7 Ingredient Slow Cooker Pozole (with 5 min prep!)

I forgot to take a picture of the dish. I was too busy eating it all GONE. Oops. This image courtesy of Wikipedia.

I’m always looking for easy to cook meals, especially ones with very few ingredients. I like things simple and graceful.

Yesterday I concocted a recipe for pozole by taking a longer recipe and condensing the ingredients. For example, instead of starting with raw tomatoes and adding spices, I just substituted fire-roasted canned tomatoes.

Yes, I know this is Americanized and that your Mexican grandma would smack me in the head for this. It ain’t authentic. But it must be good because my wife — a.k.a. “the picky eater” — actually had seconds!

7 Ingredient Pozole

  • Cubed boneless pork , 1-1/2 lbs (something with a little fat is better than super lean meat — I used pork chops because they were on sale)
  • One coarsely chopped medium yellow onion.
  • A can of whole yellow hominy (juice and all)
  • A can of fire roasted tomatoes (juice and all)
  • Chicken broth, 2 cups (I used water and 2 bullion cubes)
  • Cumin, 1/2 to 1 tsp (to taste)
  • Chili sauce, 1/4 to 1/2 cup (to taste — I used Heinz brand).

Cut up the pork and onions and throw them in the slow cooker. Open cans and dump them in. Add broth and seasoning. Stir it up. Cook on lowest setting about 8 hours. Serve with sliced radishes and a spoon of coleslaw in the center of the bowl and with crisped tortilla chips, sour cream, and salsa on the side.

My Great Grandfather Adam Naf, 16th Century Hero and Swordsman

 

First, let me say thanks to a blog follower named Tim who asked me some questions about the Naff family and, as a result, I ended up re-reading my mother‘s genealogy book entitled, A Genealogy of the Ancestors and Descendants of Jacob Naff Sr. and Marvin Edward Naff of Virginia by Betty Naff Mitchell,

It turns out that my great grandfather Adam Näf fought in the battle of Kappel with great distinction.  Here’s the story, courtesy of the Janet and Robert Wolfe Genealogy page:

“The Forest troops were pressed back but about five in the evening the tide of battle turned…the standard bearer  [John Schweizer] refused to give way. The battle became very fierce around the standard bearer but he would not yield ground…He was forced into the stream and the weight of his armor bore him down and he was drowned. Kleinsbaus Kambli rescued the banner. As he seized the banner he was rushed by a number of the enemy. He cried out, “Is there no honorable Zuricher here to save his army’s banner?”  Adam Näf of Vollenweid responded to the cry. Adam was an axguard who under Hans Huber of Tufenbach had come to defend Zürich. His father and two brothers were also in the battle as well as two sons. Adam Näf attacked with his broad sword and cut off the head of the man who had seized the banner. Kambli was again able to hold the banner high and retreat in an orderly fashion. In the retreat there were 512 soldiers left behind including Adam’s father, Hans, and his two brothers… On November 15-16, ambassadors from both sides met to arrange terms of a peace and on the 20th the treaty was ratified.”

Betty Mitchell — August 2nd 1937 ~ January 13th 2016

Näfenhaus still stands, now the property of the the Naefenstiftung, a charitable organization that helps poor members of the Naff family and arranges holiday celebrations at the house.

Thanks Mom, for writing your incredible book book for me and the family.  I’m so proud of you and of my heritage.

 

Dark Forest: Training Involution #127

Sir Gawain as illustrated by Frederic Lawrence in “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” (1912)

“Gawain, the nephew of King Arthur, rose and suggested a vow. ‘I propose,’ he said, ‘that we all now set forth in quest to behold that Grail unveiled.’ And so it was that they agreed. There then comes a line that, when I read it, burned itself into my mind. ‘They thought it would be a disgrace to go forth in a group. Each entered the forest at the point that he himself had chosen, where it was darkest, and there was no way or path.’ No way or path! Because where there is a way or path, it is someone else’s path. And that is what marks the Western spirit distinctly from We the Eastern.”

― Joseph Campbell, Thou Art That, Transforming Religious Metaphor (The book Campbell is referring to is the 13th century work “Queste del Saint Graal.”)


The insight of the 13th-century author who so inspired Campbell is amazing.

Then as now, our quest is to find our way in the world — to explore the dark and fearful places we instinctively fear to go.

Sir Gawain’s shield bears the five-pointed star, a symbol of truth and revelation.  The truth lies in the darkness of the unknown forest. Pursuing the truth requires bravery and the willingness to accept the truth once you find it.

Here’s some truth for you regarding my rule progress under the new program.  This month I’m working on getting my “B” (daily contemplation), “Q” (daily journal entries) and “O” (a three-mile tire run in under 40 minutes).  So far I haven’t missed any journal entries or contemplation days, and I’ve carried that insufferable tire through 6 runs, one that was 2 miles, but I still haven’t hit the 3-miles-in-40-minutes mark yet.

Where are you in the program?  Which marks are you going to earn this month?  You must enter the forest where it is the darkest, thickest, and most tangled.

Dark Forest: Training Involution #127

  1. 4 x 4 all-in conditioner.  4 sets of each: 4 Handstand Push-ups (substitute Jackknife Push-ups if needed), 4 Wrestling Shots each side (4 with left foot lead, 4 with right foot lead), 4 Back Bridges (the heaviest bag you can manage — I used a #80), and 4 max power combos vs. heavy bag (min 8 strikes per combo).
  2. Explore the Dark Forest.  Pick one of the 39 achievement marks and get started.  Many of them require consistent actions over the course of an entire month, but some of them you might be able to achieve right now!  And if you don’t have a ruler because you’re not a member of the Richmond temple or you aren’t enrolled in the Cabal Fang Hermit Path Distance Learning Program — what are you waiting for?  It’s free — shoot me an email and let’s go!

The UFC is Not Martial Arts

I stopped watching combat sports in 2016 because I didn’t want to support head trauma, bad behavior, and pointless violence.  My final pay-for-view was UFC 199.  And, since I don’t watch the news any more, I didn’t hear about the catastrophe that was UFC 229 until a full week after it happened.†

When I did hear about it, I didn’t comment.  In my mind, it was a perfect example of why I stopped watching.  So why comment?

But yesterday my friend Leo suggested that the UFC is not martial arts at all.  And he sent me a link to a video by Shane Fazen from the FightTips YouTube channel, and here it is:

At the risk of offending his clientele, Shane makes several great points, the most important of which is that…

The UFC is not martial arts.

Bravo Leo and Shane.  I agree.

I started Cabal Fang martial arts back in 2009 as a reaction to what I saw (and continue to see) happening in martial arts.  UFC demonstrated that certain traditional martial arts techniques did not perform as advertised.  It turned out that the “karate chop” wasn’t lethal, “chi power” didn’t work, board-smashing skills weren’t applicable in the ring, fitness was a more important than anyone thought, and that a one-dimensional martial artist who could strike but not wrestle or vice versa couldn’t win matches.

These were great lessons.  But people were forgetting the most important one.

It doesn’t matter if you win or lose.  It’s how you play the game.

We teach our kids this wisdom (or we should), and then we proceed to give our money and attention to trash-talking miscreants who are the antithesis of the ideal.

Traditional martial arts were slow to adapt.  Convinced that traditional martial arts don’t work, students began leaving Karate schools to sign up for BJJ or MMA “mixed martial arts” programs — both of which are devoid of all spiritual and/or character development.

This is why I developed Cabal Fang — a new and yet traditional martial art that incorporates the discoveries outlined above as well as the perennial spiritual wisdom of our ancestors.  Just because you cannot tap a guy out with meditation techniques or win a championship belt on good behavior doesn’t mean these things don’t have value.

Martial arts are not about what works in the ring — they are about works in life.

I felt then, and feel even more strongly now, that a martial art without a spiritual center is like a loaded gun in the hands of person with no gun safety education.   Should you show a person how to choke the life out of someone without teaching them the who, what, when, where and why — without teaching the value of a life?

If you do not elevate fighting to an art form you do not have a martial art.  You just have a fight.

A martial art without a spiritual center is not a martial art — It is a combat sport.

Do combat sports have value?  Can we learn anything from them?  Should they exist?  That’s a different conversation we can certainly have.

I’ve been in Shootfighting, BJJ and Savate programs, I’m currently an apprentice coach under Mark Hatmaker, the other day I posted a tribute to the great kickboxer Benny Urquidez, etc. etc.  Clearly I think there’s some value in combat sports.  But I also wish I hadn’t been concussed so many times, I worry about the fighters, and Benny is a very spiritual guy and a traditional martial artist.  Nuance is important.  But let’s not be led astray by nuance and miss the point.

Let’s stop using the terms “MMA” and “mixed martial arts”  which are very misleading.

Combat sports are not martial arts.

——————————————————-

† Fun fact: I rely almost entirely on the Sunday Edition of the Richmond Times Dispatch for my news.  That, and whatever filters down to me through friends and the 15 minutes per day I devote to social media.  You would not believe how much happier and productive I am since I stopped watching TV news.

Training Involution # 126: A Tribute to Benny “The Jet” Urquidez

I am camping with the family this weekend. So, in lieu of the weekly Training Involution, I present the following missive a day early. Enjoy! ~Mitch


A Tribute to Benny “The Jet” Urquidez

When I mention Benny “The Jet” Urquidez I usually get a blank stare.  Those who do know who Benny is are movie fans.  They remember him as the bad guy from Grosse Point Blank or Wheels on Meals.  It stupefies me that any martial artist could be unaware of who this man is, kind of like when I’m talking to someone about history and they don’t know who Hannibal was (that would be Barca, not Lecter).

Before there was MMA or UFC, before K1 or PRIDE, this guy had more black belts than most people have slacks.  Judo, Karate, Jiujitsu, Taekwondo, the list goes on.  And on.  And on.  He has nine black belts.

Here’s a clip of the Jet showing off his Judo skills.  Watch as his opponent spits out his mouthpiece and wallows around like a worm in hot ashes.  As it happens, that whole wallowing around thing, that was a fairly common occurrence among his opponents, a common denominator of sorts.

Back in the 70s I used to turn on the TV and watch him knock guys out.  I do not mean that metaphorically.  In any given match there was in fact a 90% chance he was going win by knocking out his opponent.  He earned six championship belts in five different weight classes, and his record was 63-2, 57 by K.O. (and the two losses are contested).

if you found yourself in the opposite corner from the Jet, you might as take a couple of Lunesta and lay down on the canvas.  You were going to end up there eventually, so why not save yourself the pain and EMBARRASSMENT and just go to sleep peacefully?

Here’s a highlight reel below.  Thank me now.

Study this guy.  Look at his combos, his body mechanics, his power, his conditioning, and his precision which are all as close to perfect as you’re going to find.  Be like that if you can.

Square 1: Training Involution #125

Sir Gawain with his shield bearing the pentangle or pentagram as illustrated by yours truly in “Cabal Fang: Complete Martial Arts Study Course from Querent to Elder”

I founded Cabal Fang martial arts, I wrote the curriculum, and I’ve met every requirement hundreds of times.  But hat doesn’t mean I’m any better than anybody else.  That’s why I’m starting over.

We just announced our revised Cabal Fang martial arts rank advancement and achievement tracking method called the Cord and Rule, which serves a purpose simiar to the colored belt ranking systems pioneered by Jigoro Kano.¹  I could justify marking up my rule completely full and tying on my completed cord.

But I’m not.  I’m untying all the knots in my cord and I’m starting with a blank ruler as if I was a new student.  Leaders lead from the front.

Square 1: Training Involution #125

  • 100 Get-ups.  Beginners, get it done in under 15 mins.  Intermediates, 10 mins.  Advanced, finish in 8 mins or less.
  • 1 mile tire run.  Pick up an auto tire, put it over your shoulder like a courier bag, and run one mile.  No tire?  Use a backpack with water bottles.  Switch shoulders often.  Gloves and a sweatshirt advised.  Beginners use smaller tires and take your time.  Tire sizes are complex.  Roughly speaking, the bigger the final two digits in the tire size (the diameter of the hole in inches) the heavier the tire.  A 14″ tire averages about 15 pounds, a 15″ about 20 lbs., a 16″ about 22 lbs and a 17″ tire can weigh up to 35 lbs.   I used a 16″ (a 205/65R16) and finished in a rather middling 14:32.
  • Cool down by walking it off for 3 minutes.  Then stretch out.
  • Re-read Chapter 18: The Pentagram in the Cabal Fang Study Guide.  “Gawain was faithful in five and five-fold, for pure was he as gold, void of all villainy and endowed with all virtues. Therefore he bare the pentangle on shield and surcoat as truest of heroes and gentlest of knights.”  From the 14th-century masterpiece  Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

¹  One of the things that makes Cabal Fang unique is that we have initiations known as trials, and they are inspired by the Western Mystery Tradition.  I don’t think Jigoro Kano ever did anything quite like what we’re doing, but I do think it’s interesting that used similar language when he received his first real martial arts rank:

“I told Mr. Iikubo [Kano’s teacher] about this, explaining that the throw should be applied after one has broken the opponent’s posture. Then he said to me: “This is right. I am afraid I have nothing more to teach you.”  Soon afterward, I was initiated in the mystery of Kito-ryu jujitsu and received all his books and manuscripts of the school.”  ~Jigoro Kano, Founder of Judo (full quote here)

My DIY Adventure Trailer Build

So, I just built an adventure trailer (a.k.a. a bug-out trailer, expedition trailer, camping trailer, etc.).  Why?

  1. I love camping.
  2. I’d go more often if I didn’t have to haul my equipment in and out of the attic every time.
  3. I want to travel more.  Camping is more frugal and fun than staying in hotels.
  4. Why a trailer and not a camper?  A trailer is way cheaper than a camper.  Besides, I have a mattress and a camper shell for my truck and sometimes I want to sleep in a tent anyways.

This thing cost me less than a thousand bucks to build.  Here’s the breakdown:

Item  Amount 
Lowes 40″ x 60″ basked trailer  $  459.00
Title tags, registration  $  166.00
Hardware and accessories  $    21.94
Paint and sundries  $    61.10
Wood, glue, screws  $  115.59
TOTAL:  $  823.63

And here are some build pics.

Here’s to great adventures!

 

The empty trailer straight from Lowes

The basic frame made from 2 x 4s, secured with 2 5/8″ deck screws and exterior grade construction adhesive.

The dorky white rims that came with the trailer had to go.

…so I sprayed them black with Rustoleum gloss black my masking off the tire and the nuts. Getting the back was kind of a pain, but no big deal.

Here’s the frame after the screw holes were puttied and the first coat of premium house paint was applied. The space under the frame is for waterproof storage bins with wheels.

Here’s the storage cabinet on the passenger side after the first coat of paint.

Close up of the cabinet after attachment to the frame. FYI, I did not build or design this cabinet I just modified and repurposed it slightly. My father-in-law made it for my brother-in-law. Plastic storage boxes fit perfectly into those cubbies.

This is the black truck box on driver side — I already had it laying around so I used it to save money.

Almost there. Everything is on the frame at least, just waiting for hardware on order and for the muscle to put it on the trailer.

The finished product! Note the open space at the front with the low deck — two coolers fit there perfectly!