Don Camillo and "Father Z"

Something like a decade ago, I ran across the blog of Father John Zuhlsdorf (aka "Father Z), an uber-conservative Catholic priest whose reactionary views on liturgy & theology and take-no-prisoners presentation thereof have gathered him quite the Internet following. I suppose he might frustrate me if I were a Catholic (and still somehow me), but as a liberal Protestant, I don't have a dog in most of the fights he participates in. Thus, I have the luxury of simply finding him interesting and provocative to read, and even better to listen to (there's a podcast). It helps that the good Father is personable, erudite, and talented: back when I was a more regular listener, I enjoyed the humor and the musical and literary accessories of the podcasts even when my more-or-less evangelical self didn't connect to every bit of the content. In fact, I used to link to some of those podcasts on my old blog, because (and here comes the point of my post) he would occasionally include in them a story or two from my beloved Little World of Don Camillo.

Now, Fr. Z was and is a busy chap with an important agenda, so his Little World feature was a pretty infrequent one. Indeed, there were only nine episodes between 2008 & 2010 in which he read, in a lovely baritone that would be the envy of half the DJs on NPR, a story or two by Guareschi. After that, there was nothing ...

Until almost eight years later! I'd long been out of the habit of checking for Don Camillo content from Fr. Z, and then, on a whim, I went to his site yesterday and discovered that, just over a year ago, he'd read another pair of the stories, including one of my very favorites, on an installment of the podcast.

In honor of the new content, I'm linking to all ten of the Fr. Z episodes featuring tales from the Little World. I've put them in reverse chronological order, so newest is at the top. And if, as you listen, you are curious about the old-fashioned, fuzzy-sounding bumper music the host employs for this feature, I can tell you that it's the theme from the 1950s Don Camillo movies starring Fernandel & Gino Cervi, audio ripped straight from DVDs of the old flicks (I have some clips that are even fuzzier and warblier, lifted from VHS tapes). Happy listening!

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    a succession of jazz solos featuring "the lick," courtesy of Number Three Son
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wine and roses

Fun with food

If I hadn't already re-christened my blog with the name, I'd have called this post "I'll have what I'm having," because its theme has to do with favorite ways to dress up food. Yes, it's last week's Friday Five, and yes, I'm five days late. What can I say -- guess I'm too darned busy sleeping in and not teaching to get to everything on time! :-) On top of that, it took the whole weekend just to sort out my thoughts about the first question: as the "Queen of Condiments" (ask anyone who's ever looked in my fridge), I had much to consider.

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