I'll be honest with you Marge...there hasn't been a lot of cooking going on in our house. Well...I take that back, meals are being cooked, food is being eaten, but there hasn't been much of trying of new recipes. It's been roasted chicken, shrimp (and crab and tuna and salmon) salads. Crock pots full of mystery meats found in the bowels of the freezer covered with jars of sauce found in the pantry. Leftover roasted veggies tossed together to make a soup. Mortadella (and salami and chicken) sandwiches. It's also been eating out. Food trucks. Restaurants. Grabbing pre-cooked meals from the deli section of our grocery store.
And while work has been kicking my butt for weeks I can't blame that on the lack of culinary experimentation in our house. No, the culprit can be described in two words.
You see, last year was a bit of a trying year and nights out to go watch a movie (or nights in renting one) were few and far between. Mr. L and I suddenly realized come the end of January that we hadn't seen even one movie of the nine Oscar nominated best pictures. I knew this wouldn't do. So we set out to rectify the situation.
One of the first things we realized in our Oscar movie viewing adventure was that only one of the movies nominated was on DVD or available for download on AppleTV/Direct TV. Which meant going out to the movie theaters* and lots of figuring out movie times that fit into our already busy schedule. This also meant quick meals before movie show times (and with lots of these movies being 2 1/2 hours long meant we really did need to eat dinner first. I admit, I think there was one night where a large buttered popcorn was dinner. I also think quite a few movie hot dogs were consumed. But we managed to get a few good sushi dinners in beforehand too).
We also, along with the best picture movies, tried to see as many other nominated movies that we could. We spent nights watching Looper and Skyfall. The Pirates! Band of Misfits (we were able to catch Brave in the theater when it originally came out). We even were able to watch all of the Live Action Shorts (our favorite was Death of a Shadow) and three of the animated shorts (Head Over Heals stole our hearts). And just to add to what we ended up calling "The Oscar Movie Death March" we also watched The Kings Speech since we had failed to see that a few years ago (we still need to see The Artist).
It was the morning of the Oscars that I suddenly realized that though I had seen every single nominated best picture and quite a few other movies, I hadn't really thought about what to make or bring to the annual Oscar party. I had a ton of ideas, I'd even started a list of possible contributions months ago, but time just sort of got away from me. So it was a quick trip to the grocery store before heading to the party to pick up the two items you see in the photo above (we even splurged and bought some European butter to go with the French bread). I think the signs helped.
It was interesting to see all the nominated movies in such a short time frame. I think it made it much easier to compare between all of them (though we hopefully will not be doing this compacted watching schedule ever again). My favorite movie? Life of Pi, but I was not disappointed that Argo won. Least favorite? Beasts of the Southern Wild. Most surprising? Django Unchained (which I thought I would hate but really liked). Amour was extremely difficult for me since I had just watched my mom deteriorate like that. Though we liked Les Miserables, the theater we saw it in had the most horrible sound system, the film was full of scratches and I swear there was only a quarter of an inch of padding in the seat. Not the best viewing experience and I'm sure that affected our thoughts on the movie. The one movie I didn't see that I wanted before the Oscars was The Impossible since my Aunt** said Watts performance was wonderful.
So, honestly, there just hasn't been much time to fulfill one of my favorite hobbies...perusing my cookbooks and picking out recipes to try. Of course two other factors have put a bit of a damper on my cooking...the fact that every Wednesday a food truck shows up down the street from where we live. Hard to resist just being able to walk to the truck once we are both home from work. And I also have to give big props to Mr. L, who, for the past month or so, has taken up the "food" responsibility every other week (that means he plans, shops and cooks breakfast, lunch and dinners for that week). It's giving me a bit of a breather with my current crazy work life.
Which doesn't mean I haven't still been collecting recipes to try. Cookbooks have been bought, dishes have been pinned, recipes have been torn out of magazines and blog foods have been bookmarked. I've had this insane desire for days to hole myself up and do some baking. It's my week to cook so I think it's time to do some cooking! And maybe watch a movie or two....
*Seriously expensive going out to movies these days. Especially if you add on popcorn, soda and a hot dog. Cost of two tickets was from twenty to twenty five bucks. A large popcorn and soda was another twelve to fifteen dollars. Maybe eight bucks for a hot dog. Yikes.
**My Aunt is a movie watching pro. She goes at least once or twice a week to the theater. When she's home she probably watches at least a movie a night on the TV (between Netflix and the movie channels she says there is always something interesting to see).