Get back to where you once belonged
The perfect TV series to watch with your parents, and two very festive desserts to make this month.
So, the first weekend of December has came and gone (or almost gone if you’re in the northern hemisphere—hello, up there!) as has this year’s Spotify Wrapped. How was yours? Did it also feature the same three bands you’ve been listening to since 2007?
On Sunday, Michael and I had lunch with two friends who are teachers. They were telling us that the kids they teach are all totally done with the year, playing up, and throwing caution to the wind at any given chance. And honestly, all I could think was: it is me, I am kids.
But it’s only December 6, so we must keep on truckin’. Here’s what I have for you this week!
The Perfect Thing To Watch With Your Parents Over The Holidays
I’ve been thinking a lot about what makes a movie or television series perfect for watching with parents after reading this post my friend Terri wrote for Just Good Shit. In the piece, which comes jam-packed with recommendations, Terri outlined the criteria she considers before picking a TV show to watch with her parents, which included:
Nothing political (there’s a time and a place for that, but it’s just...not every single night after dinner)
No reality TV (my mom and I love it, my dad hates it)
Extra points if it’s a documentary
Preferably something in multiple parts, to stave off the next search for a show for as long as possible
Last week, I started watching The Beatles: Get Back, the new three-part documentary series directed by Peter Jackson—and quickly realised it would be the perfect thing to watch with family.
I’ve never been a Beatles fan—please don’t ask me to name three of their albums—but watching this series was the first time I’ve ever felt like, Oh okay, I *get* the Beatles thing now.
Get Back is just that good.
The documentary is like nothing I’ve ever watched before, and I’ve been truly captivated. It’s not a series I would have naturally gravitated to, but was sold when reading a review Joseph Earp wrote for Junkee, ‘Get Back’ Makes The Beatles Boring – And That’s Its Genius.
If this were any other band, Get Back might be agonisingly dull, a self-indulgent exercise in slow cinema crying out for a tighter editing job. But this is The Beatles, a band whose daily lives have been turned into myth, their legendary status disconnected from who they are as people — the way they actually moved through the world. Being reminded that they were, quite simply, a group of young (devastatingly young) men rather than gods is part of the pleasure of Get Back, a way of reconnecting with their essential humanity.
Whether you—or your parents—are fans of The Beatles, I highly recommend giving the first episode a chance. At the very least, it’s fun to think about which Beatle you’d have a crush on if you were in your twenties in 1969. (John Lennon for me.)
And Two Dessert Recipes To Try This December, If You Can’t Bake To Save Your Life
I’m not a great cook, but I’m good at following recipes. Unless, of course, that recipe is for biscuits/cookies, in which case I’ll always fail, regardless of how closely I read or how precisely I measure.
I do however have two go-to holiday desserts that I can assure you are Gyan-proof, AKA have never been spectacular failures.
The first is a buttery and festive Rosemary Shortbread from NYT Cooking. This recipe couldn’t be easier: the method is, essentially, ‘take these five ingredients, throw them all in a food processor, then bake’. I love rosemary (see also this NYT Roasted Garlic and White Bean Dip With Rosemary) and it feels so perfect for this time of year.
The second is a peppermint bark that can *almost* curb my cravings for the good shit from Williams Sonoma. I made this recipe for the first time last year to take into the office and it was good! It wasn’t as good as the real thing, but it was good enough. This year, I thought I might bite the bullet and buy the peppermint bark I fell in love with in the US but… I just wasn’t in the emotional headspace to buy myself a $44 (!) box of chocolates. I’ll do it one day, but until then I’ll be making my own.
Have a lovely week!
A great read from Gyan, however I don't think being introduced to Peppermint Bark recipes will be ideal for my waistline, thank you though, as I am super-keen to try these out.