Thursday, December 29, 2011

Two Massacres Applesauce

On December 29, 1890, some U.S. soldiers massacred a bunch of men, women, and children at Wounded Knee in South Dakota. The military had forced a band of Lakota to camp there that night. In the morning, a cavalry regiment arrived and surrounded the camp. "One version of events claims that during the process of disarming the Lakota, a deaf tribesman named Black Coyote was reluctant to give up his rifle claiming he had paid a lot for it." A shot went off and the cavalry opened fire with four Hotchkiss guns, which are these really sinister looking revolving cannons. Between 150 and 300 natives were killed and 51 were wounded. As always, the number of "enemy combatants" killed is indeterminate. On the other hand, exactly 25 American imperialists died (mostly due to friendly fire) and 39 were wounded (six of whom later died of their wounds). The Army subsequently awarded 25 Medals of Honor, which is a fucking travesty. I'd like to take this opportunity to point out that the U.S. police nowadays operate as a domestic military force, not massacring citizens, of course, but sometimes executing unarmed dissidents or undesirables (as the unarmed fleeing Lakota were executed), and recently and very publicly attacking peaceful protestors.

Just as Wounded Knee was an exemplary incident in the larger project of genocide in the Americas, so too is the systemic oppression of nonhuman animals exemplified by a program initiated on December 29, 1997 in Hong Kong. In order to stop the spread of a potentially lethal strain of influenza, all 1.25 million chickens on the island were killed. Over one million animals who were alive only to be killed for food, who would rather have lived, were killed in short order so that their potentially weaponized bodies wouldn't be able to kill even one human. This is the price of gustatory satisfaction.

My mom made applesauce for dessert tonight. It was really good.

serves: 4-6
prep. time: approx. 20-25 min.

5 Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced
3/4 c. water
<1/4c. sugar
lemon juice
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1. Throw everything in a pot over medium heat. Let it reach a rolling boil, then cut the heat and let sit for awhile. The apples should break down on their own.

I wrote something for the Huffington Post. Not a particular good piece of writing, but sometimes I like to order a few ideas for further reference: "Some Fragments of a Call."

While the video doesn't get me going, I really like this Lee Noble song, "Parents."

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Operation Pull-Out Tacos

Three days ago, the US military officially fully withdrew from Iraq. The occupation has ended after nine years. The whole thing has been almost too stupid, too nightmarish to believe, and most Americans withdrew their emotional forces a long time ago. And I don't think we learned anything. I don't even have the sense we could, as a people, prevent our government from a repeat offense, if you'll allow me that understatement. I propose a national New Year's resolution: renounce cynical reason.

makes: approx. 10 tacos
prep. time: approx. 30 min.

1 lb. firm tofu
few collard leaves, torn into pieces
1 poblano pepper, diced
1 sweet potato, skinned and cubed
2 avocados
juice of 1/2 lemon
chili powder

1. Boil water for the potato. Cook until soft, drain.
2. Saute the tofu over medium-high heat. After it starts to stick, add the poblano pepper and shuffle with a spatula every couple of minutes. Season. When the tofu begins to brown, add the collards and cook until sort of wilted.
3. Fry tortillas in a pan over high heat.
4. Mash two avocados with lemon juice and salt.
5. Serve with salsa!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Brown Dog Affair Ahmelet

December 10, 1907 was "the worst night of the Brown Dog riots in London—1,000 anti-doggers (seriously, they were called "anti-doggers"!) clashed with 400 police officers over a bronze dog statue erected in Battersea the year before. The statue was commissioned by anti-vivisectionists as a memorial to a dog dissected for a medical lecture in 1903 (anesthetized or not anesthetized, that was the question). I'd never heard of this, which strikes me as both perfectly natural and outrageous. The Brown Dog affair (Wikipedia's word, not mine, but I like it) dragged on for seven years! Swedish activists (one of whom was a 24-year-old countess!) battled William Bayliss, whose research on dogs led to the discovery of hormones; medical students were pitched against suffragists, trade unionists, and police (and police—what a different world it must have been). This all got dirty because the memorial statue had a plaque reading: "Men and women of England, how long shall these things be?" I was just thinking about how nice it would be to live in the UK some day, and here's corroborating evidence. What were Americans doing about dog vivisection at the turn of the twentieth century? But for real, you have to go read the Wikipedia article, some of the details must be read to be believed. What I mean to say is that you should read them in context, on a site with credibility.

The two original Swedish infiltrators published a book in 1903 called The Shambles of Science. Why doesn't the Brooklyn Public Library have it? This is the story that doesn't stop giving. Emilie Augusta Louise "Lizzy" Lind-af-Hageby, the countess, was later the president of the London Spiritualist Alliance (now the College of Psychic Studies) not long after Sir Arthur Conan Doyle finished his tenure in that position. Lind-af-Hageby also wrote a book called August Strindberg, The Spirit of Revolt, Studies and Impressions (1913), which is available online. If I ever go to grad school, I'll definitely block off a month or several to read all the books by and about this woman.

Where was I? Oh, food. Um, ignore the green goop in the photo, that was a mistake that I tried to remedy but utterly failed to remedy. What you want is the recipe for . . . a vegan omelet! (Thanks to A. for the idea.) You can put good stuff in it, like mushrooms and onions and whatever, I just used (too much) red pepper and olives because that's what I had lying around.

serves: 1-2
prep. time: approx 25 min.

1 lb. soft tofu
nutritional yeast
garlic powder
cayenne (optional)

1. Puree the tofu in a blender.
2. In a pan, saute whatever ingredients you want in your ahmelet. Then pour the liquified tofu into the pan. Season. Turn the heat up to medium-high or so. Every couple of minutes, scrape the tofu around and mix it up. As the water evaporates, the tofu will firm up.
3. Press the tofu down with your cooking spatula. It won't truly cohere like eggs, but it'll become obvious when you'll be able to keep it in one piece. Turn off the heat. Let the ahmelet cool and firm up for a few minutes, then serve.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Free Mumia Chili

On December 9, 1981, Philadelphia cop Daniel Faulkner was murdered. Charged and convicted for the crime was Mumia Abu-Jamal, an activist and President of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists. Dude's innocent, that's my two cents and the consensus among compassionate thinking people worldwide, as far as I can tell. Mumia has written and spoken out throughout the last three decades, and he's one of the most eloquent people I haven't met. I read his book Death Blossoms—recommend it. Anyway, the death penalty was reduced to life without parole three days ago. Cause for celebration; equally cause for reflection and resistance.

Yesterday was also my sister's birthday. Happy one to her, exam notwithstanding.

Made chili at friend A.'s house. Vegan version was good if I do say so myself. A.'s tradition: chili over noodles. It's good, try it!

serves: 2-3
prep. time: approx. 60 min.

1 big can whole plum tomatoes
1/4 or so of a big can tomato puree
1 can black beans
1 can red kidney beans
1 small onion, diced
several shakes from a package of frozen spinach
chili powder
other kind of chili powder

1. Saute the onion in a medium-sized pot over medium-high heat. After onion begins to brown, add beans.
2. Pour in tomato stuffs, season. Reduce heat to medium, stir periodically. Let reduce for many minutes, until desired viscosity.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Curtains for Roy Orbison Cheezy Noodles with Healthful Stuff too

On December 6 in the year of my birth, Roy Orbison had a heart attack, possibly due in part to the fact that his music was suddenly popular again and he was playing shows and filming videos around the world. I've never really listened to his music, but I love Blue Velvet. You can watch a clip of the scene (you know which one) here.

serves: 3
prep. time: 20-30 minutes

1 lb. rigatoni
8 oz. baby spinach
1 bag frozen peas
6 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
nutritional yeast
black pepper

1. Boil water
2. Heat some flour in a saucepan with some oil. When it starts to toast, pour in mylk. Add other stuff. Make as much as you want. Add more of things to taste, add more flour to thicken, more water to thin.
2. Preheat oven to 400F. Put spinach in a baking pan and pop it in the oven for a few minutes. Cook pasta, adding peas in for a few minutes at the end.
3. Once everything's ready, toss it all together in the pan and bake for 5 minutes or something.

Not a science.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Alfred Herrhausen Assassination Ground Provisions

On November 30, 1989, Deutsche Bank board member Alfred Herrhausen was being escorted to work in an armored car when a roadside bomb exploded, piercing Herrhausen's door and severing his legs. He bled to death. Member of the Red Army Faction were prime suspects, but no one was ever charged. Incidentally, the US Senate just passed legislation that makes it possible for the police to detain US citizens indefinitely as terrorists. Does anyone need further proof that we live in a police state? (November 30 was also the day in 1999 that the opening ceremony of the WTO gathering in Seattle was delayed by protests.) A more benign fantasy-model, then: Icelanders refuse to pay off national debt they aren't responsible for, draft new constitution. Read an article about the US media blackout from August here.

I consider this blog an archive of experiments. Other outlets present just their successes, but here I give you many of my missteps, too. I have no idea if that's helpful or useful. In any case, last night I tried to prepare the tropical root vegetables ñame and yautía. (It's uncanny how much the former smells like semen.) I wasn't paying enough attention to the knife, because I chopped off a bit of my thumb.

Next time I'll boil and fry my ground provisions. And not cut into my fingers.

serves: 2-3
prep. time: 30 min.

1/2 ñame, cubed
1 yautía, cubed
1/2 c. red lentils
1/2 c. yellow split peas
1 can tomato paste
olive oil
juice of 1/4 lemon

1. Toss ground provisions in oil. Bake for 5 minutes at 425F, worry that they'll cook too fast; bake for 20 minutes at 350F, worry that they won't have cooked enough; bake for 5 minutes at 450F, overcooking them.
2. Simmer lentils and peas for 30 minutes. Mix in a whole can of tomato paste because you'd feel guilty about throwing some out but you don't use it often enough to keep it around. Regret using the whole can. Mix in lemon juice before realizing that it probably doesn't need to be more acidic. Mix in a couple of spices in futile attempt to flavor it.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Ritualistic Suicide Post-Thanksgiving Thanksgiving Dinner

In 1970 Yukio Mishima committed seppuku. The comrade who was supposed to behead him screwed up a couple of times before passing the sword off to someone more competent. Check out Mishima's only film over at UbuWeb. (Have I already linked to this?) Based on an excellent short story of the same name. About ritualistic suicide.

Which has nothing to do with tonight's meal! Prepared and cooked for four hours, had a lovely time with relatives.

Mashed Potatoes
Baked Acorn Squash, Turnips, Granny Smith Apple, Brussels Sprouts, and Cranberries with Fresh Thyme, Olive Oil, Maple Syrup, and Lemon Juice
Pumpkin Bread
Pumpkin Pie (Crust and Filling)
Chocolate Chip Cookies Stuffed with Oreos

Grandma requested the cookies and made the squares. That woman has a sweet tooth like hell on wheels and it ain't once in a blue moon, etc.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

80-ton Sperm Wale vs. the Essex Orzo

On November 20, 1820, a sperm whale attacked and sunk a Nantucket whaling ship in the Pacific way the hell away from the coast of South America. Whales are intelligent. They know that boats are responsible for the cries of their pod members, for their blood in the water. Whales are also huge, and if they want to break up some wooden planks they'll do it without much trouble. If ever there was poetic justice in the human war against nonhuman animals, it could be located in the vicinity of the sentence "The whale crushed the bow like an eggshell." Righteous. After the Essex sank, the crew refused their captain's advice to sail west based on the fear that the islands might be inhabited by cannibals. Seven of the crew were eventually cannibalized by their desperate mates. The word "irony" almost doesn't do the story justice.

Last night I made an orzo dish and A. put together a tomato and cucumber salad with black pepper and red wine vinegar.

serves: 2-3
prep. time: approx. 20 min.

1 c. orzo
4 oz. tempeh, cubed
6 oz. white mushrooms, chopped
8 oz. baby spinach
1/4 in. segment of ginger, diced
curly parsley
Bragg's liquid aminos
juice of 1/2 lemon
lemon rind shavings
garlic powder

1. Bring 3 c. water to a boil. Add the orzo and boil, uncovered, for 15 minutes, or until done. (Took me longer than the package said it would.)
2. In a pan, saute the tempeh, mushrooms, ginger, and spinach (in that order) with oil over medium heat. Add the other stuff a few minutes before the main ingredients are cooked through.
3. Combine.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

John Paul Getty III's Ear Pasta

I have to just paste the whole paragraph from Wikipedia, because it's too good to paraphrase:
In early 1971, he [JPG3] was expelled from St. George's English School (later St. George's British International School), in Rome, Italy. His father moved back to England, and at 3am on 10 July 1973, Getty was kidnapped in the Piazza Farnese in Rome. A ransom note was received, demanding $17 million in exchange for his safe return. When that ransom message arrived, some family members suspected the kidnapping was merely a ploy by the rebellious youngster as he had frequently joked about staging his own kidnapping to extract money from his frugal grandfather. He was blindfolded and imprisoned in a mountain hideout. A second demand was received, but had been delayed by an Italian postal strike. Jean Paul Getty II asked his father for the money, but was refused. Getty Sr. argued that were he to pay the ransom, then his 14 other grandchildren could likely be kidnapped as well. In November 1973, an envelope containing a lock of hair and a human ear was delivered to a daily newspaper with a threat of further mutilation of Paul, unless $3.2 million was paid: "This is Paul's ear. If we don't get some money within 10 days, then the other ear will arrive. In other words, he will arrive in little bits."
The best part is that the postal strike also caused the ear to be delayed. It was cut off on October 22 and took 17 days to arrive at the newspaper office. The story continues:
At this point Getty Sr. agreed to pay a ransom, although he would only pay $2.2 million because that was the maximum amount that was tax deductible. He loaned the remainder to his son who was responsible for repaying the sum at 4% interest. The reluctant Getty Sr. negotiated a deal and got his grandson back for about $2.9 million. Getty III was found alive in southern Italy on 15 December 1973, shortly after the ransom was paid.
I feel bad for JPG3, don't get me wrong, because his grandfather was obviously a fucking asshole, but the saga only really gets dark in its conclusion:
Nine of the kidnappers were apprehended: a carpenter, a hospital orderly, an ex-con and an olive-oil dealer from Calabria, as well as high-ranking members of the 'Ndrangheta – a Mafia-type organization in Calabria – such as Girolamo Piromalli and Saverio Mammoliti. Two were convicted and sent to prison; the others, including the 'Ndrangheta bosses, were acquitted for lack of evidence. Most of the ransom money was never recovered.
I wonder which two kidnappers were convicted? (My guess is the carpenter and hospital orderly.) Letting the mafiosos off the hook for stealing $3 million is nothing as bad as letting US financial corporations off the hook for stealing billions. The US government has fully adopted the dictum "money makes right." Truth is assigned to whatever propositions serve the people with the strongest interests (i.e., the most money, in a capitalist system). I'm partially to the converse, expressed by Louis Althusser thus: "In principle, true ideas always serve the people; false ideas always serve the enemies of the people." Eat the rich, because as long as they're wealthy they'll never affirm such a socialistic, compassionate principle.

But first, eat pasta! Simple.

servings: 2
prep. time: approx. 20 mins.

1/2 lb. spiral flax pasta, or something
2 portobello mushrooms, halved and sliced
portion of a head of cauliflower, chopped
several handfuls spinach
2 cloves garlic, sliced
red wine vinegar
olive oil
nutritional yeast

1. In a pan over medium-high heat, saute the cauliflower and mushrooms for several minutes. Toss in the spinach and garlic and season.
2. Boil pasta for 11 minutes.
3. Drain the pasta and put back in pot. Drizzle olive oil and toss with a dozen shakes of nutritional yeast. Mix in the contents of the pan.

Turns out I published a twitter-fic story on March 22 and never saw it. I've never even read PicFic...

Friday, October 21, 2011

"From hell" / Global Protest Reddish Stuff Over Rice

[UPDATE 10/22/11: I totally screwed up! The photo below, which I removed from the top of this page, is actually of a meal I cooked when A. was still in town. A brilliant innovation, too: pumpkin coconut curry. Standard curry recipe, but along with a can of coconut milk you throw in most of a can of pureed pumpkin. Thickens it up beautifully and isn't overpowering. Below is a picture of the meal described below.]


I cooked this meal on October 15, the day a bunch of protests occurred worldwide, in part inspired by the Occupy movement in NYC. It feels bogus to write anything about Occupy that isn't thorough and critical, so I'll just say: in solidarity, until the end of exploitation and forever. October 15 also happens to be the day when a letter purportedly written by Jack the Ripper was postmarked in 1888. The body of the letter (mangled, as you'll see) reads, "I send you half the Kidne I took from one women prasarved it for you tother piece I fried and ate it was very nise. I may send you the bloody knif that took it out if you only wate a whil longer." There's a crude analogy somewhere in there between the two events.

Pat the cat enjoyed a taste of some sweet potato. Maybe because of the Bragg's liquid aminos in the sauce? Don't know if that treat was causally related to the big pile of vomit I cleaned up this morning.

servings: 3-4
prep. time: 50 min.

1 c. long grain brown rice
1/2 c. red lentils
1/2 c. yellow split peas
1 sweet potato, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1/2 c.almond milk
1/3 c. olive oil
several squirts of Bragg's liquid aminos
several squirts of tamari soy sauce
garlic powder

1. Simmer rice for 45 min.
2. In a pot, simmer lentils, split peas, sweet potato, and carrot for 30 min.
3. In a saucepan, whisk everything else together. Bring a boil, then reduce heat and stir.
4. Pour the sauce into the pot and toss. Serve over rice.

I reviewed a bad film called Fireflies in the Garden. Some of the word aren't mine. Read it here!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Day of Six Billion Tacos

Sorry, no, October 12, 1999 wasn't a day of six billion tacos, it was The Day of Six Billion, when Adnan Mević (born in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina) was chosen by the UN as the symbolic six billionth concurrently living human on Earth. Next year: seven billion of us. I'm no eugenicist, but I think the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement ("vehement") is a worthwhile utopian project. Their website has a lot of good information and argumentation, both presented in a smart way, rhetorically speaking.

Tacos are so good, and foodstuffs that would otherwise only make a meal or two get stretched out over several lunches. Mine in the photo above are way overstuffed because my eyes are bigger than my common sense ("Why not just make three tacos?").

makes approx. 14 tacos
prep. time: approx. 45 min.

stack of corn tortillas

3/4 c. long grain brown rice
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 yellow squash, chopped
1 jalapeño, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/4 c. (?) frozen corn
dash of red wine vinegar

2 plum tomatoes, chopped

3 avocados
lemon juice
garlic powder

Tofutti sour cream
lime wedges

1. Cook the rice.
2. In a pan over medium heat, cook the bell pepper, jalapeño, and squash in oil for 10 mins., or until browned. Season and ddd beans and corn. Cook for an additional 5 mins.
3. Prepare the guacamole by mashing the avocado meat with a fork. Whisk in other ingredients.

Bye for now!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Office of Homeland Security Dragon Bowl

A decade ago on October 8, George W. Bush announced the establishment of the Office of Homeland Security. A couple of days ago, the media reported on an Iranian assassination plot against the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the US. The US government better not be preparing the ground for military action against Iran, because people are already in the streets and we know now that Homeland Security has nothing to do with safety.

A. made this deliciousness. The miso gravy recipe she used is based on the gravy at The Naam, a restaurant in Vancouver that we went to many times in July.

serves: 4
prep. time: approx. 1 hour

2 Idaho potatoes, sliced in eighths
1 lb. tofu, cubed
1 beet
1 large carrot, chopped
1 head of broccoli, chopped
1 head of cauliflower, chopped
alfalfa sprouts

1. Toss the potatoes in a bit of vegetable oil. Grease a pan and preheat the oven to 425F. Bake the potatoes for 20 mins., flip and bake for another 25-30 mins.
2. Boil the beet. Peel the beet. Chop up the beet.
3. Roll the tofu cubes in flour. Fry in a pan with oil over medium-high heat until crispy.
4. Steam the other veggies.
5. Layer in a bowl in the following order: potato, tofu, gravy, beet and carrot, gravy, broccoli and cauliflower, gravy, alfalfa sprouts

Thursday, October 6, 2011

German-American Day Decidedly Un-Germanic Food

On October 6, 1683 "German immigrant families [founded] Germantown in the colony of Pennsylvania, marking the first major immigration of German people to America." Presumably because of that fact—never mind, Wikipedia's page for German-American Day states that 13 German families landed on the 6th and only subsequently founded Germantown. In any case, some Germans came this way and here I am. Reagan is responsible for reinstating the holiday on the 300th anniversary of its occasion. It needed to be reinstated because of WWI and subsequent feelings.

Yesterday I marched with Occupy Wall Street. Great to have a popular movement in the streets (or on the sidewalk, when the cops show up), but if we want to show 'em we won't tolerate life in a police state / financial state we're going to have to do more than march, forreal.

A.'s out of town until tomorrow night, so dinner was lonely. I made too much food, but it was good. The rice is yellow due to vegetable broth.

serves: 2-3
prep. time: 45 min.

1 c. short-grain brown rice
1/3 c. French lentils
1/3 c. yellow split peas
1/3 c. green split peas
1 Yukon gold potato, cubed
1 handful baby bella mushrooms, sliced
2 handfuls snap peas, halved (after cutting the ends and unzipping the spine)
1/2 bunch rapini, stems chopped
green onion, cut with scissors if you've got some

sesame oil
Bragg's liquid aminos
tamari soy sauce
balsamic glaze

1. Simmer the rice in equal parts water and vegetable oil.
2. Simmer the potato, lentils, and split peas in water.
3. Prepare the other veggies and steam them.
4. To make dressing, whisk 4 parts sesame oil with 1 part each of the other ingredients.

A twitter-fiction story I wrote in February just got published on Nanoism. Read it here.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Attica Prison Riot Plant Food

September 13 is a big day in Western Hemispheric history. I could have named this one after Henry H. Bliss, the misleadingly named first victim of a fatal motor vehicle collision this side of the Atlantic Ocean. Or after the Goiânia accident, an incredible story of accidental radioactive salvage, grotesque illnesses and deaths, and glowing blue orbs. Instead, I'm going with the Attica Prison Riots.

Not long after the murder of George Jackson, prisoners in New York suffering horrible conditions and abuses found an opportunity to take control of their facility. They took employees hostage and issued demands. Some famous people got involved in negotiations, but ultimately the governor and correctional services commissioner weren't having it. With the approval of the former, the latter ordered an assault on the prison on September 13, 1971. State troopers and former correctional officers gassed the yard and "opened fire non-stop for two minutes into the smoke." They killed 10 hostages and 29 inmates. Totally egregiously but also totally unsurprisingly, the media reported that the inmates had slit the hostages throats, and the prisoners were unprotected from reprisal torture and beatings. The "good" news: the Weathermen exploded a bomb at the New York Department Of Corrections four days later. Their communique described the prison system as "how a society run by white racists maintains its control," a simple and still-accurate analysis. The police have been militarizing post-9/11; even the mainstream media recognizes it at this point. The nation is carceral, the prison is national. Foucault wrote something like that, and if he didn't formulate it both ways he should have.

Two nights ago I made the above-pictured dinner for me and A. (Not my partner A., but my longtime friend.) I don't exactly remember what I did but I'll try.

serves: 2-4
prep time: approx. 45 min.

1 c. quinoa
1 quart-sized bag of frozen corn straight from a Minnesota farm
1 can white beans
1 bunch green chard, leaves and half the stems, chopped
1 green squash, sliced and quartered
1/2 medium red onion, sliced
most of a small ripe tomato, chopped
juice of 1/2 lemon
Bragg's liquid aminos
apple cider vinegar
sesame oil
nutritional yeast
ground coriander

1. Bake the kale at 400F for 10-15 min.
2. Cook the quinoa. After it's cooked (12-15 min.), mix in nutritional yeast (or, if you forget, dish it on top when serving).
3. In a casserole pot, saute the onion, squash, and kale stems. After 5-8 min., add in the corn, half the chard leaves, and the white beans. Cover and turn to low heat.
4. In a blender, puree the remaining chard leaves, lemon juice, tomato, vinegar, oil, liquid aminos, and seasonings. Scrape and mix with a spoon between pulses as needed.

Read my review of a Norwegian romantic comedy, Happy, Happy, here.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Untitled Pasta

Timothy Terhaar


2011 (Friday, September 9)
Pasta (1/2 lb. flax rice spirals), eggplant (1 medium, cubed), zucchini (1, sliced and quartered), yellow onion (1/2 large, sliced), baby bella mushrooms (12, sliced), green bell pepper (1 medium, quartered and sliced), garlic cloves (5, sliced), can of whole plum tomatoes, dried oregano, dried rosemary, dried basil, salt, pepper, olive oil, red wine vinegar

6-8 servings x 45 minutes

[A Thousand K.s update: "Critics love their own view."]

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Labor Day Weekend Shootings Stuffed Eggplant

Inspired by an annual celebration in Toronto, the first Labor Day parade was held in NYC by the Central Labor Union in 1882. "The holiday is often regarded as a day of rest and parties." This year, the holiday was regarded as a day of fewer shootings than the day before. 48 people were shot in the City over the weekend, 3 of whom died. A. and I are grateful that we stayed inside rather than walked around during the parade on Flatbush. In better news, I got a haircut today from D., who as well as giving me a fade (unfortunately nicking my eyebrow and shaving too hard a line on the right side) suggested a Rastafari market nearby where I can pick up some real I-tal food.

Last night I got ambitious. A. and I cooked up this recipe in our collective imagination and then I cooked it up in our kitchen. The hummus-type stuff that goes over the eggplant is meant to be runnier than the hummus I usually make, hence the extra liquid ingredients and upped tahini ratio. A.'s spinach is a nice accompaniment, just don't season with too much salt like I did.

servings: 6
prep time: approx. 1 hr.

3 bicolor eggplant, halved and hollowed out, cubed
3/4 c. Moroccan couscous
1 c. yellow split peas
8 baby bella mushrooms, diced
olive oil
dried basil
1 can garbanzo beans, drained
3 spoonfuls tahini
4 cloves garlic
sesame oil
rice vinegar
Bragg's liquid aminos
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 package frozen cut spinach, thawed
1 large shallot, diced
olive oil
Smart Balance Light margarine

1. Boil almost a cup of water. Add the couscous and cut off the heat.
2. Simmer the split peas in 2 c. water for half an hour, or until tender.
3. Prepare the eggplant. Preheat the oven to 425F. Place the hollowed-out eggplant skins on a baking sheet in the oven, then cut off the heat (to get them warmed up). Saute the eggplant with the mushrooms in oil in a covered casserole pot for 10-25 minutes.
4. Preheat the oven to 425F again. Mix everything together in a bowl, reserving some yellow split peas and cousous if necessary to achieve desired stuffing composition. Stuff the eggplant halves and bake for 10-15 minutes.
1. Toss everything into a blender and liquify.
1. Saute the shallot in a pan with some olive oil until almost caramelized.
2. Add the spinach and margarine.

If you don't already know, read up on the current famine in the Horn of Africa. Horrible things are happening in Somalia, so take some time out before eating a full meal to recognize that children are dying in the desert, and repent.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Buckminsterfullerne Azuki Bean Patties


On September 4, 1985 a few scientists at Rice University discovered the first fullerene molecule (i.e., any molecule comprised entirely of carbon atoms), which they gave the hilarious name Buckminsterfullerene in homage of Buckminster Fuller's geodesic domes. Buckminsterfullerene is full of astounding properties, the first being that its atomic formula is C60. 60 carbon atoms! B.m.fullerene conducts electricity well and is the most common fullerene molecule. (Hint: Look for it in soot.) Finally and most astonishingly (I think, I don't have a very deep understanding of physics), B.m.fullerene is "the largest matter shown to exhibit wave-particle duality."

Last night I made patties. I wish I'd used some tomato paste and flax meal in them. A. made aioli for the patties and dressing for the asparagus. I overcooked the asparagus a bit, frown-face. We microwaved the potatoes and ate them with Smart Balance Light and Tofutti sour cream and salt and pepper.

servings: 4-5
prep. time: approx. 45 min.

1 can azuki beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 red onion, diced
3 baby bella mushrooms, diced
most of a small beet, peeled and grated
pine nuts
vital wheat gluten
bread crumbs
Bragg's liquid aminos
sesame oil
hot sauce
fresh parsley
garlic powder

1. Saute the onion, mushrooms, and beet in a pan over medium heat.
2. Mix everything together in a big bowl. Mash with a wooden spoon or similar utensil, adding gluten and bread crumbs as you go in order to make it hold together.
3. If you have time, stick the "dough" in the fridge for a while, then bake at 425F for 12-15 minutes. If you don't have time, fry the patties in a pan until crisp on the outside.

Here's a Twitter-poem for y'all.
The twitter of any time: the twitter of the news | the twitter of those days | the twitter of doom | the twitter of their own.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Högertrafikomläggningen Red Lentil Curry

Swedes drive on the right side, but it wasn't always that way. On September 3, 1967 everything changed over spontaneously. Well, there was all kinds of planning and campaigning and retrofitting, etc., and the Swedish people had voted against the change, but there was an actual short interval during which essential traffic had to stop, move to the other side of the road, stop, and drive out of the sinistral past and into the dominant future. What came of this administrative feat?
Experts suggested that changing to driving on the right would reduce accidents as people already drove left-hand drive vehicles, thereby having a better view of the road ahead. Indeed, fatal car-to-car and car-to-pedestrian accidents dropped sharply as a result. Some of the decrease was attributed to a reduction in speed limits by 10 km/h for some time after the switch. The accident rate rose back to its original level within two years.
 Last night I made curry. It actually tasted like Indian food, which I attribute largely to my use of curry powder (cheater). What you don't see in the picture is that A. and I ate it with salt, pepper, avocado slices and lemon juice. Our new feline friend sniffed but didn't partake. Instead, she ate a little bit of a potted plant and vomited on the floor. Otherwise a perfectly nice old kitty.

servings: approx. 4
prep time: 35 min.

1 c. red lentils
1 c. basmati rice
1/2 small can tomato paste
1/2 large red onion, sliced
1 Roma tomato, chopped
1 bunch green kale, just the leaves, chopped
3 cloves garlic, sliced
curry powder
garlic powder
fenugreek seeds

1. Simmer rice.
2. Simmer lentils in a large-ish pot.
3. Saute onion in a pan over medium heat. Add kale as you cut it, then the tomato. After 15 min., dump it in the pot with the lentils.
4. Stir in the spices and tomato paste. Add the garlic as you slice it. Let cool a bit, or if you've got time leave it for several hours/overnight and reheat. Serve over rice with lemon juice and avocado.

Solar Superstorm Israeli Couscous with Others

On September 2, 1859 an English amateur astronomer, Richard Carrington, observed the largest solar flare of a series that began in August. Some wacky physics went down, and what happened next Wikipedia tells pretty well:
On September 1–2, 1859, the largest recorded geomagnetic storm occurred. Aurorae were seen around the world, most notably over the Caribbean; also noteworthy were those over the Rocky Mountains that were so bright that their glow awoke gold miners, who began preparing breakfast because they thought it was morning.
Telegraph systems all over Europe and North America failed, in some cases even shocking telegraph operators. Telegraph pylons threw sparks and telegraph paper spontaneously caught fire. Some telegraph systems appeared to continue to send and receive messages despite having been disconnected from their power supplies.
The bit about the miners fixing breakfast makes me sad.

It feels like we're in the middle of a solar flare here in NYC, although I know it was way worse a couple months ago while I was cool in Vancouver. Last night, our second in Lefferts Gardens, A. made what you see above. Israeli couscous with sauteed shallots and Baby Bella mushrooms, corn, fried plantains, and avocado. It was even better the next day for lunch mixed up with some arugula and A.'s special dressing.

We've gone to one restaurant since we've arrived, and we've gone every single day. Scoops is where it's at in this neighborhood: all-vegan, including ice cream, juices, roti with chickpea curry, and a choice of things to put in a box (e.g., rice or chow mein, "fish" or BBQ "meat," beans). That's all for now; there's still lots of unpacking and rearranging and organizing to do.

Bonus: You should listen to the DJ Diamond album, Flight Muzik. The guy who wrote the review for Tiny Mix Tapes has the best name ever.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Lefferts Gardens Dreaming

I won't be updating for a while yet, because A. and I are getting ready to move to Brooklyn on the first! We've been cooking lots but all stuff I've posted about before: crusted tofu with baked potato and broccolini, mac 'n' cheese, and pizza. Maybe soon I'll put up a quick pic and recipe of the simple but delicious tomato sandwich A. makes.

Favorable product review: I've been snacking on Amande almond yogurt and I advise you do the same if you're missing that particular dairy product. Best flavors are peach, coconut, and vanilla with fresh strawberries and banana.

Unfavorable product review: The mint chocolate chip flavor of Tofutti Cuties = wack attack. They should rebrand for that flavor only as Tofurri Curries, because the aftertaste of the minty chemicals cycles through caraway to garam masala.

What you see above is the fruit platter my mom put together for lunch a few days ago. Thanks for sending me the photo, Dad!

And now for a poem.
Lefferts Gardens is the name given to a residential neighborhood in Flatbush in the New York City borough of Brooklyn. Lefferts Gardens is a good buy for families looking for a more affordable (for the moment) version of their favorite Brooklyn nabes. Lefferts Gardens is served by the B/Q subway line, as well as the 2 and 5 trains and is a relatively short commute from Manhattan. Lefferts Gardens is getting in on the action too. Lefferts Gardens is the #106 most walkable neighborhood in New York. Lefferts Gardens is in limbo. Lefferts Gardens is lined with dozens of hair salons. Lefferts Gardens is the new Brooklyn Heights? Lefferts Gardens is one of the select locations where we're testing this experience.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Nietzsche is Dead Ethiopian Stew with Kale and Bulgar

Friedrich Nietzsche died in 1900. I like to imagine his ghost and the Holy Ghost in eternal and mutually resentful company.

We're back in Providence again after a week and a half in Ontario. Best part of that trip: Canada's Wonderland, which was nothing short of wonderful (even with expensive bad food). The best ride ever! (This endorsement brought to you by the future self of a child traumatized by Disney World's Rocky Mountain Railroad.)

(The quality of food photos will here and henceforth regress due to poor lighting.) Last night A.'s friend came over for dinner. I made this Ethiopian stew from Vegan Dad; A. steamed some red kale and made bulgar. She also whipped up her signature salad dressing (oil, vinegar, garlic, shallot, spices, magic) to put over arugula.

Hurricane Irene is on the way. We're going shopping for bottled water, something I never imagined I'd do. Prepare the ark for Providence floods.

Latest installment of A Thousand K.s: "Book how?"

Monday, August 15, 2011

Taliesin Portabello Mushroom Burger with Mashed Potatoes and Broccolini

On August 15, 1914 one of Frank Lloyd Wright's servants, Julian Carlton, set fire to the living quarters of the Taliesin studio in Iowa. He then murdered seven people with an axe, including Wright's mistress and her two children. Carlton survived but died in jail six weeks later. Wright built Taliesin II, only to have it burn down again (due to accident) little more than ten years later. Taliesin III still stands.

The US is not a place of pure evil, it turns out, but only a place where people do evil things, as in all places. A. called her insurance provider this morning, and was only on the phone for half an hour before settling that she did not have another US insurance plan and so does not have to pay the several exorbitant bills she received. And her wallet turned out not to be lost but only hidden under some posters designed by our friend D., which say: "Hope keeps you down." Not losing things will raise you up.

Last night, A. made what you see above: mm-MM! Ingredients and directions involve guesswork on my part.

servings: 2
prep. time: approx. 45 min.

2 large portabello mushrooms
1 red bell pepper, cut into 6-8 strips
red onion, sliced
hot banana pepper rings
balsamic vinegar
olive oil

1 clove garlic, pressed
olive oil
lots of lemon juice


2 Yukon Gold potatoes, cubed
2 cloves garlic, pressed
2 Tbsp. Earth Balance
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
almond milk

1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Rub balsamic vinegar and olive oil on the mushrooms. Bake for 30 min., or until tender.
2. Boil the potatoes in water. When a fork goes through them, drain and mash in a bowl with the garlic, nutmeg, Earth Balance, and as much almond milk as it takes to get the potatoes creamy. Add salt and pepper to taste.
3. Fry the broccolini over medium heat. Do the same for the red pepper, but get it hot enough to char a little.
4. To prepare the aioli, whisk the Vegenaise with olive oil and garlic. Mix in cayenne.
5. Put the burgers together, with the ingredients listed above or whatever else you want.