It was a lucky April shower
It was a most convenient door
I found a million dollar baby in a five and ten cent store
The night before we watched 2004’s best picture, Million Dollar Baby, I fell asleep thinking about how wonderful an actor Morgan Freeman is. I thought he was robbed of a Best Actor award back in 1989 for Driving Miss Daisy. He should have easily picked up that supporting one for Shawshank Redemption. Thank heavens he finally prevailed for playing Clint Eastwood’s one-eyed friend and employee, ex-boxer Eddie “Scrap-Iron” Dupris. Man, I wish I had a cool nickname like “scrap-iron.” Mr. Freeman really is a treasure and he is certainly one of the reasons Million Dollar Baby is so good. Good, but a bit depressing. It’s funny that this movie is considered a “boxing” picture. While there are a lot of boxing scenes and boxers and the training of boxers, this movie is no Rocky. Thank God. In the end, in my opionion, it’s about who your family is and who you make your family: who is your Mo Cuishle. I remember just completely sobbing when I first saw this in the theaters and I promised myself on this second viewing that I wouldn’t be such a baby. I hate breaking my own promises.
2004 was a pretty strong year for movies: The Aviator (my favorite that year; a movie about old Hollywood? I’m in! And are they ever gonna throw one Martin Scorsese’s way? Sheesh), Ray (Jim’s favorite), Finding Neverland (Johnny Depp, sigh), and Sideways (a good movie, but I felt drunk after watching it) were the other nominees that year. Other terrific movies not nominated that year: Kinsey and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind . Hard choices.
Remember Woolworth’s lunch counter? For dinner I went with the five and dime theme and found an old menu online from Woolworth’s. I made choice number one: The Roast Beef Dinner.
Roast Beef is soo easy to make:
preheat oven to 500 degrees–with a sharp knife cut slits on the top of the roast. Insert garlic slivers in the slits. Place the meat on a rack in a roasting pan and roast for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes remove from the oven, lower the oven temp to 375 and sprinkle with salt and pepper and thyme. Return to the oven and roast until the meat comes to your desired temperature (130 is rare). Let roast sit for 10-15 minutes before slicing.
For the gravy I just add a little chef’s juice, er, wine to the pan drippings and reduce.
Mashed potatoes–peel potatoes cook em in boiling water for 20-25 minutes until tender–mash em with some warmed milk and butter. Em is a very important word when you’re making mashed potatoes.
For the green vegetable I made a recipe from the big red Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook–Billionaires Broccoli
Slice the florets of the broccoli off the tips (or just buy tips, the cookbook is a bit dated) heat about 2 T olive oil in a 2 quart microwave safe casserole for two minutes. Stir in 4 cloves of garlic, slivered, and cook until golden, 3 minutes. Stir in broccoli and 1/2 cup chopped scallions (the green part, throw the white part into a glass of water and put in on your windowsill–the green parts grow back) and some chicken broth (about a cup) cover and nuke for about 5 minutes. Season with salt & pepper and sprinkle with some parmesean cheese before serving.
For dessert I made malteds:
- 4 scoops chocolate ice cream
- 1 cup(s) milk
- 3 tablespoon(s) chocolate syrup
- 3 tablespoon(s) malted milk powder
Put everything in a blender and then pour into tall glasses. Serve. Watch the movie and then kick yourself for not making lemon meringue pie.
I had completely forgotten how important the lemon pie was in this movie. Once I remembered, there was just no living with myself. My brain and my mouth just stopped talking to each other. The next day I made lemon meringue pudding and all was forgiven.
1/2 cup Corn starch
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 cups water
4 egg yolks lightly beaten
1/2 cup lemon juice (or extract)
1 Tbspn grated Lemon peel (1 lemon)
2 Tbspn butter or margarine
4 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
2 tspn Corn Starch
Mix 1/2 cup corn starch, 1-1/2 cups sugar, water, and egg yolks in a saucepan over medium heat. Stirring constantky(else it forms lumps), bring mixture to a boil (8 to 10 minutes), reduce heat and continuosly stirring for one minuteuntil very thick. Remove from heat, and add lemon juice, lemon zest and butter, stir well untill smooth. Pour this while hot into a well greased baking pan. Beat egg whites in mixer at high speed until soft peaks form , gradually add 1/2 cup sugar and 2 teaspoons cornstarch, beating until stiff peaks form (tips stand straight), about 3 minutes. Top the lemon mixture in the baking pan by spooning meringue over it, making sure to spread it on the entire surface, use the back of a spoon tp swirl meringue and draw up into peaks. Place oven rack in bottom third of preheated 375 deg F oven. Bake 10 minutes, until peaks are lightly browned. Cool at room teperature for 30 minutes. Chill for minimum of 3 hours before serving. Serve with whipped cream as topping.