Monday, December 20, 2010

Three radically different novels

Over the past year, I have uploaded three radically-different novels, OOOEELIE, THE HERO, and THE TRUCKERS, onto the web primarily via Kindle, Amazon, and Smashwords.
Writers often tend to tell the same story in different forms in their train of books. Obviously, I have successfully avoided that dip in the road:
OOOEELIE’s protagonist is an Airedale, the reincarnation of a canine creature on an interstellar journey who crash-landed on earth tens of thousands of years ago. Ever since, as in all good dog stories, Oooeelie has been trying to find a way home to his planet in the Sirius (Dog Star) system. He has come down to modern times through a chain of lives as a dog with two natures: the superior being and the animal.
Ryan Garrity, whose dream of a career as a professional soldier was shattered on a battlefield in Korea, is the protagonist of THE HERO. Ryan is a bookstore operator, who suffers from the guilt of failing to have expressed gratitude to the soldier who courageously saved his life. After returning to civilian life Ryan’s savior is killed saving a young woman from an onrushing subway train in Queens. The plot of THE HERO spins around Ryan’s effort told against a background of mysticism, arrogant duplicity and murder to determine why the soldier was denied a Congressional Medal of Honor.
THE TRUCKERS is a novelistic sequel to my nonfiction book, COLLISION, about Ron Carey’s successful campaign to capture the presidency of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters from the union’s old guard. There are two protagonists in THE TRUCKERS: Tommy Kerrigan and Helmut Knall who are uneasy allies dedicated to transforming the nation’s largest union, the Truckers International Union, into a progressive force capable of dragging the American labor movement out of the quagmire that is sucking it under. Tommy emerges as a legendary hero experiencing great triumphs and tragedy. Helmut is the unwavering force behind the Truckers rank and file reform movement.

A suggestion: my novel, THE TRUCKERS, has been described as a fun read. It is serious and tragic too. Try it free on KindleSmashwordsBarnes and Noble, or Apple.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Cuban Pork for Next Thanksgiving

Every Thanksgiving for the past decade or more, my family has gathered around the dining room table for our annual Thanksgiving feast: Cuban Pork.
I had lost my taste for turkey and had been searching for a substitute roast when I came across a recipe for Cuban Pork in one of the cooking magazines to which I subscribe. I’m not sure which one. When my daughter, Carol, recently asked me for the recipe, I did what everyone does in search of information, I turned to the internet.
I found the exact same recipe I have been using on Recipe:
Pierna De Puerco Asada (Roasted Fresh Ham)
SERVES 10- 15
Unsmoked (fresh) ham makes a delicious roast pork.
1 15-18 lb. fresh ham on the bone
Juice of 12 bitter oranges or 8 sweet oranges and 4 limes
1 head garlic, cloves separated, peeled, and minced
Pinch dried oregano

Trim off ham's outer skin and score fat about 1/2 inch deep in a diamond
pattern. Put ham in a roasting pan and set aside. Mix juice, garlic, and
oregano in a bowl and season to taste with salt. Reserving 1/2 cup, pour
juice mixture over ham, rubbing garlic into scored fat. Cover with plastic
wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Remove plastic wrap, then bake ham, basting occasionally with reserved juice mixture, until internal temperature reaches
170° on a meat thermometer, about 5 hours. Allow to rest 20 minutes before carving.

Note: We serve the Cuban Pork with black beans and rice. My recipe for the black beans:
Three cans of Bush’s black beans; two cans of chopped tomatoes; three packets of Goya spices that is “Sazon Goya sin achiote”; chop up two onions and two peppers.
Sauté the onions and pepper briefly. Add rest of the ingredients. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes.
Best consumed with a pinot noir or a dry white wine. My sons prefer beer. If you can find it, try Polar Beer—once brewed in Cuba, now Venezuela.
I fell in love with Cuban food back in 1971 when the Newsday Investigative Team spent three months in the Miami area as part of an investigation of President Richard Nixon’s pal, Bebe Rebozo.

A suggestion: My novel, THE PENCIL ARTIST is available as an e-book on Smashwords, Kindle, and Barnes and Noble; as a paperback on Amazon.