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to tell us what you're working on, share your show & tell, vent, whatever you want...
...this is an open thread. Nothing is off topic.
What "ethnic" foods do you know well?
In response to last Saturday's diary on greasy spoon joints Aji posted in the comments a great take down on a local spot as well as what to spot re: NDN- or Northern Mexican-/New Mexican style food and faux versions. She's very qualifed to do so. She suggested I write a diary on a more generalized version of that. I'm rather pathologically unqualified to do so, but I hope readers will post on the topic. Instead, all I can do is offer a true story from the old days of Hollywood that explains (excuses?) my inability to do so.
It was the 1930s in a very segregated Los Angeles. Inside the Chinese restaurant, a somewhat shabbily dressed young man angrily arose and pushed his chair away. "Mary, come here. We're leaving." Then the recently emigrated Irishman yelled loudly enough (with a fair amount of pushing finger into the air) for all the other patrons (all Chinese) in the restaurant to hear,
"They serve Chop suey here. This is NOT a real Chinese restaurant!!!!"
Of course, it wasn't really about Chop suey (tsap seui) at all. It was all performance by Eric to elevate himself at the expense of others. Eric was a ne'er do-well Irish adventurer (who claimed, among other exploits, to once having been in the IRA) my grandfather had found living destitute on the backlot at Warner Brothers studios. My grandfather took pity on him and "adopted" him for a while into the family. Eric's questionable legal status and his tenuous living situation did not prevent him from assuming an air of superiority over folks of different cultures and ethnicities. Thusly his "adoption" into my family proved to be of a very short duration, but the family stories about him have lasted into this century.
My mom loved to tell the story of the Chinese Restaurants. I must've been told it ten times growing up, and always with almost relish on my mom's part as she described his various ludicrous and racist behaviors/rants. It early alerted me to the pitfalls of both trying to ID what is authentic ethnic food and of being a jerk in public (not to mention not to dine with wanna-be actors). While I never believed that Der Wienerschnitzel. was authentic German cuisine, I was briefly taken in by Taco Bell as a child. In that I was not alone. When my second ex's BFF came from Norway to visit, the high-point of her trip was to go to Taco Bell for "authentic" Americanized Mexican food. No amount of counter-argument could dissuade her from her certainty of the authenticity of Taco Bell. Last I heard she is still up on frozen Spitzbergen Island near the artic staffing a ferried in "Mexican" food truck.
So I am trying to write this diary...on a topic I am admittedly not an expert on (except MAYBE Jewish and Mexican...of the non-Taco Bell variety) cuisine. JUMEX is not only a great canned juice, it is the cultural default at my home. However, I know folks who are experts on topics related to "ethnic" foods, or parts thereof, and they are reading this diary now. Yup, you. So please, in the name of all that's holy at Chez Panisse, join in and add your perspective of what is or isn't authentic ethnic cuisine. You've got to at least know what "American" food is....
By proxy, I'll go first by reposting a bit from Aji related to how "Old Martinez Hall" was anglicized into "Martina's" eatery.
Cumin does not belong in pinto beans - not if they're NDN- or Northern Mexican-/New Mexican style, at least. Oh, and folks? It doesn't work for what you think it does anyway. The East Coast/Midwest transplants who brought that abomination to "literature" and food writing should be flogged with a wet chile. :-D
Martina of Martina Gebhardt cosmetics in Europe. She moved here a few years ago. In this case, the "German immigrant" descriptor is relevant, because it explains one of the pretexts for local opposition, despite their best efforts to pretend it was "principled."
They served cold food that was supposed to be hot, which is the problem.
"Chi-chi," in this case, means, for example, egg dishes forced into molds and when turned out, topped with dyed tortilla strips, and other little schmancy touches. Don't get me wrong - I'm all for nice presentation. But presentation is no substitute for food that actually tastes good. Or, you know, has any real taste at all. And with Mexican and indigenous foods, that's the one thing that really matters.
Yes, it was dark.
Yes, it was loud.
Mostly white people - the transplants from elsewhere and the tourists. There's a great deal of "white money" in this town, but most of it doesn't trickle down to the people who were here first.
The Mexican-style dishes with beans are easy. Buy pinto beans; soak overnight in cold water. Toss into a crock pot with a LOT of water - like seven cups of water/1-2 cups of beans - and turn to high until water just begins to simmer. Turn to low and allow to simmer for 8-12 hours, stirring occasionally and adding water if needed. Add sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste. Variations include adding any one or more of the following: Diced green chile; red chile; jalapeño; minced garlic, minced onion; cooked loose chorizo; cooked loose ground buffalo; buffalo stew meat; pork stew meat; hominy. Sever in a bowl with plenty of juice and four tortillas or frybread, or as a side dish with little to no juice with a main course.
Did I cover everything?
Latest Updates on Kossack Regional Meet-Up News Below the New Day sunrise cloud
Let's build communities!
Every region needs a meatspace community like SFKossacks.
We take care of each other in real life.
I urge YOU to take the lead and organize one in your region.
Please tell us about it if you do and we're here for advice.
THINK GLOBALLY, ACT LOCALLY
NEW GROUPS IN THE PROCESS OF ORGANIZING:These are the groups that have started since * NEW DAY * began. Please Kosmail navajo if you have started a group before that.
Send a Kosmail to the organizers and ask for an invitation to the group.• Northern Indiana Area: Kosmail Tim Delaney
• Long Island: Kosmail grannycarol
• Northern Michigan: Kosmail JillS
• Nebraska: Kosmail Nebraska68847Dem
• Westburbia Chicago Kossacks: Kosmail Majordomo
• New York Hudson Valley Kossacks: Kosmail boran2
• North Carolina Triangle Kossacks: Kosmail highacidity
• Caprock Kossacks (Panhandle/Caprock/Lubbock/Amarillo area) : Kosmail shesaid
• West Texas Kossacks (including Big Bend Region and El Paso) : Kosmail Yo BubbaNote to the above new leaders: Feel free to leave a comment any day reminding readers about your new group. Also, tell us about your progress in gathering members. Kosmail me when you've chosen a good name for your group and have created a the group. Then I'll move you to the NEW GROUPS LIST. When you've planned a date for your first event I'll make a banner for you to highlight your event in our diaries and your diaries.
NEW GROUPS LIST:
• Kansas City Kossacks - Formed Oct 15, 2012, Organizer: [Founder stepped down]
ESTABLISHED GROUPS LIST: (List will grow as we discover them)
Saturday, August 17th
Los Angeles Kossacks Dine at Saladang Song Again
TIME: 1:30 PM
LOCATION: Saladang Song
383 S Fair Oaks Ave • Pasadena
ORGANIZER: Send Dave in Northridge a kosmail to attend.
Latest diary:LA Kossacks: Saladang Song, Pasadena, August 17, 1:30 PM - REMINDER
1. Dave in Northridge
Monday, August 19th
I-77 Carolina Kossacks
Inaugural I-77 Carolina Kossacks Meetup for Charlotte Moral Monday
Note: Charlotte traffic is a bear to navigate on a good day so SteelerGrrl tried to set things up so out-of-towners don’t have to stress over parking, getting around or arriving hungry. Anyone is welcome to join us at any time, no worries if you can’t make it early.
MEET AT ANY OF THE THREE LOCATIONS:
• Meet & greet, free parking and carpool to light rail:
TIME: Noon-1:00 PM
LOCATION: SteelerGrrl's home
Send Kosmail for directions • [City?]
• Late lunch and refreshments:
TIME: 2:00 PM
LOCATION: The Common Market
1515 S. Tryon St. • Charlotte
Onsite parking for patrons only
2 blocks from Bland Street Station on Lynx
• Moral Monday Protest at Charlotte's Marshall Park at 5:00 PM:
TIME: Plan to assemble between 3:30 and 4:00, location TBA
LOCATION: Marshall Park
800 E. Third Street • Central Park Region in Charlotte
ORGANIZER: Send SteelerGrrl a kosmail to attend.
Latest diary: [Waiting for linked diary]
Saturday, August 31st
Houston Kossacks Meet-up
TIME: 1:00 PM
LOCATION: Hollywood Vietnamese-Chinese & French Cuisine
2409 Montrose Boulevard • Houston
ORGANIZER: Send Chrislove a kosmail to attend.
Latest diary: Houston Area Kossacks: Meet-Up Scheduled for Saturday, August 31!
4. mister mustardhead
5. Bree Davis
6. Libby Shaw
8. mr. suesue
Sunday, Sept 15th
Chicago Kossacks Meet-up at a Powwow!
TIME: 11:30 AM
LOCATION: Chicago's 60th Annual American Indian Center Powwow
Busse Woods Forest Preserve • Elk Grove Village
ORGANIZER: Send figbash a kosmail to attend.
Latest diary: Chicago Kossacks Go To A Powwow: Sunday, Sept 15 2013
3. Mr. broths
5. Liberal Granny
7. Expat Okie
DeKalb, Illinois KossacksSaturday, September 21st
DeKalb, Illinois Kossacks Dinner & a Show!
TIME: 6:00 PM
LOCATION: Rosita's Mexican Restaurant
642 East Lincoln Highway • DeKalb
TIME: 7:30 PM
LOCATION: The Stage Coach Players Theater
126 South 5th Street (2 blks. from dinner) • DeKalb
ORGANIZER: Send NormAl1792 a kosmail to attend.
Latest diary: Northern IL Kossacks Dinner and a Show - Saturday, Sept. 21
1. NormAl1792 (on stage as Henry II)
Saturday, October 19th
DKos Asheville Kossacks Meet-up
TIME: 1:00 PM
LOCATION: The Bywater
796 Riverside Dr. • Asheville
ORGANIZER: Send randallt a kosmail to attend.
Latest diary: DKos Asheville - Weekly Open Thread
7. Sandy on Signal
8. Mr Sandy on Signal
11. Mr Alecia
people power granny
One Pissed Off Liberal
Christian Dem in NC
Phil S 33
Sunday, October 20th
MEGA Philly/NJ/NYC Kossacks Meet-up!
LOCATION: Stuff Yer Face
49 Easton Avenue • New Brunswick, NJ
ORGANIZER: Send mconvente a kosmail to attend.
Latest diary: Philly/NJ/NYC Mega Meetup! Initial Information & Interest Diary
2. belinda ridgewood
11. blue jersey mom
aravir and son
Friday, October 25th
LAKossacks & SoCal Inland Empire See Lewis Black!
TIME: 9:00 PM
LOCATION: Agua Caliente Casino Resort & Spa
32-250 Bob Hope Dr. • Rancho Mirage
ORGANIZER: Send 714day a kosmail to attend.
Latest diary: L.A. Kossacks, Lewis Black Fans in So Cal
Friday, October 25th
Meet the Daily Kos Editorial Staff!
TIME: TBD in the PM
LOCATION: Daily Kos HQ
Address given privately to RSVP'ers • Berkeley
ORGANIZER: Send navajo a kosmail to attend.
You will need to bring Potluck. Stay tuned for assignments.
2. Susan Gardner
3. Meteor Blades
4. Faith Gardner
5. Will Rockafellow
and many more staff... stay tuned
8. side pocket
15. remembrance +TLO?
16. Glen the Plumber
21. Dave in Northridge
SFKossacks BBQ in the Wine Country
LOCATION: Andrew McGuire's home in the Wine Country
Address to be given privately to RSVPs • Windsor
1. Andrew McGuire
6. Hunter/elfling offspring
14. Mr. dksbook
17. side pocket
18. Mrs. side pocket
20. ceebee7's sister
21. leema (will carpool from Marin)
22. Meteor Blades
Glen The Plumber
Send navajo a kosmail if you post a diary about an event so we can update our round-up.
Okay. Floor's open.
Tell us what you are doing on this NEW DAY?