In the new edition of J. Gerlach’s Simple History series Crusades zine we look at the period between 1095 and 1229, a time of widespread cruelty, political expansion, and religious hypocrisy. As Gerlach says in the zine’s intro, “It is said that religious differences have caused most wars. Certainly this reasoning could be applied to the Crusades—a battle of Christians against Muslims for control of the ‘Holy Land.’ But as in other ‘religious wars,’ religion was not the main reason to fight.” What comes next is an intelligent, fast-faced look at the hows and whys of this dark (and oft romanticized) spot in our history. Gerlach’s illustrated, 48-page take on the Crusades is an accessible but richly detailed piece of cultural documentation. In this day of terrorists and nationalism, oil-wars and martyrs, this text will ring true to modern readers. The big, hot button themes—jihad, imperialism, propaganda, religious fervor—are all the same and the result can be chilling. As says Gerlach, “It goes back and forth, with no end in sight.” Scary and synchronistic, this is the most relevant Simple History zine yet.
Joshua Ploeg is the author of the vegan cookbook In Search of the Lost Taste and the raw food zine, So Raw It’s Downright Filthy (as well as a buncha sweet zines.) He recently contributed a whole batch of recipes to Let Gluten Freedom Ring, curated by Microcosm’s own Adam Gnade. Here’s one of Joshua’s recipes from said GF zine.
GLUTEN-FREE SUGAR COOKIES
BY JOSHUA PLOEG
2 cup almond flour
1 cup rice flour
1/4 cup to 1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/2 tsp each baking powder and baking soda
1/4 cup to 1/3 cup coconut cream
1/2 to 3/4 cup earth balance
1 1/4 to 2 cup sugar
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp cornstarch or arrowroot powder
A pinch of salt
A little almond flavoring if you wish
A little coconut milk or almond milk to help bind
Cream together Earth Balance, vanilla, coconut cream, sugar, and xanthan gum. Mix dry ingredients together in another bowl. Mix the wet and dry together, until a dough forms, form into a ball. You may add more flours or liquid if needed to create a workable dough. Roll out on a floured board and cut into shapes. Thickness depends on your taste, the thinner the dough the crispier the cookie will be. It might be wise to pick them up with a small spatula since gluten-free cookies can sometimes break apart more easily. Place on lightly greased or parchment-lined cookie sheets and bake at 350 degrees for 7 to 11 minutes (depending on how browned you want them to be). Allow to cool briefly and then carefully remove them with a spatula and set aside to cool. This dough can also be rolled into a log and wrapped and chilled then cut into slices, refrigerator cookie style, then baked if that’s easier for you.
BY JOSHUA PLOEG
1 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 tbsp margarine/Earth Balance (or coconut cream)
1 tsp vanilla
Water, a few drops at a time if/as needed
Food coloring if you like. Mix together and frost your cookies.
It’s the Rad Dad Occupy issue! In issue #21, Rad Dad editor Tomas Moniz and co. take on the recent global occupations from a radical parent’s perspective. Are potentially volatile protests like Occupy Wall Street kid-friendly? Are the folks behind the Occupy events organized enough to keep your children safe should the balance of power tip? Issue #21’s contributors tackle the topic from a variety of angles, giving a balanced, clear-eyed spectrum of advice. Also in this issue is a series of non-Occupy writing, including a heartfelt essay on keeping your daughter off the stripper pole, a feature about the Foxfire Book series as a remedy for end-of-empire blues, and much more! Hot on the heals of the Rad Dad book, issue 21 is a sure-fire sign that Tomas and his contributors are not slowing down any time soon. This classic for-radical-parents by-radical-parents publication is essential reading for parents and non-parents alike.
Zinemaker Karla Keffer recently veganized a recipe from East Village Inky/Zinester’s Guide to NYC author Ayun Halliday. As big fans of vegan cooking and all-things-Ayun, we asked Karla if we could post it on our blog. The results are below. Oh, and keep an eye out for Karla’s vegan bake zine, which she says will be finished around the 2012 elections. Without further adieu…
This is pretty awesome. The author of the Body Conscious Birth Control zine gave us a batch of handmade patches to give away with her zine. SO, the next few orders of BCBC will get one of these beauts! Adam from the Kansas distro space says there’s only about nine left, so act quick!
Devoted to trainhopping and train culture, Railroad Semantics describes the sights, sounds, successes, and defeats of riding around the U.S. in near-poetic detail. This first issue explores a round-trip, early-spring train ride from Portland to Pocatello and back, as well as a long, winter ride to Eugene. It features a wide array of articles on railroads and rail-related activity, letters, postcards, and is full of absolutely gorgeous photographs of landscapes and hobo graffiti! A poetic sense of adventure captured in words, pictures, and scenic vistas!.