Newsletter for May, 1997 ce

GREETINGS

How many of us agree that things have been just a smidge busy lately? AHA, we thought so! Moonwolf and Kelvin have promised to have another installment of "In The Laps of the God/dess" for us next month, and we're hoping to hear that Deb's "Wise Woman Ways" will be accessible once again shortly, as well. In the meantime, "Kitchen Witch" carries on, made especially easy since gypsy is sitting at the same computer that this newsletter is built on, and we are adding a new feature, entitled "Queer Craft," courtesy of Eddy. We hope to have a really packed newsletter next month, but in the meantime, there are some interesting items in this month's newsletter.

THANKS AND A TIP OF THE HAT

Stephen and Marian officiated at the April Open Full Moon, with their usual good humor and high level of enthusiasm. Those who met new friends, or became reconnected with old friends, thank them.

MAY OPEN FULL MOON

The May Open Full Moon will be held on Friday, May 16 beginning at 7:30 PM, at the First Unitarian Church, 1400 Lafayette, in Denver.

Mothertree Coven, or at least a part of Mothertree, will be presenting a ritual celebrating Beltane and the creativity within each of us. Last we heard it included a Maypole, and children are of course welcome. Moonwolf and Kelvin have asked that anyone who might wish to assist please contact them upon arrival at the church on Friday; they have parts for many late additions to the ritual crew.

1997 OPEN FULL MOON DATES

	               			September	12
May		16			October		10*
June		13			November	 7
July		18			December	12
August		15			

*Note: October 10 is Yom Kippur. We will need to move that ritual, but have not determined the new date yet.

Please be aware that we will no longer have access to the nursery. Due to a lack of adult volunteers, we have removed the child care area from our lease.

We have officiants for all of 1997; if you would like to be an officiant in 1998, please talk to gypsy.

KITCHEN WITCH CARRIES ON ABOUT PASTA

by gypsy

Some folks think making their own pasta is too difficult. They believe it is a complicated, messy process for creating a product that can be purchased with much less fuss and drama. Even such luminaries as Christopher Kimball, editor of COOK'S ILLUSTRATED magazine and author of THE COOK'S BIBLE, extol the superiority of store-bought pasta.

To all these nay-sayers, these adherents of Martha Gooch and American Beauty, I have only one thing to say:

Where were you when I decided to get a pasta maker and why didn't you stop me?

Making pasta is messy and back-breaking. All that cranking cannot be good for body alignment, and finding a place to store the uncut sheets of dough involves draping it in many unlikely places (over the toaster, on top of the food processor, hanging from the curtain rod...)

In fairness, though, I find homemade pasta tastes better than store-bought, and making it myself adds choices to my pasta selection. Sure, whole wheat tomato basil pasta can be purchased, but who can afford it? And I haven't seen chocolate ravioli in years. Some restaurants proudly serve a garlic and parsley pasta that leaves me paraphrasing "Where's the garlic?"

Plus, to me, making pasta is magickal. The crank moves deosil (well, it would if it were moving on the horizontal plane) stretching the dough thinner and into mysteriously lengthening strips. The cutters turn flat pieces of dough into wondrous strands recognizable as spaghetti or fettuccine. Ravioli is like a mysterious, sealed cauldron. The dough can be enhanced with herbs and spices or with fruits and vegetables. The cranking can be accompanied by chanting -- I particularly like chants that celebrate the turning of the seasons.

But, okay, not everyone has a pasta maker. And producing rolling pin pasta, while possible, is a process that makes my pasta making look like a stroll in the park.

Some commercially sold pastas are better than homemade. This is because (among other reasons) the plants where the pasta is made are climate controlled. Also, commercial pasta is made with semolina flour, which makes the dough too gritty for most home pasta makers. So go ahead and buy pasta. But, please, don't open a can of overcooked noodles in a sugary sauce and call it a good meal. Comfort food is fine, but don't consider it creative to dress up a can of stuff that has a phony Italian name with a couple of sprigs of parsley.

Saucing can make or break a pasta dish. There are many good premade sauces available, and these are great for a quick and tasty meal. Once in a while, however, you can make a wonderful pasta dinner from scratch without the hassle of making pasta or simmering fresh tomato sauce all day. It's easy and creates a satisfying meal.

The following recipe illustrates my point. It is adapted from one provided by Lynne Rosetto Kaspar, an award-winning cookbook author, in Julia Child's IN JULIA'S KITCHEN WITH MASTER CHEFS. I've made a few changes to suit my own taste. (Note the amount of garlic, for instance!) Feel free to do so for yourself.

SUNDAY NIGHT PASTA (serves 4)

Heat a frying pan and add the oil. Add garlic and stir, lowering heat. Continue to simmer and stir approximately 15 minutes, or until pale gold. (Do not allow the garlic to turn brown or burn.) When done, set pan aside to cool.

Bring 6 qts of salted water to a boil. Add spaghetti, stir, and bring water back to boil. Allow to simmer 6 to 10 minutes (for fresh pasta, allow to simmer 3 to 6 minutes) stirring occasionally. Test for doneness once the pasta begins to bend around the stirring fork. Test by taking out a piece and biting into it. If it is crunchy, spit it out (especially if your dental insurance isn't paid up!) What you are looking for here is a smooth texthre and just a bit of resistance to the bite. As soon as the pasta is done, scoop out 1/2 C of the water it was cooked in and add it (the water) to the pan with the garlic in it. Drain spaghetti but do not rinse. (The starch on the surface of the pasta is what makes the sauce stick to it.)

Put drained pasta into garlic pan, then add tomatoes and herbs. Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired. Transfer to a heated serving platter. Take a few (10 to 20) shavings from the whole parmagian cheese, then grate the rest over the top of the spaghetti. Garnish with cheese shavings. At the last minute, drizzle with the balsamic vinegar.

Add a salad and some breadsticks and you have a meal worthy of the finest Italian kitchen. It took less than an hour and you don't have to figure out what's Franco-American about it!

QUEER CRAFT

(by Eddy)

Greetings! As you may have guessed from the title of this column, this will be a regular feature of interest (or so I hope) to all Queer Pagans out there. I also hope, however, that there will be much of interest to all Pagans. We are all brothers and sisters in the Lord and the Lady and share in each others' triumphs and defeats, joys and sorrows. With this fellowship in mind, I hope to share with all our community different thoughts, events, and observations that I have gathered from my experience in both the Pagan community and in the larger Queer community. I hope to share with all of you our Queer Craft.

During the March OFM I gave everyone a brief account of the name Twin Spirits. This may be a term many are not familiar with so I will explain its significance a little more fully. The term originates from many writings on Native American spiritual and cultural beliefs. "Twin-spirit" or "two-spirit" conveys the idea that one person, a Queer person, can embody both genders in a way that these peoples considered unique. In our enlightened western New Age sensibility we believe that every person is both male and female to some degree, a la Jung. It is also therapeutically correct to believe that the task of each person is to achieve some balance of these forces within themselves. Yet if you know any Drag Queens, you know that Queer people embody this blend of genders in a totally different way to create a unique energy, a presence that is at the same tiem both male and female and yet neither. We take the boundaries of physical and cultural gender, and bend them beyond recognition. In many cultures, then, this became the role of the twin-spirit. He or she broke all the conventions of their society in order that all the members would then be forced to examine all their beliefs, just as a big-haired, screaming Drag Queen can raise a few questions about gender and our society's attitudes on diversity.

In his book Queer Spirits, required reading for everyone (as far as I'm concerned) Will Roscoe describes his "coming out" in Missoula, Montana. (Of all the places!) He gives his account of the first time he realized the unique role we play and have played in every culture.

I certainly felt limited by the male role I had been assigned -- so many of the interesting things to do turned out to be "girl things." I also thought that the gay role would be limiting, as well. Through my friendship with Prissy (a Drag Queen), however, I discovered the real meaning of being gay is liberation from all roles and all predetermined gender assignments...I could be an excellent cook and change my oil.*

Will Roscoe, Queer Spirits: A Gay Men's Myth Book; Boston, Beacon Press, 1995, p.77

A PLEA FOR THE HUNGRY IN OUR COMMUNITY

Food Bank of the Rockies, whose coffers might overflow during the winter holiday season, wishes to convey to those fortunate enough to have food for their tables that hunger and homelessness do not evaporate during the spring and summer months. They are in need of donations of non-perishable foods, toiletries, and pet food. If you have aught to share, they accept donations of any size at their facility at 47th and Joliet between the hours of 8 AM and 4 PM, Monday through Friday. Since many of us work during these hours, if those reading this who wish to contribute will contact Alia or gypsy, we are trying to put together a large collection run out there in the near future. Additionally, anyone sponsoring a public event -- who can get permission from the facility at which the event is taking place -- can contact Food Bank of the Rockies for a donation barrel which will be picked up by Food Bank drivers after the event. (For this they request a minimum 30 pound donation in the barrel, not too tough to do with canned foods! We found out about this too late to arrange for a barrel at next OFM but will be looking into it for the future.) This message was brought to you by gypsy the Kitchen Witch and Tesla the Wonder Mop (a dog who worries about starvation among her brother and sister canines, felines, and pets of all shapes and sizes.)

UPDATE: As Alia is currently unemployed, she is willing to take donated goods to Food Bank of the Rockies during their business hours. Therefore, we will be collecting for the food bank at the June 13 Open Full Moon.


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