Breakfast #37: Summer Mango Straight Up

I can’t talk about summer breakfasts without talking about mangoes. And, if you’ve been reading for a while, I can’t talk about our mangoes without getting a little too hyperbolic. So I will try to restrain myself as much possible.

I can only speak from my own personal experience that our mangoes are the sweetest fruit I have ever tasted. Not just the sweetest mangoes. The sweetest fruit. To my fellow countrymen, I know sometimes you may feel like we might not have much too brag about** but people, I tell you this, this is chest-puffing, feet-strutting, head-bobbing braggable. Something we can all click our heels over my friends. I know that I often bemoan our lack our fresh figs and berries and wild forest mushrooms, but really, I would never trade. Never ever***.

You can get mangoes almost year round here, as some farmers and fruit producers do their sorcery to get more harvests in a year. But the best mangoes are still the ones that come in the summer. Impossible sweet and juicy. And if you can find a farm that harvests only once a year, when the fruit is truly in season, that is gold. These mangoes are the pinnacle of everything a mango should be and are proof positive that produce is truly best when they are in season.

You can imagine my excitement when our supplier alerted her buyers that that those very mangoes, those that we have patiently (or impatiently) waited a year for, were now being harvested! We placed our order and the three of us went to pick up our 5-kilo box.

Yes, 5 kilos of mangoes. It’s summer after all and we will be having it from breakfast (and dessert) quite often. I top my yogurt with generous chunks and C has some smoothies planned. Little C will also be partaking of this most brilliant of tropical fruits -- already one of her favorite snacks.

But before all that, my best summer breakfast ever. I’d like to present you with a grand meal in which mangoes have been deliciously and skillfully incorporated. If I am honest though, I have to say that, for me, the absolute best way to enjoy our mangoes is straight up. And there is no better way to greet a sunny summer morning than with one of these.

Now, don’t be fooled. This is simple but by no means haphazard. First you need to wait until the mango is at its prime moment of ripeness – the skin will be uniformly deep yellow bordering on orange, the fruit will still be firm with just a bit of yield, losing its unripe rigidity, and above all else the smell…the smell of it will waft through the room and will be at its most concentrated in its stem portion. Once optimum ripeness is determined I like to place the mango in the refrigerator. I know, I know, for some it is a sacrilege to place fruit in the fridge, but believe me, once you have tried a well chilled mango on a hot summer morning you will be changing you tune. Slice as much of the cheeks from the seed as you can and scoop out the flesh with a spoon (as in the photo). After you are done you can peel the skin off the sides of the seed and bite off the flesh from there as well. Every bit is worth it!

Happy summer everyone! :)

**That’s aside from the lovely beaches, lechon (best pig ever according to Anthony Bourdain!), and our charm ;)
***Permanently that is. The occasional barter is definitely accepted!

Quilt Album and Infinite Variety Tour Continues

We are onto another day for the Quilt Album Blog Hop. Thanks for coming by yesterday! I hope that you're enjoying the different things that this package can do for you. Remember to post here or on Facebook for your chance to win a copy for yourself. Today we have Geta and Michele. Check out their links below.

March 31

My Infinite Variety tour of the exhibit continues because I think that a lot of you didn't get the chance to see it and I just want to give you a glimpse of what I experienced. Enjoy!

xo, L

Framing Fused Glass

This past week, I have been spending time making some new fused glass pieces and framing them. I enjoy changing focus from creating jewelry once in a while and seem more drawn to making fused glass art pieces these days rather than fused glass jewelry. I am excited to continue experimenting with "kiln-carving" glass. When the glass becomes soft in the kiln, it will mold to whatever shape it is lying on. I bought some textured kiln shelves and lay my collaged glass on them so the design would embed itself in the glass when fired. You can see the textured glass in my new triptych called, "Yellow Serenity."

Back in another life, I had a picture framing business. My "signature" style of framing is triple matting with the same colour of mat. It seems to work for most artwork as it provides depth without taking away from the focal piece.

I made a similar piece with green glass. Thinking of spring, I guess!

I'll continue with the series, making one in shades of blue and try a few with iridized glass.
Here are a few framed collages that I sold at the December studio show.

So today its off to Ikea to buy some more frames, and then to the One of A Kind Show in Toronto to take in all the wonderful creativity and to visit Sue McNenly who is one of the artisans at the show, selling her beautiful silver metal clay framed vignettes.

The Swing Dress or "The Lurking UFO"

Friends, lovely reader Amanda posted this in the comments section of the UFO Skirt to Dress Refashion:

Nice work! I see you're also participating in the Swing Dress Sew-Along, which would be a UFO project for me except I haven't yet cut into the fashion fabric (just the muslin)! Have you been working on yours? Or maybe you posted it and I just missed it :) I'm working on 2 UFOs for this week's challenge, whoopee!

I knew I was forgetting something!  I had totally blanked on using the swing dress as my UFO. I wanted to put together a post with pictures...of my completed pattern.  My goal last night was to finish putting together all the pieces of the pattern that I had printed off at home (is that sad or what?).  Well, as much I would have liked it to, it didn't happen.  I was beat after running (marathon training has begun again - huzzah!) and just stretched while watching the movie, Timer.  I completely missed the boat on the Swing Dress Sew Along.  I wanted to participate, but seeing as how I still haven't begun work on my boyfriend's final Negroni shirt from the MPB Sew Along, maybe Sew Alongs aren't for me?

I'm not one to sew on much of a schedule.  I do try and get as much done during the weekends as possible since my time tends to be a little more open.  Weeknights are just too crazy with work and now running to have consistent available time.  I try and do little bits here and there, like this morning for instance: I have a sweater that I want to take in on the sides, so with the five minutes I had extra, I pinned the sides on my dressmaker's dummy, Emmy.  When I get home, if I have another few minutes pop up, I'll grab my tailor's chalk and mark it up proper.  Do any of you split up your sewing time like this, taking hours or minutes between steps as time becomes available?

So, Amanda, we can finish this whole Swing Dress Sew Along thing together!  Before the week ends, I'm determined to get the pieces together and some fabric cut out. Better late than never, right? Bravo on working on 2 UFOs for this week - I can't wait to see your finished projects!

Documenting Your Craft & More Infinite Variety Red and White

Welcome to the QuiltAlbum Blog Hop! Thank you Pat Sloan for inviting me to participate in this event. Make sure you comment on each participant's blog post for a chance to win a copy of QuiltAlbum! You can comment here or on my Facebook page to enter.

What is QuiltAlbum? It's a fun program that documents all of your craft projects. QuiltAlbum is easy to set up and very easy to use. The program runs on Windows and Mac. When you open QuiltAlbum, you will get a screen that's similar to the one below. Loading a photograph of my quilt "Believe" was very easy to do. Once loaded, you can fill out all of the necessary information on the left side of the screen. Categories include designer, quilt size, type of construction, etc. There's a place for you to write random notes that are special to this particular project. Go to their website for a video and more information.

Once you have created a file and filled out information, you will get an album page that looks like this one below. This is how the album page will look if you want to print it. You can select or de-select information to be printed as shown on the right.

What's cool is that you can print out different things just from this one image. You can select greeting cards of varying sizes, business cards or address labels. 

It was a fun program to play with. You would have no problem using it because everything is intuitive and clear enough for you to figure out.

Now, Ms. Sloan, wanted to share some other fun things about us with you.

What would I want to add to my studio?

I am looking for a new tablet and I think that I rather like the Intuos4 XL. My birthday is on the 6th. I think that I can treat myself!

What color would you paint your living room right now? 

If I could convince my husband, he would be painting it often so that I could try out different colors. However, since he painted the entire place by himself when we first moved in, it has been difficult to motivate him to paint anything. [I do have an avocado-colored bathroom and a chocolate-colored powder room that took about 3 years of begging so I can't really complain!] I have to be a bit careful of color selection. My hubby isn't fond of a lot of color on the walls and I do live with two little boys. Lots of testosterone though I'm sure that my mini-Marthas would love orange walls!

My living room is painted the color of my choice. It is Parisian Taupe. I love it. The color coordinates well with my modern sofa and the beautiful photographs that my very talented brother takes. 

If I had to paint it though, I would paint one wall in gypsy pink or hot lips [top row, middle and right, respectively].

Then I could pretend that I was living in this Tricia Guild living room. I love hot pink, lots of light and pattern.

Can you share a little known fact about yourself?

I chuckled when I read this question. I was interviewed recently on Pat's blog and one commenter wrote  that she knew most things about me. Ok, I thought about inventing some new things about myself [not!] and then I dug deep. What could I write about?

There's the fact that I hate to eat things like ribs with my fingers.  I can manage to eat the entire rib with a knife and fork. Did you really need to hear that? Probably not. So I dug a little deeper and I came up with the following little known fact about me.

Most people call me Linda or Alex/Adam's mom but there are a few nicknames out there and only one person ever calls me one particular name. My high school friend, Judie, calls me "Linda Lum Chum", Linda Wood from Kindred Quilts calls me "Lin", Mark Lipinski calls me "Linda Lum DeBono" or "LLDB" and Lenny from Henry Glass sometimes calls me "Sunny DeBono".

What's the last piece of fabric that you bought?

I bought this adorable fabric by Alexander Henry.

What's your favorite candy from the Easter Bunny?

I do love Aero ...

but if my family doesn't send any to me from Canada ...

then I do enjoy these bunnies in dark or white chocolate! Yummy! Speaking of Easter treats, I have yet to try a Peep. Do you like them? They look too cute to eat!

That's it for my Quilt Album post. Please go and read Vanessa's review. I'm sure that she'll have some fun answers to Pat's questions.

Check out the following participants and give them some love!

March 29

March 30
Linda Lum DeBono

March 31

April 1

Remember to comment here or on Facebook for your chance to win your own copy of QuiltAlbum. Let me know what you would use this program for or which feature intrigues you the most! Winners will be announced on my birthday on April 6th [though I'm sure that the announcement has nothing to do with my birthday].

I will leave you with some more photos from Infinite Variety.

xo, L


(Updated April 1st -- see SILENT SOCIETY)

I spent Monday afternoon on top of a mountain in Griffith Park, one of three Western fanatics being interviewed for a TCM featurette. It was great fun to discuss which films I consider to be the great Westerns, and the significance of the genre. The crew had spent the earlier part of the day filming at the Autry Museum. At around 2:30 p.m. a Park Ranger unlocked the gates so we could drive up the mountain, steering around a large rattlesnake. On the way down around 5:30 p.m. I spotted a large deer grazing, and throughout the afternoon hawks circled overhead. Also interviewed that day were make-up artist and Western film historian Michael F. Blake (whose father, Larry Blake, has a memorable role as the bartender in HIGH NOON), and DAEIDA MAGAZINE publisher David Ybarra. The film is scheduled to air in June to coincide with a singing cowboy festival.


Eddie Brandt, the man whose North Hollywood store, Eddie Brandt’s Saturday Matinee, has been a unique film resource and unofficial studio archive since the 1960s, died at the age of 90 on February 20th. In a town that routinely bulk-erases its own history, the Saturday Matinee is the last bastion of film information, posters, stills, and especially videotapes and DVDs.

But Eddie was much more than a man with an encyclopedic knowledge of American film, particularly the Western. He was also a successful musician, songwriter and composer. He wrote Rock & Roll Wedding for Nat King Cole, and had a major success with There’s No Place Like Hawaii. He also wrote Let’s Have A Heart To Heart Talk, to be sung by Huntz Hall in the Bowery Boys film BLUES BUSTERS.

Eddie’s son Donovan Brandt recalls, “He started with Spike Jones in ’47. My dad and Spike (co-wrote) CARMEN MURDERED, (the famous parody of Bizet’s Carmen), and a bunch of other songs that are more popular than that. Later on, my dad wrote Spike’s television show, and still wrote songs.” A self-taught pianist, Eddie occasionally played with Spike Jones and His City Slickers on stage and TV. “Then Spike got emphysema real bad, (retired), and after that my dad moved over to the Spade Cooley Show. He wrote Spade’s show, and I only have two episodes of it on tape, but I happen to have one which has my dad’s first wife, (singer Ruthie James). Then Spade went to jail for manslaughter. My dad worked with Stan Freeberg and Paul Frees, and he was in Stan’s garage when they made the first Beany and Cecil hand-puppet shows. He helped write those.”

Later Brandt wrote some of the POPEYE cartoons of the 1960s, then moved to Hanna-Barbera, where he wrote cartoon shows like THE IMPOSSIBLES, and created FRANKENSTEIN JUNIOR. It was there that he met and married his second wife, Claire, who was an animator and in-betweener. They started their North Hollywood thrift shop, which evolved into the Saturday Matinee. There are dozens of ‘The Films of…’ books, and in the acknowledgments, Eddie Brandt’s is always thanked for providing rare stills. As Eddie explained it to me some years ago, his store was a place for guys to hang out and talk about the kind of movies guys like – westerns and serials and horror films and comedies. Everyone is welcome in the store, and they carry an astonishingly wide range of movies, but it’s still very much a ‘guy’ store in terms of atmosphere. Every important studio and production company has an account there. You can frequently see well-known actors, directors and writers doing research, and often renting their own films, when they don’t have their own copies.
Eddie’s particular favorites were Westerns, and Donovan explained how his father got to know many of his screen idols in the 1970s. “Well, we sold memorabilia, and a lot of these guys had nothing on themselves. I mean, Gene Autry bought posters from my dad. He owned real estate, radio stations, television stations, major league baseball teams – but not his own posters. And if Gene with all his money didn’t have that stuff, you can bet Eddie Dean didn’t, Johnny Mack Brown didn’t, Bob Steele and Tim McCoy didn’t.” Eddie converted his back-yard to a screening-room, and the stars came. Donovan recalls, “I got to meet Bob Steele, Gene Autry, Pat Buttram, Iron Eyes Cody.” Col. Tim McCoy wouldn’t let him handle his single-action Colt, “…but I got to touch it. Got to meet Lash LaRue, seen many whip-tricks when I was just a wee kid. He was a skilled technician, let me tell you.”

Donovan and his mother Claire have run the store for a number of years now. Brandt is also survived by four daughters – Kelly, Tracy, Holiday and Heidi – another son, Eric, and four grandchildren.

(Photos, top to bottom -- HOLLYWOOD SIGN IN THE HILLS; TCM crew setting up; 1976 photo of musicians Johnny Bond, Ken Griffis, Bob Nolan and Eddie Brandt; crowd at the Paperback Show; Buck Jones Big Little Book; POKER ACCORDING TO MARVERICK; Rainbow Over Texas poster; Hills of Utah poster; Chief Lean Wolf of the Gros Ventres; Chief Mad Bear of the Lower Yanktonas Sioux)


Yes, their last show was just over a month ago, but on Saturday and Sunday, April 2nd and 3rd, the Burbank Airport Marriott at 2500 North Hollywood Way in Burbank will host The Hollywood Show, a great place to meet stars, get autographs and all manner of collectibles. This time around it’s kinda slim pickings for Western fans. But there’ll be one of the sagebrush screen’s finest villains, Morgan Woodward (to read our interview with Morgan CLICK HERE), and Academy Award winner Martin Landau, who was delightful as Chief Walks Stooped-Over,a.k.a. 'Sky Eyes', a.k.a. Symbol of Good Faith in John Sturges’ wonderful Western comedy THE HALLELUJAH TRAIL, and terrifying in NEVADA SMITH. This event is fun, but it’s not cheap – admission is twenty clams for one day, thirty-five for both, and having something signed will usually cost $20 and up.


The 32nd Annual Paperback Collectors’ Show and Sale, held this past Sunday at the Valley Inn in Mission Hills, was a rousing success. Black Ace Books honcho and show host Tom Lesser confirms that admissions are up. “It’s very good, good attendance, and it seems like a lot of interest in the show.” As I’ve noted before, this is an event where authors sign their books for free. There were hundreds of Western books for sale, but unfortunately, no Western authors were signing. “We used to have some, but they’re deceased. Gordon Shirreffs (RIO BRAVO) was one.” In addition to filling in some gaps in my Luke Short collection, my best finds were a Big Little Book: BUCK JONES AND THE KILLERS OF CROOKED BUTTE, and POKER ACCORDING TO MAVERICK. Not bad at all for two bucks each (the Big Little Book was missing its spine).


Thursday afternoon, March 31st, at 2:30 p.m. Western time, you can catch RAINBOW OVER TEXAS (1946), featuring Roy, Dale, Gabby, the Sons of the Pioneers, and the great heavy Sheldon Leonard in a tale based on a Max Brand story. Incredibly, the lovely Dale tries to pass for a man! She’d never have fooled me! On Saturday, April 2nd, at 9:00 a.m. Western times, repeating Thursday at 2:30p.m., it’s BELLS OF CORONADO (1950), written by Sloan Nibley, directed by William Whitney, and starring Roy, Dale, Pat Brady, and the Riders of The Purple Sage. Keep your eyes peeled for Rex Lease, once a Western leading man who plays the shipping-company foreman.


On Saturday, April 2nd, from noon ‘til 2 p.m., catch the double-bill of Gene Autry in SPRINGTIME IN THE ROCKIES (Rep. 1937), with Smiley Burnette. It’s directed by the great Joe Kane, and features not only the title song but Vitamine D and Down In The Land of Zulu (!). Paired with it is HILLS OF UTAH (Col.1951), with Pat Buttram, directed by John English, and featuring, in time for Easter, Here Comes Peter Cottontail. I like that the Autry has been double-billing an early Republic with a later Columbia, to give the viewer an idea of how Gene’s pictures changed over the years. The movies are free with your museum admission. And don’t forget, next Saturday it’s THE MAGNIFICENT 7 on the big screen in the Wells Fargo Theatre at 1:30 p.m.!


Built by cowboy actor, singer, baseball and TV entrepeneur Gene Autry, and designed by the Disney Imagineering team, the Autry is a world-class museum housing a fascinating collection of items related to the fact, fiction, film, history and art of the American West. In addition to their permenant galleries (to which new items are frequently added), they have temporary shows. The Autry has many special programs every week -- sometimes several in a day. To check their daily calendar, CLICK HERE. And they always have gold panning for kids every weekend. For directions, hours, admission prices, and all other information, CLICK HERE.


To mark their 25th anniversary, the Silent Society will have an all-day celebration, featuring the most popular leading ladies of the silent screen. At 1:30 it's THE INNOCENCE OF RUTH with Viola Dana, at 2:30 THE VEILED ADVENTURE with Constance Talmadge, at 4:00 THE FORBIDDEN CITY with Norma Talmadge. After the dinner break, at 7:00 it's A DASH THROUGH THE CLOUDS with Mabel Normand, and at 7:45 it's Colleen Moore in ELLA CINDERS. All the prints are 16mm, and all movies will have a live musical accompaniment by Michael Mortilla. Okay, I know none of these are Westerns, but the Silent Society shows more silent Westerns than anyone else! Tickets for the public are $15 for all day, or $10 per movie. For members it's $10 all day or $5 per movie. It's at the Lasky-DeMille Barn -- read about it below. For more information, CLICK HERE.


Across the street from the Hollywood Bowl, this building, once the headquarters of Lasky-Famous Players (later Paramount Pictures) was the original DeMille Barn, where Cecil B. DeMille made the first Hollywood western, The Squaw Man. They have a permanent display of movie props, documents and other items related to early, especially silent, film production. They also have occasional special programs. 2100 Highland Ave., L.A. CA 323-874-2276. Thursday – Sunday 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. $5 for adults, $3 for senior, $1 for children.


This small but entertaining museum gives a detailed history of Wells Fargo when the name suggested stage-coaches rather than ATMS. There’s a historically accurate reproduction of an agent’s office, an original Concord Coach, and other historical displays. Open Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. Admission is free. 213-253-7166. 333 S. Grand Street, L.A. CA.


A staggering number of western TV episodes and movies are available, entirely free, for viewing on your computer at HULU. You do have to sit through the commercials, but that seems like a small price to pay. The series available -- often several entire seasons to choose from -- include THE RIFLEMAN, THE CISCO KID, THE LONE RANGER, BAT MASTERSON, THE BIG VALLEY, ALIAS SMITH AND JONES, and one I missed from 2003 called PEACEMAKERS starring Tom Berenger. Because they are linked up with the TV LAND website, you can also see BONANZA and GUNSMOKE episodes, but only the ones that are running on the network that week.

The features include a dozen Zane Grey adaptations, and many or most of the others are public domain features. To visit HULU on their western page, CLICK HERE.


Every weekday, TV LAND airs a three-hour block of BONANZA episodes from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. They run a GUNSMOKE Monday through Thursday at 10:00 a.m., and on Friday they show two, from 6:00 to 8:00 a.m.. They're not currently running either series on weekends, but that could change at any time.


Check out your cable system for WHT, which stands for World Harvest Television. It's a religious network that runs a lot of good western programming. Your times may vary, depending on where you live, but weekdays in Los Angeles they run DANIEL BOONE at 1:00 p.m., and two episodes of THE RIFLEMAN from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m.. On Saturdays at 2:00 p.m. it's THE RIFLEMAN again, followed at 2:30 by BAT MASTERSON. And unlike many stations in the re-run business, they run the shows in the original airing order. There's an afternoon movie on weekdays at noon, often a western, and they show western films on the weekend, but the schedule is sporadic.

Well, pardners, that’s it for this week!

Happy Trails,

Henry (certified TCM Western authority!)

All contents copyright March 2011 by Henry C. Parke – All Rights Reserved