Weekend Cooking, Melanzane Parmigiana

Image shows a square black baking tray containing cooked melanzane parmagiana, sliced aubergines in a red tomato sauce toped with melted cheese

“Why haven’t I made this in ages?” I asked myself as I started cutting up 2 lbs of aubergines. I mean, I love aubergines and I love vegetables baked in cheese. But my question was soon answered – because it’s a right bloody faff that involves three stages of cooking. First, you have to make a tomato sauce. Then you slice up the aubergines real thin and fry them in batches. Once you’ve done all of that, you layer the aubergines with the tomato sauce and cubed mozzarella, top it with grated parmesan (or in our case, its closest affordable relative) and bake it in the oven. Was it worth the effort? Yes, absolutely. It was delicious and I served the leftovers on pasta for lunch today. Will I make it again soon? Probably not.

Recipe from my beloved and very battered copy of the Good Housekeeping, Complete Book of Vegetarian Cookery (1992)

“The Good News is You”

This speech by Sarah Schulman is a must-read for queer writers

As we make our work, we also have to model behaviors and ways of having personal and social relationships that can facilitate a whole new and completely different way of living, a kind of – to be old-fashioned – liberation way of living.  And you know that for me, as I expressed in my most recent book, Conflict Is Not Abuse, part of liberation means a community ethic to stop shunning, pick up the phone and talk about your differences, get together in person with the people you’re in conflict with instead of enlisting your clique or community or religion or corporate shield or race or nation to obliterate them. Stop being mean to a person or a group because someone you identity with told you to hurt them. Instead, ask the contested person what they think it going on. Why do they think this is happening? And whether that is your friend’s ex-friend, or people excluded by the Muslim ban, hear what the excluded person is experiencing. And we have to stop calling the police as a way to cover up our own unjust anxieties. Because what we have got in America right now is a system that is just cruel, in which the people in power are criminals, and people’s basic needs are ignored, and lives are ruined at whims of political game playing. So, any queer individual making it in that system is not a signifier of actual change. It’s great for that person, which has its own value, but it’s not enough.

Sarah Schulman, Publishing Triangle Award Speech

Blistering critique followed by uplifting hope.

Read the whole thing!

Soundtrack to the Week

Album of the Week

LP

LP, Lost on You (2016)

LP has been around for ages. My girlfriend saw her play live about twelve years ago. She finally seems to be getting some traction as a purveyor of upbeat, lesbian pop/rock. I’ve been listening to this all week. It’s more bluesy than her last album and is full of catchy tunes like ‘Muddy Waters’, ‘Lost on You’, ‘Other People’ and ‘Strange’. A lot of fun.

Top Track, ‘No Witness’

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Soundtrack to the Week

Pixies

The Pixies, Complete ‘B’ Sides (2001) 

This is a great compilation, which includes the first Pixies song I ever heard, ‘Wave of Mutilation’ (UK Surf). Top tracks for me are ‘Into the White‘ (oh my god, those drums at the beginning before Kim Deal starts intoning “And there ain’t no light”), and this fantastically ominous cover of Neil Young’s ‘I’ve been waiting for you‘.

tindersticks

Tindersticks, Curtains (1997)

I probably never would have come across this band, but my college housemate, who was into them, used to put songs on mixtapes for us. They have since established a place in my music collection with their lush, romantic, and slightly seedy dirges. Top track, ‘Rented Rooms’.

murmur

REM, Murmur (1983)

Still sounds amazing (and incomprehensible). Top track ‘Talk about the Passion’ 

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