Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A Pantry Worth Crying Over

Have you ever watched a cooking movie like No Reservations or Julie and Julia, sat there for two hours of them making food that looks so good you can almost smell it through the TV? And you end up, at the end of the movie, so hungry that you would eat just about anything, even if it didn't look like that? So you go to your pantry or fridge, determined to find something even marginally awesome to eat. You open up the door. And want to cry.

Let us have a moment of silence for that horrible, horrible feeling.


Ok, everyone done? Do you need another moment? No? Ok, moving on.

For anyone who didn't follow, the reason we are all crying and having a moment of silence is because the contents of our pantries and fridges . . . in no way resembles the kind of pantry or fridge you need to reproduce anything even slightly similar to what you just watched Amy Adams eat. Don't even get me started on having the patience to even give it a decent attempt, given ideal ingredients and kitchen accouterments.

This is just so not fair. And it has gotten to the point that I don't even watch Julie and Julia anymore unless I am prepared with something good to eat afterwards! Because I know what will happen, and I can't endure that heartbreak!

Or something like browning butter. Excuse me? I am already dragging out a mixer, half a dozen measuring cups and spoons, whisks and spatulas and spoons and EVERY OTHER DISH IN THE KITCHEN, but now you also want me to get out a pan, and painstakingly melt and saute butter in there until it is brown but not burned? Are you out of your freaking mind?! Come on, I am the kind of girl that reads a recipe, gets to the end and says, "Well, THAT'S not going to happen," and then either disregards it altogether or cuts corners like I'm late to work. Honestly. There is not way I'm going to sift those dry ingredients. The best you're going to get is I'm going to dump them all in a bowl together and give them a good stir with a whisk.

You know what needs to exist? A grocery store that will deliver 24/7. So that when people like me decide to watch a food movie at eleven at night, we actually have an option available when our mouths are watering and we're starving. "Yes, I need to order one of your meals from the freezer section. I don't care, something that looks even remotely similar to what Catherine Zeta-Jones just made that can be ready to eat in ten minutes." Such a place could make a killing, I'm telling you.

Come to think of it, y'know what would be even better? A magic fridge. "Fridge, I want chicken parmesan." *Ding!* "Ooh, yummy!"

"Fridge, I want Girl Scout cookies." *Ding!* *Munch*

"Fridge, I want a half-naked male model." *Error!* "Aww..."

Anyway . . .

This is a serious problem, people. These beautiful food movies and sadly lacking fridges are contributing to food depression all over the world! Something must be done! Raise awareness! Because there are few things in this world sadder than a fridge, a cupboard, or a pantry worth crying over.

Sleeping Beauty, Bronchitis, and Disney Magic

So, my little five year old Sammy and I have been sick in bed (literally) for the past few days with bronchitis. It has . . . not been fun. At all. But at least one good thing has come of it. Sleeping Beauty. I shall explain.

You know how us as humans tend to fixate on things? For example, I've been fixated on Robert Downey Jr. for the longest time now, my sister in law has been fixated on Stargate (the AMAZING TV series), etc. Well, Sammy has been fixating on Sleeping Beauty. She has probably watched this movie 20 times this weekend alone. We're working on the fourth time through just today, and it's not even dinnertime yet. We've also watched special features, and done the Sleeping Beauty Castle virtual tour three times in a row.

Well, while the two of us are sitting in bed, sniffling and hacking and dabbing at watery eyes and trying to breathe past the enormous invisible elephants on our chests, I've been having Sleeping Beauty related epiphanies left and right. Seriously. I can't even Facebook them all, otherwise people would start questioning my Nyquil intake. (For the record, none. I don't do medicine I have to drink, and gel capsules make me gag just at the sight of them. See, my throat is seizing just thinking about them. *Gag*) So, in order to share these priceless epiphanies with the world, hello pretty blog! Hold onto your hats, people. It's about to get Disney all up in here.

First off, a rant. I know, odd thing to start with, but we're going with it anyway. And I promise, this all ties in at the end, bear with me. It's been a big trend recently to redo classic fairytales into these big, grand, live action adventures. Snow White has been done twice, Hansel and Gretel inherited Jeremy Renner and some witches, Alice in Wonderland got the Tim Burton treatment a few years ago, Red Riding Hood grew up and fell in love with a werewolf. Now, on my part, I've pretty much been a big fan of these. Mirror Mirror: wacky, but I loved it. Julia Roberts was GENIUS. Alice in Wonderland is a favorite, Johnny Depp has yet to find a role he can't do. Red Riding Hood appealed in the most bizarre way, since I'm not a big fan of the creepy things.

However . . . It all fell apart when we put the hot factor of Chris Hemsworth, the acting prowess of Charlize Theron, and the fantastic story of Snow White, with . . . Kristen Stewart. We gave a girl with as much expression as a brick wall the role of the fairest in the land. No. As of yet, not even the lure of Chris Hemsworth's muscles and Charlize Theron as the wicked queen have convinced me to sit through two hours of snooze on the part of director-screwing, Stony-Faced Stewart. I can't do it.

Which brings me to one of the next live-action fairytale interpretations set to hit the scenes, rumored to give us the backstory of one of the most famous villains in history, Maleficent (see, told you this would tie in). I'm stoked for this. As stoked as I was for Snow White and the Huntsman before I found out about that the fairest of them all was really going to be the least expressive of them all. I mean, come on! This is going to be awesome. The actresses they are picking to play these evil queens is genius. Julia Roberts, Charlize Theron, Angelina Jolie, these women are top of the totem pole. Watching them apply their own particular talents to such huge, fantastic characters is or is going to be AMAZING.

And while we're waiting anxiously for the summer of 2014 to find out what the good goshdang happened to muck up Maleficent's life, I have a theory: She and King Stefan have a history. I'm not sure what kind, but there has to be something going on there. Why else would Maleficent just randomly show up at the royal baby shower and be uber-pissed about not having been invited? It's a baby shower, not like you're missing much, just oohing and ahhing over this season's cutest in haute for baby.

Unless . . . it's your ex's baby with his wife he left you for. In that case, I can see being a bit miffed. Especially when the other woman has the gall to actually talk to you when you crash the party, putting on the innocent act and asking if you're not offended. If that's the case, they kinda asked for it. Yeah people, this is where my brain goes. I have a good time.

So, Maleficent is pissed, plants an evil curse on (her ex's?) baby, and disappears in a cloud of green smoke, leaving everyone's favorite good fairy, Merryweather, to unsnarl this mess. I have one question . . .

WHAT WAS MERRYWEATHER GOING TO GIVE THE PRINCESS BEFORE ALL THAT HAPPENED?! Seriously, this has been bothering me for years. The kid already has beauty and song, which seems like a pretty good deal to me, so what could the third gift have been that would have been equal to those gifts already given? Mysterious. But, as before, I have a theory. I would bet that Merryweather, being the adorable thing she is, was either going to give Aurora the gift of happiness or love. Because those are the kinds of things the spunky, cheeky fairy would value. And yet, despite this happy theory I have formed, I'm still going to drive myself nuts every time I see this movie. Which will probably be another two or three times before bedtime, if the day continues as it has been.

Since we're on the topic of Merryweather, that brings me nicely to my next thing. I have decided that dressing up as one of the fairies for Halloween would be totally awesome! I totally have the body type for it, short and round. And I could totally make that hat, I have some pretty mad hat skills (ask me about my Mad Hatter top hat). And, since my mother-in-law and sister-in-law are as big of Disney fans as I am, we could totally do a trio of all three!

Then my daughter threw in her two cents, and I was surprised. Sammy wants to be the green fairy, Fauna, Grandma can be Merryweather, sister-in-law can be Flora, our dog can be the dragon Maleficent, I can be Sleeping Beauty, and Daddy can be the prince. Of course I was delighted to be the princess in this scenario, so I graciously accepted. The temptation to do a dress that is splattered pink and blue is irresistible. If I am being Princess Aurora this Halloween, I am so doing that.

Ok peeps, a couple of quick tidbits of trivia will wrap this thing up, so here we go (I'm a BIG trivia fan, deal with it). The voice of Maleficent = Same woman who voiced the stepmother, Lady Tremaine, in Cinderella! The sound of the dragon snapping its jaws = Castanets! And this last one is my favorite: when Maleficent is taunting Prince Phillip in the prison in the Forbidden Mountain fortress, and his subsequent daring escape, all of that was originally meant to go to Prince Ferdinand in Snow White. The reason it didn't? When Snow White was being done, Walt Disney didn't think his animators could do a convincing enough human male (look at that picture, he had a point), so it was scrapped and put in Sleeping Beauty years later instead! Cool, huh?! Told ya, trivia nerd over here. I love this stuff.

You wanna know the best thing about this movie, and even all Disney movies in general, especially the classics? That they never stop being as awesome as the were the first time you saw them. I still get that thrill of romance when Prince Phillip starts dancing with Briar Rose, waltzing through the forest. I still laugh in delight as Flora and Merryweather bicker back and forth while the fairies are all preparing for the birthday party. I still feel that deep sense of foreboding and fear as Maleficent appears in the fireplace and lures Aurora away up the tower to the tune of that creepy music. It's magic. Disney magic. And even when I'm old and gray, looking far more like a Fairy Godmother than a princess, I will still see with wondering eyes everything that those movies have to offer.

P.S. Have you ever noticed that the horses in Disney movie are the most hysterical, outrageous creatures! The attitude! It's fabulous!