Thursday, December 9, 2010

Dinner and a (Christmas) Movie: The Holiday

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Well hello! You may have noticed that I took a little blog vacation after Vegan Mofo. I was just so happy to not have to photograph my food for a few days. Sheer joy, I tell you. And I thank you for all the comments you posted in my absence and I swear I will put in the baking powder amount for those cookies ASAP. Now, back to business.

If you live in my part of the world, you’ve no doubt realized that it is, in fact, beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Here in Ottawa we’ve had three days of the kind of gentle snow that nudges people into the holiday spirit but doesn’t require four hours of digging if you need to get your car out of the driveway. It’s pretty nice.

There are a lot of things that I like about this time of year. Despite the fact that I’m not religious, Christmas traditions touch on a lot of the things I enjoy and/or approve of. There’s charity, and kindness, and singing, and spending time with friends and family and, of course, there’s food. So I tend to put on blinders when I have to walk through stores full of useless crap* and just hustle on home to spend time with my husband and pets while the Jon Denver and The Muppets: A Christmas Together record spins on the turntable.

our little tree

Another thing I like to do is watch Christmas-themed romantic comedies. Especially ones that are set in England. What? I know what I like. I’m planning to watch one a week until Christmas arrives. (And no, if you were wondering, the Man of Science does not partake in this holiday indulgence with me. I happily sob and cheer my way through these films all by myself.) And since I’m always looking for new things to blog about, I’ve decided to make a dish to match each movie. These may not be original recipes, because frankly, it's not an original recipe time of year for me. I get busy, I get stressed, I get very much into making old favourites. Recipes that I know will turn out well every time. And I also like old favourite movies that turn out well every time.

And so we begin with the under-rated gem that is The Holiday.


I love Kate Winslet. Love. Her. She’s a great actress, can be hilarious or tragic, and she’s gorgeous without being painfully skinny or frighteningly underdressed. Some may disagree with the casting of Jack Black as her romantic counterpart in this movie, but I think he plays the character really well and their crushes on each other are totally believable. Plus, the movie is already overloaded with dashing handsomeness because the other male lead is Jude Law playing a funny, weepy, sweater-and-scarf wearing widower and father who sews and has his own cow. Which leaves us with Cameron Diaz. She is a bit too cartoony, but at least she can play goofy and smart. And she also wears great sweaters.


So what do we cook to go along with The Holiday? A movie where the characters largely ignore food and instead spend their time worrying about whether or not their gorgeous English or American crush is going to like them back?

Fettuccine Alfredo.

It’s not English and it’s not American, but it’s one of the very few meals that is mentioned by name in the film. Iris (Winslet) and Miles (Black) eat it after Miles discovers that his girlfriend is cheating on him and Iris relays her own story of unrequited love. I imagine that it made them feel a lot better.


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I got my recipe for the vegan alfredo sauce from the always-reliable Vegan Yum Yum blog. And it was super delicious. I paired the pasta with an appropriately Italian Caesar salad, using the dressing from my own recipe (which contains almost identical ingredients as the pasta sauce, go figure.)

If the Man of Science and I were in a romantic comedy it would be a pretty boring one because mostly we just like each other and get along with next-to-no drama. But there would be a great scene where we ate fettuccine alfredo for dinner on a cold winter night.

J.

*I am a brutal enemy of useless crap. It makes me burn inside.

17 comments:

Mama said...

Yay! We do the same thing in our house, a Christmas movie a week and snacks to go with it. I too even prefer the ones set in England.....well...one set in England. A Christmas Carol....I think Christmas Carol is my favorite genre of movies, I could probably watch a different version each week and not get tired of it (I have some issues),my husband on the other hand..... :)

Sarah B @ Bake + Bike said...

I enjoy this post very much!

I normally dislike rom coms but I LOVE Christmas ones.

Your tree is so cute!

Looking forward to this series of holiday movie-themed dishes :)

Vegyogini said...

I LOVE "The Holiday!" In fact, I watched my DVD copy of it just the other day. My other favorite (and one of my top 5 favorite movies, I believe...though I haven't actually written said list) is "Love, Actually." It moves me and touches me every time I watch it (which is often).

Heather Moore said...

You are aware that Top Chef All Stars started airing in the States right? Just making sure. ;)

Lauren said...

I love love love The Holiday! I will definitely be stealing this idea.

HayMarket8 said...

Did Vegan YumYum die? I have not see a post there in a long time.

Molly G said...

"The Holiday" is one of my top movies of all time. It makes me happy, which is what a girl needs this time of year when it does not go above freezing for weeks at a time (though it has been particularly brutal for NYC so far this December...). Perhaps fettuccine and The Holiday" will be on my menu some day soon. Yum...

Selina said...

Love that movie (just bought it last week) & I love fettuccini.... I wish I was at your house.

I'm sure you've got your movies all picked out... but I like Love Actually & The Family Stone.

Carolyn said...

The Alfredo sauce at Vegan YumYum took me a couple of times before I succeeded. The first time I used Tamari, and it wasn't low sodium, but I cut way back on the amount thinking it would be ok. It was basically an Asian cream sauce, not what I was expecting. So the second time I left out the Tamari/soy sauce altogether, and upped the salt a little, and it was just fine. I'm wondering if you had any issues with using soy sauce as part of the seasoning?

T said...

Dinner and a movie used to be a tv show I loved, where they cooked theme dinners for the movie they played (like, spag bog for Heathers.) Is this what you are referencing? What a super great idea to make a vegan version...

Jennifer (It Ain't Meat, Babe) said...

Answering questions!

Heather: Yes! I watched the first episode last week and thought it was great. And I heard a rumour that this week's episode is vegetarian-y.

HM8: I'm not sure! At least the archives are still up.

Selina: I like both of those, too! Love Actually is on my list. Stay tuned!

Carolyn: This is the first time I made it and I didn't have any trouble with the seasonings. I cooked a TON of pasta though, so maybe it was just less concentrated than yours.

T: I totally remember that show! Doing a vegan version could be a whole other blog!

Lois said...

I love that movie. And all your recipes even though I'm not vegan.

Leslie said...

I adore the food-inspired-by-film idea! I can't wait to see what you pair up next!

Pauline said...

That alfredo looks awesome! I didn't really like "The Holiday", but it does kind of put you in the mood for Christmas.

Pearl said...

I wouldn't have thought to convert something like that to vegan. Looks good tho.

Heather Moore said...

Did you watch Top Chef: Just Desserts as well? It was pretty good too.

Anonymous said...

I use that vegan yum yum recipe all the time! It's by far my favourite alfredo I've used.