Chances are you live a stone’s throw away from a Thai restaurant in your neighborhood, and you’ve got a go-to local favorite for pad thai. These days I often find myself traveling north of Berkeley, where there’s quite a few wonderful Thai eateries clustered in Albany, El Cerrito and San Pablo locales.
Tag: academy awards
I thought long and hard about which singer to single out and pay tribute to. Judy Garland? Too obvious. And the only thing I could think of doing for her was making a meal comprised entirely of pills, which is beyond my scope as a home cook. Bing Crosby? I suppose I could have taken some young, tender chicken, beaten it mercilessly, and marinated it in Minute Maid orange juice, but I didn’t have the stomach for it.
I considered other Oscar winners for that year, but they just didn’t inspire cooking. Yes, I could have made a Sergeant Yorkshire pudding, but that seemed ridiculous. And under no circumstances was I about to make anything with the name Suspicion in it. In terms of baking, I firmly believe that anything Joan Fontaine-inspired is to be avoided, since the result will either be weepy or worse, too bitter to eat.
Okay, I’ll admit it: I watch the Academy Awards for the outfits. And for the possibility of crazy behavior on the podium, as the sudden release of mind-bending pressure makes these over-coddled thoroughbreds behave like the hundred pounds of crazy they really are. But really, will anything this year top Bjork’s swan? Or the pre-MILF Angelina Jolie smooching her brother?
So, instead of discussing the already discussed-to-death aforementioned film which, in my opinion, is only half a great film, I’m bringing you two wholly great ones: Babette’s Feast (Babette’s Gæstebud, 1987) and The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (Le Charme Discret de la Bourgeoisie, 1972). Both films (conveniently enough for today’s topic) won Oscars for Best Foreign Language film. Even more happy-making, they both star one, particular actress– Stephane Audran.
I’ve been spending entirely too much time watching episodes of The French Chef with Julia Child that my friend Craig gave me.
I find Mrs. Child oddly hypnotic. There is something about her uniquely-accented voice and the not-entirely graceful movement of her formerly 6′ 2″ body that compels me to watch her.
And watch her I do. Over and over again.
This week, I’ve been enjoying an early, black and white episode wherein she gives a champagne and coffee party in honor of:
“…the Queen of Sheba, which turns out to be this dark beauty, made of chocolate, and almonds, and rum, and butter!”
She then invites us into her kitchen where she promises we’ll make:
“the best chocolate cake you ever put in your mouth.”
That’s one heavy promise, but I love her enthusiasm.
I decided to put my money where Mrs. Child’s mouth is and examine this cake and the woman behind it, however superficially.