With the Oscars just days away, the ReDux decided to pay homage this month to our favorite food-in-the-movie dishes. When we first decided on the theme, I immediately knew what movie I wanted to honor - a 1968 nominee for Best Picture, Funny Girl.
If you're not familiar, it's a musical love story starring Barbara Streisand. It chronicles the rise to stardom of Fanny Brice, all the while sharing her love affair with professional gambler Nicky Arnstein - played by Omar Sharif.
I can't tell you how much I loved this movie growing up. In fact, one of my high school boyfriend's mother actually gave me the VHS tape (yes, I'm that old) as a birthday present one year (come to think of it, I think it was the year we broke up after I found out her son was "cheating" on me with a multitude of girls at his high school.... ironic, given that there as a definite bad boy side to Arnstein in the movie. I never really connected the dots 'til now. Life is funny sometimes.)
Anyway, as a teenager, the love story part wasn't what appealed to me. It was the over-the-top, belt-the-out-from-your-gut songs that Streisand performed in the movie. Seriously... some of the best songs ever. "Don't Rain on My Parade" and "I'm the Greatest Star"... look 'em up on YouTube. I used to listen to the soundtrack on my drive from Auburn as a college kid and sing them at the top of my lungs. I know... I'm kinda nerdy that way. But even now, I watch them and find myself singing along like I'm a star on Broadway. (Glee ain't got nothing on my lady Ms. Streisand.)
So, I went back and watched the movie to try and recall what food scenes were in it. But here's the thing... although it was filmed in the late 60s, it was set circa WW1. And if you recall anything about history at all, those weren't necessarily the times of food abundance that we enjoy now ('course there were many more slimmer waistlines than now too, but let's leave that discussion for another day).
I only caught two food scenes - one, where Fanny's mom packs a lunch for her as she's off to an audition (and who knows what was in that lunch pail) and one where she & Arnstein are eating lobster at a little dive on the water. I live in the Augusta, GA area... and any lobster I'd find myself confronted with would be frozen lobster tail. Not that inspiring for ReDux, to me... so I was sorta stumped.
And then this happened
And it happened over and over and over.
My kids - unlike the Oscar nominating comittee - think The Lorax is one of the best movies known to man. And I - their mom - think the book The Lorax is equally as wonderful. My boys play this movie almost daily (thank you Netflix via AppleTV) and even played it two times in a row the weekend we were homebound for sickness or cold or something. It's a mainstain at my house right now. They ask for the songs in the morning on the way to school, and we read the book at night.
And you know what? I'm equally a fan. It dawned on me the day I was struggling about what dish to create from Funny Girl, that I sing along to The Lorax equally as lively. Frankly, I find the message of The Lorax even more inspiring than the Streisand picture (Dr Seuss, you own my heart). Upon having this revelation, I immediately identified what "foods" were in the movie (pretty easy when you've seen something like 10 times in a 7 day span). There are marshmallows and pancakes... but the truffula tree fruits are really the only ones that show up in the book, so I decided to stay as true to Seuss's original work as possible.
And that's when the Truffula Tree Fruity Clafouti was born.
Of course, Truffula Tree Fruits don't really exist... and I'm not exactly sure that I've chosen the fruit that most closely resembles what Seuss had in mind. I've opted for a small little pear... but I think you'd be equally safe with cherries or maybe even plums. As with any Dr Seuss book, though, it's mostly about the rhyme and message. The Lorax delivers on both. If you've never read it - get the book. I've you've never seen the movie - do it now. No matter what your age, you won't be disappointed. And with that, I leave you with this....
My tastes in musicals may have changed over time
But not my taste for a good Dr Seuss rhyme.
Hope you enjoy this month's ReDux
Wishing you health, happiness and lots of good lucks!
- Cooking spray
- 2 small pears, sliced
- 1/2 cup almond meal
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup milk
- 3 large eggs lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 cup vanilla Greek-style yogurt
- Powdered sugar (garnish)
Preheat oven to 375°.
Coat a 10-inch springform pan with cooking spray. Arrange pear slices in bottom of prepared dish, and set aside.
Combine almond meal and salt in a bowl. Gradually add milk and yogurt, stirring with a whisk until well-blended. Add eggs, honey, and almond extract, stirring until smooth. Pour batter over pear slices. Bake mixture at 375° for 40 minutes or until set. Let cool completely before serving. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.