The Beatles are timeless

I started reading the liner notes for "Beatles for Sale" this afternoon as I took a break from work. Written by Derek Taylor, the Beatles press officer, in 1964:

The kids of AD 2000 will draw from the music much the same sense of well being and warmth as we do today. For the magic of the Beatles is, I suspect, timeless and ageless. It has broken all frontiers and barriers. It has cut through the differences of race, age and class. It is adored by the world.

RIP George Harrison

The Beatles at the Hollywood BowlOne of the first records I remember listening to when I was little was my parents' The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl double album. Inside it had all these pictures of the band and screaming fans and Beatles buttons and pins and posters. It was my favorite record and I played it over and over again. Whenever anyone asked, I told them the Beatles were my favorite band in the whole world. And that's still true to this day.

So I'm sitting here very very sad this morning upon hearing of George Harrison's death. It's hard to believe that a band that broke up before I was even born could have such an impact on my life, but it has. I know nearly every word of every Beatles song, and most of my favorites are still those first ones from the Hollywood Bowl album. I can hear every song in my head, complete with all the crackles and scratches of an over-played record, with all the screaming girls in the background.

In 1993 when I went to England to row in the Henley Women's Regatta, my friend and I stopped to check out George's house. It was one of the highlights of my trip, though George wasn't my favorite Beatle, John was. But George was my second favorite, which is a silly thing to say. It's really hard to like any one Beatle more than any of the others, it's like asking a parent which child s/he loves more. You just love one for certain qualities and another, no less strongly, for different traits.

I'm usually not one to believe in or think much about heaven, but strangely that was my first thought upon hearing the news. I pictured those white puffy clouds like you see in the movies, and I pictured a young John, in a black 60's style suit with a white shirt and narrow tie, standing in front of a big golden gate with arms outstretched, a smile on his face, welcoming George. It sounds cheesy. Perhaps it was. And I don't know why John wouldn't be wearing a more comfortable outfit in heaven, but it's what I thought at the time, and it gave me some comfort.

I'm going to listen to the Beatles today, and I'm going to start off with Here Comes the Sun, from Abbey Road. It's one of my favorite Beatles songs and has provided me with a lot of solice and hope over the years. Appropriately enough, it was written by George.

Being a huckleberry

Over the holiday weekend I saw Tombstone (which was pretty good) and Val Kilmer, who plays Doc Holliday, has this line where he says, "I'm your huckleberry" with a long Southern drawl. In the context it means, "I'm the one you're looking for." For some reason, I can't get it out of my head. I just want to say it all the time now.

Man (responding to crisis): "Does anyone know CPR?!!"
Meg (sauntering up, drawling): "I'm your huckleberry."

Woman (behind espresso machine): "Who had this grande soy latte?"
Meg: "I'm your huckleberry."

It's sublime.

A not-yet summary of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving wrap up will be coming soon, I'm awaiting the photos of the event and then I'll write up the successful menus and recipes. It was all delicious and fun and good but I'm saving the juicy details for my longer piece. Juicy. Like the turkey. Get it?

The turkey was a bust!

Apparently my turkey was an Edsel after all! I got it home this morning, only to discover it was mostly frozen. I called the store, since it was supposed to be a fresh turkey and its frozen state ruined my brining plans, and was told that some turkeys had been delivered frozen on Monday. After a quick chat with the manager, I returned the turkey for a refund and dashed to the supermarket for a fresh Willie Bird who is now contentedly brining away in my fridge. Thanksgiving Potential Disaster #1 averted. I hope there aren't any more to follow. I probably just jinxed myself by saying that.

I missed the nouveau this year

Somehow I allowed this year's release of the beaujolais nouveau to pass unremarked, I'm not sure why. But I had my first taste of Georges Duboeuf's 2001 Nouveau last night and it was taste-T! Light and fruity, almost fizzy on the tongue, full of flavor and verve, I loved it. I'm looking forward to drinking several more bottles before the stock is depleted. I think it may be my favorite wine of all, simply because it's so drinkable and in limited supply. If you're wondering what I'm talking about, perhaps you should check out this 10 Fascinating Facts Every Wine Lover Should Know.

Planning for a big Thanksgiving

In an attempt to avoid doing all my Thanksgiving work on Thursday, I've created a schedule for getting prep done in advance. Crescent roll dough is now rising in my kitchen. In a little while, I'll go make my cranberry chutney and blanch my green beans. Tomorrow is the bigger day: brine the turkey, prepare pies (apple and pumpkin), and roast butternut squash. By Thursday, I'll hardly have anything to do at all, so I'll be able to hang around with all my wonderful friends and enjoy the day.

Speaking of prep work: the word on the street is that brining is the way to go.

And speaking of Thanksgiving, Sauté Wednesday has some great links related to the holiday, including information on how to brine and how to carve your bird.

I wanted a Cadillac for my turkey

I'm going to be hosting a Thanksgiving dinner for 8 on Thursday (hopefully I'll document it for my cooking section if I can get Jason to take some pictures). Since the day is fast approaching, I called some local markets to enquire about turkey prices. Last year I settled on a Willie Bird, a free range turkey from Sonoma, and it turned out quite well. This year though, I wanted something better, something that would really demonstrate to my guests how much they mean to me. The choice was clear: A Branigan. The woman on the phone explaned to me that this bird is considered the "Cadillac" of turkeys. Nothing says "I love you" more than a Cadillac, right? Alas the price was prohibitively high, and I reserved instead a Diestel. Why does that sound so much like Edsel to me?

Watching the Leonid meteor showers

The Leonid meteor showers last night were totally cool, except that the fog flirted with our viewing area and finally rolled in for good around 2:30 am. I didn't notice of course, because by that point I was fast asleep. I just can't stay up late anymore, no matter how hard I try. But what I saw was amazing.

The meteors were big (at least to my eye), zipping across the sky with plumes that I swear were colored. Though other observers didn't concur, I thought I saw touches of red and green in the tails. At first the stars were really bright, and I wished I knew more constellations. Then the meteors began, zipping here and there, bright flashes in the sky. And then that stupid fog. And that cold damp air. And that sleepy sleepy feeling, even though I strove to keep my eyes open. Then our sky succumbed to the clouds and we decided to leave. But from the back seat of the car, I spotted one more glorious meteor, bursting across to the east above an open field as I drifted off in the warm cozy car, headed towards home.