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Red Powder Puff Blossom

We entertained on Friday. Hosts and guest alike were all attired in American casual as befit the evening’s low-key festive atmosphere. The receiving line was short, as befits these pandemic times. We had invited Joanie over for dinner, to celebrate her birthday and in honor of the Jewish new year. The night’s menu featured a new recipe, sheet-pan chicken with roasted plums and onions. Anne had found this recipe in the NY Times that had published it in honor of the Jewish holidays. I added couscous to the mix, peppered with frozen mixed vegetables, that added touch that gave the table a certain declassee appeal. One shouldn’t serve too much pretentiousness with dinner, because that might cause indigestion later. Anyway, it made for a wonderful meal. Dessert was another Times recipe, key lime pie bars, which have been served before, both with and without a Cuisinart used in prep and it is a lot easier to do them with one than without. With their tart sweetness, they were a big hit at dinner too.

For the evening’s entertainment, we all watched the 2019 Greta Gerwig version of the classic Louisa May Alcott story, Little Women. It features an all-star cast, headlined by Saoirse Ronan as Jo and Emma Watson as Meg, the two older March sisters. Interestingly, the previous year Watson had appeared in a BBC-PBS version of this tale. In this production she played the role of the mother, Marmee, which in this night’s showing was performed by Laura Dern. Gerwig chose to begin in the middle of the story and then jump backwards and forward, which traditionalist among the audience found disconcerting. Still, the movie is well grounded in its excellent source material, solidly acted and a joy to watch.

The previous evening, Anne and I had viewed the new Netflix offering, Enola Holmes. Enola, which is ‘alone’ spelled backwards soon finds herself left home alone. She is the younger sister of her much older and famous brothers, Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes. The movie begins with Enola waking up in bed on her sixteenth birthday, only to discover that her mother has disappeared. The bros soon arrive with plans to whisk her away to boarding school, but she’ll have none of that and chooses to runaway instead. On the road, she has a chance encounter with a boy, who is also on the run and the game is soon afoot. As YA entertainment, Enola has met with enthusiastic audiences, rocketing to #1 on the streaming service. With its protagonist’s asides that break the fourth wall, this story makes for a delightful coming of age story and is anything but elementary.

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