Friday, June 24, 2011

Palace Theatre Hits the Century Mark

Check out the fabulous Palace Theatre in downtown Los Angeles this weekend, as it turns 100 years old.  Free tour on Saturday with theater historian Ed Kelsey.  As part of Last Remaining Seats, there are three sold out screenings of the film "Sunset Boulevard" on Sunday.  You can take your chances, like me, and get in the standby line for the film.

Also, lovers of single screen theaters, John Carpenter is at the Egyptian Theatre tonight for the 25th anniversary screening of his film "Big Trouble in Little China."  New 35MM print. I hear there are still some tickets available.  O, snack bar suggestion: The Mummy Deal!

Wait!  "Viva Las Vegas" on screen at the historic Alex Theatre in Glendale on Saturday 2P.M. and 8 P.M.

Check out more movie information at the Los Angeles Times wonderful 24 Frames.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Longing for Swan Pye?

Fans of food history should check out the website of Ivan Day. Day is a food historian specializing in British and European cooking. Some of the course titles on his site include Period Sugarworking and Confectionary, Period Ham Making, Georgian Cooking, and A Taste of Christmas Past. 

I came across Day's site a few years ago when I was researching historic cooking classes in England.  The Food Programme on BBC Radio 4 did a wonderful show with Day called The Christmas Dinners that Time Forgot.  The BBC Reader app has the program available under the Arts and Culture genre.  This app is available by monthly subscription for mobile devices and is filled with the most entertaining programming. 

About that swan pye, the recipe is available on the home page of Day's website.  Just for fun, of course.  We're not eating swan these days, now are we?!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Wednesday Chef Speaks from Her Heart

Luisa Weiss is another food blogger whose work I love.  She is a talented cook and writer.  Her blog The Wednesday Chef is filled with wonderful recipes as well as Luisa's personal feelings about food and its place in her world.  I really connected with her recent posting on a dinner party she threw that left her feeling alienated from the very food she had cooked.  It's an interesting read and I think, like my own experience, one that many cooks will recognize as something that has happened to them.  Check out her site for that entry as well as the recipe for Zuni Cafe's Chard and Onion Panade, a dish Luisa loves to make.

Luisa is working on a book My Berlin Kitchen.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Molly Wizenberg's Lovely Carrots + Thyme

Like thousands of others, I love reading anything written by Molly Wizenberg.  Her blog Orangette is filled with wonderful recipes.  This simple carrot + thyme recipes is one of my current favorites from Molly. Please check out her first book A Homemade Life when you have a moment.  I say first book because I know there are many more books to follow from the talented Molly.

Skillet Carrots with Onions and Thyme

My host mother used regular orange carrots, but I like to use purple and yellow ones, too, when I can find them. They keep their color when cooked, so they make the dish especially handsome. Whatever carrots you use, make sure that they taste sweet in their raw state: a dull, bitter carrot cannot be fixed. I don’t bother to peel my carrots, but I do wash them well.

Also, for this recipe, I like to slice my onions from stem end to root end, like this, so that they keep their shape and integrity as they cook. When you slice onions the other way – across their equators, you could say – they tend to fall apart during cooking.

Olive oil
1 yellow onion, halved and sliced from root to stem
2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 lb. carrots, sliced into ¼-inch-thick rounds
4 to 5 fresh thyme sprigs
½ tsp. red wine vinegar, or to taste

Warm a large skillet over medium-high heat. When it’s hot, add a good amount of olive oil, enough to film the bottom of the pan. Add the onions – they should sizzle – stir to coat with oil. Salt lightly. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are softened but not browned. Add the garlic, reduce the heat to medium, and cook for a few more minutes, until the garlic is fragrant. Add the carrots, thyme, and a couple of generous pinches of salt, and stir to mix. If the carrots look dry, add a little more oil to lightly coat them; this dish needs more oil than you might think. Cover the pan and continue to cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the carrots are tender and the onions are very soft. (I never seem to pay attention to how long this takes, but I would guess that it takes somewhere between 10 and 20 minutes.) Remove the pan from the heat, and discard the thyme sprigs. Sprinkle the vinegar over the carrots. Stir gently to incorporate: the vinegar should subtly brighten the flavor of the carrots without being discernable itself. Add more vinegar, if needed, and salt to taste.

Serve hot.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings