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Gender: Female
Home country: U. S. A.
Current location: Somerville, MA
Member since: Tue Sep 3, 2019, 03:27 PM
Number of posts: 91

Journal Archives

I am so excited!

On Friday evening, September 27th, I will be seeing my all time favorite movie, the original 1961 film version of West Side Story, again, in the Media Studios 101, up in Haverhill, MA. I've already bought and printed my ticket. Since the movie is at 7:00 in the evening, I will be leaving well before the rush-hour, to make sure that I get there in time for the movie, and possibly get something to eat beforehand.

I did watch it last Wednesday on TCM, at home, but absolutely nothing beats seeing the original 1961 film version of West Side Story on a great big, wide screen, in a real movie theatre, with the lights down low, and sharing the whole experience with other people, whether I know them or not.

This will not be the first time I've gone to another part of the Bay State, or even out of the Bay State just to see the film West Side Story on a large, wide screen.

The original 1961 film version of West Side Story is gritty, the characters are great and believable, and it's a really wonderfully great golden oldie-but-keeper of a classic movie musical.

The bigoted, bitter and cynical Lt. Schrank, who is played by the late Simon Oakland, is really quite believable, and the equally cynical and bitter Officer Krupke (although quieter about it) is also well played by William Bramley.

Action, played by Tony Mordente, is the hot-tempered instigator-troublemaker, who's always looking for a fight, is quite believable, as is Ice, who is played by the late Tucker Smith, who is the calm, cool, collected and handsome Jet gang member who manages to keep Action in check on several occasions when he starts to get out of hand, and who takes over the Jet gang leadership after Riff's death during the Rumble, is fabulously suited for the role of Ice, due to both his looks and personality, to boot. Come to think of it, while we're on the subject of Ice, I wonder if Ice would've kept Action in check and prevented him from instigating the assault on and near-rape of Anita when she went (albeit reluctantly) to Doc's Candy Store to give the Jets a message about Chino's gunning for him. I guess we'll never know, but the thing about West Side Story that also makes it so great is that is leaves a lot to the audience's imagination.

Anita and Bernardo, who are Shark gang members, are played fantastically by Rita Moreno and George Chakiris. There was so much great dancing, not only from George and Rita, but from the other dancers as well. Regardless of what anybody says or things, nothing will ever beat Jerome Robbins' beautifully-choreographed dancing in the original film version of West Side Story

Anyway, the beautifully-created scenery by the late Boris Leven, which included both on-location scenes, as well as sound stage scenes, also helped tell an already-great story behind West Side Story.

Having said all of the above, I will write another, longer posting about West Side Story after i've seen the movie!

Chile con Carne: A great fall & winter dish:

Hi, everybody. Here's hoping that you're willing to read and possibly take on another recipe. Since the fall is almost here, and winter is definitely the time for hot and hearty dishes, here's one that will hopefully satisfy all the carnivores and omnivores (the meat-eaters and the eat-everything crowd.)here on this forum.

Chile Con Carne:

1 Lb. of lean to moderately lean ground beef.
1 Onion
*2 cans of dark red kidney beans or garbanzo beans.
1 can of tomato sauce, cut up regular tomatoes, or a bunch of small grape or cherry tomatoes
1 can of tomato paste
1 Tbsp Chile powder
dash of ground cloves
1 can of mild green chiles
Cayenne pepper to taste

*Ideally, dark red kidney beans are best, but garbanzo beans are okay, too, if the store is out of the kidney beans.

In a good saucepan, chop up and caramelize the onion, and then put in the ground beef, little by little. Brown the ground beef, and then add the tomatoes or tomato sauce, the mild green chiles, and tomato paste. Add a little water, if needed. Add the chile powder, the ground cloves, and the cayenne pepper, according to your taste. Reduce the heat on the stove top, and allow the sauce to simmer for 1.5 hours.

Wash the kidney beans or garbanzo beans in a sieve with cold water. After 1.5 hours, gradually add the beans to the sauce, and allow to simmer/cook until the beans are cooked through, but not mushy. Please note: It's of utmost important to make sure that the beans are cooked through, because beans, especially kidney beans, are absolutely poisonous iif they're not cooked through!

When the Chile con Carne is ready, serve over rice, pasta, or quinoa. Rice or quinoa are best, however.

Hope I've been of some help in making everybody's palates water, and provided a good wintertime recipe! This saucepan full of Chile con Carne should last at least a few days, especially if one freezes the rest of it.

I never buy the canned chile con carne that is available in grocery stores. I prefer to make my own, and know what I'm putting in it. The garbanzo beans, if one needs to substitute them for the kidney beans (as I had to do once, due to the store's having run out of the kidney beans) are good, too. They provide a somewhat different but interesting flavor to the chile con carne. I have also taken to using regular tomatoes, or the smaller cherry or grape tomatoes instead of the regular tomato sauce, because the sauces available in the store have a great deal of sugar in them, as well.

Chocolate Pound Cake with Rich Chocolate Glaze:

This is a favorite recipe of mine, which I make quite often for parties and other special occasions.

Chocolate Pound Cake:

2 Cups White Flour (I use unbleached White King Arthur Flour.)
2 Cups of granulated sugar (white)
6 ounces of unsweetened baking chocolate
2 sticks of unsalted butter
3 large eggs
1 tsp of baking powder
3/4 tsp of baking soda
1/4 tsp of salt
1 tsp of vanilla extract
2 Tbsp of instant coffee
2 Tbsp of hot water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Thoroughly grease and flour a ten-inch tube pan. (Don't use non-stick cookware if you have birds or any other pets in the household.)

Cream the butter and sugar together until the mixture is light-colored and fluffy.

Fold in the eggs, one at a time. Add the vanilla extract.

After melting the chocolate, stir it into the eggs/vanilla extract mixture. Mix it for 3 minutes on a cake mixes setting.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder.

Pour the 2 Tbsp. of hot water into a cup. Dissolve the 2 Tbsp. of instant coffee in the hot water. With cool water, fill the cup until you have 1.5 cups of the water/coffee solution.

Fold in the water/coffee solution and the dry ingredients separately and intermittently from each other. It's best to hand stir the water, so that it won't splatter, if one gets the drift. Mix and blend both the dry and the wet ingredients and combine them to make the cake batter. Pour the batter into the bunt cake pan. Bake the cake for an hour, or until the cake springs back when you've pressed it a bit with one finger. Cool the cake down for at least 20 minutes. Invert it onto a plate. Let it cool for another 20 minutes or so. Then make the rich chocolate glaze.

Rich Chocolate Glaze:

1 1/3 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

3 Tbsp of confectioners sugar

2/3 cup of Heavy whipping cream.

Put the chocolate chips into a medium small sauce pan. Add the heavy whipping cream, the confectioners sugar, and the vanilla extract. Put it on relatively low heat, so that it can dissolve. Keep stirring the chocolate glaze until it's smooth and creamy. When it is ready, and the pound cake has cooled down sufficiently enough, drizzle the glaze onto the cake, until it's all gone. Transfer the cake into a cake holder, and get it ready for whatever occasion you've cooked it for.

Good luck and all the best.
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