Cooking · Dining · Food

Looking For Something New to Cook?

Try some of Julia Child’s best recipes.

I saw this article recently and had to check it out: Julia Child’s Most Comforting Recipes.

Now, I know that for many folks, their first instinct is to exclaim “I can’t make those! They are too hard!” They really aren’t. If you aren’t sure, check out The French Chef on PlutoTV or other platforms that carry the show. There you will find episodes dedicated to these recipes and you can see exactly how Julia made them.

They might be a bit more involved than you are used to but they might also be less time intensive (hands on) than you think, too.

One way or the other, you will find some seriously good food!

Audiobooks · Books

From The Reading Table: Mastering the Art of French Murder

Mastering the Art of French Murder by Colleen Cambridge

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It is a rare occasion when I find a book that literally keeps me up all night. Happily, this was one of the best.

I have been a Julia Child fan for decades, so the title was a great hook to capture my attention. The reader did a remarkable job of bringing Julia to life. Actually, the reader did a remarkable job with everything thrown at her. There is an interesting mix of languages, locations, and people that are handled with ease.

The author has created not only interesting characters, but has brought to life a time and place that made me feel as if I might be watching a film.

There are plenty of references to mystery writers and characters which kept me on my toes trying to figure out ‘who done it’. And I have to say I was led down many a wrong path before I reached the culmination of the story. Who was involved? What was actually going on? You will have to read (or listen) to find out.

This book is apparently the beginning of a new series, another thing that makes me happy. If the next work is as good as this one, I could be along for long ride.

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Audiobooks · Books

From The Reading Table: I, Claudius and Claudius The God

I, Claudius/Claudius the God by Robert Graves

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I first encountered Claudius in paperback when PBS ran the British series. It was impossible to ignore. I read both books by Robert Graves, but I have to say that at the time my knowledge of Rome and its history was extremely limited. Fast forward a few decades, toss in a lot more knowledge of Rome and a return visit to Emperor Claudius via the audio versions of Graves’ books. The experience is even more interesting and amazing.

When I started connecting the dots of the history I had learned with the tales Claudius tells, I gained an entirely different understanding.

The first person account of encounters with historical names and places brings both the people and the history to life. Some of it terrifying. Some of it mundane.

Claudius survived a family that pretty much killed off anyone who got in the way. His journey was one of learning to keep out of sight while in plain sight (confusing, yes, but infinitely necessary). He lived in interesting times among interesting people and in places that we can only see in ruins.

The books are not for those who like their history cleaned up and tidy. History has never been either. I would like to suggest that the reader have more than a tendril of knowledge of the subject matter but in the end I’m not sure it would matter. If Claudius’ story captivates enough, it could lead you into an entirely new rabbit hole.

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Around the House

Anticipating Fall

Like many folks, I have had enough of Summer. The running joke around here is if you don’t like the weather wait 5 minutes. That worked back when we had a variety of options rather than the standard ‘hot’. Personally, I’m ready for a 5 minute change.

I have found myself contemplating pot roast and cozy coffee and baking something warm and, well, cozy. You get the drift.

I came across my holiday DVD collection today. Peanuts! All the autumn and winter specials. I can enjoy spending time with the kids as they wait for the Great Pumpkin or endeavor to collect lots of Halloween candy! I love the Christmas special, too.

I was thinking about the apple cake I made last year and contemplating doing it again. Did you try it? Scrumptious! I also want to try Erin McDowell’s biscuits and pie crust recipes.

September seems to herald the start of a new phase where we buckle down and get ready for winter weather. We gather favorite recipes and ponder gift giving while curling up with something to keep us company.

Hard to do that when it is hot and humid outside, right?

Here’s hoping you start your own end of year process. Are you collecting ideas, contemplating crafting, gearing up for a major (or minor) cleaning phase?

Sending you luck!

Classic TV · Musings · TV

Enjoying The Toons

Cartoons and Comics, that is!

If you have been around here for any length of time, you know how much I enjoy good cartoons and comic strips. Animation is an art that takes many forms. If you have ever found yourself watching a cartoon and being amazed at the beauty of the backgrounds, you are a kindred spirit.

If you have read comic strips for any length of time and found yourself caught up in the story, you are a kindred spirit, too.

These mediums are not just for children. Although as I contemplate the history of some of the makers involved in these classics, it is not difficult to consider that some of these folks were acting on their childish impulses. LOL!

I think you have to be less than Serious to make some seriously great cartoons.

I’ve watched Toon In With Me on MeTV ever since it debuted. What I have noticed lately is the improvement in the link segments. The segments between the cartoons. It often takes a while for a show to find its feet and there was a time when this show seemed to want to rely a bit too much on, shall we say, questionable characters and situations. A lot of that has been stripped away and the focus is on Bill, the cartoon curator, and his pal, Tooney the Tuna.

The show flows better, there is more to be interested in, and the overall experience is fun rather than <cough> attempts to be juvenile trying to be grown ups.

Comic strips are a great way to touch base with the funny and the wisdom of the ordinary. I have been introduced to new strips that have caught my attention and have found pleasure in returning to old favorites.

Sometimes it is a simple visit with Snoopy and Charlie Brown that can lift my spirits. Dropping in on For Better or For Worse reminds me of when the strip was brand new and the kids just growing up. Baldo adds a touch of humor and the kids are actually a pleasure to spend time with.

Personally, I find the daily touch base a great way to start my day.

Are you a comics or cartoon fan? What are your favorites?