Houston, We Have A Female Problem Here!

September 8, 2008

I loved, loved, loved Terms of Endearment when it came out in 1983. I laughed, I cried, I cheered when it won Best Picture and Best Actress for Shirley Maclaine (but I thought at the time that the award should have gone to the “turbulently brilliant” Debra Winger: I still do). and all it’s other various and sundry awards.  James L. Brooks! Jack Nicholson! Time,  however, has not really been that kind to Terms.  It kinda looks like a “women’s picture” from the 30’s or 40’s.  Sort of a tragic Awful Truth or a comic Now, Voyager.  Something that a Bette Davis or Irene Dunne would have, um done.  But this is the 1980’s and Terms of Endearment is the ultimate Chick Flick.

Other films from 1983:  The Right Stuff (probably should have won), The Big Chill (blech), Silkwood (meh). A slim year, that’s for sure.

One of our new traditions is before watching the movie we watch a “Simpsons” episode that references the film.  We’ve done this for pretty much every movie since 1970’s Patton.  And I should have been writing these down–but there is a great handy dandy website–Actualidad Simpsons where you can find them. Now you would think that with Terms of Endearment being directed by Simpsons executive producer James L. Brooks, that coming up with a Terms reference would be easy.  Alas, it wasn’t.  We watched an episode that showed a Springfield porn theater marquee displaying “Sperms of Endearment.” Slim reference pickings.

We had a pretty busy day watching the White Sox lose to the Anaheim Angels from Los Angeles California of Anaheim, or whatever their stupid name is, damn them, so we made a pretty easy dinner this time.  with a Texas brisket and some corn on the cob.

3 oz. bottle liquid smoke
5 to 6 lb. beef brisket
1 bottle “Cooks BBQ sauce”
Celery salt
Onion salt
Garlic salt
Salt and pepper
Meat tenderizer (optional)
Worcestershire sauce

Pour liquid smoke over brisket and rub on all sides. Sprinkle with celery salt, garlic salt, onion salt and meat tenderizer. Place brisket in refrigerator covered with foil. Leave overnight. When ready to bake, sprinkle both sides of beef with salt, pepper and a little Worcestershire sauce. Bake covered 5 hours in 275 oven. Uncover meat and pour about 1/2 bottle BBQ sauce over it and continue baking 1 hour uncovered. Remove meat; remove fat from juices. Add flour to thicken the juice. Then add more BBQ sauce, if desired. Serve with the sliced brisket. Allow brisket to cool before slicing; slice thin across the grain.

And we just roasted the Iowa-representing corn, in foil for about 1/2 an hour. A quick word about the corn: We picked it up a Chicago’s great Green City Market, the best farmer’s market, ever.  We went there Wednesday to see the Top Chef tour.  We saw Dale (season3) and Stephanie (season 4) cook! live! in a trailer!



  1. The top chef thing was really cool. It was very intimate with maybe 30-40 people in a trailer.

    The Simpsons connection is not as strong as I had hoped for many of the movies…but its still fun since the kids really don’t like the movies. THE RIGHT STUFF SHOULD HAVE WON!

  2. I agree. It would have been fun making something with Tang or Space Food Sticks. Do they still make Space Food Sticks?

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