Holiday Cook-off

Uncle Lonnie’s Rockin’ Guacamole

A chips and dip recipe that’s “So Good” from the hills of Kentucky to the beaches of Ventucky.

VC Social’s first ever “recipe-off” is on! It’s the final project for my Digital Media Marketing class and my entry is a recipe from my Uncle Lonnie, who is a conga playing hippie from the hills of Harlan County Kentucky. Yep, banjos congas and avocados go really well together!

Uncle Lonnie and I played in a band together once upon a time ago in the Valley of Los Angeles. He was “passsing through” and ended up living with us for a few months. We were glad to have him with us, and his gift in return was homemade trail mix cookies and…you guessed it…homemade Guacamole. He kept the beat as we jammed into the night, and he always had a fresh bowl of chips and guacamole.

“Everytime I make this guacamole I think of my uncle and all the good times we had…”

His recipe is, as you would imagine, an organic process loosely defined. For the sake of the event, I give you the best approximation of how to make Uncle Lonnie’s Rockin’ Guacamole. Feel free to improvise.

3-4 large ripe Avocados
1 lime 
1 large white onion
1 bunch of fresh cilantro
1 large tablespoon unground Cumin seed
1 jalapeno
1 dozen cherry tomatoes
Salt, pepper and Tajin

Cut the Avocados in half, take out the seed and spoon the contents into a mixing bowl.  Peel and coursely chop the onion.  Dice the Jalepeno,   Rinse, remove stems and coursely chop Cilantro. Coursely chop cherry tomatoes. Add ingredients to mixing bowl.  
Squeeze a small amount of lime juice on the cutting board and pour the unground cumin in the joice, Mix with knife until Cumin is wet.  Dice Cumin and add mixture to mixing bowl.  Squeeze the remaining lime juice into bowl and cooursely mix until all ingredients are unifom.  Do not over mix.  
Add salt, pepper and Tajin to taste.

Uncle Lonnie’s Rockin’ Guacamole recipe has two secrets…

Every time I make this guacamole I think of my uncle and all the good times we had during his stay with me. My old band mares and friends from that period of my life remember him because of the guacamole and his uplifting spirit. And now I’m sharing that spirit right here in Ventura, aka Ventucky. You gotta try it! Watch the video and just listen to my friends when they take a bite!

With Uncle Lonnie’s Rockin Guacamole, I came here to win. Just kidding, I came here to learn and have fun. And I brought some chips and salsa too.

In closing Uncle Lonnie’s Rockin’ Guacamole recipe has two secrets, one is to cook from the heart, and the other is to use freshly chopped cumin seed soaked in lime juice– And of course fresh ingredients. Now go! Play some music, eat, drink, be merry, and Rock On!

Get my classmate’s recipe entries here!

If you use this recipe, I’d love to hear from you! Share you story in the comments below.

Culture & Student Life

Live Thrifting This Thursday November 18th

Join Ximena and Jason on Instagram Live and help them spend $50 on things they don’t need but can’t live without

This Thursday you can go thrifting virtually while staying in bed, or going to the beach, or getting your work done. Ximena and Jason, two of our VC Social contributors, are going treasure hunting in Downtown Ventura’s thrift stores and they’re inviting you to join them on Instagram Live.

What can they get with a $50 budget? Make your suggestions right now by posting replies here on this blog or on the Thrift Store Live Event Instagram post. You can also interact with them live on the day as they search for the gold.

Could it be a unicorn night lamp? A matching cat sweater outfit? A complete collection of Harry Potter books first edition? There are no rules to this game except one–have fun and keep it under $50.

See you on the internets!

When: Thursday November 18, 12-2pm

Where: Instagram @vcsocialbrand

Why: why not?

Who: Ximena and Jason, and anyone with an internet connection

follow @vcsocialbrand

Arts & Entertainment

Current in the Shadows: A Conversation with Artist Cara Lasell Bonewitz

In my first blog post for VCSocial I wrote about the future of Ventura College’s New Media Gallery.  It was my vantage point looking through the windows at a gallery that had weathered the global pandemic essentially by shutting down.  In this post, I get the chance to share with you the insight of Cara Lasell Bonewitz, the artist whose work hung in the gallery, in the shadows, for over a year.  

Cara speaking to Ventura College students about her process in creating Current in the Shadows. Photo by Gallery Director Jesse Groves.

I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to speak with Cara one on one in the gallery that has now opened its doors to the public.  She was preparing to take down her exhibition after a brief but well-deserved re-opening of her collected works that embodied Current in the Shadows.  Below is the audio recording of that conversation.  

“(The shadows)…the most ephemeral part of this show…have ended up being the constant.” -Cara Lasell Bonewitz

As the art world grapples with the complications of a post pandemic future, the questions are many and difficult.  The conversation you’re about to listen to shares Cara’s insights as an artist, reflecting on her work and her experience with an exhibition that opened as the world shut down, hung in the shadows in a closed gallery for over a year, and then reopened for a final viewing as the world reopened its doors to a reality we never expected to face.  

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Related Links:

Cara Lasell Bonewitz

New Media Gallery

Current in the Shadows

Culture & Student Life

From Anywhere on Earth: How VC Students Young and Young at Heart Leverage Online Learning

This episode is an informal conversation between four VC Social contributors who share their personal experiences and perspectives on the digital classroom. From Hawaii photoshoots and online yoga to virtual labs and digital pasta–we talk about why we love hybrid learning experiences. So sit back, relax, and enjoy a deeper dive into the future of education.

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Twitter: @vcsocialbrand 

Instagram: @vcsocialbrand

From Anywhere On Earth: How VC Students Young and Young At Heart Leverage Online Learning VC Social

Arts & Entertainment Culture & Student Life

What Does The Future Hold for Ventura College’s New Media Gallery?

#VCSocial Contributor Jason Brock talks about his experience as a student worker in the gallery you’ve probably walked by a hundred times, and never took the chance to see. 

Ventura College New Media Gallery.  Photo by Jason Brock

Let’s flashback to the start of the spring semester of 2019. It was a time before masks and wristbands and QR Code check-ins. It was a time when we weren’t hypersensitive to gathering inside. And in March of that semester, (unknowingly to me in the moment), it would be the last time that I would prepare for an opening reception at the best kept art secret on the VCCCD campus–The New Media Gallery (NMG)

You’ve probably walked by it a hundred times and you might not have known that the NMG was the place to go to see new student and faculty art on campus.  It was built specifically for that purpose.  Now, in the fall semester of 2021, in our post pandemic reality, I look into the gallery windows, with my pandemic long hair and beard, and wonder-”What is the future of the New Media Gallery going to be?”

Jason Brock looking into the New Media Gallery. Photo by Jason Brock.

The New Media Gallery looks and feels a lot like me…unkempt but ready to start again.  

Yeah yeah, I know I might look like I’m related to Sasquatch, but back then I was clean cut and I was playing the role of gallery assistant in between my art classes. During that time I enjoyed working at the direction of Professor and NMG Gallery Director Jesse Groves and also with my school mates. I was also personally excited to be in a creative work environment once again.  Why exactly? Well, I have another story to tell about that. It’s tragic, but with a happy ending. 

Could this be the topic for my other blog, or a book?  I think so.   

But the short story for now is–I was discovering new opportunities and friendships in the New Media Gallery. Art was alive! I was stoked. Little did I know that we were all about to get blindsided by a global pandemic.

Now, eighteen months later, as we’re all venturing back on to campus, the New Media Gallery is a stark reminder of the impacts of a global emergency that changed the way we live, the way we interact, and the way we enjoy art. It’s an interesting and difficult time for arts and culture and though we’re still in recovery mode, I have a feeling the New Media Gallery is going to lead the way once again.

As I mentioned earlier, I went by to take a peek in the windows the other day. The art that we hung for that last show is still hanging, waiting to come back out of the shadows.  Coincidentally that show is called Shadows and Currents. The leaves and dust and debris have piled up in the entrance way. The New Media Gallery looks and feels a lot like me…unkempt but ready to start again.  

In closing, I don’t know what the future of the New Media Gallery is going to be. But I do know someone who does. Professor Jesse Groves. I’m hoping to interview him in the near future for a #vcsocial podcast. 

Quick update: I just spoke with Proffessor Groves! I have a lot of really great information to share with you in my next blog. Come back and find out what’s next. 

Thanks for reading!  -Jason

#VCSocial is where you’ll get all the most up to date and interactive happenings in the school’s art scene. Stay connected! Stay inspired!

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Photos by Jason Brock 2021