Monday, July 13, 2009

Video: Charlaine Harris Speaking tonight in Chicago

True Blood Recipes: Merlotte's Chicken Fried Steak ( a favorite of Hoyt Fortenberry)

I understand from Sam that this was given to him by the cook from the amazing Threadgill's in Austin. According to Hoyt's so good it's like, "It's like a chicken and a steak got together and made a baby, It's delicious and crispy, baby yum !"


2 large eggs
2 cups whole milk, room temperature 3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon hot paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 cups canola oil, for frying
8 6-ounce tenderized beef cutlets (also known as cube steak), room temperature Skillet Gravy Oil left from the skillet
2 to 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk., room temperature
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce, or to taste
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper Salt


1. To prepare the steak, whisk the eggs and milk together in a bowl and set aside. Combine the flour, salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic powder in another bowl and set aside.

2. Heat the oil in a cast-iron skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat until an instant read thermometer registers 350° F. Dip a cutlet into the egg wash, then in the seasoned flour. Return to the egg wash for a quick dip, then immediately to heated oil in the skillet. (Be careful, the oil will pop, spit, and hiss.) Repeat without crowding the skillet. Cook until brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Using an offset spatula, turn and cook an additional 3 minutes. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels and keep warm. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Reserve leftover oil from the skillet for the gravy.

3. To make the gravy, remove the skillet from the heat and pour off the cooking oil, leaving the brown bits and cracklings, until 2 to 3 tablespoons of oil remain in the skillet. Return the skillet to medium heat. Sprinkle the flour into the oil, stirring as you go until you have a golden roux.
Cook until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add milk and stir until smooth. Add the Tabasco and pepper. Season to taste with salt. (Gravy making is not an exact science. It's supposed to be thick, but if you think it's too thick, add more liquid until you're satisfied.)
Serve immediately with Country Fried Steak.

True Blood's Michelle Forbes on Maryann: She's Not a Villain

From TV Guide

Sunday's revealing episode of True Blood confirmed for us that the bull-headed monster who is stalking Bon Temps' ladies and Maryann are one and the same! How does the very pleasant Michelle Forbes reconcile her sunny portrayal of Maryann, "that Ibiza party girl," with the clawed she-beast who ripped out Miss Jeannette's heart? "Maryann lives in a different moral construct than the rest of us," she says, emphasizing that Maryann doesn't think of herself as a villain. Earlier, Forbes hinted that True Blood might look like Animal Farm by the season's end. Here, she talks about becoming the monster, why Maryann does what she does and, gulp, bestiality? All right, level with us: What is Maryann really?
Forbes: I am maenad. [Wikipedia has a quick primer on what a maenad is.] Is that really you under all those prosthetics?
Forbes: It is! What kind of process did you have to go through to get into all that?
Forbes: Maryann, and what she turns into, was really created as we went along. They knew about the prosthetics for the claws, but it became something more as we went along. Some of the sounds the creature made were developed in post-production. But the claws just made everything come together, without a doubt. How long did it take to get into all that?
Forbes: It really only takes an hour and a half, but it's very uncomfortable for the rest of the evening. You can't text; you can't make phone calls. People have to feed you sandwiches.

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Comcast Adds HBO, Cinemax to Online VOD Trial

From PC Magazine

Comcast will add content from HBO and Cinemax to its test of "On Demand Online," a program that lets Comcast subscribers watch TV online free of charge.

The 5,000 Comcast users included in the upcoming trial who also subscribe to the premium cable channels will be able to access content like HBO's "True Blood" and "Entourage" via and

Comcast announced plans for On Demand Online last month, with Time Warner's TNT and TBS channels as its first partner. Last week, they added the Starz cable channel.

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True Blood in Louisiana

HBO, is making Clinton, the final resting place, for it's popular series, True Blood.

The cast and crew, spent the last week, in Clinton, filming for the current season.

The producers, announced the town of Clinton will be the center of all the action, as the fictional town of Bon Temps.

"Well, we were looking for a town that had a nice small town feel like our town of Bon Temps is supposed to have and Clinton fit the bill very closely",says executive producer, Gregg Fienberg.

"The locals they come up, they talk and you get that real authentic accent and that Louisiana swagger and you just sort of incorporate it, said Nelsan Ellis. Ellis plays the character "Lafayette", a short-order grill cook at Merlotte's.

Producers say they plan on shooting in Clinton as long as the town will have them.

Real-Life Bat Saved by True Blood Vampires

On top of the intense heat, breathtaking humidity and its action-packed tornado storyline, a tiny bat came tumbling out of a tree on the set of HBO's vampire series True Blood during weekend filming in Louisiana – to be saved by the crew.

While Steve Moyer (who plays main vampire Bill Compton) and his on-screen and real-life leading lady Anna Paquin (who plays heroine Sookie Stackhouse) watched with interest, crew medic Holly O'Quin fed the baby bat evaporated milk and egg whites, reports the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

O'Quin, a nurse, consulted with her brother, Jeff Galpin, an animal wrangler, for advice on caring for the injured bat and nursed it back to health using syringe feedings.

The hit Sunday night show gets some of its Louisiana authenticity by shooting in the sultry, moss-draped Southern landscapes, where the tiny town of Clinton was transformed into a tornado-thrashed backdrop.

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True Blood Sucker Punch: Episode 4 by Mark Blankenship

From Huffington Post
** Mark will be on Talk Blood radio with us next Sunday!

Welcome to Sucker Punch, the only blog post that ranks the gaudiest moments on this week's episode of True Blood.

I'd probably have guessed that series creator Alan Ball wrote this installment, "Shake and Fingerpop," even if I hadn't seen his name in the credits. Like American Beauty and many episodes of Six Feet Under, it unites multiple plot lines with a single theme.

In this case, the theme is "unexpected vulnerability." Almost all the major characters are weakened in some way, which creates a queasily exciting energy: We can sense a bomb's about to drop, but we can't quite tell where it's going to fall.

It makes sense for everyone to be vulnerable, of course, since we're entering the second quarter of the season. The first three episodes defined this year's major arc -- Maryann is powerful, there's a beast ripping out hearts, etc. -- and the next three will probably prepare everyone for the climactic conflicts in episodes six through twelve.

In other words... now that we know something crazy's going on, we need to understand that the Bon Tempians are susceptible to it.

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True Blood: TV with bite

From GQ Magazine

A steamy, delicious slice of Southern Gothic, with a side order of graphic sex and extreme violence, and some deep fried black comedy, HBO's bloody vampire saga True Blood begins its British run on FX on Friday night - before presumably, following the pattern of The Wire et al and switching to a more mainstream channel, by which time everyone who's even vaguely interested will have seen it on DVD or illegal download. (How long can this go on?)

However and whenever you're able to watch it, though, it's worth the effort: I've only seen the first two episodes, but already I'm hooked. True Blood is the latest offering from Alan Ball, Oscar winning screenwriter of American Beauty and the man behind Six Feet Under, HBO's long-running funeral home drama. In America, where it's already well into its second season, it has become the cable subscription channel's most popular show ever, outdoing even The Sopranos.

This doubtless has something to do with True Blood's direct appeal to a public entangled in one of its periodic obsessions with tales of the undead, from the extraordinary success of the Twilight franchise - books and movie - to the more nuanced charms of Let the Right One In, this year's surprise art-house hit from Sweden. As James Wolcott remarked in Vanity Fair, pop culture is sucking itself dry.

True Blood is strange, and dark, and adult, and there's a lot of subtext - the racism and homophobia metaphors are about as subtle as a bite to the neck - but it's also straight-ahead entertainment, without much of the complexity of HBO's previous hits. Not that there's any shame in that. As Ball himself put it, in an interview with the New York Times, "Women love the storytelling and the romance, and men love the sex and violence."

Set in the small town of Bon Temps, Louisiana, True Blood conjures a world in which vampires have recently come out of hiding to assert their rights as an oppressed minority. They've been able to do this because of the development, in Japan, of TruBlood, an effective synthetic human blood substitute that prevents them having to feed on mortals. It's available over the bar, or at the gas station.

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Charlaine Harris Sookieverse short story: Strange Brew

Random Reading blog tackles a review of "Strange Brew"

Strange Brew (2009) edited by P.N. Elrod

I love short story collections. They’re a way to discover new authors, visit with favorite characters, and to be honest I just enjoy short stories. Now if you like short stories, you eventually learn that a lot of collections are not worth buying, but there are certain authors that will cause me to buy an anthology on sight. This collection has several of those authors: Patricia Briggs, Jim Butcher, and Charlaine Harris.

As with most collections, there are some good stories, and some stories I didn’t like quite as well. For some reason, the stories I like the best seem to end up in the front of the book–which is unusual, because with Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Sword & Sorceress anthologies, that tended to end on very strong stories. This collection, not so much, which is always a little disappointing.

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Lafayette loves watching classic movies

No, you weren't crazy watching True Blood last night..

Yes, Lafayette was watching the classic The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad, by the animation genius Ray Harryhausen

I wrote before about Lafayette's TV watching HERE

True Blood’s Music Supervisor Gary Calamar Talks ‘Bad Things,’ The Soundtrack, And The New Season

How do you capture the musical hearts and souls of vampires? Ask Gary Calamar, the Grammy-nominated music supervisor on HBO’s hit drama True Blood, and he’ll tell you there’s no real formula, but it does involve plenty of creative “freestyling.”

Thanks to Calamar’s infallible ear, the dark, swampy atmosphere of the fictional Bon Temps, Louisiana is represented with pitch-perfect clarity in each scene, due in large part to backing tracks from authentic Bayou State natives like Lucinda Williams, CC Adcock, Allen Toussaint, and the legendary Dr. John.

When Calamar isn’t hunting down songs for True Blood, Dexter, and House (to name a few), he’s busy juggling a radio show on KCRW; The Open Road, and writing a book about record stores across America. Lucky for us, he took some time out of his non-stop schedule to talk about what it’s been like to work on his second Alan Ball show (the first was Six Feet Under), what his process is for choosing those steamy backwoods tunes, and what musical highlights are featured in the the recently-released True Blood soundtrack, all in time for Sunday night’s season two premiere.

I heard that Alan Ball found the opening title song, Jace Everett’s ‘Bad Things’ on iTunes, and you weren’t particularly taken with it at first. Yeah, it’s not that I wasn’t taken with it. It was almost too easy, or too perfect. It gave me the challenge to go out and try to find something even better.

Were there any runners up? We could never really come close. At the end of every conversation we never really got any better than what we had.

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True Blood Music Video of the Day: So Hott by Kid Rock

So Hott by Kid Rock LYRICS

Thanks, volz545