Sunday, August 30, 2009

Gone to the Lake

No computer, no tv. I can't wait. See you in two and a half weeks.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Catching up with Tibby

These are for the fans (and I know at least three of them out there!)

Fruit Bat

Sunday, August 23, 2009

This Place Smells Great!

So, needing to roast a chicken, and inspired by Marie's technique, I proceeded with this flattened bird, laying it on a bed of lemon, onion, rosemary and tarragon:

Done, and delicious:

Slurping Noises

I was struck by the urge to make my own pasta today, for the first time ever.

The banks of my flour well broke and the egg rushed out. Eep!

With pirate cries I stemmed the flow, and soon had an assembled dough. Blimey, that rhymes!

Kneading took place and soon a smooth dough ball was in my proud possession:

After resting (both me and the dough), I did some rolling out.

My inexperience showed in in the tagliatelle that came out uneven and a bit too thick. I hadn't realized how much the strands would swell during cooking. Here they are, uncooked:

But, boy were they good when they were cooked! I served them with a fresh sage/butter sauce tossed with the pasta, then topped with lashings of finely shaved parmigiano and ground black pepper. My two human guinea pigs were very happy with the result.

And speaking of sage, I think it's time for a "quote of the day":

"Wisdom is the providence of the aged,
but the heart of a child is pure."
Peter Sellers as Hrundi V. Bakshi in The Party (1968)

//UPDATE: I was on the phone with a friend who asked me why the noodles appeared to be such different colours pre-cooking and post. Answer: they were photographed in different rooms. The cooked noodles look more like they did in real life.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Quote of the Day

General Lorenz Lowenhielm: I have been with you every day of my life. Tell me you know that.

Martina: Yes, I know it.

Lowenhielm: You must also know that I shall be with you every day that is granted to me from now on. Every evening I shall sit down to dine with you. Not with my body, which is of no importance, but with my soul. Because this evening I have learned, my dear, that in this beautiful world of ours, all things are possible.

Jarl Kulle as General Lorens Löwenhielm and Birgitte Federspiel as Martina in Babette's Feast (1987)

Thursday, August 20, 2009


"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived."

From Walden by Henry David Thoreau. Photograph from last year's cottage trip.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Something Else I did on Blogging Hiatus

I love boxy handbags, usually 1950s in style. This white wicker basket bag was picked up in a little junk/antique shop. It had a very nasty old lining but a cute wooden handle and brass lock. It's 8" wide to give you some perspective.

Here it is with a spiffy new lining:


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Song of the Day

I am Calling You
(Bob Telson)

A desert road from Vegas to nowhere
Some place better than where you've been
A coffee machine that needs some fixin'
In a little cafe just around the bend

I am calling you
Can't you hear me
I am calling you

A hot dry wind blows right through me
The baby's cryin' and I can't sleep
But we both know a change is comin'
Coming closer, sweet release

I am calling you
I know you hear me
I am calling you

This song, sung by Jevetta Steele, is one of the many memorable things from the film Bagdad Cafe (1987). So many more, including C.C.H. Pounder and Jack Palance. The luminous Marianne Sägebrecht is a German woman who emerges from the California desert in a way that brought to mind Harry Dean Stanton in Paris, Texas (1984). (I think it's because I spent formative years living in the desert that draws me to it over and over). But here's the thing: Bagdad Cafe was directed by Percy Adlon (German, although I wouldn't have guessed from the name) and Paris, Texas was directed by Wim Wenders. Strange and delicious.

Stowe White and the Seven - make that Twenty-odd - Plums

It's too hot to do anything. So first of all I admired the paint job in my home (I did the whole thing this summer; amazing what you can do when taking a blog hiatus) and remarked on the many different hues that Stowe White paint can take in late afternoon light. Then I admired one of my hanging Jack Pines.

Then I lay on the carpet and considered dinner. Too hot to cook. Almost too hot to eat (let's not get carried away) so I consumed a bowl of yellow Ontario plums. A big bowl.

Stomach pains! Why do I do this? I cannot resist the lure of summer fruit. Sigh... OW!

Quote(s) of the Day

"Excellence does not require perfection."

Henry James

"That's a mercy."


Sunday, August 16, 2009

It's Been a While...

... but tea time is always worth the wait. We consumed the entire batch of fresh-from-the-oven scones with lashings of butter and black cherry jam. Oh, and lots of tea.

Dainty half-scone:


Quote of the Day

"Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in. I drink at it; but while I drink, I see the sandy bottom and detect how shallow it is. Its thin current slides away, but eternity remains. I would drink deeper; fish in the sky, whose bottom is pebbly with stars."

From Walden by Henry David Thoreau

Friday, August 14, 2009

Quote of the Day

"The strange effect of this incident was that when they met that evening at dinner both Mrs. Fisher and Lady Caroline had a singular feeling of secret understanding with Mr. Wilkins. He could not be to them as other men. He could not be to them as he would have been if they had met him in his clothes. There was a sense of broken ice; they felt at once intimate and indulgent; almost they felt to him as nurses do – as those feel who have assisted either patients or young children at their baths. They were acquainted with Mr. Wilkins’s legs."

The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Quote of the Day

"My feelings for you, Hank, are like a big bowl of... fish hooks. I can't just pick up one up at a time. I pick one up and they all come, so I just had to leave 'em alone."

Meryl Streep as Lee in Marvin's Room (1996)

39.04%... and counting

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Quote of the Day

The Organic Commandment

Love is the virtue of the heart
Sincerity the virtue of the mind
Courage the virtue of the spirit
Decision the virtue of the will.

Frank Lloyd Wright

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Waving Vigorously

Hello! I'm hoping to start blogging again soon. In the meantime, I'll get myself back into the swing with a new "Quote of the Day" feature on the top of the right-hand column. Also, my top ten movie list is now up to twelve. Can you spot the latest addition?

Hey, have other bloggers noticed that the search feature on the top left doesn't seem to work any more? Also, the profile views counter seems to have frozen but I've heard that's pretty common.

Hope you're all well!