Friday, February 18, 2011

3-Way Tie (for last)

Reading Slanted and Enchanted, The Evolution of Indie Culture by my old pal Kaya Oakes, gave me insight into the deconstruction of musical hierarchy through punk. I was listening to it, relating to it, relishing in it., but I had never before related the politics to the sound.
Interviewing Mike Watt of the Minutemen, Dos, and many other projects, she uncovered a conscious subverting of musical hierarchy through song structure, not just DIY ethics and antics.
 "The arena rock was kind of hierarchical with guitars and singers being way at the top and the other section way down there" says Watt. "Obviously, with the punk movement, everybody's lame, so it's kind of equal footing. So all that hierarchy got thrown out." What is more interesting, though, argues Oakes, is that this equal footing is what gave the Minutemen their unique sound by ridding themselves of the "aristocracy of the guitar."
I've always described the sound as 'sideways'... now it is clear why.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Living Library needs "Books"

I'm looking for anyone, anywhere accessible by modern communication, to join me March 5th for a Living Library. Visitors will be able to "borrow" "books" by having a conversation about a particular subject, either in person or by phone or skype.
Any subject that you feel worthy of discussing intelligently (or not, if that's your expertise), is welcome.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Recipes for February 14th

White Bean Stew
Soak white beans (navy, etc) overnight in plenty of water; drain
Cook beans in fresh water until tender, about 1 hour; drain
Roast a head of garlic wrapped in foil, in a 400 degree oven for 1/2 hour
Meanwhile, sauté a mirepoix of chopped onions, carrots and celery until soft and releasing juices
Add cooked beans, water or stock, soy sauce, molasses, S & P, plus an end of a hard cheese
Add chopped fresh sage, parsley, basil and the roasted garlic
Puree half the soup in a food processor of food mill
Add chopped roasted peppers

Rice Noodle Salad
Soak fine rice vermicelli in hot water, covered, until tender - do not cook
Add grated carrot, cabbage, chopped celery, cucumber, and plenty of minced cilantro, mint and basil
Combine and top with peanut dressing
Blend olive oil, sesame oil, lemon juice, peanuts or peanut butter and sugar, adjusting seasoning as needed

Recipes for February 7th with Deborah Stratman

Make a large amount of thin tomato sauce: Sautee onions and garlic til soft, and, since it is winter, add canned tomatoes along with fresh basil and parsley, S & P and a dash of sugar and red chili flakes
Sautee sliced mushrooms and chopped kale til juicy. Season with S & P
Make béchamel: melt equal parts butter/flour, about 2 tablespoons of each, until the thickness of gravy and bubbling. Add cold milk and bring just back to a boil while stirring, until thickened. Add S & P and a grinding of nutmeg
If you are normal, you would remember to buy ricotta and season it with fresh herbs. I made this one without cheese.
Using no pre-cook lasagna noodles (they are thin and yellow), layer sauce, noodles, béchamel, filling, sauce, and layer again. The final layer should be noodles with plenty of sauce
Bake, covered, until soft, about 25 minutes

Green Salad with Tahini-Balsamic Dressing
Blend Balsamic vinegar , dijon mustard, tahini, grated ginger, a shallot, the juice of one lemon and olive oil, keeping the balance approximately 3 parts oil to one part acid

French Cake
from The Attic Cookbook
Use room temperature ingredients
Preheat oven to 350
Cream 3/4 cup unsalted butter
Add 1-1/2 cups sugar gradually and cream until light and fluffy
Add 3 eggs and beat well
Sift together 3 cups of cake flour, 1 Tbs baking powder, 1/4 Tsp salt
Combine 1 cup milk with 1 Tsp rose water
Add flour mixture and milk alternately to butter, beginning and ending with the flour
Bake in cupcake tins or a floured, buttered cake pan til done and tested dry in the center
Cool completely
Beat 2 egg whites til stiff peaks form, and gradually add 2 cups of powdered sugar
Add the zest of one lemon, finely chopped, and a Tsp of rose water
Frost cooled cakes and decorate with rose petals, lemon zest and mint leaves

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Recipes for January 31st with Layla Ali

Yellow Dahl, Rice Fritters, Onion Chutney
Cook white rice, 1:1-1/4 rice/water ratio, and fluff lightly when done
When cool, form balls with an ice cream scoop and your hands, using cold water to prevent sticking
When balls are formed, poke each with a chopstick, and fill with a thin chutney or sauce, or not
Roll balls in chickpea flour, or in eggs and breadcrumbs, and fry in hot oil til lightly browned
Drain on brown paper bags away from the flame
Sautee chopped onions, garlic, ginger, cumin seeds, S & P until onions are tender
Add a 1/4 cup sugar, a large heap of tamarind paste, and a generous splash of simple vinegar, like apple cider, cooking til bubbly
Remove from heat and puree half, then mix back together
Soak yellow split peas and garbanzo beans overnight in plenty of water
Drain and simmer in fresh water for about an hour, with dashes turmeric, cinnamon, coriander, cloves, and cumin- you could use commercial curry powder if that's all you have
In a low pan, heat olive oil and cook a teaspoon each of mustard seeds and fenugreek til seeds pop. Add and sautee finely chopped onions, garlic, celery, carrots and ginger until onions are translucent
Puree beans in cooking water, removing some water if wanting a thicker dish
Add sauteed vegetables, cook for another half hour -hour on low

Serve Dahl in a bowl with a fritter on top and a generous dollop of chutney

Recipes for January 24th with Mark Allen

Pumpkin Soup with Spaghetti Squash and Spiced Whipped Cream
Toss a Pumpkin and a Spaghetti Squash in the oven at 400 for about 45 minutes
Remove, let cool
Peel, de-seed (save seeds for roasting?) and roughly chop the pumpkin
Chop onions, carrots, garlic, ginger (lots) and celery, if you have some, saving all the trimmings for homemade stock:
Sautee trimmings, including those from the pumpkin, plus a few hunks of vegetables, soy sauce and S & P to make stock- add water and simmer for an hour or so
Sautee all vegetables slowly in olive oil until onions are transparent
Add a big heap of Thai curry paste, a tablespoon of sugar, S & P
Stir around, and add drained stock (you could easily add coconut milk, fish sauce and peanut butter to richen the flavor, if you wish)
Adjust seasonings, remove from heat, and puree

Cut open Spaghetti Squash lengthwise and gently pull fibers with a fork. Place a small mound in each bowl, covering with a ladleful of soup

Whip heavy cream with an electric mixer or your hand if you are crazy and strong. Add a dash of cinnamon, cardamom and coriander.  Garnish the soup with a dollop of cream and some cilantro if you have it.