True Romance

True Romance: directed by who cares? and written by QUENTIN TARANTINO, Quentin Tarantino in the early nineties when he wasn’t an overblown hack just re-using all his old material. I know this is supposed to be a cooking blog, but I’m doing my yearly viewing of True Romance today because it came from Netflix the other day and I can’t help but write about it.

I love this movie. I think it’s really inventive and smart and who doesn’t love Christian Slater from 15 years ago? I have no idea what Christian is up to now, but back then he was hot shit. Pump Up the Volume? Heathers? Come on! One of the characters just said, “Ooooh that’s inventive. I have more taste in my penis.” Hilarious!

But during this viewing, I started thinking, why do I love Clarence and Alabama so much? Why do I root for them in this movie? They are murdering, white-trash, low-rent, drug dealers. I mean before he met Alabama he was a lonely, nerdy comic-book store clerk who didn’t have two cents to rub together and Alabama was a call girl from podunk Florida. As soon as they get together Clarence murders Alabama’s pimp, miraculously gets a suitcase full of cocaine, which he then takes to LA to sell to Hollywood actor-types. They get into a giant gun fight and end up being the only two left alive and they ride off into the sunset with a suitcase full of money and live happily ever after in Mexico.

It’s totally brilliant and ridiculous and I think the only reason that it works is because the title says it all. It’s about romance people. It’s about love. By all standard definitions, the two main characters are not good people, but you want them to succeed because they really and truly love each other and have amazing onscreen chemistry. And the end when they are happy on a beach in Cancun with their beautiful little boy is so gratifying because you know in real life that it probably would not have worked out like that at all. Plus the voiceovers at the beginning and end by Patricia Arquette are quite possibly the best voiceovers of all time. So really what it boils down to is this: why do I love True Romance when it is filled with all the seediest and most back-alley things in this world? Because even though those things make up the majority of the movie, they’re not what it’s about at all. Like I said, it’s about love….and good writing.

Baking Day

So I know I haven’t posted in a few weeks, but unfortunately I haven’t had any time to bake anything. I don’t know who I’m saying this to since I don’t think I have any faithfuls yet, but I just felt kind of like a failure, starting this writing project and then not doing anything. I didn’t want to be one of those bloggers that just write about my daily life, but I didn’t have time to make anything worth writing about, so no posts.

Today I have to mix up some bread dough and make some pastry crust because, gasp! I’m teaching my first cooking class tomorrow. Co-teaching with my boss actually. The real chef had an emergency appendectomy last week and isn’t up to teaching yet and we didn’t want to cancel so we’re the fill-ins. I have to do all the pre-baking today so it can be like a real cooking show where I mix the ingredients, have one all ready to bake, and then have one that’s already baked. That’s my plan anyways, we’ll see how it goes. I’m making No-Knead Bread in my Le Creuset 5.5qt Round French Oven (my favorite piece of cookware) and I’m thinking I’m going to do a buttermilk pie in my really lovely deep-dish Le Creuset pie dish. And no, this isn’t a Le Creuset commercial, but the class is called Learning to Love Le Creuset so I have to use the cookware. And thanks to all the free stuff I’ve collected from my job, I do love it! So wish me luck you imaginary readers out there. Pictures and posts of the process to come….

This could be the most perfect pie crust I have ever created. It looks just like the one on the cover of my PIE book!


And this is where it stopped looking perfect. Actually this pie did turn out perfectly but I can’t get the picture off my phone. I mixed up another one during the class, then it sat on the counter for about an hour before I could get it home and bake it and then it turned into this monstrosity…

I think this was a product of sitting for a long time before baking. Also, even though I let the butter sit out for like two hours before using it, it was too cold and didn’t cream correctly. Wow, that sounded gross. Turns out this tasted okay but it looks so deformed that it definitely put Tristan off. I had to make him a bevy of pumpkin pies to make up for it.

I tried a new pumpkin pie recipe. Usually I stick with the regular Libby’s, but tonight I tried the Indian Pudding Spiced Pumpkin Pie. Yummy! It has cornmeal in it, which seemed weird but it acted as the thickener and this pie turned out really great!