Yesterday I sat through two and a half of the most excruciating hours of my life. Sat through, twisted my torso through, felt like throwing up through. But I stayed there riveted, horrified, sickened and saddened beyond belief.
I was at a movie, "Twelve Years a Slave." A movie that should, in my humble yet convinced opinion, be required viewing for every American over the age of fifteen. It is based on the true story of a black man, a father, a husband, a violinist, a cultured, educated, middle class citizen of Saratoga Springs New York in the 1840's who is kidnapped, brought to the south and sold into slavery. It is the story of what he witnessed, endured, and survived for twelve years before being rescued and reunited with his family.
The movie, directed by Steve McQueen, gives it to us full strength, undiluted. The camera lens takes us into the open, oozing, purple wall of the wound. Close up and into the bubbling beads of fresh blood made by the long taut leather lashing out, slashing, ripping red rivers into chocolate skin.
It's a story of a despicable part of our history and needs to be told correctly for many reasons. And it is torturous to sit through.
L.A. LOVES ALEX'S LEMONADE - Saturday, September 24, Noon-4pm
Decadent and delicious, L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade, now in its fourth year, brings superstar chefs and mixologists from around the globe to Los Angeles to lend their support to ALSF and the fight against childhood cancer.
Each chef and mixologist prepares a signature dish for guests to sample. Guests have the opportunity to stroll the lawn of the historic Culver Studios Mansion, tasting incredible fare and meeting and even chatting with the chefs who prepared it. L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade is hosted by Chef Suzanne Goin and business partner Caroline Styne (Lucques, AOC, Tavern) along with Chef David Lentz (The Hungry Cat). The event has raised more than $1 million to fund childhood cancer research.
The leisurely, fun afternoon of sampling food and drink is interspersed with inspiring childhood cancer hero stories, updates on the Foundation’s quest to find a cure and a silent and live auction of spectacular items, including James Beard Award-wining chefs offering to work their magic in the bidders’ kitchens.
General admission tickets: $175/each. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.
2nd Annual DELISH Event - Sunday, September 29th, 5-8pm
Featuring up to 50 diverse food stations, DELISH goes beyond a typical tasting by engaging attendees to experience what makes food so captivating and entertaining. We are all endlessly fascinated by what food is, how it is prepared, and how it makes us feel. Food is more than a meal.
With DELISH, we will show how a great food dish is more than the sum of its ingredients. It’s about the food experience! At DELISH culinary experts and mixologists will guide attendees on a foodie’s dream adventure in which attendees are able to partake in their choice of diverse food & beverage experiences. DELISH is proudly produced by and benefits Project Angel Food, one of Los Angeles’ most beloved non-profit organizations.
Siren Studios "The Cube," 6069 West Sunset Blvd, Hollywood. Adult tickets: $100 per person. For more information: Click here.
Lest you think we are all farm and no play around here…Yesterday we took advantage of a 24-hour visit from Libby and the most beautiful day we’ve seen in months and headed up to the clay cliffs at Gay Head for a spectacular beach walk. My iPhone ran out of juice, so I didn’t get to document Libby covered in clay from head to toe. (We always forget to bring appropriate clean-up materials on this kind of walk.)
While Roy looked for arrowheads and Libby painted herself with warrior clay, I lay down in the warm sand with my face to the sun and almost fell asleep. In my head, Keith Urban’s song, These Are The Days, was playing. Partly because I was thinking, “These are the days we’ve been waiting for all through the cold mucky winter.” But also I was thinking how great it is to be present and to know that it absolutely does not get any better than it is right in that moment.
Maybe all that sunshine was going to my head—it is incredibly uplifting after all. And no doubt we are very fortunate to live in such a beautiful place, though we tend to forget it sometimes. But no matter where you are or what the weather is this weekend, I hope you find yourself walking into the light, enjoying moments with your family or friends, and remembering to take a mental snapshot of what you love most so you can conjure it up on a rainy day.
Shopping eco friendly is easier than you might think, even at a bargain focused store like Grocery Outlet. Recently Grocery Outlet gave me a $30 gift card to see what great eco friendly bargains I could find for Earth Day. Here are my top picks:
Eco Friendly Shopping Tips
1. Buy fresh produce
The less processed and less packaged, the better. Grocery Outlet sells some beautiful greens, I found these greens for just 99 cents a bunch.
2. Choose recycled chlorine free paper products
Recycled paper products are better quality than you might think these days and using them is an easy way to go green.
Dreaming of a cooking school offering hand made craft based courses? Yearning for more flavor and personality in your meal? Believe that artisan food skills are important?
Then The School of Artisan Food, a tipping point for the newest trend in food preparation in the heart of rural England, is the pace and place for you!
AND you’re in luck. Summer 2013 offers a new six-day intensive (Aug 12-17). Students will join a team of British food stars for six days of bread making, cheese making and charcuterie. And enjoy tasting local beers and farmhouse cheeses; the very model of major English food traditions made new again.
Located on the gorgeous Welbeck Estate in romantic Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire, the school is housed in the Estate’s former Victorian fire station around a cobbled courtyard, converted into state-of-the-art training rooms in 2009.
Co-Founder/Director Alison Swan Parente, talented educator, foodie, force of nature (and dear friend) is a great believer in the ‘special relationship’ between the US and UK.
She’s made trips to California and New York to “learn from all these influences as well, but we specialize in British breads, farmhouse cheeses and smoked and cured meats…from the gooseberries in the vegetable plot to the cheese made on the Estate, SAF is a very British experience.”