Friday, September 17, 2010

A movie day

I went to the movies nearly every Saturday of my youthful life. There were two theaters near one another, and one was, according to my mother, slightly disreputable. However, the reputable one, the State Theater, cost 25¢, while the disreputable one, the Empire Theater, cost only 15¢. This meant that going to the Empire Theater would result in an additional 10¢ for candy. So occasionally, my little accomplice and I would be dropped off at the State Theater, then would scurry up a block and attend the movie at the Empire Theater and then run back to the State Theater to be picked up after the movie. We delighted in both the extra candy and in our subtlety. We soon tired of this, however, because the movies were really not to our taste. I recall seeing gangster movies there and they were way to oppressive. As we suffered through the evil antics of Edward G. Robinson and his ilk, we realized that at the State Theater, we could be watching some delightful thing like Roy Rogers or Shirley Temple, as well as a cartoon and a serial, maybe Superman or the Lone Ranger, or if less lucky, Buck Rogers. I also went to the movies with my parents, when no babysitter was available, and suffered through some deadeningly tedious movies that they wanted to see. I particularly remember my mother being excited about going to Citizen Kane, which actually aroused a little enthusiasm in me, but then later being ready to die of excruciating ennui once the movie started. I think I might have been scarred for life by this experience. Another scarring movie was “King Solomon’s Mines.” I believe I was taken to this as an “educational experience,” and I seem to recall that it was at the slightly sleazy (of course they had no idea of true sleaze in those days) Empire Theater. This was even more scarring than Citizen Kane or Edward G Robinson. Citizen Kane was merely numbingly boring, but King Solomon’s Mines was terrifying. I had nightmares for weeks. For years, I shuddered any mention of either the movie or the H Rider Haggard novel.
I was looking at the DVD’s in the library recently, and there it was! Could it really be as awful as I remembered? I decided to have Dakki for dinner and watch it after – just to see. With Dakki there, I could endure anything. She was enthusiastic, both about free food, and about the movie. Well, my friends, it was wonderful. Sort of scary, but nothing like those monkeys in The Wizard of Oz. I did yelp as, unbeknownst to her, a giant spider was walking up Deborah Kerr’s skirt! But the scenery was astonishingly beautiful. The Watusi dancers rivaled dancers anywhere. And the story was good. Dakki and I both swooned at the handsome Stewart Granger. This was a really fun movie, and I recommend it to anyone who is fully grown up and has their Dakki standing by for comfort.

This is what we had for dinner.

Butternut, Bulgur and Bean Salad

This recipe incorporates ideas from two salad recipes that I wanted to try. I didn’t have time for both, so I combined their ingredients into one odd but good salad. I used the tail end of a butternut squash – about 10 oz. More would have been better, but I was too lazy to go to the store.

Butternut squash cut into small chunks- use up to a pound (I used less because that was all I had)
1 large red pepper, cut into small pieces
1 teaspoon harissa sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
Green beans, trimmed and cut into inch long pieces – about a quart (stupid me, I didn’t weigh them first)
70g bulgur wheat
300 ml vegetarian stock
Juice of ½ lemon
150 gm Greek yogurt
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
2 green onions
Small tomatoes (about 10)
Corn cut off one large cob.

Preheat the oven to 400°
Mix the harissa sauce in the oil, and toss the squash and red pepper. On a baking sheet with a Silpat (or similar,) roast the squash and pepper for about 20 minutes.

In the meantime, bring a pot of water to the boil, and boil the beans for about 2 minutes. Plunge them into cold water to stop the cooking. They will be slightly crunchy.

Put the bulgur in a bowl and cover with the stock. Let it sit until the bulgur is not crunchy. The time for this will vary depending on the type of bulgur – from 10 minutes to half an hour or even more.

Mix the yogurt, mustard, salt, pepper.

Drain the bulgur, and toss everything together, saving to tomatoes till you are ready to serve. It is very good the next day.

PS It was more attractive before I put in the bulgur, but the bulgur gives it the heft needed for a main dish.


Laura said...

Sounds like a fun evening with Dakki. My DVD player just stopped working all together for some reason so I feel movie deprived at the moment. I'll put this on my list though. I'm glad you include the recipes!

Janet said...

I'm glad you put that ghost to rest and enjoyed the film. I have several dvd's from the library just waiting to be watched but each evening we tend to read instead. Might I add that we aren't quite sure how to operate the dvd player. Our little grandaughters know but Anne of Green Gables would be their choice.