28 June 2012

How to be a Movie Producer...

...without even trying.

Have you ever wanted to be a movie producer but life got in your way?

Maybe you don't live in New York City or L.A.  (Los Angeles, not Lower Alabama.)

Maybe you don't have 50 million or 50 hundred. (But you do have $5 tucked into your pocket.)

Well do not despair.  Add that movie producer credit to your bucket list and head over to Kickstarter.

As you know, Kickstarter is a place where small projects can get big funding from some rich folks and poor folks like you (or me).  The Winding Stream got the money for their initial filming from Kickstarter and now they are working on the post-production.  (Truth is, they have accomplished their goal and their fundraising technically ends today.)

The Winding Stream is Beth Harrington's detailed documentary about the Carter Family.  While most of the general population knows the Carter Family because of Johnny Cash.  If it hadn't been for the Carter Family, Johnny Cash might have slipped into obscurity and much of the music we hear every day would be sadly lacking without the original inspiration from Maybelle, Sara and A.P. Carter.    Please take look at the preview of MY film...

Now head over to Kickstarter and find a project that you can be a part of.

22 June 2012

Famous Food Friday -- Ernest Hemingway

A week or so back, my cable inadvertently turned on HBO and I taped a few things before they cut the feed.   One was  Hemingway & Gellhorn.  I love Clive Owen, but I can't say that I have ever been a big fan of Nicole Kidman.  When the movie started, I was pleasantly surprised that I like Kidman as the elderly Gellhorn.   

Clive Owen played Hemingway in the irascible, horrible, pain-in-the-ass way that one expects he might have been, but frankly Clive Owen is no Hemingway.   Every time someone called him "Papa" it made me laugh.  Hemingway at his most filthy and uncouth still managed to get the girl, which I find interesting if not a bit odd.  Clive Owen covered in sewage would always get the girl.   On of the producers of this film was James Gandolfini.  Gandolfini would have been a great "Papa" so why do they always cast the pretty boy?   Kidman spent a lot of her time throwing her rucksack across her shoulder.  It seemed to make kidman uncomfortable, as this was probably the first time on 30 years that she ever carried her own luggage.  I think Philip Kaufman is a great director and Henry & June is one of my favorite movies.  It is too bad that Kaufmann didn't cast Hemingway and Gellhorn with the same quirkiness he used in Henry  & June.  It might have been greatly improved.

There is a good bit of food in Hemingway's writing and historian Craig Boreth compiled many of those recipes in The Hemingway Cookbook.   Long out of print and quite collectible, the book is getting a second shot this year when it is republished and launched again.

During one scene in the Hemingway & Gellhorn  the couple is in the famous El Floridita.  
Hemingway at El Floridita with his arm around Spencer Tracy and his back to wife number four, Mary.

There Hemingway makes his favorite drink, the Papa Doble.  This recipe is based upon the Daiquirí recipe from El Floridita that Hemingway drinks with A. E. Hotchner in his book Papa Hemingway.

Papa Doble or Hemingway Daiquirí
2 1/1 jiggers Bacardi or Havana Club rum
Juice of 2 limes
Juice of 1/2 grapefruit
6 drops of maraschino (cherry brandy)
Fill a blender one-quarter full of ice, preferably shaved or cracked. Add the rum, lime juice, grapefruit juice and maraschino.
Blend on high until the mixture turns cloudy and light-colored, "like the sea where the wave falls away from the bow of a ship when she is doing thirty knots."  (Islands in the Stream, p. 281).

Here is another example of Boreth pulling a recipe from fact and fiction.
"Aboard the Pilar, Ernest's beloved fishing boat, food took on epic
proportions. Even something as simple as a peanut butter and onion
sandwich, his lunchtime favorite, can be elevated to heroic status while at

     "Well, go down to the galley and see if that bottle of tea is cold and bring
it up. Antonio's butchering the fish, go make a sandwich will you, please?"
     "Sure. What kind of sandwich?"
     "Peanut butter and onion if there's plenty of onion."
     "Peanut butter and onion it is, sir."
     He handed a sandwich, wrapped in a paper towel segment, to Thomas Hudson and
said, "One of the highest points in the sandwich-maker's art. We call it
the Mount Everest Special. For Commanders only." (From Islands in the Stream, p. 390-1).

A.E. Hotchner, in his biography, Papa Hemingway, notes that this sandwich,
along with a glass of red wine, was Hemingway's favorite (Papa Hemingway, p. 194)."

Mount Everest special 

2 slices white bread
Peanut butter
2 thick slices onion

Spread one piece of bread thickly with peanut butter. Lay onion slices on
top. Cover with second slice of bread.

Clearly, there must have been something magical about Hemingway.  Name the last dirty guy, covered in fish scales and reeking of peanut butter and onions that you would take home to mama?

For those of you who don't like trolling comments, The Ancient pointed out that while living with and married to Martha Gellhorn, Hemingway was kind of a babe.   We do love blogging as our horizons are always broadened.   Perhaps we did have a bit of Hemingway bias, but remember, peanut butter, onions, fish guts... not to mention he will steal your job...



21 June 2012

Fancy Food

We spent the early part of this week at the Fancy Food Show in D.C.  Acres and acres of new and familiar products.  My friend, Anne, and I make this a yearly ritual.  This year there was a lot of dried okra -- a great way to eat okra without the slime.  There were also many bottled shrubs, fruit drinks with a kick of vinegar which I usually have to make by hand, so it was nice to see them already bottled for me.

There were several folks in attendance who we have written about at Cookbook Of The Day.

Jeni, from Jeni's Splendid Ice Cram was there with splendid ice cream.   We just love ice cream books almost as much as we like ice cream and Jeni's is a favorite.   Check out our review of her book here.  To find out what makes Jeni really special, take a look at this video of Jeni describing her ice cream.  Anyone who is inspired to make ice cream by reading Edna St. Vincent Millay is someone we want to party with.

Another favorite book of ours is Wild Table.  Connie Green and Sarah Scott introduced a new line of foraged products including a great fennel pollen.  Their elderberry shrub was a prize winner.  Check out their products and foraged items at Wine Forest.

The guys at Brooklyn Brew Shop were busy making beer.  I made beer in a D.C. apartment, once.  It took up most of the kitchen and all of the linen closet.  Brooklyn Brew Shop shrunk the process down into a gallon fermenter and the rest...as they say, is history.   So grab a kit and brew beer in your Airstream if need be.

And their shirts were cool, too.

Ah, so much food, so little time.   I am spending the next few days soothing my blistered feet!

16 June 2012

Women Reading

 Interior with Artist's Daughter, 1935-1936, Vanessa Bell

07 June 2012

Queen's Jelly

More Queen's Jellies from Lydia.  Mine seems to be the winner.

05 June 2012

Tuneful Tuesday -- Americana

Neil Young reminds me of the serial killer next door.   You can just hear the neighbor saying, "We never saw him much.  He was quiet but he always nodded when he was in the yard."   Whether or not Young can carry a tune, his distinctive voice is unmistakable.

Today his first album with his iconic sixties band, Crazy Horse, was released.  Americana is just that...  sort of.  Young takes a set of songs that are American standards like Oh Susannah, Wayfaring Stranger and Darling Clementine and makes them his own.  No really, Oh Susannah and Clementine (two of my favorite songs) have totally new melodies, as if Young is somehow channeling Kurt Cobain.  Think about it.  Kurt Cobain and Stephen Foster drop acid in Purgatory and possess Neil Young and they make an album.   I will hand it to Young, he has taken a bunch of songs that are often thought of as songs to sing with the kids and brought back their original gruesomeness. 

How I missed her, how I missed her
How I missed my Clementine.
So I kissed her little sister,
And forgot my Clementine.
Rarely does this verse find its way into the children's sing-along.   

Oh Susannah is virtually unrecognizable.  (Did I mention this is one of my favorite songs?)  It the tradition of B-I-N-G-O  and D-I-V-O-R-C-E, Young sings the following:

 "I come from Alabama with my B-A-N-J-O on my knee."

Given that much of this week has been taken up with Queen's Jubilee, Young does what may be the most original version of God Save the Queen since Sid Vicious.  During the Jubilee coverage, I did have this moment during the endless playing of GSTQ when I thought to myself, "Why are they playing My Country Tis of Thee?   Young gives us the perfect amalgamation of both songs aided by a children's choir.  

I really wanted to love this, and in a way I do.  It forces the listener to hear that which we are familiar with and view it in a totally different way.  It is good to shake things up now and then.  That being said, I wanted a nice, acoustic rendition of Neil Young singing Oh Susannah in the same traditional way he does This Land Is your Land but noooo!  If he were here, I would take my B-A-N-J-O and hit him upside the head.

02 June 2012

Lydia Leith

I was in bed this morning watching CNN when should appear before my eyes but my QEII mould.  CNN was showcasing some of the many collectibles available for the Queen's Jubilee.

Alas, CNN was remiss in not mentioning the creator of the mould.

YES, I too, was remiss in doing such.  In my defense, I carefully removed the tag before using and promptly lost it.

The genius behind this mould and many other fine creations is Lydia Leith.  Check out her collection at www.lydialeith.com.

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