Monday, July 20, 2009

Cool Summer Salad

I was in an inventive mood and inspired by Anita Mabante Leach's presentation of the Jicama orange salad at the Phoenix Frida's Frida Kahlo birthday celebration so I invented my own take on it. It got good reviews so here it is along with Southwestern Succotash that was the result of the Maya's farm offering of fresh lima beans still in the pod. She and I were just amazed at the difference between these wonderfully bitey delights as compared to the scary canned things our parents tried for force us to eat as children. It is no wonder so many people of our generation dislike vegetables. They never had any real ones. I also made mini salsa by chopping tiny heirloom cherry tomatoes, tiny serrano chiles, tiny cipollini onions and added a bit of lime juice. Tasty.

Orange Jicama Salad

Julienne a big chunk of Jicama into one inch long sticks.
Combine with 2 cans of Trader Joe's mandarin oranges or halved segments of a regular orange.

Shake together about 2 tablespoons of mayo, 1 teaspoon of red chili powder and the juice of about 3 good sized limes.

Pour over the mixture and refrigerate. It turns orange from the chile powder and is cool and refreshing with a little bit of a bite.

Southwestern Succotash

Shell a pound of fresh lima beans and steam until just tender, about 15 minutes.
Combine with a can of corn. Add about 1/2 teaspoon of chopped fresh oregano. Shake together 1/3 cup olive oil (I used the Meyer Lemon Olive Oil from Queen Creek Olive Mill), 1 teaspoon red chili powder and the juice of half a lime. Stir into veggies.


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Cohen Stole My Idea

I never saw Borat. Although I am generally open minded and I am trying not to become an old fuddy duddy, I just really had no interest in being grossed out, which is the thing you most often heard about that movie.


So I really never understood who Sasha Baron Cohen was. The next time I even gave him a thought was watching the MTV movie awards which was my effort at trying to keep up on how the young people are managing things these days. With Melanie off to college I am left to my own devices for such things. Unfortunately the show was nearly unwatchable and I was just about to switch it off when Eminem came on. I happen to like the guy and so I stuck with it a while longer. Shortly afterward Bruno, the latest Cohen incarnation made an appearance in from a gang wire dressed as Icarus in a thong and he lit upside down on poor Eminem's lap. It was so absurdly ridiculous and I am now tortured by the image of Cohen's bare ass just under Em's nose. How could you stand 2 hours of that nonsense?

Then I saw Cohen on Letterman. I must say I was shocked at how normal he seemed. I mean when Mel Gibson gets interviewed as Mel Gibson I always think to myself "That man is crazy" yet he seems like he would be so normal. This was the opposite--a guy I was expecting to be way far gone was just a regular joe; a seeming nice and approachable guy. I must say, this is a much more palatable image.

Cohen was relating to Dave how the scene with the cage fighting thing was filmed and how the people who were not actors mind you reacted and performed even more wildly than hoped, to the point of making SBC think for a moment that he was in physical danger.


It was at that moment I realized that this guys entire schtick was once mine. He stole my idea! Now before you think I am the crazy one.....


I was in a pretty avant garde theater arts class at Prescott High School in the early 70's. We did some amazing children's theater and I remember playing a witch and wearing red and white stripped stockings under my black dress that absolutely freaked the little tykes out. Very early versions of portable film cameras had come out and we got an assignment to make a movie.


My best friend, Tani lived with her mom above what is now the Palace Bar on Whiskey Row. Where the Jerzey Lilly now roosts was her mom's suite in what was the Palace Hotel, something of a flop house really. Tani and I had to think of a movie idea and being the 70's and all we did not even consider giving it a plot. Instead, we got the idea to borrow the wooden leg her mom was holding as collateral until a tenant caught up on his back rent and take it around town and film people's reactions to it. We did the same with those birthday candles that keep relighting. We did some other wacky stuff that I can't fully remember (it has been a while). I still have the tape in a can around in my office here somewhere but I don't think I could find the right kind of machine to play it on anymore.


Although tame by comparison to the Sasha Baron Cohen films, the basic idea is exactly the same. I shudder to think where I would be now had I been more of a success with that first film. But back then the concept was way too edgy and they didn't even know what edgy meant. I don't remember what kind of grade we got, but if the teacher had liked the film I would think I would remember that.


The funny thing is I still have no desire to see these films; mine or Cohen's.

Michael is famous!

Seems that my brother in law Michael is one of the most determined and driven people I have ever met. His battle back from a near deadly stroke exactly 5 years ago has been nothing short of remarkable. Part of his success can be attributed to his almost daily visit to our neighborhood YMCA for a good workout and a long treadmill walk. A couple days a week a Korean War Vet named Bob comes to pick him up and they attend their workout as a team. They met at the Y and Bob took an interest, but Michael has that kind of effect on people.

He has also mastered Dial A Ride, a transport service for the disabled here in Phoenix that provides door to door rides. He accidentally dropped his phone in the van the other and the driver went to extraordinary lengths to track him down, even buying a charger so she could use his memorized numbers to find someone to call him and let him know she had it. This was bending the rules a bit but she knew if it went to the Lost and Found the second half of the phrase would never quite become reality.

I have visited the Christown YMCA three days a week for the past 18 years and I can tell you that the folks running the place have never lacked for enthusiasm in looking for ways to serve the community. They have treated Michael exceptionally well ever since his arrival. So it was natural that when they launched the idea of having a raffle for annual Strong Kids Campaign fund raiser that Mike would be first in line to buy.

Wouldn't you know it--he won! The prize? Being recognized as Member of the Month. It was almost surreal when I made my way to my usual Tuesday evening yoga class and saw Michael's name plastered on every door! When I got to aerobics that Saturday the instructor Jim, who knows everyone in the place told me that he thought it was a bit amusing that Michael garnered his own parking space for being member of the month. I filled Jim in on the Bob connection! So even though he does not drive Michael could use the parking space through his driver Bob! Sometimes things just work out!