Dear Sunday Letter friends,
This Sunday Letter has a bit of a reptilian theme. Yes, the topics are a little out there. Where else can you read about Frog and Toad, Godzilla, and Chicken Piccata in the same place? Nowhere. I googled it.
This, of course, begs the question, “What do Godzilla and Frog and Toad eat? Chicken Piccata?” Ha. Not to my knowledge. There’s some talk on the interwebs that Godzilla once ate a Fiat, but the truth is, he spit it out. Godzilla feeds off radiation. Not Italian cars or Italian food.
And Frog and Toad? Well, any true fan knows these friends eat cookies.
Here we go.
As a child in the early 70s, I grew up watching old black & white creature features. You know the ones. Campy classics like Creature from the Black Lagoon, Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, It Came from Outer Space, King Kong, Godzilla. Those movies with a monster from the furthest reaches of imagination were a big part of my childhood; and maybe yours too?
Back then, the must-haves my friends and I lived by were simple and basic. And at the top of the Saturday night list was to stay up late and to be scared out of our wits.
Yes, where I come from in northeast Arkansas, Saturday night meant a bunkin’ party, a bowl of Jiffy Pop, and Fantastic Features broadcast from Memphis. Often, the scariest part of this scenario was the host of Fantastic Features—a vampire named Sivad who hung out near Overton Park.
He wore white gloves and a black cape and had sharp fangs that came straight from WHBQ and into our shag-carpeted den. “Ahhh, good evening,” he always started the program with that creepy greeting. Chill bumps broke out on my arms.
You don’t forget a thing like that.
If you grew up with similar late night movie entertainment, you can’t miss this recent radio show from KUAR’s Arts & Letters— Godzilla Mon Amour. In this episode, William Tsutsui, former President of Hendrix College, discusses not only his love for “all-things Godzilla,” but also, how this iconic Japanese creature is such an important part of American culture today.
(FYI, Mr. Tsutsui’s love for Godzilla = my love for Tarzan.)
Godzilla Mon Amour took me right back to my childhood, to late night creature features and a time when anything was not only possible, but my friends and I were determined to do it.
I hope you enjoy Godzilla Mon Amour as much as I did—the interview, the music, the sound effects—all of it. Click HERE to listen.
When we go to an Italian restaurant, I often order chicken piccata. The buttery lemon sauce and salty capers flip my taste buds into happy mode.
Last week I decided to make it for the first time in my own kitchen. Oh. My. Word. Now I can have it any time I want.
I followed this recipe from Bon Appetit. (Sometimes Bon Appetit recipes can be intimidating to me, but this one is extremely doable with only a few simple ingredients.)
Butterflying your chicken breasts and pounding them very thin is key.
Delicious y’all! I could drink the sauce.
I’ll definitely be making this again.
Frog and Toad
Speaking of childhood, when we were kids, we LOVED Frog and Toad. (And by “we” I mean my sister, my cousin Lesa, and me.) We had a couple of different Frog and Toad books, and one of them came with an album. (The first ever audio book?) Countless hours were spent not only listening to Frog and Toad stories, but WE PERFORMED THEM.
Of course we did.
This was during our “stage phase”.
Yes, our interests ran the gamut. The Blob during late night and Frog and Toad during the day…
Naturally, when I saw that Frog and Toad was coming to Nadine Baum Studios, we bought tickets. Lesa came up for the weekend. There were probably no other three adults in northwest Arkansas so excited about this performance. Heck, maybe in the whole state.
I’m surprised we didn’t make a paper chain to count down to the days.
I think we were all a little worried the stage performance (without us in it) wouldn’t live up to our combined 150 years of anticipation.
Oh.My.Goodness. I can say unequivocally, Frog and Toad All Year far exceeded our expectations. I’m pretty sure we were the only adult kids who came to the theatre without children in tow. I don’t imagine anyone loved it as much as we did.
Yes, we waited in line with all the little kids to have our picture made with the cast. And yes, we told them we had been Frog and Toad groupies since before they were born. (I bet they will ask us to be understudies.)
Northwest Arkansas Frog and Toad friends—you still have time to see this production on February 1 and February 8. It is truly delightful.
You’ve seen the saying—cousins are the first friends. It’s so true.
I highly recommend a cousin weekend.
Things Momma Says:
It’s been so long since I made this doctor’s appointment, I forgot why I’m going.
Thanks for reading this wacky Sunday Letter, friends. I appreciate you.
Grace Grits and Gardening
Farm. Food. Garden. Life.