I was asked by David Allen Green, the writer behind the Jack of Kent blog, to write about the situation with Johann Hari who recently apologised for various acts of journalistic malpractice including substituting interview copy with background material, and editing articles on Wikipedia using…
You’re going to change your mind a thousand times. That’s a good thing. Only imbeciles never change their minds.
Beyond Good and Evil - Starkos
I missed out on Beyond Good and Evil the first time around but was fortunate enough to enjoy it when the HD version was released on Xbox Live earlier this year. I can see why it’s received so much critical acclaim; it’s a wonderful piece of adventure gaming and since seeing this video quite a while ago now I’m still eagerly awaiting a sequel… Making a Starkos is tricky business and it was supposed to be my second post here on Gourmet Gaming but I didn’t feel confident enough at the time to attempt it. When thinking about what a Starkos was I focused on the idea that it’s street food in the very culturally diverse land of Hillys - and who are the best species in Hillys? The Rhino humanoids over at Mammago Garage obviously. So I’ve taken a dip in their Jamaican-esque roots and have created a Starkos patty filled with a sweet, curried shrimp (since there’s a lot of water around - they must have a pretty good fishing trade, no?).
What you will need: Large mixing bowl, a sieve, large pan, baking tray, greaseproof/baking paper, rolling pin and cling film.
For the Pastry:
250g Plain Flour
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Tablespoon Turmeric
125g Unsalted Butter
2 Tablespoons Ice Water
1 Beaten Egg
For the Shrimp Filling:
250g Small Prawns/Shrimp
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Small Potatoes
½ White Onion
1 Large Clove Garlic
1 Tablespoon Mild Curry Powder
110ml Coconut Cream
1 Teaspoon Paprika
1 Stalk Spring Onion
1 Teaspoon Parsley Leaves
1 Teaspoon Thyme Leaves
1-2 Dried Chillies
Making the Pastry:
- Sieve the flour, salt and turmeric into a large bowl. Cut the butter and shortening into small chunks and use your fingers to rub it into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
- Add the water and mix gently until the dough comes together.
- Lightly flour the ball of dough, wrap it in cling film and place in the fridge to chill for an hour.
Making the Shrimp Filling:
- If needed, peel and de-vein your prawns and set them aside.
- Peel and dice the potatoes and onion. Finely chop the garlic, spring onion and dried chillies. Deseed and skin the tomato.
- Heat the olive oil in a large pan on a medium heat, then sauté the potatoes for about 10 minutes until they soften, stirring regularly.
- Add the onion and spring onion and allow to cook until soft, then add the garlic, paprika, chillies and curry powder. Allow to simmer on a low heat for several minutes.
- Pour in the coconut cream, add the tomato and sprinkle in thyme and parsley, simmer gently allowing the coconut cream to reduce a little.
- Add the prawns, this may make the sauce watery which is fine, just allow it to reduce on a low heat then leave to cool.
Making the Starkos:
- Preheat the oven to 200C. Lay out some cling film on the counter and lightly flour it. Take the dough from the fridge, remove a golf ball sized piece and place it on the cling film.
- Cut another piece of cling film and lay it over the dough. Roll out the dough from the centre out until it’s about 1-2cm thick.
- Take 1 heaped tablespoon of the shrimp filling and place it in the middle of the dough. Wash around the filling with the beaten egg and fold over the pastry. Press firmly around the filling to seal/bind the dough then trim it into the triangular shape - make sure to reuse any excess dough.
- Place the Starkos on a baking tray lined with baking/greaseproof paper and cook for 15-20 minutes until crisp and golden brown.
My pastry for these was perfect, I think I levelled up nicely with the pastry for the Fable II Amazing Apple Pie. I’d ramp up the chilli if you like things hot, which I do, as the batch I made were a little mild for me. The test one I made was pretty huge too, I ate it for lunch and it was super filling, so I’d keep them rather small. A nice dipping sauce also wouldn’t go amiss. The filling to these is pretty tasty though - if you wanted you could just eat that with some rice and it would be awesome. Feel free to try your own variations of Starkos from the traditional beef or vegetable to maybe even a sweet version. So whether you’re luring out some of the shyer inhabitants of Hillys or restoring some hearts, these Starkos are sure to go down a treat at your next IRIS Network meeting.
The Unorthodox Spectrum of Mormonism Explained
by Krista Tippett, host
I’ve had a sense of déjà vu as the discussion about Mormonism has heated up as of late, with exactly the same dynamic occurring in the last presidential election season. But the discussion this time is more serious.
It’s not just the fact that two Mormons — Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman — are viable presidential candidates. It’s a Broadway musical. It’s more than one successful TV drama. We’re in, we’re coming to say, a “Mormon moment.” Joanna Brooks, giving just one of the many helpful pieces of perspective in this conversation, compares the rise of Mormons in politics and culture to the rise of the Mormon-owned Marriott Hotel chain. A highly disciplined, highly effective frontier culture grows up and migrates back out into centers of power. It’s a classic American story. But there’s also some kind of religious and cultural coming of age here, for Mormons and the rest of us.
I couldn’t have found a better person than Joanna Brooks to shed some distinctively informative, candid, and meaningful light on it all. She’s a literature scholar and a journalist. Her Ask Mormon Girl blog and Twitter feed is a remarkably reflective, compassionate community of questioning with Mormons of many stripes. And Ask Mormon Girl, as she notes on her website, is housed on the “legendary Feminist Mormon Housewives blog.” That is just one of many things that does not meet the traditional American eye on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — but which we engage through the voice and life of Joanna Brooks.
She grew up, as she tells it for starters, at the southern tip of the “Book of Mormon Belt” — Orange County, California, that is, which I’d associated more vividly with evangelical Christianity. Her father was “bishop” of their congregation several times growing up — a volunteer position that Mitt Romney has also held in his communities across his lifetime. Her mother is a “professional Mormon,” as she affectionately puts it — with, among other things, a serious avocation for genealogy. Joanna Brooks uses words like “rich,” “imaginative”, and “robust” to describe this faith that formed her and that she continues to love.
She has also struggled mightily, suffered disappointment and heartbreak, with this tradition she loves. She became an intellectual and a feminist at Brigham Young University, and then watched the university and the Church for a time condemn and disown the very Mormon mentors who’d inspired her. She was vociferously opposed to the proactive role the LDS Church took in California’s Proposition 8 referendum. But she is a probing force inside the Church’s wrestling with pain and confusion over this issue. Her blog is a model of compassionate presence, both to LGBT Mormons and to parents struggling to reconcile their religious beliefs and their love for their children. She honors the human confusion here that is not exclusive to Mormons and the added complexity that their theology of the family and eternity gives to subjects of marriage and sexuality.
Most of this conversation, though, is not about hot-button issues or presidential politics. It is an informative, energetic, and often moving journey into life on the other side of the American perception that Mormons are weird at best, a cult at worst. Joanna Brooks does not defend her tradition in any simplistic way, but she does make it three-dimensional and far harder to parody. Consider, for example, as she helps us do, the ambivalence and pain that Mormon married couples feel at their church’s legacy of polygamy. Hear her explanation of her sense of the “strangeness” of accusations she’s heard since she was a child, that she — a follower of Jesus Christ, a serious thinker about notions like atonement and grace — is not Christian. On a lighter note, but with just as much illumination for the listener, she is candid and corrective about a lingering obsession out there with ritual Mormon undergarments.
The most classic American story in this Mormon moment, perhaps, is how Joanna Brooks and other faith-filled and “unorthodox” Mormons are claiming their place in the unfolding story of this young frontier tradition. It is evolving from the inside in ways more meaningful, perhaps, than its outer rise to prominence in politics. Maybe in hindsight, we’ll see this Mormon moment as an occasion for this increasingly influential American phenomenon, composed after all of human beings, to become more articulate about itself and more comprehensible to the rest of us in its complexity.
Look Back at 2011: Biggest Tumblr Meetup
Self-organized Tumblr Meetups both big and small are happening around the world on any given day, but the largest of last year took place on June 5, 2011 in Curitiba, Brazil with nearly 500 RSVP’s.
Above: Attendees at the Curitiba Tumblr Meetup singing Happy Birthday to Tumblr! More video here!