Gluten-free Zucchini Tortillas
Across the country, home gardeners find themselves harvesting pounds of summer squash and rifling through cook books for recipes. I give my excess to a local food bank; those five-pound monsters are edible, sabes?
Here is a delicious, fast, incredibly easy, delicious food. Made with wheat flour, it's not OK for gente who cannot eat gluten. Made with gluten-free consciousness and ingredients, this zucchini tortilla becomes a universal food.
Gente afflicted by gluten intolerance get exceedingly ill after consuming wheat-, barley-, or rye-containing foods. This means no beer, no soy sauce, no corn flakes, no bread of any kind, white, wheat, rye, pizza, donuts, bagels, croutons, bocadillas, and worst of all, no tortillas de harina.
The Gluten-free Chicano grew up eating tortillas de harina from his mother’s and both grandmothers’ hands. They are his native food. Packed in a brown bag wrapped around a weenie, eggs and papas, beans and cheese, his school lunches provided variety and converse with the other kids.
My mother and her mother made the best masa, turning out thin, supple tortillas whether hot or cold. My other gramma made sabanas, huge thin wondrous treats pulled off the cast iron stove. Which is neither here nor there because if you're afflicted you're never going to eat another flour tortilla in your life. So this recipe makes a flour tortilla analog, on the thick side for a tortilla but then, it's not a tortilla de harina.
Keep the masa wet, spread it thinly across the comal, cook it solid all the way through, and you can wrap food in it. You cannot taquear with it but you can sop up the salsa or dip into hummus with a piece torn from The Gluten-free Chicano's gluten-free zucchini tortillas.
Any squash will do. Today’s garden provides zucchini and patty pan calabacitas. As I am feeding only two, I choose one patty pan. La Chickenada provide one egg. I need milk, baking soda, salt, pepper, chile powder, plus a deep bowl for beating eggs, a wire whisk.
Whip the egg frothy. Whip in the baking soda, salt, chile powder.
Stir in a quarter cup of GF flour or less. You want a thin masa, so splash in some milk, then stir in the grated squash. Now the masa flows easily and and sticks to itself and the veggies.
Spray the pan with non-stick spray. Add a scant tsp of olive oil and let it get hot enough to sizzle a test droplet.
Drop a generous amount of masa into the pan and spread it out. Let it cook until the edges have set. Be patient and let it bubble here and there.
Five or six minutes on the first side.
Three minutes on the other or until done all the way. To ensure the center cooks effectively I press on the tortilla with the spatula.
Set cooked tortilla on newspaper to soak up any excess cooking oil. Some people slather butter on them and eat with a knife and fork. If you're making a lot, 1.5 per mouth could be about right, wrap them in a dish towel and cover with a bowl. Leave the leftovers in the trapo and refrigerate. They're good cold.
I make these large enough to wrap around some carne asada or scrambled eggs, and eat by hand, like a taco. I call these tortillas, others call them pancakes.
Next time, maybe grate chile huero with the squash so they're decently picosos. Or use yellow and green calabazas, a few shavings of red pepper, for eye appeal. Add dried parmesan cheese to the flour for piquancy. Raisins and nuts could make this a sweet dish.
Variations on ingredients and cooking options provide delightful meals, in almost no time and minimal preparation difficulty. An experimental attitude produces compliments and stuffed bellies, along with another way to use all those squash.
Do rinse the bowl and utensils right away because gluten-free flour products dry hard and require scraping and lots of elbow grease to uncrust.
For additional The Gluten-free Chicano recipes visit Read! Raza's GF pages.
The Gluten-free Chicano Bakes
For Dessert, Gluten-free Peanut Butter Cookies
These generously-sized galletas de cacahuate come out of the oven chewy but not soft and spongy. Use any gluten-free flour or pancake mix, mix everything by hand, drop heaped tablespoons of dough onto a coated cookie tray. Bake at 350 degrees 15 to 20 minutes or until suitably brown, remove to cooling rack.
You'll need 15 minutes to make the dough and get the cookies into the hot oven.
Bob’s Red Mill Pancake Mix, or King Arthur gluten-free flour.
Sugar to taste, generous half a cup
Salt, 2 shakes
Cinnamon, a shake
Baking soda, a couple pinches or 1/16 tsp
Vanilla powder, a couple shakes or 1/4 tsp genuine vanilla extract
Unsweetened butter, 3/4 cube
crunchy peanut butter, 3 tbs
In a suitable container:
Whisk the heck out of an egg. When frothy, whip in the baking soda, salt, vanilla, canela.
In a deep mixing bowl:
Cut 3/4 stick butter into the flour mix with a fork. Get the mix to a fine crumble.
Mix sugar throughly. 1/4 brown 1/4 cup white sugar, or just brown or just white.
Mix in 3 heaping, dripping tbs crunchy peanut butter.
Dig to the bottom of the bowl and get all the dry stuff into the mix.
You now have a heavy lump of dough that could be rolled out.
Stir the egg mix into the peanut butter mix.
The dough is stiff, so splash milk to thin enough to stir the dough into a sticky ball.
Non-stick spray a cookie sheet:
Wash your hands again and leave them wet.
Scoop a palmful of batter and roll into a ball.
Position the balls of dough 3 across 4 down. They will spread out in the oven and may touch.
Bake 20 minutes or until nicely browned.
You may have to rotate the cookie sheet if the oven bakes unevenly.
Remove with a wide flat spatula to a cooling rack.
Cookies left to cool on the sheet continue cooking. They will be crispier.
Serve warm if you're in serious need of a cookie.
For additional The Gluten-free Chicano recipes visit Read! Raza's GF pages.
For The Gluten-free Chicano's GF Beer tasting report, click here.
Lit Crawl Promises Literary Mayhem in Public
Sally Shore, OG of spoken word literature in El Lay and environs brings, along with Conrad Romo and Rosalind Helfand, Lit Crawl to the environs: North Hollywood’s square mile of performance spaces, bars, restaurants, galleries, the NoHo arts scene.
The San Francisco-originated Lit Crawl movimiento began in 2004 to solve a marketing conundrum: “Could we take over a neighborhood, or two, add pop-up events to every venue that might allow it (bars, cafes, bookstores, theaters, galleries, clothing boutiques, furniture showrooms, parking lots, Laundromats, bee-keeping supply shops), invite dozens of authors to read from their work, and watch hundreds of literati tromp the route and get drunk on words—all for free?”
According to Sally’s email, the October 2013 Lit Crawl brings “the best of LA’s writers” to read and sell books to thousands of teeming literati and the inevitable literatonti. The line-up depends upon who applies to perform in venues ranging from bars to bakeries, promising accommodation to a variety of content and age ranges.
Shore says she is “reaching out to the many L.A. literary organizations and communities for presentation proposals for this inaugural crawl.” Those who apply by July 15 have a shot at Lit Crawl real estate and a spot on the Command Performance stage that will be the principal literary legacy of Lit Crawl LA:NoHo.
To claim a place among the best of LA’s writers, contact Sally Shore, Interim Director at the organization's website. She cautions hopefuls be creative, fun, and comply with guidelines detailed in the application form, such as “Lit Crawl is known nationally for innovative/fun/challenging content and we love great & unique ideas for Lit Crawl L.A: NoHo!"
Your tax dollars at work
Lit Crawl LA: NoHo is a project of the EMERGE fiscal sponsorship program of The Pasadena Arts Council and is also a project of the Litquake Foundation.
Reading Honors Poet Gloria Enedina Alvarez
La Bloga friend Abel Salas, publisher of Los Angeles' razacentric arts weekly Brooklyn & Boyle Magazine, sends news of an all-star lineup of Chicana Chicano Latina Latino poets, artists, and musicians gathering at Salas' Boyle Heights production facility, Medford Street Studios, to celebrate and honor their mentor and friend, multifaceted poet, librettist, consejera, Gloria Enedina Alvarez.
Latinopia Feature of the Week: Bloguera Olga García Echeverría
Olga García Echeverría's Sunday columns never fail to elicit enthusiastic comments from readers. Comments, both here and at La Bloga's Facebook pageholder, enjoy Olga's distinctive voice and seriously funny insights.
Olga's engagingly effective reading of her memorable code-switching gem, "Lengualistic Algo" is this week's Latinopia Word feature.
If the video link above doesn't play, click here to enjoy Olga's this-is-how-you-read-your-own-stuff reading of this masterpiece.
On-line Floricanto At the End of June, Beginning of Summer
Andrea Mauk, edward vidaurre, Fernando Rodríguez, Rose Sanchez, Frank De Jesus Acosta
“You Taught Me Well” by Andrea Mauk
“guión”, by edward vidaurre
"Somos América" by Fernando Rodríguez
"My Beauty Queen" by Rose Sanchez
"Colors of Love" by Frank De Jesus Acosta
You Taught Me Well
by Andrea Mauk
Your hand was as big as ten of mine
and cupped with warmth
as we walked the uneven streets
You took me from store to store
searching for a shield,
crossed swords protruding from behind,
royal blue, a proud eagle
with wings spread in confidence.
Garcia. The same in Mexico.
You taught me names have meaning
and links to history.
Around the corner,
children smaller than I
offered naranjas y chicles
but I couldn't take my eyes away from
the boat of a car heading nose first
down the cobbled side of the mountain.
Why doesn't it fall, Grandpa?
He studied it, smiled slowly.
The road only looks that steep
from here, he explained.
Besides, things don't always make sense
in Mexico - not the way we're used to.
You let me believe in miracles.
Back home, my brother's body
limp and sinking. I dove down
and grabbed him, and pulled
and struggled, and ran out of air,
but stayed down. I felt
claws of steel cinch my waist,
a forklift ride hoisting both of us.
You didn't swim, but you somehow
saved him, saved us.
He spit out water for five minutes straight
as I shivered and thanked God.
You taught me to never give up.
playing with toys saved from my mom's childhood,
milk bottles that bobbed up and down in
a pull-wagon. Dressing up in high heels
and musty garments stored in the
cedar chest. My grandmother
trying to clean up
my cyclonic mess.
You laughed, and made
panqueques con mouse ears
or lumpy fork-mashed potatoes
swimming in butter, and your eyes
were sun rays when you looked at me.
You taught me how people
treat one another
when they love.
Ten years old. We got the news on
the telephone. Three generations
of women who adored you
knotted by love and loss on the side
of my mom's bed. You left me
your Ford Fairlane with
no power steering and the air conditioning
that made it sound like an airplane.
I drove it once before my dad sold it
because he needed the money.
You taught me loss,
the one I loved most, Grandpa,
because you were the first to go.
by Edward A. Vidaurre
do you know the in-between?
i plank on hyphens
there i understand the reason for lighting candles
there i read banned music notes
there alurista explains duende to me
there oldies explain the meaning behind quinceañera dance choreography
there i can see mi gente running and jumping over la pobreza into el racismo
there our children are detained
there clouds come down and carry off my denials
there i search for the chemical reaction that makes love work
there is where Neruda dropped his pen after asking for silence
there the CIA jumped off
there lie the odes yet written
there goes an ode for the unwritten
there revolutions rise
there a poem lies face down
between the hyphen
Vidaurre is the founder of Pasta, Poetry & Vino and Barrio Poet Productions. He has been nominated for a pushcart prize for his poem, "Lorca in the Barrio" and also is co-editing an anthology called "Twenty" for Newtown, CT through El Zarape Press with Daniel Garcia Ordaz, Katie Hoerth, Jose Chapa V and Rene Saldaña Jr.His book "I Took My Barrio On A Road Trip" (Slough Press 2013) is available on Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.
by Fernando Rodríguez
Somos el pasto a través del país,
Que alimenta y mantiene a tus vacas
Somos las nubes del país,
Que cubren y mojan la tierra
Somos 11 millones
El contitnente es América no solo un país
Somos el futuro, pasado y presente
El desayuno del güero
El descanso de los flojos
El ticket del policía
El consumidor de la Wal-mart
El que paga la renta, luz y agua
El que mantiene tu economía
El que pelea tus batallas
Y dime tú ¿quién eres?
My Beauty Queen
by Rose Sanchez
Beauty rang loud and clear,
in all the things Claudia said,
in all the things Claudia did
for her family.
Claudia made quite obvious
to anyone who listened,
that her family was the cornerstone
of her life.
could win a beauty contest hands down,
if the contestants were judged by the example they set.
Claudia showed her three daughters,
that honey really IS sweeter then vinegar,
no matter what the issues may have been,
between her and her man,
they always worked them out.
Security is so precious
to a child.
Beauty,danced miraculous in piano keys.
This short,spirited,dark haired, plump,
cinnamon skinned woman,
bent over her ivories,
pounding out Bach, Beethoven,
Rancheras, and even the Blues.
She always thought she wasn't
Yet I can still hear and feel her music
in my mind so many years later.
Let me tell you,
the woman could PLAY!
I know you'll think I'm crazy,
when I tell you that I recently realized,
how gorgeous, green beans really are.
It hit me one day, out of the blue,
when I was thinking about Claudia.
You see, she forever had green beans in her pantry.
The beauty in those cans with stick on labels was,
in her mind they represented nutrition and health.
So what if her family was the only family for miles,
forced to eat frijoles, tortillas AND green beans.
I know now, there was beauty in every bite.
Summer nights were made in heaven,
you wouldn't think THAT could be possible
someplace in a smoggy, gang infested barrio of East Los Angeles right?
Yet, when Claudia sat out on the front porch steps
her husband lightly strumming the guitar,
she sang the sad love songs.
she learned at her father's knee
in her native New Mexico
Hearing the strains of her haunting melodic voice,
even the stars stopped twinkling to listen.
This Claudia I speak of,
is an amazing woman.
She has shed tears of both joy and pain,
she offers her life and her family
with total faith, into the hands of God.
I don't see Claudia as often as I would like to,
but when I do,
I drink in the contours of her face
her dark brown eyes,
and I enjoy that husky laugh.
I believe that the
soft lines on her cafe con leche skin,
could never mar her beauty.
I can only hope,
that time will be kind
showing me the secrets of becoming
even half the strong and beautiful woman she is.
I hug her tight when I am able
For a brief moment,
I am that wild haired, freckle faced niña again.
It should be mandated,
every child could have a Claudia in their lives.
Claudia is my mom.
The true definition of beauty to me.
For Claudia who taught me the importance of hugs,
kisses and embracing each moment tightly.....
I love you lady.
Rose currently resides Arizona, and is fighting against racial intolerance and injustice aimed at the people she was always taught to be so proud of. The first thing you see when you walk up to Rose's front door is a sign on her front window that states "NO SB1070." She carries this statement inside her heart, and it fills up her every waking moment.
She is fighting this war with her words, her weapons are drawn, she is ready to battle.
Colors of Love
By Frank De Jesus Acosta
I awaken drawing a virgin breath
New day offering a canvas of revelation
The amber of the dawn sun illumes possibility
Words dance like finger-paints in a childlike heart
Innocent imaginations channeling ancient wisdom
Earth a tambour for those embroidering red roads
Renderings of hate, greed, & cruelty turn the world grey
Reflect the shades & blushes of creation; brilliant & serene
Be a chameleon of truth, bearing the hues of humanity
Beyond the spectrum of beauty are the colors of love