Welcome Gentle Readers

This blog tends to wander from its main purpose -- updates on my fiction. I do have updates and excerpts of my work. But I also write about my obsessions -- food, friends and pop culture and my weird life in Los Angeles. Enjoy!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Deb vs Cooking, Craig vs Liotta and Updates

The doppler says we're having gropple. No, I'm not speaking in code. That's what the weather folk are saying this weekend. It's really cold for Southern California (temps in the 30s within the city limits). There has been snow and hail and the gropple (soft hail pellets). We were shocked that there wasn't a 1000 car pile up on the 405 on the rumors of snow. LA drivers don't do well with precipitation. On Friday, the rain was cold and steady. For some reason that messed up the bus schedule. In Philly, buses run in the snow. But because Jon and I were tramping about on foot in the rain, we chanced to see an old gent practicing with a lasso. I was thus inspired to create a Haiku. Ahem.
Codger with lasso
Practicing in pouring rain
LA in winter
Alas, I've been paying for all that running around in the cold rain. I think every one of my joints still hurts. Fortunately, we didn't need to do any running around Saturday. And the forecast for Sunday is clear of rain or snow. All that remains is the cold or relative cold. I'll likely stay in until tomorrow.

Deb vs Madeleines Part Two – The Reckoning

I was thinking of calling the sequel The Bakening, but aside from bakening not being a real word, it sounded too close to bacon. Goodness knows, I really enjoy most things involving bacon, but it really doesn't have anything to do with Madeleines. I figured out what I did wrong in the first recipe. The fault was in the instructions. The eggs and sugar have to be beaten until the mixture is as fluffy as a mousse before the dry ingredients are added. I did not get that from the first recipe I looked at. I could tell the difference in the batter as soon as I spooned it into the pan. It was all way more exciting than it should have been, but I felt quite victorious! Now, I feel that I can move on to more difficult baking recipes. The croissants await!

Recipe Math

So, I was watching my cooking shows last week and got inspired to do some serious meat cooking to refill the freezer. Now, most of the recipes from the shows are geared for the home cook in that their proportions aren't geared toward feeding a battalion of soldiers. So, when I see this really tasty looking meatloaf recipe on the Barefoot Contessa , I decide to give it a try. Jon had mentioned that he'd like to try a meatloaf that wasn't so dependent on ketchup or a tomato sauce. This one had a lot of herbs and aromatics and seemed to keep moist without the ketchup. It was Ina Garten's favorite dish from a local restaurant in the Hamptons , and I noticed that the chef/owner of said restaurant was actually making the dish. Still, I didn't put it together until I had formed the meatloaf on the pan that the recipe was enough for a dinner service at an eatery. Boy, are we good for meatloaf for a while. It was very fortunate that it was, indeed, a very good recipe. Next time though, I'll carefully check the math.

Craig vs Ray Liotta

I got a call from Craig last week with some strange instructions. He said that if anything happened to him, it was Ray Liotta who was behind it and that we should avenge him. My last image of Ray Liotta in person was at our local movie theater. He was with a little

girl wearing a tutu trying to convince the concessions clerk that he wanted nachos without the cheese. It seemed that was how the little girl preferred them. Since he wasn't menacing during what seemed to be a stressful situation (the film was to start very soon), I found it hard to imagine him stalking Craig with ominous intent. So when I stopped laughing, I asked Craig why he thought this was happening. He said he was seeing far too much of the Liotta for it to me an innocent coincidence. Mind, the man does live in the same neighborhood as Craig. But that was cutting no ice with my intensely whacky friend. The final straw came during a contemplative walk through a nearby college campus. Craig was pondering on the fact that he was seeing far too much of the Liotta (his terminology) as he reached the edge of the campus and entered the shopping district. Just then, the Liotta came out of a sun glass store. And this time he chin waived at Craig – a New Jersey acknowledgment that you have indeed seen a lot of each other (both hail from New Jersey). I tried to calm him by explaining that they live in a small enclave that's sort of cut off from the rest of LA. And since both men are between engagements, it's just likely that their paths coincide while running errands. Still, we have our instructions. Thus, Jon and I must be ready to spring into vengeance mode should the need arise. Jon blames me for answering the phone. I found I couldn't watch Goodfellas this week because I was laughing too hard.


Book wise, I've been making steady progress with both novels. I've been doing two to three pages on each on alternating days. I can't complain about that. However, I'm not going to jinx myself by predicting when they'll be finished especially now that I'm adding pain in my fingers to the other joint pain I've been having.

Film wise, I've been working on a script that I hadn't expected to be writing. It's an entirely new project that I can't really talk about yet. I'm on my own with it for a while as Jon is editing some things that he needs to clear off his slate. I've also been gathering assets (locations, equipment, crew) for the Demon Under Glass Web series. That primarily involves e-mail and phone calls right now. I'm not quite up to running around the county to look at things. Depending on our involvement, which I suspect will be deeply involved, this new film could delay the web series further. We would be working with the actors, but not on what we expected to be shooting. But like finding a codger throwing a lasso in a rainstorm or preparing to exact vengeance on the Liotta, being in Los Angeles means accepting the unexpected.

Stay tuned.

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