Archive for October, 2010

More recipes of pozole are desperately needed despite the current number on the internet.  Why?   You may ask.  Because it’s a great soup, easy to make, colorful, and subject to all the variations your family and friends want.  Yet another reason we need to spread the word about pozole is that The American Heritage Dictionary failed to include the word.  Careless and unprofessional I say.

After a can of Progresso pozole which I enjoyed I thought this is something I can do and write about.  In one sentence, this is a chicken broth, pork, hominy, and chilies soup.

Begin with 3 boxes or 96 oz. of chicken broth; 2 lbs. of pork boneless ribs cubed into bite sized pieces, salted and peppered to taste and sauteed; two 15.5 oz. cans of white hominy drained and rinsed, and two 15.5 oz. cans of yellow hominy drained and rinsed.

With some of the chicken broth for liquid, puree the  white hominy, 1 tablespoon of chopped green chilies, and 2 tablespoons of chopped garlic.  Depending on your preference, the green chilies could be upped to 2 tablespoons.

In a soup pot, combine all the chicken broth, sauteed pork, and pureed hominy.  Hold back until the last 30 minutes of cooking for the yellow hominy as it can get mushy if overcooked.

For seasoning, add 1 tablespoon of cumin, 1 tablespoon of oregano, salt and pepper to taste.  To get a dark red color to the soup add 3 1/2 tablespoons of paprika.  If there are no witnesses, red food color may be added.

Slow cook, stirring occasionally.  The time can vary, but give it at least an hour and a half so the pork is tender.

The garnishes are very important.  Go wild.  Cilantro, lime, sour cream, sweet onion, radishes, shredded cabbage, whatever comes to mind.  Tortilla chips on the side.  Charles Marlin

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My sister’s youngest granddaughter came home in a hissy.  A classroom friend said her flame red hair came from Neanderthal ancestors, then a know-it-all teacher said interbreeding of Sapiens and Neanderthals was non consensual and violent.

They settled into the sofa so the granddaughter could hear a story passed down in our family for at least 80,000 years.  Yes, her first ancient Neanderthal granny introduced the red hair into the family, and ever since the women have found it very useful.  Red hair is a stud-magnet for men who thrill to women of high maintenance.  If your friend is a blond, well men attracted to blonds go to seed early.

It all began because another of your early Sapien grannies was Nora married to a big bruiser call Old Ugly.  By the time she had three sons she became apprehensive about the future, but could not put her finger on the cause since there were no words for numbers let alone multiplication and percentage.

She gathered straight sticks and forked sticks, laid out a straight stick for each of the young studs in the family clan, and a forked stick for each breeder.  The problem was all too evident.  Too many straight sticks or too few forked sticks for long term peace in the clan.

The first son called Young Ugly was like his father and would have no trouble bringing back a winner from some beauty pageant who would think herself royal for the rest of his life.  His worry.  The next two sons were named John and Andrew.  Smaller, inclined to chatter a lot, they spent too much time studying the termites instead of eating them.  Neither would ever be called a bruiser.  Still when they got old enough to understand breeding, there would be jealousy and bloodshed.

This called for proactive planning.  She sidled up to Old Ugly and ask if he remembered when he was young and hot, and delighted in doing special favors for her.  He perked up because he remembered some of the rewards for those rendered favors.  She begged him to bring back two very young breeders from his next raid on the Neanderthals.  She wanted company while he was out hunting she said.

Old Ugly remembered when Nora was young and also hot, so he took the strange request in stride and gave his old Nora a promise.  One thing about him, he kept his word.

When he returned he had two red haired breeder babies in a sling.  Nora swung into action, cleaning, feeding, and rocking the babies.  Something astonishing happened.  Even though the babies were new to her, the familiar smells of baby pee, poo, and puke transformed her from a woman with a plan to a mother, defender and provider without peer.  It was a moment of empirical revelation.  It was not the breeding and birthing that did it.  It was the baby pee, poo, and puke.

As the breeders approached the filling out and bedding down age, she often saw John and Andrew sharing bone marrow with them.  In response they would turn into pools of giggles which seemed to make the brothers work even harder cracking and scratching for marrow.

She wanted to give them something special like her claw necklace or tusk bracelet, but Young Ugly would notice and feel cheated.  So she secretly gave each a tattoo in a place only John or Andrew would be privileged to see.  They knew this was outstanding, and immediately swore allegiance for life.

So my sister finished the family story by stressing the lessons to be learned.  Respect all your ancient grannies, whether Sapien or Neanderthal, for their pioneering foresight and wisdom.  Treasure red hair as a stud-magnet.  A private tattoo is a good investment.  Look forward to baby pee, poo, and puke as it is transforming.

My sister is very good on family tradition.  And in full disclosure there was a time when her red hair did not come from a bottle.  Charles Marlin

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Writers are not nice people by nature and even less so when one of their own tries to tell them how to walk, talk, and wave simultaneously.  Keep that in mind when reading my faint praise for The Glamour Of Grammar: A Guide To The Magic And Mystery Of Practical English by someone named Roy Peter Clark.

Some chapters were interesting.  Others I could have done without.  Keepsakes were unnecessary.  Short chapters made for a fast read.  You could do worse with your time.

You have to admire the huzzah of a man who gets his first tattoo with no punctuation at age 61.  Charles Marlin

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Wheaty is in the headlines again.  I first told you about finding a Wheatland Pipe flag soaked through, hidden under a bridge of I-80, in Wheatland Pipe No Longer Hostage.  That was a happy story.

Yesterday at 6:03pm I passed my bay window overlooking old Beaver Creek and was thrown out of time and place.  Wheaty was not on duty and no where to be seen.  I can’t remember what I was intending to do before that moment.

I grabbed my camera and walked out on the deck.  If a crime had occurred I ment to have a record.  I found Wheaty crumpled against a deck post, not more than twelve feet from his work station.

As I started down the steps I took a second photo but I already felt there was no serious physical harm done.  When I got on the ground I took a third photo; but said nothing.

If a pipe flag has the will and pride to fight to go home, words against it will only be gratuitous humiliation.  For you GPS-addicted, he was headed due west.

Wheaty came from the west, Wheatland Pipe an old name for Wheatland Tube Company now married into the John Maneely Company allied with The Carlyle Group.  Names may change and mix; but home boys never forget.

Wheaty will go back to work in a couple of days.  Charles Marlin

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So this Norwegian author who lives alone, prone to despondency, drinks too much wine, goes to her picture window to look at the line of weathered souls waiting year after year for a ghostwriter contract.  It is too much to consider.  She goes to bed.  Then a man, who has lived his life with a cartilage only skeleton, violates waiting line protocol, and comes in her house.

The Devil, now author, offers Faust a ghosting contract which he signs under his new name Alvar Eide.  He does not pause to read all the fine print.  The heartburn is clearly in the fine print.

If you like my opening summary, then you will love Broken by Karin Fossum, mercifully translated from the Norwegian by Charlotte Barslund.  First you spend a chapter with the author whining about her personal problems as well as the frightened complaints from Alvar Eide.  The next chapter you spend alone with Alvar, well almost alone.  Then back to the author’s house.

When a novel makes a reader appreciate control over his own insane life, that is a service to mankind.  Actually the book is identified as a mystery.  Call it what you like.  Charles Marlin

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I am a child of the war years so I was steeped in the greatness of Winston Churchill who pulled the weak-kneed English back on their feet to help us win the war.  They bashed the great man about because they were ingrates and too stupid to know greatness when it blew smoke in their faces.

Richard Toye has now scrubbed away the last remnants of those formative impressions in Churchill’s Empire: The World That Made Him And The World He Made.  Despite the author’s efforts to be objective and balanced, or because of those efforts, there is very little myth left when Churchill finally withers away in January 1965.

Churchill was a great war spokesman, the best we had.  Through his long career he was many other things.  Racist.  Waffling politician.  News correspondent and writer.  Meddler.  Reactionary.  More words than knowledge.  Reckless with the truth.  Calloused when politically expedient.  And always a racist.

For those who enjoy British Empire history this is a good concentration on Churchill’s role in its demise or rather metamorphoses.  In his youth he rode into the apex of its power, his career was meshed in its breakup, and he died as the old ideas blew in the wind.

The photograph of Richard Toye is courtesy of the University of Ann Arbor.  Charles Marlin

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For the past twelve years the Clarion University Chapter of APSCURF, The Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Retired Faculty, has awarded scholarships through the Clarion University Foundation honoring their deceased colleagues.  At their Fall Dinner and Meeting on October 13th the tradition was continued for its thirteenth year.  The Memorial Resolution is as follows.

       Whereas, The Clarion University Chapter of APSCURF approved on April 21, 2005, two annual memorial scholarships of $1,000 each;

       Resolved, That the 2010-2011 scholarships be designated memorials for our deceased colleagues

Douglas M. Best 12/02/09 Mathematics

Margaret Jane Van Ess Buckwalter 08/25/10 Library

Frank M. Clark 05/23/10 Speech Communication and Theatre

James H. Cole 06/28/10 Communication

Bob H. Copeland 01/17/10 Speech Communication and Theatre

Richard A. Couch 06/20/09 Education, Athletics

Vincent J. Current 08/05/09 Health and Physical Education, Athletics

Helen Knuth 09/29/10 History

Gustav A. Konitzky 02/03/10 Anthropology

John M. McLean 10/07/09 Music

Robert L. Northy 09/16/10 Mathematics

Richard K. Redfern 08/03/10 English

John R. Reish, Jr. 10/17/09 Athletics

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