Friday, February 27, 2004

The movie so nice, they made it twice

What's weirder about Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights? The fact that Lawrence Bender is one of its producers? That it got made at all when the DVD and soundtrack CD from the 1987 original still sell thousands of copies a year (ok, milking the cash cow is a good enough excuse)? Or the fact that Patrick Swayze has a cameo playing Johnny Castle, his character from the original film? This is the most intriguing part of it all to me, since the original DD was set in 1963, but this one's set in 1958. So that means Johnny "Nobody puts Baby in a corner" Castle un-aged about 17 years over the 5 years before he met Jennifer "I carried a watermelon" Grey and lost his gig in the Catskills. Or he's a time-traveler. Yeah, I like that one better.

Now I have memories of slumber parties circa 1988 where all the girls wanted to watch were Dirty Dancing and the beach volleyball scene from Top Gun.

I also have memories of the 10th anniversary re-release of the original in 1997, largely spurred by Conan O'Brien's facetious calls for such an event. Meredith and I went to see it in the theater then and you know, in a weird way, the movie kinda works. I'm sure I'll end up seeing this one too, if for no other reason than to behold the glory that is time-travelin' Patrick Swayze.

Thursday, February 26, 2004

Vile Recipe of the Week

I'm hoping to make this a regular feature. I also might post good recipes, but the truly nasty-sounding ones are way more entertaining.

This week's vile recipe comes from The Complete Outdoor Cookbook by Yvonne Young Tarr, copyright 1973. I'm sure this is some kind of beloved ethnic food that somebody's grandma used to make, but I think this part of the culture barrier is gonna stay intact.


"A gorgeous pink, chilled beet soup garnished with hard-cooked eggs and lemon slices. Its flavor is enhanced by the chopped shrimp, cucumbers and ham."

8 small beets, sliced
1/2 cup young beet tops, minced
1 1/2 cups water
5 tablespoons scallions, minced
1 tablespoon fresh dill, minced
1 1/4 cups sour cream
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 teaspoons vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
5 cups chicken broth
1 cup cooked shrimp
2 medium-sized cucumbers
1 1/2 cups cooked ham
feshly ground black pepper
5 hard-cooked eggs
8 thin slices lemon

(Serves 8)

Place the beets and beet tops in a saucepan. Add the water and cook for 20 minutes, or until the beets are tender. Cool the beets, reserving the cooking water, and chop them very fine. Stir the chopped beets into the beet water, and add the scallions, dill, sour cream, lemon juice, vinegar, salt and chicken broth. Refrigerate for 3 hours or longer. Place soup bowls in the refrigerator. Chop the shrimp. Peel and chop the cucumbers. Dice the cooked ham. Chill well. Stir the shrimp, cucumbers and ham into the cold soup.

To serve, put 1 tablespoon of crushed ice in each chilled bowl and pour the soup over it. Sprinkle with the black pepper and garnish with the hard-cooked eggs, cut in lengths, and lemon slices.

No, seriously, that's what it says. Old cookbooks are awesome. If anybody out there gets up the nerve to actually make this, you must tell me how it is. Bonus points if you get your friends to eat it.

Testing. Oh boy, I don't know what I'm doing. Here goes nuthin'!

I think the first test was lost to history...

Testing. Again.