We ate a lot of tonkotsu while in Tokyo and were keen to try to make that wonderfully rich pork bone broth at home. A couple weeks ago we made our first attempt. It was ‘okay’. Nothing like what we had in Tokyo but a good first attempt.
We’ve been mulling why it wasn’t as unctuously good as Tokyo and a couple things come to mind. First, we need to use pork leg bones. The mixture we opted for was trotters and a mix of rib bones. Secondly, we removed too much of the fat after cooking it … for some 20 hours I might add. If you’re going to try this at home plan on a weekend in tending the process.
2) the bones are prepared; 3) for heavens sake buy a cleaver for this part or else ….
4) you’ll be out a $100 knife; 5) boil the bones
6 & 7) skim off the foam and discard
10) brown them well and, 11) add to the soup
12 & 13) now simmer the soup for hours and hours and hours and hours
14) refrigerate to have the fat solidify; 15) and roll it off (yuck)
16) just before serving add in more garlic (if you wish – we would forgo this next time); 17) prepare your soup ingredients
I should also mention I crashed Friday night in Montreal at the relatively new Aloft Montreal Airport. Aloft is essentially a lite version of W Hotels that is popping up near airports around the world. Aloft is unique in that it has the modern feel of a W Hotel at considerably less price. In lieu of a restaurant or room service, they have “Refuel” a serve yourself counter where you can get sandwiches, salads, and the like which you simply charge to your room.
21 & 22) the bedroom
23 & 24) the bathroom – no tub only a shower with the obligatory Bliss products (albeit in bulk)
Good value for money and worth a stop if you’re having to leave Pierre Elliott Trudeau airport early one morning.
Schlock. Pure schlock and poor schlock at that. A straight to dvd disaster that uses the premise of a ‘real’ film-maker Jody (Leelee Sobeiski), who, trying to make inroads into the industry, opts to work at an adult film company while secretly filming her ‘real’ movie in their studios at night. While the movie bills itself as a romantic comedy, the dreadful intermingling of a love story with porn makes the romance, pardon the pun, impotent. Directed by Julie Davis and with Matt Davis as Jody’s romantic interest, Jeff Drake, the film’s only redeeming quality is supporting actors Kristen Johnston as Irene Fox and PJ Bryne as Gary. What’s sure, you’ll not find any bliss in this awful film. My rating 1 out of 10.
500 Days of Summer
Marc Webb directs Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Tom Hansen and Zooey Deschanel as Summer Finn, the inspiration for the title of the movie. Tom is a greeting card copy writer who has become so caught up in his verses that when he meets new office employee Summer is instantly love-struck. What follows is a cute synopsis of their 500 days of ups and downs. Summer, you see, is a freer spirit and is fine with that nebulous commitment best termed ‘friends with benefits’. When fate intercedes and she meets the man of her dreams, Tom is forced to realize sometimes love-struckness can be one-sided. 500 Days of Summer is a very good film that uses an inventive storyline complemented by fine acting to relate one of the great truths of dating – often you’re not ‘the one’, but ‘the one’ is out there. My rating 8 out of 10.
A Room with a View
An Ivory and Merchant film that is – as all Ivory and Merchant films are – exquisite. A Room with a View puts to film E.M. Forrester’s fabulous novel of the same name. The film is a gorgeous love story with a overriding social commentary that pokes fun at English sensibilities at the turn of the century. Starring oh-so-young versions of Helena Bonham Carter as Lucy Honeychurch and Daniel Day Lewis as her pompous fiance Cecil Vyse; Julian Sands is Lucy’s paramour George; the great Denholm Elliott is his father Mr. Elliott; Julie Dench is writer Eleanor Lavish – gotta love that name! – Simon Callow plays Reverend Beade and the great Maggie Smith is Lucy’s cousin and chaperon, and ever-in-a-muddle, Charlotte. The film is rich on too many levels to count and the scene of Lucy coming upon George in the field high above Florence remains one of this reviewers most favourite movie scenes of all time. My rating 9 out of 10.
Retired Extremely Dangerous is what the initials stand for and to it you might add, fun to boot. Directed by Robert Schwentke, the ensemble piece stars a fine group of stars – Helen Mirren (as Victoria); Bruce Willis (as Frank Moses); Karl Urban (as William Cooper); the always crazy John Malkovich (as crazy Marvin Boggs); Mary-Louise Parker (as Sarah); Morgan Freedman (as Joe Matheson); the always fine Brian Cox (as Ivan) and even Richard Dreyfuss and Ernest Borgnine. Best watched by totally ignoring the plot and simply going along for the ride, it’s great to see this cadre of fine movie stars in a vehicle that plays wonderfully to their age. My rating 7 out of 10.
The Men Who Stare at Goats
Despite a stellar line up of stars, The Men Who Stare at Goats is simply too strange a film to warrant anything but passing interest. Ewan Macgregor stars as Bob Wilton, a loser journalist who ships out to Iraq to get a story that will make his girlfriend reconsider the fact he is a loser. There he meets Lyn Skip Cassady (George Clooney) who recounts a tale only a strung out San Franciscan could love of an army officer, Bill Django (a good Jeff Bridges), whose job it was to train a secret group of army misfits to be – wait for it – psychic Jedi warriors. Kevin Spacey appears being, well, Kevin Spaceylike as the Jedi warrior with a grudge, Larry Hooper. And yes, a goat dies. The film fails despite its tongue-in-cheek plot thanks solely to Macgregor who is thoroughly aggravating throughout the film. This reviewer kept hoping he’d be shot. Never a good sign, granted. Kudos to Clooney and Bridges for giving us something to focus on. My rating 4 neahs out of 10.