Thursday, April 18, 2013

A Connection For Our Disconnected World

These days people are working from home, going to school from home, and shopping from home. E-mail and other social networking sites have become the preferred mode of communication. Even telephones are becoming obsolete. I have felt alienated from this trend for a long while, but I thought that I was alone in my ennui.

Then I saw the movie Sidewalls, an Argentine film directed by Gustavo Taretto. While the film, which takes place in Buenos Aires, has a very dark message, it cheered me tremendously. Taretto employs cartoons, some internet devices, and a touch of magic realism in combination with conventional story telling to get his message across. Much of the film takes place in two people’s shoebox flats (about 400 square feet). They spend most of their lives in their apartments almost totally isolated except for their internet contacts and a few essential appointments. At one point, the main character laments that the computer has brought the world so much closer to him – he can work, pay bills, order dinner, and many other things – but he is so much further away from life. Yes! I’m not the only one experiencing this alienation although Gustavo Taretto portrayed this far more eloquently than I could. 

On the other hand, I heard recently about a website that actually uses the internet to facilitate face-to-face contacts among people. Operative in 180 cities around the world, connects people to each other to enjoy home cooked meals. A traveler can find someone offering a home cooked meal while abroad or people can sign up to be hosts to someone traveling in their city. Their idea is that if people share a wholesome home cooked meal together, it can break down all kinds of barriers. Since I love meeting people from other countries, I’m looking forward to participating. While traveling, it could be a great way to meet people should there be a connection where I am going. At home, it is a way to meet people, also. The instruction for people hosting is to make what they would cook for their own family to provide an authentic experience for the traveler. 

Speaking of typical home cooked meals, this is a great recipe for leftover chicken, turkey, or lamb. Adjust the amount depending upon how many people there are. This recipe serves four. Prep time is about 30 minutes.


1 cup uncooked rice
2 cups water
½ Tbsp curry powder
2 tsp chicken bouillon
leftover meat cut in julienne strips
1 onion sliced
vegetable oil
¼ cup raisins
4 Tbsp sliced almonds
½ tsp cinnamon
dash of pepper and nutmeg

     1.     Add 2 cups of water, the curry powder, and chicken bouillon to the rice and cook.
     2.     Preheat oven to 325° Fahrenheit
     3.     Saute the onion in the vegetable oil.
     4.     Cut the chicken or turkey into julienne strips
     5.     When rice is cooked, mix all the ingredients in a casserole dish. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes.

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