Salsa Hiuancaina

17 October 2014

Peruvian spicy cheese sauce.
Very few people I’ve met are averse to some version of cheese and potatoes. As for potatoes, no one knows them as well as Andean people, so I turn to this Peruvian cheese sauce.


2 mirasol peppers (dried aji amarillo)
1/4 C walnuts
3 garlic cloves
8 ounces creamy feta
1/3 C achiote oil

1. stem and seed the peppers. Place them in 2 C warm water until they’re soft, about 20-30 min.
2. peel the garlic, roughly chop up the feta.
3. put the peppers, garlic, feta and 1/4 of chile soaking water into a blender, food processor or the like. Puree that stuff. Add a bit more chile-water if you need to thin it.
4. Slowly add the oil in a slow stream while blending the sauce.
5. Serve with potatoes!

Aceite o Manteca de Color

17 October 2014

Achiote-infused oil.

2 C corn oil*, or olive oil
1/2 C achiote (annatto) seeds

1) heat the oil and seeds over medium heat until the oil begins to bubble.
2) remove from heat and let cool.
3) strain the seeds out of the oil and discard them.
4) you can store it for 1-2 months in a cool dry place.

*corn is particularly bad for having been contaminated with GMOs. If you are able, purchase organic corn or canola oil.

Year 1 Mercury 6

16 October 2014

Year-1---planet-inferior106 day cycle begins today at inferior conjunction

Super Stew

6 October 2014

Cooking without garlic. It can happen, apparently.

Also, feel free to adjust the ingredients. This just happens to be what I had/had a lot of/needed to be used urgently, etc.

cooking oil
2 red onions, coarsely chopped
3 cayenne peppers, seedled, finely minced
2 large carrots (purple & orange), peeled, cut in chunks
1 sweet potato, peeled, cut in chunks
2 sweet peppers (green & orange), seeded, coarsely chopped
1 C green beans, cut
1 cup assorted dried mushrooms (porcini, shiitake, oyster)
~2 cups boiling water

1 TB marmite
1 tsp dried thyme

1 TB anise seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
5 allspice berries
1/4 C curry leaves, crushed

1 C red wine

9 sweet/sticky rice ball dumplings

1. pour just boiled water over dried mushrooms and let them steep.
2. heat oil over medium-low heat. Add onions and fry until they start to get translucent. Add cayenne peppers and mix.
3. Grind anise, coriander, allspice to a powder. Combine with thyme and set aside.
4. Add carrots and sweet potato, spice mix (above) and stir to combine.
5. make a well in the center, add the marmite. Pour the mushroom soaking water (reserving the reconstituted mushrooms) gradually, stirring to mix the marmite in with the broth.
6. Mince the mushrooms and add them with the green beans and sweet peppers. Toss in the curry leaves, add the wine, mix the whole thing together and simmer a while.
7. Make balls with leftover sticky rice. Place on top of the stew, cover with a lid and let steam until done (hopefully this will thicken the stew also).

Year 1 Month 10

28 September 2014


Another Abysmal Holiday Suggestion

27 September 2014

John Davis had a corking good idea, back in, what one would have referred to as, “the day.”

I came across an anecdote about  John Davys, who explored through the Arctic. He did get a straight named after him, which is something I suppose. John Davys was an accomplished navigator and explorer, who concerned himself with less with politics and more with navigation, cartography, exploration.

Overexposure in 16th Century wood prints.

Excerpt from Arctic Dreams by Barry Lopez

“Voyages of a very different sort were undertaken eight years later by John Davis, perhaps the most highly skilled of all the Elizabethan navigators, a man of a more seren disposition than the volatile Frobisher, much less the disciplinarian among his men, less acquisitive and less self-promoting of his achievements – part of the reason that he, of all the West Country mariners, was the one never knighted.

“With the backing of Adrian Gilbert, a prominent Devonshire physician, and William Sanderson, a London merchant-adventurer, and under the patronage of the Duke of Walsingham, Davis outfitted two small ships, the Sunneshine and the Mooneshine, the former with a four-piece orchestra, and sailed from Dartmouth on the Devon coast on June 7, 1585.

“Their first landfall was near present day [mid-1980s) Cape Walløe on the southeast coast of Greenland, but fog and the ice stream in the East Greenland Current held them off. “[T]he irksome noyse of the yse was such, that it bred strange conceites among us, so that we supposed the place to be vast and voyd of any sensible or vegitable creatures, whereupon I called the same Desolation.” The two ships stood out from Cape Farewell (Davis would so name it on his second voyage) and came to shore, finally, near th eold Norse settlement at Godthåb on July 29. And here took place one of the most memorable of meetings between cultures in all of arctic literature.

“Davis and several others were reconnoitering from the top of an island in what Davis had named Gilbert Sound when they were spotted by a group of [Inuit] on the shore, some of whom launched kayaks. They made “a lamentable noyse,” wrote John Jane, “… with great outcryes and skreechings: wee hearing them thought it had bene the howling of wolves.” Davis called on the orchestra to play and directed his officers and men to dance. The Eskimos cautiously approached in kayaks, two of them pulling very close to the beach. “Their pronunciation,” wrote Jane,” was very hollow through the throate, and their speach such as we could not understand: onely we allured them by friendly imbracings and signes of curtesie. At length one of them poynting up to the sunne with his hande, would presently strike his brest so hard, that we might hear the blowe.” John Ellis, master of the Mooneshine, began to imitate, pointing to the sun and striking his breast. One [Inuk} came ashore. They handed him pieces of their clothing, having nothing else to offer, and kept up their dancing, the orchestra playing the while.

“The following morning the ships’ commpanies were awakened by the very same people, standing on the same hill the officers hand stood on the day before. The [Inuit] were playing on a drum, dancing and beckoning to them.

“(Davis’s courteous regard for the [Inuit] is unique in early arctic narratives He found them “a very tractable people, voyde of craft or double dealing….” He returned to the same spot on his second voyage; the moment of mutual recognition, and his reception, were tumultuous.)”


“Davis’s accomplishments on these trips are stunning. He laid down most of the Labrador coast on sailing charts, some 700 miles of the west coast of Greenland, and most of southwest Baffin Island. Hi notes on ice conditions, plants, animals, currents, and the interior of Greenland, as well as his ethnographic descriptions of [Inuit], were the first of their kind. He brought these lands not only onto the maps but into the realms of science. The “Traverse-Booke” he developed on the voyrages became the model for a standard ship’s log. The backstaff he developed anticipated the reflecting quadrant and the modern sextant. And The Seaman’s Secret (1594), much of it based on these thre voyages, became a seventeenth-century bible for English mariners.

I propose that July 29th be the holiday to meet one another with music and dance, smiles and acts of “curtesie.” I maintain that dancing and feasting together is one of the best ways of getting to know one another.

I’ll put this in the works – we can always use another excuse to dance (nobody needs a reason).

Year 1 Lunation 10

24 September 2014



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