Monday, February 28, 2011

And The Award Goes To…

Barbara: Before I announce the recipient of my honourary Academy Award, let me explain the whole Oscar “phenomenon” as it exists in my house. First of all, growing up with dreams of being a successful actor had the usual effect on me: yes, if you must know, I did indulge in imaginary Oscar acceptance speeches; yes, they were emotional and heartfelt thank-yous to my beloveds, and yes, oh yes, they far exceeded the 45-second time allotment. I have watched the Oscars every year for as many years as I can remember.

That said, I’m not actually much of an awards show watcher. I mean, there are so many: the Golden Globes, the Emmys, the SAG Awards, the Canadian Geminis, and on and on. It’s as if I have an ingrained limit and one show a year fills it to capacity. It’s kind of the same with sports. I almost never watch sports on TV, but when the Olympics are on, just try and interfere with my viewing pleasure.

Okay, so we’re clear on where I stand on awards shows in general and the Academy Awards show in specific. So it shouldn’t be a great leap for you to imagine the almost religious ceremony I build around watching the show. I like to stay home, en famille (where I won’t miss a thing), I watch the pre-show arrivals and mock the inane banter that comes from the mouths of the clearly nervous interviewers, I watch (or watched) the Barbara Walters special, and I only go to the washroom during commercial breaks. Years ago, I told my husband I would not be cooking on that night. Ever. My husband and I mostly share the cooking ritual here in a your-turn-my-turn kind of system. Well, it doesn’t matter if he cooked the night before, on awards night it is never, ever (did I say that already?) my turn. Hollye said it the other day: the Academy Awards is like my Super Bowl.

And Phil has gamely met my demands unflinchingly, year after year. So here’s where we get to my honourary award. There was a time when he simply prepared, you know, easy stuff like chicken wings or ribs. But then a few years ago he got it into his head that he was going to make a themed dinner (themed to the nominated movies, a menu found, I think, on Well, martinis were served with dainty hors d’oeuvres, plates were brought heaped with seared tenderloin and sautéed veggies and mushroom risotto, dessert was served with sparkling wine. It was a glorious feast. So glorious, in fact, that my daughters and I fairly swooned for the couple of hours it took to eat. We may even have glanced away from the ceremonies a few times to acknowledge his masterful meal.

And so, much to my husband’s chagrin, a ritual was born, one that would forever after scoff at plain old chicken wings and ribs. I’m not sure how thrilled Phil is that he has been swept up by our manic devotion to his culinary services, but he continues to step up and outdo himself. This year: French onion soup, and cassoulet with duck confit, both made from scratch (French theme in honour of Inception’s setting). 

Black and White Brownies courtesy of my Younger. Mmmm.
Oh my friggin god.
Thanks, sweetie, the award definitely goes to you.

DebA well deserved award, Phil! Hope you didn’t burn your hand while cooking and drop the F-bomb like Melissa Leo!

And speaking of bombs, how about that hosting job last night?  Wow. Reaching out to young people?  Please! Young people are not idiots and are not going to tune in unless they want to. I love both Anne Hathaway and James Franco, but dear God they were miscast in those roles. At least she seemed to be trying and wore some great dresses.

Anyway, what a lovely tradition you have, Barb, with Phil at the kitchen helm. My husband has also done this for many years (but not last night as we had just flown in from Vancouver and went to an Oscar party). He has in the past themed a course for every movie. Now that it is ten movies, he will just have to pick the most inspirational I guess.

But his finest moment is the year he did: “BENJAMIN BUTTON Mushroom Soup”, followed by “SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE Mini Curry Burgers”, followed by “THE READER Potato Latkes”, followed by “MILK Fruit and Nuts Salad”, followed by “FROSTED NIXONS cake.”  Great taste and good laughs with each course. What more could you want?

So, for best achievement in an Oscar-themed evening, the winners are Colin and Phil. I ate my chocolate Oscar, but still have the memories!


  1. I watched the oscars last night and was so dissapointed. I watch them every year and every years it seems a lot of the ones that I want to win does not indeed win. I was very suprised when the "Kings Speech" won for Best Picture" I really wanted "Toy Story 3" to win. I felt like that one was such a better movie but,whatever. As far as the hosting goes,I didn't think that Anne Hathaway did a bad job,the only thing I am wounering is how many times she has a dress change,everytime you turned around she had a different dress on. James Franco was not my faviorte at co-hosting. He just acted like he was board during the whole show. I think the funniest part had to be with Melissa Lea,after she got up and dropped the "F" Bomb.I think people were shocked when she did that. All in all it was ok,but I am still dissipointed about best picture. So dissapoined

  2. Was Oscar 2011 not the most tedious display? The Red-Carpet interviews which were, in my view, stilted and awkward, set the proverbial stage and with precious few exceptions, the tone carried throughout.
    Anne Hathaway is a wonderful actress and and a reasonable all-around talent, so she wasn't awful...and Lord she looked fabulous throughout..but James Franco???? As with his arm in the film he was nominated for, he was just detached!
    And who thought Kirk Douglas would move things along? He was like a nonagenarian Kayne West...I felt annoyed for the nominees..."Hey the focus should be on them not you Kirk!" People may disagree but I didn't find his participation charming so much as disconcerting...Kinda significant that the best laugh of the evening was garnered by Bob Hope!
    As for husbands cooking up those themed epicurean delights, my jealousy knows no bounds. I "tricked" my hubby into going to the casino so I could watch in peace. Like Barb, its the only Awards show I indulge in so I like to totally immerse myself in the experience without the resident scientist continually criticizing the proceedings. We love movies and see most of them but he has no tolerance for the Award Shows...
    I do so hope they beg someone with cred to host it next year as last night I went to bed pining for the days of Johnny Carson...

  3. King's Speech here in LA was touted as the best and sure to win. I thought it was the best of all 10 having seen almost all of them. I was surprised the Social Network got anything. I thought it was good, not great. The concept of facebook is fabulous, the movie okay.I went to an oscar party and we had homemade masa tortilla's with flank steak and all sorts of accouterments. I absolutely loved both of your husband's food choices. Next year I am flying up to your houses and going between the two of you.

  4. About the show, yup. James Franco looked like he was stoned and wanted to be anywhere but there. But I feel like we always hate it and then still keep watching!

    As for the awards, I wasn't disappointed with how those went down. Madge, I have to disagree about The Social Network. In my opinion, it is a wonderful film. The script is superb: elegant, dynamic, perfectly-paced, smart. I think David Fincher is a really smart director, known for his more "showy" film moves, and yet in TSN, he shows a lot of restraint, subtly weaving the story elements into a really fine film. In some respects, harder to pull off than The King's Speech (I think). But I loved TKS too.

    And leftovers? You betcha. Mmmmm.

  5. Wow! You guys make me feel like a slacker. Our menu is always movie food: hot dogs, nachos, popcorn and milkduds. You guys are eating like the stars, and we're eating like the movie audience.
    Guess it's time to step it up!

    I'm inspired for next year.

  6. Hollye -- WE are the slackers. It's our husbands who do all the work. Which is super-awesome and I highly recommend it ;)

  7. I will never understand why these lovely women insist on wearing long gowns so that they risk falling on their faces or at the very least tripping like clumsy oafs? How is that classy or elegant in any way? I don't get it. Sure these dresses might look stunning if you're standing still, but just try to take a step. I saw Marissa Tomei stumble twice within one minute in her $200,000 vintage gown. And when they're making their way up those steps to accept their awards, I worry!
    Those, and tops that are strapless so that you're always tugging them up before your boobs fall out. I will never, ever "get" that. Didn't see much of that last night; they must have passed the boob-glue around, pre-show.
    Aside from Kate's Fashion Faux Pas, I'd only improve the awards show by recording it so I could fast-forward through the thank-you speeches of the winners who don't much interest me.
    And could I have one of those cooking husbands, please?

  8. Kate's Fashion Faux Pas! Love it. I say pitch that show to ABC.

  9. *giggles* Man, you ladies have more fun than me. I'm sure it is the theater background. I married an ex-punk rocker, and there was a time he'd fall into a British accent for me, but that is about the extent of it. That said, He does ALL the cooking (okay--maybe half a dozen exceptions a year) and sometimes dinner is quite lovely... but themed? Erm... yeahno.

  10. Oh, there is lots of fun being had over these parts, Hart ;) But I'd also take doing ALL the cooking!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.