Nutmeg is a feel-good holiday spice found in cakes and cider, and even spiking our spinach, if we're lucky. But it once caused serious bloodshed and may have even been a reason the Dutch were willing to part with Manhattan back in the 1600s.
With mixers, blenders and food processors found in most kitchens, the primitive mortar and pestle may seem out of place. But the Stone Age tool can't be beat when it comes to creating tasty salsas, pestos and curries, chefs say.
In last week's interview with actor Christopher Plummer, host Scott Simon jokingly asked if he still sings "Edelweiss" once in a while. Several listeners wrote to point out that Plummer's singing was over-dubbed by Bill Lee. In an outtake from the interview edited for time, Plummer explains why the moviemakers decided to insert the voice of another singer.
Kim Thuy based her award-winning novel Ru on her own experiences as a refugee from war-torn Vietnam. She says the word "ru" has a poetic double meaning: In archaic French, it means a rill or stream, but in Vietnamese, it means a lullaby to soothe a child.
On its 50th anniversary, Robert Aldrich's classic horror film What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? has just been released on Blu-ray. Though it's far from a musical, classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz says its musical elements are crucial to the film.
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