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My Favorite Things……

November 6, 2007

Raindrops on roses….

The Sound of Music is one of those movies that, when I can come across it on TV I’ll watch it no matter what. I ashamedly, unabashedly love this movie. I know it’s sacchrinely sweet and treacly and way too big and kinda stupid. But it’s wonderful. Filmed on location in Austria, it’s as big an epic as Lawrence of Arabiat But at least it’s got wonderful music, a nice romance, feisty nuns, excursions to Salzburg and just a touch of Nazi. It’s Lawrence of Arabia for girls.

Whiskers on kittens…

Interestingly, in an arcane way , there are two best picture winners that have scenes where clothes are made out of the curtains. I wonder if Maria Von Trapp stole her idea from Scarlett O’Hara? She could have, you know.

Bright Copper Kettles and Warm Woolen Mittens…

A few years ago I dragged my family to a sing-a-long version of Sound of Music at the Music Box theater in Chicago ( as mentioned before, great place). The Sing a long Version was kind of like a tame Rocky Horror; although one funny party I remember: someone saved their firework popper for the scene where the 17 year old Nazi holds a gun on the Von Trapps. It was brilliantly funny at the time, trust me.

Brown Paper Packages Tied Up With String…

I just ordered Inside Oscar 2 from Amazon.com. Hopefully, it’ll be here soon.
When the Dog bites….

Eleanor Parker is marvelous as the bitchy Baroness…

When the Bee Stings…

Julie Andrews surely should have won her second best Actress Oscar for her portrayal of Maria. She is the movie. She brings so much life to the character. And besides, does anybody remember the movie Darling with Julie Christie?

When I’m feeling sad…

The Sound of Music is my go-to DVD when we’re testing the sound system on our Bose speakers. That amazing opening helicopter shot up the alps also has some great sound. The birds chip on all the channels. It’s very cool. But, then I have to remind Jim to turn it off quickly or I’ll be there for three hours.

Cream colored ponies…

On of the things that makes Sound of Music so great is it’s screenplay. But it’s greatness is not truly not surprising because it was written by that workhouse screenwriter, Ernest Lehman (take a gander at some of his credits: Sabrina, West Side Story, North by Northwest, Sweet Smell of Success).

And crisp Apple Strudel…

Ok, I’m kinda going out of order a bit to follow the lyrics, but when was the last time one of the movies gave me meal ideas within lyrics? Hmm? West Side Story & My Fair Lady I’m lookin at you! Settle down, Oliver!, I’m already fairly sure we’re having your sausages and mustard.

This is a marvelously easy recipe. And marvelously delicious.

2 large Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored and sliced 1/8 to 1/4-inch thick
1 lemon, juiced
1 cup raisins
1/4 cup sugar, plus 3 tablespoons
2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces, plus 2 tablespoons butter, melted
All-purpose flour, for dusting
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Position an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F.In a medium bowl, toss the sliced apples with the lemon juice until the apples are thoroughly coated. Add the raisins, 1/4 cup sugar, and the 2 tablespoons cold cubed butter and toss well. Set aside.

Lightly dust the counter or work surface with flour. Lay the puff pastry on top and dust the rolling pin with additional flour. Gently roll the puff pastry to 1/8-inch thickness.
Spread the apple and raisin mixture over the bottom half of the puff pastry square leaving about 1-inch of space along the side edges. Fold the top half of the puff pastry over and pinch to seal the edges together.

Brush the entire strudel with the melted butter and then sprinkle with cinnamon and remaining sugar. Using a serrated knife, make 3 diagonal slits across the top of the strudel.

Place the strudel on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes, rotating halfway through cooking, until the pastry is puffed and golden brown. Yum.

Door bells…

Halloween was this past Wednesday. Yay! Roxane went as Neely O’ Hara from Valley of the Dolls. Natalie was a devil.

And Sleigh bells…

I can’t believe that even before Halloween I saw several stores with Christmas decorations. I hate that.

Wild Geese that Fly with the moon on their wing….

Oscar Hammerstein was truly a lyricist for the birds. Witness the above lyric. And Showboat’s Fish got Swim Birds gotta fly… Oklahoma’s Curly rhapsodizing about that “Lazy Hawk Making Circles in the Sky” And, from Carousel, after you walk through that storm with your head up a high there will be that sweet silver song of a lark. But I flove Oscar Hammerstein. Did you know that he was Stephen Sondheim’s mentor?

And Schnitzel with noodles.

The hardest part about weinerschnitzel is finding the wiener I needed. Because weiner is veal. I’m a little ooked out about veal, it being baby cow and all, but it is quite delicious. And easy to make. I used (my go to gal) Rachael Ray’s recipe: I substituted goldfish pretzel crackers for the cracker meal–it seemed more Bavarian that way.

4 large (6 to 7 ounce) veal cutlets
Waxed paper
1 cup flour
Salt and pepper
2 eggs
A drizzle extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup cracker meal, found near bread crumbs or at fish counter in market
Butter, for frying
Whole nutmeg
Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
1 lemon, cut into wedges

Cover work surface with a sheet of waxed paper. Arrange cutlets with a few inches between them on paper. Top work surface with a second sheet of waxed paper. Pound cutlets out to 1/4-inch thick using the bottom of small heavy skillet or a rubber mallet.Heat a large skillet over moderate heat.

Set veal aside and set up 3 disposable pie tins and a plate in a row. Place flour in 1 disposable tin and season with salt and pepper. In the second disposable tin, beat eggs with a drizzle of oil and season with salt. In the third disposable tin, pour out about 1 cup of cracker meal.

Bread veal in flour. Coat the veal evenly with egg on both sides. Gently press veal into cracker meal and rest coated cutlets on a plate. Add a drizzle of oil and 1 1/2 tablespoons butter to the skillet.

When butter foams, add 2 pieces of veal and cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side until golden brown all over. Remove to a warm plate and grate a little nutmeg over hot schnitzel. Repeat with remaining 2 veal cutlets. Garnish veal with parsley and serve with lemon wedges.

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