What’s New for the 12th of May: Another Thirteenth Doctor Figure, A Tanya Huff trilogy, Recordings by Molly Mason & Jay Ungar, A Conversation with Charles de Lint, Lots of Chocolate, ‘Saturday in the Park’ by Chicago and Other Tasty Matters

Chocolate. The food of the gods, as my grandma used to call it. And I totally agree. It’s the answer to prayers. Emotional relief. A form of currency. An aphrodisiac. Raw and dark. White and saccharine. Milky sweet. Mouthwatering. It’s all good; I don’t discriminate. ― K.K. Allen


The Kitchen here decided to do dishes that all had chocolate in them, such as a traditional Chinese steamed bun with dark-chocolate ganache and ginger. OK not so traditional after all. And the dark chocolate waffles served with dark chocolate ice cream and chocolate whipped cream seemed like overkill but were rather delicious.

Now I thought the twice roasted chicken with chocolate mole sauce and poblano chilies was quite wonderful. Bjorn, our Brewmaster, did a killer chocolate stout that I managed to tuck away some of for later drinking, and the Mozart Black and Sabra liqueurs made for interesting drinking as well. Particularly in coffee the next morning.

I’m sure there’s something of a food nature in this Edition though I’m not sure what, so that’s up to you to discover. (The Several Annies, our Libraian’s Apprentices, actually edited this edition.) Myself I’m off to the Kitchen as I’m feeling a bit peckish…

Not everything in this section is a book review, so what have for you first is a conversation with Charles de Lint held at the FaerieWorld Convention in 2013. You can hear the delightful conversation here. And we’ve also updated our edition devoted to him and his works with a guest appearance by MaryAnn Harris, his wife. That can be found thisaway.

Craig says that ‘Michael Streissguth’s Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison: The Making of a Masterpiece doesn’t aspire to much higher than providing indepth coverage of a seminal moment, both in the career of Johnny Cash, and in music history in general. Despite its flaws, it does this job fully and; therefore, remains a must-have for Cash aficionados and music historians.’

Irene says of a slender volume by Dorothy Sayers on a subject dear to many of us: ‘These essays, as well as a transcription of an original radio play featuring a young Peter Death Bredon Wimsey and Sherlock Holmes, are reprinted in the slim volume by The Mythopoeic Press entitled Sayers on Holmes: Essays and Fiction on Sherlock Holmes. The essays are lovely examples of canonical scholarship and show Sayers’ skill as a detective and a scholar (for what is a true research scholar but a detective) as well as her undoubted skill as an entertaining author.’

Robert has a look at a trilogy by Tanya Huff, The Smoke Trilogy, newly reissued in an omnibus edition: ‘One thing that I find marginally irritating about some of my favorite fantasy and science fiction writers is that if I don’t pay attention for a minute or two, they start a new series and then I have to catch up with them. Tanya Huff, for example, one of those protean writers who seems to be able to write in any subgenre, from “classic” fantasy to military sf to supernatural thrillers, and do it well, started a new series while I wasn’t looking. So I went back and caught up.’

Robert has a look another superhero film featuring a character who is, to say the least, unusual: ‘Another coupon, another DVD. This time it was The Amazing Spider-Man at half price. Another one of those films I’d heard of but didn’t really know much about, except that 1) it’s about Spider-Man, a character who has started to intrigue me, and 2) superhero. (Note: I haven’t started really digging into Spider-Man yet, so I’m not going to comment on the success of this as a reboot.)’

Look, more chocolate! These are just a sample of the many, many chocolate related reviews we’ve done.

Gary really seems to have enjoyed a chocolate bar made from single-origin beans by a company based in Eureka, Calif. From his review, it sounds like a multi-media experience. ‘The bar is beautifully decorated in an incised pattern that resembles Islamic geometric tesserae.’

A boozy chocolate trifle is the recipe for Jen: ‘This dessert is highly alcoholic. And huge: the finished recipe weighs about 8 pounds, not counting the heavy glass trifle bowl, without which it really isn’t worth doing. I developed it after reading, yes, way too many English novels and wondering how to make it with chocolate.’

And Robert has another tasty treat from Lindt chocolatiers: Lindt’s Excellence Dark Chocolate with Caramel and Sea Salt: ‘We are no strangers here to Lindt chocolates, and it’s generally a happy association — on our part, at least. The latest example of Lindt’s chocolates to cross my desk is a new flavor in their “Excellence” line — dark chocolate with caramel and sea salt.’

Jasmine, with a certain amount of puzzlement, says, ‘When I started reading Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean’s Comical Tragedy or Tragical Comedy of Mr. Punch, I had already entered into the story by listening to the radio play. I thought that I might gain additional insight into the family events which lurk and jump out at one in the course of the narrator’s story. What I found was exactly the same impenetrable mystery which informs the radio version.’

Brendan looks at Jay Ungar and Molly Mason’s Harvest Home: Music For All Seasons: ‘This is an amazing CD that manages not only to pay tribute to the rural style of life but the entire field of American traditional music as well. Ungar and Mason have created a unique blend of orchestral and folk music that manages to preserve the integrity of each style while enhancing each other.’

Our Editor Cat finds balm for the soul in The Quiet Room, a new release from Americana duo Jay Ungar & Molly Mason. The album, which came out of a time of personal hardship, contains both new material and some of the best of their extensive back-catalog. ‘Everything here, new and old, I hope will delight you as much as it does me,’ Cat says.

Gary looks at another album from them: ‘Jay Ungar and Molly Mason are best known for their waltz, “The Ashokan Farewell,” which became the centerpiece tune of the Ken Burns/PBS documentary about the American Civil War. They’re more than a one-trick pony, though, as they demonstrate on Relax Your Mind, in which they team up with the acoustic jazz combo Swingology. Together, they’ve recorded an album of laid-back western swing and swing-influenced dance music that hits all the right notes.’

Denise looks at a figurine inspired by the 13th Doctor, TITANS’ 6.5” ‘Twice Upon A Time’ 13th Doctor Kawaii.I love this little figurine. I figured I’d think it was cute, shrug, and tap out something that’d sound nice but not really have any true feeling one way or the other. But dang y’all. This one’s a keeper.’

‘Saturday in the Park’ is my choice this week for our music coda. It’s by Chicago, the not quite rock band. If you were around in ‘72, you no doubt heard the song playing in heavy rotation on pretty much every FM and AM radio station. The song was written by Robert Lamm and recorded by the group for their album Chicago V. It’s upbeat song, suitable for a warm day as it is today. I can’t tell you where or when it was recorded as the database for the Infinite Jukebox has absolutely nothing on it.

About Reynard

I’m the Pub Manager for the Green Man Pub which is located at the KInrowan Estate. I’m married to Ingrid, our Steward who’s also the Estate Buyer. If I’m off duty and in a mood for a drink, it’ll be a single malt, either Irish or Scottish, no water or ice, or possibly an Estate ale or cider.

I’m a concertina player, and unlike my wife who has a fine singing voice, I do not have anything of a singing voice anyone want to hear!

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