Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Spicy Black Bean Burger Addiction

I admit it, I love Morningstar Farm's Spicy Black Bean Veggie Burgers. That said, I'm now wondering if I can make a better tasting black bean burger at home. I did find a recipe that sounds good, on in a section that listed their top veggie burger recipes. I'll have to actually make them to find out if they are tasty, but for now, here is the recipe along with a link to where I found it. This recipe isn't spicy but you know me, I'm going to tweak it to my taste.

Black Bean Burgers

1/2 onion, diced
1 can black beans
1/2 cup flour
2 slices bread, crumbled
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
salt and pepper to taste
oil for frying

Sautee the onions till soft, about 3-5 minutes.
In a large bowl, mash the beans until almost smooth. Add sauteed onions and the rest of the ingredients, except the oil, adding the flour a few tablespoons at a time to combine well.

Mixture will be thick. Form bean mixture into patties, approximately ½ inch thick and fry patties in a small amount of oil until slightly firm. Make veggie burgers and enjoy!

Nutrition Information:
Servings: 6
Calories per serving: 294
Calories from Fat: 11
Total Fat: 1.2g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Sodium: 25mg
Total Carbohydrates: 55.3g
Dietary Fiber:11.3g, 45% RDA
Protein: 16.8g
Vitamin A 0%, Vitamin C 1%, Calcium 10%, Iron 23%, based on a 2000 calorie diet

Friday, March 14, 2008

OKC Teen's Letter to Sally Kern

I am still all worked up about Sally Kerns. In the vernacular of the state I grew up in, I'm not only "all het up" I also have "a case of the mean reds". But no matter how angry I am that Sally Kern is a bigot who lives with her fears by pointing the finger of hate toward the groups she's scared of, I can't be half as eloquent in expressing myself as a teenager named Tucker.

I happened by chance upon Tucker's letter to Kern. Tucker is a teenager who was robbed of his mother by the Murrah bombing in Oklahoma City. Some of you may know that my mother's best friend, Vera, had a niece who died in the bombing. Baylee was one year and one day old on the morning of the bombing. She was a beautiful girl but the only way I remember her now is in that infamous picture where she is cradled in a firefighter's arms. The photographer, Charles Porter, snapped the picture of firefighter Chris Fields as he carried Baylee, dying, out of the rubble.

It's hard to believe that there are some in America who think that terrorists can only be Muslim and that homosexuals are a larger threat than terrorists. Such skewed beliefs are more of a threat to society's downfall than any perceived morality issue. Sally Kern, the Republican representative from Oklahoma City, has attested to these beliefs.

Tucker, whose mother was killed in the same bombing as Baylee, wrote an incredible letter and tried to deliver it to Kern. He was unable to give it to her. The Oklahoma highway patrol intervened and stopped him from delivering it. Here is a link to Tucker's letter, as reported in not THAT different, with citations from the story about Kern.

Tucker's letter is amazing, such insight into pain and such empathy for the pain of others. I'm grateful and appreciative that there are Tuckers in this world, who can look beyond the easy blame and find the root of the problem.

I urge you to check out Jami's blog at not THAT different. But if you're not wanting to navigate away just yet, here is Tucker's letter. Thank you Jami, for blogging about Tucker and his letter, or I'd have never known.


From comment page 112 of the News9 story, here is the letter. At the time of this posting, there are 136 pages of comments to the story.

Rep Kern:

On April 19, 1995, in Oklahoma City a terrorist detonated a bomb that killed my mother and 167 others. 19 children died that day. Had I not had the chicken pox that day, the body count would've likely have included one more. Over 800 other Oklahomans were injured that day and many of those still suffer through their permanent wounds.

That terrorist was neither a homosexual or was he involved in Islam. He was an extremist Christian forcing his views through a body count. He held his beliefs and made those who didn't live up to them pay with their lives.

As you were not a resident of Oklahoma on that day, it could be explained why you so carelessly chose words saying that the homosexual agenda is worst than terrorism. I can most certainly tell you through my own experience that is not true. I am sure there are many people in your voting district that laid a loved one to death after the terrorist attack on Oklahoma City. I kind of doubt you'll find one of them that will agree with you.

I was five years old when my mother died. I remember what a beautiful, wise, and remarkable woman she was. I miss her. Your harsh words and misguided beliefs brought me to tears, because you told me that my mother's killer was a better person than a group of people that are seeking safety and tolerance for themselves. As someone left motherless and victimized by terrorists, I say to you very clearly you are absolutely wrong.

You represent a district in Oklahoma City and you very coldly express a lack of love, sympathy or understanding for what they've been through. Can I ask if you might have chosen wiser words were you a real Oklahoman that was here to share the suffering with Oklahoma City? Might your heart be a bit less cold had you been around to see the small bodies of children being pulled out of rubble and carried away by weeping firemen?

I've spent 12 years in Oklahoma public schools and never once have I had anyone try to force a gay agenda on me. I have seen, however, many gay students beat up and there's never a day in school that has went by when I haven't heard the word **** slung at someone. I've been called gay slurs many times and they hurt and I am not even gay so I can just imagine how a real gay person feels. You were a school teacher and you have seen those things too. How could you care so little about the suffering of some of your students?

Let me tell you the result of your words in my school. Every openly gay and suspected gay in the school were having to walk together Monday for protection. They looked scared. They've already experienced enough hate and now your words gave other students even more motivation to sneer at them and call them names. Afterall, you are a teacher and a lawmaker, many young people have taken your words to heart. That happens when you assume a role of responsibility in your community. I seriously think before this week ends that some kids here will be going home bruised and bloody because of what you said.

I have not had a mother for nearly 13 years now and wonder if there were fewer people like you around, people with more love and tolerance in their hearts instead of strife, if my mom would be here to watch me graduate from high school this spring. Now she won't be there. So I'll be packing my things and leaving Oklahoma to go to college elsewhere and one day be a writer and I have no intentions to ever return here. I have no doubt that people like you will incite crazy people to build more bombs and kill more people again. I don't want to be here for that. I just can't go through that again.

You may just see me as a kid, but let me try to teach you something. The old saying is sticks and stones will break your bones, but words will never hurt you. Well, your words hurt me. Your words disrespected the memory of my mom. Your words can cause others to pick up sticks and stones and hurt others.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Homophobe Sally Kern Owes Gays an Apology

Remember when your parents taught you the saying "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me"? And remember when you found out that it isn't quite true, that words do hurt and sometimes they cut deeply?

The homosexual population in the nation is still reeling from Oklahoma Representative Sally Kern's remarks last week. She called homosexuals "worse than terrorists" and claimed that 'Mo's are targeting two year olds in schools. For what? Improper Garanimal-izing of their outfit that day?

The woman believes that as a nation we have less to fear from religious zealot terrorists than we do from homosexuals. Apparently our nation is headed for destruction because Sally says that historically, societies that embrace homosexuality only last for a few decades. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the first steps toward becoming an embraced part of American society started in 1969. We now have gay celebs, lauded homo musicians, even *gasp* political leaders with same sex partners. Get to the bomb shelter, Bessie, the world is a'ending! I mean, really, Sally Kern is a fine upstanding church going woman, she wouldn't spout out lies and encourage fear and hatred, would she? After all, she is a Baptist!

I would be okay with Kern if she had just said "I don't believe it is morally right for two people of the same sex to have a physical, romantic relationship". We are all entitled to our own opinion. But she didn't do that. She just blasted away with untruths passed off as gospel.

I can't help but take Kern's words personally. It was in her hometown of Oklahoma City that I experienced gaybashing. If you've never run from a pickup truck full of drunk rednecks screaming "Ahm gonna git you, faggot!" then you've obviously never patronized gay bars in OKC. The gay community treated it as if it were a game, you know, how many times can you outrun the homophobes in a single weekend? But honestly, there were nights I thought they'd catch us and those baseball bats and swinging chains were mighty scary.

I emailed a letter to Sally Kern but have had no response. I sent it to her office, where I'm certain an aide is in control of sifting through her email. I heard she's had death threats, which is ridiculous. She doesn't need to die. She needs to learn. To grow. To move beyond her baseless hatred and beyond the lies she is clinging to as truth. Oh, yes, she did respond to the negative press and stated that she never said anything untrue. Because homos target 2 year olds and are a larger threat than Al Qaeda. She is embracing her own destructive reality, one that encourages others to believe that gays are second class citizens and evil creatures. She's sending a message to those rednecks I ran from that says loud and clear they are doing the right thing, crushing the homosexual threat.

If you'd like to email Sally Kern, her office address is