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  • Home for dinner (and breakfast and lunch)

    first_img Deck the halls and set the table Members of the Harvard community share their favorite holiday dishes The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news. Ph.D. students explore the culture and science of food in the Veritalk podcast Pretty much every Harvard undergrad would agree that the sudden evacuation of campus in March due to the spread of the coronavirus was sad and unsettling. But most would also agree that the promise of savoring home-cooked favorites made the rushed homecoming a little easier. The Gazette checked in with students scattered across the globe to see exactly what they and their families have been cooking.Craving the flavors of homeAs much as Yousuf Bakshi ’23 enjoyed his campus life, he often craved the eclectic flavors of home. To Yousuf, it always seemed like whenever he would Skype home to Cardiff, Wales, the family would be sitting down for supper. “‘Look what we’re eating!’ they’d say.” Runa Bakshi, Yousuf’s mother, recalls waking up to text messages from her son that said, “All I want is a curry.”,She and her husband, Nahed Bakshi, admit that their household “revolves around food” — and has for generations on both sides. Their families ran some of the first Indian curry houses in Cardiff. The restaurants served Bangladeshi-Indian favorites such as chicken pathia and tandoori chicken bhuna. Over the years, the couple has developed different areas of specialty. Nahed is more experimental, delving into things like Asian-fusion dishes. He recently bought a fryer, to Yousuf’s delight. “For those days when all I’d like is an Annenberg grill order, my dad is always there to cook up some fries and make me a homemade pizza.”,Runa enjoys cooking a range of cuisines and has had the chance to share her dishes with a large audience. In fact, last year she was selected to appear in a popular British television cooking show, “Come Dine With Me.” In it, participants take turns hosting dinner parties and visiting the other contestants’ homes to taste their food. For her dinner, Runa prepared appetizers of chicken tikka satay sticks and meat samosas with mint sauce dip; a main course of Welsh lamb and potato curry, papadums, and tarka daal; and for dessert a deconstructed passion fruit surprise cheesecake. She cooked from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m., with judges and a full film crew filling up her kitchen.,She came in a very close second, with all the judges quietly sidling up to her to ask: “Can we have more samosas?”Besides disrupting his School year, the pandemic also changed Yousuf and his family’s observance of Ramadan — the time “when we really start cooking,” his mother said. Big extended-family iftar meals, taken after a day of religious fasting, were canceled. Instead, the Bakshis exchanged dishes with family and friends by dropping them off at their houses.Yousuf was busy writing papers and studying for finals during the majority of the monthlong holiday, but occasionally helped prepare some of the dishes. Each year, he looks forward to a staple Bangladeshi Ramadan rice dish, zaur, which also goes by the name kisuri. Pakoras, samosas, and chicken wings are some of the sides with which it pairs. Keeping with the family’s love of variety, some days the Ramadan table includes burgers or spaghetti.,Now that Yousuf is finished with exams, his dad has a training program in mind for him. “We first need to introduce him to the essential spices: curry, coriander, cumin, turmeric, chili. Then the garam masala, cardamom, cinnamon sticks. Tomato paste and tomato puree.” Yousuf said he’s looking forward to learning to cook using his parents’ methods and recipes: “Quarantine is the perfect time.”Obsessed with hummusFor Adam Sella ’22, food and cooking are inextricably bound to home and homeland.His father, Uri, immigrated to the U.S. from Israel in 1994 and is the primary cook in the household. Adam was raised on Middle Eastern and Mediterranean dishes such as hummus, shakshuka, and kebabs, and over the years developed a deep interest in the cuisines through lessons from his father and from his own travels.Before Harvard, Sella spent nine months living in Morocco, practicing Arabic, and cultivating his love for the region. Sella grew up visiting relatives in Israel, toggling between Hebrew and English. But he soon realized there was a third language that intrigued him. “In Israel, signs are posted in three languages; Hebrew, Arabic, and English” he said. “My dad lived his whole life not understanding the Arabic signs.” Sella wanted to be able to communicate, and his father was thrilled with his interest. Sella’s own taste buds also helped influence him: “In Israel, the best hummus is made by Arabs,” he said before backpedaling, “Well … there’s of course much debate about who makes the best hummus.”Couscous is one of the recipes Sella has recently made at home in Cincinnati, cobbling together five different internet recipes. Though couscous is typically served with either all vegetables, or with meat like chicken or lamb, he used beef. (Whereas beef is expensive in Morocco, lamb is pricier here in the U.S.),Another family favorite is a slow-cooked beef and prune tajine — a kind of Moroccan stew named for the cone-shaped vessel in which it’s prepared.,Even on campus during regular terms, Sella supplements meals in the Pforzheimer House dining hall with homemade extras. His friends sprinkle his homemade hot sauce on vegetables and meats. For the Jewish holiday Purim, he and friend Noah Singer ’22 made hamantaschen in a Pforzheimer hallway kitchen. For a few days, he carried around the cookbook “Zaitoun: Recipes and Stories from the Palestinian Kitchen,” after meeting with Director of Undergraduate Studies in Comparative Literature Sandra Naddaff, who recommended it.Recently, his culinary interest even came in handy for a friend’s graduate school application. The application required that his friend teach a simple multistep process on video. Sella suggested his friend make tahini, by mixing tahini paste with the correct amount of water. Though it took a few tries to get the measurements down, the project was eventually a success.But there are flavors Adam can’t seem to replicate either on campus or at home, so for those he turns to his father.,Uri Sella judges a good recipe by three criteria: cost, quality of ingredients, and amount of waste generated. The main mission of his culinary experiments comes down to a fascination with “how different cultures feed their people.”“There are two things with being an immigrant here — always wanting to recreate the tastes of my home country — for example, an obsession with hummus. And then also being exposed to new cultures.” Uri has gone through significant phases of cooking Indian, Mexican, and Korean food. One day he’s making shakshuka, the next, curry.Uri learned to cook primarily from family members and reading recipes, and now Adam learns from him. When his son was young, Uri said that Adam “would always come into the kitchen whenever he heard the sound of knives being sharpened.”But now the two find themselves released from those roles. “I think my dad has delegated some of his exploratory cooking to me,” Adam said. For instance, when Adam returned home, his father handed him a cookbook of homemade pastas he’d borrowed from the library. “It was a subtle nudge for me to make some pasta.”A glass of kefir a dayLiving in Singapore, 12 hours ahead of her East Coast classes, Aline Damas ’20 had to adjust her eating, sleeping, and studying schedule. But there was one routine that remained the same: a glass of kefir in the morning.Praised for its health benefits, kefir is a fermented dairy product similar to yogurt. On campus, Damas would start her mornings with a glass, a habit she owes to her mother.“My mom’s a big fermentation person. I’ve become indoctrinated.”Damas’ mother has been making her own kefir since 2017. Each morning, she adds about a teaspoon of kefir “grains” (really a combination of bacteria and yeast) to a cup of milk. The mixture sits on the kitchen counter at room temperature for about 24 hours. By breakfast time the next day, it’s ready to drink, and she scoops out a small bit of the grains to use for her next batch, repeating the process.,Now that Damas is home, she also gets to include some of her mother’s fresh-pressed ginger juice in her kefir. Damas said that when her mother’s not making kefir, she’s brewing kombucha (another fermented beverage) or fermenting vegetables. Or she’s simmering chicken broths and bone soups.“My mother has always been interested in health, but over the last few years it has really intensified,” Damas said.Alongside these incorporated recipes, the Damas’ family meals have two main origins: French (Damas’ father is Belgian), and Asian, the continent where Aline and her brother grew up. For the French side, Damas cooks “lots of ratatouille, steak au poivre, and piperade [sautéed green pepper stew].” For the Asian side, the family often eats takeout Thai and Chinese.Damas said cutting out processed sugars from her diet has made her feel healthier. When she does eat something sweet, she sticks to fresh fruit and raw honey, though there is the occasional treat. “I do indulge in 80 percent dark chocolate every now and then.” Some groups have retooled old school rituals, while others have created new ones Finding creative ways to maintain campus bonds remotely Related What we eat and why we eat itlast_img read more

  • Foundation awards $9 million in legal aid grants

    first_imgFoundation awards $9 million in legal aid grants Foundation awards $9 million in legal aid grants January 1, 2003 Managing Editor Regular Newscenter_img Mark D. Killian Managing EditorThe Florida Bar Foundation awarded more than $9 million in IOTA grants in December to Florida legal aid providers to help meet the legal needs of the poor.The grants represent an approximately four percent cut in Foundation funding for legal aid programs this year or $401,545 less than the Foundation was able to grant a year ago, according to William H. Davis, chair of the Foundation’s Legal Assistance for the Poor Grant Committee.Davis said cuts in bank interest rates and reductions on investment earnings have taken a toll on the IOTA program, forcing the Foundation to reduce funding to legal assistance programs by 25 percent over the past four years.“Unfortunately this year we see a continuation of that process,” Davis said, adding that as a general rule the Foundation this year reduced the funding for programs which generally get more than $150,000 from the Foundation by 8.3 percent and cut funding to the smaller programs by 4.15 percent. Davis said the Foundation made the percentage cuts on the assumption the larger programs— many of which also receive Legal Services Corporation funding—could better absorb the larger reductions than could the smaller programs. Davis also said many of the larger providers will be receiving more LSC money this year “because of the unfortunate growth of the poor population in the state.”Some programs, however, did receive increases in funding, due to added responsibilities.At one time the IOTA program had raised as much as $19 million a year to fund legal aid, administration of justice, and law student assistance projects.The applications for general support grants for local programs are based upon a per capita formula, depending upon the number of poor people in a county. Services are provided through staff and pro bono attorneys. The cases handled are determined through local community priorities set by local boards of directors. Predominantly, the cases handled are family, housing, income maintenance, and consumer matters.The Foundation’s board of directors approved the general support grants on the recommendation of its Legal Assistance to the Poor Grant Committee.Of the funds distributed, $4.4 million went to general legal services programs that also receive Legal Services Corporation funds; slightly more than $1 million went to legal aid organizations that do not receive any LSC money; $938,000 was awarded to immigration service projects; $574,000 was provided for legal assistance to the institutionalized; $15,000 went to law school clinical projects; and $2 million was awarded to statewide legal aid programs.Foundation grants for general support to programs which also receive LSC funding include: Bay Area Legal Services, $556,769; Central Florida Legal Services, $420,762; Florida Rural Legal Services, $617,930; Gulf Coast Legal Services, $419,516; Gulf Coast Legal Services Pro Bono Project, $30,023; Jacksonville Area Legal Services, $314,814; Legal Aid Services of Broward County, $412,332; Legal Services of Greater Miami, $533,803; Legal Services of North Florida, $384,303; Northwest Florida Legal Services, $209,813; Three Rivers Legal Services, $297,535; and Withlacoochee Area Legal Services, $237,593.IOTA general funding grants awarded to organizations which do not also receive LSC funding include: Brevard County Legal Aid, $69,383; Community Law Program, $41,040; Cuban American Bar Association, $27,297; Dade County Bar Association, $234,809; Heart of Florida Legal Aid Society, $92,198; Lee County Legal Aid Society, $46,177; Legal Aid Foundation of the Tallahassee Bar Association, $30,817; Legal Aid of Manasota, $15,821; Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County, $218,779; Legal Aid Society of the Orange County Bar Association, $267,823; and the Seminole County Bar Association Legal Aid Society, $52,076.Foundation grants to organizations which provide immigration services include: American Friends Service Committee, $106,422; Dade County Bar Association Ineligible Aliens, $61,817; Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center, $525,299; Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center Homeless Project, $59,779; Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County, $71,274; and Legal Aid Society of the Orange County Bar Association, $113,899.Grants for legal assistance programs for the institutionalized or incapacitated went to Florida Institutional Legal Services, $297,126; the Florida Justice Institute, $223,231; and the Guardianship Program of Dade County, $54,594.IOTA grants for law school clinical projects in the amount of $2,500 each went to Florida State University, Nova Southeastern University, St. Thomas University, Stetson University, the University of Florida, and the University of Miami.General support grants for statewide projects went to Florida Legal Services, $1.4 million; Florida Legal Services’ Migrant Farmworker Justice Project, $491,713; and Southern Legal Counsel, $192,324.The Foundation deferred funding decisions until its March meeting for the Gulfcoast Legal Services Pro Bono Project; Legal Aid Society of Collier County; and Okaloosa County Legal Services.last_img read more

  • Pulis ready for battle

    first_img Press Association Stoke boss Tony Pulis accepts his side are up against “overwhelming odds” as they host runaway Barclays Premier League leaders Manchester United this weekend. Pulis added: “We have to pick a team we think will work as hard as they possibly can to nullify their strengths, and also give us an opportunity to compete at the other end of the pitch as well.” Alarm bells have started ringing at the Britannia Stadium after a dismal run of just one win in 13 league games. They have kept only one clean sheet in the last 14 and scored just two in the last six. The Potters were five points off the Champions League places at Christmas but after last weekend’s results they found themselves just three above the relegation zone. It is an unfamiliar position for the club having held their own since promotion to the top flight in 2008, and underlined their progress by reaching an FA Cup final and playing in Europe. But in a 21-year managerial career that has taken him through the divisions, Pulis feels he is equipped to deal with the challenge. “I think publicity-wise it is the hardest time I’ve had – but I have had tougher times with teams that haven’t been as good as this one, and you’ve had to eke out results,” said Pulis, who has managed six clubs. “But everything that goes with the Premier League is magnified and multiplied enormously. We have to concentrate on ourselves and not take too much notice of what is going on around us. “You have got to stay focused and stay strong. I don’t get too up or too down in lots of respects. I do lose my temper now and again but in respect of being level and strong, you have to stand up and I don’t mind doing that.” center_img United, 12 points clear at the top of table with seven games to play, are striding towards a record-extending 20th title while the Potters struggle at the opposite end. Sir Alex Ferguson’s men did suffer defeat to rivals Manchester City in their derby last Monday but Pulis sees that as a mere blip. He said: “I think you have got to recognise the strength they have got. You have got to recognise you are competing against overwhelming odds in a lot of respects. That is why they are champions-elect – they have got the best team and the best players.” last_img read more

  • Emmanuel Nettey: Accra Hearts of Oak is the biggest club in Ghana

    first_imgGhana Premier League midfielder, Emmanuel Nettey has described Accra Hearts of Oak, a club he plays for as the biggest clubs in Ghana and on the African continent.Nettey signed for the Phobians from the lower-tier side, Unistar Soccer Academy in the 2019/2020 season which has been cancelled officially due to the outbreak of COVID-19.The 23-year-old has been a phenomenon for the one-time CAF Champions League winners bossing the affairs of the midfield for Edward Odoom’s charges.In an interview with Sports Check, the midfielder described his club as one of the biggest in Ghana and Africa.“It’s been a joy and I’m really happy donning the colors of Hearts of Oak. This is one of the biggest clubs in Africa and the biggest club in Ghana because they are continental club masters. It is my opinion and it’s what I believe in. We are the biggest club in Ghana.The midfielder said he grew up a fan of the club he currently plays for and alluded his move to Accra Hearts of Oak as the perfect timing of God.“I grew up as a Hearts fan but had to play other clubs before coming to Hearts because I believe in the timing of God. If I had rushed to play, maybe I wouldn’t be making waves like now. We plan but God decides and He says this is the time for me to play for Hearts of Oak.”Nettey started his professional career with a stint at Tema-based Inter Allies. His contract was terminated there and he moved to Unistar Soccer Academy before joining Hearts of Oak.last_img read more