Friday, August 17, 2012

Julia Child's 100th birthday was celebrated this week at the Chabot house by making her fabulous Gratin Dauphinois......scalloped potatoes!!  I am here to tell you that it is the best recipe for scalloped potatoes EVER.  It's on page 523 of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and is super easy.  You can also substitute any other white cheese for the swiss listed in the recipe....I made it with mozzarella and we did everything but lick the casserole!!  Bon Appetit!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Ever since Woody Allen's movie, Midnight in Paris, I have been obsessed with Ernest Hemingway.  I'm reading A Moveable Feast, about his early years in Paris with first wife Hadley.  He seems such a tortured soul, so talented and wounded.  Another emotional casualty of WWI, his writing is clear and true.  I fell asleep reading it last night, then awoke at 4am and continued reading it til my husband's alarm went off at 5:15.  I've only read his non-fiction so far, and will jump into The Sun Also Rises when I finish this.  Almost don't want it to end, as I know the real ending.
Raise your hand if you love Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn!!!  I sure do- am reading The Gulag Archipelago.  He was the true voice of Russia...totally understand why they tried so hard to silence one likes to hear the truth about themselves, especially when it's painful.  He paints a picture, in black, of all the cruelty he witnessed in 20th century Russia.  His dedication of the book tears your heart right out.
"I dedicate this 
to all those who did not live
to tell it.
And may they please forgive me
for not having seen it all
nor remembered it all,
for not having divined all of it."
Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Don't you love it when you pick up a book, read the back cover, think it sounds sooooo interesting, buy it, start reading it, and discover during the second chapter that you've already read it?  Just did that with Charles Todd's Watchers of Time.  But the good news is, that after age 50, your memory dims just enough to forget how the book turns I'm still reading and enjoying it!!  Another perk for the "over 50" phase of my life.

Went to Slightly North of Broad last night for their Sunday Chef's Table Dinner- Amazing!  We had an Amuse Bouche, then five courses and a dessert.  There is a limit of 6 diners at the table, which borders the kitchen.  The wait staff was great, the chef chatted with us between courses, explaining his food choices, sources, seasonings, methods of food preparation, etc. and the food was just fantastic.  SNOB's chef has been there for 10 years and is really a master of his craft.  Some of my favorites were his "in house made" kielbasa, the Charleston Gold rice, the addition of lemon oil to his tomato coulis, their use of Timms Mill grits (from a home mill outside Anderson, SC) and the brown turkey fig salad with pistachios....yum!

How much fun would Thomas Hardy be at a party?

         I have recently become obsessed with Thomas Hardy novels....Tess of the D', Jude the Obscure, The Mayor of Castorbridge.   But, now that I am familiar with his writing style, I know immediately upon being introduced to each character, that things will end badly..for everyone.  When he shares the characters innermost desires, you know that they will not only NOT achieve them, but will watch them crash in flames in an excrutiating way.  It makes me wonder what Thomas Hardy would be like at a party.  Would he flip his drink over in your plate after hearing you state when dinner is served, "Oh, I've always wanted to try that!"?  When discussing a movie that you are very excited about seeing, would he tell you the ending- loud enough for all in the room to hear, ruining their movie experience as well?  Would he explain the choking hazards of each snack, then watch you intently as you over-chew it?  The man must have had his hopes dashed over and over to have used that as the engine that runs his plots so effectively.  My fantasy dinner party with Thomas Hardy would  include Cormac McCarthy, John Steinbeck and Dostoevsky, as they, too, beautifully weave a tale of doom, while making you want more!  What do you think, readers of Hardy?