college has changed

I recently wrote about listening to an Open Yale course from iTunes on the New Testament. While the production values of iTunes U classes are not as polished as those for The Great Courses, they are interesting because you get to hear recordings of actual classroom sessions.

Yale campusWhen I was in college we didn’t have computers. Well, we had one DEC System 10 mainframe for all of the Claremont colleges that sat in basement of Scott Hall at Pitzer College. You could get access to it by going to a computer room on one of the campuses that had three or four terminals and you could either play one of a few games or do some basic programming if you had those skills. Few of us did much with that.

Today having a laptop is essential to academic life on campus. The professor spoke at the beginning of the course about access to course materials on the server. At the end of the course he stated that the final exam could be emailed to one’s teaching fellow.

Some things, perhaps, don’t change. Like students being lazy. At one point the professor said that he could tell that many of the students hadn’t downloaded and read a certain document that he was lecturing on by the blank looks on their faces.

The technology has certainly changed. Student attitudes, even at Yale, seem to have not.

Grilled Tandoori Chicken

Tandoori ChickenI stumble across some excellent recipes while surfing the various public broadcasting outlets. That’s how I found this recipe for Grilled Tandoori Chicken on Simply Ming. The recipe is by chef Tiffani Faison (not to be confused with B-list celebrity and Cooking Channel host Tiffani Thiessen).

The recipe calls for a whole chicken. I used boneless leg meat. I followed the seasonings as specified: mustard seed, fennel seed, cumin, coriander, paprika, cayenne, turmeric, garlic, and ginger. I mixed the seasonings in yogurt and marinated the leg meat for twenty-four hours.

I grilled the chicken on the outdoor gas grill. Between the yogurt and the dark meat the chicken was moist and tender.

It was a really nice Sunday night meal.

Secular Music Friday: Today

Given a thing or two going on in my life, what is happening on the American political scene, and the state of the world in general, it helps a lot to keep this song at the top of my mind.

our new Indian restaurant

It’s not very often that something new and noteworthy happens on the culinary scene here in Hemet, so when it does it’s worth noting.

On the east side of town, the opposite side from which we live, there is a 7-Eleven store and gas station. That same building also hosts two storefronts. One of them was a burger place that moved to a less congested location in the central part of town. Later in that spot there was a soul food restaurant. The food was quite good, but apparently it didn’t get enough business to survive.

Taste of India buffet plateRecently my brother, who lives on that side of town, told me that there was a sign on the storefront that read, “Coming Soon: Taste of India.” We anxiously awaited the restaurant’s opening. The Chamber of Commerce sent out a notice about the ribbon cutting on a Friday and the next day my brother sent me a text saying that it was open.

We tried it recently and were delighted. Previously we had to drive half an hour to a very congested area for Indian food. No more. They have both a full menu and a buffet. The buffet was excellent and although they didn’t have my favorite, Chicken Tikka Masala, the Tandoori Chicken was great and they had a chicken dish that I didn’t recognize which was quite tasty. The owner took the time to speak with us in spite of how busy it was when we were there. Never mind the fact that they use paper plates and plastic utensils. Terry and I are more than pleased.

apricot shrimp skewers

apricot shrimp skewersI was looking for a shrimp recipe to grill outside on an unseasonably hot Saturday. I found this apricot shrimp skewers recipe that seemed to fill the bill.

It did.

Terry did all the work. The shrimp is wrapped in prosciutto and put on skewers alternating with apricot pieces. A mixture of apricot jam, ginger, orange juice, lemon juice, garlic, and soy sauce doubles as a glaze basted on the grill and as a dipping sauce at the table.

It was a lot of work on Terry’s part. And it was well worth it, we both agreed.

A five-star dinner on a hot Saturday night.

appreciating PBS

I don’t give enough love to PBS. The PBS stations I get on my cable system are part of my channel surfing rotation, but I haven’t sat down and watched that many complete programs.

That changed recently. I have watched two outstanding series.

PBS logoThe science program Nova Wonders was designed for younger people, but as I approach eligibility for Medicare I was fascinated, Hosted by three scientists, all of them people of color and two of them women, the show looked at biology, genetics, astronomy, communication, and other topics. All fascinating stuff.

Then there is Civilizations (note the plural). Each episode has a different take on art, starting with prehistoric art and moving up to the present day. This is not your classic Western Civilization course. The West gets plenty of attention, but so does China, Japan, India, and the Islamic World. The episode on the renaissance used the plural on its title and covered not only Italy but the Islamic renaissance as well.

There’s lots of good stuff on PBS. It deserves more of my attention.

a Chicken Marsala variation

I was looking for a meal on the grill for an absurdly hot Friday evening and my Living Cookbook database turned up this Sunny Anderson recipe for Grilled Chicken with White Wine Mushroom Sauce. I liked the idea, but the recipe was too hot for a hot summer evening.

chicken and mushroom sauceThe recipe called for marinating the chicken in lemon juice and water and then rubbing the chicken with liquid smoke. How about just marinating it in all of that? That’s what I did. Then the recipe said I should grill the chicken breasts and finish them off in the oven. No way. I bought thin chicken breasts and cooked them on the grill. Simple enough.

For the sauce I sliced mushrooms, sautéed them in butter and olive oil with cayenne while adding cooking sherry. I added a flour and vegetable broth gravy to that, mixed it well, and poured it over the grilled chicken.

It was a great dinner on a miserably hot Friday evening.

Sacred Music Friday: Let Your Faith Be Stronger Than Your Fear

First-Plymouth Church Lincoln Nebraska-Videos

Introduction to New Testament History and Literature

Introduction to New Testament History and LiteratureIntroduction to New Testament History and Literature
Dale B. Martin
Open Yale Courses
iTunes U

It has been a long time since I have listened to an iTunes U course, and much as changed in that time. iTunes U is no longer available on iTunes for the PC. For mobile devices it is a separate app and not part of iTunes. It appears to me that the number of available courses has been greatly reduced.

Compared to The Great Courses the production values on iTunes U courses are inferior. That’s because they are recordings of actual classroom lectures. In the case of this course recording quality varied across lectures.

Nonetheless, Introduction to New Testament History and Literature was quite enjoyable. I was familiar with much of the material, but it reinforced some of what I knew and also provided me with new material. The most interesting aspect of this course was the emphasis on the diversity of Christianity in the New testament period. Even within a single book, Acts, for example, different Christianities emerge, such as whether gentile converts need to be circumcised or not. Similarly, the later letters purported to be written Paul have a very different theology from the authentic letters. While the author of Revelation is virulently anti-Roman rule, some of the later epistles preach accommodation.

It was interesting stuff, all of it.

more on immigrants and food

I hope you saw my blog entry on immigrants and food. If not, please do take a look.

There’s more on television on this topic. PBS has a new program called No Passport Required. It is hosted by chef Marcus Samuelsson. Samuelsson was born in Ethiopia, adopted, and raised in Sweden. He immigrated to the United States where he has become a successful restaurateur, cookbook author, and television personality.

No Passport RequiredThe program is similar to the show Eden Eats, about which I wrote, in that Samuelsson visits a different city in each episode. Unlike that program, however, Samuelsson visits a single ethnic group in each city, and No Passport Required is a full hour rather than half an hour. This gives him time to delve in-depth into each immigrant community.

Well worth watching.

Another PBS program, related to immigrants though not necessarily food, is “Ellis Island” on the Great Performances series. Composer Peter Boyer combines orchestral music, photography, and the spoken word to provide a moving portrayal of immigrants coming to the United States in the early part of the twentieth century. Boyer says he did not have the immigrant situation of 2018 in mind when composing this work, but he certainly sees the relevance.

The program aired on television at the end of June. You can to stream it or watch on demand until July 27.

Make sure you have a Kleenex within reach at the conclusion.