Tuesday, May 4, 2010

REGARDING MAYA


You've not doubt heard through some channel that the ancient Aztec calendar predicts the end of the world to occur on December 21, 2012 at 11:11 PM as it marks the end of a 5,126-year era and possibly the end of another long cycle of birth and destruction on our planet. I've done research on this subject and found credible testament to the improbability of this destruction theory as well as conclusions that something cosmically significant will take place. No real matter to me, I'm merely a tad fascinated with the art, culture, foods of Meso Americans and had to look into the 2012 chatter in order to maintain my informed status of the buzz.

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Being an artsy-fartsy-foodie type, I looked into the really important to me things and share the interesting among them here for you:
  • Food: Quinoa recipes, Spicy Aztec Brownies
  • Movies: Yes, 2
  • Craft: Embossed polymer clay tin, Earrings
  • Video: Appetizer Chorizo Empanada w. cream cheese (plan on jogging)
Chorizo and Potato Empanadas

After your work out, run a mile more, then make this is great tailgate/entertaining appetizer. You can find the nearly 10 minute video here with it's recipe. Click on the double arrows found on bottom right of the video, you will find the recipe:


Keen-wah
Keen-wah is the way to pronounce Quinoa, the ancient Inca's held this grain to be sacred, and the plant itself is common like a tumbleweed with seeds holding it treasured part. Quinoa has a chewy texture comparable to any cooked seed sized grain but it's value in my never to be humble opinion is that it is a considered a full protein. Because of that you get an extra shot of protein when served with a meat, all great for muscles and void of the downside of having a carb like rice or pasta as a side dish. Comes in two varieties red and regular, I cook this according to package instructions in about 15 minutes, then stir in lemon juice and zest, olive oil and stir in fresh spinach leaves (which wilt immediately) because gosh, otherwise it is bland, bland, bland, stubbornly bland and a little dull, too. Ol' what's her name has a great recipe idea, I gleamed it from her site to share with you because, she does that and apparently so do I. Hers is a warm quinoa salad also with wilted fresh spinach, but includes shiitake mushrooms. She prepares her dish without meat but I heartily recommend having this with a grilled salmon or chicken breast. Recipe is for Warm Quinoa, Spinach and Shiitake Salad from Martha Stewart's Everyday Food.

SPICY AZTEC BROWNIES
You do not need to know this, I think dessert is greatly unnecessary but Spicy Aztec Brownies , <~~(recipe) so adult, are made with instant espresso or instant coffee granules, I love adding coffee granules in any recipe for the punch of flavor and in deserts, to counter the sluggishness I always feel after a carb load such as brownies. The spicy here comes from the addition of cayenne pepper and cinnamon. This recipe is also a bit of a cheater in that it calls for prepackaged brownie mix but you make your own simple cinnamon glaze and no one is the wiser after you include the extra ingredients and small chunks of bitter sweet chocolate.


CINEMA

In 2006, Mel Gibson (the producer/director/turd/actor) made a film about Mayan civilization, "Apocalypto". I've no idea as to the success or lack there of of this film but I can tell you that I found it rather authentic, intense at times with it's action, realistic violence, tender scenes, and visually credible indigenous appearing actors. The language spoken throughout the movie required translation at the bottom of course, I don't speak ancient Mayan and if you say you do, well, you lie like a rug. The sub text in no way compromised the viewing of this movie and I'd highly recommend it when you want to see something wonderful, cultural and void of the usual suspects. Did you see The Road to El Dorado? Yes, I realize it is animated, so what? It's good stuff which stays away from "cute": set in Spain, two swindlers get their hands on a map and set about searching for legendary El Dorado gold. It stars the voice talents of Kevin Kline as Tulio, Kenneth Branaugh as Miguel and the riveting Rosie Perez does a wonderful job as the scintillating Chel. Good, evil, attempt at ruthless conquest and boy meets girl.


Earrings
I've never mentioned that I go beading at my local bead store (The Bead Gallery of Colorado Springs) and with good reason: I make the same pair of earrings over and over again. The details change only slightly but it's the same earring really. Be quiet, it makes me happy. Here are those earrings done with Aztec inspiration:


Embossed Tin

I saw this little treasure and I'll be honest with you and say I do not know whatever the heck it is but, BUT! it gave me an idea. You see, I am ever and eternally searching for something to occupy my young men that requires the turning off of the television and as they are ever and eternally wanting me to buy mints, gums and candy, you can likely see how this idea came about. Here goes, and don't sit around waiting for me to do this and then show you how because you know I have the attention span of a gnat and the experience of a seasoned creative person so that I can tell you how and I will write this first: Read first Using polymer clay, and please do condition it first by warming and rolling it between your hands in order that you don't find yourself frustrated that you can't do this. Apply a layer of clay to your tin container about 1/4 " thick, carefully trimming clay away in key places so as to render the lid of your tin functional. Using images, I recommend you google Mayan glyphs/writing systems and print out some of theMayan black and white clip art after you've re-sized it to work for your project. Place glyph image over the clay and using a pin or pointy object, prick shallow holes through paper as you trace the main outline of the glyph onto the clay. Next, using an embossing stylus, knitting needle or other rounded tool, retrace your glyph, adding detail and smoothing your carving and embossing as you go. Repeat with other glyphs until you are happy and please consider using art of your own choosing if these glyphs do not appeal to you. Bake container according to instructions on your particular clay package and allow to cool completely. Very important that you allow this to cool completely before antiquing. You can use any method of antiquing that you like, I recommend wax - shoe wax - and an old cloth. Insert finger into cloth, wrap around finger and rub small amount of wax onto cloth and then rub this wax onto your embossed tin. Remove excess wax and allow your clay to absorb the wax for 24 hours before expecting the wax not to rub off.

Well, what did you think? See anything you'll try? I'd love to hear from you =) Comment by clicking on the pencil.


8 comments:

  1. Gosh ,if the end of the world is so close , there"s so much that needs to be done & said, and you"Re site is a reflection of all that is ,Highly interesting, informative, stimulating and just plain good fun, just so much to share and enjoy here, congratulations , Take care , mal....x

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  2. Dear Mal,
    Thank you so much for commenting, I appreciate the feedback.
    ~Olive

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  3. well thank you 香廷 I understood the ^____^

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  4. Yum those empanadias sound so good. I love empanadas the way my dad used to make them when I was a kid but these sound awesome too.

    I sure hope the world does not end in 2012 - that's just less than 2 short years away and my son is just now turning 10 years old this year. I, for one, want to see him grow into a young independent self-sufficient young man and hope he gets to travel the world and live a full and happy life.

    Great post!

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  5. Olive, I absolutely loved APOCALYPTO. When my baby sister and a friend visited from California last year, we hit the video store looking for something interesting. The second my husband saw it was sub-titled, we voted to give it the twenty-minute-rule. Needless to say, we were glued to our seats. The suspense nearly killed me. Like how much could one character take? Seriously. Between losing loved ones, getting hauled off to have his heart cut out, and having his pregnant wife and son at death's door. Talk about dramatic tension : D. I've since watched it 3x over.

    Can't wait to try the Chorizo and Potato Empanadas and the Aztec Brownies. I think I'll wait for the "how-to video" on the embossed tin. Sounds complicated to me. Never been good at following directions.

    BTW, I'm reading a book by Julia Alvarez about "quinces." Learned last night that the coming-of-age ritual has Aztec roots. Who would've thunk it?

    Fabulous post!

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