Sunday, October 17, 2010


Amidst all the madness of a busy fall season comes the sad news that the Season Four finale of MAD MEN is on tonight.  We'll have to wait until next July for a new season.  Not fair.  The smartest, brightest TV series on the air keeps you guessing about the characters while you follow the show as you would a good novel.  The only other series show I'm watching on network TV this season is the excellent THE GOOD WIFE.  Crackerjack cast, smart writing, slick pacing and complex characters, make this show the one bright reason to continue to endure commercials.  A friend has been nagging me to tune into Martin Scorcese's new BOARDWALK EMPIRE, which I did this week.  I think Scorcese's mined this territory one too many times.  Good acting, smart writing and direction are engaging.  But I walked away from that first episode thinking, been there, done that.

Made these killer brownies from a recent book, READY FOR DESSERT by David Lebovitz.  Chocolate, butter, sugar, hazelnuts, and a tiny bit of flour.  All else is just window dressing.

The only other TV I'm watching this season is TOP CHEF:  Just Desserts, which is full of snotty back-stabbing cheflets with mean agendas.  This crew will throw each other under a bus in a heartbeat.  Hard to root for a winner when they are all this ruthless.  Of course I have to have my daily fix of HG-TV, the Law and Order of my generation. There's something so pure about young couples having orgasms about stainless steel and granite counter tops.

Work has been really fun and challenging. I'm working on three cookbooks at once--one a real racehorse for bestsellerdom--AROUND MY FRENCH TABLE.  Dorie Greenspan, the writer, is on tour all over the country and I'm feeling like I'm killing her.  She's had to get up in the middle of the night to travel to Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, and five big cities in Texas.  But she's been well received everywhere she's been, and what a hard worker she is.

When I was in New York this fall, I read a cover story on Joan Rivers in New York Magazine that was tied to a documentary about her life called, JOAN RIVERS:  A Piece of Work.  I saw it it on Wednesday night and loved it.  She's a piece of work, an authentic American character, who at 75 is relentless in her pursuit of stardom, maintaining her place on the pantheon of comic stars, which is hard to do when you're an old lady who has become the butt of jokes about cosmetic surgery.  It is alternately fascinating and touching.  I've always loved Joan Rivers.  She's funny.  She dares to say the vulgar, outrageous and over-the-top things we're all thinking and wishing we could say.  She is a dynamic combination of vulgarity, glitz, glamor, naked ambition, intelligence, bitterness and utter honesty. Long may she continue to wave and make me laugh.

Finally planted my cherry tree and rose tree in the back yard.  Still  have much to do before the rainy season hits (another week or so).  Then next month a million bulbs for spring have to go into the ground.  The joints are screaming for Ben-Gay and a massage.  Domestic life is exhausting.

Here is a picture of my lovely young niece, Cristina-Marie and her mother, Rossie next to my newly planted cherry tree.

I'm finishing this as I'm watching the season four finale of MAD MEN.  Don's getting married!  Never saw that coming. Joan has decided to keep the baby.  Peggy's stunned at Don's announcement and Betty's feeling vulnerable and misunderstood.  Wait...Don's getting married???!!!

Finally, here's a better photo of Kyle's frame for a friend's garden.  It now hides the air conditioning unit.

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