Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for January 19th, 2011

Here’s a literary form that soon will die: Collections of letters

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Too bad, too, because some are great. For example:

As Always, Julia: The Letters of Julia Child and Avis DeVoto: Food, Friendship, and the Making of a Masterpiece

by Joan Reardon

A review by Peggy McMullen

In March of 1952, Julia Child wrote a fan letter to Bernard DeVoto about a column he’d written for Harper‘s magazine a few months earlier on American knives. The stainless steel implements, he remarked, would not hold an edge and were impossible to sharpen.

"Your able diatribe against the beautiful-beautiful-rust-proof-edge-proof American kitchen knife so went to my heart that I cannot refrain from sending you this nice little French model as a token of my appreciation," Child wrote the historian and prolific journalist.

When she wrote the letter, Julia was living in Paris with her husband, Paul, who worked for the State Department’s U.S. Information Service. They had met while working for the Office of Strategic Services during World War II in what is now Sri Lanka. She’d grown up not knowing how to cook. Living in Sri Lanka and China had awakened an interest in food that, in France, burst into a passion with the country’s splendid food. In her letter, Child told DeVoto she’d spent the past three years in Paris studying French cooking (she began taking classes at Le Cordon Bleu in 1949).

A few weeks later, she got a letter back from DeVoto’s wife, Avis, who apologized that her husband, swamped with work and trying to get ready for a five-week trip, did not have time to write Julia himself.

Avis’ letter was no mere thanks and buh-bye. The chatty response expanded on the topic of knives and sharpening and asked Julia some more questions, ending: "Thanks again for the knife, which is a little gem. My husband, I regret to say, has snitched it for his own use — cutting the lemon peel the proper thinness for the six o’clock Martini — but it will be mine while he is in California."

Thus began a correspondence, friendship and melding of like minds that lasted the rest of their lives — and helped in the publication of Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Leisureguy

19 January 2011 at 1:48 pm

Posted in Books, Daily life, Food

50 good lectures for the small-business owner

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A reader passed along the link to this post, which indeed looks as though it might be of use to owners of small businesses. Here are the first few:

Whether you have an MBA or are starting your own business before finishing your undergraduate work, there’s more to learn about business than what you get out of classes and textbooks. Supplement your traditional coursework — and even your own experience — by listening to these innovative, insightful and gutsy business leaders who’ve got a lot to teach you about venture capital, collaboration, the new culture of leadership, and more.


These lectures tackle topics in entrepreneurship, from appealing to the consumer to making great pitches.

  1. Entrepreneurs: Four entrepreneurs share their journeys to open a new business, and the talks inspire passion and excitement.
  2. Entrepreneurship and Society: This talk from UCTV is led by Tom Kemp, President and CEO of Centrify Corporation. He talks about what new ventures need in order to effectively appeal to the modern-day consumer.
  3. . . .

Practical Education

From management to marketing, here are lectures that give you new ideas to help you build your business.

  1. John Gerzema: The post-crisis consumer: Learn how to appeal to the post-recession consumer here.
  2. Team Process Leadership: James Seferis’ innovative philosophy on business leadership and success involves active participation from all team members.
  3. Finding Gold: Hiring the Best and the Brightest: Watch this lecture from UWTV to build an invaluable team that’s focused, motivated and cooperative.
  4. Customer Relationship Management: Former executive Bill Price weighs in on customer relationship management.
  5. . . .

Continue reading. Although the title of the post at the link states that the business owners must themselves be small, I think that is a typo: an omitted hyphen.

Written by Leisureguy

19 January 2011 at 1:36 pm

Days are getting full + Yucatan Fish

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I have lots more stuff to do that in days past. There’s the Nordic Track, the journals, Pilates three days a week, Spanish two days a week (plus prep), the book, and so on. I was going to sign up for a Great Books discussion group, but there’s a schedule conflict with Spanish and I was also thinking I might be biting off more than I can chew.

I just made the Yucatan Fish recipe from GOPM, more or less. The layers and content in my version:

1/2 large yellow onion
1/2 cup quinoa
2 Tbs water [UPDATE: water quantity changed]
1/2 lb petrale sole fillets, cut into chunks
Salt and pepper and crushed red pepper
Juice of 1/2 lime
Thinly sliced Meyer lemon, unpeeled
1/2 red bell pepper, 1/2 yellow or orange bell pepper, and 1/2 green bell pepper, cut into chunks
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 dry pint organic Sugar Plum grape tomatoes, cut in half
2 Tbsp Bragg’s Organic Ginger and Sesame vinaigrette dressing

She called for a medium onion instead, and also for 3/4 c quinoa—but my package gave the serving size as 1/4 c dry, and there is absolutely no point, when I’m on a reducing diet, to eat more than one serving.

She also inexplicably omitted the crushed red pepper.

She has you cut the peppers into strips, but I like square chunks: they give more pepper taste.

She called for a full 10-oz package of frozen corn kernels: 3.5 servings. No thanks. I stuck with 2 servings. She also called for regular tomatoes (4-6 small ones) and had you lay the slices across the top. I used the tomatoes that I had.

She gave the cooking time as 30-45 minutes, quite a range. She say it depends on how thick the fish fillets are. I’m going with 45 minutes.

I think this may end up having too much water.

UPDATE: I didn’t care for the lime peel (from the sliced unpeeled lime), so I’ve modified the above to use only the juice of the lime. But the Meyer lemons are fine. And there was WAY too much water: tomatoes, lemons, peppers, etc., all contribute. Next time I’ll try 2 Tbsp water, as shown now in the recipe.

UPDATE 2: Bottom line: quite good with changes noted. Nice combination of flavors and would be good with rice as well. I was worried about cooking fish with this method, but it works quite well.

Written by Leisureguy

19 January 2011 at 1:25 pm

Plisson, iKon, and Irisch Moos

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I thought I should feature my fine Plisson Chinese Grey: The Wife brought me this from her previous Paris trip. She’s there now, and today went to the big Hermès sale. Probably no shaving equipment there, though.

At any rate the Plisson brought up loads of lovely lather, and the iKon did its usual superb job: close, comfortable, and nick-free. I see that Greg has raised the prices to match the Feather stainless razor, which I think is justified: Greg’s razors are made on CNC machines, and each of those comb teeth is made separately: no casting here.

A splash of Irisch Moos, and I’m running a bit late.

Written by Leisureguy

19 January 2011 at 10:17 am

Posted in Shaving

Welsh rabbit, recipe two

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I earlier blogged Myra Wald’s Welsh Rabbit recipe from Beer and Good Food. This morning’s features a clutch of cheese recipes, including this one by Linda Shiue for Welsh rabbit. Good backstory at the link. The recipe:

Servings: about 12

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon mustard (such as Colman’s, quintessentially English)
  • cayenne pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup ale or other beer of your choice
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce, or to taste
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 7 ounces cheddar, such as Kerrygold, shredded (about 1 ½ cups)
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 loaf of crusty bread, sliced into 12 pieces and lightly toasted
  1. Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat.
  2. Whisk flour into melted butter and stir for a few minutes until golden.
  3. Add in mustard, cayenne, beer and Worcestershire sauce. Whisk until smooth.
  4. Stir in cream and bring to a simmer.
  5. Gradually add grated cheese in several batches, and stir until smooth. Remove from heat.
  6. Spoon mixture thickly onto toast and put under broiler until bubbly and edges of toast are crisp. Serve immediately.
  7. Any remaining sauce can be refrigerated for up to three days. Spread onto toast and broil to serve.

Written by Leisureguy

19 January 2011 at 7:31 am

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