Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Possibly descended from a wild cultivar in Afghanistan, the Europeans believed peaches were native of Persia. They are really from China though and were cultivated as far back as the 10th century BCE. Favored by Chinese royalty, they believed peaches conferred immortality to those who ate them. Many Chinese and Japanese artisans paint peach blossoms and branches in their works. Peaches made their way from Asia to Europe. The Spanish brought them later to the Americas in the 17th century and the native Americans spread their seeds across America. Though Asians prefer the white, delicate fleshed peach, Americans and Europeans prefer the yellow fleshed ones.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Monday, July 19, 2010
I went to see a movie tonight called Inception. I don't know how to give it a review other than it is extremely convoluted; much like a jigsaw puzzle. I believe the germ for the movie came from a quote from Edgar Allen Poe that I read years ago. I don't know what story or poem it was from but it goes "is it all that we see or seen, but a dream within a dream." Nevertheless, one of the highlights for me was Tom Hardy. A wonderful English actor, I have seen him in several Brit movies and thought I'd show you a little of his work. This first one is one of my favorites and I recommend you rent or purchase it. It is that good. He play Robert Dudley, the lifelong love of Queen Elizabeth (played by the wonderful Anne Marie Duff).
Another Tom Hardy starring role, playing Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights. He is such a versatile actor. PS ~ I don't know why this clip keeps stopping and starting, so just slide the button to the end and at the bottom of the clip some other clips will come up. You can watch those without the stopping and starting.
I was glad to see Tom Hardy in a big budget American film since I think we'd get to see more of his acting. As I said, I can't really critique INCEPTION, but Tom Hardy answers some questions about the film here.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Crab apples are hard and you can't just slice them. So, how to chop? I dug out these two old kitchen tools. Notice the acorns carved on the handle on the left. The tool on the right is older, like maybe colonial days old with its kidney bean shape. Each tool has been shaped and hammered or forged. The tool on the left worked better for this job.
Well, here is the result of all that chopping, now ready to cook down to a sauce. You will have to drain the mash in a cheesecloth to get the juice, but any jam or jelly making book will instruct you how to make the jelly.
Voila! It only took several hours . . . but here is the result. I need to make some scones now to try it.
But, if that wasn't enough and you like the occasional drinky winky, I chopped some more and am making crab apple liqueur. These recipes are all over the web. The one on the left is straight vodka and the one on the right has vodka and a little brandy in it. It is fun to play around with the flavors. When I look out to the tree that is still loaded, I am thinking juice for drink concoctions or pickled crab apples, but I don't think any in my family will eat them. Oh well, it's on to the white peaches.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, Harper Lee's magnum opus, turns fifty today. I have fond memories of my young son and I, taking turns reading chapters to each other every evening one summer. We loved it, like legions before us. I have a theory about why she never wrote another tome. When you write a novel, you put most everything you have seen, heard, smelled, experienced into that first novel. While some writers like Joyce Carol Oates are prolific, for others, that's all she wrote; one has to live and experience more: she may have said all she wanted.
Nevertheless, Mockingbirds play a large part in American culture. Early in American history, Mockingbirds were once popular and kept as pets. President T. Jefferson had one named Dick. The American lullaby, Hush little baby don't say a word, mamma's gonna buy you a mockingbird... was part of the Mockingbird craze. Called the American Nightingale, Mimus polyglottos prefers to nest in maple, sweet gum and sycamore trees. As an observation, the birds are out after midnight practicing their songs. I can tell the city mockers from the farm ones. The city ones make police car and emergency vehicle calls. I think they are my favorite bird, today anyway. Postscript ~ Harper Lee's sister was on the CBS Sunday Morning show, and said the aforementioned reason I postulated, was correct.
Friday, July 9, 2010
This is a wonderful live performance of Ryuichi Sakamoto performing Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence. I think it is from the movie of the same name starring David Bowie. Nevertheless, I believe the concert was in Rome at the Coliseum and I wish I could have been there.