Monday, November 26, 2007

Butternut Squash Soup, the Easy Way

A friend of mine in Ithaca gave me this recipe. Hopefully, he doesn't mind me sharing it with you, the blog-reading public. Scale this up as needed. I make one of these per two people, and it's become a Thanksgiving staple.

12oz. (1 block) frozen cooked winter squash
1/2 c. heavy cream
1/2 c. chicken broth
3 T. butter
pumpkin pie spice

Put the squash, cream, broth, and butter in a saucepan, and heat slowly. Do not allow it to come to a boil, or the cream will curdle. As it cooks, the mixture will thicken. Add milk to get the desired texture, roughly that of cream. Season to taste, typically a small pinch of salt, a few grinds of pepper, and maybe 1/4 t. of the pie spice.

Saturday, November 24, 2007


I saw Beowulf with friends last night. It blew like "the wind that bark like a bird with breast of foam."

From the brief clips show in the advertisements, it wasn't clear that the movie was entirely computer-generated. It wasn't good computer animation. It looked to me like the Sims had made a movie.

We spent most of the movie lauging at both the dialog and action. It was, frankly, suprising that Beowulf kept his clothes on while fighting the dragon; it seemed to go against his fighting style. I was also interested to learn that the state of the art of computer animation is apparently incapable of rendering the human wang. It was like watching The Cosby Show when Phylicia Rashad was pregnant, but her character wasn't, so the director kept placing objects conveniently in front of her belly. In a display that Beowulf is in fact capable of learning, in a later battle he wore underwear, though in that "battle" he evidently didn't keep them on.

One of the most impressive features of the movie is that in the opening scene, before you've even seen the monster, you're already rooting for Grendel. The Danes in Heorot are being obnoxious. Grendel clearly just wants the frat next door to keep the noise down at their kegger because, you know, he's got to go to work tomorrow. Those sheep aren't going to kill themselves, after all.

As far as I can tell, the only reasons for this movie to receive any positive reviews are if people are still suckers for 3D (I saw it in a normal 2D theater), and the fact that cyber-Angelina Jolie was cyber-naked.

This may have contained spoilers, but I feel absolutely no guilt for not warning you. The spoilers won't ruin the movie any more for you than the movie itself already does. Am I bitter? Perhaps, but the last three movies I've seen in the theater are Beowulf, X-Men 3, and The Hulk. You'd be bitter, too.