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