Stories

willie-nelsons-greatest-hits.jpgLet’s be real, here. People who grow up like I did are not often country music fans. Aside from my mother’s odd taste for the sounds of the Grand Old Opry (acquired during her years at Wellesley, no doubt) I knew no country music unless it was from one of those “Willie Nelson’s Greatest Hits” ads that ran constantly on our local CBS station. Well, sometimes I caught a little bit of “Hee Haw” if no one changed the channel in time. Suffice it to say that “another somebody done somebody wrong song” was never my music of choice.

I like irony, subtly, and a literary lyric. Like my tea, I tend to like my music un-sweet, unless the sweetness is only one of many layers and has no cloying quality. There was a kind of song that made me queasy from the time I was very small:  ”Baby, I’m a want you,” and “Cherish” come to mind. Well, and that other kind; the kind where a dog dies and is carried out to sea, or someone (or something) named “Wildfire” is apparently lost. There was a kind of broad, needy, whiny quality about those songs, and that Ick Factor seemed to exist in every country song I heard. “Blue Eyes Cryin’ in the Rain?” Seriously?!

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juliejulia.jpg Thanks to Sony Pictures, I saw a special preview screening of "Julie & Julia." The screenplay for the film was adapted from two books: My Life in France, Julia Child's autobiography, co-written with her grand-nephew Alex Prud'homme, and Julie and Julia by Julie Powell. One book recounts (among other things) how Mastering The Art of French Cooking came to be, and the other is how one woman cooked every single recipe in it, in the space of a year. I also got to see a presentation with a past Top Chef contestant, the author Julie Powell and one of the primary supporting actors Chris Messina, but the most intriguing person I met associated with the film was the culinary consultant, Susan Spungen. She and an assistant managed to prepare and cook every single dish in the movie as well as prep the cooking scenes. 

Susan Spungen is a cook, food stylist, editor and cookbook author. She worked as food editor for Martha Stewart Living magazine for over 10 years, was a restaurant pastry chef and went to art school early in her career. She is a stylist with the soul of a cook.

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magazines11.jpgFor a long time, I wasn’t writing because I was swept away by a passion that completely eclipsed my love of food and cooking. There’s something about losing weight that makes me start thinking about clothes again. I speak not of the utilitarian Mom Garb that tends to be stretchy and sexless, and purchased for the dual purposes of comfort and covering up body parts which are too awful even to contemplate. I mean fashion. I mean I start reading “Vogue,” and “Allure,” and “InStyle” and (my personal favorite) “Lucky” and scheming about where to get a faux Chanel jacket and whether I can get away with a pair of the 4-inch Gladiator shoes  that are essential for the transition from summer to fall this season. I cooked, I worked, I kept my kid in clean Abercrombie jeans, but my mind was usually far off in the land of boyfriend cardigans and vintage Diane von Furstenburg wrap dresses. I had nothing to write, unless it concerned the preparation of food that would not leave a stain on a Prada jacket, or how to pick an outfit and accessories to coordinate with one’s dinner. (Hint: a large Mabe pearl ring is a delightful tongue in chic accompaniment to a plate of oysters on the half shell).

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madmen.jpgThe drinks menu is easy—anything from scotch on the rocks to wine to martinis to Mint Juleps. And we know what brand mad men and women smoke, at least for now—Lucky Strike. But what do mad men and women eat? When they dine out in season four, it’s Chicken Kiev. And when they’re staying in—well, it’s easy to see why they don’t eat in very often.

In the first episode of the new season, Dan’s housekeeper told him that she had made pork chops—surely enough to drive a man not only to drink but to thoughts of an earlier season, when Betty, jumping up from the table to fetch his dinner, perkily asked, “Hot or cold”? Did we ever see Betty eat, even when she was pregnant? Most evenings she was brooding at the kitchen table, nursing a glass of wine. As little Bobby says, “Mommy doesn’t eat.” I can recall only two noteworthy exceptions: the vision of Betty—in the same episode as Bobby’s observation—devouring a chicken leg after her one-night stand with a stranger and her tryst in a sweet shop over a dish of ice cream with future- second-husband and Freudian-father-figure Henry Francis.

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Perfect bed-time reading to and for kids
Gary Ross's enchanting and charming
Bartholomew Biddle and the Very Big Wind

Bartholomew Biddle and the Very Big Wind
Encyclopedia Paranoiaca



Just when you thought it was safe to eat bananas
and all the other thing in the world you should be paranoid about!
Chris Cerf's and Henry Beard's

Encyclopedia Paranoiaca



Magical realism, three enchanting women (aside from the fact that we already had a soft spot for lions and Delia Ephron)
Delia Ephron's

The Lion is In

The Lion is In

MORE BOOKS--Click Here!!

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