Archive for November 23, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

The following recipe appears in Heart of the Artichoke, a new cookbook by David Tanis. It’ll add some pizazz to any holiday dinner. Enjoy!
Spicy Cranberry Chutney
3 cups fresh cranberries
¾ cup sugar
One 2-inch piece ginger, peeled and finely slivered
Grated zest of ½ orange
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cayenne
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
Put the cranberries and sugar in a shallow saucepan or a wide skillet over medium heat, stirring well to dissolve the sugar. Simmer for a few minutes, then add the ginger, orange zest, salt, and cayenne. Continue cooking until the mixture thickens slightly, about 10 minutes.
Stir in the jalapeno. Transfer to a serving bowl and let it cool and jell in the refrigerator before serving.

Run Lola Run

I finally was able to see Run Lola Run which I had wanted to see for a long time. I have to tell you that it was well worth the wait. The plot revolves around a woman who must get 100,000 marks (about $71,000) in twenty minutes or her boyfriend, who has lost his crime lord’s money, will come to great harm. The movie posits three possible scenarios which we get to see in a sequence of runs. Franka Potente plays the girlfriend and gives a riveting performance. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. One other bonus feature is that the soundtrack of the film includes music by Danbury’s own musical favorite son, Charles Ives. The selection is The Unanswered Question which is a chamber ensemble piece.

More ‘What Not to Wear’ Tips

flipflops.jpgYou should kiss your flip-flops goodbye–so says Clinton Kelly in his new book Oh No, She Didn’t. Other favorites to get rid of (in the “Top 100 Style Mistakes Women Make) include polar fleece, cropped pants, cross-trainers, track suits– basically anything comfortable we like to wear has to go. The author’s rapid fire wit and dead on observations about how we look in these particular items and others (be sure to read the chapter on frosted hair) makes this book highly entertaining and actually quite helpful once you get past the pain of recognition.

New McPhee

There is a new book from John McPhee entitled Silk Parachute. It is a superb addition to his already outstanding corpus of work from this master practioner of the art of creative nonfiction. Silk Parachute is a much more personal work than its predecessors. The title essay is about his mother’s influence on his life and is a very humorous piece. McPhee graduated from Princeton in 1953 and at first was drawn towards fiction. He wrote a 30,000 word novel for his thesis which he said “had a really good structure and was technically fine. But it had no life in it.” Thankfully for us this experience made him realize that “the form of writing that I gravitated to was factual writing.” He has written about sports (Levels of the Game), travel (Coming into the Country), science (The Control of Nature) in a masterful and imaginative way. He shows at the age of 79 no signs of slowing down for which we can be very grateful.