News of the Week: Social Distancing, Bubble Wrap Art, and Everybody’s in the Kitchen with Julia

In the news for the week ending August 14, 2020, are breakfast mac & cheese, ‘pop’ art, Phil Collins, great recipes by Julia Child, and much more.

A rug with multiple colors
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This Week in…Oh, Never Mind

The social distancing news this week is that there is no social distancing news this week. Sure, there is news of that sort if you want to track it down yourself, but I’ve decided to put that particular section of the column on hiatus. It might be a permanent hiatus (let’s hope!) or a temporary one, depending on how things go the next several months, but I think we all need a break from a never-ending weekly list of things to be irritated by and/or anxious about.

Instead, let’s talk about macaroni and cheese.

People Eat Leftover Pizza in the Morning, So…

2020 has been such a crazy year it seems that anything goes. You can wear your sweatpants all day, you can grow your beard as long as you like, and no one is going to criticize you for wanting to stay in all the time. Kraft realizes this too and has rebranded their boxes of mac & cheese so they’re not for dinner anymore, they’re for… breakfast.

The company says that 56 percent of parents have given mac & cheese to their kids for breakfast, so it’s a natural change. I guess if someone can have an omelet or a bowl of cereal for dinner they can have mac & cheese for breakfast.

In other mac & cheese-related news, Cheetos started selling their version of the dinner (uh, breakfast) staple this week. I’ve done that before — not with Cheetos but with crushed cheese crackers — and it’s pretty good.

The Bubble Wrap Artist

It’s hard enough to create a beautiful work of art. Imagine trying to do it with bubble wrap. It’s like a mixture of painting and delicate surgery, as this CBS Sunday Morning story shows.

Uploaded to YouTube by CBS Sunday Morning

Video of the Week

Ladies and gentlemen, Phil Collins!

RIP Trini Lopez, Sumner Redstone, Brent Scowcroft, Wayne Fontana, and Kurt Luedtke

Trini Lopez had such hits as “Lemon Tree” and “If I Had a Hammer.” He was also an actor, appearing in such films as The Dirty Dozen and Marriage on the Rocks. He died Tuesday at the age of 83.

Uploaded to YouTube by Trini Lopez / Believe SAS

Summer Redstone was the billionaire media tycoon who became head of his father’s National Amusements drive-in theater chain in the 1960s and went on to own most of CBS and Viacom, which included Paramount Pictures, Blockbuster Video, and Simon & Schuster. He died Tuesday at the age of 97.

Brent Scowcroft was a national security adviser to President Ford and President George H.W. Bush, as well as a foreign policy expert to several other administrations. He died last week at the age of 95.

Wayne Fontana was the lead singer of Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders, famous for the #1 song “The Game of Love.” He died last week at the age of 74

Kurt Luedtke went from being the top editor of the Detroit Free Press to being a major screenwriter, penning such movies as Out of Africa, Absence of Malice, and Random Hearts. He died Sunday at the age of 80.

This Week in History

Thoreau’s Walden Published (August 9, 1854)

We could probably all use an escape to Walden Pond these days.

Roosevelt Signs Social Security Act (August 14, 1935)

In 1952, Post writers Henry F. and Katherine Pringle argued for government assistance in their article “The Case For Federal Relief,” even if some of the magazine’s editors before that were against it.

This Week in Saturday Evening Post History: Best Foods Mayo (August 8, 1964)

Mayo being placed on a salad that sits atop a tower of chicken legs
Best Foods mayonnaise ad from August 8, 1964 (Click to Enlarge)

I guess you have to finish the coleslaw before you can have any chicken.

By the way, Best Foods mayo is still around. That’s what you can buy in stores west of the Rocky Mountains. In the east it’s called Hellmann’s, but it’s the same product.

Happy Birthday, Julia Child

I don’t know if Child ever made the elaborate meal above, but that ad is from the same issue that gave us Lewis Lapham’s profile of the popular cook and TV host, “Everybody’s in the Kitchen with Julia.” Saturday is her birthday (she was born in 1912 and died in 2004) so I thought I’d include some of her classic recipes this week.

Here’s her famous recipe for beef Bourguignon, a word I will never remember how to spell. She also made a mean quiche Lorraine, and a delicious vinaigrette for your salad. If you want some bread with your meal try this French baguette, and for dessert you can make this floating island dessert.

Some trivia: Julia Child loved McDonald’s French fries and wasn’t happy when they started making them in a more “healthy” way.

Uploaded to YouTube by KTEHTV

Next Week’s Holidays and Events

Democratic National Convention (August 17-20)

The four-day event is being held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin but will be mostly virtual because of the pandemic, at various locations around the country.

Bad Poetry Day (August 18)

“I Love Triscuits”

Love is but an illusion

Have you ever been to the zoo?

The world is just confusion

Elmer’s Glue

Politics can kill a friendship

The rent is always late

I never want to skinny dip

Or roller skate

But I love Triscuits

(That’s pretty bad but it’s good enough for Bad Poetry Day.)

Western & Southern Open Begins (August 20)

This is the first official men’s tennis tournament since the pandemic began. It’s usually held in Cincinnati, but this year is being held in Flushing Meadows, New York, so players can stay in their “bubble” and not have to travel to the U.S. Open. TV coverage begins August 22 at 11 a.m. on Tennis Channel.

Featured image: MomsMoneyMission / Shutterstock

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  1. Bob Sassone your poetry is terrible and I don’t see how you could have printed it in your column. At least you don’t skinny dip. Bob M on the other hand has, at least once. I’m glad his ‘sort of’ mother-in-law, whatever that means, caught him. He would have gotten away with it if not for that poor woman’s dog. This man needs to be put on a leash at the Post and apparently otherwise. Please talk to your superiors about it honey.

  2. Bob M.: I haven’t had McDonald’s fries in years but now I’m craving them.

    Mr. Mayor: I’m ashamed to say I’ve never seen The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

  3. You forgot to mention August 15, 1975 was when The Rocky Horror Picture Show premiered. A cult classic.

  4. Well, with pancakes and waffles being a popular choice for the past 15 years (?) or so for dinner, the macaroni & cheese for breakfast isn’t that surprising. Not my thing personally, but oh well. Even with the former, it’s only an occasional dinner in the cold weather. Coming up to 7 pm (pst) it’s “down” to 107 —correct— and humid. The fires are as bad as you’ve heard.

    Love Jane Pauley’s Sunday special report on the bubble wrap artist. It’s astonishing, and I wish the artist continued good health. I love the ’95 video of Julia Child discussing (of all things) McDonald’s fries. I would have to agree. They’re still my favorite fries, but I have to ask you Bob, don’t you feel $2.99 ($3.30 w/tax) is too high for the SMALL white pouch??

    I have to say I really love your poem. It’s wonderful. I DO want to skinny dip, but am limited in choices of pools; really limited. Basically only my ‘sort of’ mother-in-law (Helen’s) pool. She who came home unexpectedly through the side gate on 4th of July some years ago. Yes. I was getting out of the pool to retrieve my swimming trunks after her Boston Terrier (Jerry) had run off with them just far enough, before running back inside. My kind of luck, there she was as I scrambled to get them on, falling into the deep end and having her bring it up at a few Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. Fortunately it finally stopped. Regardless, gotta watch out for Helen! (She’s the one who also extinguished her cigarette in the holder, in the cupcake frosting. The desserts were in the foyer of her other daughter’s home in Tarzana.)


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