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jama:

So sorry to hear of Walter Dean Myers’s passing. The world of children’s literature has lost a giant.

Originally posted on :

Walter Dean Myers, in his own words and what he hoped his legacy would be.

“I hope that my legacy is that I was useful for young people…”

“…I want to make people of color human beings, and I want to make poor people human beings. I want to include them in my books so that they can look at my books and say that could be me, and this guy understands who I am as a poor person.”

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Attention: Good-looking friends, blog readers, lurkers and chocolate lovers!

Washington, DC’s favorite (and first independent) chocolate shop, Chocolate Chocolate, needs your vote. They recently learned they will be losing half their storefront due to a building renovation (boo! hiss!). Naturally this will decrease their visibility from the street and shut out some of the natural light.

You may remember my interviewing owners Frances and Ginger Park, who opened this ‘little shop that could’ about 30 years ago. Those of you who’ve been there know this is more than just a business — this shop with its awesome level of personalized service is an extension of their home.

Chocolate Chocolate has just entered the Wells Fargo Works for Small Business Contest – where five winners will be chosen to receive $25,000 each. This mentorship would enable Frances and Ginger to boost their online presence via social media and advertising, and develop more marketing strategies for the 21st century.

To cast your vote, click here. But hurry, the contest ends today, June 30, midnight PT.

Support small business! Support CHOCOLATE CHOCOLATE!

Please share the contest link with all your friends and on all your social networks!

Thank you!

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Copyright © 2014 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

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Remember how excited I was to hear that Colin Firth was going to voice Paddington Bear in the new movie to be released Christmas Day in the U.S.?

The other day I saw the official movie trailer and something felt wrong. Can’t explain it — the bear on the screen looked like Paddington, but he didn’t feel like the character I had grown to love so much from reading Michael Bond’s books. I know how more often than not, the book is usually better than the movie. And the producer of this project did say they were going to put their own spin on the character. But still.

See for yourself:

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Okay, maybe I’m just used to the Paddington puppets from the old TV series. Or maybe I’m stuck on the Paddington of my own imagination. Maybe I like him so much I’d be disappointed no matter what.

Now I’ve learned that Colin Firth has left the film. Apparently it was mutually agreed that his voice didn’t suit the on-screen character they had created (who so far feels more like a “Ted” than a child-centric bear).

Sigh. Wonder who will take Colin’s place. No one can, really.

Sigh.

I really need a marmalade sandwich.

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Copyright © 2014 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

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jama:

Check out this fun Q&A with my niece Cobi Kim of Veggietorials fame. :)

Originally posted on Meaty Vegan:

Photo by: Hannah Kaminsky

Going from 100% omni to 100%vegan overnight meant I had to relearn everything I knew about cooking. No longer could I rely on a hunk of meat to anchor the plate and surround it by sides and sauces. Cooking vegan takes a higher skill level, a level of finesse, and, in the end, is far more rewarding in so many delicious ways.

With over two years experience under my now smaller belt, my ability in the kitchen pales in comparison to one of the Internet’s most popular vegan instructors and chefs: Cobi Kim.

Currently (for a few more day, actually) residing in Hawaii, Cobi draws from her own background to create colorful dishes that make any foodie’s mouth water. Cobi took time out of her very busy schedule to answer a few questions with the Meaty Vegan.

MV: You seem to travel extensively, what is your favorite vegan destination…

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MY MOTHER’S HANDWRITING
by Julia Wendell

Individual as DNA, it spoke to me
from fridge notes, Christmas tags,
and report cards I took back to school,
with her hurried scrawl at the bottom.

Even now, the ache when I find her
half-cursive, half-print,
as unique as her voice was
sonorous and youthful, even as she aged.

But she is nowhere more present
than in her stash of recipe cards marked
Vegetables and Salads, Meat and Poultry,
as if she’d just penned the headings yesterday.

I scan the green cardboard box
for something yummy and familiar,
reading her hand-me-down script,

more alive than the cherry tree blooming
outside my window, more permanent
than my own body
that once slipped out of hers,

my half-breed penmanship reduced,
like anyone’s, to scribble in the end –
the way we sign our names,
caress a cold ankle or pull up a sheet,

the way we say goodbye
or fix a perfect salad.
She returns to me in fading ballpoint pen:

Press the garlic into the sides
of the wooden bowl.
Add tons of garlic and Parmesan cheese.
Toss and serve. I savor
every dash.

~ posted by permission of the author (Take This Spoon, 2014).

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It wasn’t until I moved to Virginia that Margaret started sending me recipes in the mail.

I requested a few local favorites so I could share a taste of Hawai’i with my new neighbors: Hot Shrimp Dip, Sweet Bread Pudding, Butter Mochi, Korean Kalbi, Cucumber Kimchi, Teriyaki Chicken.

Every so often, she’d send me a surprise recipe or two — a curry vegetable dip I just “had to try,” the Waioli Tea Room Fried Chicken recipe making the rounds at work, a new pancake recipe her sister Ella couldn’t stop raving about. Some were typed on her snazzy IBM Selectric, but most were written in her generous speedy script — breezy handwriting that artfully pinned down chopped parsley, dill weed, yogurt and grated red onion before they had a chance to flit away.

These occasional exchanges, short for, you’re too far away for me to cook for you but since I’m your mother I must make sure you don’t starve to death, took the place of actual letters, which were my Dad’s forte. Busy Margaret was more about random notes, lists, a line or two in a greeting card and hastily jotted recipes, some giving rise to good stories about making, eating, sharing.

I was thrilled to find Julia Wendell’s poem at Alimentum. Talk about someone taking the words right out of your mouth! I’ve always loved studying handwriting, delighted with how size, slant, speed, shape and pressure can reveal mood and personality. Now, when I chance upon an old recipe card, Margaret returns to me “in fading ballpoint pen.” I look harder at her scribbles, hoping to hear more.

“My Mother’s Handwriting” is included in Julia’s brand new chapbook, Take This Spoon (Main Street Rag Publishing Co., 2014). I’ve been slowly savoring each and every food poem and yes, there are family recipes. Julia’s a new-to-me poet; I like her intimate conversational style and use of telling detail to reveal hard truths about family dynamics, personal demons, and the complex relationship we have with food. Wholly accessible with startling emotional resonance, these beautifully crafted poems are not to be missed. But I’ll let Julia herself tell you more about them, since she’s agreed to drop by soon for a chat. Stay tuned!

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♦ CHILI (BEVERLY HILLS RESTAURANT) ♦

This is one of Margaret’s ‘survival recipes’ that I’ve made several times with my own variations. She sometimes whipped up a batch during the week and occasionally served it at beach park picnics. One time she couldn’t figure out why it didn’t taste quite the same. That’s what happens when you forget the beans. :D

  • 1 lb. pinto beans (soak overnight)
  • 5 cups canned tomatoes
  • 1 lb. green (bell) peppers, chopped
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons salad oil
  • 1-1/2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2-1/2 lb. lean ground round
  • 1 lb ground pork or Italian hot sausage
  • 1/2 cup chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon whole cumin seed

1. Wash beans, soak overnight, then cook until tender.

2. Sauté green peppers in oil.

3. Add onions and cook until tender. Add garlic and parsley.

4. Sauté meat in butter 15 minutes; add meat to onion and pepper mixture, stir in chili powder, then cook about 10 minutes. Add beans and rest of spices. Simmer, covered, about an hour.

5. Cook an additional 30 minutes uncovered. Skim fat from top before serving.

Note: Recipe may be halved. Substitute vegetable oil for butter and ground turkey for pork to cut down on fat calories. You can also use canned pinto beans in place of dried.

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Julia Wendell grew up in the Allegheny Forest of northwest Pennsylvania. Educated at Cornell University, Boston University, and the University of Iowa, Writer’s Workshop, she left her mid-careers as teacher and editor for the world of horses and three-day eventing. Her children John Logan (a classical sitarist) and Caitlin Saylor (an actor/playwright), grew up with their mother and her husband, poet and critic, Barrett Warner, on their horse farm in northern Baltimore County, where Julia and Barrett still live and work. Julia is enamored of jumping horses over immovable obstacles while galloping cross country.

For more info about Take This Spoon and her other chapbooks, poetry collections, and memoir, visit Julia’s Official Website.

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poetryfriday180Casual poet and serious slurper Diane Mayr is hosting today’s Roundup at Random Noodling. Don your best bibs, polish your chopsticks and feast on all the poetic delights being served up in the blogosphere this week. Bon Appétit!

 

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wkendcookingiconThis post is also being linked to Beth Fish Read’s Weekend Cooking, where all are invited to share their food-related posts. Drop by for some yummy Coffee Bars and check out what deliciousness the other bloggers are sharing this week!

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Copyright © 2014 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

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