Sunday, December 30, 2007

Present...but stalling.

Hmm, that title aptly sums up the spirit of my vacation sloth. I'm technically alive but don't have much to show for it! Mostly, I've been reading and watching lots of movies. On that topic briefly, I would like to recommend the wonderful shoestring-budget Irish indie film, Once. It is the story of a street musician and his musical (and personal) collaboration with a young Polish woman, and it stars two little-known professional musicians-turned-actors Glen Hansard (of the Irish band, The Frames) and Markéta Irglová, who apparently are now a real-life couple. (Aww!) The film is so charming and inspirational, and the soundtrack is just fantastic. In fact, the song "Falling Slowly" should receive attention from Oscar or there is no justice in the cinematic world!

Secondly, have you seen Reign Over Me with Don Cheadle, Adam Sandler, Liv Tyler and Jada Pinkett-Smith? I found the film itself to be somewhat uneven and overwrought, but I was really impressed with the performances of the two leads. There is something so appealing, so humane, about Don Cheadler. I just love him. And why on earth has that not been more fuss made over Sandler's amazing performance in this film? Outstanding! I know people love him for his silly roles (even his horrible, unfunny, and I daresay, offensive ones like I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry--BLECH!), but he should get major props for nailing this role on all its many levels. He still gets to be funny, goofy Adam Sandler--if someone were to push Sandler over the edge and watch him descend into madness from grief and despair. The Golden Globe nominations were announced recently, and I am quite surprised that he was overlooked. (Stay turned for more incisive armchair film criticism throughout my vacation...ha ha.)

Ok, back to food blogging. I have been working on some food projects, but they've either been only semi-successful to date, or they aren't even done yet. (I saved some two-week-or-more experiments for winter break...and of course, I will report on them in due course.) However, I am extremely pleased to report, now that my back is on the mend and I can do a moderate amount of bending and twisting, that I FINALLY got all of my Christmas packages boxed up and ready for mailing. Tee hee. I know, I know. Don't even say it. But seriously, it has taken HOURS and HOURS to make it happen. I wanted to send a few of my friends and family a selection of my best preserves from the past season, and some of the boxes included up to a dozen jars! Glass jars going long distances are a particularly tricky proposition and involve a LOT of laborious drudgery. I had to dig through all my stacks of canning jar boxes to find just the right ones, pull out everything I needed, making a big pile in the front room, sort them, make, print and affix decorative labels, find adequate boxes and packing materials, haul the jars load by load to the gift wrapping station (=the dining room table), and then begin the odious and onerous task of packing, securing, and labelling each box. It literally took me all day to get five boxes ready to go, and I haven't even made it to the post office yet! Whew! No wonder people prefer point-and-click shopping. But Amazon doesn't have the delicious homemade goodies that I'm sending. The lucky folks on my list will receive selections from the following list of my favorites from this year's preserves:

Annie's Salsa
Apple Pie Jam
Apricot Pepper Jelly
Black Raspberry-Peach Jam
Hudson Valley Sour Cherry Jam
Maple Vanilla Pear Butter
Paradise Jelly
Peach Preserves for Cold Mornings
Plum-Orange Jam
Red Currant Jelly
Spiced Brown Sugar Apple Butter
Summer Pudding
Vanilla Bean Quince Preserves
Wild Grape Jelly
Zucchini Relish

Alright, gang. I promise, there will be proper posts with photos and recipes again very soon. In the meantime, let me end with some seasonal product endorsements. First, have you tried the (Limited Edition) Ghiradelli Peppermint Bark Squares? They come in milk chocolate and dark chocolate, and reportedly, even in a baking bar, though I haven't seen the latter in my local stores. Boo hiss. Anyway, the candy is yummy. And then I would be doing you all a huge disservice by not sending you directly to your neighborhood Starbucks to get yourselves the Peppermint Mocha Frappucino! Boy howdy, is that some kind of good! And it even comes with sparkly and festive red sprinkles on top! I don't know how long either of these tasty treats will be around, so you better get 'em while the gettin's good!

1 comment:

Randi said...

I was expecting lots of pics with this entry!! I want to see that new camera in action.