Month: July 2013

4 x 1–New Recipes: Fig & Pecan Tart

On number 4 of ‘Project 5×5’ I’ve completed one of the five new recipes challenge; four to go. Yesterday I got my Hollygrove Market Box, which for you non-New Orleans residents is a $25 box of produce you can buy with a predetermined list of fruits and veggies that are obtained from nearby farms. There’s a weekday box and a weekend box, and in my weekend box, among other things, I got a pint of figs and a bag of pecans. Now I’m not a big fig person, even though they looked beautiful, but a friend of mine suggested I make a tart with the figs and pecans, so I did. I googled some recipes and found I liked this one the best, with a few modifications. Ironically, this recipe is originally from Dickie Brennan & Co. of New Orleans, which was written at the bottom of the recipe and I didn’t notice until just now. Local ingredients for a local recipe: INGREDIENTS Fig Compote: 1 pound fresh figs 1/2 cup sugar 2 tablespoons port or madeira (I used Apricot Brandy …

Twenty-Five to 25: Project 5 x 5

I turn 25 this August. Wooo! A quarter century. Another milestone age. The last one before 30 and the birthday celebrations become less joyful and more of a commentary on how old you’re getting. Since I like to engage in short-term challenges I was thinking about achievable goals I could strive for with my birthday being my deadline. Ironically, I happened to think of this idea 25 days before my  25th birthday. But, instead of a list of 25 things, I decided to do 5 x 5: Lose 5 lbs Lose 5 inches Do 5 DIY projects Cook 5 new recipes Finish the last 5 units of my Portuguese book The last one I struggled to come up with. I thought about reading 5 books since I have a collection of books on my shelf that I’ve never gotten around to, but like I said, I wanted to keep them realistic and attainable goals. While 5 books in 25 days is feasible, most of the books I own are dense social commentaries; they’re draining to …

The Food “Revolution” and Culinary Appropriation

I don’t often watch food shows because they either make me hungry or they annoy me as I watch people get paid to travel around the country over-indulging in sickening food contests, or getting paid to travel the world and make ridiculous and somewhat disingenuous commentaries about what they’re eating (“I can taste the countryside”), especially when some American makes these comments around people who they know barely speak enough English to even know what they’re saying and probably don’t find what they eat particularly astounding. But last night I decided to watch Andrew Zimmern’s Bizzarre Foods. I appreciated this episode because he focused on the burgeoning food justice movement looking at what was happening in San Francisco in particular. He starts the episode profiling “Freegans” and the Food Not Bombs movement. He followed them in their dumpster dives, food prep, and the weekly distribution of a good and FREE vegan meal in the community. For whatever criticisms I had of the freegans I went to college with who upended the trashcans in the libraries, …

License to Kill: The Illusion of a Free and Democratic Society

I have a difficult time describing to people from other countries why I don’t love my country. Why I don’t uphold it to that same beacon of hope and social inclusion that it’s portrayed to be. Why I’d almost recommend that immigrants, especially of African descent, go to any other developed nation but ours, even acknowledging the rampant racism throughout Europe. The next time I struggle for words to describe our problems, I will just point to the travesty that was George Zimmerman’s acquittal. How a civilian could arm himself with a gun, follow a kid after deciding he fit some profile, ignore the police dispatcher’s instructions to stay in his car and not follow the kid, get out of the car, allegedly get in a physical fight, shoot and kill the kid armed only with a bag of skittles and can of iced tea, and then claim self-defense and get away with it, is beyond mind-blowing. A 200 pound grown man with a gun who instigated the entire situation claimed he feared for his …

Language Barrier

Language is a funny thing. You can say a lot in a few words, you can say nothing in a 20-minute speech, and you can even shout without even opening your mouth–with just a glance or a gesture. They say that some things are universal, like a smile, but even that can belie one’s true feelings. Once again I’m writing about language, because I often find myself in these predicaments where there are miscommunications, and they’re not always because there are different languages being spoken. It’s one thing if I’m speaking English and someone else is speaking Mandarin and  neither the twain shall meet. I accept that we’re both going to be looking at each other in confusion and smiling in the interim. It’s when we’re actually speaking the same language and not understanding one another that gets to me. However, I always have to remind myself that not all English is the same. The Queen’s English is not the same as American English, is not the same as Australian English, and is not the …