Author Archives: bcarter3

Time for My Fall Adventure, with a Minute of Pure Joy before I Go.

It’s that time of year again, and I’m off to see the Wizard. Postings will resume in the first week of December.

In the meantime, watch this toddler have what would be a high point of anyone’s life. Best viewed full screen.


Lunch at Air Canada’s Poutinerie — 13 November 2018



Well, this was a nice little surprise. Not my usual lunch spot, but irresistible. And fun, despite the hour-long, around-the-block, prime-time wait to get in.*

To promote Air Canada’s connections to more than 200 destinations through Washington’s airports, the company has opened a one-week-only pop-up Poutinerie near Dupont Circle, less than two blocks from where I live. Servings are a low $5, with proceeds going to Martha’s Table, a local non-profit.

Poutine is Canada’s contribution to the world of fast food. Classic poutine consists of French fries covered with cheese curds and brown gravy.

For the pop-up, Air Canada is offering not just the traditional poutine, but variations designed to be reminiscent of some of the cities that the airline serves.

Full Poutinerie Menu
Poutine $5/Drinks $4

Montreal’s Classic (GF) | Hand-cut fries, traditional cheese curds, gravy
Toronto’s The Six (GF) | Sweet potato fries, pork belly, cheese curds, whole grain maple mustard, fresh herb confetti
São Paulo’s Sweet Chimi-Churrasco (GF) | Sweet potato fries, grilled carne asada, green chimichurri, queso blanco
Rome’s Eternal City Eggplant (Vegetarian, GF) | Garlic fries, Napoletana sauce, mozzarella cheese, eggplant ragu, basil chiffonade
Paris’ Brasserie-Born Braised Beef (GF) | Hand-cut fries, braised beef, mushrooms, horseradish cream
London’s Corner Pub Fish & Chips | Malt vinegar dusted chips, crispy fried cod, dill & caper tartar gravy
Seoul’s Twice the Spice Kimchi (Vegan) | Hand-cut fries, kimchi, kohlrabi Asian pear relish, sriracha gravy, cilantro
Mumbai’s Baked & Buttered (GF) | Hand-cut fries, tender butter chicken, grated paneer cheese, diced tomatoes, fresh herbs
Shanghai’s Neon Street BBQ | Shoestring fries, Asian BBQ pulled pork, hoisin gravy, sesame seeds, scallions, vegetable slaw
Dubai’s Late Night Shawarma (GF) | Shoestring fries, chicken shawarma, cucumber & tomato salad, tzatziki-garlic gravy

I stopped by the Poutinerie during the off-hours, and tried the London’s Corner Pub Fish & Chips, because England. It was only later that I discovered that The Washingtonian had “Ranked Every Poutine at Air Canada’s Pop-Up Poutinerie”, and given my choice a lowly single Drake rating…


…on a zero-to-five Drake scale.

I’m going back to try some of the more exotic dishes.

*But it was a polite, friendly line. I mean, it was Canadian, for gosh sake.

2018 Cookery Project — Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Chicken

 Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Chicken

Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Chicken

Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Chicken is another of those one-pan, 10-ingredient dishes from the A Spicy Perspective website that come in handy when I want to make something beautiful and elegant, but fast and easy. (“Fast and easy” was my middle name, back in younger and more adventurous times.)

I could probably have put this together blindfolded. It didn’t require learning any new techniques, and there were no unfamiliar ingredients. Like so many things I cook, it began with diced onion and minced garlic. I seared the chicken in butter. then added, at various stages, finely diced roasted red peppers, chicken broth, cream cheese, crushed red pepper, and basil. If you look closely, you can see that I sliced the chicken before serving.

Another good one. I think I’m getting the hang of this cookery thing.


★ Disaster. Inedible. Poisoned the cat.
★★ OK, but once is enough.
★★★ Mixed results. Something went wrong, but might try this again.
★★★★ Good, but lacks that special something.
★★★★★ Excellent. Goes into my “This is a winner” file.

The Favourite — Official Trailer, and a Teaser, and a Snarky Comparison

The Favourite tells the story of the tangled affinities of Great Britain’s Queen Anne, the Duchess of Marlborough, and the duchess’s cousin, Abigail Hill.

Think All About Eve, or the campy catfights from primetime ’80s soap operas like Dynasty*, but with real people and higher stakes.

As the long-time favourite of Queen Anne, Sarah Churchill, the Duchess of Marlborough, wielded tremendous influence over the royal household and the queen’s political appointments. But eventually, the duchess became too domineering, too distant, and too demanding for the queen.

Waiting in the wings was Sarah’s impoverished cousin, Abigail. Sarah had secured a position for Abigail as Lady of the Bedchamber to Queen Anne.

You can see where this is headed, can’t you? As Sarah’s relationship to the queen deteriorated, Abigail’s grew apace.

The film premiered at the Venice Film Festival, where it won the Grand Jury Prize and Olivia Colman took home the Best Actress award for her portrayal of Queen Anne. Rachel Weisz plays Sarah Churchill and Emma Stone plays Abigail Hill. The current Tomatometer rating is at 94%.

The Favourite is scheduled to be released in the US on 23 November 2018.

*How can anyone maintain that the last 15 years have been the Golden Age of Television when the 20th century produced masterpieces like Dynasty? You won’t find brilliant scenes like this on Killing Eve or The Good Place.

Dynasty’s Greatest Moment
(For Those Too Young to Remember a Time When Shoulderpads Ruled the Earth)

The creators of Dynasty claimed they were inspired by Robert Graves’s I, Claudius. Graves was alive but unwell when the series began its run. Dynasty is probably what finished him off.

In the 1980s, this is what passed for high-quality TV fare. All three actors in this scene were nominated for Best Actor or Best Actress Emmy awards for their performances in Dynasty. John Forsythe, in fact, was nominated three times. The show itself got 24 Emmy nominations, including one for Outstanding Drama Series.

Return to ARTECHOUSE (with Much Better Video)

I had a delightful visit from my Left Coast brother and sister-in-law this week, which included another trip to ARTECHOUSE, to see touch experience the current “New Nature” installation.

I’ve never been able to come close to capturing the HD quality of ARTECHOUSE’s visual displays with my IPad, but I’ve found some online samples from the shows.

In “New Nature”, a side room contains “The Menagerie”, a collection of large monitors displaying fluid abstract designs. The “creatures” on screen respond to the hand movements of the person watching the monitor.

Like this:

Here’s an overview of the current installation. The main room, at the start of the video, is 24 feet high*, and the installation covers 270°.

Love this place! ARTECHOUSE has become one of my favourite hangouts in Washington.

*To put that in perspective, imagine four six-foot-tall people, standing on each other’s heads. Or imagine six four-foot-tall people, standing on each other’s heads, if that works better for you. The point is, it’s big.