Saturday, October 27, 2012

Lemon-Lentil Soup and Ghosted

"What's a word for people who are attracted to people of the same sex? And who don't eat meat? I know there's a blog with some recipes for those people…" Or at least that's what I imagine someone was thinking when they googled this and found our page. 

This week there was one cold day that got me all excited for fall so I decided we should make a soup.

We made plantains as a side because I had one that needed to be used, but otherwise I would have made fry bread or maybe rice. This recipe is a permutation of one in Eat, Drink, and Be Vegan.

In a medium-large soup pot on medium heat add 1 tbs olive oil and saute
2 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
3 minced garlic cloves
pinch of salt, pinch of pepper
1 tsp mustard
1 tsp cumin
1 ½ tsp paprika 
½ tsp oregano
1 tsp thyme

Once that's all cooked up add
2 cups water
3 cups vegetable stock
1 cup dried lentils
3 cups cooked chickpeas (I just used one can)
2 cups chopped zucchini
2 bay leave
Bring it to a boil then turn down the heat and simmer until the lentils are cooked (about 20-25 min). Now put maybe a little more than half of it in a blender and puree it, then add it back (if you want you can puree the whole thing, but this leaves some nice texture). Serve with lemon juice squeezed in! (I used half a lemon for the two of us)

Directed by Monika Treut

Ai-ling is a young Taiwanese waitress working in her mother's restaurant. When she is finally given permission to travel to Germany to visit her uncle (and secretly to uncover information about her deceased father's past), her whole life changes. She falls in love. And then other things happen that are less pleasant.

Set between flashbacks and present day Germany and Taiwan, this movie follows our main girl Ai-ling and her girlfriend Sophie, as well as Mei-li, a journalist, who is for some unknown reason persistently interested in Sophie and her relationship with her now recently deceased lover. Through these characters we slowly uncover that truth behind Ai-ling's death, but we are still not left with a complete sense of closure.

It's kind of weird, but it's actually not as bad as I made it out to be in the vlog. It was enjoyable. Honestly, I was a little bored... but I was also doing household chores. 

Queer Rating:
Lore: 6
It's not like the queerest thing I've seen..... but, I mean, we don't even get a sense of their relationship being weird because it's two ladies. Sure, they aren't like super out to the family, but they know, and they know that they know, and we know that they know, and there's no "wahhhh, I'm gay" sob story. This is like real life. And I want their cute little gay bar. 
Syd: 4.5
I get all that, but Sophie's family doesn't care because she doesn't talk to them, and I kind of feel like why Ai-ling's family doesn't talk about it is not because they're ok with it but because it would be more embarrassing for the family to disown her because of it. And these are older people we're talking about, maybe they already had their gay meltdown. Yeah the queer doesn't come up, but...I dunno, whatevs.

Syd: 5
Lore: 3

Have a good weekend and get excited for our Halloween post! -Lore

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Milanesas and My Summer of Love

Happy Weekend, friends!
I've seen and interacted with a number of known/famous people while living in LA and working where I do, but I have never been as star struck in everyday life as I was earlier this week. 
I wouldn't have thought that Ben Savage would have this effect on me... The more I thought about it though, I realized that he was a HUGE part of my childhood. My brothers and I (and I'm sure many of you in our generation) were raised on Boy Meets World. It's not about celebrity status, it's about the impact he had on my young life. Cory Matthews and the gang were our friends! We cared about them! ...  Is this weird? It feels weird writing it out like this. Let's move on.

A milanesa is basically just a breaded ... meat. It can be chicken, beef, fish, etc. It's very typical in Argentina and most of South America. It's a delicious thing to have all around the globe really, with different countries specializing in it in their own way. Add some fries and a salad, and you have yourself a well balanced dinner!

You will need:
- Thin steak cutlets (or other meat of your choice)
- Eggs
- Bread Crumbs (I usually have a batch that I acquired from putting stale french bread through a food processor and keeping it in a jar in the fridge. Or you can toast bread and then put it through the food processor.)
- Garlic
- Vegetable Oil
- Lime
- Sides (french fries, salad, fried egg, etc)

Begin by setting aside a bowl of whisked eggs and a bowl of bread crumbs. I like to mix in a diced garlic clove in the egg bowl. If you wish to have fries to accompany your meal, you should put those in the oven now too.

The most important thing to remember when making milanesas is to use very thin cutlets. You can use a kitchen hammer, or anything heavy, to pound down on your choice of meat to make it thinner if it isn't already. Once this is done, dip your meat into the egg bowl, making sure to completely drench it. The next stop is the bread crumb bowl. Bury the cutlet deep into the crumbs and roll it around. Make sure the meat is entirely covered in crumbs. 

Now you are ready for the frying pan! Use A LOT of oil to cook the milanesas, but please don't burn yourself (Syd has a tragic story about burning up an entire arm with hot oil). It should only take a few minutes to have both sides crispy and ready to go.

Once done, place your milanesa, fries and salad on a plate, and enjoy! Some people also like to add a fried egg on top of the finished product. The milanesa will be extra delicious drizzled in lime juice.

My Summer of Love (2004)
Directed by Pawel Pawlikowski

Girl meets girl from the other side of the tracks, they show each other their different lifestyles….oh and fall in love. Crazy love. 

Mona and her brother, her only remaining family member, live above a bar their family used to run. Now the brother has converted it into a church and Mona is not taking it well and feels like she's lost him. Tammy lives off in some mansion and has a horse and plays cello and name drops Nietzsche and Freud when they first hang out. She also has some family troubles, but largely just seems bored. 

They start hanging out all the time and quickly become entirely codependent. They are both hot-headed sort of people, so perhaps it is not surprising that things don't end as well as they might have…watch it so we can talk about it ok? Like, woah.
Queer Rating: (out of ten fries)
Lore: 2 fries
Syd: 2 fries   

Overall Rating:
Lore: 8½ fries
Syd: 7 fries

Fun fact: I'm largely culturally illiterate because I did not watch TV as a child and so had no idea who Ben Savage was. I just wanted to say that incase you didn't either and felt alone. I think the most famous person I've seen was the guy who played Wolverine, and that was not in LA but at a Renaissance Faire where I worked. (y'know what, it was fun and it payed well) It is true that I have a horrific oil burn story. You should ask me about it sometime, in retrospect it's quite humorous.  


Sunday, October 14, 2012

Pumpkin Pancakes and La Cage Aux Folles

Bonjour mes amis!
Ou…Well, that, along with a few other useful phrases, is the extent of my French currently, so it's a good thing subtitles are a thing. Although in part of my quest to know everything I also want to know all the languages(!), but that will probably take some time. Lucky for you, I do already know how to separate egg whites. I didn't always of course, and once as a kid I was trying to make my sister a surprise birthday cake and thought "egg whites" probably just meant "white eggs." You won't make this mistake, and instead will have perfect pumpkin pancakes. (Or waffles. Oh man I wish I still had a waffle iron.)

I know you might be thinking, "yo Syd, I just mix flour and water and get some ok pancakes." Or even just, "yo, Bisquick is a thing." Trust me, this is better. Have you not learned that things from scratch are always better yet?

There are two ways to do this: Mix everything just going down the list, except pausing to beat the egg whites stiff in a separate bowl, OR, Mix the wet and dry separately, still doing the egg whites on their own. Because these are not finicky pancakes and I like minimal dishwashing I go with the former method, but as always, you do you.

Pumpkin Pancakes: (2 servings)
1/2 cup flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or some combo of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, allspice, and ginger if you're feeling it)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup skim milk 
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
2 large eggs, separated
2 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
These are so nice and buttery-sweet already that we just drizzled some condensed milk on top since sometimes maple syrup can be it's own overpowering flavor. Also it looks fancy. (Also I have a lot of condensed milk because the only thing I really use it for is sometimes in my coffee.) One could also experiment with chocolate chips, blueberries, shwateva. 

La Cage aux Folles 1978
Directed by Edouard Molinaro
(Crappy) Trailer

This is the story of a very entertaining gay couple Renato and Albin, who make a living off of a drag club they own and work at. Renato manages and Albin, known as Zaza on stage, is the star performer.

They are very successful and happy in their lives, but things get stirred up when Renato's son announces that he is getting married... and that his fiancee's parents are ultra conservative politically directed people who are coming to meet them.

With the help of their assortment of friends and employees, they set out to de-gay themselves and their lives for the sake of their son's engagement.

This film was actually an adaptation of a 1973 play. A broadway musical adaptation came out in 1983. The American remake, based and shot in my hometown of South Beach, FL, starring Robin Williams and Nathan Lane, was released in 1996 and is also amazing. 

Queer Rating
lore: 3.5 pumpkin pancakes
syd: 1.5 pumpkin pancakes

General Rating
lore: 3 pumpkin pancakes
syd: 2.5 pumpkin pancakes

Au revoir,

Friday, October 5, 2012

Ocopa and Patrick 1.5

Hello, hello!
I was watching Glee last night and I realized... well, after very recently watching Willow and Tara on Buffy, I feel so much less excited about what we're given on television in terms of queer lady couples. How is it possible that ten years later it feels like we're actually getting less?

You know when you press record and then you actually didn't record and then you click to stop recording, but then you're actually recording? The point is... I didn't purposely cut Syd out of things.

My mom always sends me Peruvian things to eat and cook with. I recently had all this Huacatay paste and I didn't really know what to do with it... until I realized that's what you use to make Ocopa*! 
So... this was kind of experimental, but I think it came out pretty good!

Note that I am not very good at following recipes to the exact amounts. The following is roughly how we did it based on what I felt was right... and it'll probably change the next time I do it. 
You can click this link for more accuracy: I liked this website best

Huacatay Paste - full jar (the jar is about 7oz)
Aji Amarillo - a few tsps depending on how spicy you like things
Saltine crackers - 3 or 4
Peanuts - 1/4 of a cup
Potatoes - 3 or 4
Red Onion - 1/2
Garlic - 2 or 3 cloves
Vegetable oil 
Queso Fresco or Cottage Cheese - 2/3 cup
(the actual recipe calls for queso fresco, but cottage cheese can be used as a cheaper alternative) 
Evaporated milk - 1/2 cup or more
Eggs - one per person
Lettuce - a few leaves to garnish the plate

In a big pot, boil your potatoes. This should take about 30 - 40 minutes. You can add the eggs at about the 25 minute mark. You know the potatoes are ready when you can easily poke a fork through them.

While this is happening you can chop and sauté your onion. Add the garlic, huacatay and aji amarillo. Stir these all together and let it all cool. Don't let things get crispy.
Separately, combine chopped peanuts, crumbled crackers and cheese in a bowl. 
Put all of these things in a blender. Gradually add the evaporated milk to reach your desired creaminess. 

Once the potatoes and eggs are done, carefully rinse and peel them (they will be hot!) Cut the potatoes in half the long way and place them on your lettuce garnished plate. Pour your sauce (that's what you've got in the blender) onto the potatoes. Slice the eggs in half and place them on top of your creation. You can also add olives on top if you like that sort of thing.


*Ocopa is a traditional Peruvian dish from Arequipa. Huacatay is an herb found in Peru and other countries in that region of South America. You can get it in its herb form or in a paste which is also referred to as Black Mint Paste. 

Patrik 1.5 (2008)
Directed by Ella Lemhagen

As if adopting a child for a gay family wasn't an ordeal enough, when Sven and Göran finally complete their process it turns out that the cute month and a half year-old they were hoping for is actually a surly, homophobic 15 year old. Their ideal family takes a hit in more ways than one as this new stress turns out to be more than they can handle.

I initially expect this movie to be much more of a comedy, although now that I think about it there is nothing funny about homophobia so maybe I am glad it didn't actually go that way. Instead we see Patrik, the teenager, as sort of a voice for the entire town's subtle misgivings about a gay couple. From Göran's awkward work confrontations (he is a doctor) to neighbors' rude comments, it is clear that it would take more than a baby to make the new couple fit in.

It is also a story about Patrik learning to fit in. As he gradually grows to appreciate people and see them as people he relates to and that relate to him he becomes someone a family actually wants to adopt. For how all this finally plays out you will have to watch the movie yourself, but I will say that it ends well (and certainly has comedic moments).

Out of a cup-
Overall Rating:
Lore:  ½ cup 
Syd: ½ cup

Queer Rating:
Lore: 6/8 cup
Syd: 6/8 cup

See you next week! -Syd