Monthly Archives: January 2009

The Times They Are A-Changing

It is the weekend, and this is what we are singing!

Axé.

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Culinary Friday: Beans, Pu-erh Tea, Rabbits, and Cats

BEANS

For the recession I am cooking more than ever. I will learn to use my grandmother’s meat grinder as a Cuisinart. In the meantime I have finally learned to make a pot of beans correctly. Until 2009 only vegetarian black beans ever worked reliably for me.  But now I have invented all the tricks. They are:

+ time and a half to double recommended soaking time
+ halve the amount of meat recommended (if meat is used)
+ always use more than one kind of meat (if meat is used)
+ use half again to twice as much water as is recommended for simmering
+ reduce recommended simmering temperature by one quarter to one half
+ double recommended amounts of spices and seasonings
+ time and a half to double recommended simmering time

As we already know, it is important to saute onions, garlic, and rocoto in olive oil to add to the beans at the end, and to pulverize some of the beans (with a wooden spoon, against the side of the cast iron pot you are cooking them in) so as to thicken the liquid.

PU-ERH TEA

Fine tea is like fine wine. It is made by expert teamakers, each with his or her own style, and its taste reflects the natural atmosphere of the particular mountainside upon which it is grown. You should drink pu-erh tea as it is very good and even better for you. You can order it from California. Pu-erh tea is from southwestern China. These farmers are particularly hard hit by the recession and they need your business.

RABBITS

Elmer Fudd and Buggs Bunny

Elmer Fudd and Buggs Bunny

CATS

If I had a shotgun, if I knew how to shoot it and if it were legal to do so in my area, I would shoot a marauding cat. Instead I am going to trap it and send it to animal control, which will euthanize it in three days unless you go and pick it up. No, I do not do this normally, but this cat is so mean and so insistent that not only my own cat, but I, too, am afraid to go out on my porch.

I believe it belongs to someone, because this is not a feral cat. But noone has neutered the cat and it is not being fed enough or regularly enough. Neither is it being petted enough. I have been tolerant of this cat for some time and the reason I have not put up “found cat” signs is that I do not believe it is lost, I believe it is marauding, and dealing with it more kindly is the owner’s job, not mine.

You really should feed your cats and let them indoors. You should not just leave them when you go hunting for the weekend, or to the Gulf for  fourteen days, or to Houston for the work week.

Axé.

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From the File

Student I Insisted Go To A Larger Graduate Program Than Ours: Dear Professor Zero, This is just to say my new university is not as scary as I thought it would be. My students listen to me! My professors know you! I find I am already familiar with the books and reading lists! I guess I really am prepared!

Student I Failed In A Basic Course: Dear Professor Zero, You are of course entitled to your opinion of my performance, but I am confident that my level of mastery of this material meets or exceeds national standards.

Of course the prepared one thought they weren’t, and the unprepared one thought they were.

Axé.

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Fiddle and Bow

See Tom’s Fiddle and Bow, which also has classes with Mitch Reed and Al Berard for $15 every Monday from 6 to 8.

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Robert Pete Williams

This is golden right here, y’all: Robert Pete Williams. He went to jail. Back in the day I dated a Cajun. I mean a real Cajun from Pont Breaux. We would go up to Lafayette to go canoeing, and on to Opelousas. There we went dancing at Slim’s Y-Ki-Ki, and stood in the back of the church to hear Gospel Mass. On the way we would stop in the country and give fifty dollars to Robert Pete Williams’ mother, because she was widowed and he was dead, and he never did make any money on his music.

Axé.

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Governor O. K. Allen

“If I had you, Governor O. K. Allen, like you have me, I would wake up in the morning, let you out on reprieve.” I have to listen to this song again. My student’s great grandfather, an Angola official, is apparently mentioned in it. His name is in French but it was translated from the Spanish, as the family was Mexican.

Axé.

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Choledad Privada on Peru

See the latest strategies of discrimination. Street cleaners may not enter supermarkets to buy lunch, and a department store will not sell in cash but only to their (upscale) credit card holders.

I like Chuto’s ironic tone. The piece starts, “Lamentamos interrumpir su verano de sol-arena-y-mar, pero es nuestro deber informar y prevenir. Llegan a nuestro centro de choliprensa anuncios que enturbian nuestro relax con sórdidas prácticas de esas que invaden nuestra choledad del sur grande y asiático. Sí, cholegas. El fantasma de lo absurdo ha regresado y ahora en el mismisimo centro del Boulevard de Asia….”

Axé.

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