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.