Another excellent series from the BBC. I love these “deep dives” into particular areas of history, literature and art. While I am basically familiar with most of the works mentioned in the series, it is seeing them laid out in a clear timeline and analyzed for the very specific aspects they brought to world culture and how they effected culture everywhere. Graham-Dixon delves into all aspects of Gothic including architecture, literature, the politics and culture of the era — which included the amazing changes being wrought by the Industrial Revolution in Britain. These types of documentaries are some of my most favorite viewing from the BBC (along with Doctor Who, of course) and I am constantly seeking out new series almost regardless of the topics then cover. I would certainly add this series to My Own Personal Master’s Degree notes and playlist.
Andrew Graham-Dixon explores how a group of 19th-century architects and artists spurned the modern age and turned to Britain’s medieval past to create iconic works and buildings.
In the middle of the 18th century – in England – an entirely surprising thing happened. Out of the Age of Enlightenment and Reason a monster was born – a Gothic obsession with monsters, ghouls, ghosts and things that go bump in the night. From restrained aristocratic beginnings to pornographic excesses, the Gothic revival came to influence popular art, architecture and literature.
Bourbon and apples. What a happy combination. This goes on my list of recipes to try very, very soon. In this world overly complicated cocktails, this simple combination seems just right. Sure, it might have more ingredients that a typical cocktail, but nothing that requires too much work and I can imagine this tasting very, very nice. — Douglas
Fall festivals are in full swing here in the Northeast. Weekends are full of apple picking, pumpkin patches, corn mazes and hay rides — not to mention insanely gorgeous foliage. Inspired by the season and a childhood game I once adored comes this week’s 10-Minute Happy Hour.
Bobbing for apples used to be a fierce competition between me and my siblings. Long ago some genius (clearly not a germaphobe) filled a large galvanized bucket with water, dumped in some apples and told the kids to have at it — making for endless hours of fun with water and fruit.
In my experience, you only get one or two great recipes out of every cookbook, so that means you need to look at a lot of different cookbooks to find great recipes for your kitchen. This post was from DesignSponge certainly provides a great place to start for any recipe search. I’ll be looking at my local library for each of these cookbooks, to see what each one to offer, and only then, perhaps, adding a few of them to my own, personal cookbook collection. — Douglas
Spending my time with someone who works in cookbook writing and testing has made me look at books in a whole new way. My own experience with books made me appreciate the hard work that goes into the organization, but to see first-hand how much testing and skill goes into each recipe makes me have a whole new level of respect for cookbook authors. We’ve been so fortunate to see some gorgeous books come across our desk at work lately, so I thought I’d share some of my personal favorites that I plan to be cooking from over the holiday break.
Join MacLeod Ale Head Brewer, C. Andy Black, in an interesting and informative discussion about the basic ingredients of beer [barley, hops and yeast] and the particular varieties used in our traditional British ales. [Yes, there is also water in beer...but not likely to be covered this time around].
The seminar will be approx 45 minutes to 1 hour, and includes a tasting flight of 6 beers.
Click for larger images and click below for a slide show
If someone told me I could only take pictures of one thing for the rest of my life – I’d think about it for awhile, and then choose lightning. Luckily I live in reality and no one will ever say that to me, but it does speak to how passionate I am about photographing this stuff.
Admit it, beerficianados: Ciders are the best slightly alcoholic drink on the market.
Listen, I like beer. I will even go as far to say that beer is great, but I’m not obsessed with beers like some of my friends are, and I will never understand why anyone would pay $15 for a 12-ounce can of a beer made with elderberries.
I have been trying to get back into hiking lately and with the son attending school in Burbank, it only made sense to locate a few trails in that area where I could walk before and after school. I have known about several trails in the Verdugo Mountains which abut Burbank, but i have never spent much time there. For my first trip up into the mountains I choose Stough Canyon. Along with the hike there is also a Nature Center to check out with the kids and family should you wish.
The Stough Canyon Trail is a nice loop about 1 mile on fire road and another mile on a smaller trail. For this first trip, I headed up the fire road and down the trail and that is probably what I would recommend for others, as the fire road, while steep in the beginning, seems less steep than the trail. This is one of those hikes where the distance is just about right for my abilities and condition. I huffed and puffed a bit early on — as you can hear in the video — but I reached the crest right about when I started wondering where the top might be. Another short climb too me to the trail head for the downhill journey which was, of course, a much easier — if slipperier trip. On clear days you get some wonderful views of the San Fernando Valley, Bob Hope Airport and even a glimpse of Downtown Los Angeles in the distance.