Sunday, June 30, 2013

DIY Basic Granola

It's way too hot to think of using the oven right now, but for future crunchy oat cravings, here's my process for homemade granola:
  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • splash of vanilla
  • a heavy dusting of cinnamon

I usually make a double batch of this recipe. I keep this scrap of paper taped inside a cabinet for easy reach. 
Mix all of the wet ingredients together before tossing in the oats.
After mixing everything together well, press the oats down into an oiled baking pan or dish, and return to it every 15-20 minutes for a toss. For looser oats, stir vigorously. To keep more clumps, just turn it over gently-- or not at all, even.
Though I've made this recipe three or four times now, I still get worried when the oats don't look golden brown yet after a full hour of baking. This is when I might turn the temperature up to 265ยบ, which actually isn't necessary-- just keep baking and checking every 15-25 minutes until it's the color you want. If you're interested in adding chopped nuts, add them to the pan in the last 25-30 minutes to help them get even crunchier.
Try to resist eating all of the warm, toasty granola. Let the oats cool in the pan, add dried fruit if desired, then store in an air-tight container. 

I like just keeping the granola plain so that I can add things as I like. After making granola at home, I'm ruined for the store-bought stuff, which never seems quite as crunchy or fresh tasting any more. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Angry Reader of the Week Thoughts

I'm Angry Asian Man's Angry Reader of the Week. The feature began in 2009 and has been a cool glimpse into what Angry Asian America looks like. What a privilege it is to be able to share thoughts on this platform; I started reading Angry Asian Man as a young student organizer at UCI and it continues to be a way of feeling engaged with what I'm starting to understand is but a fraction of what Asian Americans are up to. The site's aggregate approach to Asian/American-related media highlights our relationship with mainstream media and also the innovative ways Asian America communicates with itself and with the broader community.

After sharing what makes me angry, my mind has naturally turned to what I have been doing about those things. I touched on so much, writing down most of what comes to mind when I think about things that get the fire going in my chest and steam coming out of my eyes. But what do I do beyond that? How do I engage with the world so that I'm doing more than feeling it? 

The thing that immediately comes to mind is that I write about some of those things. I'm a writer. I didn't identify as one in the interview, really, because it still feels strange to identify that way when my daily practice is primarily personal, and because I've become much more sporadic in sharing my writing lately. There's been a lot of inward-turning lately, a side effect (benefit) of the critical self-reflection practiced with such intention in Public Allies Los Angeles. I think often of what I read in one of Grace Lee Boggs' books: that there is a need for a stop or pause to the industrial machine, the economic machine, so that we can take stock of how our society is (or is not) meeting people's and the planet's needs. 

It is perhaps an impractical idea systemically, but as an individual it has felt really good to pause in a lot of outward action and practice serious reflection on how I want to move through the world and how I want to contribute to it. I worry that there are ways in which becoming focused on certain kinds of work forces us to neglect some of the other ways that we can work to live more sustainably and humanely with each other, and that doesn't feel right either. That we have a system that creates this dissonance is another thing that makes me angry. 

I end the Angry Reader interview with the idea that we who can do something, must. I realize I'm saying that for myself more than for anyone else. 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Three Great Events I Won't Be At This Week (also, Videos)

Woke up with Quincy's "Summer Days" song in my head the other day, which of course made me think of Los Angeles. I'm always thinking of Los Angeles. 

This week is thick with events! Some of which Audrey Kuo has recorded me performing at.

Tuesday, June 4 - Tuesday Night Cafe

From last July, my last time featuring as an LA resident. Holding of cities and lovers, which doesn't contain the piece I actually read: "morning glory."

Thursday, June 6 - [common ground oc]

CG is the first and only reading I've done this year. Perhaps with the coming of summer I'll find myself reading in a public (or, more likely, public-ish) setting in Oakland. No hurry. Marinating on my 2013 chapbook, which I've declared will be done by late summer.

Video taken, again, by the dear Audrey. This is my entire CG reading. Someday I'll actually watch it.

Friday, June 7 - OUTspoken Sessions

I remember Equal Action's first announcement at TNC back in 2009, my first year as stage manager. A queer youth of color open mic. I was delighted. I'm so glad they are still going strong as an organization, and that I've seen them transition to having youth take on more and more of the leadership and facilitation roles. No video of myself there. Their theme this show is intersectionality, which they've posted this quote to help define:
If you're in LA, pick at least one. If I were in LA, I might go to all three.