I might be a little brain dead at the moment, so I’ll just write about this evening’s dinner. Again, I didn’t set out for this to be a blog only about food, though its preparation wanders into a sort of therapy for me, sometimes. I have many topics on which I want to share. I don’t want to be boring, however. Sooner or later, I plan to discuss food in books a bit more along with other points of interest such as music, film, history, culture, and themes of social justice. Let’s continue with food, for now.
My all-time favorite cookbook, given to me by my friend, Lynn, is more of a story book, called There’s a Tuscan in my Kitchen, written by restauranteur, Pino Luongo, who hails from Tuscany (Toscana) region of Italy. Tuscany sits on the same latitude as Corsica (birthplace of Napoleon) and would be considered the upper part of the “boot” (but not the upper flaired part!), that is Italy. The Tuscan region is on the Ligurian Sea. Luongo’s book tells a story of each featured dish. My favorite part is that he does not give the reader/cook ratios and measurements for each dish. He trusts the reader to make his/her own judgement. He does list the ingredients based on where one might find them: pantry, cold storage, and market.
Yes. I love Luongo’s book, but my food travel, this evening, goes north to Parma! This evening’s menu: Eggplant Parmesan on linguine (literally, “little tongues” from the Liguria region west of Parma).
Since my basil garden continues to be quite prolific, I have a goal of incorporating the “mint cousin” into as many dishes as possible. First, however, I sliced the eggplant, and salted it on each side before laying the slices on paper towel to drain from lunch time to evening.
1 can whole tomatoes
1 very large bunch fresh basil leaves
4 cloves of garlic
¼ yellow onion
1 TBS mix of dehydrated and ground onion, celery, and mushroom (my own creation)
Salt and pepper
¼ cup red wine
Blend all ingredients, then pour into cooking pot and simmer for three- four hours (I put these ingredients in the pot when I came home for lunch and simmered on low until I returned).
Put 2 eggs into a pan. Dip the sliced eggplant in egg mixture then in flour before placing in hot oil to fry until golden brown. Place browned slices into a glass cake pan in one layer until all slices have been browned.
Pour your simmered red sauce on the browned eggplant slices, then cover with Parmesan cheese and mozzarella. Bake in a 350-degree oven until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese is browned.
Serve the eggplant and sauce on top of linguine or spaghetti. Enjoy with a salad and a beverage of your choice.
I am a geographer specializing in human systems. My passion is studying underrepresented populations so that I can assist in their integration into the communities in which they live. I studied Human Ecology because it is a wonderful blend of the disciplines of geography, anthropology and sociology. No matter the context in which I find myself, I am an observer of humans in their environments and how the influences in those settings build and nurture sense-of-self, sense-of-place, and sense-of-direction in educational, familial, and community settings. My work focuses on the cross-cultural and intercultural traditions of multi-lingual populations acculturating into their receiving communities and being successful in educational arenas of higher education. This work includes gathering, analyzing, and writing about health, well-being, and environmental/social connectedness in their communities. My research focuses on Minority-majority, rural, Midwest communities. My role as director of intercultural learning and academic success at Kansas State University allows me to discover more about myself as I work with others in their paths to self-discovery in their own interactions with students and families who come from different parts of the country and the world all converging in educational spaces. Recently, I lived, worked and played in Southwest Kansas, a region marked by Minority-majority populations centers (56% – 68%). Some of my research results are used to address poverty, low educational attainment, poor health outcomes, and cultural norms in multi-cultural settings. I work to assure a representative sample for my research, so I engage in multi-lingual research (English, Spanish, Burmese, French, Tigrinya, and Somali). Building trust and relationships is the key to my success as a multilingual researcher. Presently, my research takes me in the micro-communities of populations represented by nine African countries (Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan, Kenya, Senegal, Uganda, Ivory Coast, Somalia, and Cameroon), seven Latin American countries, and six Asian countries. Yes, it is rural Southwest Kansas, and many of the densely-settled and frontier rural communities act as receiving centers for refugees and other displaced populations, because of the availability of jobs.
I am the recent recipient of National Geographic Society’s Research and Exploration grant to introduce Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to females of color. This inter-generational, intercultural class hosted middle school, high school, and adult females who learned the basics of GIS with a variety of applications from remote sensing to city planning to Google Earth, and to Pokémon GO! By the time the young ladies finished the class, they were able to build cities, map their communities, log trips from their countries of origin to the Midwest. I am in the mid-year of the grant funding, and my target for completion was July 2018. I have new funding to extend this work to new cohorts.
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