Friday, February 23, 2007

I'd like to thank the academy

The biggest night of the year, in my household, is coming Sunday. Craig's Master's degree is in film, and he teaches film history classes. Add to that fact a bizarre obsession with awards shows in general, and you've got the makings of an Academy Awards addiction.

One way our church raises money every year is our auction. That evening, members and friends bid on items and events donated by members (and others, solicited by members). A large amount of the money raised is by folks bidding on "seats" at parties hosted by church members. Since I love to throw a party, especially a theme party, and I don't have great stuff laying around my house to donate, and I have no particular artistic skills, Craig and I "donate" two or three parties to the auction each year.

The Oscar Party is Craig's baby. I just help. It involves an Oscar pool with prizes and a menu planned to match the films nominated for Best Picture. Last year we had a pretty easy time: Beans and Weenies for Brokeback Mountain, hummus and matzos for Munich, and a brilliant "Shrimp In Cold Blood Oranges" for Capote. This year provided a bit more of a challenge in menu design. Sure, waffles and chocolate ice cream for Little Miss Sunshine. Scones and cucumber sandwiches for The Queen. Green tea ice cream and sushi for Letters from Iwo Jima. But Babel? The Departed?

Craig and I had to get creative. We had to dig deep. We had to, gulp, go on the internet.

Okay, I confess. I've only seen two of the nominated movies so far. And they were the easy ones.

Fortunately the research helped, and here's what I remember of the menu we've got planned:
The Departed: (takes place in Boston, Irish gangsters and cops) Irish potato and cabbage bundles and a Guinness-chocolate dessert, beer.
Letters From Iwo Jima: green tea ice cream, sushi, the sake part of sake-gria
The Queen: scones, cucumber sandwiches, tea
Babel: tomatillo-guacamole salsa, couscous salad with dates and almonds, and the "gria" part of sake-gria

Sakegria made its first appearance at my birthday party last May. And it was a hit. Roughly, it's one part plum sake, two parts regular sake, three parts white wine, one part red wine, one part mango juice, one part pineapple juice, and one part champagne, with fresh fruit added. Roughly? Because the first two pitchers were made in advance. The next four (it was a big party) were made in the frenzy of during the party with fifty people in my house oh my heavens, and that meant I was not measuring. But nobody seemed to notice or care, because it was good every time.

Happy Oscar Day, everyone. I've got a lot of work to do.


Pam said...

This sounds like a ton of FUN!!

Mom said...

Do you have the recipe for chocolate waffles? Best served with ice cream, hot fudge sauce and topped with chopped pecans.

alan said...

yeah, hi. you scare me. a lot.

also, i put in an "order" for gs cookies, and you never confirmed anything with me :/

color me disappointed.

Kaleigh said...

Update: the party was an amazing success. ALL the food is gone (except a little of the green tea ice cream, which was amazing). As is my custom, I came in second place in the Oscar pool. Best part? Last year's pool winner brought back his "trophy" (a talking Donald Trump doll that was spray-painted gold) so this year's winner could have it. Craig managed to pick one more correct entry than I did...he got best picture, for which I had picked "Babel." I liked the winner much better - "The Departed" was a great movie and it's delightful that Scorsese finally had his day. Now I'm really really tired from staying up past my bedtime and I'm looking forward to going to bed early tonight.