What Does Cooking with “Mr. Tomato Face” Say About You

28 02 2008

Note the quote in my most recent post about how cooking reveals the personality beneath the chef’s hat or behind the apron whichever kitchen-wear you prefer. Then, consider the most recent offering from Mark Bittman aka The Minimalist and NY Times food writer. In this episode of Minimalist TV he makes a roasted tomato soup using canned tomatoes…ok, you say, what’s so unusual about that? Well, check out the video, he’s cooking with Mr. Tomato Face! He even feed him a spoonful of the delicious-looking soup at the end.

 Hilarious!! Very entertaining!


Cooking Is So Personal…Even More Than Sex

27 02 2008

An article about Polish sauerkraut stew  by Alex Witchel caught my eye on NY Times.com. The opening line reads,

“IT is hard for me to cook for people I don’t like. I don’t have to do it often, but when I do, I find it a torment because cooking is so personal, so revealing. Even more than sex, I think.

You can have a perfectly good one-night stand, be greatly entertained, and still not know the other person when it’s done. But once someone cooks for you, it’s almost impossible not to discover who that person is.”

Well, there you have it!  Those of us who love to cook put their hearts and souls into the effort, it is so true! Although, I’d never thought about how much what I cook reveals about me.

But, now that I think about it, yes, indeed! For me, cooking is a very personal experience. And, when I have people into my home for a meal I’ve prepared, I do think very, very carefully…what my guests will like, how things will blend on the plate and over the course of the meal, what do I feel like making, how much will I spend preparing are all considerations.

Of course, the more important my guests are to me, the more energy and expense I put into the meal…do I buy the hummus or make it from scratch, do I soak beans for the chili or use canned ones, do I bake a 2-day bread or a 1-day bread, do I run to the free-range chicken farm or use A&P’s brand?  

So next time you’re invited to dine at someone’s house, take notice, even it you’re not a foodie. What is your host(ess) telling you?

Worth Thousand Words

22 02 2008

Check out Dan Pak’s new photo site – WorthThousandWords…beautiful, beautiful photos.

Snow…At Last!

22 02 2008

Finally, we have a REAL snowfall….not ice or rain or some combination (at least not so far.) It’s just silently snowing in earnest. The trees are loaded with fluffiness that looks like white cotton candy.

 I went out earlier to fill my birdfeeders.  The only things marring the newly fallen snow were the imprints of thousands of bird feet. It’s ironic, isn’t it? I forgot how much time birds actually spend on the ground. 

Here’s one of the female cardinals that was enjoying herself at my bird feeder.

Female Cardinal 

Happy Birthday, Dad!

20 02 2008
Stan’s 69th

Here’s Stan blowing out his birthday candles. He’s now “caught up” to Sally…at least until September when she marks her next milestone.

I actually made him blow them out twice so that I could get a good photo! In this one he looks remarkably Reaganesque, don’t you think?


All That Jazz Update

2 02 2008

Steve was able to discover that the track on Tyler’s favorite commerical is an original composition by Chris Beaty and Thad Spencer. More googling reveals that they are film score composers who have worked as part of a team known as Asche and Spencer on the scores of Monster’s Ball and Stay. Here’s some information about Monster’s Ball, which, by the way, counted Heath Ledger among the cast…sigh, so sad.

Asche and Spencer are on iTunes and amazon for the film scores, but I couldn’t find anything with Beaty and Spencer alone.

All That Jazz

1 02 2008

My friends Jason and Val posed a question on their blog earlier this week. What is the tune on this commercial?

Since I never back away from an Internet search challenge, I decided to do some digging. I haven’t found out the source of the music yet, but I did find out more about the commercial and in the process uncovered a couple of cool things.

This commercial spot is entitled “Escape Average” and was produced by Acme Filmworks and directed by a guy named Dave Wasson whose bio is here and portfolio is here. The spot was nominated for best animated TV commercial for the 2007 Annual Annie Awards, which will be presented on Feb 8 in Los Angeles. The Annie Awards honor the best in animation, both movie and TV.

I had never heard of the Annie Awards, but I think it’s pretty cool. There’s a lot more animation around than I realized before I started looking around. I guess I take them a little for granted.

But even cooler, when searching for information about Escape Average, I found something that said the commercial spot was done in the style of Saul Bass, a name unknown to me. Back to google, and here’s what I found.

 Saul Bass was a graphic designer and Academy-award winning filmmaker according to his wikipedia article. He is best known for his motion picture title sequences. Check it out. On the Saul Bass Web site is his filmography. He worked with some of the best…Alfred Hitchcock, Martin Scorcese, Otto Preminger. Some of his films include Psycho, Seven Year Itch, Good Fellas, North by Northwest, Cape Fear.

Pretty cool stuff. Watch a few of the videos on the Web site. I’ve often wondered about those opening sequences, but never took the time to dig into the details.

Back to the music, if anyone recognizes the jazz tune on Escape Average, please let me know. It reminds me a lot of George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. You can hear George playing his music here.

Fast forward to the 21st century, I happened to be watching the Matt Savage Trio performing on Letterman this week…nice jazzy sound led, believe it or not, by a 15 year old. The music also reminded me of Gershwin, but a little more hip.  Check it out.

Thanks to Tyler for liking this commercial and for Jason and Val writing about it. It’s led me on a little journey of discovery.