Lemme 'splain. (And for new folks since the last season of Big Love, I am a former Mormon, my ex worked for Merril Jessop - he runs the YFZ Ranch in Texas, and my family was one of the first "out" polygamous familiess of SLC under the leadership of Brigham Young. Hit my "polygamy" tag for further reading, if you're interested.)
I was really glad they showed all of the various polygamous factions in Bill's Capitol Hill Meeting, although I lol'd at one of the poorest looking groups saying they were from The Avenues. That's THE Neighborhood in SLC, where houses are some of the most expensive and it's all been gentrified over the past several decades and is a short walk from one end to Temple Square, the Capitol building, Millennium Park, and University of Utah at the other. Note: I lived on 2nd and B street, so I know of which I speak. We were kicked out when rent quadrupled as gentrification hit our block. We were super sad because the HOTTEST GUYS shopped at the Smith's on 5th street, the local grocery store.
Anyway, they did a good job of hitting up all of the major players, and there are several factions of polygamists, the FLDS is just the most notorious and most numerous.
Sunstone: First off, my dad is a member of the Sunstone Symposium. My dad is a "radical" Mormon, and anyone that knows my dad would laugh, because he's so Mormon it's not even funny. But see, he likes to question things, just for the sake of questioning them. Ultimately he believes in Mormonism, but hey, he gets to feel like he's all intellectual, and stuff. And that's what Sunstone is: a MAGAZINE. Where people write in articles, run forums online, maybe have a traveling program that local Mormons can attend, and ask questions, and then all ultimately agree that Mormonism is true. This whole membership thing they presented it as on the show, as if it's a club? Uh... never heard of that one. You get the magazine, you attend the lectures/symposiums, or you submit articles for either, there's not a "get me a foot into this fraternity" thing Barb was presenting.
ALSO. Sunstone is thought of as a bunch of dissenters and naysayers. It's not DESIRABLE for a good Mormon to be involved/subscribe to Sunstone. Why? Because in Mormonism you accept whatever you are told by your leaders as truth, period. There is NO questioning, there is NO dissension, that leads the way to being an apostate. Oh, some Mormon might tell you that it's all free choice, but that's because they're so deep into it they can't see the forest for the trees. So Barb's mother, who is an upstanding LDS member to be so heavily involved with them? Uh uh. ESPECIALLY if she had gotten burned all those years ago with the ERA (more on that in a bit) and was chastened by the leadership for it. She'd be toeing the line, without question.
That sort of lack of understanding of the culture bugs me, but eh, what are you going to do. But I will say that all of the Sunstone panel people cracked me up, because that's EXACTLY what they look like: dark hair (good Mormons are blonde, lol) librarian-style glasses, tweed coats... all the trappings of an "intellectual," in other words. With their leather-bound and monogrammed Quads. (All four LDS scriptures in one binding)
ERA vs. Mormon Church I hope you all know that the Mormon Church is THE reason why the ERA didn't pass way back in 1982. That's not hyperbole. I can remember clearly a blue mimeographed notice on the bulletin board outside the chapel telling everyone that they had better not support the evil and wicked "equal rights" amendment. The prophet himself told us all that to support that bill would mean a support of Satan himself, and that families would be torn asunder, and I hope you all have learned by now that nothing is more important to Mormons than family.
Oh, the church has all sorts of things about how men and women are TOTALLY equal, we just have different responsibilities: guys have the priesthood (women NEVER will, never. Not ever.) and women have motherhood. End of discussion. They're both super important, you guys, and God, in His wisdom, gave us each our appropriate jobs so we wouldn't get overburdened. *cough* And if you're a women that doesn't have kids, it's your duty to help other mothers, btw. Even to this DAY the church says that two of the three greatest enemies of the church are feminists and intellectuals. Well, they're right. (The third should be obvious, homosexuality.)
So the fact that ep. 3 dealt almost solely with the struggle to accept these two roles was a nice touch, I'll give them that.
HOWEVER. Priesthood and Barb Barb trying to give a blessing? Those that may have read my Mormon missionary story might remember a "blessing with anointed oil" moment. There is no way in HELL that Barb would attempt that in the first place (there would need to be a MAJOR schism in her beliefs to get there, and trust me, these few moments of drinking a little wine aren't enough, TRUST ME ON THIS ONE) there is no way she would have used olive oil and not have sneaked and gotten Bill's little bullet-shaped vial of anointed oil (it has to have a blessing with someone in Authority to be considered "anointed.") There's just no way.
Also, she didn't even pronounce "Melchizedek" correctly, and there isn't a Utahn alive (LDS) that doesn't know how to pronounce that. It would be like a Catholic pronouncing it "Pap" instead of Pope. So that irritated the shit out of me. Bill said it during church, and said it correctly. And when Ben started blessing the sacrament (and I'm sorry, but the two of them would have been doing that together since Ben was 12, another thing that bugged me) I instinctively bowed my head and closed my eyes and mouthed along, lol. INGRAINED PRAYER IS INGRAINED. People in the Mormon faith don't keep their eyes open during prayer, either. I wish they would have sat in on a Sacrament Service in preparation, because no matter where in the world you go, the prayer is intoned in the exact same way. I'm not exaggerating. it's comforting in a way, and really really creepy in another.
Whatevs, it's little details that make it real or take me out of it.
Barb and Her First Taste of Wine She just sipped that RED wine like it was grape juice, huh? Guess what? When you've NEVER had anything alcoholic before, wine tastes like dirty socks. You make a face, you shiver, you REACT to the difference, and Jeanne Tripplehorn just failed as an actress on this one. I can remember the VERY first time I had an alcoholic beverage. (For newbies: I was as devout a Mormon as it comes.) It took so much courage to take a sip, you just don't know. I felt that my entire salvation hinged on that sip, so it's not just "rebelling" it's knowing - I mean, to the bone knowing- that you are no longer going to heaven and that you'll be cast out as a result. It's really that serious. (Ditto for coffee, by the way, but alcohol is way more offensive to a Mormon.)
Did you notice the State Liquor Store? That's the only way you can buy booze in Utah, these weird little stores and sometimes they send members from various wards to sneak out there and write down license plates to see if any members are there. It's a HUGE deal to step foot in one as a member. (Barb identifies as a fundamentalist Mormon, let's not forget that.) Isn't that shitty? How fucking controlling is that state. You have to fill out a card to be on government file to get a beer/cocktail/glass of wine in a restaurant, too. "Membership cards" they're called. Some places in the south still do that, too, in "dry counties."
Nicky is becoming more and more like an uptight Mormon and not the uptight polygamist she originally was, and I don't know how I feel about it. It feels weird, but maybe they're trying to make her character assume Barb's role. That's my thought anyway.
And the fact that Margene is STILL not up on the faith? I so totally have to call bullshit on that, as I have since Season 1. I'm sorry, but this is all about their RELIGIOUS FAITH, and she isn't aware of what a "Priesthood blessing" is? Nuh uh. She doesn't know what the scriptures are? Laughable. They don't have her in garments? NO WAY.
I know this is meaningless to most of you, but to those from the cloth, it's just a sign of them using this as a platform to entice people who wonder what it is. That's what gets Mormons so mad, when people don't get what the religion is. And hahaha, they also don't really want people to know what the religion is, but that's the subject of my book. :)
Ok, enough of that malarkey. I made the hands-down best chicken enchiladas with a sour cream and salsa verde sauce of my LIFE. For Texans: they beat Chuy's Enchiladas Suizas, imo. They are the benchmark for that style of enchilada in this house.
Stoney's Enchiladas Suizas
1 whole chicken, cut up, skinned, cooked, shredded and seasoned with salt, pepper, chili powder and cumin
(Can use 4 breasts, or 2 breasts and 2 thighs, whatever. I used the backbone and wings for stock and didn't cook/shred them)
1 small onion, diced
Monterrey Jack cheese (or other Mexican cheese) - a bunch of it? Lol
SOUR CREAM/SALSA VERDE SAUCE
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 poblano pepper, cored, seeded, minced (or if you want really spicy, 2 Serrano chiles minced)
2 TBSP butter
2 TBSP flour
2 C chicken broth/stock
2 C sour cream
1 tsp. cumin (I add a heaping because I love me some cumin)
8 fresh tomatillos, husked, halved, roasted, chopped
dash of cayenne
salt and pepper as needed
24 corn tortillas (I prefer white corn)
some canola oil
the stuff you just made above
BIIIIIG casserole dish (or two small ones) you're making 2 dozen, so judge accordingly from your own stuff
Cut tomatillos in half, don't worry about the core, and place cut side down on a baking sheet. Broil right under the heating element until they start to char - that's flavor country, folks. Dump them AND THE JUICE into a blender or food processor to cool while you work on the next step.
Heat up the butter in a pot and add the poblano (or Serrano chiles) and cook until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic, cook for a minute, sprinkle the flour over this and stir to get everything coated and so the flour starts to turn golden. Pour the broth in, whisking constantly until everything has thickened just to the point of being a custard (not that thick.) It should take a good 5 minutes and you can crank the flame up to pretty high to achieve this. Add in sour cream, turn off heat, and stir it in with the cayenne and cumin. Set aside.
Heat oven to 350 F.
In large skillet, heat up some canola oil and lay a tortilla in the oil for a few seconds, rest on a plate with a towel over it (oil side down, or you'll get oil all over your nice tea towel.) Do this with all of them - this keeps the tortillas from cracking when you fill and roll them. Microwaving them will NOT work, I promise. Other methods if you don't want to do the oil: dip one side of the tortillas in the sauce, but just know this is going to make a tremendous mess you'll have to clean up. Up to you. (Or you could substitute flour tortillas and make a super heavy dish that won't have a real, authentic taste. But hey, it would be easier?)
Add the sour cream mix to the tomatillos and blend until relatively smooth. (I have a 10 C Cuisinart, and there was plenty of space for this, btw.)
Get your assembly line ready: tortillas, chicken, onion, cheese, sauce and casserole dish, in a row. Spread a little sauce on the bottom of the casserole dish, like you're greasing a pan with it.
Tortilla in your hand, run a line of chicken down the middle, top with a good pinch of onion and cheese, roll into a cigar and place in pan, seam side down. The sauce should help anchor it so it won't unravel, but maybe you get a helper in there to hold it in place with their finger if you're worried. Continue to do this and make all 24 in one big dish, or however you can configure it. I have a casserole pan that's 12 x 16 and can get two long rows of 9 down the length and have 6 left over for a little pan.
Cover with sauce (I usually have a cup left over to use when you reheat leftovers) but don't drown them. You want all of the corn tortillas covered, but you don't want them swimming in sauce. Top with any leftover onion and cheese and pop in the oven for 25 minutes or until the edges are browned and the sauce is bubbling.
OM NOM accordingly.
People that aren't me might put cilantro in the sauce or top the enchiladas with some cilantro, but I hate everything about that herb as it tastes like soap so I don't use it. But if you want me to hate you, go right ahead.
We have a snow day today, and maybe tomorrow, too. I might need to create some projects for these knuckle heads to keep them out of my hair. (We have ice outside, not snow, so it's not like it's fun out there with the 40mph winds. BOO.)