Mrs. America on Hulu tells the story of how the unexpected battle about the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment in the ’70s gave rise to the Moral Majority and forever shifted the political landscape.
The series is told through the eyes of the women of the era—second-wave feminists like Gloria Steinem, Betty Freidan, and Bella Abzug, and an army of anti-feminists led by Phyllis Schlafly.
We all tend to characterize those with ideas we deem less evolved or progressive than our own as stupid or ignorant. Conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly was neither, she was an intelligent, persuasive woman who spearheaded a successful campaign against ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Cate Blanchett is just perfection as the cunning and enigmatic Phyllis Schlafly. Blanchett’s elegance and cool as a cucumber exterior lend a level of gravitas to a historical figure who it seems many did not take seriously until it was too late.
The cast is amazing but Sarah Paulson as an anti-feminist housewife, and Uzo Aduba’s Shirley Chisholm stand out. I appreciate that the feminists and the anti-feminists all seem to be given equally good dialogue and care. This seems fair considering the storyline.
You may be too young to remember, but the opening disco music A Fifth of Beethoven was an unlikely #1 hit made popular in 1977 after this entrance by John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever. You’re welcome.
The Midnight Special was one of the best things about babysitting in the 70’s. This episode features Walter Murphy & the Big Apple Band jamming to some Beethoven.
Watch Mrs. America Wednesdays on Hulu. Catch up before the series finale next week.
Proving you can find inspiration at home, the always creative Dot Speyer Rocha has begun a series of Instagram posts where she is transforming her adorable daughter Birdie into the subjects of famous paintings.
It seems using whatever we have on hand these days is as applicable in art as it is in the kitchen. Dot adorns Birdie with a petticoat, a bunch of beets, and an extension cord to recreate Frida Kahlo’s 1939 painting The Two Fridas.
I know you won’t want to miss any of these remarkable recreations so be sure to follow @dotasinpolka on Instagram.
I was bragging a couple weeks ago about my superhero power in this blog post so I thought I’d better demonstrate said powers.
This recipe is in heavy rotation March thru September at Chez Vee*. It’s simple, fresh, protein packed and bright. The ingredients are flexible, not only to your preferences, but to what you have on hand.
Also, I guess this is really two very simple recipes.
Tuna & Chickpea Salad
5 oz chunk white albacore tuna (chunky is best, but any tuna will work) 15 oz can chick peas or cannellini beans (drained) 1/2 of a red onion (chopped) extra virgin olive oil Juice of 1-2 lemons (bottled is fine) Chopped Parsley (curly or flat-leaf, also fresh arugula or spinach are great) Salt & Pepper
I a bowl, mix the chick peas, tuna, red onion and parsley with a glug or two of extra virgin olive oil and as much of the lemon juice your heart desires. Salt and pepper to taste. If serving with a salad with feta, you may want to go easy on the salt.
Serve with toasted pita, naan, flatbread, crackers, or whatever you have on hand. Or nothing, if you’re into that kinda thing,
This salad is also great as a pasta salad… just add cooked pasta (orecchiette and cavatappi are perfect) and adjust oil, lemon and seasoning. Arugula and spinach make this version even better.
Greek Tomato Cucumber Salad
1 cucumber (peeled, I sometimes leave a little stripe of skin, and sometimes scoop out seeds) Fresh tomatoes (any kind, just sliced close to size of cucumber if not cherry) 1/4 red onion (chopped) feta cheese (crumbled or chunks, cotija will work too) chopped parsley (see above)
Toss all of this lightly in a bowl with either store bought greek dressing or a homemade vinaigrette. This can be as simple as some extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar or lemon juice shaken in a jar.
Rule of thumb 1:4 1 part vinegar; 3-4 parts oil
You may add fresh or dried herbs and maybe a smidgen of dijon mustard. You just want it to taste bright.
Note: I’d like to make it clear that while the Greek dressing pictured above is just fine, John the Greek Original Salad Dressing is better… but requires a 42 mile round trip. Full disclosure, I usually use store bought dressing for this salad.
My friend Rachel gave me a Zyliss Herb Mill for a wedding gift and I love using it for this recipe because just hold it over the bowl, cram leaves and stems into the little hooper, give it a few cranks and it comes out just perfect for this, or for a gremolata or chimichurri. I’m not a fan of one hit wonders in the kitchen, but this tool is a favorite.
Note: Zyliss does not make this model fashioned after a french mouli anymore, but there are similar new products out there.