Saturday night, May 7th, , 7:30 pm, Melbourne
time, I'll be appearing on the Lifestyle Channel, at the
Lifestyle Cafe, in Federation Square, as a celebrity
chef, (yeah right - more like a Legend in Your Lunchtime) talking about food and music and doing a cooking demonstration
of Gozleme, a Anatolian stuffed flat bread. This recipe
is so simple even an aged Turkish grandmother could make it! Here's
the link to the Turkish recipe for GOZLEME, in case you missed it, from my September 2004 newsletter.
As it was the special Mother's Day show,
I offered the suggestion that I could serve the ultimate Mother's
Day dish: Placenta with Quail Eggs, (which I actually prepared
for my son's homebirth in the late 70s) but the powers-that-be
of the show thought I ought to go with something a little less
confrontational for the moms. Probably a wise decision, as there
was quite an uproar the last time someone tried this on public
television in Australia and the UK in the 90s. (If anyone
is interested in this story, let me know and I will go into it
more next week. Anyway, where you gonna find fresh placenta on
a Saturday night?)
FAVOURITE READER FEEDBACK OF THE WEEK
Dear Joe, Re: Pope 'Eggs' Benedict XVI
As I understand it, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was not the Cardinals
first choice. It was, interestingly, Cardinal Hans Grapje. Grapje
was raised in a Catholic school in The Hague and, as a young man,
aspired to become a priest, but was drafted into the Army during
WWII and spent two years co-piloting B17s until his aircraft was
shot down in 1943 and he lost his left arm. Captain Grapje spent
the rest of the war as a chaplain, giving spiritual aid to soldiers,
both Allied and enemy. After the war, he became a priest, serving
as a missionary in Africa, piloting his own plane (in spite of
his handicap) to villages across the continent. In 1997, Father
Grapje was serving in Zimbabwe when an explosion in a silver mine
caused a cave-in. Archbishop Grapje went down into the mine to
administer last rights to those too severely injured to move.
Another shaft collapsed, and he was buried for three days, suffering
multiple injuries, including the loss of his right eye. The high
silver content in the mine's air gave him purpura, a life-long
condition characterized by purplish skin blotches. Although Cardinal
Grapje devoted his life to the service of God as a scholar, mentor,
and holy man, church leaders felt that he should never ascend
to the Papacy. They felt that the Church would never accept a
one-eyed, one-armed, flying purple Papal leader. Bill Lempke
(Note: Ouch! In the name of the Father and the Son and
the Holy Boom Boom!)
I'm sure you don't want your newsletter used as a court
for verbal tennis, and I understand if you don't want to publish
it for that reason, but I feel more than a little compelled to
reply to Victor's letter from last week (regarding my letter about
the 'yo mama' jokes in the previous newsletter) . . . . .
. . Craig.
(Note: Dear Craig (and Victor), I am a big fan of verbal
tennis. (Especially when two people have to share one racket.)
My attitude regarding ongoing debate on issues is this: I usually
print a few short volleys (short being the operative word!) and
then suggest that the players email each other to continue the
match. It's obvious that the newsletter would turn into a weblog,
otherwise. So if you and Victor want to exchange more advanced
philosophical spitballs, send your email addresses to me, and,
with both your permissions, I'll pass them on to each other. Joe.)
(In last week's installment, you will recall
that RAEL, manifesting through the Entity Known as Joseph, promised
a delivery of rare Raelian woodpecker eggs in exchange for a small
donation for his Spiritual Embassy. A co-incidence? I think not.)
Washington - The ivory-billed woodpecker, once
prized for its plumage and sought by American Indians as magical,
was thought to be extinct for years. Now it's been sighted again
and conservationists are exulting. The striking bird, last seen
in 1944, has been rediscovered in the Big Woods area of Arkansas,
scientists and conservationists reported Thursday. "This
is thrilling beyond words ... after 60 years of fading hope that
we would ever see this spectacular bird again," John W. Fitzpatrick,
director of the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, said at a news
(Note: Rael moves in strange ways. Thank you
to all those who gave. You know who you are. Or you don't know
who you are. One or the other. Here's a little something xtra
for the rest of you woodpeckerheads:)
FAVOURITE REVIEWS OF THE WEEK
I found some comments, about my song, Shaddap You Face,
on a French blogger's site and ran them through my AltaVista translator
to help understand what all the fuss was about. Here are a few
that I liked:
Shaddap You Face, on pourrait traduire ça
par 'ferme ta gueule', non? En voilà un bon conseil...
('Could 'Shaddap You Face', one translate that by ' farm
your mouth ', not? In here is a good council...' xoros)
J'adore. J'avais un 33 tours de Nono le petit robot
qui l'a chanté en français.
('I adore. I had one 33 turns of Nono the small robot which sang
it in French.' Rudi )
On la chante au boulot au moins une fois par jour
('One sings it with the job at least once per day' xxil)
C'est pas dans le clip de ce morceau qu'il y a un
type qui se prend une pizza sur la tete?
('It is not in the clip of this piece that there is a type which
is caught a pizza pie on the tete?' brioche)
C'est deux fois meilleur maintenant que j'ai les paroles
(et que mon niveau d'anglais s'est un peu amélioré
('It is twice better now than I have the words (and than my English
level improved a little.' jeromedl)
Oh, encore un délicieux souvenir de bide qui
était réfugié dans ma mémoire reptilienne
et qui ressurgi maintenant à la faveur!
('Oh, still a delicious memory which was taken refuge in my memory
reptilienne and which re-appeared now with more favour! Babe519)
War Memories Drive Okinawa's Most Passionate
Fumiko Nakamura promoted militarism
to her students in the 1930s. Now she's a pacifist icon.
by Takehiko Kambayashi
NAHA, JAPAN -- Fumiko Nakamura, a 91-year-old
former public school teacher, can't shake the profound remorse
she feels for the loss of her students during one of the bloodiest
battles of World War II. Before Okinawa, a subtropical island
in the Pacific, was turned into a killing field 60 years ago,
Ms. Nakamura used to exhort her students to fight for the emperor
and for the state. Her students were among more than 200,000 people,
including 12,520 Americans, who perished during the Battle of
Okinawa, which started in March 1945. She is deeply ashamed of
her involvement in the war. "I will carry this sin as long
as I live," she says. But her shame hasn't kept her silent.
Ever since the war, this diminutive woman has fought for peace,
protesting US military presence here, and becoming a pacifist
icon. As Japan expands its military roles abroad, her voice has
"I see certain parallels between present situations in Japan
and in the pre-war period," she warns.
Nakamura grew up under a totalitarian ideology in the 1930s. "We
were indoctrinated ... with patriotic songs, slogans, and army
propaganda," she recalls. As an elementary-school teacher,
Nakamura played a part in that indoctrination. "In class
[she] used to ask all of us if we could die for the state,"
recalls Fumiko Toyama, a student of Nakamura in 1937. "Whenever
our 'yes' was not loud enough, she'd snap, 'Speak up!' "
Nakamura says she once lived without freedom of speech, so now
she values that freedom. "I continue to speak out as long
as my mouth works," she declares. (article)
Energy from Ocean Waves
Energetech is a renewable energy technology
development and industry advisory company. The company has developed
a new and commercially efficient system for extracting energy
from ocean waves and converting it to electricity or desalinated
water. The Energetech technology now makes it possible for wave
energy to provide a cheap, sustainable source of power or water
to grid-connected and remote users. (article)
(thanks to Maireid Sullivan)
Pete Seeger Is 86
by Studs Terkel
Some years ago, DownBeat, the jazz journal,
referred to Pete Seeger as "America's tuning fork."
Along with Woody Guthrie, Leadbelly and Alan Lomax, he was the
balladeer who stirred up the American folk-song revival in the
late 1940s and early 1950s. His influence among the young was
so pervasive that it brought forth this thought: When you see
a kid with Adam's apple wildly bobbing and banjo held chest-high,
you know that Pete Seeger, like Kilroy, was there. Pete and his
wife, Toshi, live in a house he built in Beacon, New York, an
upstate town along the Hudson River. His later years have been
devoted to the Clearwater, as a schooner and an idea--cleaning
up the Hudson River, which had through the years become polluted,
"dangerous to all living things." He was 82 when he
started the river project. (article)
The Bridal 'Grab and Run'
By Craig S. Smith
Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan - When Ainur Tairova realized
she was on her way to her wedding, she started choking the driver.
The wedding was supposed to be to a man she had
met only the day before, and briefly at that. Several of his friends
had duped her into getting into a car; they picked up the would-be
groom and headed for his home. Once there, she knew, her chances
of leaving before nightfall would be slim, and by daybreak, according
to local custom, she would have to submit to the role of wife
or leave as a tainted woman.
"I told him I didn't want to date anyone," Tairova,
28, recalled earlier this month. "So he decided to kidnap
me the next day." Such abductions are common here. More than
half of Kyrgyzstan's married women were snatched from the street
by their husbands in a custom that is known as "ala kachuu,"
which translates roughly as "grab and run." In its most
benign form, it is a kind of elopement, in which a man whisks
away a willing girlfriend. But often it is something more violent.
Recent surveys suggest that the rate of abductions has grown steadily
over the past 50 years and that currently at least a third of
Kyrgyzstan brides are taken against their will.
The custom predates the 12th-century arrival of Islam and appears
to have its roots in the region's once-marauding tribes, which
periodically stole horses and women from rivals when supplies
ran low. (article)
A city boy, Kenny, moved to the country and bought a donkey from
an old farmer for $100.00. The farmer agreed to deliver the donkey
the next day. The next day the farmer drove up and said, "Sorry
son, but I have some bad news, the donkey died."
Kenny replied, "Well then, just give me my money back."
The farmer said, "Can't do that. I went and spent it already."
Kenny said, "OK then, just unload the donkey."
The farmer asked, "What ya gonna do with him?"
Kenny, "I'm going to raffle him off."
Farmer, " You can't raffle off a dead donkey!"
Kenny, "Sure I can. Watch me. I just won't tell anybody he
A month later the farmer met up with Kenny and asked, "What
happened with that dead donkey?"
Kenny, "I raffled him off. I sold 500 tickets at two dollars
a piece and made a profit of $898.00."
Farmer, "Didn't anyone complain?"
Kenny, " Just the guy who won. So I gave him his two dollars
(thanks to Tom Becherer)
I learned this recipe from my partner, Lin, over the weekend.
It originally comes from memories of the way her German-Jewish
'Morma' used to make chestnut puree. What gives Lin's variation
its distinction, however, is the carmalized sugar crunch throughout
the texture, which requires a small meat grinder, rather than
a food mill.
fresh chestnuts, cooked, to yield 5 cups flesh
2 tsp vanilla essence
5 tablespoon rum
1/2 cup castor sugar
Small meat grinder, with approx no. 5 blade, medium holes
Simmer chestnuts in water for about 25 minutes. Let cool and then
cut each chestnut in half, with a small sharp knife, and scoop
out the flesh with a tiny pointed spoon, discarding the spoiled
Place chestnuts in a large bowl and sprinkle
over 5 tablespoons of rum and 2 tablespoons of cream, and mix
Just before serving, place half cup of castor
sugar in a saucepan and heat gently until the sugar melts and
becomes brown and syrupy.
Pour sugar syrup immediately over the chestnuts.
The syrup will re-crystalise when it makes contact with the cool
chestnuts. Mix thoroughly.
Press chestnut mixture through the grinder
with a spoon, directly into small serving dishes, cranking continuously,
until the threadlike 'worms' form into a mound.
Sprinkle with a little rum.
Spoon a little cream, or whipped cream over
the top and serve.
If you wish to serve this dish later in the
day, or the next day: After you have pressed the chestnut mixture
through the grinder place in a container, cover and chill. Just
before serving, melt another half cup of sugar until it carmalises,
as before, mix into the chestnut mixture and put through the grinder
again, directly into serving dishes. (If you don't crystalise
the sugar just before serving, it will get soft in the fridge
and lose the crunch you want. Also, the chestnut threads will
become crumbly as they dry out - hence the neccesity to re-do
this final stage with the grinder, just before serving.) Add the
rum and cream to finish, and serve.