Saturday, September 22, 2018

Timber Frames: An Unfulfilled Dream by Antonio SolisGomez



As a young man I became interested in working with wood, an interest that was an easy enough transition from time spent helping my carpenter stepfather. However my interest was now in building furniture, although as a home owner, I also had to tackle basic carpentry projects. My new interest utilized some of the same basic carpentry tools which I had, but eventually I had to purchase a table saw, a band saw, chisels, jigs for drilling accurate holes, rasps, glues and small hands saws for cutting dovetail joints.

I build a few pieces for home use, a desk for my daughter, a chest of drawers, a hutch, a queen size bed and a meditation chair. The magazine Fine Woodworking was a favorite during that early time of learning, reading in depth articles on the finer points of building furniture, including tools, projects and technique enhancement. It was here that I first read about Timber Frame construction and I was reminded of the Episcopalian Church of the Epiphany in Lincoln Heights, whose construction I had long admired, that was build as a Timber Frame, its beautiful interior a testament to great craftsmanship.

Notice that log homes are entirely different from Timber frames, in the former the logs are simply laid down one atop the other, the wall are thus solid except for the window and door openings. In timber frames there are large open spans between the timbers (bays) that support the roof. These open spaces in the walls are filled with brick, plaster or rock or the more traditional wattle and daub, a lattice made of wood covered with a combination of mud, clay, straw and dung.


 


Far back in history wood buildings and homes were constructed with massive timbers joined together using intricate joinery and pegs. Archaeological sites in Europe, Asia and the Middle East from as early as 200 BC have been found that show buildings constructed in this way. Much of the land was forested in those areas and therefore it was logical for people to utilize wood as a building material. However trees were held in reverence and there wasn’t the wanton destruction of forests that took place in this country. Most of the countries in Europe have a architectural history
of Timber Frames buildings, the one outstanding example that
doesn't is Russia, where log homes were more of the norm.
Shambles Street in the City of york

When Europeans arrived in North America they brought over Timber Frame of construction to build their homes and barns, the process a community affair as it took many hands to accomplish the task. What was eventually lost however was the reverence for the forest from whence the timbers grew. North American forests that had been growing for hundreds of years began to be cut down on a massive scale both to clear the land for farming and for dimensional lumber such as 2x4’s that began to be used in the late 1800’s in the construction industry.


Drawing on left depicts use of the broad ax used to square a log. On the right a barn raising

Timber frames required trees of a manageable size. Builders didn’t go looking for the tallest, biggest trees. They left the old growth forest alone, intact, for future generations to enjoy. But lumberjacks in North America did just the opposite. They looked for and cut down the largest tress that they could find and let the lumber mill cut it down to the required sizes. What a difference in values and attitudes.

It is difficult to have a spiritual connection with a 2x4 not so difficult when one is dealing with a whole tree that has to be hewn square by hand, notched and lifted into place to be joined with another large timber. And the fact that one can see the timbers in a completed building, provides an aesthetic experience not possible with dimensional lumber hidden behind plaster walls.

Throughout the world there is renewed interest in timber frame home construction and a wave of skilled craftsmanship has emerged. This renewed interest in timber frames has necessarily brought about the need for the tools that have been employed in this type of buildings. Thus we have been re-introduced to the broad ax, the slick, the adze, the auger, the corner chisel, and larger chisels. Naturally new techniques, tools and materials have also come forth, the most notable being the Structural Insulated Panels(SIPS) used to fill in the bays, the large openings in the wall space between the timbers supporting the ceiling. SIPS are also used to cover the roof so that the roof beams are exposed on the inside.

Hatchet, blue adze without its handle, slick without handle, chisels, broad ax standing, Japanese saw handle not visible

My interest in timber frames was a natural transition from having practiced wood working for a number of years, joining wood and making furniture. They call it joinery because more often than not when making furniture one has to join one or more pieces together in order to get the width that one needs for a project, as most lumber doesn’t come in widths greater than 12 inches.
Lap joint with wooden pins

I became more interested in timber frames when I bought some property in rural New Mexico, adjacent to the Gila National Forest. Forest rangers are always felling trees to thin out the forest and I could buy one designated for thinning for $10, however I would have to cut it down and haul it out, a task that I was not equipped to handle from areas with no roads that would require a team of horses.

Cruck of a tree, naturally bent
My brothers Tito and Raul helping me build a shed in New Mexico using local timbers
There are two trends that are leading the renewed interest in craftsmanship in different areas of modern life. One is that fact that we are living longer and have more time to explore our interests that often lead to the craftsmanship that is involved, be it in automobile restoration, gardening, home construction, building furniture or in one of the many art mediums, etc. The other trend is the loss of employment opportunities due to greater efficiency and or to automation. There is simply not going to be enough places to work. Although this same argument was made at the advent of the industrial revolution, it was then merely a theoretical supposition. Today there is an abundance of evidence that this is happening already.

My desire to build a timber frame in New Mexico was never fulfilled because of the remoteness of the property and my decline in ganas to accomplish such a daunting task. Perhaps in a next life.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Out of the Office: the Great Escape to Ireland

Melinda Palacio


I arrived in Dublin today and didn’t expect jet lag and technical difficulties to keep me from my duties at La Bloga. You will have to wait until October 5 for a proper post from me. Thank you for visiting La Bloga. In the meantime, follow my travel pictures on the Face. Cheerio, as I’ve heard three people say, thought they only said that in London. I have much to learn and absorb. My first stop was the Dublin Writers Museum. So far Day One has been everything I imagined Dublin would be like, filled with friendly people who sure love to talk. Forget about asking a question, you’ll get a lecture that will leave you feeling as if you’ve taken a college course on the subject.


Thursday, September 20, 2018

The Bulldozer, Progress, and Gentrification

Daniel Cano

                                                                           
Epifanio Holquin, Brentwood, CA 1920s
                            "We all knew he was somebody famous, but, in those days, no one made much of it."
                                                                             Alfonso Holquin

                                                                                         1.
     A walkway with tropical plants growing on either side led to Alfonso Holquin’s front door, a touch of Puerto Vallarta in Mar Vista, California, once a simple working-class neighborhood.
     Alfonso purchased his home in the 1950s for $13,000. Today, no property in his neighborhood will sell for less than $1.3 million, many closer to $1.5 or above. Runaway inflation, modernization, or gentrification, take your pick.
     Born in 1929, a tall, handsome man, olive skin, a full head of white hair, Alfonso greeted me at the front door. We sat in his living room and talked. He was a close family friend, and I knew he'd been born and raised in Brentwood. I asked him how he remembered Brentwood before the building “boom.”
     He described his neighborhood as mostly wood frame homes on large plots of land, ranches, and a few isolated estates near the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains. To the east, along Wilshire boulevard a half-mile, was the National Soldiers Home, Santa Monica two miles farther west, and the settlement of Sawtelle a mile down the hill on Barrington Avenue.
     Alfonso showed me some old, wrinkled photographs taken in 1923. “That’s our house,” he said, pointing to a square wood home, surrounded by vacant land and dirt roads cutting across empty fields. Today, only L.A.'s most affluent can afford to buy homes in Brentwood, north of Wilshire Boulevard.
     Alfonso said most of his neighbors were Anglos, Mexicans, and Japanese. “In those days, people considered Brentwood out in the sticks. Nobody wanted to live out there, so land was pretty cheap.”
     Alfonso’s father, Epifanio Holquin, was born in 1877, in Chihuahua. Alfonso said, “My dad never talked about Mexico--or about anything much, for that matter,” he smiled. “When I was born, my dad was fifty-two years old. So most of what I know about the family, my oldest brother Modesto told me."
     Like many Mexicans fleeing Mexico during the 1910 Revolution, Epifanio Holquin crossed the U.S. border and settled in El Paso, Texas, where he worked a few years before moving to Clifton, Arizona to work in the copper mines.
     In the early 1900s, United States’ mining companies canvassed Mexican villages contracting experienced miners from Sonora and Chihuahua, promising them good housing and fair wages, only to find upon their arrival, the pay was less than promised and the housing worse.
     The companies paid inexperienced American workers higher pay than experienced Mexicans workers, often for the same work, or sometimes, more dangerous work. In some cases, Mexican miners were forced to train newly hired American workers, who earned more than the Mexicans. Frustrated by the injustice of this “dual wage” system, as well as the dangerous working conditions, Mexican miners began to organize and fight for equal treatment and pay, facing violence from thugs and lawmen hired by the mining companies.
     In one case, the mining companies, supported by the local authorities, loaded Mexican miners and their families onto cattle cars, took them in to the desert, and dropped them off. In other cases, the miners and their families were deported, taking some American citizens, in the process.
     As depicted in the documentary, Los Mineros, the Phelps-Dodge Corporation operated a "company town" in Clifton-Morenci. Mexican miners paid high prices for goods in the company store than Americans paid. By that time, Epifanio had left and joined the thousands of jobless men riding the rails searching for better opportunities, leaving their families behind.
     “My dad was a hobo,” said Alfonso. "And my brother Modesto, who was born in 1909, and only eleven or twelve, went with my dad on his railroad trips."
     Modesto had told Alfonso how his father taught him to jump on and off of moving trains, to make friends with other hoboes, as well as the men who worked on the railroads. After all, a kind word might result in friendship, or work because workers often found jobs near the railroad lines, where employers hired them to work in warehouses and on the docks, loading and unloading trains.
     In the 1920s, Alfonso’s aunt--his father’s older sister--had already moved to Bunker Hill, in Los Angeles. She sent word to her brother, who was still in Arizona, telling him about Los Angeles and the work opportunities available. That's all Epifanio needed to hear. He packed up his family and moved to California.
     Epifanio’s first job in Los Angeles was near La Placita (Olvera Street), in the rail yards. This was before LAX, or the shipping ports at Long Beach and San Pedro. The railroads were an important hub for travel, but, the primary carrier for shipping cargo across the country. Always keeping his ear open for better work and pay, and a chance to buy land, his real dream, Epifanio moved his family west. Alfonso wasn’t sure why his dad settled in Brentwood, but, he speculated, there was a lot of open land in Brentwood, and it was fairly easy to buy land, even for Mexicans.
     Once settled on L.A.’s Westside, Epifanio found work in construction and gardening. He was not a man to waste time. He often worked two or three jobs, arriving home after dark.
                                                                                 
Hard Work Pays Off

     Neither did Epifanio give in to frivolous entertainment. Determined to buy land, he saved his money. When his children reached working age, they all found jobs and contributed to the family income. In 1922, Epifanio purchased his first lot on Dorothy Avenue, a few blocks north of Wilshire Boulevard, surrounded by vacant land. There, he put his construction skills to use. He and his sons built their first home.
                                                                             
B
Holquin Family Home, Brentwood
     I’d once asked my father about Brentwood and the Mexican families who lived there. He told me that nobody wanted to live out there, so far from downtown Sawtelle. He recalled that along with the Holquins were the Villasenors, Rivases, and other Mexican families, each settling there years before the Great Depression.
     “Art and Robert Villasenor still live there,” my dad said. “One of the Villasenors lived to be over a hundred-years old. I think he just died not too long back. They just sold two homes they still owned in Brentwood. Frank Machado, from the Culver City Machados, married one of the Brentwood Rivas sisters. She went to school with your aunt Ramona,” he thought for a moment. “Three of the Rivas girls graduated from UCLA. One girl, Kathy Rivas, ice-skated in the 1947 Olympics. Yeah, the Villasenors and Rivas are two of the old Westside families.”
     Alfonso remembered a famous movie producer who lived in Brentwood, though he couldn’t remember the man’s name. "He had more of a ranch near where Gorham and Barrington Avenues crossed. We all knew he was somebody famous, but…no one made much of it. He was friendly and always stopped say 'hi'."
    Like many of the men of his generation, Alfonso did not appear impressed with celebrity. He and most of his friends on the Westside had, at one time or another, gone to school or worked for celebrities.
     I asked him, “If Brentwood was so isolated back in those days how did you meet the  kids who lived in Sawtelle?”
     He told me it wasn’t really that far, just a mile down the hill. But kids didn't wander too far from their neighborhoods, back then, and walking, or a trek down and back up the hill, was tiresome.
     “I first met the kids from Sawtelle when I went to catechism classes at St. Sebastian's Church,” Adolfo said.
                                                                                   
The Holquin Family, Brentwood, CA
     St. Sebastian was the nearest Catholic Church, halfway between Brentwood and Sawtelle, on Federal Avenue.
     My father remembered meeting the kids from Brentwood, “There wasn’t anything out there. We called the Holquins, the Villasenors, and the Rivases the Brentwood gang, but we didn’t mean gang like gangs today. It was more like guys who just hung out together.”
     La Paloma Market, a neighborhood store for Mexicans in Brentwood, became the Brentwood kids’ hangout. As Brentwood developed, over the years, La Paloma became the Burns’ Market then, about the 1990s, the Barrington Market, a trendy little store specializing in wines, no signs of its Mexican past.
     Alfonso said, “I think the Placencia family originally opened La Paloma.” He didn't remember exactly when. "It just always seemed to be there," he said. “La Paloma had the basics, a torilleria, meats, soap, canned foods, and candy, stuff like that.”
                                                                                   
Bobby Medrano and author, Good Times, Kings Canyon
     This brought back memories even for me. In the 1970s, many Westside kids would hang out at Burns’ Market when the Medrano family, from Junior (Guadalupe), sister Lucia, on down to Ruben, Bobby, and the youngest, Rene, managed the store, stocking the shelves, and working the counter. If we were short on cash, the family would cover us until the next time we shopped there.
     In its last years, the Barrington Market catered to the wealthy who lived in the high-rent apartment and condominium complexes, nearby, few 1920-style wood houses still stood in the neighborhood. Finally, in the early 2000s, the La Paloma's ghost fell to the bulldozer, progress and gentrification. Alfonso said, "It was a big deal when a Safeway opened at the corner of San Vicente and Barrington in the 1930s."
     I asked, "Do you remember the Western Front?"
     "Sure, every Saturday my dad would take me to the Western Front for my weekly haircuts."
     Alfonso described the rickety wood porches and the smell of the floors inside, mostly bars, cafes, a barber shop, and small businesses along San Vicente Boulevard. “It was like an old West town, veterans drinking,” he said. “Oh, man, but were those veterans generous. They tipped big.”
     Alfonso remembered how his friends and he, after giving his dad the family cut, made enough money from shining the veterans’ shoes to see him through weeks of movies, popcorn, sodas, and candy. “That was when we could see a movie and buy candy and a soda for a quarter.”
     Then Epifanio struck gold, symbolically speaking. He found permanent employment working for Alphonzo Bell, whose 600-acre property became Bel-Air Estates, golf course, country club, horse stables, trails, lush gardens, and mansions. Whatever needed attention on Bell’s property, Epifanio and the other workers complied.
     “My dad did everything from clearing brush from the horse trails to laying down the foundation for tennis courts.”
     For the Holquin family, work on Alphonso Bell’s land brought security during the worst times of the Depression. “I still remember going to work with my dad on the Bell estate. I was only ten or eleven years old. I spent summers, every day, chopping weeds and clearing branches and leaves from the miles horse trails across the mountains, from Sepulveda to Beverly Glenn.”

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

When Angels Sing: The Story of Rock Legend Carlos Santana


Book Signing:
Meet the Author & Illustrator

Saturday • September 22, 2018




A note from Jose Ramirez, illustrator of When Angels Sing


Dear Friends and Family,

I’m excited to announce the release of: When Angels Sing: The Story of Rock Legend Carlos Santana published by Atheneum Books for Young Children, Simon Shuster.  Written by Michael Mahin and illustrated by Jose Ramirez.

In celebration of its publication, we will be hosting a book reading with the author. 

Books will be available for purchase and we will be signing copies.
I will be exhibiting the original paintings from the book.

In appreciation, upon buying a book, a 20% discount can be applied toward a painting or print.

(This discount is only available THIS day and some restrictions may apply.)

We look forward to seeing you.

Saturday September 22, 2018 • 10–5pm
Studio Ramirez-Aguilar
1136 Stone Street Los Angeles, CA 90063

I will be exhibiting many new paintings, new prints, some new cards, and magnets.

Light refreshments will be provided. 

Much love,

jose

for more info please visit my website: 


About the Book

Celebrate music icon Carlos Santana in this vibrant, rhythmic picture book from the author of the New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book Muddy: The Story of Blues Legend Muddy Waters.

Carlos Santana loved to listen to his father play el violín. It was a sound that filled the world with magic and love and feeling and healing—a sound that made angels real. Carlos wanted to make angels real, too. So he started playing music.

Carlos tried el clarinete and el violín, but there were no angels. Then he picked up la guitarra. He took the soul of the Blues, the brains of Jazz, and the energy of Rock and Roll, and added the slow heat of Afro-Cuban drums and the cilantro-scented sway of the music he’d grown up with in Mexico. There were a lot of bands in San Francisco but none of them sounded like this. Had Carlos finally found the music that would make his angels real?





Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Review: Gypsy Curses Beatified Bearded Woman. The Gluten-free Chicano Cooks

Review: Alicia Gaspar de Alba. The Curse of the Gypsy. Houston: Arte Público Press, 2018. ISBN: 978-1-55885-862-6

Michael Sedano

Alicia Gaspar de Alba calls her collection of stories, The Curse of the Gypsy, a “deconstructed novel” which she explains is like a do-it-yourself meal, a literary sin sul lo or hot pot where the diners assemble their repast selecting tidbits from the lazy susan.

The author is no lazy Alicia, assembling ten stories and a novella (which is the subtitle). Given the strictures of print, she’s organized them and one reads from start to finish, the ten stories then the novella. Only then does a reader come upon the afterword, describing the banquet in store for a second reading.

Inadvertently, I took the author’s implicit advice and read the novella first. The narrative voice of that work is so different from the first of the ten stories that one's literary ear has to settle down after spending time in the dark ages.

Thinking of the disassembled novel, I might want to go to the funny stuff first. The YA third person voice in the teenage tattoo shop and the ribald humor of the cross-country bus travelers to start.

An amuse bouche with colloquial voices relating generally good-natured stuff, and settle in with the warmth of family reunion time, only to get gut-punched by a member of someone’s family running out of time and she knows it.

There are hard things in these lives, made harder by shifting perceptions a reader gleans in different stories. One story the voices write off a sister for being “deranged.” They’ve had to lock away the crazy sister. There's no reason not to take their side. Another story, a voice in a confessional relates a life of rape by her father, the family’s abject denial, labeling the child “deranged” and locking her away to hide her truth.

Gaspar de Alba usually rewards her readers with long, complex stories. A reader is so happy turning page after page following Sor Juana’s career, and equally pleased following Sister’s amanuensis from the convent to puritan New England. This time all you get is less than 220 pages.

The author makes every one of them count. It’s the voices of narrators in one set of stories, it’s the arresting tale itself in another story, holding a reader. Some stories spread over a dozen pages, others turn the page and it’s over. What makes a story a story? Read ten of them for ten different answers.

Look for the names of people. In one story, characters named X, Y, or Z play a prominent role. In another, a character thinks of a line of Marias in her heritage while she stares at indigenous faces seeking out her missing mother. She cries and her daughter Chole, Maria de la Soledad, comforts her.

I should specify look for name play in the ten stories. The novella is a pastiche of antique storytelling and a tour de force of vocabulary. It reads like a mild Decameron tale, or a low-key euphuistic experiment.

St. Wilgefortis is a real saint from a forgotten until now legendary Europe. Talk about names: Calsia; Domina, an honorific; Basilia Drusilla, called Sila; Wilge, Liberata Wilgefortis’ short name. There are the nine babies named in latin sequence, Quarta and Quinta, for example, who are harelips.

I suspect Alicia Gaspar de Alba, the English professor, had a lot of fun with this story and the sources it’s drawn upon. Indeed, there’s a researcher’s bibliography. The characters use a number of artifacts like lectus, cena, palla. One dries and eats an afterbirth. Another slakes her thirst then squats and takes a leak in public. It's nature, verdad?

Normally I’d rail against the author’s reliance upon appositional translation, but much of the time it works here. A Spanish or Latin phrase will immediately have a translation by the narrator, or the narrative itself makes clear the foreignism. In other instances, the author elects to leave the foreign terms to context. Set against the schism of native magic—one character need only think up a fire to produce a blaze—and emerging Christianity, context plays an important role for the reader not up on goetia magic and medieval history.

St. Wilgefortis’ people speak a lot of Italian or Latin, and a number of English words I had to look up. One character “bellows the logs in the fireplace” and gets burned. Darned if I know that use of “bellow.”

Vocabulary and Voice are but two of the elements that make The Curse of the Gypsy a delight. Another element a reader will want to revel in are numerous eloquent passages where the writer’s quill takes a life of its own from the scene. I found this especially in bullfighting paragraphs that echo the drama and intensity of Barnaby Conrad killing Manolete. Gaspar de Alba doesn’t kill her toreador, though the gore will be enough to give a PETA advocate night sweats.

The Curse of the Gypsy Ten Stories and a Novella is new from Arte Publico Press. Your local Indie bookseller can order it and get it to you as readily as the big internet retailer. Support your local independent bookseller, and GOTV.


The Gluten-free Chicano Cooks
Gluten-free Lemon Butter Shrimp Sauce on Pasta
Michael Sedano

Throwing all carbohydrate caution to the wind, the Gluten-free Chicano hungered for pasta.


The cupboard was also bare and the concièrge didn’t feel like going to the store.

The freezer held cooked shrimp, the pantry some noodles.

On hand always are lemon juice, butter, cornstarch, lactose-free whole milk, paprika, parmesan cheese.

I have a special Paprika. Chuck Braithwaite brought back from his travels for the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. The better your ingredients, the more your dish will please you and guests. Ditto the Parmesan cheese, which is not from Chuck but Ralph's.

I planned a side dish of canned spinach because I was antojado. I didn't have bacon (see lazy concièrge) so I used bacon grease I keep in the freezer to flavor up the greens. Use fresh spinach or chard with chopped garlic when the garden, or Ralph's, provides.

Preparing Lemon Butter Shrimp Sauce over pasta is really fast when using cooked shrimp, and richly elegant. Use half-and-half or add some cream for a super rich flavor. You could add sherry to the sauce.

What is less easy is the carbohydrate count. Some people exercise a  50g of carbohydrate limit per meal. The total count by measure tallies around 55g of carbohydrates. The gluten-free pasta and the milk are the limit-pushers here.

Small servings, such as a single gluten-free tagliatelle nest and a couple of ladles of the sauce, limit the carbohydrate exposure to reasonable.Making a cup of sauce will probably leave half of it in the pan for light eaters.

Making Lemon Butter Shrimp Sauce Over Pasta

1. Defrost the shrimp. Pull off the tail.
2. Get some salted water on to boil. Add a bit of olive oil.


3. In a shallow pan, melt ½ to 1/3 cube butter with a pinch of black peppercorns, sea salt, and Paprika. When it’s boiling, stir in cornstarch and boil for a minute until the color changes.


4. Splash in a bit of whole milk to make the buttery roux into a thick paste. Quickly stir in the rest of the milk to dilute the roux completely. Lower the flame, add juice of one or two lemons, adjusting taste. Stir in ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese.


5. Simmer five to ten minutes, stirring regularly. The sauce needs to be velvety and thick, it coats the stirring tool but flows easily. If it gets too thick stir in a tablespoon of boiling pasta water.
6. While the sauce thickens, start cooking the gluten-free pasta. A critical process easily mucked up. The noodle must be completely limp in the rolling boiling water. Pinch off the end of several noodles and give them the al dente test. The instant they all please your bite, dump the pot into the colander to drain. Don’t delay.


7. Drain the pasta. If you rinse your cooked noodles, use cold water to stop the cooking.
8. Add the defrosted cooked shrimp to the steaming white sauce and raise the temperature. This sauce holds its heat, so it the pasta takes more time than predicted, leave the sauce off the heat. Be patient with the pasta. Don’t serve crummy hard noodles.
9. Ladle a base of white sauce on each plate.
10. Place a noodle nest on the sauced plate.
11. Ladle a helping of shrimp in white lemon butter sauce on each pasta nest.
12. A salad or vegetable completes the meal. I wilted onions in bacon fat and heated drained canned spinach.
13. Serve.

Counting Carbs (link to carb counter) 
2 nest egg noodle, 86g - 43g carbohydrate per nest
¼ cup corn starch 7g / tbs = 28g
Milk ½ cup 11g
Butter ½ cube 0g
Spinach 1 cup 7g
Shrimp, .05 g per small



The Gluten-free Chicano On Gluten-free Pasta

The most successful wheat analogs in the gluten-free world are beer and pasta. Good gluten-free beers existed the last time The Gluten-free Chicano tested birongas. Nowadays, el G-FC avoids alcohol and can’t personally vouch for beers like he once did. (link) 

Gluten-free breads, crackers, pretzels, cookies, not a one of them is edible despite looking like their wheat product analog. Two restaurants serve delicious gluten-free pizza. This is in the entire world, to the limits of The Gluten-free Chicano’s dining voyages.

One, Baggage Room in Pasadena, serves only on weekends. Palm Springs’ Giuseppe’s serves pasta and pizza (link) day-in, day-out. Giuseppe's is the best restaurant in the world, for gluten-free Italian food aficionados, and demands at least two visits a year.

Noodles compounded from rice, corn, and quinoa all are adequately like wheat pasta. Ancient Harvest brand quinoa product has proved itself the most satisfactory for tooth and taste, but tends to overcook easily and is costly. Early in the product's introduction I heard pedo that quinoa exports were sentencing Andean natives to malnutrition, but that’s cooled off as U.S. domestic quinoa production ramps up, and people probably care less about Andean natives. Quinoa, by the way, is higher in carbs than a cup of corn pasta.

Way-out analogs are answers. There's the vegetable spaghetti; it's not bad and grows prolifically. Ask Ichabod Crane for a spiral cutter for halowe'en, use it to make pumpkin noodles. Or, skip the pasta altogether and serve over steamed broccoli or cauliflower.

¡Provecho!

Monday, September 17, 2018

Poesía en los International Latino Book Awards de 2018


Poesía en los International Latino Book Awards de 2018
Por Xánath Caraza


El sábado pasado, 8 de septiembre, fue la ceremonia de premiación para la edición de 2018 de los International Latino Book Awards. 

Para Poesía hay cuatro categorías:

Best Poetry book—One Author—Bilingual
Best Poetry Book—One Author—English
Best Poetry Book—One Author—Spanish
Best Poetry Book—Multi-Author 

Este 2018, queridos lectores de La Bloga, tuve el gran honor de recibir primer lugar para dos de mis poemarios: Sin preámbulos / Without Preamble y Lágrima roja. 

A continuación todos los ganadores en las cuatro categorías de poesía para los International Latino Book Awards de 2018.


 Aquí pueden hacer click para ver una lista completa de todos los ganadores en todas las categorías para los ILBA de 2018. 


Aprovecho para felicitar a mi colega bloguero, René Colato Laínez quien recibió mención de honor en la categoría Best Children’s Nonfiction Picture Book por su libro Telegrams to Heaven: The Chilhood of Archbishop Óscar Arnulfo Romero.


Felicidades a todos, viva la poesía y finalmente mis poemarios ganadores.

Best Poetry book—One Author—Bilingual
Sin Preámbulos / Without Preamble (Spartan Press) por Xánath Caraza, traducido por Sandra Kingery



Best Poetry Book—One Author—Spanish
Lágrima roja (Editorial Nazarí)