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Domestic Goddess – Old School October 12, 2009
By Julia Pantoga
You may harbor the fantasy that your domestic goddess spends her days cooking and reading cookbooks (I sometimes entertain that fantasy, too), but that is far from the case. Actually, I am in graduate school and I spend most of my time reading and writing. Truthfully, those of you with children or spouses at home probably spend more time cooking and planning meals than I do.
Anyhow, once every two weeks or so, about six of us students take a break from our studying and watch two episodes of “The French Chef” starring Julia Child, from the DVD set I was given for my birthday. This is high entertainment, especially for those of us who scrutinize cooking shows regularly and spend a fair amount of time in our own kitchens.
The first thing I noticed when we started watching is that the age spots on Julia Child’s hands are plainly visible. Does the Food Network use hand models or do all their actor-cooks have perfect hands? The next thing I noticed is how Julia Child dresses in the kitchen: she wears her glasses and an apron and tucks a towel into her apron ties. Hey, that’s how I look in the kitchen! I thought I was the only one who doesn’t wear fashionable clothes that flatter my figure and reveal cleavage when I bend down to taste the broth.
Speaking of tasting, we just about died laughing when Julia Child tasted her potato dish, then returned her tasting spoon to the drawer!
Not only does Julia Child wear a sensible apron in the kitchen, she wipes onion juice off the counter, splashes milk on the stovetop when she pours it and has to put a casserole on the dryer to cool because she has run out of counter space. Remember, this was the first cooking TV show, before the invention of such familiar TV tricks as turning the camera off for clean-ups, multiple takes and advance space planning.
The best cooking show on TV today (in my opinion) is America’s Test Kitchen (ATK). Although the chefs wear appropriate attire in the kitchen, even they edit out their mistakes. I once saw one of the ATK chefs live at a bookstore, where she was promoting a cookbook and she summed it up this way: “Of course we always cook 10 of the same things at once. Turkeys are cheap. Television crews are not.”
You wouldn’t watch “The French Chef” today to learn how to cook; it’s really dated. For example, no one, but the most skilled professional, would cut ten cups of onions by hand today. Most of us would drag our food processors out. The amount of butter and cream used is laughable to our cholesterol conscious eyes and Child talks at length about how to take care of a carbide steel knife, which I have never even seen. But these old shows are amusing and I can pick up tips from watching anyone in the kitchen. (Did you know you can poach eggs ahead of time and store them in water in the refrigerator for future use?) Most of all, it was terribly re-assuring for me to see that other people look a bit dorky in the kitchen and spill, drop and splatter things too.
Cowgirls unite: Couture Western Shirts September 24, 2009
In my ongoing tribute to Canada, here’s a site I found that makes the most painstakingly crafted Western shirts and more. If you’ve been seeking Western wear that’s created the couture way, look no further. I’m always thrilled to find another fan of slow sewing. Read below to learn about Golden West Clothing:
“I make western shirts and jackets. Most styles are organic cotton. At present, all patterns, cutting and sewing is done by me in my studio in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada.
I manufacture according to principles that have become known as “slow fashion”. The designs endure, materials are chosen for their quality and eco-friendly characteristics. Construction emphasizes craft over mechanization.
Some shirts recreate vintage styles. Others re-imagine classics with a modern edge. They all pay homage to the western shirt in one way or another. The piping is custom made. Chainstitch embroidery is not computerized. There’s no fusing. All seams are flat-felled by hand. You won’t find shirts like these in any store.”
See more Golden West Clothing …
Canadian Flare September 20, 2009
Here’s one for you magazine junkies out there. I’m in Nova Scotia, Canada, this weekend and noticed Flare, a fashion magazine on the newsstand that appears to be solely Canadian. To me, it very exciting to find publications that aren’t just American spinoffs. Take a peek at Flare.
The Dalai Lama: Conversation with the head of Tibet Fund August 29, 2009
Here’s a link to this coming week’s Initiative Radio program. It’s gives a decent history of how the Dalai Lama came to be exiled from Tibet through Angela Mckenzie conversation with the head of the Tibet Fund.
My Own Personal Stylist: Style Made Simple August 27, 2009
If I could wish for anyone in the world to dress me everyday, it would be Allison of Style Made Simple. She styled me for some former editor-in-chief pics and did I look good! Blessed with impeccable taste and experience like being head stylist on What Not to Wear, Allison has a well-established personal styling business. Give her a chance to clean out your closet, and rev up your wardrobe. You won’t regret it! Discover more …
Kindred spirit: UK’s glitterBALL magazine August 26, 2009
Look, Athena has a new amazing friend and kindred spirit in glitterBall magazine:
I like your blog, I think it’s cool.
I’m a third year Journalism student at Sunderland University, UK and
glitterBALL magazine is my online magazine for art, fashion, music, photography, travel, make up and much more.
If you would like to read it, it is online at:
In the issue:
ISLE OF WIGHT REVIEW
THE CHARLATANS REVIEW
*NEW COLUMN* FASHION ADDICT
PHOTOGRAPHY FROM LISBON
*NEW COLUMN* THE BACKPACKER
GEM BOWLES PHOTOGRAPHY
ISOLATED ATOMS INTERVIEW
LAURENT CHARBONNIER AMTM INTERVIEW
CAMILLA BELLE STYLE INSPIRATION
HOT FASHION ITEMS
and much more
Ibtisam Barakat reads at World Poetry Conference in Venezuela August 22, 2009
This poem is from my friend and writer Ibtisam Barakat:
The poem Palestine that I opened with at the World Poetry Conference in Venezuela last month was in Arabic and Spanish. Today I recorded it in English and you can find it on You Tube. Have a look and have a wonderful day.
Palestine poem Arabic and Spanish:
I went to my 30th high school reunion last night, which was touching, delightful and fascinating, since I was reconnecting with grade school and middle school friends I hadn’t seen since I was 14. So it was not at all like Michelle and Romy’s, but I just love this movie. You can actually watch the whole thing in parts on YouTube.
Museum At FIT: Isabel Toledo July 17, 2009
The Cuban-born fashion designer Isabel Toledo is often described as “a designer’s designer.” Although she is little known to the general public, her work is greatly admired by members of the fashion community. As the late fashion journalist Amy Spindler once wrote, “Only great designers can dispense with themes and theatrics and let the work speak instead. Ms. Toledo does just that, letting fashion itself be the theme.” Learn more …