[-empyre-] Happy Monday!

Luz Calvo luz.calvo at csueastbay.edu
Thu Dec 19 05:36:53 EST 2013


Decolonize Your Diet (DYD) has had some success using Facebook
<https://www.facebook.com/DecolonizeYourDiet?ref=hl>to disseminate our
message. It is interesting to see how our posts elicit a response from
folks who are hailed in one way or another by our recipes, tips, or
cultural reclamations.

Our project is earnest. We're interested in getting folks
(Chican@/Latin at especially)  to find ways to return to eating the
healthy (ie.
non-processed) foods  their ancestors ate. Through our posts, we also
encourage folks to question the food system, capitalism, and empire. Based
on our FB stats, our demographic clusters around ages 25-34, with women
outnumbering men 3 to 1.

We're committed to decolonization as a political stance but try to make
this concept/politics completely accessible by discussions of food. On our
page, we often share recipes.

Re. art and resistance: To us, food is art and cooks should be considered
cultural workers. We're interested in liberating the kitchen so that the
labor of cooking is regarded as a creative act of resistance, akin to
political graffiti. A cook's dish is their *placa/*tag, inscribed on the
belly of those who are fed. We are struggling with ways to unhinge the
gendered oppression that has surrounded cooking as "women's work."

Through our cooking and writing projects, we desire to disrupt  gender and
colonial relations.  At the same time, we are trying to intervene in "lo
popular" (the "popular" by which we mean daily life of real folks). We're
not interested in just forging another academic discourse (which is
sometimes challenging since we are both academics). Facebook, despite its
considerable downsides, gives us access to a non-academic public.

Here's a little blog entry we wrote which explains our project:

I'll close this message by sharing a recipe.

Chipotle Pumpkin Soup Alchemy

Everyone who tastes this soup swoons. It is rich and creamy without the
need for dairy. Chipotle adds a smoky note, but be careful not to overdo it
(no matter how tough you think you are!) The cinnamon adds a layer of
complexity but also helps the body regulate its blood glucose levels. Many
people think that winter squash are grown in the winter but they are
actually grown in the summer and harvested in the fall. Winter squash store
well, making them an important food during long winter months.

   - 2 tablespoon coconut oil
   - 1 white onion, chopped
   - 4 garlic cloves, chopped
   - 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted and ground in *molcajete*
   - 1 teaspoon coriander seeds, toasted and ground in *molcajete*
   - 1 cinnamon stick, preferably canela Mexicana or Ceylon
   - 1 chipotle pepper (canned in adobo)
   - 7-pound cooking pumpkin or winter squash, roasted and cubed
   - 4 to 6 cups vegetable stock
   - 1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican oregano
   - 1 teaspoon salt, more to taste
   - 1 tablespoon lime juice
   - One drizzle Grade B Maple Syrup


   - Raw, peeled pumpkin seeds
   - Cilantro leaves
   - Optional: cashew cream

Heat oil in a large soup pot on medium high heat. Add the onions and cook
for 5-6 minutes, stirring often. Add the garlic, cumin, coriander, and one
(not more!) chipotle, cook for 1 minute more.

Add the pumpkin, cinnamon stick, vegetable stock, oregano, and salt. Bring
to a simmer, reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minute.

Toast pepitas on a hot skillet until they start to puff up and/or turn
brown. Remove pepitas from pan and set aside

Remove cinnamon stick from soup. Using an immersion blender, purée the soup
until creamy. If you don’t have an immersion blender,  use a regular
blender, working in batches and taking care not to cause an explosion (!)

Put soup back on stove over low heat. If the soup is too thick, add some
water now. Add lime juice and one drop of maple syrup. The maple syrup
helps to bring all the flavors together. Don’t add too much or the soup
will taste cloying.  Here comes the fun part: taste and adjust seasonings.
If you want an even spicier soup, chipotle adobo sauce a little at a time.
I like to feel a warm gentle heat on my palette. Consider adding more salt,
acid (lime), or maple syrup.  Cooking is magic and alchemy and the final
product should have a nice balance of salt, acid, spicy, and sweet notes.
Once you have the soup to your liking, let it heat through for a few

Serve piping hot with toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds), a beautiful cilantro
leaf, and cashew cream, if using. We also eat with out eyes: Make it

Yield: 6 large bowls

NOTE: The easiest way to roast a pumpkin is to roast the whole thing in a
baking dish at 375 degree for one hour or until it is easily pierced by a

Shopping Notes: For this recipe, look for a nice winter squash that weighs
about 7 or so pounds. Good choices would be a sugar pumpkin, fairytale
pumpkin, Cinderella pumpkin, or Hubbard squash. Now is the time to recover
our collective knowledge about huge bio-diversity of pumpkins out there. To
do that, we need to start eating them to get to know each one. Don’t be
afraid to experiment with different pumpkins and winter squashes in this
recipe.  Even better, grow your own! One package of seeds is enough to feed
your community forever. Once you harvest your pumpkin, save some of the
seeds to plant the following year! If you buy an organic, heirloom pumpkin
or winter squash, you don’t even need to buy seeds, just save the seeds
from the pumpkins or squash and plant them in the Spring.

Substitutions: Substitute 3 15-ounce cans of canned pumpkin for the fresh
pumpkin. You can use ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon instead of a cinnamon
stick. You can use ground cumin and coriander instead of whole seeds. You
can use a drop of honey or a pinch of brown sugar instead of maple syrup.
You can use lemon instead of lime. This soup is very forgiving, don’t fret
about having to substitute some of the ingredients.

Dr. Luz Calvo
Associate Professor, Department of Ethnic Studies
Office: MI 4099
Cal State East Bay
25800 Carlos Bee Boulevard
Hayward, CA 94542

*Decolonize Your Diet*

On Tue, Dec 17, 2013 at 6:45 AM, Irina Contreras <icontreras at cca.edu> wrote:

> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> Hello,
> I thought I might bring to your attention a great article written by
> Dorothy Santos recently.
> http://reader.thecivicbeat.com/2013/12/the-honeymoons-over-reflecting-on-the-internet-utopianism-and-the-arts/
> The honeymoons over is a reflection on internet utopianism and the arts.
> This seems like maybe a jumping off point for us to talk about how work
> like this might/might not relate to Cake And Eat It and Decolonize Your
> Diet. Cake and Eat It seems to use the internet as a site though perhaps an
> afterthought? Addie, feel free to pipe in here.
> Decolonize Your Diet may not identify at all as artists but perhaps use
> creative ways to make their mission of interest. Dorothy speaks to the use
> of social media and this overlaps with "change".
> You can also check this interview with Addie from CAEI:
> http://gagajournal.blogspot.com/2012/06/stigmata-dreams-bled-threads-addie.html
> Irina
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> http://www.subtle.net/empyre
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