Daily Gluttony and Movies That Taught Me To Eat (Short List)

 

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I was preparing my boyfriend’s normal breakfast the other day and scraping a bit of butter onto his toast and then applying a liberal glob of mixed berry jam onto the buttered toast and had a thought! One of my most favorite ways to devour toast (because toast is not to be eaten delicately – but rather savagely) is butter and jam and I learned that way of eating from a movie – What A Girl Wants.

If you’ve ever seen the movie, Amanda Bynes meets up with her long, lost father and they find out they’re more alike than different. One scene is where they are sitting down for breakfast and they both butter and jam a slice of toast and fold the toast in half and take a hearty bite. Before seeing that movie – I never even thought of using BOTH butter and jam.

Movies are a love that is only second to my love of food and books. I can watch movies all day long. I love getting lost in a great story line. If there are any food scenes in any movie – I am immediately won over. I found a real, deep love of lemon meringue pie from the movie Toast, about the chef Nigel Slater’s early life. I remember desperately thinking that I MUST have milk and chocolate chip cookies after seeing Stranger Than Fiction when Maggie Gyllenhall demanded that Will Ferrel’s character dunk the small cookie into the milk and eat it.

The craving struck for Indian food was so strong after I watched Today’s Special. I actually was in so much need of Indian food that I whined about it for three days before I could get my hands on some.  I also discovered a real need for complex, delicate, not-Hershey’s, fine chocolate after seeing Chocolat.

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And HELLO, pancakes? Matilda? Who didn’t want to make pancakes after that tiny little genius made it for herself? Also – there was a whole lot of food in Julie and Julia but for some reason, the two dishes that stuck with me was the sole muniere that Julia Child ate in France and the bruschetta that Julie Powell made for her husband.Julie Powell’s husband chomped down on that slice of bruschetta like he had never seen food before in his life. It was a glorious display of greed.

Have you also seen Love Actually? When Hugh Grant makes a hilarious, borderline sexual joke about chocolate biscuits, I have never needed a chocolate-covered cookie so badly…and needed Hugh Grant to feed that biscuit to me. OH! And have you seen the movie Sideways? With Paul Giamatti? I remember watching that movie about the wine country in California for the first time in my freshmen year of college and immediately after, I went straight to the library and borrowed ten books on vineyards and wine tasting.

I don’t have cable anymore so I am not quite as exposed to food porn like I used to be but I have probably learned to eat and enjoy food most from movies and t.v. I am unapologetic and reverent for such imaginary characters. Food really is everywhere and everything to me.

Do you notice food scenes in movies like I do?  I notice them so much more than other motifs, characters, and plot developments. What are your favorite movie scenes?

Like the title of this post denotes – that was just the short list of all my food movies. I’ll compose a longer list later. You’ll see that my madness is profound.

Anywho! Here’s what I’ve been eating lately!

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I recently went to a pretty well-known ramen restaurant in downtown Durham the other night called Dashi. The experience was pretty cool. The restaurant was small and they had a bar you could sit at and get the full ramen bar experience. They had a liquor bar upstairs for your after-dinner drink as well. So….as much as I wanted to rave about the ramen here, I felt it was subpar. I order the vegan ramen made with a mushroom-based stock and I felt the broth was rather plain. There seemed to be no real complexity to the broth and it didn’t make me want to slurp it greedily from the bowl. The vegetables they included in the bowl were pickled cremini mushrooms, beansprouts, roasted squash, grilled eggplant, and scallions. I felt that the addition of the grilled eggplant was strange and became mushy almost immediately and the pickled mushrooms were probably not my favorite permutation of mushrooms. I am sure the meat-based broth wouldn’t have been AS lackluster. BUT. I feel that you can really demonstrate the culinary skill of a restaurant by producing truly flavorful vegetables and vegetable dishes. My experience at Dashi was great. MY ramen was a bit disappointing but everything else I had from the drinks to the appetizer and the atmosphere was spot on. ALSO! I should mention that the noodles were AMAZING. The actual noodles, you could absolutely tell, were so fresh. They were chewy and toothsome. I’ve never had such fresh-tasting ramen noodles.
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This is the appetizer at Dashi. It was the pickle plate. If we’re being honest, I loved this pickle plate more than my actual ramen. The cucumbers were crunchy, salty and a little spicy. To the left of the cukes were their house-made kimchi and it was the BOMB DOT COM. Hands down some of the best kimchi I’ve ever had. Super spicy, sharp, and garlicky. Delicious. BUT the real showstopper was the pickled turnips which were behind the kimchi and cukes. I took this picture before I tasted the pickled turnips and had no idea that I would want to eat a whole bowlful. They were slightly sweet, a little garlicky, and so crunchy. I wanted to order another plate and go home and make sweet love to it. I mean….*ahem*….what? No. That’s not weird. Don’t judge.
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This is Nick’s magical, beautiful, amazing, wonderful, crave-worthy popcorn that I beg for on the regular. I ate so much of this during the past weekend. You can find the recipe here.
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Workday lunch! Greens, rice, Trader Joe’s veggie chili, and leftover Mandarin Sweet Chili Fall Squash.
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I love this veggie chili from Trader Joe’s! It has beans and vegetables and a bit of soy protein bits so extra heartiness! I really only eat this when I’m too busy to fix anything proper. A bit of rice and some fresh greens and I’ve got something better than McDonald’s!
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I wanted to like this Pumpkin Spice Almond Milk from Trader Joe’s. I really did. But nope. It’s too thick. It’s hard to drink or eat with anything else. I haven’t tried it in smoothies but I think that is the only real successful place for it.
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One of my best friends, Quinn, gifted me with some beautiful rye bread from a Jewish bakery while he was on a business trip to Texas. I smothered it in vegan butter and had it with my spaghetti and died a little of happiness. Keep the friends that bring you food gifts. They’re special.
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I needed some real energy and sustenance during prep for a post so I quickly made some blueberry oats with bananas, almond butter, hemp seeds, and shredded coconut. It kept me going for a quite a bit! All hail the humble oatmeal bowl!

 

Have a great week friends! Eat lots!

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