quigonejinn: (avatar - big and little)
[personal profile] quigonejinn
Meatballs By Somebody Whose Mother Was Too Chinese to Make Meatballs But Who Really Loves Meatballs



  • 2 pounds ground meat. We use a mix of ground chicken and pork, but I've used all chicken or all turkey before with success.
  • 2/3rds cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • Garlic powder, because life is too short to chop THAT much garlic
  • Two handfuls (or one big handful if you don't have tiny mutant hands) fresh sage, well chopped
  • Sprig of fresh rosemary, well-chopped
  • Vegetable oil.
Preheat oven to 350. Mix all ingredients except oil in large bowl until well combined, at which point it will look like mostly ground meat. Form into loose balls roughly the size of your thumb from first knuckle to end of thumbnail. Line a glass tray with aluminium foil, dribble some oil on -- if you're using ground pork, you don't need much oil, but if you're using chicken, you want more. But you want a small amount spread thinly over the bottom, because otherwise, you'll end up with meatballs sticking. Bake at least until the color of brown cardboard, which will be about 25 minutes in our oven. Makes roughly 55 meatballs, plus a few to wet the beak of the chef/whoever is doing the dishes. Served this week with pasta salad made up of farfalle with aspargus and peas, dressed with oil from baking the meatballs, apple cider vinegar, basalmic vinegar, a little white truffle oil, and fresh-ground pepper. Because Mr. Rhod likes Additional Ingredients, he adds fresh avocado and a little Parmesan on top.

...

Spoilers for Big Little Lies.

So yeah, we watched this, and it's white as hell and straight as hell. A same sex white dude couple that doesn't even figure in the Greek chorus and have, like, two lines? Maybe? in the orientation episode? Doesn't really count. And I think the cheapest house on the show was more than half a million dollars which means it's the equivalent of 10 years wages for the average US family.

But gosh, I loved this and have been chewing over it for days. The lifestyle porn (and it is a++++++ lifestyle porn, for the record, would enjoy loving shots of Renata's house again) aside, one of the most thought-provoking things about it for me has been the angle it takes on child-rearing -- and I'm not just talking about the nature versus nurture argument that plays out with Ziggy and Max, and the question of whether genetics or environment are more important in making a kid into a bully, and how that flows through to the scenes we get of all the men* in ths show.

Take for example the way that Perry's scenes with his kids are characterized by fun and games and in-jokes and squealing happy laughter, and with the very first glimpse you get of Madeline, the rage-a-holic, stopping her car in traffic to get out of the car and yell at the teenage driver in front of her, and then yell at her daughter in the back seat in front of all of her friends, and then she goes back to her car to fight with her other daughter. You can feel the narrative that's shaping, and it's one that gets underlined in heavily in the first episodes -- Celeste and Perry, so perfect. Ed and Madeline, so fraught. You'll even notice the mention of how Celeste, to round out her perfectness, used to be a corporate lawyer and she gave it all up to be a mom. She gets praised for her sacrifice, but does anybdoy ever point out that Madeline gave it all up from the beginning? Instead, the show lets her ambition and fury and emotion just boil over in that scene in the car after talking to the mayor.

By the end of the series, too, there's been an inversion. Perry who is so affable and pleasant for an audience is a complete fucking monster in private. Madeline who is so abrasive and sharp and utterly mean girl when she has an audience is a good friend,and a woman capable of deep feeling. In fact, the moment that the show frames as her most successful moment as a mother comes when she tells Abigail about her affair -- she is a terrible mother in a lot of ways, and has a deeply strained relationship with Abigail**, but when the real moment comes, she can lay herself emotionally bare for her children and help them Get Right.***

And that is, of course, where Perry completely fails. When he is the person he is inside, it shapes his kid by making the kid think it's OK to choke the fuck out of another little girl. You'll note that when Celeste confronts him with it, it takes him about 0.05 seconds, and then it's onto Y U LEAVING ME, and the way the show plays off the confrontation between Perry and Celeste, and Ed and Madeline, with the wronged party in each side contronting the other with evidence of the wrongdoing? And how they each respond differently? And the weird complicated feeling in my chest when you realize what Ed is doing, and the effect that Madeline is having, and how that contrasts with the high-pitched anxious OH GET OUT GET OUT OH GOD DON'T LET ME HIM PUSH YOU OFF THE CLIFF

It's beautiful formal narrative structure for the final episode, and I love it so much.





* A delightful thing about the show is how much the male characters are fleshed out as appendages to the women. You meet Ed as part of Madeline's backstory, and then you're introdued to Bonnie through the connection, but Bonnie gets developed, and the last scene gives Bonnie equal weight to Celeste, Madeline, and Jane. And there are no men at all.

** One of my favorite scenes in the entire series is the bit where you think Madeline and Abigail are going to have a rapprochement -- Abigail coming to Madeline to reassure her that Bonnie isn't going to take her place, and how that comforts Madeline, and they have a tender moment, but then Chloe comes in and asserts a little-kid need for mothering, and Madeline seems to forget about Abigail. And that last frame of Abigail's little broken-hearted face?

*** In my soul, the (very true) reason that Abigail articulates about how the controversy of her medium will obscure the message is 1000000000))))% Bonnie, gently calling out her white stepdaughter for meaning well, but actually underlining the elevation of rich cis white womanhood above all other women. But I don't know if it's the case, and I wish the racial angle of it had been more strongly articulated in the show.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-04-18 05:24 pm (UTC)
thatyourefuse: Vanessa Ives from Penny Dreadful, walking along a bloodtrail in the snow. (Default)
From: [personal profile] thatyourefuse
Hey, I was just thinking that I haven't seen you in ages!

And this sounds unexpectedly fascinating (although I am grimly gearing up to watch Billions because Maggie Siff could do ANYTHING SHE WANTS to me, so possibly my Rich People Making Poor Choices receptors are going to be occupied).

(no subject)

Date: 2017-04-18 06:02 pm (UTC)
thatyourefuse: Vanessa Ives from Penny Dreadful, walking along a bloodtrail in the snow. (Default)
From: [personal profile] thatyourefuse

A friend of mine is working on Red Room fic, so I was just looking at your murder blog... last week? Week before? What is time.

Yeah I have actually been seeing really interesting reviews and I'm startled, because I had made a lot of assumptions and I seem to be getting shown up? I might have to investigate! We allegedly have free HBO Go access, and I keep meaning to figure out how to access it.

I've seen the first few episodes of Billions S1 and they're, you know, acceptable; but I've been assured that it takes a LEVEL in S2 generally (also they've added a nonbinary, non-NT character and seem to not be failing, and there is a non-zero chance that Maggie Siff is going to domme the fuck out of Damian Lewis in the next three episodes, and she's REALLY aged into her face). It's just... kind of a weird experience when you don't actually understand what a hedge fund is.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-04-18 08:37 pm (UTC)
sevenfoxes: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sevenfoxes
... I am rewriting this comment under PROTEST BECAUSE FUCKING DREAMWIDTH ATE IT UGH IT WAS SO LONG, JINNY. SO LONG!

So now you get the condensed version. The Campbell Soup version. ENJOY YOUR CONDENSED CREAM OF MUSHROOM.

SO. Billions is pretty good. It actually reminds me a bit of BLLs in so much as it is basically RICH WHITE PEOPLE PROBLEMS!!!!!!!!!!!! but with fewer playdates and more misogyny. Think BLL set in Manhattan where the children are all rich, spoiled 40-something white men. I think BLL succeeds in making you actually like some of the characters, where with Billions, I'm really unsure if I want any of them to get what they want. (Some of them are really FLAT OUT REPULSIVE.) Except for Maggie Siff. You'd fucking love her character, and she's the only one I don't secretly kind of loathe in one way or another.

Anyhoo, I think you'd like it. All the characters are vicious and miserable!!! No one really gets what they want!!!! Secret misery!!! YOUR JAM!!!

(So many exclamation points.)

(no subject)

Date: 2017-04-18 09:06 pm (UTC)
thatyourefuse: Vanessa Ives from Penny Dreadful, walking along a bloodtrail in the snow. (Default)
From: [personal profile] thatyourefuse
Yeah, idk if I'm ever going to manage to be a fan of the show, but I am a fan of Wendy Rhoades in no small way.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-04-18 09:30 pm (UTC)
sevenfoxes: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sevenfoxes
I'm in the same boat. I don't feel overly attached to any of the characters on the show, which in some ways works because I can kind of enjoy when they get knocked down.

But the complexity of Wendy Rhoades is so fascinating (and she is the BEST). I wish the show would explore more of her dynamic with Axe because it's FASCINATING, but it keeps shying away from it to focus on his rivalry with Chuck, and I'm like... I DON'T CARE ABOUT THESE TWO RIDICULOUS ALPHA MALES TRYING TO COCKFIGHT ALL THE TIME. GIVE ME BOBBY'S WEIRD DEPENDENCY ON WENDY!

(Also, Kate and Lonnie are so underused. Ugh. It's the kind of show that could be a lot better than it actually is if it wasn't trying to constantly shock everyone, I think.)

(no subject)

Date: 2017-04-18 10:39 pm (UTC)
thatyourefuse: Vanessa Ives from Penny Dreadful, walking along a bloodtrail in the snow. (Default)
From: [personal profile] thatyourefuse
I have been getting Bobby/Wendy-centric recaps from a friend who's OBSESSED, and I've pretty much promised I'll catch up if the UST gets R'ed by the end of the season. And I probably will anyway, with judicious skipping around, because... dang.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-04-18 08:20 pm (UTC)
obsession_inc: (Default)
From: [personal profile] obsession_inc
HI RHOD HI HI HI and now I want to make meatballs, THANKS.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-04-18 10:19 pm (UTC)
nolivingman: (Duty and honor and repression)
From: [personal profile] nolivingman
Hi! BLL has been on my list, but maybe I will take a break between seasons of Empire (OMG COOKIE!) to catch it.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-04-20 10:27 pm (UTC)
nolivingman: (Root)
From: [personal profile] nolivingman
I am not yet on this season of the Americans, but OMG THAT FUCKING SHOW. It's perfect in every single depressing wonderful way.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-04-19 07:58 pm (UTC)
black_hound: (Age of Sail)
From: [personal profile] black_hound
Several noises OUT LOUD.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-04-19 10:42 pm (UTC)
black_hound: (dancing weenie)
From: [personal profile] black_hound
OF THE VERY BEST KIND

(no subject)

Date: 2017-04-20 10:28 pm (UTC)
nolivingman: (Better than a wife)
From: [personal profile] nolivingman
I HAVE MISSED TALKING WITH YOU!

(no subject)

Date: 2017-04-20 10:29 pm (UTC)
nolivingman: (Arise Riders of Theoden)
From: [personal profile] nolivingman
BOTH OF YOU, OF COURSE.

Remember Hornblower book club? That was an amazing time.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-04-20 10:47 pm (UTC)
black_hound: (Age of Sail)
From: [personal profile] black_hound
Hornblower book club I swear it was the best of the best of times.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-04-20 10:45 pm (UTC)
black_hound: (Bush topgallant sails)
From: [personal profile] black_hound
AND I'VE MISSED TALKING WITH YOU!!

(no subject)

Date: 2017-04-19 12:53 am (UTC)
deuces: (Default)
From: [personal profile] deuces
I'm not watching Big Little Lies, but I'm just commenting to say that the dressing for the pasta sounds really good (I've never used that combo before). I used to just use meat for meatballs (bc my simple mind thought meat balls were literally meat rolled up into balls and that's how my mom made it and it didn't occur to me to look up a recipe.....) so they came out dry, but then I learned you could use EGGS and BREADCRUMBS and a juicier meatball world was opened up to me.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-04-19 01:15 pm (UTC)
indiefic: (Default)
From: [personal profile] indiefic
The meatballs sound delicious. Totally going to try them out. I haven't watched BLL, but your commentary is very thought provoking.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-04-21 08:57 pm (UTC)
eirene: (peggy)
From: [personal profile] eirene
Those meatballs look delicious! I always bake mine off before putting them in spaghetti sauce to cook together, because I just like the way they come out better than frying.

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