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Author Segan sounds like someone I should meet: Her biography notes that she's a food historian, a good cook, and a movie fan. What's not to like? Plus we'd have a lot to talk about.
The concept behind Movie Menus is to match Hollywood films to recipes in terms of time period, place, and cultural norms. But Segan goes further by including all kinds of cool movie trivia scattered among the recipes.
Rather than match a single menu to a single movie, Segan organized her book by movie genre, pairing dishes and movie recommendations. For example, in the "Knights and Kings" chapter, which covers the Middle Ages, the recipes include meat pies, fruit pudding, and penne (a medieval Italian invention). Becket, several versions of the King Arthur story, and a number of Robin Hood movies are found in the list of recommended films.
The recipes in Movie Menus range from "Ancient Times" (stuffed figs) to modern times (shrimp with sugar snap peas) and the movies run the gamut from historic (Amistad) to romantic (Breakfast at Tiffany's) to perfect for the whole family (The Princess Bride).
All the recipes are doable and have been adapted to the modern kitchen. I thought it was fun to see the wartime recipes that were developed during times of rationing, dishes that Shakespeare might have eaten, and the hearty fare downed by cattlemen and pioneers in the Old West.
Here's a recipe for Prohibition Punch from the "Gangsters to Greasers" chapter. Make a batch and settle in to watch The Untouchables or Chicago. BTW, Segan notes that this tame recipe is excellent "with a generous splash of hooch."
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 5 tea bags
- 1/2 cup mint jelly
- 1 cup grapefruit juice
- 1 cup pineapple juice
- Juice of 4 lemons
2. Pour the tea mixture into a large pitcher along with the grapefruit, pineapple, and lemon juices and refrigerate until cold. Serve over ice.
Published by Villard Books, 2004
Source: Bought (see review policy)
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