[-empyre-] Response to DYD post from Luz Calvo

Dorothy Santos dsantos at cca.edu
Sat Dec 21 05:31:13 EST 2013

Thank you so much for sharing the recipe, Luz. I've been cooking way more
these days since I moved and while eating is a basic human need, cooking
has offered me a way to reflect on ideas, my research, and generally what I
just consumed.

So, this maybe a strange connection but I'm going to go for it...

I've never been the type that enjoys food pictures posted to the social
network! There. I said it. Nothing against it but, well, I think the
frustration is that I can't use my senses to fathom of the food my vision
is allowing me to see! What I have found interesting is the use of Instagramand
Facebook to share recipes. Talk about futile call and response. What am I
responding to when I like a picture of food (truth be told, I RARELY like
pictures of food my friends post...it's never made sense to me)!? The media
makes us forget and remember simultaneously.

I brought up the idea of the phantasm the other week. D. Fox Harrell
defines a  phantasm as an image + sensory experience. It is a "human
imaginative cognition." So what does it mean when images of food are
mediated through a billboard, a screen, a monitor, a smart phone? The
visual culture of food and use of design and colors to entice us is so much
more steeped in market research and ethnography than people think.

As a Filipina, food is important way to engage with family. Food is
comforting and it connects. The DYD project fascinates me because I've been
reaching and reading more about my ancestors and heritage.  Thank you for
sharing your work with us.

PS: I think people should post photos of cleaned up plates and crumbs and
be forced to write what they ate to their viewer. Maybe, just maybe, we can
collectively and individually revive our senses (all of them).

On Wed, Dec 18, 2013 at 10:36 AM, Luz Calvo <luz.calvo at csueastbay.edu>wrote:

> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> Greetings—
> 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:
> http://mujerestalk.malcs.org/2012/09/decolonize-your-diet.html
> 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.
> Ingredients
>    - 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
> Garnishes:
>    - 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
> minutes.
> 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 beautiful!
> 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
> knife.
> 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*
> https://www.facebook.com/DecolonizeYourDiet
> http://decolonizeyourdiet.org/
> 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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