Wednesday, November 25, 2015

South Indian Vegetarian Recipes for Your Holiday Feast

A road map for a vegetarian Thanksgiving. The entire essay is up at The Aerogram, including a recipe for Cranberry Pickle. 

One of the best memories of all our years celebrating Thanksgiving is the year we realized that the holiday had less to do with exactly what form the dinner took and more with getting to spend time with family and friends. It seems like a simple idea, but it was counter-intuitive to imagine Thanksgiving without turkey or beans or cranberry sauce. The menu at our house that year read like one for an Indian festival with a vegetarian spread, complete with an array of condiments.

If you’re contemplating vegetarian dishes for upcoming holiday feasts and love South Indian food, this roundup of recipes offers suggestions for dishes to include in your plans. Go forth and try your hand at one or two! Or if you’re feeling adventurous, supplement every section of your holiday feast with the help of these dishes. While some Indian recipes can be complicated and take hours to make, that’s not the story with most Indian home cooking, particularly vegetarian cooking.

Monday, November 09, 2015

FotoWeek DC 2015

For folks in DC, MD and VA, a week-long photography festival and exhibition is currently on at  various locations in DC and Virginia. If you're in town, more than a few look like they could be worth your time.

A complete list of events is at this link: 

Starting today: "In a special nighttime display from November 9-12, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum will project images onto its exterior walls that feature religious and ethnic minorities persecuted in Iraq. These stunning photos were taken as part of a bearing witness trip to raise awareness about attacks on civilians in the region. The exhibition will begin with an opening program the evening of Monday, November 9, featuring a discussion with experts who will explore what is driving the conflict and what can be done to end it." More at:

I was at the main photography exhibition space at what used to be the official residence of the Spanish Ambassadors to the US (now a Spanish Cultural Center) in DC. The photographs are everything from cute to stunning to gut wrenching.

There is one particular section on the fight for LGBT rights in Russia (part of the Pulitzer Center exhibit) and this alone is worth going out to see. There will be a panel discussion during this week that will include one of the activists who is currently in the US seeking asylum.

And then there are the delightful ones, such as the series on dogs who freestyle dance with their humans - yes, that is apparently a thing. Titled 'Everyone Likes to Cha Cha Cha,' the photographer of the exhibit, Bogo Anton, explained that she was exploring the contradictory relationships we humans have with animals ("we eat some, hate some and love the rest") and stumbled upon this dog-human freestyle dance community. She spent three months traveling across the US, photographing and documenting the pairs and their performances.

As part of FotoWeek, there are movies, panel discussions, photo exhibits (including those of contest winners), photojournalism exhibits (images from Afghanistan, Iraq), and a documentary about Dorothea Lange made by her grand-daughter.