Friday, January 28, 2011

Acting, Warning, Movie and Bowling.

Yesterday I quoted some hearsay about Colin Firth having trouble getting back to normal speech after performing in The King’s Speech. Thinking about this afterwards, I don’t suppose its really true. I watched Anthony Hopkins being interviewed the other day and he said that when the filming was over, he went home to his wife as his usual self. This is what great actors do, they ‘pretend’ to be someone else for a while, and then leave it behind when they go home. I am sure Colin Firth is a good enough actor to fall into this category. I did a lot of acting in my youth and went to a small theatrical school for a while, so I do know something about it.

BEWARE: If you are on Facebook and you see the free iPod messages, avoid them like the plague, I have just discovered large additions to my cell phone bill from these people which I did NOT know I was getting. I was yelling at my cell phone service provider and it wasn’t them at all. I had even, more or less, forgotten I ever looked at this free iPod message.

Pride & PrejudiceI am in the process of working my way through six VHS tapes of Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth playing Mr. Darcy. Now here I agree he is a wonderful specimen of manhood. These tapes were lent to me by a friend, I didn’t realise she didn’t have the DVD. I think I might treat myself to it from as I can get a second hand copy relatively cheaply. I wonder how many actors have played this part? Seems to be a lot of versions. I have seen others, don’t think I have seen this one before. I am a sucker for Jane Austin stories and think I have seen all the movies made from them.

Yesterday we met our Travel League group at Angel’s in Cambridge, a diner, and had their special which was chicken noodle soup and a Western sandwich (they called the sandwich something else, I forget what) for $5.99 – not a bad deal. A couple of people ordered apple pie and cream after, they each got enough for a small army. I was tempted with a chocolate dessert but was “good”. On our travel league meetings we get served coffee and donuts anyway, so I didn’t lose out. Mind here I was ‘bad’ as I had two donuts. My bowling was reasonable, not brilliant, but reasonable. I just registered that on February 24 we have another get together, on the 25th I have normal Friday bowling, on the 26th I have a tournament and then regular bowling again on the 28th. I will be knackered.

I am not a biggie for pies, but I do enjoy Chicken Pot Pie occasionally, it is one of Matt’s favourites. I have a friend in the US who makes it with pasta instead of pastry, its very good, never got the recipe from her though.

Chicken Pot Pie

Source: Casual Cuisines of the World - Diner

Serves 8

Although simple pastry-topped meat stews originated long ago in England, the humble meat pie has been satisfying American appetites only since the late 18th century. This recipe uses baby vegetables and boneless chicken breasts to turn out a great pie in record time. INGREDIENTSChicken Pot Pie

For the Pastry:

2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup unsalted butter, chilled, cut into small pieces

1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

1/2 cup ice water

For the Filling:

2 1/4 cups chicken stock

2 skinless, boneless whole chicken breasts, about 1 1/2 lb total


2 1/2 cups baby carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces

3 celery stalks, thickly sliced

10 oz pearl onions, peeled

1 cup small peas

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

7 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 cup heavy cream

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme

3 tablespoons snipped fresh chives

3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

1 egg, lightly beaten


FOR THE PASTRY: Place the flour in a bowl. Using a pastry blender or your fingertips, work in the butter until crumbly. Add the cheese and work in until just blended. Sprinkle the ice water over the pastry dough, a little at a time, and gather the pastry into a ball. Knead lightly until just combined. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill until needed.

FOR THE FILLING: In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the stock to a simmer. Add the chicken and simmer, uncovered, until opaque throughout, 15-20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the chicken cool completely in the liquid. Remove the breasts, reserving the stock. You should have about 2 1/2 cups stock. Cut the chicken into 3/4-inch chunks. Set aside.

Bring a saucepan three-fourths full of water to a boil and salt lightly. Add the carrots and cook over medium-high heat for 5-6 minutes. Add the celery, pearl onions and peas and cook until all are barely tender, about 3 minutes longer. Drain well; set aside.

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Sprinkle in the flour and whisk until the mixture is gently bubbling and smooth, 2-3 minutes; do not brown. Gradually add the reserved stock, whisking constantly, and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring often, until smooth and slightly thickened, 4-5 minutes. Add the cream and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce coats the back of the spoon, about 5 minutes longer. Remove from the heat and stir in the salt and pepper to taste, the thyme, chives and parsley.

TO ASSEMBLE: Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F. Add the chicken and vegetables to the sauce and stir to combine. Spoon into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Brush the edge of the dish with some of the beaten egg.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the pastry into a rectangle 10 by 15 inches. Transfer the pastry to the dish, pressing on the edges firmly. Trim away the overhang. Gently knead the dough scraps together, roll out 1/8 inch thick and cut out several small leaf shapes. Brush the top of the pie with the beaten egg. Using the knife, score the pastry leaves lightly, attach them to the pie pastry, and brush with more egg. Cut 3 slits each 1 inch long at the center of the pie.

Bake until golden, 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes, then spoon onto warmed individual plates or bowls.

Have a great day



  1. Chicken Pot Pie sounds nice but I am not a pie person. As for Colin Firth - he sounds nice too.

  2. He is more than nice in Pride and Prejudice.