Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Dessert in Film

If you haven't seen Waitress yet, I suggest you get to a theater sometime in the near future - I can't say enough about it. Aside from its quirky cuteness, there are several decadent pies to drool over throughout the movie. Jenna (played by Keri Russell), has a gift for pie making, and she creates pies that epitomize her troubled life: the Marshmallow Mermaid Pie, from the mermaid phase she went through when she was nine; the Strawberry Chocolate Oasis Pie (the Wednesday special); the I Hate My Husband Pie; and the Earl Murders Me Because I'm Having an Affair Pie, each with ingredients to relay Jenna's emotions.

Here is a link to an interesting article about Waitress in The New York Times which has details about the film and the sad story of its writer, Adrienne Shelly.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Wedding Season

I'm not a seasoned wedding guest (I may be by the fall), but I've worked at enough receptions to recognize appropriate wedding fare. After a pretty, laid-back service that I went to in May, servers butlered ham biscuits and pink lemonade masquerading as cosmos. Dinner was a sizeable buffet, the highlight of which was an impressive beef tenderloin carving station. The overall effect of the meal complimented the wedding itself - elegant yet modest - and the cake was so tasty that I had two pieces.

The second wedding I attended was anything but simple. My cousin and his wife had a conventional Hindu ceremony with select Jewish prayers and traditions. Immediately following the wedding, the families provided cheese and crackers, challah, and a sweet nut paste with an unfamiliar name (I didn't hear the details but I imagine it's customary for Indian weddings).
If that wasn't enough to keep everyone on their toes, the bride had a mullti-cultural upbringing, and the food was a blend of international cuisines.

I heard a couple different rumors about who made the food, one being that the drumming group that played at the reception also cooked dinner. In addition, it was supposed to be a combination of Indian, Trinidadian and Caribbean recipes, all of which were vegetarian as per Hindu custom. Unfortunately I didn't find out the names of the dishes, and I don't know exactly what went into them, but I know that I tried some new spices and flavor combinations.

Aesthetically speaking, the food wasn't the most appealing I'd ever seen, but I enjoyed eating most of it. There were huge chafers of rice, which could accompany all of the food, and two large platters of flat bread that could serve as a utensil. One of my favorite dishes had chickpeas and potatoes in it, and a taste that my ethnically deprived tongue identified as curry (there's a good chance my assessment is incorrect). I also liked the pumpkin, which was mashed and sweet, and a dish with slices of mango in a sauce that was spicy and reminded me of coffee still stands out in my mind.

I wasn't as excited about experimenting with the wedding cake. While the red icing with gold design was gorgeous, the cake itself was almond-flavored and filled with passion fruit. To be fair, the part that I disliked the most was the icing, which reminded me of bad whipped cream. But the cake certainly didn't come close to ruining the meal or the festive atmosphere at the wedding reception.

While I thoroughly enjoy the familiar and sophisticated highlights of weddings, I'll also never tire of experiencing adventurous ceremonies and trying new and mysterious foods.