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.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

What that Movie Inspired July 2019

Spudguns!, it's been a long while since I did any of these. This one came about because of a conversation with my friend Heather over at All Roads Lead to the Kitchen.  We ended up both feeling nostalgic over a few situations, and movies. The conversation took a weird side road into certain foods, rice being one of them. That lead to this challenge...our Rice and Ramen and $5 Challenge.   Yes, you read that long arsed title right. This movie inspired foodie moment had to have Rice, Ramen and be under $5 total.

Any movie we wanted. But, the rest of the rules had to be followed. I have to say, this was actually one of the hardest ones to manage. Just from a budget point of view.  I instantly knew what movie I was going to use, and had half an idea for the recipe.  Ironically, I ended up using one of the movies I had been failing at recipes for in the last few months. But the second I decided to pair the movie with this challenge, well the "recipe" worked so smoothly.

Okay, so what movie you are asking?  The 1997 comedy The Pest starring John Leguizamo and Jeffrey Jones.

plot:  Pest is a street smart con artist who is in debt with the Scottish mob, and when a German millionaire offers him Fifty-Thousand dollars to be hunted for 24 hours, he says yes. Before long Pest drags his buddies into the mix and still manages to impress his girlfriend's parents.

This is based on the 1924 story The Most Dangerous Game.

I have to admit, I know this is a comedy on the surface, but when you actually get down to it, it's one of the scariest stories out there. When I first saw this movie back in 1997, I couldn't get the original story out of my mind. There's been dozens of versions of this story's main plot over the last hundred years, but Pest is one of my favourites.  This could have easily been a straight up horror film. I know as a comedy it was given a lighter rating, but with the amount of crude jokes and the fact it is not in any way a politically correct film, you would think otherwise. And let's face it, this film would never stand a chance at getting made today.

Notes:  cereal, eggs, toast, coffee, juice, cheesies, chicken grease (mentioned) milk, Lucky Charms (mentioned) potato chips, pizza, pop, pineapple, coconuts, mango, banana, Chinese food, tea, rice, bok choy, duck, oranges, cabbage, MSG (mentioned), stir-fry, soy sauce, whiskey, apple, martini, plum sauce, olives, noodles, dumplings (mentioned) deer, goose, lobster, beer, salt, pepper, Cuban food, ice cream (fabric print) cookies, grapes, burgers

So what did I end up making?   Pest's Bestest Ninja Roll.  There is no way you can call this dish a "recipe".
I started out by making the ramen, removing them from the liquid, and cooking the rice in the ramen liquid.
Chopped up some of the onion, black olives, and cucumber.  And a handful of the pre-made cole slaw (carrot, green cabbage and red cabbage)
Following the instructions on the package of rice paper, I soaked it in water before laying out on a flat surface.
Then proceeded to roll the noodles, cucumber, onions, olives, and cole slaw. 
I served the rice on the side.

So the scenes that inspired this were when Pest is working as a driver for a Chinese restaurant, and is eating both rice and later in another scene noodles. As well, the fact the character of the German hunter; Shank is constantly with olives in his martini.  And the title of it came from a line where Pest has to pick between his friends Chubby and Ninja when asked who his best friend is. The character of Pest tends to add a lot of  extra "s" to his words. (You`re my bestestsssests friend)

When you hear rice and ramen, you think "okay, keeping it under $5 will be easy." Well, it wasn't. Lest not the way I was calculating up the prices.   $2.27 for a bag of rice, $1.97 for the pre made cole slaw, $1.67 a pound for a onion, .47 cents for the ramen package, $2.99 for the container of rice paper, $1.49 for a container of olives, .88cent for a cucumber.  Total = $11.74

Here`s where my brains sort of got stuck. I was thinking in the sense of the total price instead of the fact I`ll only be using a small portion of most the ingredients. All but the ramen which I used the whole package of.  I actually had everything already in my kitchen. Didn't even need to make a trip to the grocery. How cool is that?  I used a cup of the rice and only a handful of the premade cole slaw. (I tend to get 4 to 5 meals out of a bag of the slaw) and only a few slices of the onion and cucumber. And only four of the olives, and one of the riced paper.  Works out roughly to $5 a person.

Okay so that's my movie pick and my dish (yeah don't feel right calling it a recipe) Don't forget to head on over to All Roads Lead to the Kitchen to see what Heather picked and was inspired to make.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Night Bleeds Summer 2019

Spudguns!, how's it where you are?  Spiffy news good to hear that...anyways, it's time to talk about this month's Night Bleeds selection.  The selection this time around, is The Stand by Stephen King.  And it's a super long one, so that's why it's not due till the end of August.

So, if you want to join in here's what you need to know.    You must have a blog to join the online part. Read the novel, (watching movie this time around is optional bonus) and if it inspires you to cook/bake/craft something then add that to your blog post. Your blog post must be within the current month, in this case August 2019.   As always, it's due the last Sunday of the month, in this current case that will be Sunday August 25th 2019.  With a link to my post on the day of, and a comment letting me know you actually joined in.

If you are in the Thunder Bay area and would like to join the physical book club, let me know.