Friday, December 22, 2006

Dinner and a Movie

At last, the work week has ended, and thanks to the office being closed over the holidays, I now have a week and a half of leisure ahead of me. I've been looking forward to this all month!

While the next couple of days will still be busy (with a cookie-baking spree with my adorable "nephews" and a full day of singing at church on Sunday), I'm hoping to wind down at home and enjoy doing the things I love to do: cooking and baking, writing, maybe even getting some sewing done.

Wait, you say? That sounds like work? Well, maybe, but it's the kind of work that satisfies me. But I'm not so foolish as to think that after working hard at the office I can jump right into working hard at home. I need my rest, too.

That's why this evening, while the second loaf of julekage rose on the counter, I pulled a small package of breaded eggplant slices from the freezer and made a small dish of eggplant parmigiana for dinner. It seemed a very easy dinner to throw together, even with toasting and buttering a bagel to go with it, and that good food, along with a glass of good wine, made the perfect accompaniment to a good movie.

I've been meaning to watch "Big Night" for some time, and I thought that for the break I should stock up on some food-related movies. This film, starring Stanley Tucci and Tony Shaloub (with delightful roles filled by Minnie Driver and Isabella Rossellini), tells the story of two Italian brothers hoping to find the American Dream in their small restaurant. When it looks like they might have to give it up due to bankruptcy, they pull together for one last, glorious effort: a feast to end all feasts.

What a delight to watch characters get so passionate about good food! And while there's no specific message about local or organic foods (it's set in the 1950s, after all), the conflict between creating and serving good food versus giving the people what they want remains a difficult one today. Besides, how can a food-loving dame like me not love a movie that showcases 1950s fashions, swinging music, and really delectable-looking pasta?

I don't indulge in movies too often, but this film was a feast in every sense, and my humble eggplant parmigiana went well with it. I feel more relaxed now, and maybe even inspired.

Let the holiday break... and the cooking!... begin!


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