Books

Game of Thrones: The Cookbook

By Abbie Ruzicka   |   Wednesday, May 30, 2012
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May 31, 2012

medieval lemoncakes
You don't need a spit or a cauldron to make these cookies inspired by "Game of Thrones." (Abbie Ruzicka/WGBH)

 
BOSTON — A little more than a year ago, roommates Chelsea Monroe-Cassel and Sariann Lehrer began a food blog with the idea of cooking the medieval recipes from the "A Song of Ice and Fire" (Game of Thrones) series by author George R.R. Martin. The two started testing out the medieval foods they read about in the series by searching for the recipes online and through medieval cookbooks and altering the recipes for modern-day palates. 
 
Their blog, "Inn at the Crossroads," became wildly popular amongst Game of Thrones fans. With the blessing of George R.R. Martin himself, Monroe-Cassel and Lehrer have turned their food blog into a new book: A Feast of Ice and Fire: The Official Game of Thrones Companion Cookbook
 
Elizabethan Lemon Cakes
Recipe excerpted from “A Feast of Ice and Fire”
 
Makes 36 small cakes
Baking: 15 minutes
Prep: 5 minutes

2 1/2 cups flour, plus more as needed
1 egg
2 cups granulated sugar
2 egg yolks
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
Grated zest from 2 lemons
1 1/2 teaspoons milk
 
Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a large baking sheet.

In a large bowl, combine the flour and granulated sugar. Cut in the butter, then add the zest and the whole egg and yolks. Mix thoroughly, adding more flour as needed, until the dough is no longer sticky and can be easily shaped by hand.

Roll the dough into balls about 1 inch across and place them on the prepared baking sheet at least 2 inches apart, giving them room to spread as they bake.

Bake for 15 minutes, until the tops are just slightly golden. Allow the cakes to cool for a minute before moving them to a cooling rack.

Mix the confectioners’ sugar and milk to a smooth consistency. Once the cakes have cooled, use a spoon to drizzle the icing over the cookies.

For the icing:

3 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1/3 cup lemon juice, plus more if needed
1 teaspoon unsalted butter, softened
Yellow food coloring (optional)
Garnishes such as candied orange peel, pomegranate seeds or decorative sprinkles (optional)

Mix the confectioners' sugar and lemon juice together in a double boiler over medium heat, stirring all the while. Stir in the butter. Mix until the icing is a nice, smooth consistency, suitable for pouring. Add more juice, if necessary. If you would like, tint the icing yellow with food coloring. 
 

How Three Minutes Changed a Father's Life

By The Emily Rooney Show   |   Friday, May 18, 2012
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May 18, 2012

buzz

Author Buzz Bissinger visited the WGBH studios to talk about his new memoir, Father's Day: A Journey into the Heart and Mind of My Extraordinary Son, chronicling a road trip he took with his special-needs son, Zach. (Photo: Annie Shreffler)

BOSTON — Buzz Bissinger knew from the minute his son Zach was born, the second of twin boys to be born prematurely and weighing in at just over a pound, that he was faced with the challenge of getting to know the kind of son he never expected or wanted.

"In some ways this book is about three minutes," Bissinger said, explaining that because Zach was deprived of oxygen and suffered brain damage, his family's life was changed instantly. 

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Paul Krugman Talks Solutions on Greater Boston

By Jared Bowen   |   Monday, May 7, 2012
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May 7, 2012

paul krugman greater boston

Paul Krugman on the Greater Boston set on May 7. (Azita Ghahramani/WGBH)

 
BOSTON — Forget "recession," forget "downturn." We're in a depression, Nobel-winning economist Paul Krugman says in his new book — and he thinks he knows how to fix it.
 
We may not recognize it, because we don't see the breadlines and dust bowls of the Dorothea Lange era. But with the bad times at 4 years and counting, and 4 million people out of work for more than a year …
 
"A recession is when you're going down. A depression is when you are down," Krugman said. "It's not as bad as the Great Depression — but that's hardly a recommendation."
 
He criticized President Barack Obama's approach to handling the problem. Rather than stimulus, the country backed into what Krugman called "anti-stimulus."
 
"You have unprecedented austerity. If we had continued to expand public sector employment at the same rate that it took place under George W. Bush … 1.3 million more people would be employed as school teachers, firefighters, policemen and so on," he said. "And that austerity is a major reason why we are not actually recovering from this depression."
 
Krugman's solution? Investment by the federal government.
 
"In 2009, there was a real question, what we should spend stimulus money on. Now it's just — let's restore those public services. Let's rehire those school teachers. It's actually very easy to come up with a quite substantial boost to the economy which we could do very quickly. We could be recovered from this thing faster than almost anybody imagines," he said.
 
The feds can borrow money cheaply — and it's not the time to focus on cutting debt: "When you're in a depression, when you're in this kind of condition, is a really bad time to do fiscal austerity." Once the economy has come back, he said, then you can look at shrinking the deficit.
 
But if we continue on the current path, he predicted recovery could take a good 5 to 7 years.
 


'Fug You': The Wild Life Of Ed Sanders

By Jon Kalish   |   Saturday, May 5, 2012
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Rachel Dratch: Life after SNL

Monday, April 9, 2012
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April 9, 2012

rachel

Rachel Dracht and Callie Crossley (Abbie Ruzicka/WGBH)

BOSTON — Lexington, Mass. native Rachel Dratch began her career in comedic acting on the mainstage at famed improv house Second City in Chicago. From there, she earned a coveted spot among comic actors: a 7-year run as a cast member on Saturday Night Live. Dratch came to WGBH to talk about her new book, a midlife memoir that chronicles what happens to a comedian when the roles and gigs go away, Girl Walks into a Bar... Comedy Calamities, Dating Disasters, and a Midlife Miracle.

Although Dratch says she still has those "pinch me moments" from her time at SNL, it wasn't the ticket to endless success she might have wished for. Instead, she started to get calls to play the tough, unattractive female characters. "I wasn't getting called in to play the lipstick lesbians," Dratch says of the gnarly parts she received from the casting offices. As she tries to avoid getting typecast, however, she says she is happy about a recent pilot she acted in, where she plays "the odd friend."

What's really impacted Dratch's life in such a way that she felt it deserved its own memoir is her imminent entry into motherhood. Dratch shares many a hilarious moment about her dating life, and agrees with Callie in the end that good things show up when you're not looking for them — like a great guy who can change your life. But she hasn't lost her sympathy for women out there still wondering if they'll start a family. In fact, she kinda rushed through opening her baby shower gifts for just that reason.
There are people who like baby showers: women in their 20s, grandmas to be, people who already have babies and people who love to look at stuff. These are 'the Shower People.' There are people who hate baby showers: women in their late 30s to early 40s who think they might want kids but haven't met the right guy yet (a.k.a., me!); also, people who don't like looking at stuff and have to pass it around and say, 'Oh, it's a shirt, only it's a tiny shirt!' or 'It's pants, only they're tiny!' (a.k.a., me!). This deadly combo made me really have to steel myself to go to a baby shower.

John Updike -- The Cartoonist?

Friday, March 16, 2012
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March 16, 2012




On March 18, author John Updike would have turned 80. Most famous for his Harry "Rabbit" Angstron series of novels, Updike died in 2009. In this 1978 interview clip from WGBH's Open Vault, Updike tells reporter China Altman he secretly wished to be a cartoonist.

See the full 30-minute conversation on WGBH Open Vault, where Upike reads from his work and tells stories about growing up in Pennsylvania, life at Harvard, working at the New Yorker and how he developed the writing habits which enabled him to produce a book a year.

Updike lived his final years in Massachusetts. Read more of his biography.

About the Authors
Jared Bowen Jared Bowen
Jared Bowen is WGBH’s Emmy Award-winning Executive Editor and Host for Arts. 

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