Lifestyles: Columnists

Feb. 18, 2014 @ 10:34 AM

Psych out

At the Matthews house, it’s not even a question.  We are true-blue Dukies.

Unfortunately, my fandom is heavily colored by my general dorkiness. As much as I dream about meeting Coach K, I’m also petrified that the opportunity would turn me into a full-on stalker, and I would spend my twilight years in the state pen. So, it’s probably best that I’ve never run into the great man.

 

Feb. 13, 2014 @ 01:09 PM

Blue Greenberg: Visual history in Ackland print exhibits

Queen Elizabeth I sent a team of ships with soldiers, botanists, mathematicians, artists and historians to stake Britain’s claim into what was being called the New World. “A Brief and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia” by Thomas Harriot with engravings by Theodor de Bry of John White’s watercolors was published in 1590. It was a result of a 1588 expedition and the first book about North America written by someone who had been there. 


Feb. 11, 2014 @ 09:53 AM

Hakkity hack

A hack is a tip or trick to make your life easier.
Want to play the theme from the Power Rangers on your cell? There’s a hack for that (press 3-3-2-3-9-3).
Have a big honking pimple on prom night? There’s a hack for that (dot with the liquid from an Advil gel cap).
Trying to open one of those impossible blister packs? Yep, a hack for that too (use a manual can opener).


Feb. 11, 2014 @ 09:54 AM

Getting to know the persimmon

Years ago I stumbled across persimmons in an Asian market. I picked up a soft, almost spongy fruit but put it back dismissing it as overripe. That was an error in judgment; I didn't know any better.
Even if I had brought it home, what would I have done with it? If I cut it open would it look like a pomegranate with wall-to-wall seeds, or an avocado with a huge pit. Should I crunch into it like an apple or peel it like an orange? Out of the thousands of recipes I'd collected over the years I didn't have a single persimmon recipe.


Feb. 06, 2014 @ 10:29 AM

Motley’s classic portraits and neon Chicago scenes

The Jazz Age calls up visions of “Gatsby,” women in short skirts, bobbed hair and smoking in public; Prohibition and gangsters; deep rooted discrimination; and music with a syncopated beat played by black musicians for white and black audiences. Archibald Motley Jr. (1891-1981), a mixed-race artist, New Orleans born and Chicago bred, recorded this era in acidic, neon colors of violets, teals and seaweed greens, and the current exhibition at the Nasher Museum of Art is jumping with his busy, crowded canvases.


Feb. 04, 2014 @ 11:03 AM

Healthy tidings of comfort and joy

There are a couple of food buzzwords that I think are ridiculous. One is “sexy”.   Antonio Banderas is sexy. A plate of risotto is not. Black suede, thigh-high boots with a 4 inch heel are sexy. A well-cooked, medium-rare steak, while beautiful and delicious, is not sexy.
The other word so over-used that it means almost nothing, is “superfood.”


Jan. 29, 2014 @ 11:36 AM

Heyden and London’s point-counterpoint

Silvia Heyden (born 1927) and Edith London (1904-1997) met in Durham in 1966; London was an established painter and Heyden was still experimenting with her tapestries.
The exhibition which has brought the two artists together again is absolutely gorgeous.  Never mind their technical expertise or their many awards -- seeing their work on the walls of the Durham Arts Council gallery is a gift and an honor.  


Jan. 28, 2014 @ 10:03 AM

You don't have to swear off salad dressing

This month many of us swore off fat and calories and signed onto salads.
For many of my "less-than-lean" years a wide wedge of iceberg lettuce drenched with Thousand Island dressing was a favorite salad. Later, I learned that a 2-tablespoon serving of that dressing delivered 111 calories and 10.5 fat grams.


Jan. 28, 2014 @ 09:44 AM

Brunch me

“It's not quite breakfast, it's not quite lunch, but it comes with a slice of cantaloupe at the end. You don't get completely what you would at breakfast, but you get a good meal.” (“The Simpsons”)
In the past few weeks, I’ve had brunch a couple of times at Watts Grocery (1116 Broad St.).  Chef/owner Amy Tornquist’s splendid food is full of local, fresh ingredients and has something for everyone.


Jan. 16, 2014 @ 11:32 AM

A private world, viewed by an outsider

Whether America can be described as a melting pot or a salad bowl, the fact remains there are many subcultures just below the surface of our national identity. The standard version is the United States was founded by white, middle-class Christian men who had wives and children, and while that was the textbook picture of our citizenry in 1775, there were large pockets of Americans, like women and blacks, who had no public face. 


Jan. 11, 2014 @ 01:46 PM

B-12 vitamin deficiency can be linked to medication

Q. I recently started vitamin B-12 injections. I had gone to my doctor with numbness and tingling in my hands and feet, fatigue and memory changes. He gave me extensive neuropsychiatric testing and did lab work. The results showed a change in memory, as well as carpal tunnel in both wrists. My vitamin B-12 was low.


Jan. 09, 2014 @ 10:49 AM

Many configurations of metal at Chapel Hill gallery

Humans have known about metal and used it for thousands of years.  It can define objects as different as silver tea services, nails, bridge abutments, supports of buildings and kitchen appliances; it is a mainstay of sculpture and fashionable jewelry. 
The exhibition at Light Art +Design touches on many aspects of this remarkable material especially as it has been recycled into art objects. 


Jan. 07, 2014 @ 10:49 AM

Tales of a second-grade sweet potato

Mrs. Dawson, our music teacher, gave me the lead role in our second-grade play.
I played the part of a sweet potato.  I was completely engulfed in the costume Dad built for me from wire and yards and yards of orange cotton. My best friend, Lynette, had the supporting role of a stick of butter. She carried a knife that was as tall as we were, and together we danced and sang with buttery, carbohydrate abandon. 


Jan. 02, 2014 @ 02:32 PM

A feast in store for visual arts

The arts are alive and well in the Triangle and the next few months offer wonderful ways to spend the cold months. Jazz enthusiasts are going to love Duke’s Nasher Museum exhibition of Archibald Motley’s jazz age paintings, which will open here and then travel around the country. And Durham Bulls’ baseball fans will revel in the N.C. Museum of Art’s “Bull City Summer,” a photographic documentary by 10 photographers of the 2013 Durham Bull season. 

 

Dec. 31, 2013 @ 01:54 PM

The continuation of love and hate

The first time I met Mildred Council (Mama Dip), she made me mad.
She had come to the bookstore where I worked to sign copies of her first cookbook, “Mama Dip’s Kitchen.” She also brought a few items that she’d cooked up from the cookbook.  One of them was her pecan pie.
That pie was the basis of my ire.