Plan Your Oscar Party With Our Recipe Blowout: 9 Themed Menus

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Les Misérables

This menu is so easy that it writes itself: crust of dry bread.

Seriously, people. I know you're expecting something more appetizing, but I'm trying to be as authentic as possible. Thousands of people in France during this time period were starving. Jean Valjean was sent to prison for 24 years for stealing bread and trying to escape his hellish imprisonment. And Fantine sells her hair and prostitutes herself in order to feed her daughter. You can't get much grimmer than that. Don't deny me this opportunity.

OK, OK, for those of you too scared to be hard-core, I'll give you an out. Since this movie is about the Paris Uprising of 1832 , I'll capitulate and give you a menu of dishes commonly thought of as French peasant food.

Simpler Cassoulet
Image: Simpler Cassoulet courtesy of Three Many Cooks

Cheap but tasty red wine
Crusty Baguette with Chicken Liver Pâté
Coq au Vin in White Wine
One-Day Cassoulet or Simpler Cassoulet

Dessert? Nope - you don't have time. You've got a storming of the Bastille you need to prepare for and a musical number to perform while standing on chairs.

Life of Pi

I considered suggesting hash brownies with LSD frosting, but I'm fairly sure BlogHer won't let me condone the use of drugs, even in baking. So I called a specialty butcher. Apparently it is illegal to sell zebra meat in the U.S., but you could buy horse meat and pretend. If you live in the U.K., there are several butchers that will sell you zebra steaks. I also learned that certain parts of hyenas can be consumed to "ensure love and fertility." I wish I could back in time to the period where I did not know that.

My next thought was to create a menu full of Indian delicacies. This seemed like a great idea since I love Indian cuisine, and it ties perfectly into the beginning of the movie. However my drapes still reek of chicken tikka masala from my 2009 Slumdog Millionaire-themed Oscar party, so I passed on that one too.

I have a confession to make. I have an addiction. I struggle at great length to fight my compulsive need for it. It woos me and controls me to such a degree that at times I pretend I'm biased against it in an effort to prove that we're not having an intimate relationship. But most of my friends and family would be concerned about my mental health if I didn't go with the obvious. Get ready for an all-pie menu, baby!

Buttermilk Cheese Pie
Image: Buttermilk Chess Pie courtesy of Mouth From the South

Savory Pies: Croque Madame Pie or Quidditch Players Pie or Mushroom and Bacon Savory Pie with Potato Crust
Sweet Pies: Grandma’s Chocolate Cream Pie or Buttermilk Chess Pie or Key Lime Pie

Amour

I have not seen this movie. I am probably not going to see this movie, even though it won the Palme d'Or at Cannes and is a Best Picture Nominee for the Oscars. From what I've read, it's a beautiful story of love and loss. Publicly, I will tell people that I won't see it because it reminds me that five years of French classes were for naught. But the real reason is: the trailer made my cry. When a trailer for a movie makes you cry, you better bring a box of Kleenex and leave off the mascara.

Nothing celebrates the indignities of aging, love that's been held and tested for years and then stolen from you, and the rotting corpse of the one you love like a romantic French dinner. I also tried to make sure that these dishes provided appropriate level of sodium to replace the amount that will leave your body when you cry for a solid two hours.

Duck With Blackberry Sauce
Image: Duck with Blackberry Sauce courtesy of Savour Fare

French Baguette (GF), good butter, radishes and sea salt
Jarlsberg Cheese Soufflé or Duck with Blackberry Sauce or Pan-Grilled Steak with Béarnaise Sauce
Pots de Creme or Profiteroles With Chocolate Sauce

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