Welcome to the Friday 5ive, a weekly blog post featuring five things that caught my attention this week. Can you believe that it is the last Friday in March already? This month has flown by.
1) Spring is here and we passed by The Mark Hotel in our neighborhood which has this lovely cart of flowers outside their front door to brighten everyone's day.
2) We had our annual St. Patrick's Day dinner on Saturday, a few days late. I made the traditional corned beef and cabbage dinner, with carrots and Irish champ potatoes. The highlight of our dinner is always the Irish Bread Pudding with Caramel Whiskey Sauce, our favorite dessert of the year. I found the recipe in Cooking Light magazine years ago, and it is a family legacy now. The recipe is here. This year I also found these cute cookies at Citerella, a gourmet food store in our neighborhood. They were tasty!
3) With the weather turning nicer, I met my husband at La Villetta, a local Italian restaurant halfway between his office and our apartment. We ate outside, and I ordered an appetizer of figs stuffed with blue cheese and walnuts and wrapped in proscuitto, over a bed of greens with a light creamy dressing over all. The presentation was so pretty and it was delicious.
4) I watched the Academy Award Best Picture nominee Nomadland on Hulu this week. Frances McDormand is deservedly nominated for Best Actress in her role as Fern, a 60-something woman who lost her husband, and then her job and home when the manufacturing plant where she worked at closed. Fern ends up living in a van, and traveling around the west looking for work. She works the holiday season at an Amazon fullfilment center, and follows her friends around working in jobs like maintenance at a campground. The movie is based on Jessica Bruder's book of the same name, and Chloe Zhao's magnificent direction of the movie has earned her an Academy Award nomination as well. The one thing that you take from this movie is how invisible women of this age can be. It's a thought-provoking, heart-breaking piece of art.
5) I read two books this week, one nonfiction and one fiction. Dorothy Wickenden's The Agitators, tells the true story of three women who lived in Auburn in the 1860s- Frances Seward (wife of Henry Seward), Martha Wright, and Harriet Tubman- and fought for women's suffrage, and the abolition of slavery. It's filled with lots of fascinating historical facts about my hometown of Auburn, NY, and students of Civil War era-history will want to put this one on their To Be Read list. My full review will publish in April in The Citizen newspaper and online at auburnpub.com.
Adele Parks' domestic drama, Just My Luck, asks the question "what would you do if you won millions of dollars in the lottery?" Three couples who have been friends for fifteen years since their babies were born play the lottery once a month together. When two of the families decide they no longer wish to play and drop out, the lone couple left hits the winning numbers the following week. What happens next reveals cracks in their friendship and marriages, affects their children, and may make you rethink playing Lotto every week. My full review publishes on Monday.
Stay safe, socially distant, wear a mask, wash your hands, and get the vaccine when it's your turn. We are so close to getting back to some type of normalcy.
This post was shared with The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader's Weekend Cooking posts.