Expect the Unexpected

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Archive for the month “April, 2013”

Hell’s Grannies: Graffiti Knitting and Yarn Bombing

We sometimes feel we’re to blame in some way for what our gram’s become. She used to be quite happy here until she started on the crochet. Now she can’t do without it. Twenty balls of wool a day sometimes. And if she can’t get the wool she gets violent.

While the above statement was said more than 30 years ago on an episode of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, it rings just as true today.

Yarn bombs like this one were found in a nature preserve. Fortunately authorities got to it in time and cut it down before any harm was done.

One of the yarn bombs found in a Connecticut nature preserve. Fortunately, authorities got to them in time and cut them down before any harm was done.

Someone, we don’t know who, but clearly someone with a serious crocheting and knitting habit, has been terrorizing a land preserve in Weston, Connecticut, as reported in The Weston Forum.

The culprit and accomplice (Miss Daisy requires a driver), are leaving their unmistakable tags everywhere. Well in a few spots anyway. The vandals arranged four pink, gold, and green crocheted cozies to look like yarn caterpillars on tree branches at the reserve.

Not content to just quickly dump their wool and run, or amble slowly away with their walkers, these derelicts spent their sweet time carefully attaching their crocheted creations, loop by colorful loop, over the branches.

If arrested, they could be charged with aggravated knitting. Read more…

Grilled Cheese To Please: The Weston

The Weston Grilled Cheese in ll its glory. —Catherine Revzon photo

The Weston Grilled Cheese in all its glory.

Had a wonderful time last Saturday at the Farmers Market at Norfield Grange in Weston, Connecticut. I held a Grilled Cheese cooking demo, so it was a good time to introduce my newest Grilled Cheese creation — The Weston, named in honor of the town I cover for The Weston Forum newspaper. The demo was a great way for me to take off my news hat, put on a chef’s hat, and interact with Westonites on a more personal basis. In addition to cooking up samples, the market asked if I would sell whole sandwiches. No problem! But that meant at lunch time it got very busy, so I was fortunate to have two great volunteer assistants, my colleague Steve Saxton (some people say he looks like actor Justin Long), and Catherine Kimberly. They handled tasks like grating cheese, grilling, and serving sandwiches with aplomb and good humor. Read more…

Edible Ephemeral Art: Rainbow Ribbon Jell-O Mold

Jello Mold Blog

Rainbow Ribbon Jell-O Mold

If I bring a Rainbow Ribbon Jell-O Mold to your home, it means I love you.

This cool dessert gets the most amazing reactions. People love looking at it, hate to see it cut, and then say with surprise, “It tastes like Jell-O!”

It only has three ingredients, one of which is water. But like The Gates and other ephemeral works of art, as discussed yesterday, the sum is equal to more than its parts.

The recipe comes via the creative home chef Rachel Perlow who shared it years ago on e-gullet.org. She was inspired by Kraft’s recipe for layered Jell-O, and then kicked it up a huge notch by making it the colors of a rainbow (ROY G BV, no indigo) and using an angular Bundt cake pan for a cool shape. Read more…

Ephemeral Art


You won’t see lattes and cappuccinos at the local Starbucks that look like this.

Playing with their coffee, instead of drinking it, Japanese latte artists Kazuki Yamamoto and Kohei Matsuno, are creating some cool, yet very ephemeral art. In the samples above, I’m especially fond of The Scream, Einstein, and of course the special 3D Latte Kitty which I referred to in my previous post about bridges.

On an NPR affiliate’s website, Maria Godov discusses the foam “masterpieces” and how the artists have carved a niche not only in their coffee cups, but in the art world, despite the fact that their art is ephemeral and lasts only minutes before it dissolves or is sipped away. Design philosopher Leonard Koren explained that to the Japanese “many things are beautiful precisely because they are short-lived and fragile.” Read more…

A Bridge Too Far

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

My name is Patricia and I am a Gephyrophobiac.

There, I’ve said it.

Pronounced JEFF-Hi-Row-Foobee-Ak, a Gephyrophobiac is not someone who fears Geoffrey Chaucer, though trying to read The Canterbury Tales in 14th century Middle English is pretty scary. Read more…

We be jammin’ – Tomato Jammin’


Tomato Jam. It’s what’s for lunch when spread on a Grilled Cheese.

To finish National Grilled Cheese Month with a bang, I’m doing a cooking demo on how to make a perfect Grilled Cheese, this Saturday at the Farmers Market at Norfield Grange in Weston, Conn., from 11 to 2. (Stop by for a sample!)

I’ll be cooking two Grilled Cheese sandwiches — The Three Cheese Crisp, and my new creation which I’ve named The Weston, after the lovely Connecticut town I cover for my newspaper. I’ve gotten to know and admire many Westonites in the past eight years, so this is a little something in their honor.

The basic recipe for The Weston is:
•  Sourdough Bread
•  Butter infused with grated Cheddar (for outside of bread)
•  Cheddar Cheese
•  Smoked Gouda Cheese
•  Bacon
•  Tomato Jam  (with apples)

But this recipe isn’t carved in stone — yet! At the cooking demo, I’m going to try a few variations and see what people like best. After all, I’m naming it for them. I’m considering adding fresh rosemary to the butter, omitting the Smoked Gouda, possibly adding a crumbled Parmesan Crisp. Stay tuned!

Here is my recipe for Tomato Jam, a key component of The Weston.

Tomato Jam slideshow and recipe: Read more…

Downton Abbey Sneak Peek: Nougatty

If you love Downton Abbey (and let’s face it, you either love it or you haven’t seen it), watch this very clever and lovely “Sneak Peek” of Episode One of the upcoming season, staged at 54 Below in New York.

Kudos to writers: John Walton West, Jason Michael Snow, Greg Monteith, Kevin Duda, Lisa Lambert, Simon Pearl, David McCall.

Performers: Christina Bianco, Jane Blass, Ron Bohmer, John Bolton, Catherine Charlebois, Alison Cimmet, Lewis Cleale, Rick Crom, Matt Doyle (fan favorite), Kathy Fitzgerald, Randy Graff, Jeremy Jordan, Mike Kelton, Leigh Ann Larkin, Christiane Noll, Laura Osnes, Jane Pfitsch, Tory Ross, Brian Sears, Tony Sheldon, Craig Schulman, Jennifer Smith, Elizabeth Stanley, Mary Stout, Tony Tillman, Rosie Colosi, Nikka Lanzarone, Adam Lendermon, Jess Patty, Nick Spangler, and Ryan Worsing.

And of course the Inimitable Imitator himself: Colin Mochrie

This is BRILLIANT! So good, I’d really like to see this production!

Need a dentist? Never on Sunday

Oh you can have a toothache on a Wednesday, a Thursday, a Friday
In fact you really should
Because if it’s on a Sunday, a Sunday, a Sunday
For dentists that’s no good.

At the risk of sounding like Andy Rooney, have you ever had a really bad toothache on a Sunday only to find out that there is no emergency dental care available? Why is that?

That was me this weekend. Saturday night I suddenly got an excruciating pain in a lower back tooth. Nothing would stop it. Meds didn’t help. I couldn’t sleep. By Sunday morning I was in agony. If I had a pair of pliers handy, I would have yanked the tooth out myself, novocaine be damned.

Because I was “between” regular dentists at the moment, I didn’t have one I could call for help, so I desperately googled “emergency dental care” for my area and discovered the local hospital had a dental program. Its website was encouraging:

“The Department of Dentistry provides a full range of dental services including implant dentistry, endodontics, periodontics, emergency dental services and cosmetic dentistry through our general practice residency program. We are committed to a higher level of care, using the latest technologies and techniques to ensure your comfort and satisfaction.”

Yes, emergency dental services! Off I scooted to the ER for help.

But no, not on Sunday. Read more…

Game of Thrones: Separated at Birth?

Remember Spy magazine? It was a great journalistic read that folded way too soon in 1998.

The other day I was thumbing through my old collection of Spys (a wistfully short stack) and came across a fascinating “lost” issue featuring the magazine’s famous “Separated at Birth?” column.

And what do you know? I uncovered clear proof that Spy was way ahead of the curve when it came to  investigative and historic reporting.

As shown below, Spy astonishingly connected the genealogy of a trio of brilliant TV icons with their Game of Thrones ancestral twins. Kudos to you, Nostradamus Spy.

Separated at Birth?



Wonder Women! The untold story of American Superheroines


Quick name a Superhero that’s had a movie.

What immediately comes to mind is Superman, Spider-Man, X-Men, Iron Man, The Avengers, Green Lantern, Captain America, Ghost Rider, Hellboy, and The Incredible Hulk.

wonder_woman21And of course, there’s Batman, who doesn’t actually have superpowers but has plenty of tricks up his sleeve and he’s good enough to have a mega empire of comics and films. So let’s count him in.

Anyone missing from that prestigious list?

Where is the gold-braceleted and lassoed Wonder Woman? How come there’s never been a Wonder Woman movie? Read more…

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