Monday, May 24, 2010

Ignorance is Bliss...

Sometimes Ignoring a Problem Does Make It Go Away!

by Mr. L. Sherlock

I am not an advocate of ignoring problems. My nature is to confront them and to try to solve them, if possible. On Saturday evening, I was faced with something of a dilemma.

My wife and I went to O’Reilly’s Pub in Oakdale, NY to listen to a local band called "Funkin’ A". That pub is where the band got its start and we’ve been there many, many times. We went early to have dinner first as the show was scheduled to begin at 9:30 PM. The pub caters to all comers, and there were families and couples of all generations gathering when we arrived. The multiple TVs had everything from the Met/Yankee game to Nickelodeon on.

At about 8:30 PM, I heard the distinct sound of big Harley motorcycles pulling up outside. Something of a chill went up my spine as I was cast back some thirty years to my bar fly days. I had had some close calls involving bikers looking for, and usually finding, trouble in those days. Lo and behold, six rough and loud people enter this otherwise low key establishment. They set themselves up directly next to our table, standing at the half wall separating the eating area from the bar. So I had a ring-side seat, as it were.

The first thing I noticed after they entered was their outfits. Black jeans and shirts, of course, but it was the logos that caught my eye. One was essentially giving the world the middle finger and another was a “white supremacy” statement. Ignorance on parade is the best I could figure.

Now the make up of the regular folks at the pub was multi-ethnic and age diverse. I don’t know what these characters were expecting, but we, the crowd, did not feed into their act. Mother’s with their children walked right past them, unnoticing. People continued to watch the game or conversed with the band (also multi-ethnic) as the set up and did sound checks. Nobody paid them any mind, at least not outwardly.

I knew from past experience that these particular bikers were looking for someone to react to them. And, I knew that confronting them about their hate attire was just the trigger they were looking for. If they had started something, they were outnumbered, but they wanted someone to start with them. That would be their defense; their ‘freedom of expression’ defense. Theirs is a warped reading of the First Amendment.

Well, as I said, nobody was buying what they had to sell. They had one drink, exchanged some words with the bar tender and split. With the sound of there bikes echoing away, I hoped they would meet the same cold shoulder where ever their next stop might be.

This time I think ignoring the insecure and faulty platform of their ignorance was the right way to deal with the situation. As expected, the rest of the night was great.

PS: The Funkin' A rocked!!

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Future of Food – It is a changing

by Epiphany

I sat flipping through the channels the other night, I came upon a marathon of the television program Future Food. The chefs behind it are what the show producers describe as "molecular gastronomists". Homaro Cantu and Ben Roche of the Chicago based Moto restaurant have come up with incredible ways to eat healthier, save the Earth and basically redefine how Joe Public views eating.

Save the Earth one meal at a time, you say? In one of the episodes they showed Tuesday night, our world renowned chefs used packing peanuts as the base for a full course meal, from soup to dessert. According to Food Foodies, the peanuts were “cornstarch-based nuggets that tasted like popcorn”. They were there for the launch of this extraordinary leap into the future of fighting world hunger, eliminating waste and reconstructing food as we know it. The same peanuts were also used at the beginning of the show to mail a glass vase to the restaurant. It arrived later that evening unshattered.

The next episode showed Omar and Ben acting as sensibly as mad food Scientists can. They came up with healthy replacements for junk food. A granola bar became the basis for french fries and chips for dipping and a healthy protein drink became the ketchup and so on. They then tested these wares out on the multitude of tourists visiting the Willis Tower (the tallest) in Chicago. Everyone, it seemed, was thrilled to sample healthy junk food and wanted more.

One of the interesting things about this show, besides the leap into the unknown, is that this unconventional eatery is set up to function as a lab or research facility and a restaurant which boosts a seemingly large kitchen. Most of the Moto chefs are instrumental in developing new ways to tease the palette as well as waiting tables to ensure that all patron's questions can be answered thoroughly.

I believe they are on to something big, so give them a look or if you are in the Chicago area, stop by the restaurant. I am sure they are always looking for willing guinea pigs. Hey, if they can figure how to feed people, waste less and help us live longer, I say do it - where do I sign up?

Future Food is aired on Planet Green every Tuesday night at 10:00 pm.

Here are a few links:

Chips and Salsa

Recipe by: Ben Roche and Darrell Nemeth

Junk food can be good for you, or at least thats what the chefs at Moto think! Here we have a recipe for Chips and Salsa... made out of granola bars.

BTW: Recipe from Planet Green/Discovery Channel link to Future Food
Photo: Stock Xchng

Chips & Salsa

Recipe by: Ben Roche and Darrell Nemeth


For Chips:

6 ?honey-almond granola bars?

1 tablespoon salt

4 egg whites (possibly 2 more if needed)

1 teaspoon cumin seed

1/2 a teaspoon black pepper

For salsa:

4, 10 ounce bottles of Green ?super? smoothie (which will produce about 1 cup of pulp)

1 cup water

1 small bunch cilantro ? 1 small bunch

1/2 an onion, chopped

2 cloves of garlic

1 tomato

2 tablespoons salt

1 jalepeno

1 tablespoon Agar-agar


For Chips:

Freeze-dry granola bars overnight.

Combine all ingredients (granola, salt, egg whites, cumin and black pepper) in a food processor and blend to create a paste. If mixture is too thick to become a paste, add additional egg whites until it works.

Spread this mixture out on parchment paper (or non-stick silicone baking mat) in a thin layer, approximately 1/4 inch thick.

Using a wooden skewer or a dull knife, ?cut? lines into the spread batter so that after they bake, you will be able to remove them as individual chips.

Bake at 300 degrees F until browned and dry.

Allow chips to cool, remove from tray

For Salsa

Pour super smoothies into a large-format centrifuge and spin until totally separated, about 10 minutes.

Decant liquid from separated juice, reserve separately from the solid mass leftover.

Combine solid leftover mass from centrifuge with all other ingredients (water, cilantro, onion, tomato, garlic, salt, jalepeno and agar-agar) in a blender and blend for 2 minutes.

Pour into a pot, bring to a boil, stirring and scraping bottom of pot periodically.

Allow to simmer for approximately 2 minutes, pour out into a shallow container and chill either over an ice bath or in the refrigerator.

Once chilled and firm, stir and break up with a fork.

Serve with chips

Planet Green Editor's Note: for the purposes of the Future Food show, this recipe involved us using a centrifuge and a freeze-dryer to produce it. You could make the chips similarly by blending various whole grains with salt, pepper, spices and egg whites, then flattening this mixture out, cutting into triangles and baking until browned

Friday, May 14, 2010

Toy Cam = Fun Day

Tread Lightly


No Matches

Grand Opening - Again

Pre-K Pediatrics

Park Art

Proof of UFOs

Color Me Bright

Monday, May 10, 2010

Brown and Black

Ambrosia by Kirby 90210

A few days ago my very inquisitive 4 year old daughter got me to thinking. She has always had a problem distinguishing the color Black from Brown. I thought she was over it until last Wednesday when she colored all the animals in her homework black even though I told her they should be colored brown. I got nervous. I thought she was regressing. At first I said to her, “You’re supposed to color the bears brown honey, not black”. I pointed to the black smudges she made on the homework and asked, “What color is this?” She answered, “Brown”. “No honey, it’s black. You’re supposed to color it brown.” She looked at me quiet and confused. If you know my child, she is never quiet and hardly ever confused. What could be the problem? Then I had an Epiphany!

I touched her bare arm and asked, “What color is your arm?” Quickly she said, “Black”.
“Honey”, I said to my daughter, “Your arm is not the color black, it is brown.” “But my teacher says I am black.” She refuted. I knew it! She’s already getting confused with our society’s efforts to force feed us muddled jargon as they try to place human beings in different class structures according to our appearances. As adults we accept that mass confusion but in reality, children are the best authority on the matter of distinction. If it doesn’t make sense to a child, then it should be done away with.

I really didn’t know what to say in response to her but without thinking, a few words did spill out of my mouth. “Well the next time your teacher or anyone else calls you black, tell them that you are brown.” I was surprised by what I said to her. I too accepted that I was black but really and truly, it doesn’t make sense to be called a color that I am clearly not. And why should human beings be distinguished by colors? Are we so rudimentary that we have to use colors to define us? Are we not much more than that? All Smurfs are blue but is that all that they are? There is Brainy Smurf, Handy Smurf, Papa Smurf and Smurfette to name a few. Mere fictional cartoon characters that are all clearly the color blue or is it periwinkle or cobalt? Anyway, Smurfs are not even simply defined by their color. Why should we be? Are we not more than this simple grid above?

The fact that now I am taking a stand to not be called a color, does that make me less “black”, African, African-American, Caribbean-American? Now I understand why my daughter always refers to her Asian friend, April as white. She is already being trained to classify each person by skin color. I would always say to her, “No honey, April is Chinese.” “But she’s white mommy.” Should I now tell her that her friend April is yellow? Of course not. How cave mannish would that be!

Maybe one day human kind will adjust their eyes to see beyond the exterior and put more emphasis on the deeper more important things such as an individual’s heart condition. But until that day comes, I will be teaching my daughter that Black is Black and Brown is Brown.  What do you think?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

In and Around New York with the Toy Cam

Noraline Aubergine jaunted about town with her toy cam. She was only tickled pink to share her view of NYC and Brooklyn with us. Enjoy!

Spring a blooming

SoHo living

Bench plus Fence equal stripes

Street Mosaic

Too Many Instructions

No bikes today?

Graffitti Mail

Missed My Train

This way out!

Stained Glass Skirt

CUNY Dancers

Forever Fenced In

Need Mowing

Men at Work

SUNY Shines

One Way Only

On Break

Squirrel at Work

Somethin's Fishy

Oh Brother