Friday, October 23, 2009

A cinematic day

Have I mentioned that Ana and I have project? It won’t be a lot of work. We are planning to watch all the movies on the AFI’s 100 Greatest Movies list. This really means 100 greatest American movies, you know, so many worthy contenders are not on the list. No Samurais, no bicycle thieves. We plan to skip the too gory ones, as neither of us is into that sort of thing. We have gotten a good start. Last week we watched The Birth of a Nation, which was unsettling, to say the least. We were both a little stunned and shattered. This week we had a fabulous triple feature with the original King Kong, which we didn’t enjoy as much as we expected to. I hadn’t seen it for about forty years, and had a rather different memory of it - way less silly. Still, Fay Wray was adorable, and worthy of any apes adoration. I expected Kong to be a more sympathetic character, as he was in the remakes, but he was really pretty creepy. We didn’t like him at all, and were relieved when he fell off the Empire State building. Then we watched The Jazz Singer, which last I saw when I was about nine. I had Al Jolson records that I listened to all the time, so I must have liked it pretty well, but I wasn’t prepared for how very much I liked it now. It was fabulous. Al Jolson was super wonderful, dancing, singing, twitching in a slightly pre-Elvis way. Our third movie was one of my all time favorites – Bringing Up Baby – which I have seem so many times that I could almost quote it as it went along. It only gets better with each viewing. I love Screwball Comedies, and BUB is the funniest of them all.
Our dinner had elements of the screwball comedy in it. We were making it during intermission between the first and second movies, and it was supposed to be a meal-in-minutes. I planned to make barley soup, and just as the barleys were hitting the onions in the pot, I realized with a sickening feeling, that they were not barley at all, but wheat berries. I ask you, what sort of dodo would keep wheat berries in an unmarked jar? I remembered that wheat berries took Hours To Cook. However in my handy pressure cooker, they only took 35 minutes which was only 20 minutes longer than the barley, so not that much of a disaster, and the results were very good, making this was a happy mistake.

Wheat Berry Soup
Olive oil
Lots of garlic, sliced (we used about ten toes)
One onion, sliced
½ cup of wheatberries
2 carrots, diced
Celery, about a cup, sliced
Mushrooms, about two cups, sliced
Parsley, ½ cup chopped
Spinach – about four cups fresh
Vegetable broth, 6 cups
Salt, pepper
Using a pressure cooker, sauté the onion in olive oil till translucent, add in the garlic and give it a few more turns. Add the wheat berries, stirring a few times more. Stir in the carrots, celery, and mushrooms. Give it a few more stirs. Add the remaining ingredients. Cook at high pressure for 35 minutes. Quick release the pressure and enjoy a hearty, lovely soup in nearly no time at all. Even Rachael, who doesn’t like soup (can you imagine!!!), liked it.


Lorette said...

Yum. Cary Grant and almost-barley soup! Screwball comedies are the best. Philadelphia Story is my all-time favorite.

Knitman said...

I don't know that I would care watch all 100 but I certainly love Bringing Up Baby.

Janet said...

La Traviata - lucky you.