eating in general.

Jicama is a big root vegetable with many health benefits. It is popular in Hispanic cuisine. Learn how to prepare jicama and explore some recipes. Currently the inmates are exploring Herb and Lemon Dip with Jicama and Cucumber Sticks, Easy Pickled Jicama with Jalapeño Lime and Cayenne, Crunchy Jicama and Mango Salad with Chile and Lime, and Mexican Stir-Fried Vegetables.

Jicama can be used to make pie filling. I couldn't find a recipe that mixed jicama and apples, but it should work. Green pumpkin pie was mentioned by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Note that some people who've tried this recipe report it as making a very wet pie. If that doesn't appeal, try adding a tablespoon or so of wheat flour (which matches the source) or tapioca powder (my favorite fruit thickener) to the filling.

Foraging for edible plants is a good survival skill. Cattail is one of many wild foods you can eat. Shiv and Dustin are actually talking about the base of the stalk, which is starchy and tastes a bit like cucumber or celery, but most parts of the plant are edible and used in different ways. Learn how to forage for food.

Vegetable peelers come in different styles, such as this set of three with smooth, serrated, and julienne blades. Sharpening serrated knives requires a somewhat different technique than sharpening smooth knives. Compare some different patterns of serration.

Shiv and shank are two similar types of makeshift weapon; when a distinction is desired, a shiv is more for slicing while a shank is more for stabbing.

"No más, chicos" -- No more, boys.
-- Spanish

Todos los Gatos is a T-American television show produced by a Hispanic station, originally in Spanish, about characters of ambiguous affiliation. The moral quandaries of the episodes are intended to make viewer think about what makes a superhero, or a supervillain. Adoncia is a speedster with a serious sweet tooth. There are supernary characters too, and naries. As the season develops, some of the characters line up with one or another side of cape politics, while others remain in the middle.

"De noche todos los gatos son pardos."
At night, all the cats are gray ones. (or black, or brown)
-- Spanish Sayings

Churros are fried sweets. Enjoy a recipe.

Ethics make up an important part of a culture. Teaching ethics to inmates can help them make better choices after prison, but it's essential to consider teacher goals in doing so. If you're just trying to force your own ethics on other people, that is the opposite of helpful. Forming ethical positions can be done in various ways. Prosocial television has been used to teach ethics. Other instructors prefer to use current issues from the news. Understand how to develop a code of ethics and a toolkit for ethical behavior.

Spices can be nutritious, but are rarely consumed in high enough quantities to matter. However, some are dense enough to make a difference. Cayenne is extremely high in vitamin A and also high in vitamin C.

Friendship is important for many reasons. Attracting and building friendships takes time and skill. A disadvantaged childhood often leads to poor social skills and criminal activity, which is to say, most inmates have lower-than-average social skills. Some prisons therefore offer classes in social skills, making friends, and related techniques.

Ratatouille is a fun movie about rats, food, and friendship.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-02-23 05:29 am (UTC)
technoshaman: Tux (Default)
From: [personal profile] technoshaman
Ratatouille

A movie that triumphs by making a man homesick. I see what you did there.... :D

Re: Yes...

Date: 2017-02-23 05:51 am (UTC)
technoshaman: Tux (Default)
From: [personal profile] technoshaman
Well, he's not losing the Finns, so that will help.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-02-23 07:09 am (UTC)
stardreamer: Meez headshot (Default)
From: [personal profile] stardreamer
We use jicama a lot as a low-carb substitute for potatoes in soup or stew. If you dice it up and drop it in, it cooks down to about the same texture as cooked potato and also absorbs flavor from the broth.

I may see if I can get Russ to try that Mexican stir-fry -- it sounds pretty good! Not sure how I'd handle raw jicama, though, since I dislike most raw veggies.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-02-23 07:46 am (UTC)
thnidu: Tom Baker's Dr. Who, as an anthropomorphic hamster, in front of the Tardis. ©C.T.D'Alessio http://tinyurl.com/9q2gkko (Dr. Whomster)
From: [personal profile] thnidu
As I think I've said before, I'm always glad to see Shiv learning and becoming more -- I almost said "human" -- comfortable with himself and with society, of any good kind.

• Alejándro
-> Alejandro

The accent rules of Spanish spelling are magnificently simple. If a written word ends in a vowel or "n" or "s", the spoken stress defaults to the next-to-last syllable; if it ends in a different consonant, it defaults to the last syllable; if *and only if* it's on a different syllable, there's a written accent on the vowel of that syllable. (There are some exception rules for syntactically distinct homophones, like "tu" 'you' and "tú" 'your', but those don't concern us here.)

"Alejandro" is spelled with a final vowel, implying penultimate stress; and since the spoken stress *is* on that syllable, same as in our "Alexander", there's no written accent.

HTH.
Edited Date: 2017-02-23 07:48 am (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 2017-02-24 02:27 am (UTC)
johnpalmer: (Default)
From: [personal profile] johnpalmer
In context, "more human" can be a good term. He's learning more about what it means to be a complete human, which doesn't mean he's not one already.

(Um. I'm tired and suddenly having tone concerns - did that way of saying that thing come across badly? The tone was meant to be "you know, that's a good point, and I actually think it works.")

(no subject)

Date: 2017-02-24 02:40 pm (UTC)
thnidu: my familiar. "Beanie Baby" -type dragon, red with white wings (Default)
From: [personal profile] thnidu
No fear, I got what you meant and didn't feel opposed at all, let alone insulted.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-02-23 01:06 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Really enjoyed this, but:

"No problem," said Dr. Bloch.
"I brought a sharpener."


Still laughing. That was fantastic.

--Wyn

(no subject)

Date: 2017-02-24 03:01 am (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline
<3

(no subject)

Date: 2017-03-04 04:29 am (UTC)
kyleri: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kyleri
Oh yaaay, I'm so glad this got sponsored!

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