The imam's reaction to the capacity of aubergines to soak up oil like an enthusiastic sponge brings us to the biggest question often asked about them: to salt or not to salt? Traditionally, salt was scattered over sliced aubergines to encourage any residual bitterness to seep out, but generally speaking, modern varieties aren't as bitter, so don't require salting. The only exception I make is when I'm going to fry them or want to roast them to a creamy softness, as in moussaka or parmigiana, because salting does seem to deter them from soaking up such a gargantuan amount of oil. The other tip is always to add cold aubergines to very hot oil – never cold oil to hot aubergines. … [Read more...] about Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s aubergine recipes
Trapeze glenn hughes
When he completed Images, in 1971, Robert Altman thought to himself: “Everyone is just going to flip over this film. It’s going to be the greatest discovery since hash!” As he later acknowledged, that did not turn out to be the case – to the extent that few people even remember Images today. Partly that’s because this strange, elegant psychological horror doesn’t feel like a Robert Altman film at all. Think of Altman and you think of his orchestrated ensemble pieces – Nashville, Short Cuts, The Player, Gosford Park – or his earlier, New Hollywood genre reinventions: McCabe And Mrs Miller or The Long Goodbye. Between those last two came Images, set in a remote Irish country house, and closer in spirit to Bergman’s Persona or Polanski’s Repulsion. … [Read more...] about My streaming gem: why you should watch Images
His Egypt is a decadent place that half hides its violence behind a veneer of civilised glamour. The columns and monoliths of Tom Pye’s set derive from hieroglyphs from the Egyptian Book of the Dead, but Kevin Pollard’s costumes range backwards and forwards between antiquity and the present day, allowing McDermott to draw continuous parallels between the ancient world and our own. The priests wear greatcoats and totemic animal headdresses. Gwyn Hughes Jones’s Radamès, looking like a Napoleonic general, is subjected to a primitive initiation ritual in the temple of Phta, before leading his troops off to a modern-day conflict. The triumph scene is a solemn procession of flag-draped coffins, observed by a smart-looking crowd in 1930s evening wear. All this leads to an occasionally bewildering first half, and it is not until after the interval that the production begins to settle. The third act has remarkable tautness and intensity, though McDermott weakens the … [Read more...] about Aida review – power and passion marred by a few duff notes
This mission won her the praise of feminist groups - but her anti-abortion stance didn't. Russell was a born-again Christian, a one-time alcoholic and a dedicated Republican who, in a late interview, would go so far as to describe herself as "a teetotal, mean-spirited, rightwing, narrow-minded, conservative Christian bigot, but not a racist". (Her explanation that, to her, bigotry "just means you don't have an open mind", softened this only a tiny amount.) Such views meant she could never be an obvious feminist icon offscreen, but in her best-known work, her most inspired turn, the film that will outlive us all, she is just that. She is one of those rare actors – objectified in their youth into almost-inevitable obsolescence – who managed to rise proudly, brilliantly, above all that, in one perfect, incendiary performance. … [Read more...] about Jane Russell: Mean! Moody! Misunderstood!
'For this reason, when the schools do reopen we will quickly make up for lost time, by not only teaching your children from Monday to Friday, but also making it compulsory that your child to attend school on Saturdays, Sundays, half-terms and holidays. … [Read more...] about Amanda Holden leaves her daughters stunned as she jokes they’ll have to attend school EVERY DAY once it has reopened in funny April Fool’s prank