Monday, June 13, 2011

Cuisine: Summer Corn Salad

I created this recipe as part of The S. Kitchen presents...Coming Home, which was on Sunday, June 12, 2011 at 3pm at Clare Housing Midtown. The S. Kitchen presents...Coming Home featured Debbie Wyman, my mom, as the guestpert telling her story about why she works at Clare Housing, and organization that provides affordable housing to those living with HIV/AIDS. (To listen to a 15 minute podcast with Debbie about Clare Housing, please click here.)

The food theme was "your favorite childhood foods re-imagined." One of my all time favorite foods is/was roasted corn. I have incredibly fond memories of Minnesotan corn roasted on the grill and eaten right off the cob. The memory still warms me to this day.

For The S. Kitchen, I wanted to do something that incorporated my favorite childhood food while also updating it to include the flavors I love now. I still love simple roasted corn. But I didn't just want to throw it on the grill and call it a day.

A dear friend, Kristine, RSVPed for Coming Home. I met Kristine while I was at the University of St. Thomas, and we worked together for a summer running a summer camp for the YMCA. I will never forget how much Kristine changed my flavor palate. She is the one who introduced me to Puerto Rican food, and ever since I have had a love of all foody things spicy, lime-y and Caribbean/Latin American.

Knowing Kristine was coming I knew that all I had to do was turn corn into an amazingly refreshing Corn Salad that hinted at Caribbean and Latin American flavors. And hey...I live in San Francisco, so it is a fabulous nod to where I call home now as well.

What you need:
4 ears of corn (I used yellow corn)
1 jicama (small to mid-sized, peeled
1 red bell pepper, cored and seeded
2 sweet onions (I used Vidalia)
2 (largish) tomatoes (I used orange heirloom tomatoes)
2 jalapenos, cored and seeded
1/2 bunch Italian parsley
3 cloves garlic
2 lemons (I used Meyer lemons)
2 limes (I used key limes)
1 tsp paprika
salt, to taste

What to do:
Roast the corn on the grill on in the oven. It is best to roast the corn and not boil it. I have tried it both ways and the corn tastes best when roasted in its own husk. To roast it on the grill, soak it in a tub full of water for about 15 minutes. Then, roast it on the grill over a medium flame until the husks start to turn deep brown turning occasionally. To roast it in the oven, heat the over to 375 degrees. Place corn in the husks in the oven and roast until the husks start to turn yellow (about 15 minutes). Make sure to turn them over occasionally.

Dehusk the corn and cut the kernels off the corncob.

For the tomatoes, onions, jicama, and red bell pepper it is important to dice everything into really small pieces. They should be slightly smaller than a kernel of corn. Finely dice the jalapeno. Roughly chop the parsley making sure there are both slightly large pieces as well as some finely minced pieces. Crush the garlic. Juice the lemons and limes.

Combine everything together and season with salt and paprika. Let sit refrigerated overnight and enjoy either as a salad, a salsa or as an accompaniment to a main course.

If you would like to kick up the heat a bit, you can add your favorite hot sauce, more jalapenos or a touch of chipotle pepper adobo.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Conversation: The S. Kitchen presents...Justice on the Rocks

Jason Wyman, Catalyst of The S. Kitchen, recently interviewed Donald Proby of Community Boards on Sunday, May 1st, 2011. The interview was a part of The S. Kitchen presents...Justice on the Rocks. A shared cocktail party with Donald Proby and others from Community Boards was on Wednesday, April 20th at 7pm.

If you would like to learn more about the Community Boards please visit their website.

Listen to internet radio with theskitchen on Blog Talk Radio

And please help us spread the word by retweeting this podcast, sharing it on Facebook, and telling your friends and family about the importance of comrades helping comrades resolve conflicts peacefully.

Camaraderie: Reflections by Singhashri

Sharing the story of one’s spiritual path in 10 minutes is not an easy thing to do. So when Jason Wyman asked me to speak about mine at his recent S. Kitchen, Seeding Reflection, Cultivating Intention, of course I agreed! I’m always up for a challenge and an opportunity to reflect on how I’ve gotten to where I am. I shared this honor with my good friend, Suvarnaprabha, lovingly referred to as Suvanna, Creative Director at the San Francisco Buddhist Center, my spiritual home.

When we arrived at Jason’s warm, inviting abode we entered a room full of tantalizing smells, laughter, and a hint of curiosity. As always with good conversation, we shared our stories, asked and answered questions, heard about the experiences of others, and reached a deeper level of understanding about ourselves and others. Personally, I found it inspiring to make connections with others in the room who practice in quite different traditions than I, such as the Christian and Pagan traditions. What stood out to me from the conversation was the emphasis that all traditions place on spiritual community, walking our paths with others, supporting one another to discover more deeply our most authentic selves and encouraging each other to express ourselves and our path in our own unique ways.

In Buddhism the connection between those in the spiritual community is called “spiritual friendship,” and in my tradition (the Triratna Buddhist Community) is treated as just as important a personal practice as meditation and devotion. I am so grateful that this is emphasized in my tradition. In a society that values individualism and competitiveness, I find it refreshing to find a religious tradition that honors both the importance of individual growth and the connections that seekers make with one another on the path. In the West the focus Buddhism places on the efforts of the solitary meditator and the importance of loosening our attachments can be misinterpreted as a call to disengage from society and relationships. But spiritual friendship challenges us to work with our minds in relationship to those
around us, so that we develop compassion for all beings and the wish that everyone, not just ourselves, find happiness.

The S. Kitchen provided an opportunity for me to see that spiritual friendship can also go beyond the boundaries of any one tradition. No matter what path we choose, we can encourage and support one another to find happiness in our own unique ways. What an important reminder during a time when religious intolerance and radical ideology threaten to tear us apart as a human race. I hope for other opportunities to connect with spiritual practitioners of all faiths to find common ground in our search for the truth.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Of Learners, Process and Content: A Pedagogy

My name is Jason Wyman, Catalyst of The S. Kitchen, and I am an educator in San Francisco. For the last 20 years, I have worked in the fields of youth development, workforce development, education reform and intergenerational programming. Through it all, I have come to learn that everyone wants to feel safe, included and active in their educational development. We all hunger and thirst for knowledge and wisdom.

Often, that thirst and hunger, sometimes called First Food, is quelled by institutions, especially for those that live on the "edges" of society or have been historically and traditionally marginalized. I have refined and honed a specific philosophy of educational development/pedagogy that is rooted in Paulo Freire's Pedagogy of the Oppressed, praxis processes, service-learning modalities and arts education best practices. This philosophy has evolved from working with incredibly diverse communities throughout the United States and finding ways to empower communities to direct their own learning.

To put it simply, imagine a triangle. On one point is the learners/students. On another point is the process. On the last point is the content. Viewed as a triangle, honor and equity must be given to all three points in order to have learning that is relevant, applicable, authentic and critical. I have used this simple theory in creating youth leadership classes rooted in literacy skill building through storytelling, learning circles for middle managers of after school and youth employment programs (more here ), and in creating original community theater that explores the intersections of faith, spirituality and religion and gender and sexuality (more here

At times different points on the triangle are given different weights. In my experience, institutional education places the most weight on the content point. Then, the process point. And the learner/student point is often completely left out. That is why institutional education is not educating. It simply is out of balance.

I have come to realize that a new way of viewing education is needed. Institutions are important and will continue to exist. And education is happening all around us. It is happening in homes and on street corners and in cafes and parks. The problem is most don't see the education in homes, street corners, cafes and parks as education. They see it as frilly, as supplemental, as optional. The *spaces* that education resides are not supplemental. They are vital.

It is my dream to shine a light on the non-institutional spaces where education resides and to harness its narrative into a tool for healing. I believe it is the only way we will finally transform our institutions. It certainly has not been working from the inside out. So it is time for a new paradigm. My hope is that The S. Kitchen can be one model of how to make this work.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

CONVERSATION: Of Reflection and Intention

To learn more about The S. Kitchen presents...Seeding Reflection, Cultivating Intention, please listen to the podcast or visit the event page.