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The Jonah Keri Podcast, Episode 19

26 January 2011

My guest this week is Alex Belth. Alex is the proprietor of the Bronx Banter blog covering the New York Yankees and other topics, and a columnist for He’s the driving force behind the superb book, Lasting Yankee Stadium Memories: Unforgettable Tales from the House That Ruth Built with contributions from Bob Costas, Leigh Montville, William Nack, Jane Leavy, Joe Posnanski, Rob Neyer, Mike Vaccaro, Tony Kornheiser, Dave Kindred and a million other esteemed writers…and also uhhhh, me. You can also check out The Best Sports Writing of Pat Jordan, a series of essays by the great sportswriter Pat Jordan, compiled by Alex. Finally, check out Alex’s excellent Curt Flood biography, Stepping Up: The Story of All-Star Curt Flood and His Fight for Baseball Players’ Rights. Follow Alex on Twitter @AlexBelth.

The topics we cover:

  • 2:00-24:47: Alex worked in films for eight years, including on…The Big Lebowski! Enjoy this lengthy and fun segment wherein Alex discusses his Lebowski experiences, while throwing in some Robert De Niro, Woody Allen, Jon Stewart, and yes, Coen brothers stories.
  • 24:48-32:43: Alex also worked on Ken Burns’s Baseball
  • 32:44-42:43: The rise of Bronx Banter, one of the most unique baseball blogs around (you should check out Emma Span’s awesome book too, by the way — 90% of the Game Is Half Mental)
  • 42:44-56:17: Interlocking topics: The importance of community in the blogosphere, and the lost art of quality writing
  • 56:18-57:30: A Montreal bagels discussion! I swear, I didn’t start it.
  • 57:31-1:04:59: Alex describes the process that led to Lasting Yankee Stadium Memories
  • 1:05:00-1:11:33: A new A-Rod book is on the way, apparently. Plus a discussion of author access, and how to work around it.
  • 1:11:34-1:13:16: Self-promotion is an art form (and thanks for not judging me!)
  • 1:13:27-end: Food Pick of the Week

My pick
Alex’s pick

Dr. F’s Superamazing Guacamole Recipe! (with annotation, because it’s from Dr. F)
4-6 ripe avocados (requires planning ahead a few days)
1 lime (not for flavor, just to keep the avocado from turning brown; if you want a stronger lime flavor, use more limes)
1 pomegranate
handful of chopped cilantro
green onions, red onions, garlic, cayenne pepper, and/or chili peppers per your preference
a tomato or two, seeded and chopped, if you feel like it
salt and pepper to taste
unequivocally NO sour cream

* Remove seeds from pomegranate. If you do this inside a large bowl of water (score the peel lengthwise and then lengthwise in a different direction first), under the surface of the water, you can avoid juice stains on your clothes, plus the membranes will float to the surface. Set seeds aside. Or since this step takes longer than the rest of the recipe, you can be lazy and buy pomegranate seeds, although Dr. F would never do this.
* Mash avocados — using fork, mortar and pestle, potato masher, or your hands.
* Squeeze juice of 1 lime into avocados and mix well.
* Mix in cilantro, onions, spices, salt and pepper.
* Gently fold 3/4 of pomegranate seeds into guacamole to avoid breaking seeds.
* Dish guacamole into serving bowl — Dr. F likes to put the guacamole into pottery she has made herself, but that isn’t integral to the recipe.
* Arrange the remaining seeds on top decoratively. At Christmas you can make a little wreath; on Valentine’s Day you can make a heart; and so on. Or, throw them on top haphazardly.

Player embedded below. To download, right click here.

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