asakiyume: (feathers on the line)
(With this job I'm likely to be mainly a Friday-Saturday-Sunday poster, but I'll try to be reading and commenting on people's blogs on other days.)

The crow and the dove
This morning was *warm* and although the hills are still waiting to spring alive again, there are hints of life all around--pussy willows, birdsong. On a morning run saw a magnificent crow up so close, close enough to admire his bill and exchange glances and hear the wind whistling in his wings as he flew off.

Later I heard a distant radio--but it wasn't so distant: it was on the other side of the road, and there was a woman sitting there on her stoop in her bathrobe, enjoying the sun slowly climbing above the trees on the hill across the road. I waved and she smiled and waved. Something like that is as good as sharing a whole meal with someone.

Then a little further on in the run a mourning dove flew up into a tree and the sun shone through its white tail feathers, glowing ... After the flood the dove and the crow became neighbors and told their kids stories about Noah's crazy habits.

music
And music. I have been listening to lots of cumbia and now want to learn to dance it, couples-style. Past me is looking at present me in frank amazement. There there, past self. It's all good. But what I'm sharing here are two songs that are not only nice to listen too but also have cool videos. The first I discovered through Afropop Worldwide: "Tenemos Voz"--very cool animation and a great song.

And "Zapata se Queda" is spectacular in a different way.

Gender of the Day
There's Twitter bot called @genderofthdday that comes up with different amusing combos each day. "The gender of the day is the smell of stale beer and the sound of a dial-up modem"; "The gender of the day is a dragon with a lute." (Actually, I'm realizing as I trawl the back pages that it gives several per day.)

A couple of days ago it gave "The gender of the day is a tired basilisk on a pegasus," and I thought that one needed an illustration, so:
asakiyume: (good time)



Via Siddhartha Mitter on Twitter, and ultimately from Al-Jazeera English, this 1.35 minute video about DJ Dumpling, an 80-plus-year-old who works in the family restaurant by day and DJs in Tokyo clubs at night: here.

A still from the video:

asakiyume: created by the ninja girl (Default)
There are things I learned related to the marches on Saturday, but I think I'm still working on that learning, so I can't really post about it, though, tangentially, my apolitical neighbor and friend has sent round an email to a bunch of her friends (me included) about staying active and engaged after the marches and after the anti-bigotry potluck that a group in town sponsored last Monday, so one thing I learned is: this is how people become activists. I was full of awe and respect.

At that potluck I found out that the longtime town clerk (now retired), an archetypal Yankee type, lean, with white hair, reserved, but with a nice smile, had been in the Selma march, had been on the Edmund Pettus Bridge with John Lewis. He's such an understated guy, a dedicated, quiet civil servant. I think I (re)learned something about who heroes are. Maybe they're the guy you're getting your dog license from.

Here, serving on the Board of Selectmen



It ties in with the poem "Ars Poetica #100," by Elizabeth Alexander (available for reading and listening here), these lines in particular:

Poetry is what you find
in the dirt in the corner,

overhear on the bus, God
in the details, the only way

to get from here to there.
Poetry (and now my voice is rising)

is not all love, love, love,
and I’m sorry the dog died.

Poetry (here I hear myself loudest)
is the human voice,

and are we not of interest to each other?






asakiyume: (nevermore)






I came online in 2006, which is much more recently than some of my friends here, but definitely makes me an online veteran compared with, for example, people in my neighborhood, or my family. As those people discover Facebook, they go through a version of what I went through when I joined Livejournal, becoming totally absorbed in online conversations, to the extent that they want everyone they know to be following along with their doings through that particular medium. They'll start telling me something in person with "Did you see about X--I posted on Facebook about it," and I usually have to tell them, no, I don't go on Facebook much, so I missed it. So then they tell me in person.

I realized that for friendships or relationships that I've made in person, I prefer my interactions to be in person (not necessarily face-to-face: might be via telephone or email or letter, but **personal**--not in a public forum). It's not just that I dislike Facebook: I don't want a preexisting friendship to suddenly become contingent on my attention to **any** online site.

It's different for friendships that I've formed online, even if they later become in-person friendships (or add a dimension in some other way): In that case, our friendship grew up through online interaction, and in that case I definitely enjoy and indeed rely on the online interaction.

How do you feel about online and in-person friendships and where you interact?


asakiyume: (Em reading)







Since he was five years old, Toby, who is in England, has been sending letters to strangers in countries around the world. He and his mother read up about each country, and based partly on that reading and partly on Toby's own interests, he comes up with questions he wants to ask. He handwrites the letters and sends them off. (The names and address of people to write to seem to come from well-wishers on the Internet and probably friends of friends of his parents.) So far he's sent out 906 letters and received back 386 postcards and letters. The website his parents have set up, writingtotheworld.com, includes pages with all the letters he's written, plus the replies he's received. Some of his letters have been collected into a book, but the project is still ongoing.

Toby's letter to Francis in Liberia

(reply here)

And here is Toby's letter to Nathaniel in Kyrgystan. This pattern--where the recipient is not actually from the country but is living there--seems more common than the case with Francis, above, who is actually Liberian.

(Reply here.)

Here is Toby in a Youtube video:


Fun project!
asakiyume: created by the ninja girl (Default)
Today Matt, of Where the Hell [now toned down to Heck] Is Matt fame (videos here and here), came to dance in South Amherst.

I was one of the first people to arrive, but gradually more and more people came, until we had a small crowd. There was a woman whose name was Forest--not Forest Something, or Something Forest, just Forest. She's a dancer. There was a young meteorologist, and an acquaintance of mine who does shape-note singing, and a pastor who is going to let me go up into her belfry to take pictures of her bell and who has a little daughter. There was a woman with her two grandchildren. So many people, happy to dance!

He came with just a smartphone to film with! And asked for a stepladder and a chair, and people found those things--and then for someone willing to film, and guess who was willing: [livejournal.com profile] wakanomori!

Here he is consulting with Matt (forgive the crummy photo; I didn't bring my camera (crazy), so this is taken with my cell phone)



Here are two pictures of the crowd that [livejournal.com profile] wakanomori took from his vantage point on the ladder (you can click through to see bigger) (Also, the pastor's church is over on the right as you look at the picture):





Here's the front row, where the kids were (my cell phone picture again):



After it was over, one guy called out, "You've been all over the world--what's one thing you've learned?" Matt thought about it a minute and said, "That people want to be helpful."

It's true--you could see it in action right there. A sunshiny thought.

Matt collects way more video footage than he uses in his final video, and what he got today may not make it in--but it'll be up on his website, eventually. When it is, I'll link.

Last of all, a posed shot together :-)



[Edit, from 2018. I'm going through carefully putting photos that were only available on Livejournal into my Dreamwidth photo storage, so that when I cease to pay for an LJ account, the photos will continue to be visible. As I do, I'm revisiting the past from the future. In this case, I know now, which I didn't then, that this Matt video would be lackluster compared to the early ones; that you can't go to places based on popular demand and have as interesting and diverse a video, and that the enthusiasm of the earlier years can't be maintained for ever and ever. Matt deserves to--and ought to--move on to a new project. Hopefully now he is/has.]


asakiyume: (miroku)






[livejournal.com profile] rachelmanija has an entry asking people how they've dealt with despair, how they've kept on going. People's replies, both on Livejournal (here) and Dreamwidth (here), are really moving and inspiring. It was a really wonderful thing Rachel did by asking the question, bringing together a treasury of hope and survival, but also acknowledgement of suffering and hardship.

It also shows the best of what social media--blogs and whatever--can be. It's not just one person sharing their thoughts and wisdom (or humor or imagination), but lots of people coming together and sharing with each other and with silent readers who are also there.

Thanks for that, Rachel. That was inspired question.


asakiyume: (Kaya)






Shawn Humphrey, the creator of the two-dollar challenge (and the author of the post I linked to at the start of my entry on it) shared some thoughts on the limitations, but also the strengths, of his campaign. As [livejournal.com profile] cecile_c says, pedagogy is a puzzle: how best to reach people? Shawn speaks from experience. His response is here, but for the click averse, I've posted it below as well. Thanks Shawn, for being such a great model of constructive engagement!

from @BluCollarProf

Can anything good come out of playing poverty?

Thanks for taking the time to express your concerns about the Two Dollar Challenge. I started the experiential learning exercise in 2006 in one of my university courses. It has taken me a number of years to get to a place where I felt comfortable enough to push for a national movement in the US. Having said that, I am not fully comfortable with the Challenge. I never will be. Your thoughts and your reader's comments are valid. All of them. However, I am a teacher. And, after many years of trying to give my students insight into the economic lives of the poor and my attempts to create a safe space for participants to challenge their notions about poverty and why it exists, this tool has been the most effective (albeit still limited). Here on my thoughts on that: http://shawnhumphrey.com/dos-and-donts-for-do-gooders/inquiry-versus-insult-redux/).

I am also the author of the "Do-Gooder Industrial Complex." It is my belief that an effective way to get the message of that post out is through a shared experience. We want to move participants beyond a recognition of how "lucky" they have it. We want to move them to a place where they are considering/taking action to restructure a system of power the keeps so many poor. I may be wrong in my belief that this is the tool to do it with. We will see.

A few thoughts on your post regarding the Two Dollar Challenge:

1. We are very forthright regarding the limitations of this experiential learning tool (http://twodollarchallenge.org/our-limitations/). We are also very upfront about the experience being a simulation, playing poverty, and in your words "fraudulent." It is. There is no way to get around it. Indeed, we use its fraudulence as a teaching tool. A number of participants find simulated poverty challenging enough. In turn, for them to even flirt with the notion of understanding poverty...well that is beyond their reach. This recognition humbles them.

2. Participants have the choice to adhere to additional constraints beyond the $2 a day income constraint. With these additional constraints, we create interdependence among the participants. A number of them work together to fulfill their daily needs and desires. This behavior allows us to talk about the many strategies that the materially poor utilize to complement their low and uncertain daily income - networks and social capital.

3. I think if you look into our rules you will see that we enumerate a number of exceptions when it comes to your daily income constraint. Essentially, participants (who are primarily university students) are spending their income on food and hygiene products. We are aware of difference in the purchasing power of $2 in different communities. However, give the pre-existing wealth (dorm rooms, central air and heat, clean water, low cost mobility...), we are comfortable constraining their income to $2 a day.


4. I am aware of the 850 Calorie Challenge and I am a supporter.

5. I think if you review our communications strategy for the Two Dollar Challenge, you will see that we are heavily focused on asking our audience tough questions about their motivations, their understanding of poverty, and why they believe they have role in ending another's poverty.

Once again, thanks for taking the time to discuss this topic. I grow with each critique. And, I am more than willing to continue the discussion with anyone who leaves a comment - shawn (@blucollarprof)


Thanks Shawn, for taking the time to respond and for being such a great model of constructive engagement!



asakiyume: (cloud snow)






Ed Ou: The North

I've been wanting to share the amazing photo essays of Ed Ou--in particular, one of life in Nunavut. Never have I felt I got to know life in a distant place so well merely from pictures as I did from looking through this collection. Warning: There are scenes of hunting and its aftermath in this--which is part of life in Nunavut--so don't go to the link if that will upset you.

Ed Ou: The North


Ed Ou: The North


The choices Ed made in who to photograph, and where, really give such a whole, compassionate, intimate picture of life in the Arctic. I loved them. And we're having our own Nunavut-like temperatures here this weekend, so--well, it's a tenuous sort of connection, but a connection.

Here's my own photo of our bright star, caught in the trees and not conveying much warmth this morning



Rhysling nomination

I was so moved and touched to receive a Rhysling nomination for my poem "The Peal Divers." It's been so long since I wrote poetry--that was one poem that came to me in the midst of my poetry desert. With just one poem to my name in 2014, it never occurred to me to even consider awards. And yet someone, some member of the SFPA, remembered it and nominated it. I'm humbled and grateful.

Pop Sonnets

popsonnets.tumblr.com recasts pop lyrics as sonnets. Very fun. Here's "Baby Got Back."


asakiyume: (Em)
I believe I've mentioned Nicola White and mudlarking before: mudlarking is scavenging for found items on the banks of the Thames. Nicola White, an artist, keeps a blog of her finds--a marvelous blog (link here; the top entry is on vulcanite screw bottle stoppers: fascinating).

One thing she looks for in particular is messages in bottles. The BBC did a five-minute report on her search for the messages of the Thames. She reckons that about one in every 200 bottles that she finds has a message in it. She has words of advice for message writers, too: write in pencil, as the sun tends to bleach the ink in pen messages.



Today on Twitter she posted this magnificent mermaid that she came across. It's made of some sort of cast metal, and she thinks it may have religious significance:



Here's a post she did on votive images and other religious items she's found by the water's edge.


asakiyume: (feathers on the line)






The other day, I caught the tail end of a lecture that Rebecca Solnit (apparently an award-winning essayist and environmental historian, though I'm not familiar with her) gave in Seattle earlier this year. It was broadcast by Alternative Radio. These words had me transfixed--I was trying to commit them to memory, and they were coming too fast, so I bought the transcript. I'm hoping that this small quotation is fair use and not an infringement:

Something wonderful happens to you, and you instantly look back over your life and see it as a series of fortunate events stretching off into the distance like mountain peaks. Something terrible happens and your life has always been a litany of woe. The present rearranges the past. We never tell the story whole because a life isn’t a story; it’s a whole milky way of events, and we’re forever picking out constellations from it to suit who and where we are ...

Musselwhite saved his life by caring deeply enough, Smith by telling it in a way that made someone else care, or at least hesitate, and by being yanked from the grip of her own troubles by the intensity of that ordeal.

I tell stories for a living, where I dismantle and break them and tell them otherwise. But never forget that you are also a storyteller. That we live in stories the way fish swim in water. That we choose our stories, if we can see them. That we are made of stories, and this can be a blessing or a curse, and is usually both at once as our lives unfold. Choose your stories carefully. Listen to what has been silenced. Learn to see the invisible.1

The earlier portion of the essay touches on all sorts of things, but always with the theme of how the story has been told and how it can be reinterpreted to show new truths--touching on the nuclear era ("though we imagine nulear war as a terrible thing that might happen someday in the future, it was going on regularly, routinely, at the rate of a nuclear bomb explosion a month or so, between 1951 and 1991"), the war against native peoples in North America, how mass shootings are reported. Those are all cases where a comforting narrative is displaced by a more stark one, but she also talks about how a negative story can be replaced by a more positive one: how people's response to natural disaster is not the Hollywood portrayal of panic and chaos, that in fact "not only do people do this work that needs to be done of rescuing people, making community kitchens, improvising shelters, looking after orphans and injured people . . . but they love it, they take great pleasure in it, they find great meaning in it."

But it's the last part of the essay--the two stories leading up to the quote I give above, that I loved best, the story of two people who changed their own story, and thereby saved their lives.

1Rebecca Solnit, "Making and Breaking Stories," lecture given June 5, 2014, in Seattle, WA, available through the Alternative Radio website.
asakiyume: (autumn source)
Today I'm meeting my first ever made-on-Twitter friend, Jaspreet Kindra, who just so happens to be an award-winning journalist, writing on climate change and its effects on developing countries, among other things. I am so lucky: The world is full of so many wonderful people, and I sometimes get to meet them.

I'll be back to read your pages sometime late on Sunday or Monday.


asakiyume: (autumn source)
You can choose between poems, novels, folklore, cool nonfiction, or nature, or--you can have all of them

poems


People who read this blog will no doubt be aware of the new zine Liminality. Well its first issue is out! With a lovely portrait of a mangrove dryad by [livejournal.com profile] haikujaguar on its cover and so. many. wonderful. poems.

Maggie Hogarth's cover
LIMINALITY


some of the poetic goodness under the cut )

novels


Just one: Prisoner, by Lia Silver. I haven't written up my review of it yet, but it's just so good.


some effusive gushing )

Folklore


Part one of a two-part introduction to mythic, folkloric creatures from around the world is up right now at the Book Smugglers. Cultures covered include Mexican, South Asian (Vedic based), Maori, and Filipino, as well as a look at dragonlike beings around the world, and the wonders of actual, real-world trees from around the world. A great read.

"A Diverse Mythical Creatures Round Table"


Cool nonfiction


I haven't read this yet, but I'm going to: Quilombo dos Palmares: Brazil's Lost Nation of Fugitive Slaves, by Glenn Cheney.



Did you know that there was a nation of escaped slaves that existed for almost 90 years in the 1600s in Brazil? I did not. I wonder what stories and legends must come down through the generations from that nation? I expect Glenn's book will help answer that question. He's written about the dispossessed farmers of Brazil, Promised Land, which I reviewed here, so I have confidence that this book will be an in-depth, thoughtful treatment.

nature

a leaf falls on its face--you have a hint at what that face will show, but you're not sure:


. . . so you must turn it over.



There now. Perfect.


And with that I leave you for a bit, my friends. Gotta earn some money. But I will drop by your pages and answer comments later today.


asakiyume: (Em reading)






music and dancing at the street corner

Last week, on my way to the jail, I saw a guy sitting on a street corner, strumming a guitar. Just sitting on the curb, noodling. I can't remember what he was wearing, but though he was a young guy (teenaged, or twenties), the scene had a 1930s feel to.

This week, on that same corner, a guy was dancing. Cool dancing, where you isolate bits of your body, where you pivot on your heels. He was in a bright yellow sports jersey with a number on it, and yellow sweatpants. He had earbuds in, but I could tell the music was great from his dancing.

A bookstore reading

I got to hear Grace Lin! I *love* Grace Lin )

Awesome scientist trading cards

Not only are these cards beautifully made, and with a fact-filled bio on the reverse side, but each scientist gets a great D&D-style class on the front:

Johannes Kepler: Ecstatic, Sage
Maria Sibylla Merian: Illusionist, Adventurer
Darwin the Elder: Hermit, Sage
Maria Mitchell: Guide, Autodidact
Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek: Artificer, Merchant

Maria Sibylla Merian



They come in a sewn paper pouch, sealed with a circular sticker with a beaker on it. They're from the Supramystic Saga, about which you can read more here.

They seem like a really fun present for an imaginative kid who likes science--I bet someone could make up a great Yugioh-style game with these guys.

Plus, the creator--one of the creators--has an appreciation of stamps. Look at the pretty ones he put on my parcel:



The Hawaii one made me think of Pen Pal (But 87 percent of the things I encounter make me think of Pen Pal).

And here you can see the science-y array of stamps he's got for the next parcel he's sending out:



So if you're looking for a creative present for someone, these cards might be an idea. (You can get them here.)





asakiyume: (Kaya)






On August 23, writing in her journal, Kaya recalls a traditional song repurposed as a children's taunt for games of chase:

I’m sending, sending, sending the Lady’s birds
To find, find, find what you have hid
They’ll seize, seize, seize your every secret
And pierce, pierce, pierce your many lies.
They’ll leave, leave, leave a burning ember
In the place, place, place of your coward heart
And fan, fan, fan the Lady’s fires
To flame, flame, flame in your fevered eyes

I love children's songs and rhymes--clapping games, jump rope rhymes, counting-out games, insults and retorts, all of it. I've posted about them before, but this time round, I'd like to link you to the handclap and jump rope rhymes page on the Cocojams website. The whole site is an excellent resource, and this page is loads of fun. For example, this rhyme, which developed after my childhood:


MAMA MAMA CAN'T YOU SEE (Version #17)
Momma momma can't you see
What the baby's done to me
Took away my MTV
Now I’m watching dumb Barney
Tic Tac Toe Three in a row
Barney got shot got shot by GI Joe
Who ever got stop get a bump in the head
And that is how the game will end

The site includes videos of kids playing the handclapping games:




asakiyume: (Em reading)






I participated in this week's SF Signal Mind Meld. The question was excellent: what is your favorite memory of a library or bookstore? As several of the participants said, it's hard to pick just one! I told a story of an unusual encounter . . .

But how about you guys? What are some of your favorite memories?
asakiyume: (glowing grass)
Sometime last week, I shared with [livejournal.com profile] osprey_archer this image of Fergus the Forager, in his suit made of burdock leaves:



([livejournal.com profile] osprey_archer, someone asked him in comments how he made it, and he said he did it by glueing the leaves to a preexisting cloth suit--so it's not like those leaves had to hold up on their own!)

His whole entry on burdock is fascinating. I knew about burdock root as a food, because I prepared it all the time in Japan. My favorite recipe is kimpira gobo, which I'll share before this entry's done. But he has many other recipes, including candied burdock.

But most interesting to me is his photo of the Burry Man of Queensferry (photo comes from Wikipedia via Fergus's blog)



The Burry Man's suit is made of burrs! He makes his suit and walks a circuit of Queensferry, Scotland, on the second Friday in August. Here's what Fergus shared from Richard Mabey's Flora Britannica

At 9am the Burry Man emerges into Queensferry High Street, carrying two staves bedecked with flowers. He walks slowly and awkwardly with his arms outstretched sideways, carrying the two staves, and two attendants, one on each side, help him to keep his balance by also holding on to the staves. Led by a boy ringing a bell, the Burry Man and his supporters begin their nine-hour perambulation of South Queensferry.
The first stop is traditionally outside the Provost’s house, where the Burry Man receives a drink of whisky through a straw.

The perambulating and the drinking go on all day long, and around 6 pm, he returns to the town hall.

Fergus links to the Wikipedia article about the Burry Man, which includes information about making the suit from one guy who served as the Burry Man for twelve years. The entry also includes speculation about the origins and purposes of the ritual. I just like that it's part of something called the Ferry Fair, which I will now think of as the Fairy Fair, since, come on: this has Fairy Folk written all over it.

Here's a picture of the Burry Man from last year's Fairy Fair:


[Edit from 2018: some of the photos have disappeared in the intervening years...]

And here he is getting his tipple:

Source: 2013 Ferry Fair

Oh! And now that recipe, so this entry isn't entirely cribbing from other sources, or at least not other online sources:


That's cut out from a magazine from which I used to order stuff for delivery from a food coop I belonged with, with my neighbors when I lived in Japan. You got approximately 300 grams of gobo (burdock root) for 298 yen--about $3.00, at the time.

translation of the recipe )


asakiyume: created by the ninja girl (Default)
Sometimes the most ordinary of places is beautiful. This parking lot, with those big clouds, in fresh after-rain light.

It's just a parking lot, but there's a big sky up above it and trees on its margins, and even its asphalt seems . . . all right.

(It's another phone picture. My phone takes impressionist paintings. My phone's name is Cezanne.)


I had to pick up the healing angel from a friend's house. On our way home, we passed a bus-hive. All the school buses were there, all yellowy-orange and black, like fancy hornets. We thought we might see the queen, but we didn't; we only saw the worker buses. (A queen, as you probably know, is just a worker bus that has been fed royal petroleum jelly.) I didn't have the presence of mind to take a picture, but this picture, though it's from more than a thousand miles away, has something of the feel.

Bus-hive in Ann Arbor, Michigan


And hey, while I was searching for appropriate bus-hive pictures, look what I found: mini edible school buses made out of Twinkies.


Photo by Kendra Arch; recipe at "Stop Lookin' Get Cookin'"


asakiyume: (Timor-Leste nia bandiera)
Doing some research, I came across this moving song, "Timor Oan Mos Bele," ("We Timorese Can Do It"), sung in Tetun, Portuguese, and English. It's addressed to everyone in Timor-Leste and urges them not to lose faith in the possibility of a good future for the country.



hatudu ba ema katak Timor oan mos bele,
labele lakon esperansa tuba rai metin
no lao ba oin nafatin

We have to show people that we Timorese can do it
We can't lose hope; we must stand firm
And continue to walk forward


The little signs say things like "Fight Corruption," "Education Starts in the Household," "Stop Using Violence," and "Create Peace and Love."

There are lots of tensions in Timor-Leste; violence and corruption1 are problems, and I bet it's easy to get discouraged. But lots of people are doing such great work--I'm not talking about million-dollar initiatives; I'm thinking just of the ordinary people I met, who are running computer classes or transportation services, or investing in a washing machine and then offering laundry services, etc. And those are just the people I was aware of from my brief stay. But meanwhile there's a law in the works that may restrict journalistic freedom, and there've been some pretty dramatic police actions . . . so, I appreciate the spirit of this song, and I hope people hang on to this spirit.

Timor Oan Mos Bele Halo--Viva Timor!


(And I do love learning language through listening to songs. Phrases I learned today include fiar-an, "believe in yourself," and ida-idak, "everybody.")

1Like this worrying story about petty police corruption that came down the line this morning from the East Timor Action Network :-(


asakiyume: created by the ninja girl (Default)
One of my earliest memories of Internet goodness is of searching for a recipe for wild mushrooms--this would have been sometime between 1998 and 2005--and finding one offered by a guy who identified his location as Turkish Kurdistan. We had a brief back and forth, and I thought, Now this place is personal to me. I know someone there. I know he used to pick wild thyme with his grandmother.

Fast forward to last summer. One of my best memories from Timor-Leste was of being served deep-fried plantain chips, homemade, and of sharing the leftovers with friends. I wanted to make those myself, to feel close (because eating food brings us close) to Timor-Leste. And the best recipe I found? Was a Nigerian one.



So easy to follow, so clear, so pleasant! (And the recipe was a success)

Not only did this bring me close to Timor-Leste, it made me feel close to Nigeria. I had one previous experience with Nigerian food: akara--wonderful, croquette-like deep-fried items, made with ground black-eyed peas, with onions and hot peppers to flavor it. I bought some at a local market, loved it, wanted to know how to make it, and had found recipes online, but was stymied by one key detail--getting the skins off the black-eyed peas.

Oh My God, the time that took. I'd soak the black-eyed peas, and as they expanded, the skins would begin to come loose. Then I'd rub them together in the soaking water to get more loose, and then I'd strain off the skins (which would float), while trying to keep the peas themselves from pouring out. It was such a slow process! I mean, kind of relaxing, too, if you have nothing else to do, but. . .

Well, Flo, the woman behind All Nigerian Recipes, has the answer for that, too:

two videos about getting the skins off beans )

So by this time I'm really loving this Youtube channel, loving the recipes, loving the fact that Flo responds to comments--and loving her personal videos, too. Like this one:



Pretty cool, right? Not only does Flo put up fabulous cooking videos, she also has an *intense* day job!

And because the Internet lets us make friends with people all over the world--just write hello, just hit send--I thought . . . maybe she would let me interview her.

Then I checked and saw that she has close to 30,000 subscribers. Her top video has more than half a million views, and her top ten videos all have over 100,000 views. I'm not the only one who loves her. So then I felt more hesitant about getting in touch. . . . But I overcame that and wrote to her, and she said yes!

So come back on Monday, everyone, when Flo will answer my questions about cooking, YouTube, and self-publishing a cookbook.

Meantime, enjoy her channel and maybe have a Nigerian meal tonight.

Video List Here!



Profile

asakiyume: created by the ninja girl (Default)
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