Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Growing younger day by day

Went to see Benjamin Button yesterday. First of all let me say the only things the movie has in common with the short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald is the name of the main character and the concept of being born old and growing younger each year.

I'm not going to give away any of the plot. I will say that the cinematography is breathtaking. It's a period piece beginning in 1918 when Benjamin is born and ending sometime in the 2000's.

Brad Pitt is great and I don't particularity care for him as an actor. He made me believe he was a little old man who happened to be only five or six years old. He grows younger gracefully. The surrounding cast are believable and help the story develop. Except for one segment of about 10 to 15 minutes midway through the film, but I'll let you figure that one out for yourself.

The downside is that the movie is way too long at nearly 3 hours. It should have and could have been edited down to no more than 2 1/2 hours.


Saturday, December 20, 2008

Perfumes and Scents at home

It's difficult to recreate some of the modern perfumes because they use artificially created scents, bases and stabilizers as ingredients but you can make a variety of eau de colognes, or light perfumes with "raw" ingredients. Use scented flowers, herbs, and citrus peels. You can have beautiful roses in your garden, or receive them as a gift, but if they have little to no scent they won't make perfume.

If you don't have time to make perfume but still want your home deliciously scented use reed diffusers and essential oils. Reed diffusers have about 20 hollow straw like spaces which draw up the scented diffuser oil and then diffuse it into the air.

Any flower that is scented can be used, don't be limited by these suggestions.





Four O'clock


Orange or other citrus blossoms



Lemon Balm

Citrus leaves


Citrus peels, colored part only, leave the white pith

Combine one cup of the petals of your favorite flower, leaves from the herb, or combination of both in a glass jar. Pour in ¼ cup of vodka, the higher proof the better. Shake. Push the petals gently so they're covered by the vodka. Cover the mouth of the jar with plastic wrap. Put in a cool dark place for 24 hours. Strain the petals out of the vodka. Save the vodka. Put fresh petals in the jar and cover with the saved vodka, add enough to cover the fresh petals. Put in a cool dark place for 24 hours. At this point the vodka should have the scent of your flowers. You can repeat the process a few more times to increase the strength of the scent.

Experiment with different combinations of scents. Keep the perfume in the smallest bottle possible. You can find apothecary type brown bottles at craft stores and health food stores.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

What a mess Mexican Food makes

I love to cook and I love to eat. I'm fussy about Mexican food because restaurants tend to glop everything with melted gooey cheese and I'm not particularly fond of cheese. So why not make it myself I thought?

Do you have any idea what a huge mess in the kitchen that leaves? I had masa harina, that's treated corn flour, all over everything. Shouldn't be too hard to tackle tamales right? Tamales are divine little bundles of tender cornflour breading enfolding morsels of meat, onions, garlic, chilies, and oddly enough olives.

So I whipped up the cornflour breading, literally whipped it, because you have to beat lard, that's rendered beef fat, until it's light and fluffy and then beat in the masa harina. That mixture is spread on a wet corn husk. The filling is placed in a line down the center of the mixture and the corn husk folded over the cornmeal breading. The tamales are then steamed for an hour.

Okay in my case it was two hours and they still weren't done. Nasty, greasy, little bundles of watered down meat filling. Oh well.

Had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for dinner instead.