how many bubbles are in a glass of champagne?
french researcher, gerard liger-belair
has spent more than 15 years studying the drink
and has released his best guess:
that is science, trial and error, trying until you get it right.
in support of his very thorough study,
I may be conducting my own research this evening.
“champagne…it gives you the impression that every day is sunday.”
– marlene detrich
credits: veuve cliquot vintage ad, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, bbc
there should be a word
for the feeling you get
after you work many hours
a beautiful jigsaw puzzle
only to find
there is a piece missing.
‘the historian has before him a jigsaw puzzle
from which many pieces have disappeared.
these gaps can be filled only by his imagination.’
where olive belongs.
“Want to know the truth about belonging?
It takes courage to belong.
It takes bravery to show up in your own skin.
It’s easy to fit in.
It’s easy to blend in and hide your outrageousness.
And it’s also the easiest way to lose the precious parts of you.
You deserve to be seen. You deserve to be heard.
You deserve to be known for the real deal that you are.
Stop taking the easy way out. Stop trying to fit in.
The best place in life is where you’re already okay.
Come home to you.
It’s where you belong.”
that bit between christmas
and new year
when you don’t know what day it is,
who you are,
or what you are supposed to be doing.
credits: Jeff the cat@google, purple clover
the recipe said it was easy
only 4 ingredients
they did not say
not to wear a white sweater with bell sleeves when melting chocolate
don’t forget that you have to individually unwrap each caramel
while chocolate is still warm and not solidifying
that the peanut butter chips won’t actually drizzle
that the caramel will come out in blobs
that the chocolate on the bottom won’t easily come off of the foil
that the slab will not actually break in the right way
that the 4 ingredients will re-solidify in the disposal
that the whole thing will not resemble the picture
that it will still taste good if people are daring enough to try it
that this will be a one-time recipe for me.
‘just because you make a good plan, doesn’t mean that’s what’s gonna happen.’
picking up chinese food late in the day
the same cure
for holiday madness
restaurant was so busy
it was all a blur.
‘the Chinese do not draw any distinction between food and medicine.’
a tiny tricycle
decorated in garlands and sparkles
parked in the bike rack at the library
heard the train come through town
softly whistling the tune of jingle bells
watched the people line up
to catch the bus to the airport
taking them somewhere
where people were waiting to see them
turned to say hello
to the man walking his dog
in his Christmas pajamas
spent the day with family and friends
playing and laughing
simply enjoying the celebration
happy Christmas everyone.
“our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at christmas-time.”
– laura ingalls wilder
found on a medieval tapestry
was known to go into the vines
and emerge with the grapes
what could be more perfect?
and why not a Christmas hedgehog?
“the fox has many tricks. the hedgehog has but one. but that is the best of all.”
-ralph waldo emerson
image credits: british medieval history, elaine treharne, dave pilling
the master-chef sisters of hungarian strudel
“You need an egg, two spoonfuls of lard, and a pinch of salt, followed by flour, a dash of vinegar, and just enough warm water to create a dough with a dumpling-like consistency.” This is part of the traditional Hungarian strudel recipe that Ilona and Erzsébet, elderly sisters and lifelong baking partners, learned from their late mother. In their small village of Tura, an hour outside of Budapest, the sisters regularly bake the delicate pastry for up to 500 people for weddings and community events.
In the short documentary Strudel Sisters, directed by Peter Hegedus and Jaina Kalifa, Ilona and Erzsébet share how a family tradition evolved into a livelihood. Their quirky rapport may as well be part of the recipe—no strudel-making session is complete without bouts of bickering and singing.
“I loved the sisters from the first time I met them,” Kalifa told me, “and I knew straight away that we had to make a film about them. They are really special people with big hearts and a great sense of humor and just have this warm, grandmotherly feel, which instantly resonated with me.”
Authentic strudel-making is a dying art. It requires a certain moxie: the dough must be worked vigorously in order to activate the gluten, after which it acquires a threshold of elasticity, allowing the baker to stretch it until it’s tissue-thin and nearly translucent. Then, the filling—most commonly grated apple, brown sugar, lemon, and cinnamon—is added intermittently between the pastry layers.
While making the film, Kalifa and Hegedus were lucky enough to taste five different types of the sisters’ strudel. “My personal favorite was the cheese strudel,” said Kalifa. “Strudel is part of their DNA. They’ve been making strudel all their lives, and you can tell.”
“first bake the strudel, then sit down and ponder.”
credits: emily buder- author, peter hegedus/jaina kalifa – video/photo, the atlantic
About This Series:
A showcase of cinematic short documentary films, curated by The Atlantic.
(similar to a typical group I saw running into target today)
just a few days to go before christmas
it’s sunny and almost 50 degrees
in the lower peninsula of michigan
the shorts, the sandals, the sunglasses, the smiles
the coats stay behind
close your eyes
feels almost like summer
we are a hardy lot.
“heat is heat.”