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.