Wednesday, February 20, 2013

I’m taking a break from my book, The Getaway Girls: A New Orleans Tale of Monsters, Mayhem and Moms this week in honor of The Academy Awards.  Because nothing stops a flesh-eating scavenger in his tracks like goddess-styled chiffon and diamond-studded heels.   

The Oscars are to me what the opening day of baseball is to my husband – a holy day of television, food, wine and fashion-ogling. (OK, perhaps the last one is not quite the same for my husband, but you have to admit those Rangers uniforms are striking.  Especially when worn by Nelson Cruz).

I love movies. My husband and I have almost nothing in common – I’m a Democrat, he’s a Republican.  I prefer dark chocolate, he’ll take milk.  He likes sushi, and I think if you’re going to serve me fish the least you could do is cook it.  But we both love Midnight in Paris.  We may argue politics till we’re blue in the face (much like Mel Gibson in that movie all guys love and I can’t ever remember the name? There’s a bunch of fighting and stuff – you know what I mean). 

But we’ll always have movies.

Every year, I concoct a special menu for the Oscars in tribute to the nominees for Best Picture.  Used to be only five films and those were the salad days.  Asian pork chops for Crouching Tiger, no problem. Risotto for Gladiator?  Piece o’ cake. French bread or wine for anything remotely French?  Duh.  (And there’s always something French. Trust me).

But then the Academy went and added a bunch more nominees just to screw with me.  Like, come on – it was bad enough trying to whip up 4 courses with 2 kids underfoot, but now I gotta fix five more? Am I running a buffet?

So I slid downhill.  First I tried only picking the movies I’d actually seen (sorry Academy, you pick 9 movies, I pick which ones are worth precious babysitter time).  Then I picked the ones I liked.  Some years, when the movies are especially dreary, this list got real short. Then there was the year I flat out gave up, made pasta and claimed each ingredient represented a nominated film.  Black pepper was Black Swan.  Weak. 

But no more.  This year, I’m putting on my big girl apron and bringing Oscar back into my kitchen.  Here goes:

The Getaway Girls New Orleans 2013 Oscar Menu
  • Beasts of the Southern Wild – Hush puppies (of course!)
  • Lincoln  – bourbon. Yes, I am aware Lincoln didn’t actually drink.  But he was born in Kentucky, I grew up in Kentucky – it’s like we’re related.  So I feel entitled to take a certain Bluegrass liberty here.  However, like Lincoln was reported to have done at state dinners, I will only put the glass of bourbon to my mouth without actually drinking any.  And then I’ll have a beer, which probably goes better with hush puppies anyway.
  • Argo – Hummus with pita chips.  Because I like hummus and I like Ben Affleck. Match made in heaven, really.
  • Zero Dark Thirty – Middle Eastern salad.  Maybe not so historically accurate - for all I know, terrorists might all be on Atkins, but something in this menu needs a vegetable.
  • Silver Linings Playbook - South Philly meatballs with rigatoni and vodka sauce. Because really, any excuse for meatballs is good by me.
  • Django Unchained – Mississippi peanut butter brownie pie
  • Life of Pi – same thing.  But wait, I’m not cheating! The brownie recipe isn’t actually for pie, so I have to do fancy magic to figure out how to adjust the cooking times for a pie pan.  That’s math, people.  Like Pi.  
  • Amour – French bread (told you!)
  • Les Miserables – Fat Bastard Cabernet.  Because Doomed Prostitute Chardonnay just didn't sound that appealing.  

And hey, if you get bored during the Oscars or just want to tune out a spouse who periodically pops in to say “they’re all fixed!” (which I have heard every year since Russell Crowe didn’t win for A Beautiful Mind), you could always read a little of my book, The Getaway Girls: A New Orleans Tale of Monsters, Mayhem and Moms.  Or watch my video, The Getaway Girls New Orleans Rap.

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