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November 21, 2012 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2012-11-21

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8A - Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

the finishing

PNT to bring ' Little
Night Music'-to the stage
ondheim's classic NightMusic"'willtakeAnnArbor I'm very, very impressed with Olivier and Drama Desk award
Sondhelm's classc -A:-- ,- C!-- a nn ratenui 1-V-nor--,wno sm woriung.- -4

hough praising and
bashing the eats in Ann
Arbor is my customary
modus operandi, I'm shifting
course a bit this time around
in honor of
Turkey Day.
Join me as I
mix together
a few family
favorites, a
blue ribbon_
technique or NATHAN
two and some WOOD
real-deal tips
and tricks
that - served with a pinch of
sarcasm - will have you cook-
ing up the perfect Thanksgiving
dinner in no time. In this last
installment of my Thanksgiving
series, we're putting the finish-
ing touches on our spread so that
Thanksgiving 2012 will be one
to remember.
One of my fondest Thanks-
giving memories as a child is
making homemade butter with
my grandma. Of course, she had
a million other (probably more
pressing) things to do in order
to get turkey dinner on the
+* tabe but she somehow always
managed to pause for a few
minutes to help me whip cream
into butter. And unlike back in
the day, when a butter churn
was necessary, it really does
only take a few minutes.
Homemade Butter
2 16-ounce cartons (2 pints)
heavy cream
/ teaspoon kosher salt
Pour your heavy creaminto
an electric mixer or food pro-
cessor and beat on high speed
until the mixture curdles and
turns pale yellow. There should
also be a fair amount of sepa-
rated milky stuff in the bottom
of the bowl. These curdles will
soon be our butter and this
milky stuff is buttermilk! The
whole process takes approxi-
mately 10 minutes.
Using a mesh strainer and
some pressure from your palms,
separate the buttermilk from
the butter solids. Form the but-
ter solids into a ball and dry on
paper towel. Knead in the salt
and serve chilled, if desired.
And what could be easier to
make from scratch than butter?
Whipped cream! Plus, since
Uncle Jimmy is responsible
for bringing the pies this year,
those sure-to-be Meijer Bakery
specials could use a handcraft-
ed touch.
Homemade Whipped Cream
116-ounce carton (1 pint)
heavy cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
1 cup confectioner's ("pow-
dered") sugar
Pop the beaters and bowl
of your electric mixer into the

freezer for 10 minutes. Upon
removing them, immediately
add all ingredients to the bowl
and begin whipping at high
speed. Continue until stiff
peaks form, meaning that when
you hold the beaters upside
down, the whipped cream
doesn't fall over like the top
of a soft-serve ice cream cone,
but instead stands resolutely.
Don't over-

beat, lest you want little butter
chunks in your whipped cream.
But no matter how deli-
cious your whipped cream is,
there are always those fam-
ily members who are going to
want to top their pies with ice
cream (guilty). If you're feel-
ing really adventurous, keep
with the theme and try making
your own. I just saw a recipe
for Brown Sugar-Bourbon Ice
Cream in Bon Appdtit's October
issue that I plan on making to
serve with my pecan pie this
Thanksgiving, though vanilla
bean would also be a delicious
addition to all sorts of after-
dinner treats. But if you're
looking to save time by going
store-bought, Hsagen-Dazs
offers the best alternative.
To wash down those pies and
our handcrafted toppings, keep
it simple by offering only regular
and decaffeinated coffees. Teas,
cappuccinos, flavored creamers
and dessert wines are all totally
unnecessary. In the same vein,
limit dinner drink offerings to
wine, iced water, milk and spar-
kling grape juice for the kiddies
(St. Julian's Sparkling Red is as
good as it gets). Soda, lemonade,
iced tea and other artificially
sweetened beverages are class-
less when served at the table.
Leave 'em for the other 364 days
of the year.
The true
meaning of
So with our desserts and
drinks all wrapped up, the tur-
key we prepared and roasted
last week and the delicious
sides we've been making this
week, our Thanksgiving spread
is nearing completion. (I mean,
there is always the cranberry
relish and buttered corn, but
since I don't particularly enjoy
either of these things, I've pur-
posefully decided to overlook
them.) Shift the responsibility
of everything beyond these
turkey dinner mainstays to your
guests: One can bring the green
bean casserole, one the fruity
salad, one the Brussels sprouts,
one the mac and cheese, etc.
And don't forget t incorpo-
rate family classics. In my fam-
ily, this means Great-Grandma
Buit's dinner rolls, Grandma
Bowen's famous broccoli salad
with raisins and bacon and
Waldorf salad a la Grandma
"Duper" (the unfortunate
nickname my creative mind
assigned her and Gramps when
I was a kid ... long story).
Because that's all that really
matters anyway, isn't it? Deli-
cious food is definitely a plus,
but the Thanksgiving memo-
ries you'll cherish for the rest
of your life are eating Waldorf
salad with Grandpa and Grand-
ma Duper, laughing with Uncle
Jimmy about his Meijer pies,
remembering Great-Grandma
Buit over her dinner rolls, peel-
ing potatoes with Cousin Nata-
lie ("Bratalie") and taking time
to make homemade butter with

Grandma Bowen.
I think of Marcie's words in
"A Charlie Brown Thanksgiv-
ing": "Thanksgiving is more
than eating ... We should just
be thankful for being together."
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
Wood started cooking. Wish
him luck by e-mailing

story to be told by
talented cast
For theDaily
This holiday season, Perfor-
mance Network Theatre cel-
ebrates its 30th
anniversary A Little
with heaps of ."Lh Music
love, lies and NiMi
liaisons in the Through
form Stephen Dec. 30 at
Sondheim's various times
musical, "A
Little Night Performance
Music," which NetworkTheatre
is a rollicking From $25
production of
all three with a twist of comedy.
As a renowned American com-
poser and lyricist, Sondheim is
known for bringing a contem-
porary New York setting to the
stage, but his take on "A Little

audiences to Scandinavia.
The winner of six Tony awards
and a Grammy, "A Little Night
Music" is set in Sweden in the
early 1900s and follows a series
of love triangles. When Fredrik
Egerman, a successful lawyer,
takes his trophy wife, Anne, to a
play one weekend, he unexpect-
edly meets his ex-lover, Desiree
Armfeldt, an alluring Swedish
actress. While the love between
the two is rekindled, Fredrik's
son, Henrik, falls in love with his
stepmother, further complicating
the situation. This chain of events
drives this collection of charac-
ters into a weekend of harmony
and discord.
"We have a brilliant cast,"
said Naz Edwards, a PNT associ-
ate artist who will play Desiree
Armfeldt. "It's amazing to see
the talent that we have here - all
from Detroit, Michigan. I think
that you will see it - I've never
seen such a strong vocal group
of people in a show here ever. So,

and gratetul tar who I'm working
Opening its first act with the
song, "Remember?," "A Little
Night Music" is a triptych of
songs that are first sung indepen-
dently and subsequently braided
together both musically and the-
matically. As the lyrics begin to
overlap, so do the characters.
"The songs are a heavy exten-
sion of the dialogue," Edwards
said. "I think Sondheim has
incredible lyrics and music, with
a very definite tone, very - you
know - it's not the basic musi-
cal theater music. It's lyrics that
are smart because they are just
words that people speak. It's
like one leading into the other
- really beautiful, stunning
Some of the other songs that
will be featured in the show
include "Send in the Clowns" and
"The Glamorous Life."
With Broadway music and a
cast that includes Tony, Grammy,.

winners and Pulitzer-Prize win-
ning authors, PNT hopes to pro-
vide Ann Arbor audiences with,
an experience that speaks to a
wide range of audiences through
its production of "A Little Night
"Oh, I think it's a classical for
everybody. I think its sophistica-
tion is itself comprehendible for
all ages and it's just fun for every-
body," Edwards said. "It crosses
over, too, I would say, to people
who like opera - light Opera,
because there's a lot of sophisti-
cated vocal sounds in the music
like there are in the pop music of
She added: "(Sondheim's) lyr-
ics are brilliant, the music is
great. There's nothing like it. It's
a very different journey when
you go see a piece of his. For me,
it makes me think so much and
feel so much as a performer. It's
not fluffy and light. It's just so
incredible. It's very deep, and
thoughtful and real - very real."

Botanical Gardens to host world
foods dinner party, holiday exhibition

By JOHN BOHN and they came to be a tradition.
Daily Arts Writer Things like chocolate and pineap-
ple that really got moved around
one who has ever had a the world and entered the major
of caroling children sing to diet of foods," he added.
demanding figgy pudding "Feast! A Cross-Cultural Culi-


and a cup of
good cheer
may have
how children
these days
could be so
rude - they
might have
also won-
dered how
figgy pud-
ding has
become such
a staple of our
holiday feast.
Hopefully it's
just the lat-
ter - and for th
ous, Matthaei B
has put togethe
answering justt
"It's really
international fo
around the worl
said Bob Grese
the gardens. "
in holiday times
sources of eithe
fruits that have
holiday celebrat
"Some of the
found in Africa

nary Tour of Plants Around the

Feast! A World," a dinner at the Grese
Gardens, will feature a variety
Cross-Cul l of activities, including troll and
Culinary Tour fairy villages for children to dis-
f cover, live music and a world din-
ner party, which is the main event
Around the of this year's exhibit.
Saturday through Follow cocoa
Jan. 6 from 10
a.m.to4:30 p.m. from the bean
Matthae Botanical
Gardens to the bar.
ose who are curi- The Matthaei Botanical Gar-
Botanical Gardens dens play an active role in the
.r a holiday event community, offering multiple
hese questions. programs for youth and adults
centered around throughout the year. It also serves
ods that are used as the classroom for Practical
d in celebrations," Botany, a biology course offered
, the director of during the winter. The exhibit
So - particularly this holiday season is an exten-
- plants that are sion of this community outreach
r spices, sweets or in addition to the winter cheer
been common in - in a way unique to what the
ions." Botanical Garden have to offer.
m were originally According to Geese, this isn't
or South America, the first time the Botanical Gar-

dens has hosted an event this
time of year in the holiday spirit,
citing a past theme of sustainable
Christmas decorations.
Through the years, a special
guest has been making an appear-
ance for the kids as well.
"We've always done kids class-
es, and Father Christmas has
become a tradition," said David
Betz, the garden's visitor opera-
tions manager. "We've had dif-
ferent activities that have been
more related to either a craft or
an activity in the conservatory or
a speaker or a lecture related to
the exhibit."
Betz oversees the educative
aspects of the event, as well as
the creation of the overall look.
One of the staples of the Botani-
cal Gardens holiday events is the
Poinsettia Tree, made entirely of
Poinsettia plants.
"It's always a big draw and a
great photo opportunity," Betz
said. "And there will be different
colors of poinsettias depending
on what (green) house you are in.
There's a big focus on holiday col-
ors to complement the interpre-
tation of the feast and the plants
and food that are celebrated."
This year, however, is the first
time the Botanical Garden will be
hosting a culinary feast.
"We're working with the U
of M chefs, and they've created
a menu using ingredients that

could be found in the conserva-
tory," Betz said. "Every entree,
every appetizer, even our mock-
tail has an ingredient that can be
found in the conservatory."
In an interactive way, the world
dinner party sets the theme of the
"It's about reallyhelpingpeople
make that connection between
vanilla orchid and the vanilla fla-
voring and the vanilla they expe-
rience in foods," Betz said. "Orthe
chocolate and how it becomes the
chocolate we know and use and
how other cultures use them."
He added: "Some ancient cul-
tures are showcased and how
they use these plants as well as
some current cultural celebra-
The dinner takes place on Dec.
14 at 6 p.m. and will include a pre-
dinner tour of the exhibit as well
as a chef's cooking demonstration.
"We would love to see how (the
dinner) is received," Betz said. "It
would be great to have something
in the conservatory, like around
Valentine's Day, that can play off
this idea to make a connection
between plants and foods, and
really just enjoying the space this
"Really, during this time of
year when we all are thinking of
food, we can create environmen-
tal awareness of relationships of
food supply," Grese said.





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