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I was sad at the beginning of the week and I'm even sadder now, after hearing about first David Bowie, and then today, Alan Rickman passing. Both at 69, far too young, and both from cancer. Fuck cancer.

It seems everyone loved them, these two very different men. They touched many lives in many ways, for many, many years.

A friend of mine from college introduced me to Bowie's music, along with plenty of other great artists who I had never listened to up to that point. I fell immediately in love with the passion and color of his lyrics and the quirkiness of his singing and style. He featured on pretty much every mixed tape or DVD compilation I put together all through the end of the 80s and the 90s. I saw him live in Chicago during the Serious Moonlight concert. I loved him as the Goblin King in Labyrinth, and was mesmerized by his performance in Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence.

Like everyone else I first took notice of Alan Rickman in Die Hard, but it was his performance in and the story of Truly, Madly, Deeply in 1991 that set him apart for me. I loved his portrayal of the hilariously evil Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and he was perfectly cast as Severus Snape in the Harry Potter films. He was always so charming and down-to-earth with a real twinkle in his eye in every interview I ever saw him in.

It was too soon for them to go, truly.

I've been thinking a lot about death this week, consequently, and yesterday found myself missing my dad very much. He died just before Christmas 19 years ago...right before I moved to Sweden. (my 19-year anniversary of moving here was this week). He came zooming into the forefront of my mind and heart last night as I was working through recipes and came to a couple that simply brought him back to life in my mind's eye: Scrambles and Chervil Soup.

I don't think I've had either one since he passed away, actually, though my mom might have made the soup once when we were visiting from Sweden. I don't know why I never make the soup. It's easy and it's SO good. I loved it, especially when he made it with his own freshly baked Pilgrim bread. When he got into his soup-making kick we were living in Belgium...we had never even HEARD of chervil. It's a staple in my spice rack today and I still prefer it to most other herbs.

I can't make the Scrambles here because I can't get the cereal ingredients, sadly. Just thinking about the Scrambles and the soups and the breads he used to make and how he loved popping the perfect bowl of popcorn: I can see him standing in front of me, shaking the bowl to distribute the salt evenly and smiling. Too soon for him to go, too.

Dad’s Scrambles
by John W. Slaughter

2 lbs salted nuts
1 (12 oz) pkg. Wheat Chex cereal
1 (6.5 oz) pkg. Rice Chex cereal
1 (10.5 oz) pkg Oat Chex cereal
1 (6.5 oz) can curly pretzels or bites
1 (5.5 oz) pkg. pretzel sticks
2 cups salad oil
2 TB Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp garlic salt
2 tsp salt

Place first 6 ingredients in a large pan. Combine rest of ingredients and pour over cereal mixture. Blend well. Cook in oven at 250F, stirring about every 15 minutes for a total time of 30-45 minutes. Cool, drain and store in an airtight container.


Chervil Soup
Serves 4-6

3 TB butter
2 TB flour
6 cups beef broth or bouillon
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup cream
2 TB finely chopped fresh or dried chervil

In saucepan, heat butter, add flour and stir into smooth paste. Add beef broth gradually, stirring constantly. Cook for 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Combine egg yolk, cream and chervil in soup tureen and while stirring constantly, very carefully pour hot soup over mixture. Serve. If using dried chervil, add to soup pot to cook a few minutes. Put egg yolk and cream in bowl and slowly stir in some of the hot soup. Then slowly stirring the pot, add the egg and cream mixture back into soup pot. Serve.


It's cold here, and blowing, and blizzarding. At last we have real winter with snow on the ground and in the air. I saw geese flying north the other morning, though, so despite hearing some months ago that this would be a long, hard, cold winter, it seems that there is hope for spring, sooner rather than later. Although maybe they were just confused and turned around like the geese always seem to be.

I'm slogging through my first full week of work after vacation and feel as though I haven't lifted my head from the keyboard in days. Especially considering I come home and spend part of the evening working at the computer here, too. Glutton for punishment, I guess.
mood: sad
music: David Bowie—Blackstar


I couldn't get over the news of Alan Rickman today. Just, too soon, both for him to be sure, but for the mourners.

David Bowie was my brother's favorite musician when he was in high school and we were indoctrinated from an early age. I can understand not wanting to tell people about a personal health issue, and to be sure people would have viewed Blackstar differently in the run up to its release if they'd known (as is evidenced by how it was described once we all did), but what really knocked the wind out of me was how completely out of left field it was. No warning. No getting used to the idea that he would die, soon-ish. He had just put out the new album and the video and HE IS NOT THAT OLD.

Ugh. This week better end with no one else dying.

Edited at 2016-01-14 09:19 pm (UTC)

I agree!!


What great memories you have of your Dad's cooking. Lately I have been talking about what a great recipe he concocted for Garlic Soup. He had such a fun time experimenting with all different recipes until he put together what he thought was the very best one. He started baking bread after losing the war of trying to get me to bake it. He enjoyed it so much and then added soup after we moved to Belgium. And, then there were the Sunday foreign food dinners. However, he only liked to cook when he had kitchen "slavies" doing all the prep and clean-up! :0 Love, Lizardmom

Funny! I just transcribed his Garlic Soup recipe, too! I remember it, but it was the Chervil soup that I loved most. Where you the slavie?? I don't remember it being us kids! :D


We were all slavies -but, on the Sunday routine -you kids took turns helping. The chevil soup was one of the best! Love, Lizardmom

Truly, Madly, Deeply is my very most favorite of Rickman's films. I was thinking of it a lot, yesterday...

So glad you have such wonderful memories of your dad.

We tried to find it online to watch yesterday but it wasn't in iTunes and the only other version we could find was such poor quality it was unwatchable. :(

How wonderfully sweet to have & include your father's recipes, Liz.

It has been a week focused on death. A well known local activist here in Eugene died last week. And then these wonderful famous men.
I thought it was over, past, and then friends brought me the news last evening that an old landlord of mine, someone well known in our community, passed on Saturday.
I thought it was over, but now I realize that I am of an age where it will become common to have death & news of the death of persons known by me or loved by me permeate the remaining living moments. More & more friends & acquaintances will be dropping like flies...
I wondered long & hard how my/our parents and grandparents could live with such a reality, and now I will find out for many years to come.

From Megsie

David Bowie hit me hard too, even though I wasn't really a huge fan. I guess we all take for granted that these people will always be with us. I love the story about your dad and the soup. My dad would bake the bread maker, but still. I miss him every day.

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