An abundance of holiday finds from films, cashmere socks and music, as well as critically acclaimed French documentary, Mary Berry’s new holiday special, a new book to place on your wishlist for the new year to improve your longevity, an interview of great interest to watch, and cookbooks for a variety of tastes. Still, there is more. Did I mention the Prince of Wales and Bon Jovi singing together? Yep, it happened!
—The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times by Michelle Obama
Released this past November, the former First Lady Michelle Obama asks and then explores the answers to broad questions that many of us wrestle with: How do we build enduring and honest relationships? How can we discover strength and community inside our differences? What tools do we use to address feelings of self-doubt or helplessness? What do we do when it all starts to feel like too much?” Through stories and reflections on change, challenge and power, “including her belief that when we light up for others, we can illuminate the richness and potential of the world around us, discovering deeper truths and new pathways for progress” she offers inspiration for readers to examine their own lives to discover their own light and share it with those they love and the world.
—Outlive: The Science and Art of Longevity by Peter Attia MD
While not being released until March 2023, I wanted to give you a heads up on this book as it brings together both the science and the thoughtful artistry of living well in order to not only prolong our lives, but elevate the quality, so we can enjoy the long life we enable with our healthy choices. Outlive: The Science and Art of Longevity shares the “science: a well-founded strategic and tactical approach to extending lifespan while also improving our physical, cognitive, and emotional health. Dr. Attia’s aim is less to tell you what to do and more to help you learn how to think about long-term health, in order to create the best plan for you as an individual. In Outlive, readers will discover: Why the cholesterol test at your annual physical doesn’t tell you enough about your actual risk of dying from a heart attack; That you may already suffer from an extremely common yet underdiagnosed liver condition that could be a precursor to the chronic diseases of aging; Why exercise is the most potent pro-longevity “drug”—and how to begin training for the ‘Centenarian Decathlon'” and more.
Airing in the states on December 19th, Mary Berry “shares her ultimate Christmas feast with all the trimmings. Friends and Chefs Angela Hartnett and Monica Galetti join her to share favorite festive recipes from their heritage and Mary and TV host Rylan try and convert some kids to Brussels sprouts”. Have a look at the trailer below.
—Delectable: Sweet & Savory Baking by Claudia Fleming & Catherine Young
Saveur has named Delectable one of the best cookbooks of the year, and with its release in October, readers and home cooks are now able to explore Claudia Fleming’s second cookbook; this one drawing on recipes created in her own home kitchen (the previous and bestselling cookbook shared dessert recipes from Gramercy Tavern). “Baking at home, Claudia brings her characteristic style and skilled approach to every sweet and treat, along with an ease with culinary history, and a growing connection to her own family traditions. A mix of classic favorites and new explorations, including her first foray into savory recipes for savory baking, each delicious dish is the work of a master in her prime.” Below is one favorite family recipe that is included.
From food blogger and bestselling cookbook author Nik Sharma (check out his first cookbook Season), his second book goes deeper still. Exploring “aroma, texture, sound, emotion—these are just a few of the elements that play into our perceptions of flavor. In a completely unique and accessible way, Nik Sharma takes readers on an in-depth exploration into the science of taste and demonstrates how to convert approachable spices, herbs, and commonplace pantry items into tasty, simple dishes.”
But what does that mean or even look like in a cookbook, you may be wondering, at least that’s what I was wondering? Through 100 recipes and broken down into seven chapters, it looks like this:
- Brightness: Lemon-Lime Mintade
- Bitterness: Chocolate Miso Bread Pudding
- Saltiness: Roasted Tomato and Tamarind Soup
- Sweetness: Honey Turmeric Chicken Kebabs with Pineapple
- Savoriness: Blistered Shishito Peppers with Bonito Flakes
- Fieriness: Chicken Lollipops
- Richness: Coconut Milk Cake
When I heard of chef Aaron Huh’s new cookbook being released on December 20th I wanted to share as having the opportunity to visit and spend a week in South Korea a handful of years ago, the food was something, of many things, I fondly remember. Yet, upon returning home, even though I thoroughly enjoyed bibimbap, for example, I had no idea how to make it in my own kitchen. Huh solves this dilemma for many of us sharing the favorite and most common classic Korean recipes and makes them each approachable.
Now this is a film I want to watch. Being released on December 21st, Stanley Tucci stars as Clive Davis, the music and record producer who discovers Whitney Houston, played by BAFTA award winning actor Naomi Ackie. Have a look at the trailer, and enjoy and don’t hold back when her classic songs are performed on the screen, sing along!
I am a bit early on this one, but only by a week. While this sequel by Rian Johnson to Knives Out was released for a limited time in theaters in November, it will become available to all audiences in their own homes on Netflix next week – Friday December 23rd. Have another look at the trailer.
This coming Wednesday, December 21st, Emily returns to Paris, and it looks like the fashion will play an even grander part in the series by the looks of the trailer and the poster (see above right). Have a look at the trailer and enjoy!
—Les Années Super 8 — Annie Ernaux (translation: The Super 8 Years) –
Written and directed by the well-known French author and recipient of the 2022 Nobel Prize in Literature, Annie Ernaux, and her son David Ernaux-Briot, Les Années Super 8 shares just what it states in the title. Annie Ernaux explains in describing the film, “Shot between 1972 and 1981, it occurred to me that [the video recorded] comprised not only a family archive but a testimony to the pastimes, lifestyle and aspirations of a social class in the decade after 1968. I wanted to incorporate these silent images into a story which combined the intimate with the social and with history, to convey the taste and colour of those years.” Have a look at the trailer below and explore all of her titles, fiction and memoirs here.
—Christmas Album: Andrea Corr (from The Corrs family)
If you are a fan of the Irish band The Corrs who made a successful name for themselves in the early 90s, you will know Andrea Corr. She just released a Christmas album, titled just that. Have a listen to Andrea sing live, “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” below and I have shared one more video of the entire ensemble (three sisters and one brother) singing one of their more recent songs in a video toward the end of today’s post.
—Scrooge: A Christmas Carol, Netflix
Last week, I watched Pixar’s Scrooge: A Christmas Carol and unexpectedly quite enjoyed it as I don’t typically select in-real-life acting vs. animated film. Turning the classic Dickens’ Christmas tale into a musical, the film includes an original selection of songs and the voices of beloved British actors – Olivia Colman, Luke Evans, Jessie Buckley, Jonathan Pryce, Johnny Flynn, James Cosmo and Trevor Dion Nicholas. Have a look at the trailer below and watch it now on Netflix.
Cozy up in this cotton sweatshirt with classic Breton stripes.
—The White Company, Cashmere Bed Socks (three colors)
Ideal stocking stuffers, stuff these cashmere socks into the socks! And the fine stripe cashmere bed socks look to be the perfect holiday color and design for this time of year.
On a more serious note, but certainly one not to click past, David Letterman goes to Kiev and interviews Ukrainian President Volodymry Zelenskyy. Have a look at the careful planning that took place to ensure all was safe and watch now on Netflix.
The snow is remaining and with the below freezing temperatures it will likely stay for some time, and that is just fine by me as it means more crisp blue sky days to go skiing under as we did yesterday before French class.
After completing work on today’s post, I promised the pups we’d head up to the mountain as the blue sky was brilliant, and partly because when they go skiing, they nap very well during my two hour French class in the evening. A win-win and double win for each of us.
In this month’s December Ponderings . . . I shared in detail what I was up to this past week, so be sure to explore becoming a TOP Tier Member to read and watch that post (two videos are shared). (And don’t forget! prices on all Memberships go up on January 1st, so if you have been thinking about signing up, do so before then as your price will remain the same moving forward and not increase). Also, if you would like to give a Membership as a gift (for any length of time – one month, 3-months, a year), that is now available (these are non-recurring memberships) – learn more here.
The weekend ahead will continuing with the festive savoring, cozying-in and staying home in Bend, meeting a good friend for our annual winter holiday lunch and gift exchange, window shopping and simply enjoying being home after being out of town last weekend. We might scoot back up to the mountain for another outing but will be playing that by ear.
I do hope these winter holidays are treating you well. As I shared in the excerpt from The Road to Le Papillon yesterday on IG (see quote below), be sure honor and welcome into your holiday traditions what brings you joy, true joy. Initially, it may feel uncomfortable or risky to do so if different from has been done, or others enjoy, but as you continue to do so, you will find the joy you seek.
Wishing you a wonderful weekend, and please note, that next Friday’s This & That (December 24th) will be the last T & T of 2022 as I take the final week of the year off, but we still have one more This & That! Until Monday, bonne journee!
~Nigel Slater shares his recipe for a Chocolate Chestnut Cake, an English alternative to the French’s Bûche Nöel [The Guardian]
—Festive photos captured in Bath, England, at the Christmas market [iHeartBritain]
~How to embrace slow decorating in your home [Shondaland] defined as “an approach that resists our cultural bend towards perfection, speed, and waste.”
—Listen to the reindeer in an enchanted wood on BBC3’s Slow Radio channel.
~The garland adorning the railing along the stairs in this home tour has my awe. Gather inspiration for Christmas decoration from a floral designer in her charming Chelsea mews home [House & Garden UK]
~Because there is only a very small window to share such holiday decor home tours, here is one more – a 17th century farm house in the Lake District gently and thoughtfully adorns their home for Christmas. I will snuggle into the red chair by the fireplace (again, the garland! wow!), and then place me in the kitchen with the eggshell blue Aga. I am smitten! [House & Garden UK]
~Dorie Greenspan shares how you can tell the difference between a true butter croissant and a wanna-be in her recent newsletter sent to subscribers.
~Speaking of food and France, The French Foodie Gift Guide from HipParis.
~Staying in France and talking about food some more! What a traditional French Christmas Eve Dinner (aka Réveillon) will have most likely have on the table – inspiration for New Year’s Eve gatherings as well [The Local]
~Inspiration for festive place settings [ H & G UK]
~11 Hacks to make learning French more fun [The Earful Tower]
~How to actually enjoy the holidays (psst – prioritizing fun plays an important role) [The Atlantic]
~Things to say ‘yes’ to as an HSP [Highly Sensitive Refuge]
~Listen and watch the Prince of Wales sing ‘Living on a Prayer‘ with Bon Jovi and Taylor Swift at a charity gala earlier this fall.
~And perhaps you, like me, came to enjoy the Irish family band, The Corrs in the 90s, well, good news, they are back and have been on their world tour this past year after they released their latest album in 2015, White Light. Here is a video of one of their new songs – “I Do What I Like”.
~Explore last week’s This & That: December 9, 2022
Winter weather inspired much of the style and capsule wardrobe finds this week, and as well as beautiful classics to scoop up for layering, accessorizing and more. A delightfully fun Anglophile documentary on what it means to be quintessentially British is released this week, along with a star-packed new film by Sam Mendes, cookbooks for savory baking and learning the fundamentals of cooking well. A couple of holiday inspired British books for those that have an affection for Downton Abbey and cosy mysteries. Books on travel, invention, change and still, there is so much more.