Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Zucchini With Beanballs and Water Lilies

Hello! Welcome to date cinq (5). Syd and I are happy to have you with us.

I feel like this renedezvous is a good time to share something very personal. The internet often overwhelms me. I don't understand the twitter or the pinstagram or how a tumblr is different than what livejournal used to be. What I do know is that sometimes as I get lost in the jumble, I find neat stuff. I found this recipe on a fantastic blog/website, which I acquired from a friend's tumblr, which she linked to me on facebook. It's networking on a whole different level! And it's delicious. enjoy!

You will need :
2-3 Zucchinis
1 can of black beans
1 handful of oats
marinara/tomato/somesortof sauce
bread crumbs
maybe some soy sauce
vegetable oil

Start by julienning (cutting into matchstick-like pieces) the zucchini. Have someone drain and mash the can of black beans as you do this. Add a handful of oats to the mashed beans. Mash some more. Fry the zucchini in some oil. Add some soy sauce if you like that. Make little bean balls out of your bean concoction and coat them with bread crumbs. Fry said bean balls in some oil. You can add some soy sauce to these as well. Place bean balls on zucchini as if they are pasta. Pour warm sauce on top. Enjoy. Discover other simple and easy recipes on YUM!

Now onto the awkward movie I like to make people watch!

Water Lilies (2007)
Written and Directed by Céline Sciamma

The trailer soundtrack is kind of misleading in my mind, I feel like there was actually a very noticeable quietness to this movie. Maybe it was just the awkward.

Set in a suburb somewhere in France, Water Lilies* focuses on three girls in their coming-of-age suffering. Anne is part of a synchronized swimming group and one day her friend Marie comes to see her perform. Marie instead takes note of another team's captain, Florian, and becomes infatuated. She does all she can to join the team, but sort of ends up just tagging along. Florian uses this dedication as sort of an ego boost and also Marie as an alibi for her going out and meeting boys. Anne also has boy troubles, but instead of getting too much attention it's that she can't get attention from the one she wants. Her dedication is also eventually abused, and so really nobody ends up happy. Still, as Wikipedia eloquently says, they "come to learn the true meaning of arousal and the power of sexual attraction," so that's something right?

Overall Rating:
Syd: Like I said, I am very on the fence, which is sort of an unusual feeling for me since I usually just like or dislike movies. (I am really not a movie person, don't ask) 5 out of 10 beanballs.
Lore: 4.5 beanballs.

Queer Rating:

Syd: 5.5 beanballs
Lore: 6.5 beanballs

Thanks for dropping byy~ keep putting down the heteropartiarchy and eating delicious things!

*Or, Birth of the Octopuses. I am guessing something is lost in translation? Still, sometimes I feel like keeping that original title would be an interesting effort to see things other ways. A great article with more thoughts on book translation here

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Horchata and I Don't Want To Go Back Alone

So Lorena has no off days this week and things are generally a little busy, so this is sort of Dinner Date 4.5—we're not doing a vlog and it's a short and a drink recipe instead. But both are great so I'm sure you won't be disappointed.

When I left Bogotá there was a hole in my heart that I had normally filled with delicious fresh juices. Forced to move on from lulo and maracuyá, I latched on to the rice drink horchata. Hoping to curb my addiction's cost I decided to try making it, and it's easy! Witness:

Soak 2 cups of rice overnight in 3 cups of water with a cinnamon stick. (if you only have ground cinnamon, just throw some in later) 

The next day, throw it all in a blender for maybe 2-3 min. until smooth. 
Strain through something pretty fine, depending how you feel about chunks.
Add 3 cups of water, ⅓ cup of sugar (or to taste), and ½ tbs of vanilla.
Enjoy over ice or stick it in the fridge for later! (it will separate, don't worry, just shake before serving.)

There are many many variations I'm sure the internet can tell you all about if you want. Some people add almond milk instead of the later cups of water, or you can soak almonds with the rice in the beginning. The original horchata is from Spain and is made with chufa nuts, and several Latin American countries have some sort of variation to this Mexican version. It is delicious and refreshing, and pairs particularly well with spicy food. And rum. It keeps for about 5 days I'd say.

So now that you've got that…steeping?…it's time for the short. It's Brazilian and it's called "I Don't Want To Go Back Alone" (Eu Não Quero Voltar Sozinho) More young love, and not made any easier by the protagonist being blind. Super cute, give it a watch: 

Syd: Such a great idea, so well done. I like all the muted colors. Having Leonardo be blind is an interesting way of exploring attraction. Yes we can be drawn to looks, but in the end you need that chemistry, and that's what being queer is kind of about! Just going for what you want. All he knows about his friends is how they sound and interact, and (to Giovana's dismay) he naturally gravitates to Gabriel. Full disclosure: I totally see why the kids make fun of his typewriter, that would drive me crazy.

Lore: I had to work a lot this week. I apologize. 
This is an adorable short movie. My mom was sad for Leonardo because he's blind AND gay. She's right, it is unfortunate for him in our straight, seeing world, but the movie never seemed to expect us to pity or feel bad for the kid, which I really appreciated. It's nice to see real people portrayed in real situations that we all go through. Also, I love how stealthy Gabriel is.

Thanks for hanging out, and hopefully we'll see you next week. Until then, do you have any queer shorts you want to share? Post them in the comments and it'll be like a mini film festival!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Causa Rellena and The Incredibly True Adventures of Two Girls in Love

Hi, it's date four! So, I guess you like us, huh? Oh, good... that means I can geek out right? 
I love Glee, and I saw some interesting similarities with this week's movie. Since I didn't have room for it on the vlog and I'm not doing the review this week I will count those things here: #1 Gay prom dates #2 hand holding at the restaurant #3 "What, you're not graduating!? Why didn't you tell me!? ... "Well yeah, what did you think, I'm failing?!" 
It's funny how we're still dealing with these things, huh!? Especially that pesky gf not graduating thing...

Causa Rellena:
What you need (serving size 3-5 people):
- Potatoes (you can cheat like I do and just buy a box of mashed potato flakes... if so, you want to make sure that the end-product is very thick and moldable. If it's sticking to your hands/too watery, add more flakes! Use your hands to mold together)
- Mayonnaise- be prepared to use about half a jar (we use Vegannaise because we're fancy) 
- Aji Amarillo/Peruano (if you can't find this... try harder... if you still can't find it, that's fine, just don't call it Causa to any known Peruvians, they will judge you.)
- 1/2 an Onion
- Olive Oil
- 1-2 limes
- Salt and Pepper
- Parsley (for garnishing purposes)
- Mom (to call in case you have any questions regarding spanish vocab)
- Filling (this can consist of chicken, tuna, veggies, avocado, or anything else your little queer heart desires)

I would start with boiling the chicken or preparing any of the aforementioned fillings. While this is happening you can start preparing the potato. If you're mashing actual potatoes... I can't help you. If you cheated and bought the flakes (wee!) it's really easy to get the right consistency. Boil a tiny bit of water first. Slowly add flakes and stir with a wooden spoon. Continue adding flakes or water depending on what you potatoes look like. As mentioned before, you want the end-product to be moldable (like play-doh) and not stick to your hands or be too creamy.

Once those things are done you can put the filling into a bowl and get it ready to go. You will be adding mayo/vego (a lot of this), salt, pepper, lime, aji amarillo, and maybe some olive oil and onions if you feel so inclined. To the potatoes you will add all of the above minus the mayo and onions for now. Many Peruvians have a specific amount of ingredient that they find vital to the dish. I myself find it more important to do what feels right to you and your guests. Taste as you go!

Next, you should have decided if you're doing individual bowls or one big casserole. I usually do a casserole, but individual bowls are nice too. Coat the bottom and sides of the container with the perfectly mixed potatoes. Add the filling. Cover with one last layer of potato. It should remind you a little of a shepherd's pie. Add mayo to the top. Make it look pretty like frosting.

Crumble up that parsley and sprinkle it on top as a garnish. Do this with a bit of pepper as well.  Now make a "sauce" that is purely minced onions, olive oil, and more lime and put that all over the top too. Some people like to add an olive or half a hard boiled egg. It looks nice.

About half an onion, olive oil , salt and pepper, and lime.
It's yum.

I think that's it. Enjoy/Disfruten, amigos!

Con cariño, Lorena.

Syd: Can I just add that this beguilingly simple dish is delicious? I used to ask Lorena to make it for all my dinner parties. Seriously, you wan't in on this.

The Incredibly True Adventures of Two Girls in Love (1995)
Written and Directed by Maria Maggenti
Trailer (couldn't find it) Full Movie

Disregard the ridiculous promotional image, this movie is great. The school super dyke (Laurel Holloman, a.k.a. Tina) falls in love with a wealthy popular girl, people don't support it, they get together anyway. 

So a simple story, really more about teenage love and pushing boundaries than anything else, but well done and super cute. Randy and Evie are sort of from opposite words—opera vs. classic rock, all A student vs. failing student, single parent household vs. lesbian extended family—but they both end up sharing a love of Whitman's Leaves of Grass and that's what matters. So many great scenes but I don't want to give them away.

I don't even know what else to say, it's cute and silly and why are you even still reading this go watch it.

Queer Rating:
Syd: 7/8ths of a bowl of causa. It's obviously very about two girls, but there really isn't that much drama about it…I don't know, whatever.
Lore: Full bowl

Overall Rating:
Syd: 3/4s of a bowl
Lore: 5/6th of a bowl

As a side note, I was looking through what searches lead to our page and saw:

Guys, we're not gonna duke it out. Also, urls go in the address bar, just fyi. See you next week you wonderful people!  -Syd

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Grilled/Baked Pizza and Eyes Wide Open

As summer settles in, L.A. starts getting pretty toasty and people's grills and tank tops and farmer's tans start coming out, so we thought we'd join in. I've been wanting to use the grill on my building's roof ever since I moved in, and being that I don't know how to deal with meat, grilled pizza seemed like the ideal thing to make. Unfortunately, while the grill is communal there is no communal gas—so we were stuck using my oven. That's fine though because more people probably have ovens than grills anyway

Grilled Baked Pizza is super easy to make, and surprisingly quick if you make the crust ahead of time. (and it's delicious, so you should). This recipe makes a good two person sized pizza with a thickish crust.

For the dough:
Mix 1 cup hot water (sink hot is fine) with one packet of yeast and 1 tbs sugar. Let that stand about 10 minutes so the yeast can get going. Then add ⅓ cup oil and about 3 cups flour. You want your dough soft but not gooey.You might also throw in some garlic or rosemary. Put the ball in an oiled bowl somewhere warm and let it sit for an hour. Punch it down, wait another hour. (I encountered "pizza crust yeast" which supposedly does not need rise time, but I don't trust it. You do you.)

The video does not make this part obvious, but you next want to bake your crust a bit without anything on it. Say 8 minutes at 350.

Now the fun part: you and your date get to decorate the pizza! Throw on whatever you want. We went with tomato sauce, spinach, veggie sausage, mushrooms, and queso fresco (which turned out to be a great choice). Stick it back in the oven for around 5 minutes, remove, slice, and enjoy!

This romesco sauce is another alternative topping choice that looks delicious, but we decided to stay away from getting too labor intensive. This should be a casual dinner date; fresh sauce and fresh crust is probably something more serious.  -S

Eyes Wide Open (2009)
Written by Merav Doster
Directed by Haim Tabakman

I would like to begin by stating that though I did fall asleep the first time through, I did re-watch the movie and I feel a lot more satisfied with it than I did in our initial reaction vlog.

We begin on a terribly rainy day in in an Orthodox Jewish community in Jerusalem. Our protagonist is Aaron, who has taken over his recently deceased father's butcher shop. Aaron is a respectable man in his community. He has a loving wife and four children. He has a strong relationship with the Rabbi in his synagogue and with his own faith. He meets Ezri, a young wanderer looking for a phone and a place to stay, who has left the Yeshiva he had been attending and has come to the community seemingly searching for someone. Aaron allows Ezri to stay in a room above the butcher shop and he becomes his apprentice, friend, and eventually his lover. When rumors begin spreading about Ezri (i.e. why he was kicked out of school), certain people in the community begin to warn Aaron about him, insisting he get rid of him before he tarnishes their neighborhood.

There is also a parallel story involving a heterosexual couple having a relationship outside of marriage. The two are seen as immoral sinners in very much the same way Ezri is, and they too are faced with difficult decisions posed to them by the "morality police" involving love and societal decency.

It's a very stoic love story. Throughout the affair, his wife's suspicions, the community's hostility and even his own feelings towards Ezri, Aaron appears fairly unemotional. This made the movie seem a little anti climactic, but I feel like it really stayed true to the character we're following. This isn't a coming out story after all, which I really appreciated, it's a story about a man's life.

And just because I can, I chose a favorite quote.
"Why is it so hard just to let him go?" ... "I'm alive. I was dead and now I'm alive"

Overall Rating
Lore: 6/8ths of a pizza. After watching the second half of the movie, I have to recant my previous ratings.
Syd:  3/4ths of a pizza. I was pretty excited about finding an Orthodox Jewish "gay" movie, and I'd say it delivered. I want to talk more so please comment, I had to cut a lot of vlog footage.

Queer Rating
Lore: 6/8 slices.  Not because I thought it was less gay, rather because I realized that it was about so much more than that... but still pretty gay.
Syd: 1/2 a pizza. It has gay acts, but they are not treated particularly differently. Which is a good thing of course.

See ya next week!