Cooking Class

Last night was “men’s night in” at our house for the guys from “Haggerty’s Home for Wayward Boys”. It was a cooking demonstration for making a manly, low-carb meal. Ed and I gathered ingredients from from Assi Chinese market, Produce Junction, and Giant. Steve is a pescatarian (a vegetarian who eats eggs and fish) so I made two slightly different dishes, one with flounder, one with pork chops. The men were very impressed. After the meal there was some speculation about kidnapping me and shackling me in the kitchen of their commune, once they strike it big, so I could prepare all of their meals. Here goes:

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of radishes sliced and slices cut in half
  • 1 pound of baby sweet red, yellow & orange peppers diced
  • 1 fennel diced, including fronds
  • 8 ounces Shitake mushrooms cut into bite sized pieces
  • 4 Hass avocados, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2 small, yellow mangoes, peeled & diced
  • bunch of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • ~ 1″ ginger root peeled and grated
  • Variations: Either about 9 or 10 pork chops or 12 to 14 flounder fillets, or some balance between to satisfy a mixed audience.
  • bacon drippings or olive oil

Directions:

enamelwareCut up the radishes and fennel and mix them in one bowl. Cut up the peppers and put them in another bowl. Do the same for the mushrooms. Cut & peel the avocados & chunk. Peel & dice the mangoes. Mix them in a small bowl with the avocados. Get all your skillets out and start them heating on high heat if you are making pork chops, medium heat if you are making flounder. Put about a tablespoon of reserved bacon drippings or lard into each skillet (preferably cast iron with sides) in which you are cooking pork chops and a generous amount of olive oil in each skillet in which you are preparing flounder. Throw the pork chops into the hot fat and keep rearranging until at least one side of every chop is browned. Throw radishes and fennel, then fennel into the fish pan(s), then the Shitakes, then the flounder. Add the radishes, fennel, shitakes to the pork chops. Grate the ginger over everything. Add the cilantro. Keep stirring and flipping. Cover skillets. Reduce heat to medium. Add avocados & mangoes as radishes soften. The flounder will get done quickly. Be vigilant. Do not overcook the pork. If the radishes are soft and the fennel is just slightly crunchy, and there is juice in the pan, it’s perfect.

This is enough to feed six manly men. I served it on proper, manly enamelware from Amish country, with matching enamelware tumblers. Of course, we spoke of manly things, like cooking and how to count carbs, and realistic ways to deal with heroin addicts.

We had a great time.

Rent Party and Virtual Rent Party

FugolBack in April, I announced new areas of ministry of “rent parties, virtual rent parties, entrepreneurial training, computer training, shop skills training, Orthodox Worker & Catholic Worker & Mennonite Worker development for Christian hospitality.” I am happy to report we have moved forward on entrepreneurial training, computer training and shop skills training. We just hosted a gentleman in our house for a couple of days removing the virus known as Windows 8 from his laptop so that we could install Ubuntu operating system, so that he could have a better functioning computer, so he can pursue his writing and educational interests. Cogsville is developing a disciplined approach to guide the men there according to their gifts to find appropriate career or trade paths, by setting goals and giving encouragement to succeed, and training in multiple disciplines.

I felt the need to close “Come and See” Icons, Books & Art so the Fugol is not for sale there to support these ministries. Prints are available on Zazzle, on the Merchandise page. I will make hand-crafted, framed prints available here, soon, as well.

We are starting the Virtual Rent Party. We will be hosting a live rent party as well. The Virtual Rent Party will go on continuously. We will keep on adding new goals as goals are met. One of the ideas behind this is that not everyone who has a need can host a party. Another is that we want to go regional and national with this. We also don’t think it should matter whose party you are giving to. If you give to a friend, it is not tax-deductible. If you don’t know who you are giving to, but they need it, it is. We are hoping people will throw real parties in different parts of the country in support of the Virtual Rent Party. As goals are met, new projects will be added and the progress will be reported on the Rent Party page. If you are organizing a rent party in your area you can let us know and we can help you promote it here and on Facebook. Some may wish to do a combination live and virtual rent party in their area, to help a neighbor, with the excess raised going to the Virtual Rent Party to help someone in another town.

We have projects for the first couple of months. We will be accepting suggestions and applications as the needs are met. We hope this turns into a huge movement. As we sit here alone, it all seems so helpless. If we work together, we can accomplish much! To accomplish this, we will need to tell our friends and ask them to tell their friends, and  so on. This will need to go viral.

We are also having a live Rent Party at our house on Friday, Sept. 13, from 6pm to 10pm. $10 cover, includes dinner, beer or wine extra donation. We need to raise two months mortgage payments and COBRA payments. We would like to make a dent into the virtual rent party as well. Our last rent party, in March, was a roaring success. Everyone had a great time. We raised enough to catch up on our mortgage and to help another family catch up on theirs and to help rescue a man from homelessness. We need to maintain our home base if we are going to be able to continue to keep helping the homeless and poor. Please join us. It will be a blast!

COGs

A couple of weeks ago I was told by John Haggerty that I was member of COGs. Having been ordained several times without my consent, I am not easily disturbed by such an announcement. I asked what COGs stands for. He told me, “Consortium of Old Guys.” It’s basically the guys that hang out at his shop, who invent things, solve problems and make stuff. They work hard even if they are not getting paid. They are always learning and always teaching. They have each been beaten up by life lately, but refuse to accept the role of victims.They hope that they can develop some products that can sell and make some money. Before a single item has sold, they have agreed to dedicate a portion of their profits to The King’s Jubilee to “pay it forward” to help others.

Zebra wood liftgate handle
Zebra wood liftgate handle

These guys are truly experts. I walk into their conversations and, in most cases, I find that if I try to understand, I will only feel more stupid. So I ask stupid questions and play the part of the jester. One is a metal worker, one is a woodworker, one is a machinist, one is an engineer, woodworker, electrician, renaissance man, one is a computer geek / designer / facilitator. I am a shameless agitator. I felt like I still belonged, because I was willing to try anything and I haunt the shop and I am the oldest member of the group. Then they changed the name to Consortium of Odd Geeks to allow for a 20 year old with skills to join. I wasn’t sure I was qualified anymore. John assured me that since I made the zebra wood liftgate handle, that I was qualified.

The COGs also dovetails with our homelessness prevention ministry by helping to provide skills training, work readiness training and mentoring to men at risk.

TKJ-mobile Makeover

DSC01660 DSC01661 DSC01662 DSC01664Since the address for this blog changed, the TKJ-mobile needed to be updated to reflect that. Also, the liftgate handle had broken off. This is a common problem with Scion xB’s. It happened to both of ours, and we have seen a number in the area held on by duct tape. The car outlasts the plastic. So, I grabbed the handiest scrap that was the right size. It happened to be zebra wood. And made and installed a new liftgate handle. It holds the license plate lights and the gate latch release switch. I think it’s kind of cool. Now I have to make one for Bethann’s car.

I placed the bird graphic with the QR code to the corresponding article next to it, on the rear of the car. There are three crown logos. Two are huge. They are cut out and on the front doors. The third is on the liftgate. The fender QR codes were replaced with the new site as was the front banner.

I was told that the fact that I designed and made and installed this handle myself qualifies me as a member of COGs. You have no idea how this makes me feel. I will explain more about COGs later.