While everyone is preparing their Thanksgiving feast, I am trying to find out which one of my friends is making a sweet potato pie today. Sorry, I don’t like pumpkin pie.
For those of you who are not familiar with the American holiday, Thanksgiving; it is supposed to be a national day set aside for giving thanks. However, it is mostly a day for pigging out on mashed potatoes, turkey and the aforementioned pumpkin pie – while watching the Dallas Cowboys game on TV. Of course, you will need all these calories to have enough energy for Black Friday shopping.
I like to think that I am thankful everyday, so I don’t really need Thanksgiving. That does not mean I don’t still want a piece of sweet potato pie…I will take pumpkin, if that’s all you have.
All this talk about turkey, shopping and pie is making me hungry. Which makes me think of some of my favorite chick flicks about food. In these movies, delicious looking food has star billing. Here are a few of my favorite, which movies about food do you love?
Based on the Isak Dinson (Out of Africa) story of the same name, Babette’s Feast tells the story of Babette, a French woman who takes refuge with two pious spinsters in a remote Danish village. Babette lives with them, serving as the cook and housekeeper. After many years of serving them their bland diet of boiled fish, Babette wins the lottery. She uses the money to prepare a lavish meal to thank the sisters who sheltered her in her time of need.
In this like other movies, food is love and you can see how much Babette cares for this family. The scenes where Babette carefully prepares the food will make you gain 5 pounds.
If you want to re-create the dishes in Babette’s Feast, take a look at this cookbook A Culinary Homage to Babette’s Feast, featuring Mock Turtle Soup and Angel Food Cake with Brandied Cherries. Yum! Watch the full movie on Hulu,com
Lasse Hallström directs Chocolat. Juliet Binoche and Johnny Depp star in this sensuous movie about the love of chocolate. Binoche plays Vianne Rocher, a single mother who moves to rural village in France with her six-year-old daughter and opens a chocolate shop just before the start of Lent. Soon Vianne begins to work her coco-flavored magic to win over the town’s people — except for the mayor. I don’t know what he has against chocolate truffles?
Chocolat has fabulous cast that included Dame Judy Dench, Alfred Molina, Carrie-Anne Moss, Lena Olin and a decadent array of chocolates. Do you want to make your own chocolate truffles? Take a look at Chocolates and Confections for the Artisan Confectioner. You will want to eat the pages of this cookbook.
Like Water for Chocolate
I believe that you can never have too much chocolate. So the next movie on my list is from Mexico, the home of chocolate…gracias Mexico! Alfonso Arau directs the movie based on Laura Esquivel’s novel, Como Agua para Chocolate. Like Water for Chocolate is in Spanish and tells the story of Tita, a young girl living in Mexico in 1910. According to her family’s tradition, the youngest daughter can never marry. She is obligated to take care of her mother in her old age.
However Tita and Pedro are in love. In order to be close to her, Pedro marries Tita’s older sister. The only way that Tita can show Pedro how she feels is through her cooking. I love the scene when Tita makes the cake for her sister’s weeding. Knowing that her sister will soon marry the man she loves, Tita cries and the tears fall into the cake batter. At the wedding, as the guests eat the cake, they all feel nostalgic about their lost loves.
You will love reading the book too. Like Water for Chocolate is written like diary. It includes the story of Tita and Pedro’s romance, as well as the recipes she prepared.
Julie and Julia
Julie & Julia is the story of one woman who is inspired by another women to achieve her dreams. It tells the parallel stories of Julie Powell and Julia Child. Julie Powell (played by Amy Adams), is a frustrated employee at a government bureaucracy who decides to write a blog. And like most bloggers, she writes about her passion, which happens to be cooking. She uses Julia Child as the inspiration for her blog, chronically her adventures as she cooks all the recipes in in Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking in just one year.
Julia Child enjoyed food and you can tell that when you see how she consumes and prepares sumptuous meals like Boeuf Bourguignon and Chocolate Souffle’.
Can you imagine trying to cook every recipe in Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking in just one year? That would take like 100 pounds of butter.
I have very warm memories of Sunday dinners at my Aunt Cora’s house when I was a little girl. She was known for her pound cake, but she could also fry a pretty good chicken too. Her regular Sunday dinners were a feast, but when the preacher from her church was coming to dinner, Aunt Doll (we called her ‘doll‘ because she was so petite) pulled out all the stops. There was fried chicken, baked ham with pineapple, cloves and marachino cherries, homemade macaroni and cheese, potato salad, collard greens, cornbread and enough cakes and pies to give you diabetes.
If you have the same memories of big Sunday dinners with family, you will love Soul Food. Irma P. Hall is Mama Joe, who presides over her big family that includes her three daughters, played by Vanessa Williams, Vivica A. Fox and Nia Long. With lots of soul food and love, Mama Joe keeps her family together. When she is hospitalized, there are no more Sunday dinners and the family’s problems come to a head.
The magic of soul food has healing powers and it soon brings the family back together. I am going to try the recipe for Sweet Potato Pie in Sylvia’s Family Soul Food Cookbook to see if it taste as good as my Aunt Doll’s.