Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The First Thanksgiving

The First ThanksgivingIn 1621, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast which is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies. This harvest meal has become a symbol of cooperation and interaction between English colonists and Native Americans. Although this feast is considered by many to the very first Thanksgiving celebration, it was actually in keeping with a long tradition of celebrating the harvest and giving thanks for a successful bounty of crops. Native American groups throughout the Americas, including the Pueblo, Cherokee, Creek and many others organized harvest festivals, ceremonial dances, and other celebrations of thanks for centuries before the arrival of Europeans in North America.

Historians have also recorded other ceremonies of thanks among European settlers in North America, including British colonists in Berkeley Plantation, Virginia. At this site near the Charles River in December of 1619, a group of British settlers led by Captain John Woodlief knelt in prayer and pledged "Thanksgiving" to God for their healthy arrival after a long voyage across the Atlantic. This event has been acknowledged by some scholars and writers as the official first Thanksgiving among European settlers on record. Whether at Plymouth, Berkeley Plantation, or throughout the Americas, celebrations of thanks have held great meaning and importance over time. The legacy of thanks, and particularly of the feast, have survived the centuries as people throughout the United States gather family, friends, and enormous amounts of food for their yearly Thanksgiving meal.

What Was Actually on the Menu? What foods topped the table at the first harvest feast? Historians aren't completely certain about the full bounty, but it's safe to say the pilgrims weren't gobbling up pumpkin pie or playing with their mashed potatoes. Following is a list of the foods that were available to the colonists at the time of the 1621 feast. However, the only two items that historians know for sure were on the menu are venison and wild fowl, which are mentioned in primary sources. The most detailed description of the "First Thanksgiving" comes from Edward Winslow from A Journal of the Pilgrims at Plymouth, in 1621:

"Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruit of our labors. They four in one day killed as much fowl as, with a little help beside, served the company almost a week. At which time, among other recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five deer, which they brought to the plantation and bestowed upon our governor, and upon the captain, and others. And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty."

Did you know that lobster, seal and swans were on the Pilgrims' menu?

Seventeenth Century Table Manners: The pilgrims didn't use forks; they ate with spoons, knives, and their fingers. They wiped their hands on large cloth napkins which they also used to pick up hot morsels of food. Salt would have been on the table at the harvest feast, and people would have sprinkled it on their food. Pepper, however, was something that they used for cooking but wasn't available on the table.

In the seventeenth century, a person's social standing determined what he or she ate. The best food was placed next to the most important people. People didn't tend to sample everything that was on the table (as we do today), they just ate what was closest to them.

Serving in the seventeenth century was very different from serving today. People weren't served their meals individually. Foods were served onto the table and then people took the food from the table and ate it. All the servers had to do was move the food from the place where it was cooked onto the table.

Pilgrims didn't eat in courses as we do today. All of the different types of foods were placed on the table at the same time and people ate in any order they chose. Sometimes there were two courses, but each of them would contain both meat dishes, puddings, and sweets.

More Meat, Less VegetablesOur modern Thanksgiving repast is centered around the turkey, but that certainly wasn't the case at the pilgrims's feasts. Their meals included many different meats. Vegetable dishes, one of the main components of our modern celebration, didn't really play a large part in the feast mentality of the seventeenth century. Depending on the time of year, many vegetables weren't available to the colonists.

The pilgrims probably didn't have pies or anything sweet at the harvest feast. They had brought some sugar with them on the Mayflower but by the time of the feast, the supply had dwindled. Also, they didn't have an oven so pies and cakes and breads were not possible at all. The food that was eaten at the harvest feast would have seemed fatty by 1990's standards, but it was probably more healthy for the pilgrims than it would be for people today. The colonists were more active and needed more protein. Heart attack was the least of their worries. They were more concerned about the plague and pox.

Surprisingly Spicy Cooking - People tend to think of English food at bland, but, in fact, the pilgrims used many spices, including cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, pepper, and dried fruit, in sauces for meats. In the seventeenth century, cooks did not use proportions or talk about teaspoons and tablespoons. Instead, they just improvised. The best way to cook things in the seventeenth century was to roast them. Among the pilgrims, someone was assigned to sit for hours at a time and turn the spit to make sure the meat was evenly done.

Since the pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians had no refrigeration in the seventeenth century, they tended to dry a lot of their foods to preserve them. They dried Indian corn, hams, fish, and herbs.

Dinner for Breakfast: Pilgrim Meals:The biggest meal of the day for the colonists was eaten at noon and it was called noonmeat or dinner. The housewives would spend part of their morning cooking that meal. Supper was a smaller meal that they had at the end of the day. Breakfast tended to be leftovers from the previous day's noonmeat.

In a pilgrim household, the adults sat down to eat and the children and servants waited on them. The foods that the colonists and Wampanoag Indians ate were very similar, but their eating patterns were different. While the colonists had set eating patterns—breakfast, dinner, and supper—the Wampanoags tended to eat when they were hungry and to have pots cooking throughout the day.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Chicken in White Wine Lemon Sauce

I must admit I have not tried this yet but from what I read it sounds UNBELEIVABLE and EASY. I'm making this Saturday and will keep you posted. With a simple side dish and chicken less than $1.50/lbs. this could easily be dinner for 4 for under $10.

Chicken in White Wine Lemon Sauce

1/4 cup butter
4 whole chicken breasts
2 tablespoons dry white wine (or whatever you have on hand)
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel (I will skip)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 up grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup sliced mushrooms (I will omit ’cause the boys won’t eat ‘em)

Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken. Cook, turning, about 10 minutes or until chicken is brown and tender. Remove chicken to ovenproof serving dish. Discard butter from skillet. Add wine, lemon peel and lemon juice to skillet; cook and stir over medium heat 1 minute. Stir in salt and pepper. Gradually pour in cream, stirring constantly, until hot; do not boil. Pour cream sauce over chicken, sprinkle with cheese and mushrooms. Broil chicken about 2-3 inches from heat source until lightly browned. Serve.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

"Carnival of Light" May See Light

Word is Paul McCartney is thinking of issuing a track considered the Holy Grail of unreleased Beatles tracks.

According to various reports, Sir Paul is mulling over releasing a 14-minute piece of improvisation called “Carnival of Light,” which the Beatles recorded in 1967 during the overdubbing sessions for “Penny Lane.” The actual recording has long been considered a Beatles “myth,” but McCartney confirmed in an interview the recording is real. “It does exist,” he says on a BBC Radio 4 program to be broadcast Thursday.

McCartney told program host John Wilson that he still has a master tape of the song and he suspects that “the time has come for it to get its moment.” “Carnival of Light” was created for The Million Volt Light and Sound Rave, an event held at London’s Roundhouse Theatre on Jan. 28 and Feb. 4, 1967.

“I said all I want you to do is just wander around all the stuff, bang it, shout, play it, it doesn't need to make any sense,” McCartney told Wilson about the track's origin. “Hit a drum then wander on to the piano, hit a few notes, just wander around. So that's what we did and then put a bit of an echo on it. It's very free.”

In order for Carnival of Light to be released, McCartney would have to get the agreement of Ringo Starr and the estates of John Lennon and George Harrison. According to the BBC, McCartney had wanted to include the track on The Beatles’ Anthology compilations in the mid-1990s, but the rest of the band vetoed the idea.

I searched around to see what I could find and came up with what is supposed to be a snippet (one minute) of the track. There is absolutely no way I can verify if this is really part of “Carnival of Light” or not. What you’ll hear is plain old-fashioned cacophony. I’ll withhold final judgment until Macca authorizes the full release. But if the whole thing sounds like this, I’m inclined to agree with what McCartney said was the reaction of the other Beatles: “The guys didn't like the idea, like ‘this is rubbish.’”

Carnival of Light (partial).mp3

Give Me S'more, Please

As winter sneaks up on us and the temperature drops down to a bone-chilling low tonight I have been determined to start a cozy bonfire soon. There’s just something about this time of year that makes me want to sit around a toasty fire, a warm blanket, and a stick skewered with marshmallows. I love the sweet rustic smell of burning wood and toasted marshmallows.

I’ve been an avid devotee of the classic s’more for the first half of my life. Two perfectly roasted marsh mellows placed on a small slab of Hershey’s milk chocolate and wedged between two crisp graham crackers. It doesn’t get any better than that. Or does it?

Lindt Milk Chocolate and Double Milk Chocolate Bars
Ghirardelli Peppermint Bark and Almond bars (I think you could really do some damage with the chocolate squares)
Peanut Butter
Graham Crackers
Anna’s Chocolate Mint Thins and Ginger Thins

I have no self-control when it comes to sweets and having a “sweet tooth” is an under statement. A toasted marshmallow with the chocolate almond bar smashed between two ginger thins. Another marshmallow was paired with peppermint bark and packed between chocolate mint thins. The possibilities are endless. Peanut butter with roasted banana, a marshmallow, and double milk chocolate sandwiched with graham crackers.

JJ's Star Trek!

Here it is! The new Star Trek Trailor has been released - click HERE for the link!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Florida Coast Barbecued Barbecue Shrimp

Serves 4
½ lb unsalted butter
2 bay leaves
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1 tbl freshly ground black pepper
1 tbl paprika
1 tbl Louisiana hot sauce
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
1 lemon, juiced
½ cup beer
Bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 1 hr
2 lbs jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tsp Red Hot & Blue Dry Rub Seasoning

Prepare grill to cook direct and medium high. In large skillet on stove, melt the butter on medium heat. Add all other ingredients, except for shrimp and Creole seasoning. Bring to simmer and cook 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Skewer shrimp with double skewers so they can be flipped easily. Season with Creole seasoning. Grill 1-2 minutes per side, depending on size of shrimp. Remove from skewers and add shrimp to the pan with spiced butter mixture and toss. Return to stove over med-high heat and bring to simmer until shrimp is cooked through. Taste and season with salt if necessary. Serve with lots of crusty bread for sopping up the sauce.

U2 Start

I wanted tonight to put you good people – especially you good people who are U2 fans – onto a great site I recently learned about.

U2 Start.com is, as they describe it, “The ultimate website for any U2 fan.” That’s a pretty bold statement, but I think U2 Start backs it up. First, they have a huge forum, with discussion topics ranging from older U2 material to speculation on the upcoming album. Maybe that’s pretty typical stuff for a fan forum, but here’s what makes U2 Start really cool: They have a HUGE collection of U2 boots available for free download. They claim to currently have 1,059 recordings in their databases and you do not have to upload, pay, or subscribe to anything in order to get access to their collection. All you have to do is register – and that’s free.

The recordings are all reviewed and rated by sound quality, so you’ll know what you’re getting before you download. The site also lists “most downloaded,” “user’s favorites,” and “best reviewed,” among other categories. It’s very user friendly and organized and if you’re a U2 fan and haven’t yet been to U2 Start.com, you need to check it out.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Beatles Purple Chick

The Beatles' albums came out on CD in 1987, but fans have long complained that the early digital technology used to remaster the recordings left them sounding hollow and thin — and that the official remasters are way overdue. That's where Purple Chick comes in — a secretive fan (or group of fans) who has been quietly remastering classic discs like Revolver and A Hard Day's Night, and releasing the digital files for free online. How is this possible? The Beatles' CDs sound so bad that carefully digitized tracks from pristine vinyl copies are noticeably better — with crisper highs, a fuller soundstage, and more realistic reproduction of instruments and voices. And the Purple Chick editions are superior to the originals in other ways, too: The Sgt. Pepper collection contains the original record in mono and stereo, and four discs' worth of studio outtakes; the White Album comes in a whopping twelve-disc version, including alternate takes, studio chatter, demos and fascinating jams.

I have featured several of these discs in the past and will continue to do so. Here is a great guide to the Purple Chick releases. These are the BEST collections of all released bootlegs, featuring an excellent documentation of the recordings.



Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Star Trek: four full scenes and new trailer reviewed

Den Of Geek reports from the world-first screening of four complete scenes from the new Star Trek movie, as introduced by JJ Abrams and Simon Pegg. Huge spoilers...
I've just been to see twenty minutes of footage from J.J. Abrams' Star Trek. We were told by Chris Hedges - head of Paramount UK - and Rob Moore, vice-president of Paramount pictures, that we 400-odd journos were the first people in the world to see the footage. A very disarming Abrams himself was there, as was Simon Pegg, the new 'Scotty'; both were on-form but clearly very nervous, and both addressed the gathering, Abrams at length. After joking that he'd never been a big fan of Star Trek, Abrams went on to explain how he'd followed the franchise through the original TV and film series, and through the later spin-offs, and intimated that his movie would be the first time that the 'promise of adventure' would actually be realised. He may be right: the viewing started with the new trailer, which will be in cinemas Friday, followed by four scenes from the movie itself, all complete with polished SFX and scoring.

And it all looks absolutely amazing.

Anyone prepared to withstand some major spoilers can check below for details of these scenes. For those leaving it here and saving themselves for the movie, let me say that the footage screened today is just sensationally great. Pine is good as Kirk, Urban is UNCANNY as McCoy, Quinto has got Spock's icy reservation and underlying anger nailed, the effects look more like GREAT model-work than ropey CGI and I'm just about as impatient for May 2009 as I can be...

The trailer for Star Trek starts off looking more like a 70s road movie, as a young Kirk drives a beat-up old Chevy round the ranges of Iowa in search of a few thrills before over-estimating his own braking power. Pretty soon his wheels are plunging a few thousand feet and he's being rescued from a literal cliff-hanging situation by a rather robotic-looking Iowa traffic cop, who's just descended from his floating ride to help the young rebel out. They're really going for the 'bad boy' bit with this Kirk, as we shall find out in the full-length scenes.

Much of the content of the rest of the trailer contains material covered in the scenes that we were shown afterwards, and the slow Kirk-in-trouble scene quickly gives way to the usual epilepsy-inducing quick-cuts, showing some pretty spectacular space battles, the Enterprise under construction in the fields of Iowa (being regarded by an awed Kirk, not yet enrolled in Starfleet), a roll-call of all the returning characters and…Uhura (Zoe Saldana) stripping down to her bra (for some reason - I'm not complaining, it's a very nice sight, but it's a bit of a cheap shot for a film with this much going for it). The trailer concludes with Romulan villain Nero (Eric Bana) declaring portentously 'The wait is over'….

THE FIRST SCENE: Kirk's bar-fight
The first scene shows Kirk getting his arse totally kicked by some Starfleet squaddies who were letting off steam in a nightclub near the Enterprise site. The squaddies were in fact trying to defend Uhura from Kirk's persistent and relentless pestering, It's a far more intense chat-up than you would ever have guessed from the Shatner-Nichols dynamic, and at one point Kirk makes mention of Uhura's famous linguistic skills, descending to some sub-TOS innuendo with the line "It must mean you've got a magic tongue".

Anyway pretty soon the belligerent squaddies are telling Tiberius to back off. There being only four of them against one of him, Kirk tells them to come back with four more…to make it an even fight! After a bit of a scuffle - during which Kirk ends up inadvertently holding Uhura's breasts before she sends him back into the fray - the squaddies totally whip Kirk, and at the end he's pinned to a table having his face violently pummelled by the lead squaddie, before being rescued by Captain Christopher Pike (Bruce Greenwood), who's slated as the first captain of the Enterprise.

The following section zips to ten minutes later. Kirk is sitting opposite Pike with cotton wool stuffed up his nose to stop the bleeding, while Pike remonstrates with him for being constantly in trouble and failing to enlist in Starfleet in spite of his genius-level test scores. "You could have your own starship in eight years", he promises. The scene concludes with Pine reminding Kirk that his own father was captain of a starship for only 12 minutes and managed to save over 800 lives - including Kirk's mother - in that time…and he challenges Kirk to do better.

THE SECOND SCENE: An ill Kirk tries to warn Pike of danger
Abrams prefaced this scene by informing us that - after the preceding scene - Kirk continues to get into trouble after his enrolment in Starfleet, and that when all the other graduates have been assigned starships, he is assigned none. Kirk's friend Doctor McCoy (Karl Urban, who REALLY nails DeForest Kelley's voice and mannerisms) manages to get him on board Pike's first run with the Enterprise by invoking Federation Rule 691, which states that a doctor can bring on board any person who he deems to be in need of treatment. In order to qualify Kirk for this loophole, McCoy gives him a nasty but non-lethal virus.

As we join the scene, Kirk's looking pretty ill as McCoy drags him over to a bed in a very spacious and cool-looking sick-bay. McCoy gives Kirk something to allay the effects of the virus, but Kirk has an allergic reaction to it and his hands swell up like Mickey Mouse's.

Over on the bridge, Pavel Chekov (Anton Yelchin) tries to log on with voice-identification, but the Enterprise computer won't let him until he can pronounce his V's properly.

Chekov announces to the crew that there is a catastrophic electrical storm on Vulcan, and that the Enterprise is running to the rescue. But Kirk recognises the description of the storm as identical to a Romulan attack that took place at the time of his birth, and is determined to warn Captain Pike that he is warping into a terrible trap.

Kirk tracks down Uhura, not yet a fixture on the bridge, and tries to convince her to help him, but then the virus/palliative causes his tongue to stop working! McCoy eventually manages to stabilise him so that he can talk to Pike.

Confronting Pike with the information on the bridge, a very disapproving Spock tries to have the brash young graduate taken off by security, but Kirk is able to persuade both Spock and his captain of the danger they're in.

Dropping out of warp-speed, the Enterprise instantly finds itself navigating the hulks and wrecks of the aftermath of a huge space-battle. This is no natural phenomena…

THE THIRD SCENE: Meeting Nimoy's Spock and Pegg's Mr. Scott
Abrams prefaced this scene by explaining that Kirk's continuing impulsiveness has forced Spock - now in command of the Enterprise - to exile him temporarily on an unnamed location. Here Kirk is met by...Spock! This time it's Leonard Nimoy, who has been aged even beyond his 77 years to play a Spock that has travelled back in time to change the course of history.

As we join the scene, Nimoy's Spock is leading Pine's Kirk to meet Pegg's Mr. Scott, who has been similarly exiled, and is in belligerent mood. Scott has a big scene here, talking with some annoyance about his efforts to effect matter transference onto a ship that is travelling at warp-speed. This is something Kirk and Scotty need to know if they are going to use Spock's handy transporter terminal to get back into the action.

Nimoy informs Scott that his future self will solve the problem of 'beaming up' between speeding ships, and even shows him the formula he is destined to work out. The engineer declares (against the evidence). "Of course! I never would have thought of space as a moving force!".

Old Spock informs Kirk that he will need to get Young Spock's command revoked with the old 'unfit for command' ruse we have so often seen in Star Trek, and that he should do this by getting Young Spock emotionally off-balance. Old Spock declares that it will not be difficult, and that he himself is like that (suggesting that Spock has seen himself in this way his whole life).

As Kirk and Scotty get into the transporter, Kirk playfully accuses Old Spock of cheating by travelling back in time to change the course of events. "I learnt it from a master", Spock rejoins. Ouch.

THE FOURTH (FINAL SCENE): Stopping the Romulan drill on Vulcan
Here Kirk and Sulu are in a drop-ship (inside it's very similar to the drop-ship from Aliens) along with a security officer called Olson. Sulu and Kirk are wearing blue-ish space-suits, but Olson's of course, is red.

Olson will be dead in three minutes.

The mission for our heroes is to stop the chain-like drill that is hanging twenty miles down from an orbiting Romulan ship from completing its work and creating the singularity that will engulf Vulcan. Vulcan only has minutes left before the Big One, and Mr. Spock gives Chekov the helm and beams down to the surface to save the Vulcan senate - including his parents. Meantime he has given orders to have Vulcan evacuate as far as possible in the minutes remaining.

Back at the rescue mission, Kirk, Sulu and Olson are dropped off and free-fall down the endless miles of space-chain. It's undoubtedly the longest parachute jump ever committed to film, and it's totally spectacular.

The chain has a number of interstitial platforms, and poor Olson comes a cropper of one of these after deploying his parachute, and ends up a blot on the landscape. Meantime Kirk and Sulu fight Romulans on the rusting platform/link suspended 4 miles above the Vulcan surface. To make matters worse, there's a vent near them that blasts a decimating wave of energy out every few minutes, so they have to fight around it.

Kirk once again finds himself hanging above a huge drop by his fingernails, with his Romulan adversary trying to stamp on his feet and get him off the ledge. Luckily for Kirk, Sulu's amazing sword - which unfolds to full-length from the handle like a light-sabre, but is made of metal - downs the Romulan nasty, and Sulu pulls Kirk up. Sulu saves Kirk? Huh?

Fear not, it will be repaid with interest in moments. Nero reveals that the interference of Kirk and Sulu has come too late - the singularity is in place. The Romulan ship lets the chain go and Kirk and Sulu find themselves about 60 seconds from becoming part of the rocky Vulcan landscape.

On the Enterprise, they're having a bit of trouble beaming our heroes up. "Try and stay in one place", shouts the transporter officer. Not easy when you're plummeting at maximum velocity. It looks like the end, but not so, for young Mr. Chekov is sure that he knows the technique for beaming up moving objects, and fights his way through the confusion on the Enterprise to rescue Kirk and Sulu just as they are about to become bug-blatter.

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Couple Of Spies Weigh In On The Brand-New STAR TREK Trailer!!

Here is the info:

I have never written into you guys before but I was just too excited not to. I recently got a job on the lot at Paramount and was fortunate enough to get to see the trailer for JJ's Star Trek (i'm not special, it's playing on a loop in the Paramount theater).

Anyways, I can't say enough good things about it. I'll give you a quick rundown;

We start out with a muscle car tearing ass down a dirt road. Eventually it careens off a cliff, but not before the driver jets himself out - he's a young boy, couldn't be older than 11. Suddenly what I can only describe as a space-cop asks him, "what is your name sir?" The young boy replies, "James Tiberius Kirk."

Then Chris Pine takes over as we see him being angsty, driving down the road on a motorcycle. We hear some voice over from someone else that confirms his angst saying things like, "You've never really been happy have you?" and etc. Then we see him drive up what looks like a smelting factory - probably more of that ship construction we got in the earlier trailer.

Then we really kick into trailer mode as we get quick images of Spock as a kid. Spock all grown up. Leonard Nimoy. A vulcan council. Space cadets. And the crew alone with some quick, flashy space fighting.

There were two many images after that to describe but I can just tell you that it's extremely exciting. It's the most visually dynamic thing J.J.'s ever done. Lots of great shots, and cool camera moves, just in the trailer. There was even a little quip from Simon Pegg. And some sex thrown in for good measure. Eric Bana also joins the long list of great actors who are happy to chew scenery as a Star Trek villain. The only thing I wanted more of is Karl Urban. He was the most inspired casting IMO and he only gets a quick nod in the trailer. As I said, all in all it's really cool and I think you guys are all gonna geek out big time when it's released. To finish, I'll just say, it feels like what we WANTED when the new Star Wars movies were released - something old and nostalgic getting pushed to greater, more dynamic storytelling by improved technology.



Hey there, long time Paramount employee here. They showed the new trailer for JJ Abrams Star Trek yesterday over at the Paramount theatre. It ran every 15 minutes and all employees were encouraged to go see it. Thought you'd like a little info.

The trailer starts by showing a mid-60's Corvette convertible tearing across the country side. After a few seconds we see a long shot that shows a policeman in hot pursuit. Another long shot shows the Vette screaming at full speed toward a steep cliff. A slo-mo shot shows the driver leaping from the car at the last second and tumbling ass over teakettle toward the edge of the cliff itself. The driver is a young boy who looks about 13 or 14. He manages to grab a hold at the last second and hang on as a birds eye shot show the antique Vette fall away into an abyss.

We see the boy get up and dust himself off and the camera cuts away to show a troopers boot come down close-up. The black leather boot is obviously the policeman's who was chasing the car but it looks suspiciously "different." Just different enough to let the audience know this isn't a normal policeman. The shot then cuts to where we can see the policeman standing in front of the boy with his "bike" hovering in mid air a few feet beside him. He shouts at the boy, "Who are you?" or "What's your name?" and the boy shouts back defiantly, "James Tiberius Kirk!"

We're then treated to another long shot showing an older boy riding a hover bike similar to the one the policeman was shown riding a moment or two before thru the country side . We hear a voice over of an older man, presumable Kirk's father saying, "You never found yourself here, you never really fit in." The voice continues as the bike rider pulls up and stops and looks off into the distance, "What you choose to do with you're life is up to you." We see the boy starring at a huge futuristic structure (Star Fleet headquarters?) as the voice over continues, "Maybe you were meant for something different, something....bigger."

It then cuts to scene of an obvious Vulcan woman holding a baby. Again we hear a voice over of the woman saying, "You will always be a part of two worlds." as we cut to a toddler Spock walking in a Vulcan robe. The boy has the Beatles hair cut and pointed ears we associate with Vulcan's throughout Star Trek history. We then see a bunch a quick shots of the crew walking around the bridge of some starship and we see a 20-something Spock angrily pointing at a 20-something Kirk and saying, "I will not be lectured by you!" and an angry Kirk getting in Spocks face saying, "Why don't you do something about it!?!" We then see an enraged Spock trying to stab Kirk with something pointed I couldn't quite make out. It was a quick shot and Kirk is shown using both hands to fend off Spock and hold the object away from his face.

Several quick cuts are shown of space ships firing at one another and people being thrown about the bridge of whatever ship they're suppose to be in. We see crew members running down bright white corridors as another voice over with a Scottish accent says, "I'm having fun!" We then see a close-up of what had to be a young(er) Dr. McCoy with about a weeks worth of black stubble on his face and his arms crossed in that oh so familiar Bones manner saying angrily, "Space isn't suppose to be fun, it's aliens and phasers and death!" We also see a woman in silhouette (Uhura?) pulling off her top and scenes of the crew running to man their battle stations on a bridge.

We then see a bunch of battle shots of space ships being hit by phaser fire and pieces being blown off of them while engine nacels explode before it all ends with the familar Star Fleet logo against a black background and we hear the familar Star Trek opening cords played over it and the release date appears underneath.

I can't vouch for every line of dialog I quoted as being 100% accurate, the cuts were very quick and I only sat through the trailer once but that's the basics. The colors of the corridors and the uniforms was very bright, everything had a "new" appearance. No doubt some of the shots were meant to represent Star Fleet academy training exercises and not real life combat scenes though again, it all went by pretty quick.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Election is Over

I'm glad it's over even though I'm not happy with the results.

Maybe I'm curious to see what happens when you give people exactly what they asked for.
In my head, I liken it to my Aunt Dot who was finally annoyed to frustration by my repeated requests to eat the apples from her tree, even though they weren't ripe.

"Go ahead, child. Eat all the little green apples that you'd like."

I hope our country fares better than I did.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

WOW! New Bruce for Halloween!

This is exactly what I would expect from Springsteen...except that he has often looked the other way when it comes to embracing new technology so when I opened my email box this morning to discover a new Halloween song, "A Night With The Jersey Devil", I was giddy with as much joy as a pound of Snickers candy bars could give me after a day of trick or treating.

His website reads:
"Dear friends and fans, If you grew up in central or south Jersey, you grew up with the 'Jersey Devil.' Here's a little musical Halloween treat. Have fun!"

The blues-drenched number features a fuzzed out harmonica and well, it's one of the best things Bruce has done in years. How I only wish Bruce would embrace the blues genre on an album, this suits him far more than the songs of Pete Seeger.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

From a line cook friend: How to save your kitchen money in a hard economy.

I love this guy for many reasons. There are many reasons I miss the hard core, day to day business, he is one of them. He sent this out to a bunch of us who worked together in the past. Cheers, mate!

* Use everything. Fennel tops. Celery leaves. Pork trim. Fish bones. Keep a spatula close, and use it to scrape down everything.

* Revisit your recipes. Where are you not being efficient? Are there ingredients in there that you could be making in house? Cheeses, spice blends, curry paste, breads, charcuterie, pastas--you can make them better than what you're buying...and for cheaper

* Cook seasonally for fucks sake.

* Get to know your purveyors. Learn who to trust, and who not to. Don't be afraid to ask for a cheaper price.

* Change your menu when you need to, not just when you want to. If something isn't working, change it. Move your ingredients around so as to not to have certain items that really sell, and other that are just there.

* Dont be afraid of the oily fish. $20 a pound snapper vs $1.95 a pound mackeral. You figure it out.

* Limit your menu. Any menu over 25 items is really tipping the scales. One fish entree, one steak, one pork/duck/chicken item. Offer a veggie entree. Don't get carried away with foie gras and caviar.

* Use everyones ideas. A cook on a station knows exactly how much mise en place they need for a night--so ask them how much prep they think they'll need for a service. Analyze your prep list constantly.

* Get creative with family meal. The true test of a cook is taking all those leftovers and making something that will satiate twenty cranky servers.

Low Country Boil Recipe

I realize that this isn't exactly a Halloween or Fall recipe but it's perfect for Florida this time of year and I just don't use the outdoor cooker enough. Hope you have enough Old Bay on the shelf -

Low Country Boil

1 bag frozen shrimp (peeled)
1 bag frozen sea scallops
6-8 medium sized potatoes (quartered)
1 bag baby carrots (peeled)
1 bunch of broccoli
9 half-ears of corn

Add 2 gallons of water to a large pot. Pre-heat water to a rolling boil and add potatoes. Add 4 -5 tablespoons of Old Bay Seafood Seasoning stir gently (more if you like it a little hotter). Once potatoes have cooked for 30 minutes check for doneness. Add carrots.
Wait 10 minutes and add ears of corn (halves).
Add sea scallops. Add broccoli. Add shrimp. Stir gently.
Check potatoes for doneness.
Serve with your favorite cold beverage and add additional seasoning to taste.

Tips For Picking Steaks

"Don't just pick out any steak. That is one of the worst things you can do. All steaks are not the same. Therefore, take your time when picking out a steak. There are steaks that are better for grilling and some steaks are better to slow cook. Generally, if the steak has "chuck" or "round" in the name then it is better to marinate and slow cook. If the steak has "rib" or "loin" in the name it will be a lot more tender and better for grilling. Ask your butcher which types of steaks are best for the way you want to cook your steak.

The thicker the better. Steaks that are cut too thin are easy to over cook. Over cook a steak and you could end up with a dry, tough piece of "leather". It is easy to tell how thick steaks are at an old-fashion butcher shop. In fact, most butchers will cut thicker steaks for customers who request them. Be careful when buying steaks in packs. It can be hard to see the thickness of all the steaks.

It is important to look for steaks with the most fat marbling and streaking. Steaks with the most fat marbling are generally more flavorful and tender. The most marbled cut is the rib-eye. It is cut from the same piece of meat as the prime rib.

Don't cut the fat off! A lot of my relatives want all the fat cut off the sides of their steaks. I don't recommend this at all! I tell them to leave the fat on while they cook their steaks. Fat helps keep the steak juicy and enhances the steak's flavor. You can cut all the fat off you want once the steak is cooked.

Knowing what to look for in a steak is as important as cooking a steak. Still not sure what to look for in a steak? Ask your neighborhood butcher. They always like to help ensure you get the best steak for your special occasion."

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