Feliciano And Star-Spangled Banner Renditions

There is currently some chatter on Facebook about overwrought renditions of the national anthem at sporting events thanks to a meme by George Takei that a lot of people are sharing.  Jose Feliciano is generally credited/blamed with starting the trend of interpretations of the anthem rather than traditional renditions.  My reaction upon hearing Feliciano’s controversial take?  It sounded pretty traditional, and people weren’t booing him, from the sound of it.  I blogged about this years ago and had a hard time finding the post – it turns out it was from way back in the old blogspot days.  Here is the original post:

I have always read about Jose Feliciano’s “controversial” rendition of the national anthem, the Star-Spangled Banner. You can listen to it or download it for free on his website. (Click on “Download Jose’s Music Here” to save the MP3 file.) It is hard to see what the big deal was now after years of hearing personalized versions of the anthem, but this was one of the first reworkings. Unlike the self-indulgent long versions we often hear, Jose’s take on the anthem is quick, passionate, and folky.
I thought about this today after reading Scoop Jackson’s article about R. Kelly’s step-enhanced rendition last week.

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January 22nd, 2013 by Fr. Greg

Gluten-Free And Nut-Free Vasilopita

Yesterday on Facebook I put up a post about today’s vasilopita cutting at the church and offhandedly mentioned that we would have a gluten-free, nut-free vasilopita option.  I could not believe the reaction, which doubled when I put up a picture.  I had lots of positive comments along with many requests for the recipe.  So here it is, courtesy of Prez. Eleni.

1 stick of butter

3/4 c. sugar

2 eggs

1/2 c. orange juice, freshly squeezed

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1 1/4 t. baking powder

1 c. cooked quinoa

3/4 c. rice flour*

1/2 c. millet flour*

1 t. cinnamon

1/2 t. ground clove

1 3/4 tsp. xantham gum

*or other gluten-free flour

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Beat butter and sugar at high speed until fluffy. Continue beating then add eggs one at a time then add juice and vanilla. In another bowl combine cooked and cooled quinoa, flours, xantham gum (or other binding agent), cinnamon, clove and xantham gum. Slowly add to butter and sugar mix. Pour this into a greased, 8” pan. Insert a coin which has been previously boiled for 5 minutes (for sterilization) and wrapped in tin foil into the cake away from the edge and center. Smooth batter over point of insertion. Bake for 10 minutes then lower the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for another 30-40 minutes. The top can be dusted with powdered sugar but only when completely cooled. Alternatively, brush with a beaten egg and decorate with sesame seeds or nuts in a pattern forming the numbers of the new year prior to baking.

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January 13th, 2013 by Fr. Greg

Imprisoned In Iran

When I logged on to Facebook earlier today I discovered that the father of a friend of mine has been imprisoned in Iran for political reasons.  You can read about what has happened to Dr. Ali Rashidi here and see the petition that is being circulated on his behalf.  Below is an excerpt:

On December 1, 2012 it was reported that Dr. Ali Rashidi, an eminent Iranian economist and political activist, had been sentenced to two years imprisonment and 5 years ban of activity.

According to a report by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), Dr. Ali Rashidi, Member of board of National Front, eminent economist, founding member of Iranian Economists Association, has been sentenced to two years imprisonment and 5 years ban of activity for writing about Iran’s economic situation.

Dr. Rashidi was arrested on November 3, 2011 after being summoned to the Intelligence Ministry. He was sent to the notorious Evin Prison on November 15, 2011. In February 2012 he was reportedly released on bail pending his trial.

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January 12th, 2013 by Fr. Greg