Gertrude and Alice and Fritz and Tom and Turkey Makes 5!

November 22nd, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

It’s Thanksgiving time and time to talk “food,” as if many of us need a holiday as an excuse to talk food!

In the annual food issue of The New Yorker magazine this past week, there is an article by Laura Shapiro, “The First Kitchen,”  about the cuisine in the White House during the tenure of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt.  Apparently the food was quite horrible, but not because of the Depression or World War II, but because of the cook that Mrs, Roosevelt had hired, a Mrs. Henrietta Nesbitt.

I couldn’t help but wonder if during their visit to the White House for tea in December, 1934, GertrudeandAlice encountered any of Mrs. Nesbitt’s culinary curiosities.  And if they did, were they the perfect guests NOT whispering in Eleanor’s ear that “This Mrs. N. has got to go, for the health of the country!”

FDR carving the Bird!

As we celebrate Thanksgiving this year, let’s turn to tastier things.

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With Leo Stein in Kyoto

November 8th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

One of the benefits of a blog is that it can be timely and even though a few posts ago I had listed upcoming things that I’d planned to write about, my recent trip to Japan got in the way.  (I began the draft of this post in our hotel in Kyoto, two days before our return, though I  verified a few facts in books I have at home before I published this.)

Leo Stein in a rakish pose

Just for fun while in Kyoto, I decided to do a Google search for “Leo Stein Japanese prints,” as I knew that Leo had an interest in this type of art.  These prints had come to the attention of Westerners as they were used to wrap Japanese porcelain which became very popular following the opening of the country in the 1860’s.  This art form also influenced the subject matter and composition of the Post-impressionists’ paintings.

Japanese print circa 1895. Is it a rose?

To my surprise (why am I still surprised at what turns up on the Internet – must be the fact I haven’t graduated to texting and tweeting and am still an old-school e mail writer!) an item appeared that is in the Stein collection at Yale – a note Leo wrote to Gertrude from Kyoto in December, 1895, giving her his address written in Japanese!

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