Friday, January 14, 2011

Julie & Julia, a belated, very brief review

Just finished watching the movie "Julie & Julia", which, it seems, many people--particularly on Twitter--caught up with on Encore this week.  I'll be brief because 1) I don't like writing movie reviews and 2) I'm actually only reviewing half the movie.  Going into this please note that I am not a fan of Julia Child herself.  However, this does not mean that I am blind or disrespectful of her enormous impact on the culinary world.  It just means that, in the flesh, hers is not a personality I enjoy watching on tv.

That being said, like many people, I found the "Julie" part of the movie cringe-worthy, unwatchable, unbearable, you name it.  So I cheated and fast-forwarded it once I got through the initial introductory scenes. The scenes where Julie dons pearls, and Julie makes pie, and Julie this and Julie that.  It was never really about the food, it was all about Julie!  Like Jan Brady screeching "It's always Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!" it was always "Look! I'm Julie, Julie, Julie!"  Which made me want to throw a puppy down a well.  Save the puppies!  

However, the "Julia" part was wonderful.  Meryl Streep, Stanley Tucci, and Jane Lynch were just amazing to watch and I found myself wishing over and over again that the whole movie had been about them.  Watching Streep was a dream and she and Tucci worked so well together that I would love to see them in some sort of comedic whodunit, each trying to one-up the other, tripping over corpses, falling in love.  But maybe that's just how my mind works.  Either way, their love story (both with each other and with the French) was beautiful and sweet and utterly charming, three things you will almost never hear me say about anything.  Throw Jane Lynch into the mix as Child's sister and you have a win-win-win situation.  The scene where Dorothy (Lynch) first arrives in France and is taken to lunch by the Childs is genius: She is eating brie with gusto--with her fingers!--chatting up a storm, bringing the scene to a most incredible life. I didn't want it to end.  From what I gleaned, it was always about life and food and love; Child never made it about herself.  She had a true desire to learn for herself, not so people would look at her and fawn over her, but so that she could teach people what she had learned and enjoyed.  Which is pretty much what I have always thought and heard about her.

So yes, I thoroughly enjoyed half of this movie.  And I could easily watch that half again.

Like I said, a very brief review.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


A shout-out to one of my very favorite blogs, The Caked Crusader, and a hearty congrats to her for being featured in the February issue of olive magazine.

Check out the link here.

Saturday, January 8, 2011


Welcome to 2011.  I’ve got nothing on my plate, no resolutions, no dietary restrictions, no promises to be entertaining or insightful.  However, I did finally find my old copybook that I’ve been writing half-assed recipes in for eons and I may actually try to decipher what I’ve put on paper to see if they are actual recipes or just the mad scribblings of a lunatic who should not be allowed near an open flame.  My fridge is loaded for bear with bacon, sausage, all kinds of cheeses from faraway lands (you know, like France and Wales), mass quantities of produce, and the odd bottle of beer.  Or several.  Bass, Harp, and Samuel Adams spring to mind.  So we’re off to a good start.  I can feed myself and my family.  I’ve also got pasta in the cupboard and ran amok at Wegmans the other day, purchasing fresh new jars of red curry paste, hoisin sauce, duck sauce and the like in the hopes that I rekindle my love of cooking Asian fare.  Here’s hoping the jars don’t sit in the fridge and get funky.
I’ve got a slew of new cookbooks, titles from Ching He-Huang, Laura Calder, Isa Chandra Moskowitz and kitschy volumes from Henry Hill and Bitchin’ Kitchen, any or all of which I may review this month.  I may even live dangerously and actually make something from each.  Gasp.  Sit yourself back down, now.  I think I may also have a title on order from Amazon UK, an Anjum Anand book of curries but I’m not sure and I’m too lazy to actually check my account.  I do so love a curry and mine were sorely lacking last year so this, hopefully, will provide some much-needed assistance.
My cooktop is down to two burners now, both of course on one side, which means it’s a royal pain to use two big pans at the same time.  It is the first time since getting rid of the microwave that I kinda sorta wish I had one.  But next month hopefully will see me with a shiny new one, even though it makes me extraordinarily tetchy that the price of a simple cooktop is often more than a full stove.  Go figure.  But it will be nice to have a new, sealed model, one that doesn’t let all the bits of pasta and nuts and everything else that flies out of the pan down into the bottom.  It’s vile having to clean that up and I do believe a wee bit dangerous.  You know, pilot lights and gas and such.
That’s it, I guess, for now.  :)

And, once again, the Libra rears her indecisive head

Blergh.  WordPress didn't work for me.  Can't quite put my finger on it but I just found it to be too much work to post there and I couldn't quite get the designs to work for me.  So I'm back here and I hope you all will find the patience to follow me back here.

Many thanks.