Steak and ale pie

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By the time this paper is printed and distributed around campus, St. Patrick’s Day will have come and gone. At the time of writing this column, however, this special day hasn’t quite arrived; which is why I’ve decided to feature a uniquely Irish sounding dish that is best enjoyed while ignoring the subtle distinction between cultural appropriation and cultural exchange.

What you’ll need:

  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Potatoes
  • Onions
  • Mushrooms
  • A pad of butter
  • Breadcrumbs
  • ¾ cup of milk (or buttermilk if you’re fancy)
  • Pie crust
  • An egg (beaten)
  • 1 ½ lbs of stew meat
  • Pepper jack and gouda cheese
  • Kitchen bouquet meat browning sauce
  • One can of cheap or Irish sounding beer
  • Garlic salt

First, prepare the stew meat by dumping it into a large bowl, along with half your can of beer and a few dashes of the browning sauce. Kitchen Bouquet browning sauce is pretty great for hamburgers and meatloaf as well, so don’t feel bad if you are forced to buy it because your kitchen is lacking. I’m sure there’s a generic brand that’s half a cent or two cheaper, but I’m not sure what that would be called. All you need to know is that it has a yellow label and comes in a strange shaped brown plastic vial.

While your meat is marinating in beer and browning sauce, slice up enough of the vegetables to fill up a large pan, and begin cooking it in butter on medium heat. Add a healthy amount of garlic salt and give it a stir every once and a while, but let it cook till the mushrooms get kinda wilty and there is a little bit of liquid forming in the bottom of the pan. Now, there are a lot of people who think mushrooms are gross, but those people are wrong. Every once in a while, a journalist has to take a stance that might jeopardize readership, and this is one of those moments. Include mushrooms because mushrooms are actually really great and they make everything better.

Once the vegetables are cooked down to an appropriate degree (you will know, this isn’t rocket surgery), dump them into a bowl – now it is time for the meat. You want to get the meat into the pan without all the gross meat-beer it’s been soaking in, so use tongs or a fork or your hands to transfer the little chunks into the pan, but be careful not to burn yourself. You are all adults, and you can make your own decisions on how you like your beef cooked, but this isn’t a beautiful steak that needs to be taken care of like a rare Chinese panda; this is stew meat that is going to be thrown into a pie with gravy and then baked. Cook it till it’s not bloody anymore and then transfer it to a dish. You want to leave the drippings in the pan though; so, again, use tongs or a fork or your hands, but probably not your hands because this time the meat is going to be hot.

Once you’ve got a pan full of hot beer-meat drippings, turn up the heat to medium-high and add the rest of your beer to the pan. Same as with the beer cheese, you want to see the beer do that strange yeast reaction thing where it froths up a crazy amount. Before it gets too crazy, turn off the heat (remove it from the burner if you don’t have a gas stove), add the milk, and stir the Irish evil out of it with a whisk. The milk will have cooled the contents of your pan enough to now add a little of both kinds of cheese. I like this to be more gravy than cheese, but do what makes you happy. I won’t ever fault someone for using extra cheese. Stir it till it’s fully melted (and I can’t stress this enough: if you need to use heat while adding the cheese to get it to melt, make it very low heat so it doesn’t break), and get your oven preheated to 425°F.

I’m only gonna say this once: who are you trying to impress? Buy your pie crusts. They come in packs of two where I get them, and you’re gonna have enough filling to make two of these bad boys. Nobody will know the difference because, in my experience, everyone will have been drinking. Add an equal amount of all the fillings to both pie pans, or pans that you are baking your pies in, and then top with the cheesy beer gravy stuff. Top with the pie crust, brush the top of them with a well beaten egg, and wait for the oven to finish preheating. Once it is, stick it in the oven until the juices begin bubbling up and the crust is sufficiently browned.

 

Photos by Kyle Fierstien

Flying Fruit and Starbucks join forces to empower youth

 Cafe at UB Law works hard to improve Baltimore

By Elizabeth McMahon

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Flying Fruit Cafe, located on the sixth floor of the UB Law School, became a “Proudly We Serve” Starbucks location on March 1.

“We’re going to keep our fruit shakes and smoothies, and we are working on our own spin on Frappuccinos,” Leorah Weiss-Newall, service coordinator and supervisor of the cafe, told the UB Post. “It’s been a lot busier since Starbucks came in. This year has been our busiest yet.”

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Flying Fruit Cafe is part of the Choice Program, operating out of the University of Maryland, which provides advocacy, education and job training for at-risk youth in Maryland with limited resources. The Choice Program works with youths referred by the Department of Juvenile Services and the Department of Social Services, as well as students in three Baltimore City schools.

“We provide aggressive intervention to stabilize young people in their communities,” Zeevelle Nottingham-Lemon, Associate Director of social enterprise and jobs programming, shared of the Choice Program’s foster care diversion and suspension reduction efforts.

The Choice Program’s social enterprises include the Flying Fruit Cafe at UB, as well as two fruit shake stands downtown, both called Flying Fruit Fantasy.

Choice provides education in a classroom setting to its youth, then places them in real jobs to get acquainted with the work force. “They get a full curriculum on work skills, like how to get up on time, work around their housing challenges, and how to be successful at work,” Nottingham-Lemon told The UB Post. “Every youth is fully immersed in a training program, learning what it really means to interact with customers.”

DSC_1803_EDITEDEnjoy a muffin guilt-free, with every purchase benefitting the Choice Program.

After six weeks of job-readiness education with the Choice Program’s Americorps fellows, students work for a full semester at one of the Flying Fruit locations.

“I’m hoping we can funnel most of our kids into Starbucks,” Weiss-Newell shared. “We’re moving our educational program into the Starbucks Opportunity Cafe,” a new location that opened on Friday, March 17 at 1812 Ashland Avenue in East Baltimore.

Starbucks Opportunity Cafes partner with non-profits to provide education, training and job readiness to young people in areas with limited resources. At the Ashland Avenue location, the Choice Program will be the resident non-profit.

“Starbucks has been amazing,” Nottingham-Lemon gushed. They have hosted few hiring events for Choice Program youths, and extended job offers to 35 of them so far.

The Flying Fruit Cafe accepts Bee Cards and has a loyalty drink program. They have spacious tables, bright natural light and, of course, a strong focus on customer service.

The Choice Program has “plenty of volunteer opportunities, including a community event on the anniversary of the Baltimore uprising,” Weiss-Newall shared. “Art Rising” will be held on April 26 at 1309 Homewood Avenue (two blocks from UB) from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and will be an opportunity for community members to gather, reflect, create art, listen to local music and enjoy food together.

Nottingham-Lemon encourages “any local artists willing to run workshops or people interested in coaching our summer basketball camp” to get involved with Choice. All of their events and news can be found on The Choice Program Facebook page.

 

Photos by Hailey Chaudron

Meet the best, learn from the best at Merrick Engages

As a business student, I am often told to have my elevator pitch ready. When this topic comes up, those Wall Street movies come to mind – you know the ones. The young kid who is running his paper route gets into the elevator with the CEO of an investment firm, and by the time they are at the 14th floor, they are business partners. This always left me scratching my head – it seemed so unnatural and unrealistic.

Fortunately, the Dean of the Merrick School, Murray Diezel, created a way for us to meet important business leaders – in an environment much more comfortable than an elevator. In his series, titled Merrick Engages, Diezel invites UB students to join him in conversation with these special guests. This semester, discussions revolve around the tagline, “How well run businesses can make an impact.”

The most recent conversation, held March 2, 2017, featured Lane Epperson and Eric Becker. Epperson is the president and CEO of HiTech Assets, an innovative technology recycling firm. Becker is the founder of Caretta – a private equity firm – investing and developing promising businesses.

Merrick Engages 2_EDITEDLane Epperson gives his perspective on a business topic.

This conversation started off with typical business topics like strategy, innovation, logistics, and management. Sure, topics like sustainability and care for the environment were mentioned, but the focus on profitability still seemed to dominate. I was a little concerned that the talk would never tie back into benefiting the company’s stakeholders.

Midway through the conversation, Becker mentioned something that had nothing to do with profitability. There was something more. He described a time when he was walking around the electronic recycling plant in Oklahoma City. One of the line workers came up and told him how grateful he was for his job. This recollection brought Becker to a moment of profound reflection.

After the formal discussion, I asked Becker to tell me a little more about that situation. He said, “I always knew what I was doing profit wise… but the other part I didn’t realize.” This part, the people part, motivates him as he works towards bringing a new facility to Baltimore. He said that it would be a dream come true for someone from our city to come up to him and thank him for giving them a job.

Merrick Engages 1_EDITEDLeft to right: Lane Epperson, Murray Diezel, Eric Becker.

Wrapping up the discussion, Dean Murray asked each guest to give a recommendation to the students in the audience as they pursue their careers. Epperson gave some advice that everyone at UB should hear. He suggested that we “be unafraid to be uncomfortable… to put ourselves in these situations.” He suggested that intentionally doing this would help us to grow professionally and would give us an edge in the business world.

There are so many events on campus that occur – it can get overwhelming. It is tempting to just block them all out. Attend at least one conversation. Meet the best, learn from the best. The next conversation will be held with Amon Anderson on April 18. RSVP online at
ubalt.edu/merrick/news-and-events

 

Photos by Zachary Nelson

The birth of a new realm of gaming

By Bryant Henly

At the start of the Spring 2017 semester, Stephen Kiel introduced a brand new system to allow players to rent out consoles and video games for up to six hours. I actively utilize this system, because it’s a gem that not many know about. To be able to rent games from almost every generation prior to the 8th generation of gaming, is an experience that all gamers should take up.

I didn’t start gaming until the release of the PlayStation 2, which was the 6th generation of gaming. To find out that there was a long history of video games behind that, was genuinely shocking to me. There were so many games out there by established developers that I loved, that I absolutely had to experience. An example of this would be Capcom and it’s intellectual property, Resident Evil. The first Resident Evil I played was Resident Evil 4, and that released October 25, 2005. I couldn’t believe the quality of the game, but I felt shocked that I haven’t played any of the games before RE4 was created.  It wasn’t until I experienced the library’s new system, I was able to play and experience the older Resident Evil games that came before RE4.

Ideally, the library’s new system for renting out video games has a lot of potential. Being able to rent out games and the respective console, and getting a room to yourself, is wonderful. I currently use this program to play and analyze Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty for my class, and having the silence and peace of the library to experience a new game, makes it even better. If you ever have spare time, and you’d like to expose yourself to a new gaming experience, I recommend that you stop by the library.  It’s fast, convenient, and the experience as a whole is quite immersive. I’ve found myself losing hours out of my day, playing the classic games that the library had to offer.

Incoming VP of SEB plans for two year term

vlad1_EDITEDVladislav Borisenko has plans for his new term.

Vladislav Borisenko, a 26 year old sophomore at UB, is the incoming Vice President of the Student Events Board. While his term doesn’t start until May 1, he has already begun planning his two year strategy, as well as specific events he has in mind. “My term doesn’t start until the first,” said Borisenko, “I am moving quick and making sure that everybody I spoke to and is on stand-by is ready to move, because I only have two years on my term.”

Although he is studying Simulation and Digital Entertainment, he has a background in event planning for local radio station 92Q, and brings a unique set of skills and connections to the SEB which he plans to leverage in order to bring in bigger artists.

“Before block party, I want to bring in an artist from 92Q. They mentioned giving them radio time so the fee would be less, and I think it would be really good for the school [to] bring in a really big name to perform. Somebody that everybody would enjoy, not just one age group.”

His time at 92Q began as a videographer, filming hip hop and EDM shows. He soon began hosting his own events. “The goal of our marketing was to bring an artist that had never been to Baltimore, so that you could only see them at one of our shows.”

Borisenko admits that it can be hard to draw crowds of UB students to events, calling it a “sleeping campus,” but wants to streamline events put on by SEB, student organizations, and faculty, so that attendance of students might increase. “I want to unify everybody. If I’m throwing a video game event, and there is a similar one coming up being held by a teacher, I want to put them together so they are under one house.” He believes that by coordinating events across all departments on campus, and working together to cross promote, attendance of such events might increase.

Acknowledging that his fellow SDE majors are one of the groups who are frequently on campus, he wants to create more events that might interest them, such as a two tiered video game tournament with one tier for UB students awarding better prizes than the other tier, which would be filled with nonstudents. “I want our students to be able to say, ‘because I’m a student here I have access to better rewards, and maybe if you were a student here you could have access to these too.’”

Many of his planned events, from video game tournaments to concerts are built around catering to not only UB students, but the surrounding community as well. Borisenko believes that by increasing interest, and possibly revenue through these events, UB’s presence will increase beyond the campus. “I want to push the school in that direction, and have other colleges hear about us. I want to generate talk.”

“What I want to instill in students is that they can do anything through the SEB and the SGA. You could really create anything.”

 

Photo by Kyle Fierstien

UB law professor explains consent decree between DOJ, city police

In mid-January, just before leaving office, then-U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch came to Baltimore and joined Mayor Catherine Pugh and Police Commissioner Kevin Davis for a press conference at City Hall to announce the signing of a consent decree for the Baltimore City Police Department. But just what is a consent decree?

“It’s an agreement between the Department of Justice and a municipality, like in this case the city of Baltimore. But what is different from your typical contract is that it is made a part of a case,” said Professor David Jaros, an associate professor in the University of Baltimore School of Law. “So it’s as if the case is filed in court,” continued Jaros. “And it’s going to go to trial, but instead there’s just an agreement that this is a settlement, and a consent decree usually involves one side, the defendant, agreeing to take certain steps to remedy the problem.” Jaros explained that those steps are overseen by an independent monitor, and can be enforced by the courts. If a municipality is found to not be in compliance with the terms of the consent decree, it can be held in contempt.

Baltimore was not a reluctant defendant forced to
the bargaining table, but really seemed to be a partner
in the negotiation of the consent decree, in many
respects, and there seems to be I think at this point
some optimism that the city is truly committed to
eradicating this kind of problem —David Jaros

The consent decree results from a more than year-long investigation by the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division into the police department’s practices following the April 2015 in-custody death of Freddie Gray and the riots that erupted following his funeral. That investigation culminated with a release of a report in the summer of 2016 that contained damning conclusions about the practices of Baltimore police officers in regards to their treatment of minority residents. The report concluded that for many years and on a routine basis, police unconstitutionally and illegally stopped and detained African-American and Hispanic residents.

Jaros explained that the Civil Rights Division got involved in Baltimore as part of its mandate to protect the civil rights of citizens. “And when there are violations, they are empowered to go in and sue, and so it is their mandate to try and protect the civil liberties of people like the citizens of Baltimore, for whom the consent decree actually stated that their rights under federal law were being violated by the Baltimore Police Department.” He added that consent decrees have the potential to be a very useful tool in protecting civil rights because it allows the Justice Department and a local police department to work out very specific solutions to the problems in a specific community, without having to go to court.

Following the release of the report, the Department of Justice and the city began negotiating on the terms of the consent decree. Jaros explained that the report really outlined the issues that established how the police department was violating federal law with its practices.

“And so that report was sort of the first step towards getting to sort of the practical solution side of things, which was the consent decree. And that report involved everything from detailing the use of excessive force by police officers to the unconstitutional arrest and seizure of citizens, and in particular of minorities,” Jaros said. “And it detailed that there was a pattern and practice, and those are key sort of magical words that trigger the law, the constitutional rights of Baltimore citizens.” Jaros says the key part of the consent decree was establishing requirements for the police department and the city to ensure that the violations of residents’ civil rights wouldn’t continue in the future.

Jaros says it’s too early to tell if this consent decree will make a difference in the lives of minority Baltimoreans. In the past, Jaros said the Justice Department’s report described problems with how Baltimore police officers are trained and how the resources police officers need to do their jobs well have historically not been available to them. He also described how consent decrees between the Justice Department and other police departments, regarding civil rights violations, have historically had mixed results. Jaros says a key factor is the willingness of municipalities to abide by the agreements and provide the resources that their police departments need for training and to do their jobs properly. He commended the city government for its willingness to work with the Justice Department on the consent decree.

“Baltimore was not a reluctant defendant forced to the bargaining table, but really seemed to be a partner in the negotiation of the consent decree, in many respects, and there seems to be I think at this point some optimism that the city is truly committed to eradicating this kind of problem,” Jaros said. He acknowledged that the city has a lot of social challenges and issues to address in its inner-city neighborhoods, and challenges in policing tend to follow along with those issues in inner cities. Jaros said the consent decree is simply a step in the right direction, and not a cure-all for the challenges and issues the city faces.