Sunday, October 31, 2010

something to look forward to

It's that time of year again. Oscar-bait time! Whoo!

I'm really excited about a few films. I already have plans to see Due Date next week and Black Swan at AFI Fest. I'm most interested in:

Blue Valentine
The King's Speech
Somewhere (despite my dislike of Coppola)
The Illusionist (animated, by same people who did The Triplets of Belleville)

More commercial fare:
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
The Tourist
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

I'm also semi-interested in 127 Hours, Morning Glory, and, if they did a better trailer, Tangled.

What are you looking forward to? I know I should be including True Grit, but, honestly, it doesn't excite me that much.

Halloween dreams

I had this atrocious dream last night that I was in some kind of party/toy store where there was a remote control T-rex in some kind of vehicle that was voice-operated by someone else in the store, and it was totally harassing me. So I ran around the store trying to escape from it while everyone in the store conspired to have it come after me, even when I hid in a closet. For some reason, Amy Adams showed up and was like, if anyone's gonna be a wuss and hide in there, it should be me. Her argument did not carry a lot of water.

I also had a weird falling dream where I was in the many thousand-mile long race along mountains and I (third-person me, I think) slid down a mountain and my estranged father (played by Tim Daly in this dream) came down after me, and we had hit the part where we were falling slowly through this icy landscape instead of sliding, and this guy had also chucked him off the mountain to save us, but he brought a stretch of fabric that, when he reached us (gravity impossibility), we'd grab one side and he'd grab the other, and it made a parachute. So we lived. I don't remember anything after that except really connecting with Tim Daly.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

bad chef, good ice cream

I have a small, wonderful ice cream maker. I didn't buy it. It was a gift.
I also have Perfect Scoop, an ice cream book written by the incomparable David Lebovitz.

From that book, I recently made a batch of peppermint white chocolate ice cream with a couple of twists because I didn't have the proper ingredients (i.e., milk). It came out amazing anyhow.

6-8 ounces a bag of white chocolate chips

1 pint heavy cream

1/2 cup sugar

1/8 teaspoon peppermint extract

3 large egg yolks

1. Set the white chocolate in a large bowl and set a mesh strainer over the top.

2. In a medium-sized saucepan, heat the heavy cream, sugar, and peppermint extract.

3. Whisk together the egg yolks in a small bowl and gradually whisk in half of the warmed liquid, then scrape the warmed yolks back into the saucepan.

4. Cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly with a heatproof utensil, until the mixture thickens and coats the utensil. I'm not sure how long to do this for and I was concerned I took it off too early, even when there was a thin coat on my spatula.

5. Immediately pour the custard through the strainer into the white chocolate and stir until smooth. I had added a handful of semi-sweet chocolate chips in with my white chocolate chips, and they didn't smooth out. It worked out fine.

6. Chill thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The half-melted semi-sweet chocolate chips will glob a bit at the bottom, but just scrape that in too. It will add a nice fine chocolate chip texture to the ice cream.

Your ice cream is not for presentation but for taste--light, creamy, minty, smooth, white chocolate and chocolate, it's delicious. But the mixture of the white chocolate and semi-sweet makes it gray and hideous. Just trust me on this, though. It's yum and a good way to hold off cravings for Haagen-Dazs's seasonal Peppermint Bark ice cream.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

best thing about Freedom

If I'm ever famous and you decide to steal my glasses and run away, a la Franzenfest, you best get away because if the coppers catch ya, I won't press charges, but I WILL go to your house and make you tell your mom what you did. With a camera crew filming it.

Actually, my favorite part of this is that the glasses-nappers left a Hotmail address. You know what that says about you.
In summing up, I wish I had some kind of affirmative message to leave you with. I don't. Would you take two negative messages?
-- Woody Allen