Monday, August 31, 2009

Three Movies, Four Flavours.

Today was three movies: Ponyo, Inglourious Basterds, and District 9.

Ponyo, from the same director as Howl's Moving Castle and Spirited Away was not good. The animation wasn't as revolutionary as it might have been ten years ago. You see one group of fish swimming you've seen them all.

Inglourious Basterds didn't feel as long as it was because Tarantino is good at breaking his film into chapters, with literal chapter cards. Pitt's performance was great given the material. It seems Tarantino is most effective with two or three actors in a scene. As I think back on the film there are great vignettes. And aside from some scalping and carving into foreheads with a Bowie knife, this wasn't as violent as many Tarantino flicks I've seen. (I keep on typing Tarantion.)

This is a good time for me to point out that Pitt has worked with a lot of great and renowned directors. David Fincher (thrice), Tarantino, The Coen Brothers, Guy Ritchie, Alejandro González Iñárritu (Thank you, Michael.), Soderbergh, Tony Scott, and like passing a torch: Robert Redford. My chicken/egg deal is whether these directors are more effective because they are working with Pitt, or if he is a better actor because of their direction.

District 9 is much beloved by my friends who like playing 1st person shooter video games like Halo, Call to Duty, and the like. I thought it was the best of the three films, for its story telling, if any reason. It is a fine example of the sci-fi genre and if the rest of Neill Blomkamp's films are this good, Peter Jackson might be a better talent scout than he is a director.

And now for the four flavours.

Wednesday, Ivanna Cone, through Facebook, said they would have their Salted Caramel for the first time, and that ol' standby Chambord (I remember Ellen loving this flavour, and it was my first half gallon from them.) I was also interested in their Hot Cocoa, so I brought a contingency of friends with me. I had those three aforementioned flavours, but the star of the show was the surprise Sweet Basil. It was great, sweet, basily, and all within the great ice cream of Ivanna Cone. I am curious about the Wild Plum they have in the works, and when I know about it, you will.

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At September 06, 2009 2:43 AM, Blogger Wishydig said...

a couple of ways: you could just copy/paste and blogger will accept these characters

gonzález iñárritu

or you could use the following strings in code for each letter and symbol

á = á
ñ = ñ

At September 06, 2009 1:32 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

Thank you, though it took me a while to figure out how to close out the code with the semicolon.


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Monday, August 17, 2009

And Every Bite We Drew Was Hallelujah

So I finally made The Pie last night, and It was everything I wanted. I loved how the crust was essential to the whole. And there was a deep spicy sweetness that made me think of the Holy Dark Leonard Cohen speaks of in his song. (though wikipedia says it was Rufus Wainwright's addition, regardless--Holy and Dark and my Pie.) Beautiful.

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At August 17, 2009 2:44 PM, Blogger Curly Sue said...

Wish I could have tasted it. We've got fresh peaches crying out for a small tart. That's tonight.

At August 18, 2009 12:52 AM, Blogger Daniel said...

I'm always amazed at how easily peaches peel when you blanch them. Tarts are fun, especially small ones, like a galette.

At August 18, 2009 10:36 AM, Blogger Ellen said...

My adviser is very proud of his Concord grape pie, and even though he's promised to make me one, he never has.



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Friday, August 14, 2009


So last Summer I exchanged a pie (read Ashley's review in the comments of that post) for a Wolfgang Puck deep fryer and a mandolin (not the musical kind).

Since the pie was not for me, I didn't get to taste it, so I was greatly anticipating Concord grape season to roll around again, so I could taste it this time. And the last go-round through the produce aisle, there were some Niabell grapes from CA that advertised themselves as "Concord-like."

I've taken to calling this my communion pie, because of Ashley's comments, and because an unleavened crust with a grape is very Adventist communion palate. I find it best not to get too carried away with this comparison because sacrilege and blasphemy are a slippery slope. I'm now going to take the comparison too far and be sacrilegious and blasphemous.

My understanding of the Roman Catholic sacrament is that there's transubstantiation where the wafer and wine become the body and blood of the Christ. Does transubstantiation work both ways? If I truly pour my soul into making this pie, does my blood and body become the pie components? Or does reverse Transubstantiation require a different term, like Insubstantiation--from soul to substance. And with making the crust Wednesday night, seeding the grapes Thursday night (about 90 minutes of work for 2 pounds of grapes), the pie will rise on the Third Morning; Remind you of anyone?



At August 16, 2009 4:14 PM, Blogger Curly Sue said...

Ooh, a mandolin! I've always wanted one of those.

Your theories re transubstantiation and insubstantiation made me giggle.

At August 17, 2009 2:10 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

While I haven't used the deep fryer, yet, I have used the mandolin and it is everything I'd hoped it would be. I recommend putting it on a wish list or shopping list if you are even thinking of getting one.


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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

You Say Aubergine . . .

and I say eggplant. Of course everyone knows these are interchangeable terms for that nutritionally vapid purple racial epithet of the nightshade family.

But did you know what courgette refers to? I've been reading a lot of British food blogs and it is mentioned quite frequently. I had a hunch after the first recipe or two, and then I confirmed my suspicions with my resident food scientist at work. I'll put the answer in the comments.

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At August 12, 2009 12:49 AM, Blogger Daniel said...


At August 12, 2009 8:44 AM, Blogger Curly Sue said...

My second semester French class taught me "courgette." I'll tell you, though. "Cornichons" were a total killer...we couldn't figure it out.

We made some great sandwiches out of roasted eggplant, red bell peppers, and onions on baguettes recently. Roasted veggies in a red wine vinaigrette with salad mix and feta cheese. Oh, and garlic.


At August 12, 2009 9:33 AM, Blogger Ellen said...

My guess was Corgi pie, using only the freshest corgis around.


At August 12, 2009 4:48 PM, Blogger CëRïSë said...

I remember seeing "courgettes" on (English) menus all across Europe. Mmmmm, zucchini... mmmmm, Corgis...


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Sunday, August 09, 2009


Remember that French chef that enjoyed my black raspberry pie? Here's a more accurate description of him with a picture even.

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Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Let the Ounces Just Melt Away.

I'm not happy that the last carton of ice cream I got from Haagen-Dazs was 14 ounces instead of the 16 of a pint. This is their explanation. This angers me that I can't eat a pint of their ice cream without getting two of their cartons. They're even reducing their 32 oz. cartons to 28 oz. Their explanation is some mumbo jumbo about increased cost of ingredients and transportation. Then raise your price. A 12.5% increase in price (the percentage they are reducing the pint by) is 43 cents on a $3.50 carton. The whole point of Haagen-Dazs is to indulge and consume conspicuously. This is why I usually eat my pint on the way home from the grocery store (since I'm sans cell phone, this is my poor driving vice.). So what is four bits to continued pint enjoyment. I used to take joy in the fact that ice cream and beer both came in pints. Now I'm frustrated.

BJ Novak previously documented the shrinking of Cadbury Bunny Eggs on Late Night with Conan O'Brien in April of 2007 (the video doesn't seem to be up on youtube or google video anymore). My other experience is with my favorite granola for eating in yogurt, Udi's (if you notice in the picture the bags still have the 16 on them from when they were packaged in pounds, but the description says all bags 13 ounces). Used to be they sold "one pound" of wholesome goodness; now they're all cutesy about their "Baker's Dozen" of 13 ounces. And as I look at their website further, the 13 ounces is only on the Home page, while the Our Products pages still have 16 ounces.



At August 05, 2009 8:14 AM, Blogger Curly Sue said...

Oh, this kind of thing infuriates me. So thanks for helping me start off my day in a fury.

I hadn't thought about the fact that both beer and ice cream come in pints. That's a handy factoid.


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