Monday, April 04, 2016

I'm that kind of person

a very rugged mousse
Not even Nigella is perfect. The orange muffins from Nigella Bites are merely ok and her instant chocolate-orange mousse from Nigellisima didn’t work out for me (although it has worked for others, apparently.) To make this intriguing instant mousse, you whip cream and fold in some sweetened condensed milk. Nigella: “for the self-styled tastemakers of the world, condensed milk is really beyond the pale. So how can you blame me for wanting to slip it into any recipe whenever possible?”

Into this airy-runny-cloying cream you now fold melted chocolate, fresh orange juice, and Aperol. Alas, the chocolate seized when it made contact with the cream and I couldn’t seem to break it up again, so there were all these chunks of seized chocolate in the mousse. Mark, who didn't know this was unintentional, said, “The chocolate chips are a nice touch.” 
a very boring muffin
I'm glad someone thought so. I feel that the whole point of mousse is the smoothness. But even if the texture had been perfect, this mousse was too fruity, too sweet, and I would have given it a thumbs down anyway.

But I will forgive Nigella anything.
a very charming book
I’m trying to write a little about books I read, at least when they’re good, which Mary-Louise Parker’s collection of autobiographical essays definitely is. Her essays take the form of fantastically odd, mostly endearing letters to men who have played a significant role in her life, including her revered childhood priest, the oyster picker who provided the oysters for her father’s last meal, a beloved wether goat, and the hospital orderly who tried unsuccessfully to take her newborn son to the nursery. As an actress, Parker is funny and off kilter. So are her essays. They contain no gossip and almost no names. Don’t expect to read about how Billy Crudup left her for Claire Danes when MLP was pregnant with their son. This comes up, but only very obliquely in the apology letter she addresses to the poor NYC cab driver who picked her up around that time and started driving in the wrong direction. ("So, Mr. Cabdriver, I apologize for the profanity and the blame. I caused your turban to pop loose from its foundation and that was extreme. . . .") She makes it funny -- she makes almost everything funny -- but there's real heartbreak in these essays, too, and grief, disappointment, and self-reproach. They're pretty great.

Lately, it feels like I can turn any book (or movie) into a source of self-help inspiration. You know, news I can use. Is that wrong? Shouldn't my approach to art be more disinterested and pure? Yes, probably, but who cares. I found plenty of juicy self-help tips in these pages, particularly in the essay entitled “Dear Mentor.” 

Parker:

“Our first week rehearsing together, we were outside on a break and you asked me what my character did at night when she couldn’t sleep. I rattled off stuff I thought was super-interesting before I said, 'and I feel like she’s the kind of person who . . .'

I kept on, but something I’d said had given you a twitch Your face was very close to mine and I remember the direction our bodies were facing in the courtyard, all of that. . . .

“You were nodding while I rambled and when I stopped you said, 

“'Uh huh? All that is good? But I would be careful of thinking about people as ‘kinds of people.’” 

I didn't think Mary-Louise Parker (i.e. beautiful actress) was the kind of person who could write sparkling, brainy, and delightfully bizarre essays.
Spend even just a few hours trying to avoid instantly categorizing the people you run into. I have. It's interesting and it's hard. 

30 comments:

  1. No, it is not wrong to find personal inspiration in art. I think that is one of the purposes of art, but you are probably coming at it from a professional as well as personal viewpoint. Yes, you should be objective and pure if you doing a critique, but this is personal reading, yes? I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed this book. I have picked it up and looked at it several times. I like her quirkiness as an actress, so I would probably enjoy the book.
    It is very difficult to avoid categorizing people. Exhausting, really. You have to think too much and pay attention to the individual, but it is well worth the effort. Just another riff on "less contempt prior to investigation", I think. Does your state of mind tell you anything these days? Are you becoming more tolerant? More open-minded? Philosophical? I think that it is wonderful, whatever it is.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for this. I enjoy your book and movie reviews as much as I enjoy your adventures in cooking.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Interestingly, if you whip cream and then fold in some sweetened condensed milk and some vanilla and stick it in the freezer, you get an absolutely spectacular vanilla ice cream. It's so good I"m tempted to give away my ice cream maker and all of my ice cream cookbooks. You have to wait a couple of days, though, because it takes a while for the taste of the sweetened condensed milk to stop shouting over the cream and vanilla.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Try that with some lemon juice and paper-thin slices of lemon in place of the vanilla -- my favorite!

      Delete
    2. Jen, I love lemon flavor anything, so I will definitely try it, especially since it's still Meyer lemon season.

      Delete
  4. I wholeheartedly agree with the review of MLP's book. I've been reading you for a few years but I'm not very comment-y - thank you from me, as well, I always enjoy your posts.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I don't have any Nigella in my cookbook collection. What, of hers, is your favorite?

    ReplyDelete
  6. I do like the idea of the Aperol in the mousse, though; could you taste that? Sweetened condensed milk is revolting except in judicious amounts in Thai iced coffee (sorry, Nigella).

    Thanks for your thoughts on the MLP book. I couldn't decide if it would be unbearably pretentious or really great, and you've persuaded me to pick it up at the library and give it a go.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Like scheherazade, you can keep me interested with whatever topic you're writing about. Please keep writing,lots, if possible.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I really liked Dear Mr. You a lot. I listed to it on Audible, and Mary Louise Parker read it herself! One of the best books I came across this year was The Book of Night Women by Marlon James. If you have not heard of it, you might want to check it out. (I listened to it also.) Please keep writing about what you read! It's interesting and helpful.

    ReplyDelete
  9. افضل الخدمات الرائعة والتى تريد الحصول عليها فى اعمال صيانة هيتاشي من على موقع المساعد تستطيع الحصول على افضل خدمات رائعة ومنوعه فى خصومات كبيرة صيانة بوش واعمال رائعة جدا نقدها اليكم

    ReplyDelete
  10. الكثير من الاعمال الرائعة والخصومات الكبيرة فى اعمال صيانة دايو من على موقعنا نقدم اليكم الكثير من الخدمات المميزة باسعار مميزة جدا صيانة سامسونج الى الجميع لدينا افضل الخصومات الرائعة

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'm in the middle of reading Dear Mr. You. The beginning pages didn't wow me but later on, it gets really good. She can write.

    ReplyDelete
  12. هناك مطبخ مجهز تجهيزا جيدا مع مرافق المشروبات الساخنة وثلاجة وفرن كهربائي.افضل شركات نقل عفش بجدة
    يقدم الحمام مزينة بالبلاط دششركة نظافة عامة


    . وشملت مرافق والمشي في خزانة الملابس.
    الإقامة يقع في منهك من اسطنبول، حالة من الفقراء، ورائحة فظيعة من مياه افضل شركات نقل الأثاث بجدة
    الصرف الصحي وبراز القطط في
    شركة جلي بلاط وسيراميك ورخام مع التلميع بجدة
    جميع أنحاء الشقة.
    الفرش مع الينابيع خارج، المرحاض مناف للعقل. القنصلية البريطانية القريبة
    ولكن الشارع الرئيسي ليست سوى خداع Istklal pubbblicitario.
    المالك ودية ولكن هذا لا يكفي للتعويض عن أوجه القصور الهيكلية vistosissime والممتلكات الصحية.افضل شركات نقل العفش بجدة
    وبقيت مع عائلتي فقط في الليلة الأولى، في اليوم التالي شركة نقل اثاث بجدة
    عند الفجر حزمت تبحث عن سكن مناسب.
    شارع الاستقلال الحيوية ومحطة غلطة سراي للترام هي على بعد 2 دقائق سيرا على الأقدام،شركات نقل العفش بجدة
    في حين يمكن الوصول إلى ساحة تقسيم شركة نظافة عامة بجدة

    في غضون 10 دقائق سيرا على الأقدام.
    وسائل النقل العام العديد من خدمة منطقة السلطان أحمد التاريخي الذي يستضيفشركة نقل العفش بجدة
    المسجد الأزرق الشهير وقصر توبكابي.
    شركة نقل عفش بجدة
    شركة نقل العفش بجدة

    ReplyDelete
  13. Kannur University Result 2016 for all course
    Kannur University Admit Card 2016
    Kannur University Hall Ticket 2017
    Kannur University Result 2017
    Kannur University Admit Card 2016
    Kannur University Entrance Date 2016
    Kannur University Degree Allotment
    Kannur University Trial Allotment 2016
    Kannur University Admission 2016
    Kannur University Onlie Admission
    Kannur University Distance Education Result 2016
    Kannur University Hall Ticket 2016
    Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University BA Result 2016-2017
    Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University Hall Ticket 2016
    Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University Result 2016 for all course
    Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University Admit Card 2016
    Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University Hall Ticket 2017
    Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University Result 2017
    Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University Admit Card 2016
    Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University Entrance Date 2016
    Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University Degree Allotment
    Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University Trial Allotment 2016
    Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University Admission 2016
    Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University Onlie Admission
    Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University Distance Education Result 2016
    Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University Hall Ticket 2016
    Karnatak State Open University BA Result 2016-2017
    Karnatak State Open University Hall Ticket 2016
    Karnatak State Open University Result 2016 for all course
    Karnatak State Open University Admit Card 2016
    Karnatak State Open University Hall Ticket 2017
    Karnatak State Open University Result 2017
    Karnatak State Open University Admit Card 2016
    Karnatak State Open University Entrance Date 2016
    Karnatak State Open University Degree Allotment
    Karnatak State Open University Trial Allotment 2016

    ReplyDelete
  14. Karnatak State Open University Admission 2016
    Karnatak State Open University Onlie Admission
    Karnatak State Open University Distance Education Result 2016
    Karnatak State Open University Hall Ticket 2016
    Andhara University BA Result 2016-2017
    Andhara University Hall Ticket 2016
    Andhara University Result 2016 for all course
    Andhara University Admit Card 2016
    Andhara University Hall Ticket 2017
    Andhara University Result 2017
    Andhara University Admit Card 2016
    Andhara University Entrance Date 2016
    Andhara University Degree Allotment
    Andhara University Trial Allotment 2016
    Andhara University Admission 2016
    Andhara University Onlie Admission
    Andhara University Distance Education Result 2016
    Andhara University Hall Ticket 2016
    Symbiosis University BA Result 2016-2017
    Symbiosis University Hall Ticket 2016
    Symbiosis University Result 2016 for all course
    Symbiosis University Admit Card 2016
    Symbiosis University Hall Ticket 2017
    Symbiosis University Result 2017
    Symbiosis University Admit Card 2016
    Symbiosis University Entrance Date 2016
    Symbiosis University Degree Allotment
    Symbiosis University Trial Allotment 2016
    Symbiosis University Admission 2016
    Symbiosis University Onlie Admission
    Symbiosis University Distance Education Result 2016
    Symbiosis University Hall Ticket 2016
    IBS Hydrabad BA Result 2016-2017
    IBS Hydrabad Hall Ticket 2016
    IBS Hydrabad Result 2016 for all course
    IBS Hydrabad Admit Card 2016
    IBS Hydrabad Hall Ticket 2017
    IBS Hydrabad Result 2017
    IBS Hydrabad Admit Card 2016
    IBS Hydrabad Entrance Date 2016
    IBS Hydrabad Degree Allotment

    ReplyDelete