Archive for September, 2005

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Cuban Black Beans

September 27, 2005

This recipe is super easy and very good. Try it.

3 15oz. cans of black beans, rinsed
1 large onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup frozen corn
2 stalks celery (including leaves) chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon oregano
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 bay leaf

Saute the onion, bell pepper, celery and garlic in olive oil until onions are translucent, maybe 15 minutes. Add everything else (beans, corn, salt, cumin, bay leaf, oregano and lemon juice). Simmer covered for 20 minutes. Remove bay leaf and serve over rice.

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I moved!

September 26, 2005

The site is up and down. Sorry about that. Moving and all. Plus my new router is misbehaving. I can barely reach my own site from inside the house, but apparently it’s not so bad from outside now.

A few lovely gifts notwithstanding, I’m decorating the place in Early American Thrift Store. Also, I have no idea where I’m putting anything. There’s a few pictures up in shot recently. It’s a start.

PS. Don’t forget! See y’all Wednesday night for DL at CG!

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A Gift Of Cooking

September 22, 2005

Paige and Dan gave me an early birthday present:

Cooking Class: Authentic North Indian Cooking with Premu and Neela. This workshop presents a wonderful introduction to simple, yet delectable Indian cuisine, including Chicken Tikka, Dal (mung beans), Raita (yogurt with tomatoes and cucumbers), Basmati Rice with vegetables and Ice Cream with Mango Sauce. Includes plenty of tasting and recipes to take home. 5:30-7:00 p.m. at Good Harvest Market in the Grandview Plaza, 1850 Meadow Lane in Pewaukee.

I refuse to think that this gift is a vote of no confidence on my recent foray into Indian cuisine, choosing instead to believe that it is simply because they know I like to cook and that I love Indian food. Whichever is the true motivation, I showed up promptly to the grocery store at 5:30.

The session was held in a side room of the grocery which was set up with chairs and a kitchen. It resembled the set of a cooking show, only in miniature. I sat down among 10 women, many of whom were considerably older than me. The woman next to me asked me if I cooked. “Yes, ma’am, I like to cook,” I replied. She smiled and said that it was wonderful that men help in the kitchen.

The presenters, Premu and Neela, turned out, as you might expect, to be two middle-aged Indian women with beautiful faces and lovely accents. We all watched as they prepared the dishes listed in the flyer. I was relieved to see that their recipes didn’t require all day in the kitchen, nor did one have to travel to India to acquire the ingredients.

When everything was prepared, we ate. I especially enjoyed the mung beans and the basmati rice. (“Are you a vegetarian?” Neela asked in her sing-song accent; “I noticed you didn’t try the chicken.” “Yes, ma’am, I am.”) I told our presenters that I’d recently prepared a similar dish, only I used chick peas and jasmine rice. I further told them that I see now that the rice was not right and that I was glad to have learned better from them. They seemed pleased, but the reaction among my fellow audience members was amusing: you’d have thought I just announced that I lived on the moon. Perhaps, in spite of my earlier comments, they hadn’t understood that I actually know where my kitchen is.

I think I’ll be attending more of these cooking sessions. I hear that there is one on Chinese cuisine, another favorite of mine. It might be more fun to attend with a friend, though. I noticed many of the others came in twos and threes.

Thanks for a wonderful gift, you guys. I hope you appreciate my improved cooking as a result. 🙂

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It’s For The Victims!

September 22, 2005

I guess just about everyone has contributed something to the Katrina relief effort: time, money, kindness; whatever you have to give. Recently I learned that restauranteurs are getting into the act. On October 5th some of them are donating part (or all!) of their till to the hurricane victims. You can find out which ones and how much by clicking here. So go ahead and indulge yourself.

If going out to eat isn’t your speed, however, there are, I have observed, other options (risque but pretty work-safe link).

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Or Ye Walk The Plank

September 19, 2005

Avast, ye scurvy dogs! It be International Talk Like A Pirate Day. Arr!

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First Day of Fall

September 17, 2005

When is the first day of fall? The almanac will tell you that in the Western hemisphere it’s September 21st or the autumnal equinox, but I’m not a by-the-book kind of guy. I think each of us should decide these things for him- or herself. Maybe for you the first day of fall is the day you wake up cold in the morning because you didn’t have enough covers; maybe it’s the day when you wear a jacket as a comfort rather than as a mere accessory, but to me the first day of fall is the day I make my first apple pie. That’s no random day, mind you: it is the day of the Retzer Nature Center’s annual Apple Harvest Festival and that day was today. (Pictures in shot recently.)

Donyell points out that this evening is the Harvest Moon, but I submit here my own circular sign of fall.

first apple pie of the season

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What’s New With You?

September 16, 2005

I haven’t mentioned this before, but there are some big changes going on in my life now. For starters, I’m moving to my own apartment a week from tomorrow. It’s a difficult time for everyone here. More details to come, but for now, I’m very appreciative of everyone’s support. There may be many questions of a personal nature that I will not answer here publicly, but general well-wishers are of course invited to leave comments below.