Mission Creep

Some particularly excellent venison chili from last week.

First off, having both Christmas and New Year’s Day on Saturdays is totally awesome, and should henceforth be the arrangement for all eternity. Wasn’t it so much easier? With the start of a new year, I thought I’d  mention various non-food-related things that I find interesting from time to time. I’m going to add a sidebar widget for short posts like this in the future, as soon as I find one that works.


The Secret of Kells is an animated film that offers a most welcome alternative to the unrelenting onslaught of 3-D CG kids’ movies. It’s much more like a beautifully illustrated childrens’ book that happens to move and speak. It’s also utterly devoid of the sassy sidekicks and snarky pop-culture inside jokes that lead to jaded 9-year-olds. A certain first grader I know ran downstairs as soon as the credits rolled, grabbing pens and paper and getting right to work illustrating his own book. He also gathered all his glass beads and glued a pattern of them onto a piece of cardboard for the cover. Each subsequent viewing rekindled that spark.

Completely different (but with a similar effect) is a documentary called Between the Folds about origami. Exploring the subject via artists who work both figuratively and abstractly and engineers and scientists who use paper-folding to investigate the secrets of structure and protein folding, it proved even more inspiring to said 6-year-old, who has now folded and/or crumpled damn near every sheet of paper in the house. He watches it once or twice a day, folding the whole time, and the progress is amazing.

We’ve also been watching a lot of Marx Brothers and Buster Keaton, and you should too.

Since this is, after all, a food blog, here’s a link to a spot-on critique of all the lame restaurant websites we’ve all shaken our disbelieving heads at lately.

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  1. January 3

    I think it’s quite fine you tee off on non-food stuff, goodness knows your usual output of posts on *just* food is intimidating enuff for us mere food mortals.

    Also, I second your film recommendations, wholeheartedly. My kid is in love with Chico.

    But the holidays on a Saturday? Try convincing people that the Friday previous is really a holiday and you will not be working. It seems to not work, at least as far as my full inbox and voicemail go. whine.

  2. January 4

    Thanks for the suggestions! We live on a fairly steady diet of Richard Scarry and the Marx Brothers. It’s nice to not have TV!

  3. Peter
    January 4

    El: Milo is more of a Harpo guy, but then he’s all about the id. I have edited the BK selection a bit since I’m not at all comfortable with a few scenes involving blackface.

    Julia: I should have mentioned that this is largely due to our lack of TV. I enjoy curating his video adventures, tying them in with current interests or springing an animated movie on him after he’s grown to love the book. And best of all, no ads. There’s a whole post in here, actually…

  4. January 4

    We loved The Secret of Kells.

  5. January 5

    Venison chilli? Yum!

  6. January 5

    I’ll have to look for those videos. We usually enjoy kid pictures more than grownup fare. We like a happy ending. The origami video sounds wonderful, too.

  7. January 28

    Thanks for this entry. Looking forward to next one.

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