STAR WARS: FORCE PROJECTION

Luke_Skywalker_on_Crait_Promo_Shot

At the end of The Last Jedi, some fans complained about Luke Skywalker’s “duel” with Kylo Ren because Luke wasn’t even there and Kylo Ren only fought an illusion of Luke. However, as I explained in my previous post, this was another Force power from the old Expanded Universe that Rian Johnson was reintroducing us to through the movies. In many of the old Star Wars books, such as Legacy of the Force, Force users were seen projecting realistic illusions of themselves great distances. The Star Wars fans who were not pleased with the “duel” should read the Legacy of the Force books even though they are not longer Canon. The reason for this is because they will be able to get a better understanding of just what the heck happened on the big screen. Also, Legacy of the Force was about Kylo Ren’s counterpart Jacen Solo/Darth Caedus, which ties it even closer to The Last Jedi. I look forward to what other unorthodox Force powers from the old Expanded Universe we will see in the future.

STAR WARS: FORCE BOND

Force-bond

Initially, I was one of those die hard Star Wars fans who hated how Rian Johnson made The Last Jedi. At the time, I could not even stomach watching it a second time. However, after doing some research, I discovered something Johnson did that was unexpected. What Rian Johnson did was find ways to depict certain aspects of the old Expanded Universe and reintroduce them to us through the movies. For example, we got to see Kylo Ren and Rey form a what is known as a Force Bond, which is a phenomenon in which two Force wielders become connected spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. We were first introduced to the Force Bond in the first Knights of the Old Republic game where Revan shared a Force Bond with Bastilla Shan. Both in the old Canon and the new, there were other examples of the Force Bond. Jedi Master Yoda shared a Force Bond with his former apprentice, Count Dooku. Darth Sidious attempted to use this bond to attack Yoda with Sith sorcery. With Kylo Ren and Rey, we finally got to see how the Force Bond worked in live action on the big screen. Now that I think about it, I think there were aspects of The Last Jedi that were creatively executed.

2018 WRITING RECORD

With 2019 around the corner, I can breathe a sigh of relief. At the beginning of this year, I set a goal for myself to write, edit, and publish two works in a single year. After the initial failure of Karmathaur, I was concerned I did not meet my goal. Thankfully, I salvaged the situation by refining it and republishing it while publishing The War of the Gilded Beasts. With these two works, I have broken a new personal record. Last year, I challenged myself to write, edit, and publish one book in one year and I achieved that. With this year’s challenge completed, I am now seeking a new challenge for myself. I will keep you updated on any updates.

THANKSGIVING TURKEY (PHASE 1)

IMG_20181119_211239429

Here is the turkey I will be working with this Thanksgiving! It is 14.56 pounds. I have to time its cooking perfectly because I have to cook it for a half hour per kilogram. When it is cooked, I have to let it rest, which will allow it to reabsorb its juices and relax its texture. It is a young turkey, which is ideal because turkeys are at their best flavor when they are young. I look forward to working with this little fellow.

APPLE AND CRANBERRY SAUCE

Another Gordon Ramsay recipe I intend to use for Thanksgiving is this apple and cranberry sauce. It will require two herbs and spices I never ate or used before: Star Anise, which comes from Vietnam and China, and Cardamon, which comes from India. These two could not be found in my local grocery store so I bought them online from Amazon. It will be nice to try something new, especially around the holidays.

For those of you who are interested in this recipe, here it is:

Serves:

750 ml

Preparation:

5 minutes

Cooking:

15 – 20 minutes
Ingredients:

Select System
Castor Sugar 150 g
Fresh Cranberries 2 cup(s)
Apples 2
Orange 1
Port 3 tablespoon(s)
Star Annisse 2
Cardamon Pods 4
  1. Core, peel and thinly slice 2 apples.
  2. Grate thezest of one Orange and squeeze out the juice.

Cooking:

  1. Place castor sugar, star annisse and cardamon in a heavy-bottom skillet and caramelize.
  2. Add the cranberries and cook until they start to blister and pop.
  3. add the apples to pan.
  4. Deglaze with port and add orange zest and juice.
  5. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes to thicken.
  6. Cool and refrigerate until needed.
  7. Serve cold or room temperature.

GORDON RAMSAY TURKEY AND GRAVY

This year, I will be cooking the turkey for Thanksgiving. I came across this recipe by grand master chef Gordon Ramsay. Even though this recipe is meant for Christmas, I think it will do just fine as a Thanksgiving recipe. It also comes with a recipe for gravy. I watched the video of him cooking the turkey multiple times and it looks divine. My family is super-excited!

For those of you who are interested in trying this recipe for Thanksgiving, here it is:

TURKEY:

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/Gas 7. Meanwhile, prepare the herb butter. Put the butter into a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add the olive oil and mix well. Add the lemon zest and juice, crushed garlic and chopped parsley. Mix well to combine.
  2. Remove the giblets from the turkey cavity. Season the cavity well with salt and pepper, then stuff with the onions, lemon, garlic halves and 2 bay leaves.
  3. With your hands, loosen the skin on the breast from both ends of the bird so that you will be able to stuff the flavoured butter underneath it, making sure you keep the skin intact. Repeat with the skin on the legs – from the lower side of the breast feel your way under the skin and out towards the leg, loosening the gap.
  4. Stuff half the butter mix into the opened spaces under the skin. From the outside of the skin, gently massage the butter around the breasts so that the meat is evenly covered. Finally, insert the rest of the bay leaves under the skin of the breasts.
  5. Place the bird in a large roasting tray, breast side up. Spread the rest of the butter all over the skin. Season well with salt and pepper, then drizzle with a little olive oil. (If preparing a day ahead, cover the turkey with foil and refrigerate at this stage.)
  6. Roast the turkey in the hot oven for 10–15 minutes. Take the tray out of the oven, baste the bird with the pan juices and lay the bacon rashers over the breast to keep it moist. Baste again. Lower the setting to 180°C/Gas 4 and cook for about 2 1⁄2 hours (calculating at 30 minutes per kg), basting occasionally.
  7. To test whether your turkey is cooked, insert a skewer into the thickest part of the leg and check that the juices are running clear, rather than pink. As oven temperatures and turkey shapes and sizes vary, it is crucial to check your turkey about 30 minutes before the calculated roasting time. If the juices are pink, roast for another 15 minutes and check again. Repeat as necessary until the turkey is cooked.
  8. Transfer the turkey to a warmed platter and remove the parson’s nose, wings and tips of the drumsticks; reserve these for the gravy. Leave the turkey to rest in a warm place for at least 45 minutes; make the gravy in the meantime. Remove the bay leaves from under the skin before carving. Serve the turkey with the piping hot gravy, stuffing and accompaniments.

GRAVY:

METHOD

  1. Once you’ve transferred the cooked turkey to a platter to rest, drain off most of the fat from the roasting tray and place on the hob.
  2. Roughly chop the bacon, add to the tray and fry for a few minutes. Chop the onions and lemon and add to the tray with 2 rosemary sprigs and the tomatoes. Cook for 1–2 minutes, then add the turkey wings, parson’s nose and drumstick tips and fry for a few more minutes.
  3. Pour in the cider and boil for a few minutes. Add the juices from the resting turkey and simmer to reduce the liquid by half. Pour in the stock, return to the boil, then reduce the heat slightly. Using a potato masher, crush the vegetables in the tray. Simmer for 15–20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until reduced again by a third. Take off the heat.
  4. Strain the gravy through a sieve into a saucepan, pressing down on the solids in the sieve with a ladle to extract as much of the flavourful juice as possible. Add a fresh sprig of rosemary to the pan, then turn off the heat and leave to infuse for a few minutes.
  5. Before serving, remove the rosemary and reheat the gravy. Coarsely crush the walnut pieces using a pestle and mortar and then tip into a warmed gravy jug. Pour the piping hot gravy on top and serve at once.

MY STRONGEST POKEMON

After watching the trailer for the live action Pokemon film, I decided to look back at my childhood memories with the franchise. When I was a child, I played the Gold and Sapphire versions of the Nintendo Pokemon game all the time. Even though it has been many years since I last played it, I remember my six strongest Pokemon from both games. My six strongest Pokemon consisted of Feraligatr, Absol, Pidgeot, Blaziken, Aggron, and Machamp. Each of these Pokemon were undefeated under my watch. I even remember how I trained them. I had them disregard all defensive and other non-offensive techniques and had them focus all their energies on building the strength of their four strongest attacks. Also, I had them build their physical durability and stamina. This way, they would be able to withstand a considerable amount of punishment and still strike back with overwhelming force. Eventually, these six became so powerful that they could beat most opponents with one blow and the strongest attacks hardly did anything to them. Thanks to their overwhelming strength, I was able to beat both games and defeat the Elite Four multiple times. I guess you could say that I trained them to fight in a rope-a-dope style like Muhammed Ali. If these six Pokemon existed in real life, they would be covered from head to toe in scars both from their intense training and the countless battles they fought. Even though I had these Pokemon in separate games, if I was a Pokemon trainer in real life, these would be the six Pokemon I would carry with me at all times. Thinking about these six brings a sense of nostalgia to me.