How to use an autoclave in cooking

img_4694Check out these great cooking instructions on the back of a bag of Hagou Flour (rice and tapioca starch) for making dumplings.


  1. Lean meat, shrimp, shallots, garlic finely chopped or grind, add soium glutamate, salt and sugar – all are mixed together.
  2. add 1/2 litter (not a spelling mistake) of water to the powder and stir it finely.  (Leave 3 table spoons of flour for outer -covering. – cook it with dim fire and stir until the flour became somewhat thick (some are well done).
  3. Add 2 spoons of cooking oil into the powder, rolling and stuffing it until become fine. Then piece it into small balls and put them on tray. (Remember to sprinkle dry-powder into the tray in advance). Cover them with wet cloth to keep the balls free from fried.
  4. Sprinkle dry powder into a chop before laminating the balls, put the inner in, fold up, and wrap it. Wet the autoclave with cooking oil then put the cake in, and cook within 5-7 minutes when the pies are well done and prepared to serve.

My housemate laughed so hard while reading these out loud that she collapsed in a fit on the kitchen floor. She may have even peed her pants a little.


Taking my breath away

I had the peculiar experience the other night of realizing that I could no longer recall the date of my fathers passing. I was angry at myself at first. It seemed horrible to forget such a date. As if I couldn’t be bothered to recall such a thing amidst my busy life.  I actually had to look up the date on my dad’s Wikipedia page. That felt eerie and uncomfortable. I chastised myself for not being more deliberate about marking the day, which it turned out would be the very next day. I counted on my hands that it had been eight months…a concept I can barely wrap my head around. To me it feels like not more then a month. Not that the emotions are as raw or as intense as 8 months ago, it is just that the memory is so clear.  Each morning, in some way, is that morning…the morning my dad died. But things are less intense now then back in the beginning. Maybe that is how time just seems to slip by. The realization that it had been 8 months makes me feel like I’ve got so much more work to do in the process of acknowledging and moving beyond his passing.  I said to a friend in those early days that I felt like I was entering a new wilderness, not necessarily a frightening or hostile new wilderness. But one that is unfamiliar, dense and wild. There is no path, for grief is different for everybody. But I just have to pick my way through, slowly but surely. Sometimes stopping to take a breathe or to take in my surroundings and sometimes just forcing my way through rough patches. I am definitely in the thick of it and perhaps for a bit too long I’ve been stopped, taking a breath and just looking around. Now its getting on towards time to be moving along towards another new patch and little further into the thicket.

Around these times of contemplation around my dad’s passing I often pick up Wendel Berry’s “Farming: A Handbook. Its a collection of his poems all about farming, land, earth, and life. In it I find some of my most beloved poems. It is also the book that I found the poem “A Praise”, which I read at my dad’s memorial.

Yesterday I found a poem that quite literally took my breathe away. It is called “Awake at Night”

Late in the night I pay
the unrest I owe
to the life that has never lived
and cannot live now.
What the world could be
is my good dream
and my agony when, dreaming it,
I lie awake and turn
and look into the dark.
I think of a luxury
in the sturdiness and grace
of necessary things, not
in frivolity. That would heal
the earth, and heal men.
But the end, too, is part
of the pattern, the last
labor of the heart:
to learn to lie still,
one with the earth
again, and let the world go.

It is that last bit in particular “…the last labor of the heart: to learn to lie still, one with the earth again, and let the world go.” Almost words to live by.

No Salmonella for me!

img_4683Phew! Close call with a nasty bacteria today. Last night I stopped in at the local co-op to acquire the necessary supplies to partake in some snacking. I picked me up an old favorite, a crunchy peanut butter Cliff Bar. Let me tell you, it was delicious. Then today my housemate informs me that Cliff Bar has recalled all its bars with peanut butter in them as part of the big Salmonella outbreak being traced to institutional quantities of peanut butter. So after a moment fearing that I would soon be spewing the contents of my body out of every orifice. I took a moment and remembered the glory of the internet. I went to the Cliff Bar website and read there notice of recall. Lucky for me my bar isn’t included! Heck ya!

Here’s to good health y’all!

URGENT ALERT! Leonard Peltier Assaulted in Prison

peltierl1Friends I just received word that Leonard Peltier was brutally assaulted in prison. As many of you know Leonard was recently transferred even farther away from home to a high security facility in Canann, Pennsylvania. I have included a statement from Leonards Family below. Please take a moment to spread the word and make a call on Leonards behalf. Call the Canaan Federal Prison 570-488-8000 and demand that Leonard be treated with dignity! Also, now is the time to begin to contact Obama about Leonards case. His family is asking that everyone Please write the President, send it priority or registered mail. Email to or email President Obama. Call your congressional representatives and write letters, not email, to them. Do what you can to get the word out to insure that Leonard is receiving adequate medical attention for his injuries.
Read a statement from Leonards Family

A Close Call with a Snow Plow

Over the weekend Boston got a decent amount of snow. I would put it at 5 – 6 inches. It was quite pleasant to wake up on Sunday morning to the sight of big fluffy snow flakes cascading down in front of my window. That sort of sight first thing in the morning kind of makes the day a bit more cheery. There is something about how the snow flakes drop so slowly to the ground in a lazy and meandering sort of way. It is especially when you have nothing more to do in a day then sit around playing cards and drinking hot coco with friends.

My housemate was telling me that in the four winters he has been in Boston he hasn’t seen this much snow so early in the winter. Indeed since mid-December we have seen quite a bit of snow and frequent splendidly snowy days.

Today, Monday the 19th, I ventured out on my bicycle to run errands and go to the YMCA. From my house to the Y and where most of my errands lie is almost a straight shot down a bike path. But with all the snow I took roads for most of the way. But at Jackson square, where the choices of street is basically a highway, I had to jump on the path. Not to long after riding down the path I was met with a quickly moving bank of snow. Coming from my left out of a side path leading to one of the housing complexes a truck with a plow came barreling out onto the bike path. To avoid being taken up in the mass of moving snow I leaped off my bike and dove into the snow to my right. If I had been going just a wee be faster I would have been unable to miss the plow. It was quite harrowing. The plow driver sort of shrugged and then as if caught between acting mean and defensive or being embarrassed he decided to be more embarrassed. He quickly backed up and quickly cleaned up the snow to make a path. I waved a thanks, me being also caught between conflicting emotions. On the one hand I wanted to be outraged but on the other I found it slightly comical.

the snow is lovely for the most part. The temperatures have been cold enough to freeze the Charles River too. People have been going out an ice fishing,  ice sailing and skating on the coldest days. Today before heading home I stopped on the Mass Ave Bridge and took a few pictures. There is something so pretty about a city skyscape. Here they are!

MLK Day to Inauguration Day

MLK at Riverside Church

MLK at Riverside Church

Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. A day that for most of my life was another day off from school, another day to sleep in and another day to goof off. I like so many was never spoken to about the true life and work of Martin Luther King Jr. Even my parents, in all their efforts to teach me about my elders in the struggle for justice never fully imparted on my the genius of Dr. Kings work. I have over the year read many books about Dr. King and both read and listened to his speeches. On this MLK day I am struck by the reality that tomorrow is the inauguration day and the U.S. will officially have its first black president. All the news networks and papers and a great many pundits have declared Dr. Kings dream realized and that in the U.S. we have moved beyond racism. All the while they are talking about this images are played on the news of Dr. King and thousands of others marching in the face of brutal police violence. They show Dr. King in jail for his efforts. They show that iconic photo of the moments just after his assassination. They replay that famous refrain from his “I have a dream” speech over and over. The comparison between Dr. King and Obama is made over and over again.

Since the election I have been engaged in a many discussions with fellow radicals and non-radicals alike about what it means for the work of grassroots organizing and mobilization for justice to have the nations first black president. Not merely because Obama is a person of color. But more because of the massive out pouring of enthusiasm, optimism, participation and excitement from people of color in the U.S.

We agree the system has not changed, the tools of capitalism and white supremacy still hold fast to the reins of our lives. Obama came to office on a wave of hope, but little hope is to be fully realized for most when we talk in terms of true, systemic change.

Tonight at dinner we all took a turn reading a part of MLK’s speech at Riverside Church in New York on April 4th 1967,  one year before his death. It is a remarkable speech and I was struck by its relevance to today.  If you haven’t heard it or if you have but it’s been a while I encourage you to listen to the speech.

Democracy now aired a recording of it and you can listen to it here

After listening to all the comparisons between Obama and King I am left with a gnawing question. When I listen to recordings of MLK and when I read his writings I here a man who was speaking truth to power. Not to replace the power that they confronted or to take power over the system but to uproot the system and lead a people to seize their own power. This act and his undeniable charisma moved people to believe in their rights and the rights of others. So my question is, how on earth can someone who is in the ultimate position of power do the necessary and speak truth to power to uproot the system, take power from those who have for too long held their power as a tool to destroy, maim and disparage? How  can this happen when one is already in a supreme position of power? The truth will require that his own position of power as well as the positions of all those around him must come into question.

Some things that are getting me through the day

1. Dumbledore by fellow Bostonian’s Harry and the Potters:

2. Reading that each search on Google uses about the same amount of energy as boiling a cup of water and that all the google searching going on in the world is producing more CO2 then airplanes. Burn Google! Burn!
Research by a Harvard University physicist has sparked debate about the environmental cost of Google searches.

3. The bravery of some astounds me. Its not fearlessnes that defines such bravery but courage and strength of heart.

4. A little cross species cuteness!