Sunday, November 29, 2015

Thanks for the Memories

A long time ago, I suggested that we should watch some Native-American-themed movies and Thanksgiving seemed the right time for it. So when the big meal was served (menu after page break), we put on The New World (2005).

This is a Terence Malick film, the last before he kicked into his late career production with Tree of Life. It's the story of John Smith and Pocahontas in colonial Jamestown. But mostly it's about the beauty and mystery of the new world, the new continent, and especially the James River and Chickahominy River area of Virginia. The camera loves to watch cypress swamps, meadows, quiet forests, and flights of birds. The colonists definitely look like intruders.

Colin Farrell is John Smith - Ms. Spenser says he spends the whole movie "looming." He is sent to explore the interior and winds up captive of Powhatan. Just as he is about to be killed - the screen goes black and Farrell narrates that the chief's daughter intervened to save his life. This is a nice way to deal with the question of historical accuracy. The chief's daughter, played by Q'orianka Kilcher, is never named Pocahontas, either.

The natives live a good life, playing, dancing, praying - maybe a little too much. Did they really spend that much time on games and ritual? Meanwhile, Jamestown is starving, and Farrell heads back.

The story develops in odd ways, with Smith kind of dropping out altogether in the third act. But that's all right, it's really about the trees, the sky, the river, Mother Water. It was a visual feast, and at 3 hours long, a big one.

 So was our Thanksgiving feast.
  • Pumpkin soup with coconut milk: An easy and flexible recipe: saute 1/4 onion and a few cloves of garlic in coconut oil (or other). Add a can of pumpkin puree (I used roasted kabocha squash). Add ~1 cup of coconut milk and 3 of vegetable broth. Season lightly with curry, cumin, thyme. Simmer.
  • Bread: whole wheat with flaxseed, white with rosemary
  • Chile Relleno: Poblano peppers stuffed with cauliflower "rice" with chipotle sauce and smoked cheese - almost too hot to eat.
  • Stuffing in muffin tins
  • Cranberry-orange sauce
  • Salad with bleu cheese and pears
  • Melon with pomegranate seeds
  • Sparkling wine with pomegranate juice
  • Pies: Apple-cranberry, pumpkin with lots of fresh ginger, Key lime-passionfruit
This weekend was just for Ms. Spenser and me, so we had some leftovers. But now, on Sunday, they are pretty much finished. That's a quarter pie a day for Ms. Spenser, half a pie for me. It was a good Thanksgiving.

And now: leftovers! I had some pumpkin left over, so I mixed it with some flour, seasoned with salt and sage, and rolled the mixture up into pumpkin dumplings. I cooked up an easy chicken soup (onion, garlic, peppers, carrot, celery and chicken, plus a can of diced tomatoes and 3 cans of broth) and simmered the dumplings until they rose to the top. Good eatin'!

1 comment:

mr. schprock said...

Never saw this one, but I loved "Tree of Life."