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Tea with Jane Austen: Ideas for using the Jane Austen Silhouette Cookie Cutter

The Jane Austen Silhouette Cookie Cutter

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The other day I was having some fun experimenting with the new Jane Austen Silhouette Cookie Cutter . We tried sugar cookies (naturally) and toast (delicious) and tea sandwiches. However, I think my favorite trick was the silhouette sandwich, seen here.

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To create this sandwich, you’ll need two types of bread, ideally, of light and dark colors (white and wheat, wheat and pumpernickel, etc.)

Take two slices of your “base” layer, in this case Pumpernickel, and use the cutter to cut a silhouette from the center of one slice.

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Northanger Abbey: 1986

Kind critics have called it quirky. For some it is “awful” and still others call it “A fun and enjoyable adaptation of the Jane Austen novel.” Safe to say, no one is ambivalent. Written by Maggie Wadey (The Buccaneers) for the BBC in 1986 and shown on Masterpiece Theater in December of 1987, Northanger Abbey boasts fair a cast and wonderful scenery. With a different script and score it could have rivaled the Austen adaptations of the 1990’s. Instead, it remains an engaging but slightly discordant note in the Austen film symphony. It is truly unlike anything that came before or has been produced since. As the shortest Jane Austen film on record (it clocks in at 90 minutes) Northanger Abbey lacks the time given to other adaptations for plot exposition. Indeed, while some of Austen’s best lines were allowed to remain, the writer felt compelled to add new scenes and create new characters to fill out the story, cutting the original plot still further. Perhaps Jean Bowden, Chawton Archivist said it best when she states, “They completely missed the joke.” Maggie Wadey managed to take Jane Austen funniest novel, a satire on the literature of the day, and turn it into what is touted as a Gothic fantasy. All right if you go in for that sort of thing, but certainly not Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey. Adding to the awkward feel of the film is the score by Ilona Sekacz (Mrs. Dalloway)- a weird mix of period appropriate, night (more…)
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Emma: 1972

“Oh! I always deserve the best treatment, because I never put up with any other…” ~Emma In 1972, the BBC created what has been called “The best of the early Austen adaptations”, with their production of Emma. The third in their series of Austen films, BBC recruited the veteran writing/producing team of Martin Lisemore and Denis Constanduros (who had previously worked on Sense and Sensibility, in 1971. Denis Constanduros would later return to write the outline for 1985’s script of Sense and Sensibility.). With the help of director John Glenister (known for his other BBC projects, including A Touch of Frost and Hetty Wainthrop Investigates), they put together a funny, accurate portrayal of Jane Austen’s fourth novel. While much of the cast seems a bit old for their parts, John Carson (Mr. Knightley) was 45 and Doran Godwin (Emma Woodhouse) well into her thirties, they did provide, looks aside, excellent portrayals of their characters. Donald Eccles (Silas Marner, 1985), I think, gives a consummate performance as the hypochondriac Mr. Woodhouse. He seems to be lifted directly out of the book. The perfect invalid, longing to be a bother to no one, but afraid for everyone. Mrs. Elton (Fiona Walker) is perfectly vulgar. A triumph! Miss Bates is properly distracted. Jane Fairfax and Harriet Smith are not quite so well cast. Jane remains looking pale and sickly throughout, and Harriet comes away looking like a total ninny. One wonders how Emma could stand having her around. She may have cured her (more…)