How would you like to look in your rear view window and see this face glaring at you?
Ok, not really. It’s just that Jessica Tandy’s Daisy Werthen is a formidable old broad. Strong enough to usher an audience through 25 years or so of mid twentieth century American history. 1989’s best Driving Miss Daisy is just wonderful. Ms. Tandy and her chauffeur through all this history witnessing is the equally formidable Morgan Freeman. And I totally goofed in my last post with regards to no one being better than Dustin Hoffman–Morgan Freeman is just as good. Freeman’s a treasure. The thing that I love about this movie is that the plot is all this American history, so there really is no plot, it’s just life, which made it an extremely character rich movie. And what characters. My favorite part of this movie was when Daisy tells Hoke that Idella (Good Times‘ Esther Rolle) was lucky for dying. It was like an old persons’ secret handshake: they know what’s coming and they want it to be easy. I don’t blame them, growing old tends to suck.
Old, but not sucking: Jessica Tandy was the oldest actress to be nominated for an Oscar, and the oldest to win one. She was 80 years old at the time of the filming. She was also the last lead from the original Broadway cast of A Streetcar Named Desire (1947) to win an Academy Award (Karl Malden and Kim Hunter won their awards for the film version of Streetcar, Marlon Brando won his for On the Waterfront and The Godfather). It took her 42 years.
Driving Miss Daisy was nominated for 11 Academy Awards. And apparently this movie directed itself: Bruce Beresford, Daisy’s director was not nominated. Hell, even Dan Aykroyd got a nom for this movie. Oliver Stone got his second best director award for Born on the 4th of July. That talentless hack Beresford has apparently directed 6 different actors in Oscar-nominated performances. Sheesh , Academy Awards, way to mess things up.
For dinner we raided the pantry, borrowed a can of salmon, bought a new one from the Piggly Wiggly to replace it because we decided to go with fresh salmon:
Mustard Encrusted Salmon w/ green lentils (from the indispensable Balthazar coobook)
- · 4 salmon fillets (about 6 oz each)
- · 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- · ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- · ¼ cup Dijon mustard
- · 6 teaspoons dry bread crumbs
- · 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Preheat the oven to very hot (500 degrees)
Season the salmon fillets on both sides with salt and pepper. On the rounded side spread the mustard followed by a sprinkling of bread crumbs. Press the crumbs into the mustard. Beat a large ovenproof sauté pan over a high flame. Add the oil. When the oil begins to smoke add the salmon, mustard coated side of the fish down. Sear for 2 minutes, until the bread crumbs and mustard for a crust. Turn over and sear other side for 1 minute. Transfer the pan to the oven and finish cooking for about 3-4 minutes. Easy!
for the lentils
- 1 cup lentils
- 2 slices of bacon, finely diced
- 4 sprigs of thyme
- ½ medium onion, finely diced
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and finely diced
- 1 celery stalk, finely diced
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
- 1 cup chicken stock
Rinse the lentils and place them in a medium saucepan. Cover the lentils with 4 cups of water. Bring the water to a gentle simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat a small saucepan over a medium flame. Place the bacon and thyme in the hot pan and cook until some of the fat has rendered from the bacon (about 2 minutes). Next, add the onion, garlic and salt, and cook until the onion is translucent (about 5 minutes). Add the butter, carrot, celery, white pepper and chicken stock. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
Drain the lentils and return them to the saucepan you cooked them in. Add the bacon-vegetable mixture and simmer gently for 7 to 10 minutes, until the lentils are very tender.
and for dessert, we visited Miss Daisy at the home and had some Thanksgiving Pie (pumpkin pie). Timing is everything. Happy Thanksgiving:
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 large eggs
- 1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin
- 1 can (12 fl. oz.) condensed or evaporated milk
- 1 unbaked 9-inch (4-cup volume) deep-dish pie shell
- Whipped cream (optional)
MIX sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk.
POUR into pie shell.
BAKE in preheated 425° F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Top with whipped cream before serving.