Every year, we watch the Oscars while enjoying a meal inspired by the Best Picture nominees. For example, we had sushi for Lost in Translation and cowboy campfire beans for Brokeback Mountain – you get the idea.
In 2009, Frost/Nixon and Milk were stumping me until I realized that they were set in the 1970s. So we had celery sticks stuffed with pimento spread, pigs in a blanket and Tequila Sunrises.
OSCAR DINNER 2013
This year The Wife did the heavy lifting in organizing our feast.
Hummus for Argo and Zero Dark Thirty – as you will see, it’s a big year for Middle Eastern food at the Oscar Dinner.
Philly Cream Cheese Cocktail Sauce Dip for Silver Linings Playbook – a perfect accompaniment to an Eagles game.
Crackers from Life of Pi (not many food choices on that lifeboat).
Baguette from Amour and Les Miserables (I did NOT steal the bread, Javert).
The Wife vetoed the peach yogurt from Amour.
Kabob Koubideh for Argo and Zero Dark Thirty.
Roast Chicken from Beasts of the Southern Wild (we could have done crab, too, but Quvenzhané Wallis won’t be here to rip them up for us).
Khoresh Ghormeh (a Persian veggie stew) for Argo.
Mary Todd Lincoln’s Almond Cake for Lincoln. Understanding the political junkie that I am, my daughter gave me the Capitol Hill Cookbook and this is an authentic recipe from the Lincoln family.
Whiskey from Django Unchained (from the bar scene with Jamie Foxx and Franco Nero).
Vodka (Jennifer Lawrence ordered it at the bar) from Silver Linings Playbook.
Water from Life of Pi (again – not many choices in that lifeboat).
OSCAR DINNER 2012
COCKTAILS AND STARTERS
First, The Artist inspired both strawberries (George Valentin was breakfasting on strawberries while avoiding his wife’s glare) and whiskey (George later downs more than his share).
From Moneyball, we have a ballpark hot dog.
Fried chicken from The Help and turnips (remember the ruined crop?) from War Horse. This also kinda fits with the 50s meat-and-potatoes fare that Jessica Chastain was serving up to Brad Pitt in The Tree of Life.
When George Clooney and Shailene Woodley show up at the beach bungalow in The Descendants, wine is offered. And we have selected a French wine, a Bordeaux that Michael Sheen in Midnight in Paris can continue to prattle on about.
We are bypassing the most obvious choice on the movie menu – Minnie’s chocolate pie from The Help. Instead, The Wife is making a Big Apple pie for Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.
2011 OSCAR DINNER
Planning this year’s Oscar Dinner proved challenging (despite being a great year for movie Food Porn). Fortunately I received some great suggestions from my readers.
COCKTAILS AND STARTERS
First, the pièce de résistance: Severed Hand Ice Sculpture for 127 Hours and Winter’s Bone.
We will be floating the ice sculpture in an Appletini Punch for The Social Network. I read that, after seeing the film, Mark Zuckerberg made the Appletini the official cocktail of Facebook.
Pistachios from Inception. It looks like the guys are sharing a bowlful of pistachios while assembling the team in Mombasa.
Beer Nuts from The Fighter. Amy Adams’ bar looks like a beer nut kind of place. I am told by a New Englander that the Eklund-Ward clan would be drinking Narragansett, but I can’t find ‘Gansetts in California, so a MGD or PBR will have to do.
Tortilla Roll Ups from Toy Story 3. This is inspired by the all-time funniest movie scene involving a tortilla: Mr. Potato Head executes a prison escape by putting his facial features on a tortilla that can slide under a door.
Cowboy beans from True Grit. Obvious and right out of the movie.
Steak and Organic Roast Vegetable Salad served with a Petite Syrah from The Kids Are All Right. The Mark Ruffalo character serves steak (he mists it with truffle oil) while hosting the family at his house. Earlier, he brings a bottle of Petite Syrah to dinner, which impresses the Annette Bening character (before she drinks too much of it too fast). We see organic strawberries from his restaurant’s garden, but I can see his menu featuring a nice salad of roasted veggies.
Coffee from Inception. From the Parisian cafe scene.
Sheet cake from Black Swan. (We will not vomit it back up.)
English toffees for The King’s Speech. They’re English and we will have difficulty speaking when we are chewing them.
(I decided not to skin my own squirrel for Winter’s Bone and not to recycle my urine for 127 Hours.
2010 OSCAR DINNER
This year, the growth to TEN nominees has challenged us. But here is tonight’s Oscar Dinner:
Airplane bottles of liquor for Up in the Air. Obvious.
Prawn Cocktail Exotique for District 9 and for An Education. “Prawn” is the South African slur for the aliens in District 9. And a shrimp cocktail would fit into the fancy 1960s dinner out in An Education.
KFC chicken for Precious and The Blind Side. OK, the fast food chicken in Precious is from a diner, not from KFC, but it comes in a bucket.
Scrambled Eggs for Avatar. This references the scene where Jake Scully powers through his breakfast before getting back into his avatar control module. Plus we didn’t want to dye any food blue.
Fatayer bi Sabanekh for The Hurt Locker. It’s the Arab version of spanokopita, the spinach and feta turnover. Had to go Middle Eastern.
Grandma Ethel’s Brisket for A Serious Man. A Seriously Jewish Brisket.
Haricot Vert for Inglorious Basterds. It takes place in France, and we needed a vegetable.
Ice cream for Up. Ours isn’t from Fenton’s Creamery, but, hey, we don’t live in Oakland.