Sunday Supper in Gracie Rosmansion

Something about this still-chilly March Sunday—on which we all felt a little fragile about losing an hour to daylight’s savings—made me keen to steam up my kitchen’s windows. First I brined a turkey with juniper berries, salt, sugar, cloves, chili peppers, thyme, fennel seeds and bay leaves. Then I assembled an enormous and very earnest salad of spinach, fresh feta, blood oranges, roasted beets, tarragon, mint, and parsley, and fed some of it to a friend and myself while her new baby and my tiny cat watched with round eyes. As the bird slowly roasted with red wine, lemons, fennel bulbs, leeks, carrots, and potatoes in a bright blue Le Creuset, we took a stroll around the neighborhood and felt glad about the afternoon light as well as each other. After she wended home with her small charge, I stored the leftovers in carefully labeled containers, and made a pot of polenta with chopped sausage, lacinato kale, oregano, rosemary, fennel, tomato, and garlic. I ate a bowl of all that with grated Parmigiano and a glass of Italian table wine while paging through an elaborate 1970s cookbook, and, when finished, stored the rest of the pot’s contents in more carefully labeled containers and washed all the day’s dishes while humming along to Dinah Washington. By then, the many bridges of my fine city had finally lit up the night sky, and I regarded the view, as well as the contents of the refrigerator, with great satisfaction. No matter what this week brought, I’d ensured I’d be the queen of my castle.

Oscars 2014, Well Done

From my Word and Film recap of last night’s Oscars:

“They came, they dazzled, they stumbled, and … they dragged on. Yes, all was as it should be at Oscars 2014, which celebrated an unusually great year in cinema with the Hollywood glamour, pomposity, and misfires we just love to hate. Let’s take a look at this year’s recipe.

One (1) self-obsessed host.
Or should we say selfie-obsessed? Trotting out in a Little Lord Fauntleroy getup, the normally toothless Ellen DeGeneres bared a few fangs in her opening monologue – mocking the advanced age of supporting actress nominee June Squibb, making a weirdly transphobic joke at Liza Minnelli’s expense, and pronouncing “Possibility No. 1: ‘12 Years a Slave wins best picture. Possibility No. 2: You’re all racists.” Once she strapped on her trademark sneakers, though, she reverted to her old shtick, even ordering up pizzas and forcing the likes of Brad Pitt and Harvey Weinstein to pay the delivery guy. (A gag that was worth it to see Meryl Streep maw a slice.) And let’s not forget: Ellen broke Twitter! In a crazily meta moment even for Hollywood, she stopped the ceremony to take a selfie with every A-Lister at hand – including Lupita Nyong’o’s gorgeous brother – and outstripped President Obama’s previously held record for retweets.”

For more of this recipe, go here.

Oscar, Oscar, Oscar!

Some grinches love to hate the Oscars but I like them, I really like them. The hoopla! The bathos! The speeches! The gowns! This year I gabbed about those golden boys on Cape Cod’s WOMR, dished on Page Six, and made my predictions on our Talking Pictures Oscar show.  I even interviewed veteran Oscar whisperer Anne Thompson for Word and Film. And while we’re in Self-Promotionville, I also wrote about novelists turned screenwriters and 2013 movies turned books for that site. Put on your highest heels and check it all out.

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy