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By D Magazine |

CHECKING OUR MAIL

Finally, everything you need to know about saving the earth in one handy kit. The Everything You Need To Save The Earth Kit is just that, with comprehensive information on recycling, water conservation, and energy usage. The kit contains nifty gadgets like low-flow shower-heads, aerators, toilet dams, and a sturdy cotton shopping bag. 1b order send $44.95 plus $4.00 for shipping to EFS, 1407 Foothill Blvd., Suite 38107, La Verne. CA 91750.

WAX ELOOUENCE

HOME With their intimacy and warmth, candles remind us that the season of family, friends, and celebration is here. Candlestick holders formerly had the spotlight to themselves, but now they must share center stage with wax, which has become its own art form. The 12-inch taper has blossomed and gone wild. Now there are hand-molded, dipped, or rolled globes, amphoras, obelisks, and Ionic columns. Or life-like fruit-shaped candles that smell as authentic as they look. Candles set the holiday mood, whether it’s a dazzling assortment lit on Christmas Eve or a rainbow of tiny tapers for Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights. It’s their subtle aesthetics-faces framed in soft light, a romantic interlude’s backlit glow, the flickering shadows-that make them an integral part of hearth and home.

-Layne Morgan

Aroma Therapy



recipe Halfway between Saturday night fever and Monday morning reality come the Sunday afternoon blues. On a cool fall day, we warm the kitchen and the heart the way our grandmothers did-by cooking something reassuring.

Patty Seyler, who bakes pastries for Clark’s Outpost in Tioga, shares this country recipe for Dutch apple pie baked by her own grandmother. Like many country cooks who couldn’t always make a fast trip to the grocery, Patty’s grandmother relied on canned apple pie filling. Cooks who think fresh is better should see the note at the recipe’s end.

Begin with your favorite crust recipe, an already browned pie shell, and an oven preheated to 375 degrees. Then: Sift together 1/4 cup each white and brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon each nutmeg, allspice, and cinnamon, and 1 3/4 tablespoons cornstarch. Add one 20-ounce can apple pie filling and stir.

For crumble topping, sift together 1 1/4cups flour, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1 teaspooncinnamon. With a blender mix in 3/4stick margarine at room temperature.Crumble by hand over pie top. Bake for 30minutes or more until pie is golden brownand bubbling. (Note: to substitute freshapples, use a mixture of 3/4 stick meltedmargarine, 1/4 cup warm water, and fouror five tart apples that have been peeled,cored, and sliced.) -Derro Evans

Video Temptations



Societal whoas While the Kulture Kops protected Dallas from 2 Live Crew and Andrew Dice Clay, we wondered about the long-term effects of a previous cause célèbre of censorship, the film The Last Temptatíon of Chríst. Local giants Blockbuster Video and Sound Warehouse still won’t touch it, but a survey of small chains and independent video stores showed a refreshing defiance toward censorship.

“The key word is home; Why should I try to limit what you can watch on your television?” asks Starlight Video’s owner Peter Casillas. Uncut and unabridged prints of the controversial Devil in the Flesh and the 1976 Japanese film In the Realm of the Senses can be found at this North Dallas store.

While almost all our stops offered a wide variety of foreign films, none were more impressive than at Premiere Video on Mockingbird Lane, with a superb library of Kurosawa, Fellini, and other European masters. But then foreign is relative, and fare changes with the neighborhood-Oak Cliff’s Video Vacation stores boast an exhaustive supply of Spanish-language movies.

Our litmus test drew us to many different stores, but none so different as Banana Video in Snider Plaza, which is as gaudy as a Hollywood theater and twice as much fun. The selection here includes last spring’s shocker, The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover.

What our tour drove home was that small video stores reflect the sensibilities of their neighborhoods-and that most Dallas neighborhoods seem to exhibit a healthy distaste for Miss Grundy.

-David Alex Schulz

BOOKS



A CARRIE FISHER RETROSPECTIVE

Reading a Carrie Fisher novel is like spending two weeks at summer camp. There are a few mildly amusing moments, but when it’s over you find yourself running for the family wagon, thankful that it was two weeks in-not that I don’t like Carrie; I do-as a talk show guest, as Princess Leia. But as a writer? Why doesn’t she just keep a diary like every other American with a dysfunctional childhood? After reading her books, you feet as if you’ve looked under her bed and seen the inside of her closets. And trust me, we’re talking heavy dust buildup and more than a few skeletons.

Postcards from the Edge: A stream of consciousness account of: (a) drug rehab; (b) life as an actress; and (c> relationships, men, and sex. Pay close attention to item c, bo-recurring theme. Sex with men she is currently having a relationship with, or used to have a relationship with, or would like to have a relationship with if only she hadn’t had sex with them and ruined her chances.

Surrender the Pink: A stream of consciousness account of: (a) divorce rehab; (b) life as a writer; and (c) relationships, men. and sex. Our heroine is a soap opera writer who’s having a hard time getting over her ex-husband. (At least husbands are legal substances.) Yes, there are lots of funny lines, but 23 funny lines do not a book make. Those could have been handled with a phone call.

-Anne Warren

VIDEOS



THE SOUND OP MOVIES

A good soundtrack stands alone, regardless of how well received the movie was that gave it birth.

Paris, Texas: Wim Wenders’s sweeping tale of loneliness and isolation Is matched only by Ry Cooder’s deliciously moody soundtrack. This is music with angst; Cooder’s aural attack makes you see the tumble weeds, taste the heat-hear your soul.

Diva: Jean-Jacques Beineix’s New Wave French flick is classically hip and terminally cool. It’s Paris with a backbeat. The soundtrack is equally hip, juxtaposing synthetic music with opera, classical with new-age jazz.



One From The Heart: This lush and wildly beautiful (yet woefully hollow) film was the death blow for Francis Coppola’s Zoetrope Studios, but the soundtrack with Tom Waits and Crystal Gayle lives on. This is a dynamic duo- and boy, can they sing the blues.



The Big Easy: This Cajun jewel of a mov-fa reeks with atmosphere-of course the swamp music helps. track is a rousing mix of zydeco, Louisiana jazz, and R&B performed by The Dixie Cups, Buckwheat 2ydeco, Zachary Richard, and The Neville Brothers.



The Hunger: Tony Scott’s oh-so-weird vampire flick Is el-most cultish in its appeal. But it’s the soundtrack that wins my vote as one of the most hauntingly beautiful (and emotionally intimate) film scores in recent memory.

-Anne Warren

Wild Turkey

Food writer Rick Rodgers has cooked up 138 new things to do with a turkey this Thanksgiving. Like Southwestern Stir-Fry with turkey, peppers, and corn, or New Wave Turkey a la King, or, well, trust us-he’s left no turkey combo unturned. The Turkey Cookbook, $I0.95 at Taylors.

The Gospel of Compost



gardening I am a compost convert. My conversion occurred after a friend and I bagged up the leaf pile at my family home in Oak Cliff when the house was put up for sale. We split the spoils. 1 dug mine into new flower beds and got abundant bloom, easy weeding, and water conservation beyond what I had ever seen in gardens fed with bagged fertilizer.

Of course, I’m not the only born-again composter. In the first 12 months since its August 1989 switch to “organics,” Lambert’s, the granddaddy of Dallas landscape firms, sold more than 5,000 cubic yards of the stuff. Dallas Organic Products sold enough compost in the two months after it opened to cover 3.6 football fields three inches deep.

The appeal is knowing that you have turned common kitchen and yard refuse into free fertilizer and helped save the planet-or at least your landscape.



Compost’s power is in its soil-leavening roughage, minerals that feed plants and microorganisms that carry on the energy transfer.

Compost was nature’s elegantly simple idea. It’s what plants become halfway to being soil, on its way to becoming plants again. In favorable conditions, that is.

These conditions are easily found.Leaves, grass clippings, or any othervegetable product and air, water, and sunare the essentials. A few shovelfuls of soiladd those helpful microbes. Any fencingor bin with air holes works as a container,or the raw materials can be piled on theground. The mix should be wettedthoroughly when started and againwhenever you think of it. The sunnier thespot and the more frequently the pile isturned, the quicker it cooks; two monthsis a typical minimum. Compostedmanure, available commercially bagged,adds oomph. -Julie Ryan

Burning Desires



HEARTH AND HOME Firewood vendors seem to be everywhere, but they’re mostly out-of-towners from Oklahoma and East Texas, says John Hermanson, City of Dallas consumer protection supervisor. He should know. To operate legally, vendors must contact his office to get a license, although only about 24 bothered to do so in 1989. Other technicalities: firewood must be sold by the cord or a division thereof. Selling a so-called “apartment stack” is illegal unless the buyer is told how many cubic feet it contains. (A cord equals 128 cubic feet. That’s a stack 4 feet in height, 16 feet in length, and 2 feet in width.) Herman-son advises buyers to be at home for the wood’s delivery and to get a receipt with the vendor’s name, license number, and the amount of cubic feet purchased. Last year’s average price: $125-$145 per cord. For more information, call Hermanson at 948-4400.

Before you’re ready to curl up with a good book in front of those crackling flames, you may need a chimney sweep. If you’ve burned at least a cord of wood or waited two years, your chimney probably needs professional help. In business eight years, Jay Ross of White Glove Chimney Service (pictured here) comes highly recommended. Call him at 222-6000 or Metro (817) 261-0400 for a free inspection. He charges $45 for an hour-long cleaning.

-Derro Evans

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