Thursday, April 24, 2014

Living la Vida Oprah, part 4 by Margaret Ullrich

Going through Autumn in Robyn Okrant’s book Living Oprah… 
The August shows were inspired by the campaigns leading to the October election.
Oprah supports the Democrat candidate, Obama.
She had a few shows about how badly America was doing under the Republicans.
The anti-Republican shows - coincidence or what?

Robyn is noticing that, since January, she has become more aware of her appearance.
She’s becoming sick of seeing Dr. Mehmet Oz as a celebrity and possible spin off.
She’s also having problems with the advice, sales pitches and Oprah’s metaphors.

By September Oprah's wifely advice from the 50s was becoming a problem.
Maybe if Oprah were married she’d have more insights into modern marriages.
Robyn admitted that the project was making life difficult for her husband, Jim.
The article “48 Decisions We’ve Made for You” appeared in O.
Presumably, as head of the organization, Oprah condoned the piece.
Another topic in O magazine, “5 Friends Every Woman Should Have”, was so adolescent that it was embarrassing.
As was reading that Robyn finally had an S-shaped stool sample.
Oprah’s shows were about Barack Obama and folks who were survivors.
Oprah told her audience they had to see a live Céline Dion performance.
Robyn doesn't like Céline.  No matter, she has to go to a show.

October brought Robyn to a couple of realizations, Oprah's Aha moments.
Robyn is worried about being able to take responsibility for her decisions after obeying Oprah for a whole year.
While many of the shows had been on self care, Robyn doesn’t think Oprah will take care of herself by lightening up on all her projects and ventures.
Robyn also guested on NBC’s The Today Show, where fans called her “Oprah Lady!”
She doesn’t like losing her identity and becoming “Oprah Lady”.

Robyn decided to return a free Kindle she’d received from Oprah.
She felt it compromised the opinions expressed in her project, and her integrity.
One wonder why Oprah didn’t realize that it was unethical before sending the gift.
Some of Robyn’s readers were angered by her decision, others respected it.
Yes, success is complicated.

Oprah made a few announcements: “Do what you love and the money will come.”
Also “I don’t believe in luck.  I think luck is preparation meeting opportunity.”  
These statements didn’t sit well with Robyn.

In Robyn’s notes for 10/23 she quoted Oprah: “Following your passion, allowing yourself to be paid for what you love will give you a meaningful life.” (SHOW)
In response Robyn wrote: “Well I am following my passion. And I’m allowing myself to get paid for what I love. And I know the universe will shower me with salary any moment now.  Any moment… Universe?… (O)

Even Robyn realizes that attaining financial success is more complicated than implied by Oprah’s simplistic views.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Anna Sultana’s Limoncello Dessert, Maltese Style

I got an e mail about the post on Ma’s Limoncello - Lemon liqueur, Maltese Style.
Was I serious about pouring limoncello over ice cream?
I understand - ice cream is usually a dessert for the kids.
Booze poured over ice cream is absolutely not a G-rated recipe.

A few years ago I posted Carmela recipe for Gelato Affogato, Drowned Ice Cream.
It was in Entertaining with The Sopranos.
Mix dark rum and espresso and pour it over ice cream.
Simple recipe - just not for kids. 

Italians - and Maltese - also use booze in recipes.
In Artie's The Sopranos Family Cookbook there’s also a recipe for Zabaglione.
That’s a lovely light dessert, perfect for a romantic dinner.

In the same cookbook there’s Carmela's Mom's Pear and Grappa Pound Cake.
Perfect for when the family gets together.
Grappa is strong enough to survive cooking and help smooth the rough edges.

A word about Grappa…
In Entertaining with the Sopranos there was some information about grappa in the chapter Small Events for Men Only:
It is actually a type of brandy, made from the leftovers of the wine-making process.
It was originally a drink made by farmers to get the last bit from the crop.
Now Grappa is more sophisticated drink, served after dinner, either alone in chilled glasses or in coffee or espresso.
Some folks also like to add a bit to their morning coffee.
If drinking it unmixed, it’s best if you let it breathe in the glass a few minutes.

Limoncello Dessert is a little heavier than Zabaglione.
And stronger.
Have another coffee.

                        Limoncello Dessert                 

Serves 8-10

Peel the zest in long strips from
1 lemon
Chop finely.

In a medium saucepan combine
1/3 Cup sugar
1/3 Cup water
Bring to a boil for 3 minutes.

In a large bowl place
6 egg yolks
Beat until fluffy and begin to lighten in colour.
While beating eggs slowly add  sugar and water mixture.
Beat for 1 minute.,

Melt together
8 ounces white chocolate
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
Beat together until smooth.

2 ounces Limoncello liqueur
Stir until well mixed.

Fold into chocolate mixture
1 Cup mascarpone cheese

Beat until stiff peaks form
1 Cup whipping cream 

Fold whipped cream and lemon zest into chocolate / mascarpone mixture.
Stir gently until well blended.
Pour mixture into small dessert dishes.
Refrigerate a minimum of 6 hours, preferably over night.

Top with
strawberries or raspberries (optional)