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rangifer’s diary: pt. cxiv

Cookin’ Wif deer

There are a lot of websites, blogs, forums, & probably even Facebook™ pages or whatever (IDK — I don’t use social media) that pride themselves on good cooking recipes that are some combination of “cheap”, “easy”, “fast”, “simple”, & sometimes “healthy”. But how serious are they, really?

As just one anecdote, the other day I searched the WWW with a culinary query, & ended up at a Reddit® thread on the r⁠/⁠EatCheapAndHealthy sub-Reddit®. Sounds great, right? Unfortunately for any truly casual browsers of r⁠/⁠EatCheapAndHealthy, the wisdom provided by the thread’s commenters was, for the most part, not well-described as “cheap” — & although “healthy” in the context of food choice is entirely contextual & depends on the nutritional paucities/excesses of the individual, there were at least a few that did not strike me as “healthy” for most folx.

Worse yet, many of the “easy”, “simple”, & “fast”[1] recipe collections, more often than not, have lengthy & highly-specific ingredients lists, and/or are actually pretty easy to fuck up (especially for the inexperienced cook). How tf am I gonna get all these damn ingredients?? And do I really want to eat this sad attempt at a recipe that I found online?? ’Cause I’m gonna have to!!

But my intent here is not really to hate on recipes that are, for the most part, actually perfectly legitimate recipes, even if they fall short on some of their practical promises. My intent is to give a very silly list of a few recipes (or “““recipes”””, if you prefer) with an approach & organisation that prioritises practical matters above all else.

Some of these recipes might be what you consider “healthy”, & others might not. Most of them can undoubtedly be prepared in such a way as to be very delicious indeed. 🤤 But at the end of the day, all of these recipes will fill your tummy, & they will do so in a way that is practical, inexpensive, difficult to fuck up, light on ingredient requirements, & that tastes at least pretty decent.

The reality is that not everyone learns how to cook, not everyone has access to specific and/or high-quality ingredients, not everyone has the same dietary needs, & those facts should not doom anyone to a lifetime of pre-processed or otherwise already-prepared meals.[2]

This is the perspective of the perpetually impoverished & thoroughly unskilled cook.

The logic of these recipes

All of these recipes are recipes that I’ve tried & tested myself, & that I’ve eaten on a regular basis. Although these are certainly not all the foods that I cook/eat, they are a few of the most dependable ones that I think most people can successfully replicate in one way or another.

The recipes are listed roughly in descending order of primitiveness: the earlier & more primitive recipes are less likely to be thought of as “recipes” or “cooking” at all!

The “optional” ingredients will generally significantly improve the dish, but the optional lists are designed so that the dish will still be perfectly fine without any of the optional ingredients. Optional, or potentially optional, steps are marked with an asterisk ⟨*⟩.

As far as restrictions go, all of these recipes are vegan. This implies that, under the appropriate protocols, all are also kosher [כָּשֵׁר]. Moreover, none contain alcohol (nor other intoxicants), & thus all are also halāl [حَلَال]. For the benefit of any cœliacs, gluten-free recipes are marked with “🚫⁠🍞⁠🚫”. Many uses of gluten can be replaced with gluten-free alternatives, as indicated within some of these recipes.

allium
For the purpose of these recipes, all commonly-culinarily-used species of Allium are roughly functionally equivalent. The big ones are onion & garlic, but this also includes scallions, shallots, leeks, chives, A. chinense, A. tuberosum, & ramp (A. tricoccum). Picky eaters are likely to reject the textures of alliums along with their often acrid tastes. Moreover, these are obviously all produce. For these reasons, dried & powdered allium (garlic powder, onion powder, etc.) is extremely useful.
cooking oil
Just about any oil derived from plants that is used in cooking. Many of these are neutral oils (see below), but this also includes sesame oil, olive oil, almond oil, coconut oil, etc.
neutral oil
Any cooking oil that imparts little or no flavour, & usually one with a high smoke point. You should have easy access at all times to some kind of cheap neutral oil like e.g. soybean oil, maize oil, cottonseed oil, palm oil, palm kernel oil (any of which may be sold as simply “vegetable oil”), canola oil, peanut oil, safflower oil, etc.
macros
Short for macronutrients. These are your carbohydrates (carbs), fats, & proteins. Macros make up the energetic content of foods (typically measured in kJ). Humans absolutely need fat & proteins in their diet (& carbs help with a lot of things as well), but micronutrients (micros, i.e. vitamins & minerals) are important too!
produce
Veggies, mushrooms, & the like. Usually, this is the stuff that will go bad if you don’t make some food with it in the near future. That being said, frozen veggies are usually okay, & may be easier to acquire and/or to use for you. Obviously fresh is best, but frozen produce is still produce!!

🧑‍🍳


Recipe 1: Muh-stard sam-mich

Cuisine: poverty.

Gluten-free: Use gluten-free bread.

Pros:

Cons:

Ingredients

Preparation

  1. Apply the mustard evenly to a slice of bread.
  2. Fold the slice in half, or sandwich it with another slice.

🧑‍🍳


Recipe 2: Literally just rice & beans

🚫⁠🍞⁠🚫

Cuisine: poverty.

Pros:

Cons:

Ingredients

Optional

Preparation

  1. *Rinse & soak (or boil, depending on the variety) the beans, if necessary. In some cases this step can be avoided by, for example, buying pre-soaked beans in a can or whatever.
  2. Prepare the rice normally[3], with the cooking oil included if applicable. Salt can be included with the rice if you prefer to add it at this stage.
  3. *Optionally warm the beans in your microwave oven (or on stovetop), probably in the same bowl/pot that you’re gonna eat them out of.
  4. Add the desired amount of rice to the beans, and apply salts & spices. Mix thoroughly.
  5. *Optionally add the produce.

Preparation (alternative)

This alternative style of preparation can be easier, and/or can properly cook the beans (depending on what variety of beans you’re using). However, in some cases, it may overcook the beans.

  1. *Rinse & soak the beans, if necessary. In some cases this step can be avoided by, for example, buying pre-soaked beans in a can or whatever.
  2. *Optionally add into the pot any produce that will benefit from being cooked as the rice is cooked.
  3. Prepare the rice normally[3], but add in the beans, salts & spices, & cooking oil before covering. Stir at least a little bit before covering.
  4. *Optionally add any remaining produce.

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Recipe 3: Pasta aglio e olio

Cuisine: Italian.

Gluten-free: Use gluten-free pasta (I’ve made this with rice flour pasta before).

Pros:

Cons:

Pasta aglio e olio /⁠ˈpä.stä ˈäʎ.ʎo e ˈɔ.ljo⁠/ is Italian literally meaning “garlic & oil pasta”. It’s exactly what it sounds like.

Ingredients

Optional

Preparation

  1. Prepare the pasta normally.[4]
  2. *Whilst the pasta is cooking, prepare any produce, if using. This includes peeling & chopping up any allium.
  3. *If using fresh allium and/or leafy greens, then leave the pasta in its colander/cullander/strainer, & set the heat to medium-low whilst you prepare this:
    1. *Fill the bottom of the pasta pot with a layer of the olive oil. It should heat up quickly since you just boiled the pasta here.
    2. *Put in the produce & salt/herbs/spices and cook it for a few minutes, stirring frequently. Be careful not to burn any allium, & ensure that any leafy greens manage to soak up the oil.
  4. Remove the heat, return the pasta to its pot, & add the allium/oil/salt/herbs/spices if you haven’t already. Mix thoroughly.

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Recipe 4: Cute curry

🚫⁠🍞⁠🚫

Cuisine: Indian.

Pros:

Cons:

If made with tomato, this is generally a red or red-brown curry. Alternatively, if coconut milk is easier to get than tomato products, then you can go for just coconut milk & no tomato. Or, use both if you can!

Ingredients

Optional

Preparation

  1. Add a layer of oil to a large pot & put it on medium heat.
  2. *Add any produce into the pot now, stirring frequently as it cooks for a few minutes or so.
  3. Add the curry powder & any allium/herbs/spices/salt (to the produce as it cooks).
  4. Add lentils, thicc stuff, and the plant milk (if using) & water. The amount of thicc stuff depends on how creamy you want the curry to be, & its total volume might be anywhere from (roughly) 0.75× to 1.5× the dry lentil volume. The amount of plant milk/water depends on how soupy you want the curry to be, but its total volume should be at least twice that of the dry lentils.
  5. Turn up the heat & stir everything together, bringing it to a boil.
  6. Once a boil is reached, turn the heat down to medium-low & cover. Let cook for at least ≈40〜45 minutes or so if using ≈300⁢ mL (≈1.25⁢ cup) dry lentils; you’ll know it’s done when it achieves the desired consistency (which can be checked by stirring). Be careful not to undercook the lentils; you probably want them to be more of a slurry, which can require a somewhat lengthy cooking time. If more cooking is needed but the curry is already getting ⚠️⁠dangerously thicc⁠⚠️, then you can stir in more water.
  7. Whilst the curry is cooking, prepare the rice normally[3].
  8. Combine the rice & curry in your bowl.
  9. *Add lemon and/or lime juice to taste.

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Recipe 5: Creamy cavatappi

Cuisine: French–Italian.

Pros:

Cons:

Cavatappi (Italian /⁠kä.väˈtäp.pi⁠/ “corkscrews”) is a type of macaroni, but I just chose it for the alliteration. Almost any pasta will work just as well.

The sauce is roux-based.

Ingredients

Optional

Preparation

  1. In a large pot, begin preparing the pasta as usual, i.e. bringing the water to a boil.[4] You can make the sauce whilst the pasta-cooking process continues.
  2. In a separate, small- or medium-sized pot, put the oil — generally around 25〜30⁢ g (≈1⁢ oz) — on medium heat.
  3. Add in roughly the same mass of flour as you added oil. Push & stir with a spatula/paddle/spoon to combine with the oil. There should be enough flour to absorb all or almost all the oil, but no more. Feel free to add more flour and/or more oil as necessary (or as you see fit). The result will be a somewhat thick & choppy mush.
  4. Pour in the plant milk; enough for the flour–oil mixture to be fully submerged, but not too much more than that. Stir quite actively & vigorously as the mixture comes to a light boil.
  5. Put in the good stuff, stirring it in as you do so. With enough mild (not roiling) boiling & enough stirring, the flour–oil complex should actually fully combine with the plant milk & the good stuff. Trust me, it works. Once everything is nearly or entirely combined, put the heat just low enough to prevent bubbling — no point in making a mess.
  6. *If you continue stirring at this level of heat for at least a few minutes, & your pasta is already done, and the sauce is still too soupy for your taste, then you may add in the optional starch at this point. However, do not add the starch directly.[5] The starch needs to be mixed with water in a separate small bowl until the water–starch complex is homogeneous. Only then may the water–starch be poured & mixed into the sauce. Conversely, if the sauce thickens too quickly or too much, then you can add more plant milk (or just water).
  7. Turn off the heat & combine all the sauce with the drained cooked pasta. Use the spoon to mix the pasta & sauce around, ensuring even coverage.

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Recipe 6: You’re telling me a plant fried this rice?

🚫⁠🍞⁠🚫

Cuisine: Chinese.

Pros:

Cons:

Ingredients

You’ll want a wok or similar. Some woks do have flat bottoms so that they can be used with stovetops, or you may use a traditional one[6]. If you have no woks at all (😔), then a large frying pan can probably do the job just fine.

Optional

Preparation

  1. Prepare the rice as normal.[3] You can make multiple batches, & refrigerate them when they’re done cooking. In fact, it’s ideal to use rice that has been refrigerated for a day or so. If you’re like me & have a brain with the consistency of soup, you can instead just make the rice immediately before doing the rest of this stuff. It’s okay, I won’t tell anyone.
  2. *Prepare the produce/allium by chopping it up as necessary, ideally into pieces no larger than ≈2⁢ cm or so. If you’re using produce that’s already in small bits, then you can skip this step. Cool.
  3. Put a generous layer of oil at the bottom of your wok that is too big for your stovetop. The oil may be any cooking oil, or ideally, will be sesame oil (with some neutral oil added to stretch it out).
  4. Put the wok on the equivalent of medium-high heat or so. You should be able to gradually sear the produce with the heat. If using a frying pan, be more careful, as you have a larger “hot area”. Start adding the produce (& allium), coating it in oil, & mixing it around so that it gets seared evenly — but not too much, as this is not the only step where the produce will get cooked. Add additional oil of either kind as necessary to get some glossy produce.
  5. *If using a dedicated protein ingredient(s), you may want to add it before, or at any point during, the initial searing of the produce. It depends on what kind of protein you’re using, but as long as it gets cooked at least a little, it’s probably fine.
  6. Take the cooked rice out of the refrigerator & put it all into the wok. Add the soy sauce, the herbs & spices, and the allium (if you haven’t already). It’s okay to be generous with the soy sauce, because if you add too much, you can dilute it with more rice later. In fact, if you’re really poor (trust me, I know), then you can stretch this fried rice out quite a bit by adding too much soy sauce (& other stuff, too) and then eating it bit by bit with freshly-prepared rice each day. Mix everything together thoroughly, breaking up any rice that sticks together.
  7. Fry the mixture for some minutes. You may want to add more (moar!!) sesame oil during this process, if you see fit. To get a good fried crispiness of the rice, you can turn the heat all the way up for ≈60⁢ s or so at the very end, before turning it off entirely. Again, ensure that the searing is evenly distributed.

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Recipe 7: Cheap chilli

🚫⁠🍞⁠🚫

Cuisine: Mexican.

Pros:

Cons:

Chilli is a clipping of an adaptation of Spanish chile con carne /⁠ˈt͡ʃi.le̞ ko̞n ˈkäɾ.ne̞⁠/ “chilli pepper with meat”, although there will be no carne per sē in this recipe. However, chile itself is, naturally, borrowed from Classical Nāhuatl chīlli /⁠ˈt͡ʃiːl.li⁠/, where the ⟨ll⟩ is pronounced distinctly from *⟨l⟩, hence the English spelling ⟨chilli⟩ (but alternatively ⟨chili⟩, from Spanish).

Ingredients

Optional

Preparation

  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  2. Add all the allium & produce (excepting the garnishes, of course); sauté for ≈10 minutes or so.
  3. Mix in the herbs & spices; stir for ≈2 minutes or so.
  4. Mix in the beans, the bean jooce, & the tomato sauce.
  5. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat & let it simmer for roughly ≈15 minutes.
  6. Salt & pepper to taste, serve with garnishes if desired.

🧑‍🍳


Recipe 8: Banana brehd

Cuisine: American.

Gluten-free: Use a gluten-free alternative to APF (all-purpose flour). Also check out Nora Cooks’s “Gluten Free Vegan Banana Bread”.

Pros:

Cons:

Ingredients

The quantities given here should be taken as starting points. By modulating the ratio of wet∶dry ingredients, you can achieve quite varied results. So experiment to see what you like!

“Wet”
“Dry”
Optional

Preparation

  1. Preheat your oven to 180⁢ °C (350⁢ °F).
  2. Use a fork to mash the bananas in a large bowl. Try to get it nice & mushy, eliminating as many chunks as you can.
  3. Stir the oil into the bananas. For obvious reasons, it won’t fully combine, but stir it in anyway.
  4. Add the sugar, plant milk, & egg substitute. Stir until well-combined.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the salt & the baking soda/powder with enough water to thoroughly dissolve both of them. Also include the nutmeg, if using. I don’t consider this step optional, because otherwise you risk getting clumps of salt or baking soda in the result!
  6. Add the salt & baking soda/powder solution into the wet ingredients, & add the flour as well. Be mindful of how much flour you add, because this is the easiest way to modulate your wet∶dry ratio. Stir until combined.
  7. *Fold in the walnuts and/or chocolate chips, if using.
  8. Grease a bread pan (e.g. with canola oil spray, or with a brush) & transfer the batter into it.
  9. Put the bread pan into the oven’s centre & bake for at least ≈50⁢ min, up to an hour. Visually checking the thing should be enough to see how done it is, & you can also try stabbing it with a knife to see what sticks (if little or nothing sticks, then it’s probably done).
  10. Take the pan out of the oven & allow it to cool at room temperature for at least ≈30⁢ min.

🧑‍🍳


Recipe 9: Crummy koshary [كشرى]

Cuisine: Egyptian.

Gluten-free: Use gluten-free pasta.

Pros:

Cons:

Koshary is virtually the national dish of Egypt. It’s also the hearty meal of the working people, which is why it’s in this list!

Note that the name is typically Romanised with an ⟨o⟩, which is unexpected for an Arabic word. This is because, of the two or three dozen Arabic languages out there, Egyptian Arabic is quite divergent phonologically, & has numerous phonemes not present in most other Arabic languages. We have كشرى /⁠ˈko̝.ʃæ.ɾe̝⁠/ [ˈko̝.ʃæ.ɾi]koshary⟩, which isn’t a great example because of the lack of long vowels. Egyptian Arabic makes a distinction between /⁠uː⁠/ and /⁠oː⁠/ (& between /⁠iː⁠/ and /⁠eː⁠/), hence the need for a separate ⟨o, ō⟩ in Romanisation.

Ingredients

Optional

Preparation

  1. 🍛 Put the lentils & about 2〜3 times as much water into a pot & bring it to a boil. Reduce heat to medium–low & cook until tender but only parboiled; roughly 15 minutes.

  2. *🍅 Whilst the lentils are cooking, chop the onion — ideally into strips/rings — & coat it with salt and/or flour.

  3. *🍅 In a large frying pan, heat the oil. Cook the onion & any other produce in it for a few minutes, until the onion starts to brown just a little bit.

  4. 🍅 Add some of the herbs & spices to the frying pan, along with the tomato sauce. Add oil if you haven’t already. Cook on medium–low heat for 10〜15⁢ min, or whenever you get around to it.

  5. 🍝 Start cooking the pasta as normal[4], in yet another pot.

  6. 🍛 Drain the lentils. Add the rest of the salts/herbs/spices, as well as some oil, to the lentils. Add the rice, & a volume of water roughly equal to that of the rice & lentils combined. The water line should be above the rice/lentils by a few cm. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover, & cook until the water is absorbed (≈20⁢ min).

  7. 🍅 Add the vinegar to the frying pan, mix it together, & put it on low heat just to keep it warm.

  8. 🧆 Ensure that the chickpeas are prepared, drained, etc., & warm them up a bit.

  9. You’ll end up with all of the following prepared:

    • 🍛 Lentils & rice.
    • 🍅 Sauce & produce.
    • 🍝 Pasta.
    • 🧆 Chickpeas.

    Portion these out equally, & combine them to make the koshary! Serve with hot sauce if you like.


🧑‍🍳


Nine recipes for the worst cooking show of all time

You’re… welcome. These recipes might be boring as all hell, but maybe you’re the kind of person who needs a small handful of unexciting recipes. If you give any of these recipes a go, let me know! 🙂

Footnotes for “Cookin’ Wif deer”

  1. [↑] One particularly popular term is one-pot, implying that little cleanup/dishwashing is necessary.

  2. [↑] The inspiration for bothering to write this stuff down is largely due to LawdHeComin (AppleBasket, pleLeg, JunkyardBat, OrangeFungus, Mushers).

  3. [↑] Depending on how you source your rice, you may or may not want to rinse and/or soak it before cooking. In many countries, rice is fortified (like many staple foods), in which case rinsing/soaking the rice & discarding the water will waste that nutritional content. So you likely can & should skip this step; but of course, check with the supplier or packaging for details.

    Rice preparation can be done on a stovetop or with a dedicated rice cooker. The rice is combined with water (& possibly also salt and/or neutral oil), brought to a boil, & left to cook on medium or low heat for somewhere in the general vicinity of 20〜30 minutes — in particular, until the water is absorbed & boiled off.

    The volume of water (& proportionately, cooking time) is proportional to the volume of dry rice, but will vary depending on the type of rice. White rices tend to require less water; only a bit more than the dry volume’s worth. Conversely, brown rices tend to require more water. If you’re used to cooking white rice, then you’re liable to undercook brown rice & get nasty chewy rice; & vice versā with overcooking white rice.

  4. [↑] Pasta preparation is generally done with a pot of boiling & salted water, but you can skip out on the salt if you need/want. The packaging/supplier will hopefully indicate the cooking time, i.e. how long the pasta is immersed in boiling water before being removed from heat & drained. If you’re like me, then you should undercook it a bit to get that al dente vibe. Yum.

  5. [↑] Doing this doesn’t completely ruin the sauce or anything, but it tends to produce a weirdly lumpy/mealy sauce that is simply less appealing (& makes less efficient use of the starch).

  6. [↑] In which case you don’t need me to give you any recipes. Why are you even reading this?

  7. [↑] This list is adapted from Short Girl Tall Order’s (TSG) “9 Best Vegan Egg Substitutes for Baking” (2021-02-24).

ˈeɪ̯.lɐ

It’s time for just a bit of adventuring with friends, on my silly little DEX fighter elaphus! Oh yes yes yes… the red one. A strange creature, that.

I joined DEX page eject (Skjal, inject, vvvv, inhale, DexBlade, insist, Tetrin), sindit Mommmy (GiIf, MiIf, Dakota, Skug), & OSS-locked fighter Buffyy (super random person whom I’ve definitely never met before…) in some good ol’-fashioned OPQing. Starting with the lobby stage on Thursday of all days…[1]

ela doing the Thursday JQ for OPQ’s lobby stage

Easily done.

I had long been sitting around at level 69 (for no particular reason), so it wasn’t long before I hit level 70~! Wow~!!:

ela hits level 70~!!

On the Way Up to level 70!!!

With another five (5) base DEX on my side, Father Pixel was trembling, quivering in his nonexistent boots. Absolutely soiling himself:

eject, Mommmy, Buffyy, & ela vs. Papa Pixie

We had some brief troubles with party leadership: I was leading the party, but noöne was eager to volunteer to do the lounge! These days, doing the lounge concurrently with other stages — especially storage — is considered mandatory!! So I just passed leadership to Buffyy & did the lounge myself.

Some time later, we did On the Way Up as a full party:

Heh… Oups……

Transcription of the above image

Buffyy: yall need to hit it more

HuangZh0ng: want my help to click?

elaphus: hit more slowerer

HuangZh0ng: let me help
i can click fast

eject: she got it im sure

Buffyy: she can click fast
unless u are a boomer now deer

elaphus: LOL

eject: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

Buffyy: ???

eject: erase myself

elaphus:

Buffyy: deer is about to pull out the gray method[2]
or [whatever] its called

elaphus: real

eject: i had 4 biscuits then i ate one
now i only have 3

elaphus: mix it up

eject: wacky zany

elaphus: ya
go CRAZY

eject: oh we are

Buffyy: …………………………………………

elaphus: oh
im not leader lol
.
im gonna cry

Buffyy: AHAHAHAHA

[system message]: elaphus has become the leader of the party.

Buffyy: LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL
IM DEAD

elaphus: my soul elft [sic] my body

[system message]: You have gained experience (+27000)

eject: ……………………………………………………

Buffyy: ok but u cant blame me for that

eject: erase myself

elaphus: ahahaha

[system message]: The leader of the party has left ⟨On the Way Up⟩.

Buffyy: deer is like the leader in our branes [sic]

😔😔😔

Ok, well I’m done griefing OPQ. For now…

I guess it’s time to friccing… job advance? Because I’m level 70 now? Let’s heccing go? First stop is, of course, the Chief’s Residence. To steal a kiss from Tylus… 😳

Stealing a kiss from Tylus

Tylus is very good at pretending that didn’t happen.

Hokay, let’s go to the Ant Tunnel Park or whatever… Door of Dimension

ela at the Path of Glittering Crystal

The Path of Glittering Crystal really is as beautiful as it sounds.

Oh. It’s D-dubs. I feel the irresistible compulsion to beat him up.

ela vs. Dances with Balrog

You know what else I feel an irresistible compulsion to do? Go up into the snowy mountains of El Nath to talk to a giant obsidian obelisk, that’s what.

ela at the Holy Stone

The Holy Stone knows me pretty well now. We’re chill. It doesn’t even make me do the test anymore.

I returned to Tylus, & he said “okay, you’re a sader now”. But nothing happened at first. It was a bit awkward for a sec, but then I suddenly burst into a pillar of golden light:

[3rd Job] Congratulations to elaphus on becoming a Crusader!

Of course, the pillar of golden light thing is normal. Happens to me every day. The cool part was that I now had crusader balls:

Combo Attack balls!! Three of them!!!

Three whole balls. They even roll around on their own! Pretty neat if you ask me. I always wondered what it was like to have balls.

Footnotes for /⁠ˈeɪ̯.lɐ⁠/

  1. [↑] See the “Thee ſubtile & vvonderfull aduentures ov ela & noto” section of pt. cix of this diary.
  2. [↑] See the “On the way around the hypercube” section of pt. cv of this diary. Also see the “Unlocking the mystery of LPQ’s 8th stage” section of pt. cix for more on the application of Gray codes to MapleStory PQs.

xQueenTT × BuccjuhNL

I attended the truly romantic wedding of xQueenTT (xQueenT, xQueenTL) with BuccjuhNL (xBowtjuhNL, PriestjuhNL) on one blessèd day…:

xQueenTT × BuccjuhNL

Transcription of the chatlog in the above image

Palpitation: I OBJECT

BuccjuhNL: im lagging so bad

spunkyCat: HAHAH

xQueenTT: wheres the crystal to get oiut [sic]

Palpitation: I OBJECT @@@@@@@

Repairman: i like ur balloon

tarandus: SPEECH @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

xQueenTT: my speech is
i was held at gunpoint to marry

MxPurple: LOL

tarandus: o no..

SecondAid: fake

Repairman: sad

Palpitation: T’s speech is “get me out i have HT

BuccjuhNL: i cant believe T prefers marry8ing [sic] me over running HT rn

Pikaqiu: i screenshot for funk points

xQueenTT: YOU RIGHT BRETT
periodttt

Palpitation: a woman securing her bag

SecondAid: kekw

Pikaqiu: ramon has bags!?!

xQueenTT: LOL CAT PLS

Pikaqiu: that doesnt sound right

Palpitation: how does your irl husband feel about this marriage

xQueenTT: he said yolo

WokenEgg: LMAO

xQueenTT: run this clown to the ground

tarandus: ahaha

Palpitation: he said “get the apples”

BuccjuhNL: :)

xQueenTT: he said get your bread girl

WokenEgg: are you gonna marry ramon a 3rd time?

BuccjuhNL: i dont apq
of course

xQueenTT: NO ARON

BuccjuhNL: o

xQueenTT: 2 is enough

spunkyCat: WE LOVE A SUPPORTIVE HUSBAND

BuccjuhNL: no?

WokenEgg: HAHAHA

Pikaqiu: ramon proceeds to have appos on a hotkey

xQueenTT: 3rd marriage is with aron

Pikaqiu: and doesn’t apq
tsk

tarandus: i bless the couple

Palpitation: i pressed no

tarandus: rude.

xQueenTT: HAHAHAHA

Pikaqiu: what happens when i press no

WokenEgg: blessed

spunkyCat: LMFAO

Palpitation: nothing

xQueenTT: sigh
stuck with him again

WokenEgg: you will need all the luck

Pikaqiu: good luck T

SecondAid: Gurl said SIGH

Pikaqiu: i cannot believe

BuccjuhNL: sigh

xQueenTT: ty :')

Pikaqiu: u are willing to stay by this clown

Palpitation: are there gifts at the end of this

Isn’t that j—just precious? I think I learnt a lot about true love at this ceremony. Congrats & many appos, you two…!

The epitome of faba; the quintessential legume; the very pink of beans

My darksterity knight rusa has continued to maraud the Temple of Time for the many lootz of its — apparently — many reddish legumes. Unfortunately, there’s occasionally a maraud that’s little more than a fraud:

[Nightzy] Apologies, but we are forced to do an emergency maintenance. Server will be back as soon as possible

Oh, come on! We didn’t even get to stage 5 yet!! Damned emergencies & their maintenances…

On the bright side, we got very partially refunded for our efforts. Although the run is likely toast — getting thirty (30) whole people to attend PB again on short notice is no mean feat — & although we can’t get the time nor the Onyx Apples (& other pots) refunded, we did at least get ✨special Nightzy (Nightz) marbles✨:

Special Nightzy marble!

Transcription of the item in the above image

Marble of Chaos

Untradeable

Specially made by Nightzy

A crystal made by the Temple Manager. Contains the power of chaos, which can break any barrier.

And it really is no mean feat. But xBowtjuhNL (BuccjuhNL, PriestjuhNL) still managed to do it somehow, even though at least a dozen of our runners couldn’t make it to a re-run 24 hours later! Less impressively, I somehow remembered to do another @dpm 27 test during the statues phase (with Cider, Echo, SE, SI, MW20 & occasionally MW30):

Another DPM test on PB statues

Transcription of the chatlog in the above image

rusa — Lv.186 Dark Knight — Total Damage: 35,164,440
Damage Per Hour: 78,143,160 — Damage Per Minute: 1,302,386

Woo-hoo! Over 1.3M. Don’t laugh! That’s pretty good. For me.

In another run, we had a little trouble with a certain Muninn (right birb) who got a little mass-sed-happy after we fumbled a TL… or two. It fell apart pretty quickly, so we had to cower in the far-left extremes of the map (all attacking left man):

Left man, everyone…

Luckily, we weren’t there for too long, as we were able to pull it back together. This run was, however, quite the rollercoaster, as we would shortly learn that the game server itself was having trouble keeping it together. In particular, whilst fighting Huginn (left birb), we found ourselves quite frozen. For a long time. Like a looong time, easily upwards of a full minute for many people. When this absolutely colossal server lurch ended, we shockingly had noöne d/c! We all kinda thought that this was gonna be “emergency maintenance” v2.0!! Although the end of the lurch was rather violent, killing at least one or two of us:

Transcription of the audio in the above video

Pikaqiu: Oh! I d/c’d, I think.

xBowtjuhNL: Yyyeahh…

Pikaqiu: Oh. Wait, no. It’s back.

xBowtjuhNL: …Ehh I’m back. I’m back.

I’ve omitted the in-game audio from the above recording, because I respect the reader’s sense of hearing & thus choose not to deafen them. The sound was, as expected, silent during the freeze. But when we came back… Well, it’s a whole barrage of extremely loud, ear-shreddingly glitchy sound effects all playing in terrible harmony.

It’s rough, but we still made it. Somehow. 😃

Valtarius’s level 200 party

I attended the level 200 party of dark knight Valtarius, with whom I’ve done numerous HT runs (hosted by Diggy). If I’m being honest, though, I wouldn’t’ve known the date & location of the party if it weren’t for Lvl1Crook (Level1Crook, xXCrookXx, Macer), a long-time IRL friend of Valtarius’s who unfortunately couldn’t make it to the party.

The party was at Time Lane: Temple of Time:

Valtarius’s level 200 party, at Time Lane: Temple of Time

After a ton of people showed up, we didn’t have to go anywhere, because Valtarius had a rare summoning sack prepared just for this moment:

Congrats!! ✨

Cheiromancy

Welcome back to… [clears throat] taraarrarandusuus. Excuse me. tarandus. This is going to be yet another instalment in the now long-running Questin’ With tara™ series. Wow. Cool.

So I started by doing some Dream (hosted by Shanks & innerbloom) HT runs, wher—

DontAtMe… b&???

Transcription of the above image

[serverwide announcement]: [Ban] BigMood (Lvl.136) has been banned for General Botting (2nd Offense)
[Ban] JeffreyBozos (Lvl.125) has been banned for General Botting (2nd Offense)
[Ban] DontAtMe (Lvl.196) has been banned for General Botting (2nd Offense)

Wait… DontAtMe??

Transcription of the above audio

misandrist: DontAtMe…

innerbloom: Oh! Ethan‽ That’s Ethan!

Valtarius: That’s not— Yeah, oh no…[1]

Loquat: That is Ethan!! What the hell, he said he was touching grass!

innerbloom: Ethan was botting?

Valtarius: God damn it.

Loquat: Second offence‽‽

Shanks: Wait what?

Loquat: [angrily] Ethaan…!!

Ooooof. General botting[2], second offence. That’s not something that you come back from. It was nice playing Maple with him whilst it lasted… It is kinda weird to see people whom you know getting banned, especially when that means that you’re just not gonna see them anymore, because you only knew them through Maple anyway…

Welp.

At least I got to see something a little more pleasant on these same Dream runs. In particular, I got to see a party of four shads Meso Explode the HP right out of HT’s tail:

Although they weren’t dropping enough mesos to just kill the tail outright, they did deal quite a chunk of damage. And of course the waterfall of seemingly countless damage lines is always pretty! ✨

I also did a run or two hosted by Diggy, where I was lucky enough to get some HB so that I could attack legs & tail for almost their entire lifespans (except for attacking tail whilst ST is down, of course):

Tail time for tara~

Sorry, I don’t have a screenshot of me Barraging legs. Just imagine the glory of it, in your own mind’s eye. Isn’t it beautiful?

In one such run, we had the rather unusual occasion of a non-shad sed target who wasn’t me. We had the brave pawrah the nightlord, who appeared to be new to the sed target role but nonetheless willing to give it a shot. That’s what we like to see.

What we don’t like to see, however, is pawrah lamentably d/cing near the beginning of the main body fight…

Transcription of the above audio (sorry I forgor who’s who)

[person A]: Oh! Our— our sed d/c’d.

Valtarius: What?

[several people talking at once]

[person B]: —sed d/c’d‽

Potsticker: Nonononononono, don’t— don’t joke. Don’t joke.

[person B]: And so it begins.

[person A]: No, I’m not joking. [laughs]

Valtarius: Just crashed. pawrah[’s] actually gone.

Potsticker: I’m sed! I’m sed!! [unintelligible]

[person B]: Wait. You actually entered second?

Potsticker: Yes!! [laughing]

[person B]: Ain’t no fuckin’ way.

[person A]: Wait — she’s sed right now!

Valtarius: You bumbling buffooon…!

[person B]: …Ain’t no fuckin’ way…

Potsticker: Heal me heal me heal me heal me! [gasps] I’m dead! [exhales]

[person B]: She’s— Our SE’s dead!! [softly] Oh, lord…

[person A]: Who’s third? Who’s third? [laughs]

[person B]: …Ain’t no fuckin’ way— [several people talking at once] Who’s third?— Oh god!

[person A]: [laughing loudly]

[person B]: Frank is sed! Frank is sed! Help!!

Oh, dearest me. That fell apart very quickly.

However, you’ll scarcely believe it, but this was actually the only Potsticker death throughout the run. After being Resurrected, she dutifully played the role of bowmaster(!) sed target until we cleared!! Granted, it — perhaps ironically — kinda helps being obviously not that well-suited to the role, because that meant that her bishop was keeping a very close eye & plenty of Heals on her the whole time. Still, her performance as legendary “archer sed target” inspired comment:

Transcription of the above audio

Jeesoo: I’m tryna get Potsticker on my run so that we can have, uhh, nice SE sed mule.

Diggy: [laughs]

Potsticker: [laughs]

Diggy: Imagine that.

Potsticker: Yooo, just pay me those extra splits, I’ll do it…

Jeesoo: Al— [laughing] —Alright, bet, I’ll pay you the splits.

Potsticker: Just pay me the extra splits, I’ll do it.

[person A]: She’s so broke.

Jeesoo: [laughing] Why are you so poor?

Potsticker: [laughing]

Jeesoo: What happened‽ Why are you so poor‽ [laughing] Do you need mesos…?

Potsticker: [laughs]

Valtarius: D’you need a donation, dude…? [laughing]

Potsticker: I almost couldn’t afford going on this run

Jeesoo: Th— [laughing] —That’s crazy

Maple poverty is real… 😔

Oh, but also I got my first mfing HT card??:

Horntail card get‽

Cool. 😎

Perhaps less cool is making dopey comments about playstyles that you don’t know anything about:

wot.

Transcription of the above image

haraca: my se is level 13 btw
#oddjobs

Loquat: i
have
full se

tarandus: wot

Incredible.

Закку́м

But HT was not the only bossy boss that I so slew. There was also plenty of time for Zakkin’ it up! I joined a pair of Zaqqy-waqqy runs alongside AppleBasket (LawdHeComin, pleLeg, JunkyardBat, Snel) the bishletish, Harlez (Gock) the shadower, Trulas the DK, TaroHamster the BM, & ExclusiveINT the I/L archmage:

ExclusiveINT, TaroHamster, Trulas, tarandus, Harlez, & AppleBasket vs. Zaqqūm

And I gosh heckin’ darn levelled the fluff up??:

tara hits level 165~!!

That’s crazy!!

What’s even crazier is that I got to do even moar Zakkin’, & this time in a run that I organised with AppleBasket & Level1Crook (Lvl1Crook, xXCrookXx, Macer)! We recruited Qubsanity/Qubert, as well as two randos, one of which was a paladin named TempIar:

TempIar, tara, Qubert, Level1Crook, & AppleBasket vs. Zakky

And we don’t talk about the name of the other rando, because we inadvertently recruited yet another dud. How could this be? Smegaing to the entire online population of Ma Pleleg Ends™, & getting replies from absolute assclowns? Impossible…

So anyway, on another day, I ended up doing some four-Mapler Zax with Harlez & AppleBasket, alongside hero RoughChop:

RoughChop, Harlez, tara, & AppleBasket vs. Saccuum

Banana.

And finally, I did some Banana Rāvaṇa too. Good ol’ Rabananapapalatasing. The Rabananapapalatasing is a good bit sparser these days, but I still managed to do two or so alongside Lvl1Crook…:

tara & Lvl1Crook do a damn Rav

…And alongside Gock!:

tara Ravvin’ it up w/ Gock

Punch punch!! 🩵

Footnotes for “Cheiromancy”

  1. [↑] Not terribly sure on this one.
  2. [↑] Obviously-scripted botting, as opposed to so-called paperweight botting.

Dually doubled, twice betwixt, & twain yet againe

It me. The double-knifed double-stabbed double-winged daggerlord alces! In the previous episode — the “Sleeping like the (un)dead” section of the previous entry in this diary — I did quite a bit of card-hunting around Malaysia. But there was just one map that I didn’t quite have time to get to… Longest Ride on ByeBye Station! Here, I got the Froscola set:

Froscola card get!

Which was annoying mostly because they’re strong to poison, & therefore immune to my venom. Plus, they like superknockbacking me every time they manage to land a hit on me…

And the Jester Scarlion set, which frustratingly took longer to finish than the Froscolas, in spite of being considerably easier to kill:

Jester Scarlion card get!

Thankfully, that wraps up the Fantasy Theme Park sets. Because my eyes are on 🔥fire🔥. But that also means wrapping up Malaysia in general. As I left to board the plane from Singapore to Kerning City, I passed by this sign:

Selamat Tinggal / Jumpa Lagi

Interlinear gloss of the above roadsign
original selamat tinggal jumpa lagi
Jawi سلامت تيڠݢل جومڤا لاݢي
pronunciation sə.lä.mät tiŋ.gäl d͡ʒum.pä lä.gi
gloss safe leave meet again
translation Goodbye; see you later.

Goodbye! 👋🏽 For now. 🙂

Entering Ulu City

But before I take that flight, there are still a few other things I want to get done. In Singapore, I started the Saviour Of Ulu City questline — a.k.a. the Krexel questline. I guess I never really got around to this one, but that’s understandable given that it involves killing some pretty beefy monsters that hit pretty hard.

For “Entering Ulu City”, I went to Ulu Estate I to rather laboriously fight some Berserkies & Veetrons:

alces @ Ulu Estate I

That same quest also requires Oil Canisters from the Montrecers at Ulu Estate III:

alces vs. Montrecers

Absolutely never pleasant to deal with, but at least SW works on them…

For “Pushing Forward In Ulu City”, I first went to Ulu Estate II for the Slygies:

alces vs. Slygie

But this map also has Veetrons, so I wound up with one of their cards…

Veetron card get…!

I won’t be doing any of the card sets here, though. I don’t think I’m gonna need them, & that’s good, because these are some chunccy bois.

Speaking of chunccy, this quest also had me at Ulu City Centre to get at the Petris…:

alces vs. Petrifighters

Honestly, I thought that this part was going to be more difficult. Petris might be dumber than hell & slower than cool molasses, but they also hit like a massive chunk of reinforced concrete. Because… they kinda are massive chunx of reinforced concrete. But I didn’t even die! And killing them mostly consisted in me luring a whole platform’s worth of them to one side so that I can stand on the opposite ledge & spam SW/Taunt.

And finally, for “Ulu City Energy Thieves”, I had to take on the mini-Krexels. Sorry — I mean the Dukus. So I went to Destroyed Park II for that:

alces vs. Dukus

Just a cool 90k HP each. No problem. 😅

Duku card get…!

Forever 1⧸5…

Oh, & I also needed a Soul Lantern. Luckily, I already kill Capitan Lataniel every day, so I had like five dozen of them already:

Mallet!!

Transcription of the item in the above image

Mallet

One of a kind Item, Quest Item

An important tool needed to awaken Krexel.

Very nice!! Now I can… Krex. Technically. (But not really…)

Seventh ascension

Since I’ve been levelling my venom, I’ve been looking forward to maybe grinding at 7 F or something. Noöne is going to do that with me, so I grabbed some stray GM buffs & headed there to test it all by my lonesome.

alces solo grinding 7 F on GM buffs

It’s a workout for sure. Hitting the Wooden Fishies is awkward at best, and I have to work pretty hard to round up all the monks & make my SW+Taunt+Venom effective. GM buffs definitely help a lot: the HB makes it so that I probably don’t die & don’t use hundreds of pots instantly, the GM Bless reduces damage & gives me more joocy “MISS”es (a.k.a. the only thing other than baby Shifter that I have to compensate for my startling lack of stance), the GM Haste saves me from having to buff myself, & of course the HS is HS (although I wish I had someone to activate it…).

alces hits level 129~!

Whoa~ Level 129~! Hecc ya.

Oh, & I s’pose I will want to at least get the Wooden Fish & Silver Giant sets eventually…

Wooden Fish card get!

Golden Giant card get!

Huh. That’s weird. I somehow got my first Golden Giant card before my first Silver. Wack.

Not the boss of anyone

And who ever said that I can’t do a little bossing? I mean, mostly just Lat, but at least I got to do some with outlaw Gock (Harlez):

alces & Gock vs. Capitan Lataniel

After that, Gock had the idea to hunt down a very different boss: Cancel Carp Pianus. Both of us were barely scraping by in terms of defences to survive such a fight, but we gave it a go anyway:

Gock & alces vs. Cancel Carp

I popped an MMF or three. Remember those? Yeah, I still have those. I also got two Gelt Chocolates from this past Maplemas–Versalmas event (q.v. pt. cxi of this diary), so I figured what the heck. It’s time to pop one of those delicious melty chocolates into my mouf:

alces on Gelt Chocolate

I didn’t have any other buffs to go with it (not even a crumb of MW), but still. 1 411〜8 562 raw range is pretty beefy, right…?

And we did succeed in the end. It was, naturally, pretty dang good EXP for both of us! Although the amount of time, resources, & effort (the effort mostly going into not having a mental breakdown when it weapon-cancels thrice in a row) required makes the payoff somewhat… questionable. :P


🖤


(…cnvpstdf…)

cnvpstdf

Time dilation

Transcription of the above image

Diggy: i think im experiencing time dilation

AssJuice: LOL

tomtomgun: XDDDDDDDDD

Pouer [smega, to Kayrne]: selling leech 44 days straight