After all of the hype, to be honest, I was a little concerned about watching “The Help.” I read the book and LOVED it, but we all know that Hollywood has a bad habit of butchering big-screen adaptations.
To my surprise and delight, the movie was delightful — funny, poignant, and suspenseful in its own Southern-Gothic way. Every actor was spot-on, from Cicely Tyson’s frail tenderness (tears rolling down my cheeks!) to Viola Davis’ stern resilience. And just like everyone is saying, Bryce Dallas Howard was great, but I was most pleased that Emma Stone really pulled off Skeeter without being trite or too earnest.
Anyway, so you may be asking, what the hell does this have to do with Kitchen Mischief? Well, as I was sitting in the theater, scarffing down pawfuls of popcorn, when I became entranced by the images on the screen before me.
I’m not talking about Allison Janney or Octavia Spencer here — I’m talking about larger-than life, screen-spanning platters of fried chicken, black-eyed peas, fresh tomatoes, and cornbread. David said he knew it when he saw that dish of peas — I was cooking soul food for supper!
Everyone does soul food in their own way. Basically, I start all of mine the same way — with PIG. I get bacon started sautéing, then when it starts to brown, I add diced onions and pepper. From there, you just add the goodness. Peas in one pot, greens in the other, followed by a quick heat-through and a hefty douse with chicken stock. Season and simmer until done.
I replaced the fried chicken with a buttermilk-marinated, oven-baked chicken recipe from Cooking Light. It’s not quite as good as fried, but it gets the flavor across.
We finished it off with a sliced summer tomato (salted and peppered, please!) and a little Farmers’ Market hot pepper relish for the greens.
So — here’s a great plan for the weekend. Go to the Farmers’ Market on Saturday and grab some lady peas and fresh tomatoes … maybe even a jar of pepper relish, perhaps some fresh corn! Then, hit up a Sunday matinee of “The Help,” go home, and treat yourself to a little plate of Heaven.
Have a great weekend, and be sure to go back for seconds! 😉
Oh, and by the way, we did NOT have “Chocolate” Pie for dessert!