Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Julien Donkey-Boy and an autumn feast!

We've really gotten into this! We're watching movies like crazy and I haven't had this many ideas for dinner in a long time. Love love love that so many people are liking our blog. Thank you all for reading,

The other night we watched Julien Donkey-Boy. This one came from our collection, but I had never seen it and Ron couldn't remember it, so we gave it a whirl.

Watch the Trailer

Dinner was a hodgepodge of things I had been craving: pumpkin bisque, baked brie, roasted beets and capocollo.

Recipes and reviews below.


I love appetizers! I like little bites of EVERYTHING. Tapas makes me happy. And some nights I don't want to make a put-together meal - I'd rather munch on heavy hors d'oeuvres. And if you haven't noticed, we don't have a dining room table. Until we move out of the cottage, we're stuck with a couch and a coffee table. It isn't the easiest to eat while hunched over a low table watching a movie, but small plates of picky foods are great for movies on the couch.

So that's just what I did the other night - appetizers! Also, I was craving like nine different things while trying to decide what to make.

Never go to the grocery store hungry.

I settled on: pumpkin bisque, baked brie with apple butter, capocollo and roasted tomato and beet salad with feta. I was in a very fall mood but I didn't want anything too difficult.

I'll start with the capocollo. Capocollo, or coppa if you're Italian, is like prosciutto or salami. I bought it. I put it on a plate.

Take 30 seconds to make a spiral and people go nuts!

The roasted tomato and beet salad is just as easy.
Take 4 Roma tomatoes and slice them in half, long-ways. Toss with a few tablespoons of olive oil, some dill, kosher salt and pepper. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes or until they are slightly shriveled and the skins crack.

For the beets, you can use whole beets if you like. Just wash them really well, peel them and toss them in the oil, dill, salt and pepper. Wrap tightly in tin foil and then bake along with the tomatoes at 400 for 15-20 minutes or until a pairing knife pierces them with little resistance. Then you can just slice or quarter them.
You can do that, or you can buy canned beets if your produce-section beets look gross, like mine did. Do not buy the pickled beets, just get canned. Take the slices, toss in the oil mixture and throw in the oven for a few minutes to warm them up and they're ready to go.

Then just mix up a simple salad. I tossed together a bag of spring mix, some olive oil, lemon juice, dill, salt and pepper, topped it with the warm tomatoes and beets and finished with a little feta.
Voila!

For the brie, I sliced the top rind off - you don't have to do this - then I wrapped it loosely in foil and put it in the 400 degree oven for 5 - 6 minutes until it was melty. I mixed together some apple butter, honey and cinnamon, poured the mixture on top of the warm brie and returned it to the oven for a few minutes. I plated the brie with apple slices and grapes.
nom nom nom

The pumpkin bisque was another easy fix.

I melted 1/2 stick of butter in a saucepan over med-low heat.
Then I sweat 1/4 of a sweet onion MINCED FINE and 1 teaspoon of garlic, also MINCED FINE, in the butter until translucent. I emphasize the minced fine because I don't have an immersion blender, or any blender for that matter, in the cottage. Grumble grumble... one month... can't wait to have a real kitchen again... grumble grumble... If you have one of these tools, you're in the clear, you can whirr the soup into smoothness at the end, but for those of us working with limited kitchen space you just have to do a little more prep work.

So sweat the onion and garlic and then add 1 large can of pumpkin. Make sure it's just pumpkin. You don't want the stuff that is already seasoned for pie filling. Well, maybe you do, could be good, but I wanted more of a savory bisque. So whisk the pumpkin with the butter and veggies and begin adding vegetable stock to get it slightly thicker than your desired consistency.
I used about 3 cups of stock. Heat this through and add salt and pepper to taste. Adding a little grated nutmeg is also really yummy.

After it's heated through, add 1 cup of half and half, You can use heavy cream if you like, whatever makes you happy. Whisk this in and heat, but don't let it boil.

Done.
 
I sliced some french bread and toasted it in the oven to serve with everything. And that was dinner.

Took me about 30 minutes to put it all together and I got a little nibble of everything I wanted.

So, onto Julien Donkey-Boy!

Ron's going first this time since he picked out the movie.

We were going through our collection trying to decide when Ron stops and holds up a movie saying, "This is one of the most effed up movies I've ever seen. Wanna watch it?"

I say sure and we put in Luther the Geek. Luther the Geekis a Troma film and if you know The Toxic Avenger, you know Troma. But Troma also made (is still making) a lot of bad bad bad stupid movies... After sitting through 15 minutes, THAT YOU CAN'T SKIP THROUGH, of shameless self-promotion, naked girls bouncing around in silly skits, and Troma employees trying to fellate themselves - the movie starts. A few minutes later Ron goes, "Ohhhhhh! This isn't the movie I was thinking of, I meant Julien Donkey-Boy!"

Awesome.

Take it away, Ron!

Oh gentle hearted Julien.  How your incestuous ways and schizophrenic mumblings have captured my heart.  Julien Donkey Boyis another insightful film by director Harmony Korine, who brought you cult classics such as Kids and Gummo

 The character of Julien is loosely based on the directors' schizophrenic uncle Eddie.  It captures the same gritty realness-es of human life and behavior, like his other films, that you rarely get to see on screen.  The mood is accentuated by the way the film is shot - with poor definition and lack of bright definite colors. Other camera techniques add to the feeling that the film is shot by an amateur cameraman who is part of the story. 

 If you have ever had any experience with people diseased by severe schizophrenia, you know its not all "fantastical' and "trippy."  I'm looking at you, Russell Crowe.  But, don't get the wrong idea.  The movie isn't a depressing story of dealing with a disease, because that's not what real people do. You don't deal with an incurable disease, you live with it.  And, by the way Julien has it way more together than his out-of-touch sister, wrestling obsessed brother, and cough syrup addicted father (Werner Herzog). 

 The movie is free-flowing with a somewhat improv script that focuses on the interpersonal relationships of all the family members.  It's packed full of dark humor and WTF moments that lead you to feeling compassion for each of the characters.   I'm giving this one a 3.8 of 5 because of its uniquely eccentric characters that you just cant get enough of.  This movie is pretty f'd up, but as for the "How f'd up you need to be to watch this movie scale" I recommend staying relatively sober to be able to absorb all the angles of this film.

Thanks Ron!

I (Dani) liked this one OK... Whenwe first started watching it, I couldn't tell if it was a linear movie or just one long non sequitur caught on film.

It's a little of both.

You see little snapshots of  the family, who are all completely out there, and it seems choppy and disjointed until you realize that this is their life. It's not unusual to them, and therefore not abstract. A normal Sunday dinner would be the non sequitur to them. 

Julien is schizophrenic and not being treated in anyway that I could tell. The sister (Chloe Sevigny) is a pure, gentle soul who happens to be carrying Julien's child. Julien's brother is suicidal and obsessed with being great. And dad (the always awesome Werner Herzog) is a cough syrup addicted, gas mask wearing, abusive loon.  

Yep.

I had the WTF face for most of the movie. Since you have to piece together a lot of things for yourself those moments of realization are, "Aha!" quickly followed by, "Oh God..."

In all, it is a sad, touching film that takes you inside and gives you a brief glimpse of what it must be like for a family to deal with this disease. It's not pretty. It's creepy. It's shocking. And you feel really sorry for everyone involved.

Good movie overall and I do reccomend it but it's not the feel good hit of the year. You're not going to be clapping and laughing when this one ends.

Thanks for reading!
Cheers!
Dani and Ron

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