Sunday, March 22, 2009

Leftover Breakfast Creation (More Twice-Cooked Food)

The highlight of dinner last night was my first attempt at aligot, a cheesy, garlicky, goopy version of mashed potatoes from the Auvergne region of France that I learned about in the current (April 2009) issue of Cook’s Illustrated (pages 18-19). The boys had left the table in the same fashion they had eaten—quickly and recklessly—and I was left staring at the remains of what I had started preparing four hours earlier and which had then mostly disappeared in about fifteen minutes of nearly wordless feeding when the vision of this morning’s breakfast came to me. The main dish had been a corned beef brisket, and since corned beef hash has long been a favorite breakfast treat of mine, the combination of potatoes and corned beef seemed natural, but there was a step before that as well. In the same post-dinner haze minutes earlier I had thought of another breakfast rarity I treasure: pan-fried mashed potato patties. Well, the combination was as good or better than I had hoped: pan-fried corned beef aligot patties. The crispy light brown surface, the soft, gooey, cheesy, interior, the salty shreds of the corned beef, and the underlying pleasure of garlic infusing every bite. Fortunately I have enough left for at least one more patty.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Found Poem

This is a very shallow monster,
a very weak monster,
a most poor credulous monster,
a most perfidious and drunken monster!

This puppy-headed monster . . . most scurvy!
An abominable monster,
a most ridiculous monster,
a howling monster, a drunken monster!

O brave monster!
Thou wert but a lost monster.

(from The Tempest, 2.2 & 4.1)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Two Beautiful Lists From Movies that Are Now (Gasp! . . . Sigh) Twenty Years Old

I believe in the soul, the cock, the pussy, the small of a woman's back, the hanging curve ball, high fiber, good scotch, that the novels of Susan Sontag are self-indulgent, overrated crap. I believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. I believe there ought to be a constitutional amendment outlawing Astroturf and the designated hitter. I believe in the sweet spot, soft-core pornography, opening your presents Christmas morning rather than Christmas Eve and I believe in long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days.

—Kevin Costner as Crash Davis in Bull Durham (1988)

I don't want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don't want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed. You know, as a career, I don't want to do that.

—John Cusack as Lloyd Dobler in Say Anything (1989)

I Can Barely Contain Myself!

I just learned that Julie Taymor, the director behind such visual masterpieces as Titus, Frida, and Across the Universe, has been working on a movie of The Tempest, which is currently scheduled for release this year, and which features Helen Mirren as a female Prospero and Djimon Hounsou as Caliban. The cast also includes a bunch of guys who don't give bad performances: Alan Cumming, Alfred Molina, Chris Cooper, and David Strathairn.

Taymor previously directed a production of The Tempest for stage, and the clips I have seen of it are remarkable. If I could go back in time, I would buy tickets to see it. Since that's unlikely, I'll be at the new movie version on opening night.