my dinner with stephanie - the movie



i thought i could make it through the ‘julie’ book, but, dear reader, at page seventy-seven i give up. it is simply too depressing. some folk may love her style and rate it a riot or at least funny. it makes me sick. i think it pathetic. the woman low balls herself so piteously often and elevates her stories ever more with lamentable four letter roadside content. no, i am no prude. the word ‘fuck’ will fly from my teeth sincerely when a new mandolin slices the tip of my thumb. but my days are not filled with deplorable details and i love cooking. so i wont mention the lurid content of page seventy-seven as it relates to ‘steak with beef marrow’. shoving a knife up to its hilt into a leg bone seems plain rude. i suggest that marrow might render more readily, if a cook asks the butcher to cut the bone in question into two inch pieces. in fact marrow bones tend to be sold that way.
julie and julia, the book, seems little more than a poorly forgone recall of julia child’s splendid effort to bring the french way to the american table. as it reads it has little to do with nora ephron’s movie, which is really sweet to see. it has managed to sell an avalanche amount of child’s book, which i guess is a record. i do wonder who will use it to cook from, or learn how to turn an omelet. the film has made it onto my ten best list largely over the fabulous acting of meryl streep and as mentioned before, her on-screen husband, stanley tucci.

here is my list:

1 babette’s feast
2 mostly martha
3 eat drink man woman
4 like water for chocolat
5 big night
6 la grande bouffe
7 fried green tomatoes
8 the cook, the thief, his wife, her lover
9 my dinner with andre
10 au petit margeury
11 volver
12 tampopo
13 julie & julia

i admit it’s a one sided affair. it should have included ‘chocolat’ and ‘the discreet charm of the bourgoisie’, possibly ‘tom jones’, but then why not ‘the godfather’ or ‘fast food nation’? a baker’s dozen is fluent. it will change. there will be a film showing in close-up a fork-full of rattner’s cheesecake approaching full-blown the lips of scarlett johansson, slow motion and anamorphic widescreen, of course.
until then, amarcordo.


as for tonight’s dinner: it will be my version of chicken breast and the forty garlic cloves.
the cloves will slow cook in oil and some pinot gris (yes, i have bought another case of the stuff) the chicken would crisp over some butter, and finish in the liquid once the garlic has rendered. i’ve got to let go of the orzo, but she loves it and why would i argue?





poached pears lemon verbena demerara sugar