From Allen Ginsberg and Arthur Miller to Jon Krakauer and Stephen King, I’ve had the chance to interview some seriously influential authors over the course of my career. But never have I interviewed one as divisive as Salman Rushdie, who recently granted us a 1-on-1 interview to promote the new Midnight’s Children movie, an artful adaptation (from Oscar-nominated director Deepa Mehta) of his breakthrough novel.
Born Ahmed Salman Rushdie in Bombay, India in 1947 into a Muslim family of Kashmiri descent, he started his career as an ad copywriter before becoming a full-time author after his second novel, Midnight’s Children, won the Booker Prize for its unique combination of historical fiction and magical realism.
Of course, Rushdie ultimately became best known for his 1988 novel, The Satanic Verses, which sparked violent protests from Muslims incensed by the creative license the author took in his novel based on the life of the prophet Muhammad. Outraged by blasphemy and a perceived mocking of the Muslim faith, a fatwā calling for Rushdie’s death was issued by Iran’s Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1989.
For over a decade now, Rushdie has lived in the United States, serving since 2007 as Emory University’s Distinguished Writer in Residence in our hometown of Atlanta. He’s been busy writing, working on a sci-fi series for Showtime (which he told me may or may not come to fruition) and releasing Joseph Anton: A Memoir, which details his life during the Satanic Verses fatwā. He also wrote and executive produced the Midnight’s Children movie.
The semi-autobiographical story, which was loosely based on Rushdie’s childhood, deals with India’s rough transition from British colonial to independence, and the extremely bloody partition of the nation. We were delighted to sit down with the knighted author to discuss the new film adaptation, India’s evolution, and the lasting impact the end of the colonial era had on his homeland.
SPECIES: Slow loris (genus Nycticebus)
CURRENT RANGE: Tropical evergreen rainforests across Southeast Asia
CURRENT THREATS: Deforestation and the illegal animal trade
CONSERVATION STATUS: Endangered
WHERE YOU CAN SEE THEM: In Southern Asia (from India east to China and the Philippines) and zoos all over the world
What is it?
Slow Lorises are a group of several species of primates, varying in colour from grey to white depending on their range, with dark rings around their eyes and a stripe running down their back. There are eight valid types of Slow Soris, each with their own variation in colour. Their strong grasp (with both hands and feet) make them accomplished climbers, albeit unhurried. They can grow up to 38cm tall and range in weight depending on the species, from 250g to 2 kilos. Because they’re nocturnal and live in trees, during the day you’ll usually find the slow loris curled up in a tight ball high in the branches, with their head between their thighs. They stir around sunset and walk slowly on all fours, usually alone, through the forest, the males having a larger range than the females. They’re the only primate in the world with a venemous bite, releasing a flesh-rotting poison that can be fatal to humans.
SPECIES: Snow Leopard (Panthera uncia or Uncia uncia)
CURRENT RANGE: Mountain Ranges of Central Asia
CURRENT THREATS: Poaching, Loss of Prey, Conflict with local ranchers and shepherds
CONSERVATION STATUS: Endangered
WHERE YOU CAN SEE THEM: The Himalayas, various mountain ranges in China, Russia & Mongolia
What Is It?
Typically living in alpine and subalpine areas anywhere from 10,000-22,000 feet above sea level, Snow Leopards are a bit smaller than the world’s other big cats, generally weighing 60-120 pounds and measuring just 30-50 inches from the head to the base of the tail. Like feline Hobbits, these beauties are short-legged and stocky, with bodies custom built for the harsh environments in which they dwell. Their fur is thick to protect against the bitter cold; their very long (31-39 inch) tails help maintain balance on rocky mountainous terrain and wrap around their faces like a blanket when they sleep; their paws are wide and have fur on the undersides (like big, hairy snowshoes); their ears are small and rounded to help minimize heat loss; and their nasal cavities are huge to breathe better in thin, cold air. Perhaps most interestingly, the Snow Leopard cannot roar at all, but instead hisses, chuffs, mews, growls and wails.
The coconut is an incredible fruit, used by cultures all around the world. Pacific Islanders call the palm tree “The Tree of Life,” and believe that coconuts can cure just about any imaginable illness. Scientific studies seem to back them up: Raw coconut, coconut oil, coconut milk and coconut butter have all proven to have antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial and anti-parasitic properties. In addition to being a delicious source of fiber, vitamins and minerals (including calcium, potassium and electrolytes), coconut has antioxidant properties for healthy skin, can help prevent osteoporosis, lowers cholesterol and helps prevent heart disease. There are a million different ways you can use coconut in your cooking, but here are a few of our favorite coconut recipes.
• • • • • • •
from The All New All Purpose Joy Of Cooking by Irma S. Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker & Ethan Becker
INGREDIENTS: If they are available, simmer kaffir lime leaves or lemon grass in the coconut milk first for a delicate citrus flavor • 3 cups Chicken Stock • 2 2/3 cups unsweetened coconut milk • 2 small Thai peppers or 3 fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded and sliced • 3 Tbsp Thai fish sauce (nam pla) or soy sauce • 1 tsp minced peeled fresh ginger • 1/8 tsp salt • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced, • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice • Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish
DIRECTIONS: Bring Chicken Stock and coconut milk to a boil in a soup pot. • Reduce heat and stir in peppers, fish sauce, ginger, salt. • Simmer for 10 minutes, then stir in chicken breasts and lime juice. • Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. • Ladle into warmed bowls, and garnish with cilantro.
from A Taste of Africa by Dorina Hafner
This curry (pronounced ‘sah-ma-ki wah nahzi’) is popular among the coastal dwellers of Tanzania and on Zanzibar (a.k.a. ”the Island of the Spices”).
INGREDIENTS: 2 lb firm fish (e.g. tuna, snapper, salmon or trevally) • salt to taste • 3 Tb vegetable oil • 1 medium onion, chopped • 2 cloves garlic, crushed • I Tbsp curry powder • 2 Tbsp tomato paste • 1-2 chilies (hot peppers, optional) • juice of ½ lemon • ¾ pt coconut milk
DIRECTIONS: Clean and rinse the fish, then season with salt. • Heat the oil in a pan and brown the fish. • Set aside and keep warm. • In the same oil, fry onion until brown. • Add the garlic and stir; cook for 1 minute then add the curry powder, tomato paste, chilies (hot peppers optional) and lemon juice. • Mix well and keep stirring so the mixture does not burn. • Cook for 2-3 minutes. • Add the coconut milk and stir until it boils. • Turn the heat down and add the fried fish. • Simmer for about 10 minutes to allow the flavors to concentrate and sauce to thicken to a creamy consistency. • Serve hot with boiled or fried rice.
from The Healthy Voyager’s Global Kitchen by Carolyn Scott-Hamilton
INGREDIENTS: 3 cups coconut flakes • ½ cup all-purpose flour • 4 eggs yolks • 1 cup packed brown sugar • ¼ tsp salt • ½ cup butter • 2 Tb vanilla extract • ½ cup chocolate chips
DIRECTIONS: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease two 13 x 9 in cookie sheets. • In a large bowl, thoroughly mix the coconut, flour, egg yolks, brown sugar, salt, butter and vanilla together into a dough. • Divide the dough into 24 uniform balls, place on greased cookie sheets, and bake for about 35 minutes until golden. • Remove from the oven and let cool. • Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler and drizzle on top of the cookies. • For extra crunchiness, add finely chopped walnuts or pecans to the cookie batter. • For extra sweetness, drizzle some caramel on top as well.
If you enjoyed reading 3 Delicious Coconut Recipes, you might also like:
(The following is a guest post by writer/photographer Matt Gibson. For more of Matt’s work, check out his blog, Facebook and Twitter. If you’re a blogger interested in contributing a guest post, please contact Editor In Chief Bret Love at GreenGlobalTravel@gmail.com.)
Taipei, Taiwan is well known for its rich culture, museums, and food. What most people don’t realize, though, is that Taipei is very close to mountains, rivers and the ocean (there are actually several mountains within the city limits). With a far-reaching, efficient rail and bus system, it’s actually easy for visitors to get out for some healthy outdoor adventures. Here are a few of my personal favorites: