Tuesday, April 30, 2019

The Future

Never let the future disturb you.
You will meet it, if you have to, with the same
weapons of reason which today arm you
against the present.
              Marcus Aurelius

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Tales from Our Table

We have a new food service here in our high rise.  The company, which shall remain nameless, began providing meals last November.  In their presentation at one of our dining forums earlier in the fall, they touted their service as being "like the Ritz Carlton" and informed us that they "make everything from scratch."  Needless to say, we were impressed and early awaited their debut meals.  We were not so impressed after a few dinners.

They are big on strange salad combinations:  beet and onion salad (Yuck!), broccoli and raisin salad, and the outstanding pea and radish salad.  Peas seem to be their go-to vegetable.  They serve them a lot.  They have some weird main dish combinations, too:  fried shrimp in a burgundy sauce,  halibut with lemon basil sauce (They must have been out of halibut because they substituted another fish) And HERESY! they stopped using BlueBell ice cream--that is a crime in Texas.  BlueBell is practically our state ice cream.  After many complaints they brought it back.

One of their tastier dishes is shrimp putanesca which is made with tomatoes, anchovies, capers and olives.  It's pretty good, but since I'd never heard of that sauce, I googled it.  Turns out the recipe originated in WWII Italy.  It became quite popular with Italian prostitutes who, as you might imagine, were quite busy during the war, with so many soldiers around vying for their services.  The sauce is quick and easy to make, so they could cook and eat between clients.  The Italian word for prostitute is putta, so that's how the sauce got its name.

Anyway, there were many complaints about the food and so they've tried to improve.  They did away with turkey breast and bought whole turkeys, hired a new pastry chef, eliminated some dishes that no one would eat, so now we think they're somewhat better, but, alas, we are still not eating like the Ritz Carlton.

Monday, April 22, 2019

"The Shoes of the Fisherman"

I have become a fan of Turner Classic Movies.  Since yesterday was Easter, they showed a ton of faith-oriented movies and one was The Shoes of the Fisherman with Anthony Quinn and Lawrence Olivier.  My late husband and I saw that movie on our first date so it had a special meaning for me.  Not because of the story.  I had forgotten it, except that it was about a Pope.  Turns out he was a fictional Pope.  Anthony Quinn plays a Russian priest who has been imprisoned in Siberia for 20 years.  Then he's released and sent to the Vatican because Russia wants someone there to support them and he's immediately made a cardinal..  He's a very humble, self-effacing person.  Soon after his arrival the current Pope dies and after many unsuccessful ballots, suddenly this newcomer that no one knows except that in prison he stole some bread for a starving friend and got into a fight with a guard  is elected the new Pope.  He looks pretty stunned but he becomes Pope and we see what a noble guy he is.  He agrees to meet with the Russian and Chinese premiers to help stave off a war between them and is scolded by the Chinese leader, who says all his people are starving and the only way to prevent the war is to give them food.  So, of course, the new Pope pledges all the wealth of the church to feed the Chinese and everyone cheers.

Monday, April 8, 2019

Books of March

Hold Still is a memoir by acclaimed photographer Sally Mann whose work is currently on exhibit at the Houston Museum of Fine Arts.  It was a fascinating look into her childhood, her family, the South (She's from Virginia) and, of course her photographs.  

Less is about a gay author turning fifty who is traveling around the world to avoid attending the wedding of his former partner.  This book won the Pulitzrt Prize a few years ago.  It's funny and poignant but I'm not sure it was worth the accolade it received.  Still, I enjoyed it.

Then She Was Gone.  A teenage girl disappears.  Years later her mother meets a little girl who looks uncannily like her missing daughter.  It was an okay read but I figured out the end about half way through.

Happy Reading!


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