What I Learned This Week: #87

Monday, January 21- Sunday, January 27

The Week in Butter is on Sale: Last week I was running low on butter. So I bought some. This week, Kroger put butter on sale. So I bought some. And yes, I know, now I have too much butter. Time to get baking.

I decided to start with brownies. Though I’m using a 30 year old Hershey’s Cocoa recipe, it’s my first time using Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa Powder. The batter (though I know it’s full of raw ingredients that will kill me) was fabulous. And the warm brownies are awesome, imho.

Brownie batter and equally delicious though not CDC approved brownie batter bowl.

The Week in New Starts: For years and years, Sitwell’s on Ludlow in Clifton was a neighborhood staple that worked the coffee shop/artist/hippie vibe with simple food but extremely lackadaisical service. A change of ownership last year brings Sitwell’s Act 2, with simple but way more delicious food and a service team that, while they have a little bit to go, are at least enthusiastic and trying to make the place work. The restaurant is now vegetarian/vegan but the same hip, artist vibe remains. I was there in time to order from their brunch menu where all the eggs are listed on the menu as poached which is an unusual move (I assume, though I didn’t ask, they could make eggs other ways). I don’t think I’ve ever ordered a poached egg. I liked it.

The Week in Oscar Nominees: January finally brings many Oscar nominated films to the midwest, and this week I went to see 10-time nominee, The Favourite. I knew it was directed by Yorgos Lanthimos who has directed some weird art films (The Lobster) so I wasn’t expecting a conventional film. I also wasn’t expecting to strongly dislike the movie, but I thought it was awful. The acting is terrific though. Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz are able adversaries and Nicholas Hoult gets to wield some verbal zingers. The sets and costumes are sumptuous. But pacing is weird, the tone is all over the place, and Lanthimos apparently got a fish-eye lens (or some new equipment) because he kept inserting that view throughout the film for jarring, and pointless, visual shots. I even hated the layout and font of the end-titles.

Not mine. What a mess.

The Week in the Cold and the Cold War: In 1963 Jean Le Carre wrote the classic spy novel The Spy Who Came in From the Cold. It was his third novel and it solidified his reputation as a writer and firmly planted his master spy, George Smiley, in the public imagination. Le Carre is still writing spy novels, and this week as I sheltered from the cold, I began reading what I think is his 24th novel, Legacy of Spies, which mostly takes place during the cold war. From the first few pages, I was charmed by his prose and immediately drawn into the story. He’s a master.

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