Once upon a time, men wore hats to work. Only the polite ones took them off in elevators. Women wore hats and gloves. But if they held a job it was only clerical. You could go see Robert Preston in The Music Man on Broadway, last minute. And your pre-war Central Park West Manhattan apartment a half a block away from Central Park would set you back $85.00 a month. Welcome to the 50’s.
The Apartment is the world of C.C.”Buddy Boy” Baxter. Hat wearer (and polite enough to remove it in the elevator). Aforementioned apartment dweller and sharer of said apartment to an assortment of slime bags. If CC lived in NY today, he would probably wouldn’t wear a hat, he’d live really close to Tavern on the Green and he would have to pay a cool 2.65mil for that West 67th street apartment, that’s probably a coop by now (50W. 67th).
As great as The Apartment is (and it is great: its an absolute stunning stellar mix of comedy and drama). I think it’s Best Picture win was the result of a guilt hangover from the academy for not giving it’s top prize in 1959 to the superior, Some Like It Hot. It also won a screenplay award for Messrs. Wilder and Diamond (Some Like It Hot’s writers, too). Although the Academy should be ashamed of themselves, again, for not giving the best actor award, again, to Jack Lemmon. No other American actor did bittersweet like Jack Lemmon. This year they gave it to Burt Lancaster. <Shrug>
Things I noticed while watching this gem:
- The Apartment’s supporting cast reads like an old Nick at Nite or TVLand dream team-Fred MacMurray from My Three Sons, Ray Walston from My Favorite Martian, and David White (Larry Tate) from Bewitched. Naomi Stevens from The Flying Nun is here, too.
- Ob trivia: While watching TV, C.C. starts to watch the beginning of Grand Hotel. Another character refers to CC & Miss Kubelik as having a Lost Weekend. Two mentions of other Best Pictures. Cool.
For dinner we had a nice grilled Lemon Chicken:–From Epicurious.com
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 (3 1/2-lb) chicken, cut into 8 serving pieces
Combine all ingredients except chicken in a blender and blend until emulsified.
Put chicken pieces in a nonreactive bowl or dish or a large sealable plastic bag. Add marinade and turn chicken once or twice to coat. Marinate, covered and chilled, at least 8 hours. Bring chicken to room temperature 30 minutes before grilling and discard marinade.
To cook chicken using a charcoal grill:
Open vents on bottom of grill and on lid. Light a large chimney starter of charcoal (80 to 100 briquettes). Leaving about one quarter of grill free of charcoal, bank lit charcoal across rest of grill so that coals are about 3 times higher on opposite side.
When charcoal turns grayish white (about 15 to 20 minutes) and you can hold your hand 5 inches above rack for 3 to 4 seconds, sear chicken on lightly oiled grill rack over coals, uncovered, turning occasionally, until browned, 4 to 8 minutes total. Move chicken to side of grill with no coals underneath and cook, covered with lid, turning occasionally, until just cooked through, about 12 minutes for wings, 18 to 20 minutes for breasts, and 20 to 28 minutes for dark meat. Transfer chicken as cooked to a platter.
To cook chicken using a gas grill:
Preheat all burners on high, covered, 10 minutes, then adjust heat to moderately high. Sear chicken on lightly oiled grill rack, uncovered, turning over once, until well browned, 4 to 8 minutes total. Turn off 1 burner (middle burner if there are 3) and arrange chicken on rack above shut-off burner. Cook, covered with lid and turning over occasionally, until just cooked through, about 12 minutes for wings, 18 to 20 minutes for breasts, and 20 to 28 minutes for dark meat. Transfer chicken as cooked to a platter.
I served this with a nice Chinese Noodle Salad, so easy
Chilled Chinese Noodle Salad
2 tablespoons (30 ml) dark soy sauce
2 tablespoons (30 ml) white vinegar
1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt
1 tablespoon (15 ml) granulated sugar
1 tablespoon (15 ml) peanut oil
1 tablespoon (15 ml) sesame oil
1 teaspoon (5 ml) orange zest
1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) red chile flakes
Salad: 8 ounces (250 g) fresh Chinese egg noodles
Salt to taste
8 ounces bean sprouts, blanched
6 ounces carrots, finely shredded
3 ounces daikon, finely shredded
2 ounces green onions, sliced
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
Fresh cilantro leaves as needed for garnish
Combine the dressing ingredients and whisk thoroughly.
Cook the egg noodles in rapidly boiling salted water until tender, approximately 2 minutes. Drain and refresh; drain again.
Toss the noodles with the bean sprouts, carrots, daikon, green onions and sesame seeds. Add the dressing and toss gently until the noodles and vegetables are thoroughly coated.
Chill well.Garnish with cilantro.
And for dessert, to commemorate our last (for a long time anyway:1993’s Schindler’s List) black and white film, I made the classic New York treat (thank you, Seinfeld) black and white cookie. Fun!
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup (5 1/3 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 to 2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Stir together buttermilk and vanilla in a cup.
Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes, then add egg, beating until combined well. Mix in flour mixture and buttermilk mixture alternately in batches at low speed (scraping down side of bowl occasionally), beginning and ending with flour mixture. Mix until smooth.
Spoon 1/4 cups of batter about 2 inches apart onto a buttered large baking sheet. Bake in middle of oven until tops are puffed and pale golden, and cookies spring back when touched, 15 to 17 minutes. Transfer with a metal spatula to a rack and chill (to cool quickly), about 5 minutes.
Make icings while cookies chill:
Stir together confectioners sugar, corn syrup, lemon juice, vanilla, and 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl until smooth. Transfer half of icing to another bowl and stir in cocoa, adding more water, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, to thin to same consistency as white icing.
Turn cookies flat sides up, then spread white icing over half of each and chocolate over other half.
- If you can stand the wait, cookies taste better if cooled without being chilled.