Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Virginia Woolfin' It Down

One thing Wally and I will always have in common is that we are both movie lovers. We watch them, analyze them, internalize them, discuss them, and digest them the way most people do with books, and we know that you're supposed to do all that with books but...we're just movie people.

The lamb pie we served at our Christmas party was inspired by the movie The Hours (which is also a book, but) from how when back in the day we'd repeatedly and randomly quote the way that Virginia Woolf's maid says "I chose a lamb pie..." I hadn't watched the movie since before Jimmy was born, I stuck it in yesterday and while watching it I remembered that several years ago I baked Wally a birthday cake also inspired by the movie--it was a chocolate cake decorated with this crazy blue-color frosting:

Blue Birthday Cake Sorta-Seen Here

As I was watched the movie yesterday I couldn't help gain some interest in "The Crab Thing"--a dish that the Meryl Streep character makes in hopes to cheer up the Ed Harris character who was known to like it. The dish is pretty vague in the movie so I looked it up and was happy to discover the Chicago Sun Times was similarly inspired:

The crab thing

March 19, 2003

(Inspired by "The Hours")


3 tablespoons shallots

1 tablespoon butter

3/4 cup fish stock, preferably homemade

1 tablespoon orange juice

1/4 cup white wine

1 tablespoon Armagnac or Cognac

1/2 cup whipping cream

Salt (French sea salt such as sel

marin) and white pepper to taste

1/4 teaspoon mace

1 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley,

finely chopped

1 tablespoon fresh tarragon,

finely chopped

3/4 pound Dungeness crabmeat (cooked)

1 (1-1/2-pound) Dungeness crab, cleaned, cooked and cracked by fishmonger

Saute shallots in butter for 3 minutes. Do not brown. Add stock. Bring to medium boil; reduce by half.

Add orange juice, wine and Armagnac or Cognac. Reduce again by half. Add cream; thicken until sauce coats back of a spoon. Turn off fire. Add salt, pepper, mace and herbs.

Place crabmeat in serving dish. Pour hot sauce over crabmeat. Garnish with cracked crab. Serve with pasta.

...but a little more complicated than I was bargaining for.

A regoogle brought me to another recipe, this one inspired by the book version of The Hours where the recipe's creator specified "The Crab Thing" as a crab casserole. Interesting... The recipe can be found in The Book Club Cookbook by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp.

The Ed Harris character never gets to taste The Crab Thing, I wonder will Wally and I ever get around to having some? Kickasserole time? Only time will tell... In the meantime, I thoroughly recommend renting The Hours, it is a MASTERPIECE!!! And that's even forgetting all the eatin' parts! Though, it helps to watch Mrs. Dalloway first. Or...if you prefer, you could actually read Virginia Woolf's version if you haven't already. <=]


Anonymous said...

would that we were closer we'd have you over for the crab thing and a movie! or si says aunt b

rlw said...

Mmmmm...crab thing! My favorite! =D

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