October 28th, 2008

Morning cuppa

Quiet around here today. Paella.

Boy, it's quiet in here today. I don't know if the girl who was sitting next to me will even come back, ever. It's ... disturbing.

Last night I tried my hand at paella, as I wanted to do something with the chorizo I'd brought back. I was mostly inspired by a recipe on Cooks.com, but if you know what I like to eat (i.e. no seafood and no asparagus) you can see where I had to change it a bit. This chickpea and chorizo paella looked tastier (quadruple the spice level), but I was convinced by the use of both ham and pork shoulder to go with the Cooks.com recipe instead (though I liked the "quick" element of the chicken and chorizo recipe on Epicurious). Ultimately my paella had onion, bell peppers, green beans, the three porks, white wine, parsley, garlic, saffron, and cayenne pepper (about a teaspoon) as well as the chicken sauce, and it was DEELISH. Key elements: add all liquid at once (unlike risotto); bake after initial add of liquid (makes a nice crust on top).

And now it's off to the Haunted Holborn walk, and tonight we're going to see an election year play, Now Or Later.
I Miss America

"Now or Later," at the Royal Court Jerwood

Just saw a fantastic play at the Royal Court Jerwood, Now or Later by Christopher Shinn - a play which is receiving a world premiere at this venue (or did a month ago). Wow! When do new plays ever hit the ground this topical and this good? It's set on election night in America, where the Democratic candidate's son is holed up in his hotel room watching election results with his best college buddy. As the results come in, news of a scandal is unfolding - pictures of the son dressed as Mohammed at a campus party are showing up on the internet. Will he apologize for being offensive? Will he stand up for his right for political expression? Will his dad ever actually talk to him? Will anyone treat him like he's something other than a tool his parents use to further his father's political career?

I had never been to the Royal Court before (the plush seats reminded me of sitting in my dad's '69 Pontiac Bonneville, if it had had a brown interior instead of a white one), and starting off our relationship with this play was really just setting up a standard I can only hope the Jerwood can maintain. Eddie Redmayne (as John Junior) was very good, though he had a bit of a strange American accent and seemed to be playing up the mental instability a bit. Nancy Crane, as mom, really had the plasticky-fakeness of politicians down straight. John Senior (Matthew Marsh) seemed to be trying to hard to come off as a "type" (the way he was wiggling his hand by his side just seemed like something he'd seen on TV but not managed to make seem natural for hic character)

I was referred to this by the WestEnd Whingers (really just the best theater blog out there if you're looking for hot tips for shows to see, or warnings for turkeys), and I am really grateful to them for pointing me in the very, very right direction. It helped that it was a 75 minute long show, one easy to squeeze into a weekday evening. It's been extended to November 1st, though tickets are a bit hard to get - try SeeTickets as the venue has almost no availability.

Uh .... anyway, I said I was going to quote a passage from the script on my blog, so I went and bought the script after the show so I could do that. But I'm tired now, and far more interested in just getting this post up, and saying, "Hey! It's snowing in Putney now!" Cool, eh?