Persona Synthetics — Attention! Product Recall

Humans, a joint production by Channel 4 (UK) and AMC, was an enjoyable eight-part series that ran during the summer of 2015.  It was well-received in the States, and a huge hit in the UK.

The marketing for the show is flat-out brilliant, as can be seen in the ad above, which captures the calm, reassuring, public tone of a corporation on the brink of disaster.

The second series will run in the UK later this year, and in the US sometime in 2017.  The UK version is the one to watch; although the American release of the show’s CDs includes the full British episodes, AMC’s televised version deleted some interesting material.

Here’s one of the ads for the first season:

2016 Cookery Project — Autumn Roasted Veggies with Apples and Pecans

Autumn Roasted Veggies with Apples and Pecans

Autumn Roasted Veggies with Apples and Pecans

Once again, I turned to Cooking Classy for a recipe, and was sold by the photography on the site.  I followed the instructions, and the results were quite good, but I made a lot of notes on changes I’ll make if when I cook this dish again.  The recipe, for instance, “serves four,” but resulted in enough food to serve eight.  Or 10.

The vegetables were brussels sprouts, red onion, and butternut squash*.  I’d never worked with butternut squash before, even though I’ve become addicted to  butternut squash soup lately, and I was surprised how difficult it was to cut and peel.  To this, I added two sliced apples: One Honey Crisp (sweet) and one Granny Smith (tart).  I spread the ingredients in a single layer on a baking sheet, and topped it all with melted  butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and lemon juice.  I baked it for 40 minutes—I’ll reduce the time to 30 minutes when I make it again—tossing it once and adding pecans and  dried cranberries a few minutes before I took it out of the oven.

A happy result.  With that combination of colours—orange, green, brown, red—it looks like Autumn, doesn’t it?


*Isn’t butternut squash a fruit, rather than a vegetable?  I’m too lazy to look it up, but I think the seeds-inside = fruit law puts it in the same category as tomatoes and cherries.

Angela Lansbury Sings “Beauty and the Beast”

At 90, Angela Lansbury was born about 30 years after Scott Fizgerald. (See yesterday’s posting titled “Boats Against the Current, Borne Back Ceaselessly into the Past”.) Her brilliant career, which began in the 1940s, included stardom on stage, screen, and television.

I’ve always thought she was best at playing dark roles: She’s unforgettable as the lethal Mrs Lovett In Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd. As Eleanor Iselin, Raymond Shaw’s mother in The Manchurian Candidate, she was one of the all-time greatest movie monsters. And, in perhaps her most subtle performance, she played Jessica Fletcher, the most successful mass murderer in American history, managing to escape the attentions of the FBI and any number of local police forces, despite being on the scene at more than 847 homicides, and living in Cabot Cove, Maine, at a time when its homicide rate was higher than that of Medellín, Colombia during the Pablo Escobar years.

According to legend, she recorded the title song for the movie Beauty and the Beast in a single take.

Last week, as part of a 25th Anniversary Celebration of the opening of that film, she sang the song again, on stage at Lincoln Center in New York, accompanied by Alan Menken, who wrote the score.

“Boats Against the Current, Borne Back Ceaselessly into the Past”

F. Scott Fitzgerald was born 120 years ago today. He and his wife, Zelda, are buried in a little cemetery next to St. Mary’s Church, in Rockville, Maryland, about a 10 minute walk from the Rockville metro station.

I go there sometimes.

The slab on top of the grave quotes the famous last sentence of The Great Gatsby:

Museum Day Live! Is This Saturday

smithsonian“Museum Day Live!”, Smithsonian magazine’s annual celebration of American museums, takes place across the USA this Saturday, 24 September 2016.   You can get free admission tickets for any of the 1,000+ participating museums, galleries, and cultural institutions at the magazine’s Museum Day Live! website.

The website makes it easy to find the participating museums in your area.

2016 Cookery Project — Buttermilk Fried Chicken with Pan Gravy

Buttermilk Fried Chicken with Pan Gravy

Buttermilk Fried Chicken with Pan Gravy

Damn!  Aren’t they beautiful!  You can almost feel the crunch just by looking at them.

I got the recipe for these Buttermilk Fried Chicken Drumsticks (with Pan Gravy) from a new-to-me website called Life’s Ambrosia, which seems to have some connection with Bon Appetit and Epicurious.

The drumsticks were soaked overnight in a bath of buttermilk, onions, and garlic, then dredged in seasoned flour and fried in canola oil, and kept warm in the oven while I made the gravy.

I had two of the drumsticks for lunch today.  If I only eat two more for late night snacks, I might have one left for breakfast tomorrow, but they’re so good that I wouldn’t bet on any of them lasting the night.

Passengers — First Trailer

The first trailer for Passengers, the Jennifer Lawrence/Chris Pratt Lost in Space movie, was released this morning.  There’s usually a big-name, big budget SciFi film during the holiday season, like Gravity (2013), Interstellar (2014), The Martian (2015), and those Star Wars thingies, but this year we seem to have two of them:  Passengers and The Arrival.

This one will be released on 21 December 2016.