Thursday, September 5, 2019

Sept Book Club Selection

Spudguns!, how's today? Great to hear.  This is the official announcement for the book club.  September's choice is Bag of Bones by Stephen King.  Honestly, when I picked the books for this year back at x-mas time, I had no idea this would end up being a year of remakes/re-releases of his works. 

Rules are pretty simple, if you want to join read the book and blog about it. You must have a blog to join in on the online part. Read the book, blog about it, if it inspires you to cook/bake/craft then add that to the post. The blog post must be current - in this case Sept 2019.  Link your post to either this post or on the day of  when I do my review.  Datedue is the last Sunday of the month, in this case Sunday Sept 29th 2019.

Since I failed to complete last month's selection, The Stand, I have both books to read and review this month. 

If you live in the Thunder Bay area and want to be part of the physical book club, message me.

That's about it for now.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Inspired by Aug 2019

Spudguns!, I've been promising another round of  "What That Movie Inspired Me To Do",  and finally, I have gotten off my lazy arse and written it up. This is another one where my friend Heather from All Roads Lead to the Kitchen,  and I joined up. This time around, we picked the tv show Charmed.   The rules this time were simple, we could draw inspiration from either the original Charmed or from the reboot, or both.  I went with both versions of Charmed.

What I ended up doing was picking three episodes from each version that had a similar element.   From the original I went with episodes from Season 1, 2 and 5; and at the time of this posting, only the first season of the reboot had aired yet.

Original Charmed Season 1 Episode 8 "The Truth is Out There and It Hurts"   had a similar theme to  Season 1 Episode 2 "Let this Mother Out" of the remake.    In the original version, Prue is wanting to know if her boyfriend Andy can handle the knowledge of her being a witch, and uses a truth spell on him. The spell has a time limit on it of 24 hours, after which Andy will no longer remember the results of the spell.  In the Charmed remake, Mel's girlfriend Niko accidentally drinks a truth serum meant for Harry their whitelighter.

Notes for "The Truth is Out There and It Hurts"- coffee, sugar, cream, pasta, cereal, milk, fruit, wine, corn chowder (mentioned) turkey sandwich, muffins, pop, spices, salad, bagels, dried fruit, croissants, bottled water, ice, green onions, sauce, canned food, peppers, potatoes, bread, Twizzlers (mentioned) tea, biscotti, halibut (mentioned) chicken, broccoli, soup, fries, steak

Notes for "Let this Mother Out"- juice, coffee, milk, rolls, berries, melon, passion flower, cinnamon, tea, subs, pickles, eggs, Chinese food (mentioned) salad, iced tea, hot dogs (cart in background)

Original Charmed Season 2 Episode 18 "Chick Flick" had a similar element to Season 1 Episode 14 "Touched By A Demon" of the remake.   In the original, the sisters find themselves battling both the Demon of Illusion, who has pulled characters out of old horror movies; and the horror characters before being trapped within the movie themselves.   In "Touched By A Demon",  Macy accidentally creates a portal into a television show, which lets the tv characters out, but pulls herself and Harry into the world of the show.

Notes for "Chick Flick" -tea, popcorn, pop, risotto, wine, salt, pepper, steak, bread, salad, parfait, celery, broccoli, coffee, toast, sugar, butter, potato chips, pretzels, cheesies, dip

Notes for "Touched By A Demon" -vodka, cake, cookies, cupcakes, cherries, oranges, dates, buns, coffee, peppermint oil, tea, scones, brownies, apples, gumdrops, tequila, wine

Original Charmed Season 5 Episode 19 "Nymphs Just Wanna Have Fun" has a similar element to Season 1 Episode 7 "Out of Scythe" of the remake.   In the original, Paige finds herself turned into a nymph while the sisters try to help a group of lost nymphs when their satyr is killed.   In the remake, an injured satyr arrives on the girl's doorstep needing their help.

Notes for "Nymphs Just Wanna Have Fun"- wine, pastries, cherries, cheesecake, salad, soy milk, pasta, dill, spices, vinegar, herbs, oil, coffee, candy machines, ginger, horseradish, clams, dried mushrooms, alcohol, berries (mentioned)

Notes for "Out of Scythe" -wine, grapes, garlic bruschetta (mentioned) tomato sauce (mentioned) bacon sandwiches, juice, coffee, butter, strawberries, bananas, eggs, toast, melon, tomatoes, parsley, blueberries, gin, whiskey, rum, vodka, lemons, donuts, herbs, apples, smoothies, broccoli, iced tea, tofu (mentioned) pizza, empanadas (mentioned) grilled cheese (mentioned) candy, beer

What I ended up going with was a sub sandwich.   Subs are mentioned full out in "Let This Mother Out", while we see the bacon sandwiches in "Out of Scythe"; as well as a turkey sandwich in "The Truth is Out There and It Hurts".   Salads are seen in almost each episode, and pickles in "Let This Mother Out".    I started with a selection of vegan meat substitutes : a vegan ham, vegan bacon and vegan bologna.
I added sweet mustard pickles, mayo, and onions. As well as a handful of premade cabbage and carrot cole slaw.

After cooking the vegan bacon in a small bit of oil, I added it, the vegan ham, vegan bologna and some cheese.
I decided to serve my charming sub with some pink brew.  Okay, so that was a mixture of pink lemonade and lemon iced-tea (both frozen) but I felt it fit well with the idea that in "Let This Mother Out", the truth spell is in the form of a tea. 
That's my offering for this time around. Don't forget to stop by All Roads Lead To the Kitchen, to see what magickal potion Heather came up with. 

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Food n Flix Aug 2019

Spudguns!, it's that time of the time when I hand you an offering for Foodn'Flix. The selection for this month is being hosted by Simply Inspired Meals; and their selection is anything from the Star Wars Franchise. Anything.  This should be a breeze right. The movies have been apart of pretty much everyone's lives for the last 40 plus years and we all have some memory of them.  I was actually really jazzed when I heard about this. But, sadly for me, as the time ticked away, I became less and less so.  I thought "hey, they're on tv all the time."  and  "the stores always have copies."    Well, it seemed my timing was off. I couldn't find a copy of them to save my life.   That is other than Star Wars 11 :Solo A Star Wars Story ( some would argue that it's actually #12 but I don't consider the animated film part of the movie line up).  Luckily, Netflix Canada still had it available.

Now, I've seen Solo before, and really liked it. Watching it for group was a bit difficult as there isn't a lot of food related scenes, and what there is, half the stuff I couldn't identify. That is partly because the story takes place on another planet and about half the food is "designed" to be otherworldly.

plot:  Han and his girlfriend are fleeing their con-artist/thief boss, but are detained at the border and end up separated. While his girlfriend is arrested, Han ends up joining the military in order to escape capture. After a few years, he defies orders and ends up arrested. While in a form of prison, he meets Chewbacca. The two make a break for it, and end up working with a group of rebel for heir thieves. They have been hired to steal a shipment of an unrefined lethal explosive. When they fail the first time, they barely manage to talk their way out of being killed before given a second chance. Han then is reunited with his ex-girlfriend, who is now both their boss and the wife of the mobster who hired them. We then meet Lando Calrissian, who has also been hired to pilot them. Han is left wondering who's who in his world and where his trust should be placed.

Notes: whiskey, seeds/nuts, coffee/tea, beets, salt/pepper, soup, fish, beans, fruit, pastry/sweets, spice, eggs, caviar

Han Solo, was always one of my favourite characters in the Star Wars films. I'm a bit of a snob when it comes to the movies. I am a fan of the original three and wasn't very impressed at all with how the rest of the movies have unfolded.

I know there was no point in me trying to create some big decorated piece, my skill level just doesn't curve that way. So, I went with what I know best.  Soup.  Which, given the fact we have a scene where our little group of thieves are camped out making their plans, while they make soup, it's actually fitting.


1 Tablespoon butter
half a red onion chopped
1 cup cauliflower
2 Tablespoons flour
ground pepper
235ml of Half/Half cream
veggie stock
3 cloves diced garlic

I started by making my veggie stock, and in this case, just used a bouillon cube and water.

Next, I added the garlic and cauliflower.  I let this simmer for about a half hour.  Then I added my onion, salt, pepper, and butter.  Let that simmer for another 15 minutes, before taking it off the heat.

I let it cool for about five minutes before adding my cream and flour. Whisking the flour and cream into the soup for a few moments before returning it to the heat. I continued to whisk as it gently began to boil, before once again turning it off.  

So, you might be wondering why I went with a cream soup, when I mentioned that the one character uses beets when he's cooking them dinner. It actually has more to do with the original movie and the fact there is just so much white in it. The film has so much monochromatic moments with costumes, that I can't help but think of milk/cream or cream soups. 

Okay, I think I'm going to end this here. Next month, Foodn'Flix will be hosted by Eliot's Eats, and the selection will be O Brother Where Art Thou?

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Sunday Aug 25th 2019

Spudguns!, this is normally the point where book club is due.  The summer (July/August) selection was/is  The Stand by Stephen King.  Which, is over 1000 plus pages long. And sadly, even with two full months, I still haven't finished it.  So, I will have to suck it up and say, I'll come back in a week or so and get the review for it done then. This will not change the date on September's selection. I'll still be back the first few days of September with an official announcement on it so stay tuned.

I've got a few recipes/dishes lined up for later in the week too.   And yes, there are the blog serials still to come.

With Hallowe'en coming up, I've been working on a few video projects connected to that which has been eating up all my time.

That's about all I have to talk about right now. I'll see you later in the week.

Friday, August 2, 2019

Random movie- Holmes and Watson

Spudguns!,  it's just after 9am EST where I am, and I should have posted this last week.  I saw the movie Holmes and Watson last weekend, but the week really got in the way of me sitting down and doing this post. In a way, I'm sort of glad it did.

movie:  Holmes and Watson
starring: Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly
genre: Comedy, Crime,
year: 2018
format: Crave

plot: Holmes and Watson are hired to solve a string of murders after Queen Victoria's life has been threatened.  Watson, who's not yet a detective, has a lot to prove if he's ever going to get the promotion he's looking for. Meanwhile, the emotionally frozen Holmes has fallen in love for the first time. This clouds his judgment as he lets Watson be sent to jail.

Okay. So, I love anything related to Sherlock Holmes, but this was just crap.  John C. Reilly normally spins pure gold, but this movie left me scratching my head as to why he decided to be in it?  Hugh Laurie plays the part of  Mycroft Holmes but even that couldn't save this movie. (Stephen Fry who is Laurie's comedy partner played the character in the Robert Downey Jr movies)

I need to rant about Will Ferrell for a moment.  His last few movies Zoolander 2, The House, Daddy's Home 2, Holmes and Watson;  have just been terrible. I have to say, if he's writing his own stuff then he should get someone else to write for him for a few films. If he has someone writing for him then he should take back control and write his own stuff. Either way, he's just been down hill the last couple of years. I really think he needs to step out of that buddy comedy comfort zone for a bit and do a serious drama or horror or something.

There's just nothing nice to say about this movie.

Monday, July 29, 2019

Cinema Files s1 p19

The Cinema Files
page 19, chapter 19

Gumshoe Intermission

I heard Vincent's door creek open just before 7am  and him humming as he started the coffeemaker.   "So what do you think about the Wetworks Killer?"

"Is that what we're calling him?" I asked. Vincent nodded a grunt.

"I am." he smiled. I told him a few more details about what I'd seen at the latest crime scene. "Okay so we're thinking then this maid saw something and the killer is just covering his tracks?" he started loading bread into the toaster.

"Makes sense. If he was having an affair with GoGoBoots chick and they were regulars at the motel..." I started to fold the blanket returning it to the closet.

"The killer might be freaked with her death showing up in the paper. He'd want any witnesses that could tie him to her gone." the toaster jammed sending smoke into the kitchen forcing Vincent to unplug it. "Breakfast at the cafe it is."

"I'd still like to know how our first victim Puddle Guy fits into it?" I had shuffled then towards the kitchen myself.

"Yeah, that's a clue and a half all on it's own." he remarked as he headed back towards the bathroom.  I heard him rattling his toothbrush and the tap running. Vincent returned a moment later a faint scent of mint clinging to him.

I stood in the middle of the store just after 8:30am, a shipment of blu-rays had come in early and I still needed to unbox them, code them, and price them. It was the last thing I wanted to do. What I wanted was to take a few home and just plant myself in front of the tv for the next few days. But that just wasn't going to fly.  I was more than starting to feel overwhelmed, totally in over my head. Deadlines suddenly looming over me like a non stop hamster wheel with a hammer banging into it like a gong. Maybe my mental cage should have been more rattled than it actually was, but I could see nothing but this brazen and bizarre love triangle I currently found myself in. Torn between Ryan and Rudolph. I should have been focusing on other things like the fact there was a killer running around town.  I tore off the packaging tape of one of the larger boxes, to be greeted by the top layer of order forms. The distributor was pushing anniversary editions of old mob stories.  I think I grunted to the box as I saw my own reflection in the glossy plastic wrap of the first row of films. My pale skin distorted in the square edges of the makeshift mirror. Like staring into a puddle.

That's when the idea hit me. What if Puddle Guy had been trailing the killer? What if Puddle Guy had been a private investigator? Or even an informant?  What if this went deeper than just some wealthy guy not wanting an affair to surface?

I shook my head trying to clear my sudden anxiety and conspiracy theory, trying not to over react when the phone rang. A small scream began to escape my throat as I  jumped laying my palm flat on my chest, I scolded myself for such an overactive imagination.  I heard the distant voice of one of my distributors letting me know my next order would be late as they were having issues with their factory.   The rest of the morning continued with me jumping at every noise, seeing danger at every turn.  Lunch didn't make me feel any better.  I went to the cafe to find Vincent's normally beautiful face marked with stress. He nodded at me to take a tray and help as he tried his best to keep clam and not kick out a table of loud teenagers. They were a community service group on break from picking up trash in the area. All ten of them in their orange vests, talking over each other, laughing into their phones, snapping way too may selfies. The noise levels just seemed to increase second by second in the tiny cafe.  It was clear from his body language of shoulders that he was having a hard time from slumping, and the edge of his jaw that was clinched, that he was dealing with a headache and overdue for his break.  Fifteen minutes later, the teenagers magickally got up in a herd and shuffled out leaving one person to pay for everything.  The quiet was almost deafening as a slight ringing in my ears was all the evidence they left. Vincent leaned onto the counter his eyes closed, fingertips pressed into his temples.

"Can you switch the open sign to back in 10 minutes please." He shuffled over to a table, pulling out a chair. The scrapping sound causing him to wince. "Sorry Desdemona short handed today. Bobby never came in."   I poured us each a coffee and sat down across the table from him.

"What if Puddle Guy was killed cause he was like us?" I said reaching into my purse for a bottle of aspirin handing it to him.

"Worked in a mini mall dealing with snotty teens?"

"No. Investigating the scandal."

Tune in again for another installment of the Cinema Files starring your (straight up story.  I know, it's turning into a proper crime story...for now)

Monday, July 22, 2019

Foodn'Flix July 2019

Spudguns!, it's that time of the time again, when  I offer you up something for Foodn'Flix.  This month's selection is The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, and it's being hosted by Culinary Adventures with Camilla.

plot: A young writer looking to switch genres, is asked by her publishers to write about how literature is affecting people. At the same time, a strange letter arrives for her from a man who has inherited one of her old childhood books. He explains his situation, that he's started a book club, and is in need of more books asking if she'd mail him something. Not only does she mail him a few titles, she decides to travel there herself to do her essay on the book club. The night before she's set to leave, her boyfriend asks her to marry him. Unsure if that's really what she wants, she ends up staying more than a month with the book club finding out more and more about the people of the small community.

This is based on the novel, and stars Lily James and Michiel Huisman.

Notes: pork, gin, potato peel pie, tea, beer, water, alcohol, bread, lamb (someone's name) roast pig, potato, soup/broth, carrots, asparagus, gravy, candy, tomatoes, scones, cake, chicken, butter, toast, lobster, onion, fish, parsnips, lettuce, nectarines, dried herbs, clams/mussels, cow, whiskey, milk, stew, cookies, olives, celery, cabbage, flour, corn, petit four, hors  d'oeuvres, 

So I saw this a few months back, and loved it. But when watching it a second time around for the FnF group, I had little idea how to do anything out of the ordinary for it. I ended up going with a fairly basic idea.  

A potato bread. My inspiration was both the main food of potatoes, which is about all the people in the community have left to eat after the German soldiers pretty much take all the supplies; and a scene where one of the characters asks for the last slice of bread to help prove a point.
I decided to use a can of potatoes for this, simply because I had them on hand.  I drained them, and boiled them in salt water for about 15 minutes, then mashed them.  This I set aside to cool.
 While that was cooling, I got the rest of my ingredients together.  1 and a half cups flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 Tablespoon sugar, 1 Tablespoon oil, 1 teaspoon butter softened, 1/2 cup water.
 Add this to the mashed potato, and then kneed the dough as you would a normal bread.
 Bake at 350degrees for about an hour depending on your oven.

I have to admit, this didn't turn out as I had expected. And I think that has to do with the fact I used a canned potato instead of a bakers potato. The canned potatoes were mushier to begin with. If you are going to use a canned potato, then you should cut the water called for in half.

That's about all I have for you this time around, don't forget to join in next month when we are covering the Star Wars franchise and it's being hosted by Simply Inspired Meals.