Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Gluten-free Chicano. Desperado Tours Stanford. News. Aural On-line Floricanto

The Gluten-free Chicano Cooks
Michael's Famous Scalloped Potatoes 
Michael Sedano

This is party food. The Gluten-free Chicano makes two large casseroles of these potatoes for 50 guests and runs out. He makes one casserole for 15 guests and runs out.

These potatoes are delicious. These potatoes are incredibly easy to make. Mejor, these potatoes are naturally gluten-free. Read all labels to ensure against accidental contamination.

Diabetics and gente watching their blood sugar count will avoid potatoes along with breads and many other starches. Lástima. But, for those times when your body can afford an intake of deliciousness and potatoes, these potatoes hit the spot.

La Bloga friend, poet Andrea Mauk, makes a Yuca-based scallop that might be just the ticket for papa-adverse eaters. Andrea shares her recipe at Dancing Horse Media Group/Corazón en un Platillo.

Half and half or whole milk.
Sharp cheddar cheese, ½ pound.
Potatoes (red, russet).

Heat oven to 375.
Non-stick spray a casserole dish.
Scrub the heck out of the potato skins, or peel the spuds.
Trim away discolored or damaged potato.
Slice or grate the cheese.

Pour a half inch of half and half or whole mike into the greased dish.
Slice the potatoes, ¼” or so.
Chop the unsliceable potato parts.

Lay two layers of sliced potato flat in the dish.
Fill the spaces with chopped papa.
Pepper the surface.

Lay cheese across the first layers of potatoes.
Lay two or more layers of sliced potato until the cheese layer is completely covered. Fill spaces with chopped papas.

Splash more half and half until the dish is less than half liquid. Add coarsely ground pepper.
Cover entire surface with grated cheese.

Place casserole dish on a cookie sheet and bake in oven for an hour and a half. The cheese topping will brown beautifully. Test for doneness when you get worried, after at least an hour's baking.
The potatoes are ready when, with the cream bubbling vigorously, a butter knife slides easily into the middle.

Let the dish sit for a few minutes before transporting to serving table to permit remaining cream to absorb into the papas.

By the way, this is puro chicano food. My definition of "chicano food" is anything I cook.

Desperado Times for Stanford Alumni Book Club

This is not a football story but one about author book tours. The author is La Bloga's Manuel Ramos, the book is Manuel's exciting noir gem, Desperado, A Mile High Noir, and the latest stop in Ramos' Desperado tour brings him to Long Beach Califas to join the Book Club of the Stanford Chicano/Latino Alumni Association of Southern California for lunch and discussion.

Desperado's urban redevelopment theme caught the readers' attention and Ramos shared a writer's-eye tour of Denver geography and its nomenclature of division into the "does", NoDo, LoDo and the like; signs of progress for some, disappointment for others. Clearly, the novel captures the time and is a product of them. Displacement and neighborhood disappearing strikes a familiar chord among Chicanas Chicanos from Denver to Palo Alto, and Longo.

Flo Ramos joined her author husband on the SoCal visit. Hers was more than the beaming spouse role. Flo joins Manuel to read together. They select a conversation between Gus and his big sister that reflects the care of siblings but more so puts the Ramos couple's happiness on display. Ramos and Ramos make a fabulous reading team.

 After discussing the tilma of Juan Diego and the head of Pancho Villa--subplots which are all in fun-- one person expressed a key critical point. The individual felt Gus--the novel's antihero--lies to readers by not disclosing elements of the novel's surprising turn as the mystery ravels into dénoument. I can't go into detail to avoid spoiling the novel's delight.

The gripe isn't a major issue. Ramos observes that all fiction involves some sort of lie. Ramos replies to the effect "never trust the narrator in noir."

The Stanford alums however, will trust to their memory of a fabulous visit with los Ramos and now will seek Ramos' other novels, recently reprinted by Northwestern University Press, and smile while they gripe in puro delight.

Book Club of the Stanford Chicano/Latino Alumni Association of Southern California
Manuel, Angelique, Margie, Flo, Manuel, Michael

Texas Book Festival May Become Inclusive

La Bloga friend and floricanto veterano Gregg Barrios, whose commentary at San Antonio Express-News' web resource, My SA, helped raise a ruckus among conscientious Texas literatonti. The new literary director of the Texas Book Festival, Stef Opitz, writes Barrios over the new director's own chagrin at the festival's declivitous history.

Barrios holds Opitz and her ilk to a higher standard than accepting a mea culpa. The award-winning playwright expects visible change. Mejor, Gregg Barrios isn't beating a raza drum in this, though the exclusion of Tejano artists glares. Barrios notes,

The real issue here isn't Latino-authored books for Latinos, but diversity writ large — books and writers through which all readers can experience the richness of all Texans' stories and cultures.

Read the entire Op-Ed piece at My SA here.

Mail Bag
Notre Dame Institutes $25K Poetry Fellowship
La Bloga friend Francisco Aragón emails news of a graduate assistantship in South Bend that pays tuition--of itself a worthwhile prize--but more importantly, provides the student-poet the liquidity of a monthly paycheck for the two-year tenure of the fellowship.

The recipient will direct the Institute for Latino Studies program, Letras Latinas Writers Initiative.  Details of the program and links to apply to the university's MFA program at this link.

Mail Bag
San Antonio Seeks Nominations for Next Poet Laureate

La Bloga friend Gemini Ink emails notice that the city is accepting nominations through early January for the City of San Antonio's next laureate.

The City of San Antonio is seeking nominations for the position of Poet Laureate. The San Antonio Poet Laureate is an honorary position whose role is to promote the literary arts and literacy within the community and create a greater appreciation of the poetic arts through the reading and writing of poetry.

The two-year honor comes with a $3000 honorarium and myriad opportunities to share poetry with the city's residents.

For an application and more information, click here.

Aural On-line Floricanto

Mr. Peabody and his boy Sherman might board the way-back machine and head to New York City for the 1973 Speech Communication Association annual meeting. There, they'll run into Michael Sedano whose "multimedia" presentation introduced Chicana Chicano poetry to the field, using a combination of music, 35mm slides, and student readings. SCA is now the National Communication Association.

It was among the first appearances of raza literature before the academic descendants of Aristotle.

In the 70s, multimedia meant linking multiple Kodak slide projectors to a pulsed tape script via a programmable dissolve unit. Three projectors facilitated views made of three side-by-side frames, arrayed in one- two- or three-slide screens. The quality of slide projections surpasses that of the finest digital projector, especially the murals that were at the heart of this program's visual plan. Paul Simon was prescient, they took his Kodachrome away.

As an Assistant Professor of Speech Communication, I recruited students to "Reader's Teatro" class. I've long believed in vertical integration of expressive skills, hence that class of students studied two key elements of expression: the technology of camera, audio tape recording, projectors, dissolve units, and chicano poetry circa 1973.

Today's Aural On-line Floricanto represents the beginnings of my efforts to digitize and recreate that multimedia program using today's technologies. I'll update the visual program running the once-vibrant slides alongside their now decayed remains.

Click the control below to play Al Rosas' reading of "To Brothers Dead."

The text of this anonymous poem ran in last week's La Bloga-Tuesday Veterans Day tribute. Here's that text to read and listen:

To brothers dead crossing the rapido river…194?
in a day
in an afternoon
in a night
in years of fury
and tears
alone and far from home
away from familiar sounds
tender arms
you fell on the earth of italy
blood of mexico
blood of the northern
blood of the bitter border
spilled on earth of italy
on the earth of italy
hope of america
the vain hope of america
never realized hope of america
against a wall of teuton steel
you waded the chilling river
waters tasting of death
far from home
tasting of sudden death
left your dead on the river banks
tears of mothers on the river banks
hopes of sweethearts on the river banks
left tomorrows on the river banks
bitter yesterdays on the river banks
for a hope
vain hope

Anonymous pp 42-43 in Antonia Castañeda Shular, Tomás Ybarra-Frausto, Joseph Sommers. Literatura Chicana. Texto y Contexto. Englewood Cliffs NJ: Prentice Hall, 1972.


Manuel Ramos said...

Flo and I had a great time with the book club - wonderful conversation, insightful comments/questions about the book. And wine! And more wine! Thank you all - Em, Manuel, Angelique, Margie and Mario. Hope we can do this again.

Francisco Aragón said...

Thanks for the plug about the new initiative at Notre Dame. I would only caution against the term "fellowship" since there is service involved (working for Letras Latinas), whereas we view a fellowship as not requiring any service in exchange, which is why we're officially calling it an "assistantship." In any case, thanks for getting the word out. I