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Meet Rachel Lang
The “Crazy Old Lady of Comedy” talks Transitioning and Trailblazing in New Documentary Releasing Nationwide June 1st
They say laughter is the best medicine, and no one may know that better than veteran comedian Julia Scotti, the self-proclaimed “Crazy Old Lady of Comedy”.
Born Rick Scotti, she knew something was not right her whole life, and made the bravest and boldest decision of her life: put a pause on her exemplary stand-up career where she was performing with the likes of Chris Rock and Jerry Seinfeld, and become the woman she always knew was inside her. Now, the senior trans comedian returns to the stage and tells her story in the new documentary Julia Scotti: Funny That Way, arriving June 1st to kick off Pride Month.
Shot over a period of five years, Julia Scotti: Funny That Way tracks Julia’s triumphant comeback, the rough life on the road, and the complex process of reuniting with her children, as comedy becomes the shared language of identity, healing, and joy.
The directorial debut from Golden-Globe nominee Susan Sandler (Crossing Delancey), Julia Scotti: Funny That Way takes audiences on an entertaining emotional roller coaster in this tender, funny and triumphant comeback story.
The story begins in the comedy boom of the1980’s, where Rick Scotti was a busy guy– a headliner in clubs across the country– when he came to the dawning realization that nothing felt right. At a time when the words gender dysphoria and gender reassignment surgery were rarely heard, Rick’s true awakening at age forty-seven led to a year of hormonal treatments, surgery, and, ultimately a new identity as Julia Scotti.
And then everyone turned away—former wives, friends, family, comedy world buddies, and most painfully Julia was shut out from any contact with her children. She reinvented herself, spent a decade teaching, and then several years ago, stepped back on stage at an open mic and began her journey back to the world she loves. And just as she returned to comedy, her children reached out to her after 15 years of silence.
As Julia says, her comedy always has to be “fearless and honest”, and America can feel both in her performances. Since coming back to comedy in 2011, she has been named one of the Top Five Transgender Comedians in the Country by Advocate Magazine, and has performed at LGBTQ events across the country, and was one of the winners of the Laughlin Laugh Festival in Nevada.
Scotti introduced herself to national audiences on Season 11 of America’s Got Talent. Simon Cowell said that “you genuinely made me laugh”. She was the first transgender comedian to appear on national television and was a quarter-finalist on the show. But she wasn’t done yet. Scotti appeared on the Showtime Television Network Special, “More Funny Women of a Certain Age”, and colleagues have described her as, among other things, “a force of nature”, and “a comedy chainsaw flying through the room”.
Sandler takes the explosively funny and moving Julia away from the stage – prodding at the edges of her private life—revealing a story that is delicate, vulnerable, and real. Julia Scotti: Funny That Way allows audiences to experience an entertaining emotional roller coaster as they journey through this tender, funny and triumphant comeback story.
If laughter truly is the best medicine, we could all use a dose. So, sit back, relax, and have a few laughs to cure all your ills.
JULIA SCOTTI: FUNNY THAT WAY will be available via VOD RELEASE on June 1,2021 and available on: iTunes, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, Xbox, Vudu, DirecTV, and more! PURCHASE LINK: https://geni.us/JuliaScottiFilm
Press Materials: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/0wr8ookxd3uou9y/AADjOf3jtfkihg4dr_83W2RRa?dl=0
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This article originally appeared on Firstleaf.club
Cooking with Wine
Wine has been used to cook amazing dishes for a long, long time. The Romans were known for including wine in sauces, braises, and stews. The French make Coq au Vin, the Italians have risotto and chicken marsala, and the Japanese use sake for all kinds of dishes.
Food and wine paired or cooked together can be a dream come true. Whether the wine is from your favorite winery or from your local grocery store, a little bit of wine can add a lot of complexity to a dish.
Cooking wine is different than your average bottle of wine. This wine was never meant to be drunk, but it was meant to be included as an ingredient in cooking. Cooking wine has salt and other preservatives that extend the shelf life of the product and keep it from spoiling. These small additions allow it to legally be sold at grocery stores, but you wouldn’t want to drink it. This also means that when you open a bottle, it can be used for a long long time. Unless you’re running a restaurant, you’d never need to buy a whole case of cooking wine.
But let’s say a recipe calls for cooking wine and you don’t have any on hand. You can substitute almost any leftover wine you have in a recipe as long as you stay close to the flavor profile and color called for. Substituting red wine for white wine can have a significant impact depending on the dish, but if you are an adventurous cook, it could be a fun journey. Fortified wines, like dry vermouth or dry sherry, are other good options for cooking as the high alcohol content preserves them from going bad.
It should be noted that there is contention in the cooking community, and some chefs think that using leftover wine (or bad wine) is fine, whereas others disagree and call for only the finest in their dishes. We think this is a somewhat silly argument when the wine is being cooked (as opposed to being used as a final topping). Heat exposure will destroy much of the wine’s flavor, such as tannins or those imparted by oak barrels. So we wouldn’t ever recommend cooking with expensive wine.
There are so many applications for how we can use wine when we cook. Wine brings acidity, sweetness, and flavor to a dish which enhances the complexity and makes a better final product.
Marinating meat or vegetables in wine, herbs, vinegar, and other flavoring agents, is a great way to ensure what you cook is flavorful and retains some moisture in the cooking process. A good rule of thumb is to use one cup of wine for every cup of oil in a marinade.
Stocks are used as bases for soups and grains and can be much more flavorful when accompanied by the right type of wine.
Roasting meats in a liquid base (especially when flavored by good wine) creates a robust flavor and tender finale for a dinner entree.
Wine can be poured into a hot pan that has been used for searing or for braising, to help loosen what has stuck to the pan (called the fond). This is the base for many pan sauces which are the foundations of French cooking.
Fruit can be cooked in wine to form the base of many Italian desserts, or poached fruits can be used to form the filling for pies.
Simply pouring a bit of sweet wine over the top of ice cream or other cool desserts is a delicious way to finish a meal.
How to Use Wine in Cooking
If a recipe calls for cooking wine a table wine will suffice, but the reverse is not always true. Different wines bring different flavor profiles, and sometimes when a recipe calls for a dry white wine, a Marsala will not cut it.
We wanted to list a few dishes that are either closely associated with a certain wine, or are a particularly good use for a varietal.
Pinot Noir: A good pinot is earthy, but still has good forward fruit. We would love to pair this with braised meats and mushrooms or maybe roasted duck breast. Pinot is also a good candidate for making a rich pan sauce — with pork chops, for example.
Chardonnay: The buttery full-bodied Chards will be a great addition to a coq au vin blanc. It could also be used to make a beurre blanc, a delicious butter and wine mixture that can be spooned over vegetables and other meats.
Sauvignon Blanc: Sauvignon blanc typically doesn’t carry heavy flavors that will overwhelm lighter dishes, so we would recommend cooking the sauvignon into a cream sauce or with seafood dishes.
Riesling: Riesling has many different flavors that can show through depending on how it is made, but look to classic German and Alsatian dishes. Pâté in a riesling jelly is a classic, as is chicken braised in riesling and cream.
Pinot Grigio: The lightness of pinot grigio will be very helpful for seafood dishes and could be used to poach light, Mediterranean fish with olive oil. Served over pasta, the pinot grigio flavored cooking liquid makes a delicious sauce.
Zinfandel: The big fruit flavors of zinfandel work well with gamey dishes. Think about cooking venison or wild boar and using zinfandel to make a pan sauce.
Merlot: We love the flavors of duck breast and merlot. Make a rich, buttery pan sauce to accompany it.
Cabernet Sauvignon: Risotto tinted with a dry red like cabernet is a great side dish that can be paired with pan-seared scallops or roasted chicken.
Chianti: Classic pairings for cooking with Chianti include lamb, boar, and offal all braised in rich Chianti.
Syrah: Syrah is another wine that is great for making pan sauces and braises. We really love it as a pan sauce that gets spooned over grilled red meats.
Sparkling Wine: Sparkling wine (and particularly champagne) is a classic addition to a lot of desserts. Truffles, mousses, and foams can be pepped up with a little bit of sparkling wine.
Vermouth: Vermouth is a classic cooking ingredient due to its high acidity, and can be used as a base for sauces and braises. We would recommend trying it in chicken Provençal.
Madeira: Madeira can be a magical addition to dishes, and works particularly well with gamey flavors. It can make great sauces for game birds and it is an integral part of making some types of cake.
Sherry: Sherry is used to add acidity to many glazes (for desserts or savory dishes) and makes an incredible vinaigrette.
Popular Cooking Wine Varietals
What Should You Do If You Have Lingering COVID-19 Symptoms?
Many in Los Angeles who were infected by Covid-19 now find themselves experiencing symptoms long after they are no longer infected. Read on for more information about what the symptoms of ‘long-haul’ or ‘long Covid’ may look like and what you should do if you have them.
Recent studies indicate that of those who recover from Covid-19, 50-80% will experience lingering effects three months after infection. Symptoms can linger regardless of whether you were hospitalized or not. Researchers have also learned that long-Covid symptoms can first appear in waves:
It’s important to note that not everyone who has long Covid will experience all of the symptoms indicated in the timeline and that they may even skip one or more of these “waves.” There is still much to learn about the novel coronavirus, but it is believed that these lingering symptoms stem from inflammation caused by the virus. Most common lingering symptoms not mentioned include:
Those who experienced severe symptoms, adults over 50, and people with underlying health conditions are most likely to experience long-haul Covid-19.
Image cr.: pexels.com
The best way to avoid long-term Covid-19 side effects is to avoid infection. This means following social distancing and mask-wearing guidelines.
In the event you need to get tested, the LAPH website has guidance regarding testing – including what types of tests you need, and ways to access testing and treatment for free.
Families may also consider using DIY Covid-19 testing kits to test themselves at home. The tests most widely available are PCR tests, which require lab processing. This means after self-administering the test at home, samples are mailed to the laboratory which produced the kit. Depending on lab and mail delivery times, your results can take 3-14 days.
The first rapid antigen DIY testing kit was recently authorized by the FDA for use by the general public. This test requires no lab processing and produces results in 15 minutes. These tests are still in production, but are expected to debut on shelves in the coming weeks. Once production is in full swing, these tests are expected to cost roughly $30 each, but will likely be priced much higher when they first hit shelves.
Those in need of testing options that balance both convenience and safety may wish to consider getting tested at home. Onsite medical service providers will send a nurse with a Covid test for a home visit to administer Covid-19 tests to everyone in the household. As healthcare providers, they already have access to rapid test options.
Angelinos with specific testing needs who may particularly benefit from at-home Covid-19 testing include:
If you are still experiencing Covid-19 symptoms 6 weeks after recovery, you should contact your primary care physician, even if you had mild symptoms while sick. Doctors can work with you to find treatments and strategies that reduce discomfort and help you cope.
Earlier this year, Cedars-Sinai opened a Covid-19 recovery program exclusively for patients with lingering symptoms. Anyone interested in participating must be referred by a physician. Low-income LA County residents should reach out to My Health LA through the LA County Department of Public Health (LAPH) if they are in need of Covid-19 treatment.