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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Food in Film: Ugli Fruit

Blogging from A to Z Challenge

A food addict and connoisseur of tasteful films reviews Food in Film, starring...

Ugli fruit

What do you get when you cross an orange, a tangerine, and a grapefruit? The Jamaican uniq fruit, trademarked as UGLI.

UGLI®️ fruit. Photo by GabeB, Flickr
I'm not certain if uniq fruit can be found in a film, but it gave me a good reason to watch Cool Runnings (1993) again. There's a scene where Derice Bannock (Leon) runs through a marketplace and we see some women carrying baskets of what appears to be citrus fruit. Could be uniq fruit, but I don't know.

Research revealed over 30 films shot in Jamaica, but I haven't seen most of them. So why write about uniq or UGLI®️ fruit?

Because the fruit is known for its unattractive skin, yet it yields juicy sweetness inside. It makes me wonder about foods we might refuse to eat because of the way it looks (or smells) and films we might not see because they don't appeal to us.

For years I thought blue-cheese dressing would be disgusting... but then I finally tried it, and loved it.

My husband humored me when I wanted to see Sullivan's Travels (1941). He was certain it would be boring, but watched it with me, anyway. You guessed it... the film is now his favorite comedy.

Do you have examples of foods and/or films you initially avoided but later loved?

Monday, April 24, 2017

Food in Film: Turkey

Blogging from A to Z Challenge

A food addict and connoisseur of tasteful films reviews Food in Film, starring...

… Turkey

We had turkey for every holiday and family gathering when I was a kid. Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Day, Easter. Reunions. Turkey, turkey, turkey, turkey. By the time I was grown and gone, I was sick of that bird and determined I would only prepare turkey once a year on Thanksgiving.

Why not copy my daughter and do away with it altogether (see Lobster)? Because I gotta have my turkey sandwich! Bread. Butter. Mayo. Turkey. Sprinkle of salt. That's it.

If I go somewhere else for Thanksgiving and don't have claim on the leftovers... well, I prepare a small turkey roast at home, just to have my sandwich. That's my tradition.

Which means, unlike this scene in Free Birds (2013), at my house there is no pardon for the turkey.

Scene: Pardoned turkey.

For a fun side: Family gatherings create funny movie-worthy moments. I wrote about humorous Thanksgiving incidents in Life... the stuff comedy is made of.

If you have a few minutes, follow the link to that post, then return here to share a funny moment from one of your family feasts!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Food in Film: S'mores

Blogging from A to Z Challenge

A food addict and connoisseur of tasteful films reviews Food in Film, starring...

… S'mores

I was fourteen years old and had gone on a picnic with a friend and her parents. As we stood near a small campfire, Ann asked if I wanted a s'more, and like Scotty Smalls, I had never heard of them. She showed me how to make one, and when I bit into it... oh my... heavenly!!

Here's the classic scene from The Sandlot, (1993):

HAM PORTER (Patrick Renna)
Hey, wanna s'more?

SCOTTY SMALLS (Tom Guiry)
Some more what?

HAM PORTER
No, no. You wanna s'more?

SCOTTY SMALLS
I haven't had anything yet so how 
can I have some more of nothing?

HAM PORTER
You're killing me, Smalls!

Scene: Introducing Scotty to s'mores

Have you ever tasted a treat that was so delicious you can recall details years later of where you were at the time you bit into it and angels sang?

Friday, April 21, 2017

Food in Film: Ramen

Blogging from A to Z Challenge

A food addict and connoisseur of tasteful films reviews Food in Film, starring...

… Ramen

In The Ramen Girl (2008), Abby (Brittany Murphy), an American in Tokyo, seeks training from a ramen master, Maezumi (Toshiyuki Nishida). She learns technique, but her broth isn't right. Maezumi can't understand why Abby's broth always fails, so he takes her to his mother. Abby prepares ramen and serves it to her. The mother recognizes the problem...

MAEZUMI'S MOTHER
You cook with your head. Understand?
Your head...is full of noise.
You must learn...to cook from the
quieter place deep inside of you.

ABBY
But how?

MAEZUMI'S MOTHER
Each bowl of ramen that you prepare...
is a gift to your customer. The food that
you serve your customer becomes a part
of them. It contains your spirit.
That’s why your ramen must be an expression
of pure love. A gift...from your heart.

Her counsel haunts me. I cook with a head full of noise and it shows in my preparation and presentation. I hurry through the cooking process, and don't take time to make meals look attractive. I just plop it on a plate and serve it up, "Here's your grub."

What does that say about my heart? What does that say about me?

Don't get me wrong, I can prepare tasty meals and I've even won prizes at cook-offs, but think what I could do if I cooked with my heart!

The Ramen Girl - Trailer

Do you cook with your head, or a quiet and loving heart? 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Food in Film: Quiche

Blogging from A to Z Challenge

A food addict and connoisseur of tasteful films reviews Food in Film, starring...

… Quiche

They say real men don't eat quiche, but if that's the case, James Bond is not a real man... in A View to a Kill (1985) he even makes quiche.

JAMES BOND (Roger Moore)
(removes quiche from oven)
Et voila. Quiches des Cabinet.

STACY SUTTON (Tanya Roberts)
Sounds interesting.
Mmm. What is it?

JAMES BOND
An omelet.


Scene: James Bond makes quiche.

My husband doesn't make quiche, but he does make omelets. After the kids moved out, he took over the tradition of serving breakfast in bed on Mother's Day. He serves me an omelet with a "quiche" on the lips.

Mother's Day Breakfast in Bed
Notice how attractively he arranged the fruit. I lack that flare. Tomorrow's post will have more on that topic.

If you have a favorite quiche recipe, please share!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Food in Film: Pancakes

Blogging from A to Z Challenge

A food addict and connoisseur of tasteful films reviews Food in Film, starring...

… Pancakes

As in GIANT pancakes! When Buck (John Candy) makes pancakes for his nephew's birthday, he goes all out in major proportions... pancakes so large he has to flip them with a snow shovel. "This is where you separate the men from the boys." Gigantic goodness! (Uncle Buck, 1989)

BUCK
I hope you're hungry!
You should see the toast.
I couldn't even get it through the door.



The first time I made pancakes for my husband, he was filled with dread, unsure how to let me know he hated pancakes. I use the past tense because up until he had mine he hated them. Turns out that his mom made pancakes so thick he could barely choke them down, but mine were light and thin. 

My mom made delicious hotcakes (as we called them), and my favorite topping was her homemade chokecherry syrup. Oh how I miss that! 

How do you like your pancakes?

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Food in Film: Old 96er

Blogging from A to Z Challenge

A food addict and connoisseur of tasteful films reviews Food in Film, starring...

… Old 96er

While vacationing at a lakeside resort, Chet Ripley (John Candy) and his family dine at a Paul Bunyan themed restaurant. Chet orders the "Old 96er"--a 96-ounce prime aged beef steak--and if he consumes the entire thing, including gristle, his family will eat for free (The Great Outdoors, 1988).

A few bites of steak and I'm good. If I eat more it sits like a brick in my stomach. When the Old 96er arrives at the table, I cringe.

Scene: Chet eats the Old 96er.

We like to eat local cuisine while on vacation. Themed restaurants can be fun, and if we eat at a franchise restaurant, we select one that isn't available where we live. We don't want same-o, same-o.

Sometimes we select a diner based on the amount of cars in the parking lot, other times we ask locals for recommendations. Once in awhile we try a place simply because of an intriguing name, like Lizard's Thicket (South Carolina). And sometimes limited cafe options in a small town give us so-so foods but fun family memories, like Pickle's Place in Arco, Idaho.

I have visited all 50 of the United States and although I can't recall every dining experience, these restaurants (listed in alphabetical order) stand out in my memory:
If we visited your area, what eatery would you recommend?