Dinner And A Movie Monday – 5 Flights Up

5 Five Flights Up is a 2014 American comedy-drama, starring Morgan Freeman (one of my favorite actors) and Diane Keaton. The film is based on the novel Heroic Measures written by Jill Ciment and was released on May 8, 2015.

Alex and Ruth Carver, an older couple, want to move from their charming apartment because living in a 5-story walk-up is becoming too difficult for them to manage without an elevator. Alex is a painter and uses one of the rooms as his studio. Ruth is a retired school teacher. They have lived there so many years that it and the neighborhood have become intertwined with their lives. Their niece Lilly is their broker and is pressuring them to sell because she believes the apartment is worth up to $1M.

Three other plot lines develop simultaneously with the sale of the apartment. Do they pay for an expensive operation for their elderly dog or do the humane thing and put her to sleep. The second is an alleged terrorist who may be lurking in the neighborhood near the Carvers’ apartment and how it impacts the sale of their apartment. The third is the Carver’s search for the perfect new home.

Their decision in the end may come as a surprise. Or not. But it was a lovely story about growing older and all the things that go with it, both good and bad.

Meatloaf – An economic staple from my childhood made a hundred different ways. This is my recipe. 1 – 2 lbs ground meat, 1/2 a sleeve crushed saltines or bread crumbs, 1 egg, 1/2 chopped onion, 1/2 cu chopped bell pepper, 1/2 cup catsup or tomato sauce. Salt and pepper to taste. Mix together. Press into a loaf pan and cook at 350 degrees until done in the middle (about an hour) Serve with macaroni and cheese and fruit salad.

Dinner and a Movie Monday – The Bookshop

The Bookshop is a 2017 film written and directed by Isabel Coixet, based on the novel of the same nameby Penelope Fitzgerald.[2The film stars Emily Mortimer, Patricia Clarkson, and Bill Nighy. It was shot in Portaferry and Strangford, County Down, Northern Ireland, and in Barcelona. The cinematography was spectacular.

Set in the late 1950s, the film opens with an explanatory voice-over narration. Florence Green, a widow, has decided to open a bookshop in the small coastal town of Hardborough, Suffolk, acquiring as her premises the Old House, a damp and abandoned property that has been standing empty for many years. After refurbishing it and moving in, she learns that Violet Gamart, an influential and ambitious local resident, had privately earmarked the Old House for her own pet project, a local arts centre – a project that she has no intention of dropping even though the property is no longer empty. Aided by several of the townspeople Mrs Gamart attempts to get Florence evicted, and the shop closed down.

Florence’s business does well enough for her to need help in the shop from Christine, the young daughter of a neighbour. Their best customer is the wealthy bookish recluse Edmund Brundish, who begins to have feelings for Florence as she introduces him to new authors. Learning of the threats to Florence’s business, he volunteers to emerge from his seclusion, to visit Mrs Gamart and tell her to desist. But despite everything, things do not go well.

This was a movie that touched my heart. Florence and Mr. Brundish were drawn together by their love of books. She had the courage to pursue her dream, despite a rich woman’s meddling, and he admired that.

This is a movie I recommend. It made me think about the characters and their story long after I finished watching it. And I loved the music as well.

Quick Apple Cake Recipe

When Mr. Brundish invited Florence to tea, he served a delicious looking bundt cake with it. This easy recipe makes a large cake with quite a few servings. 

Ingredients

  • apples
  • Eggs
  • 2 cup Sugar
  • 1 cup Light Olive Oil (or coconut oil)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 cup Flour
  • 1 tbsp Baking Powder
  • 1 pinch Salt
  • Oil for baking pan
  • Brown Sugar

Instructions

  • Combine together eggs, sugar, oil, vanilla extract and salt. Using a mixer, beat until mixture is fluffy.
  • In small parts, mix flour and baking powder into the egg mixture.
  • Peel and grate apples on a large side of the grater. Mix apples into the cake batter. Stir to combine everything together.
  • Spray baking dish with oil. Sprinkle a bit of brown sugar on the bottom of the pan.
  • Pour cake batter into the pan. Bake at 325F for about 50 minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean.
  • Remove the cake from the pan and let it cool to a room temperature. Enjoy!

Dinner And A Movie Monday – Brooklyn

Brooklyn

Eilis Lacey is a young woman from a small town in southeast Ireland, where she lives with her mother and sister, Rose. Eilis is unhappy with her life. She sees no future there. Her sister writes to an Irish priest in Brooklyn who arranges for her to travel to New York City.

where she takes bookkeeping classes and meets Italian-American Tony Fiorello and falls in love.When her sister suddenly dies of an undisclosed illness she had kept secret, Eilis tells Tony she must return home. He shows her a plot of land on Long Island that he intends to build a house for them on and proposes. Eilis seems hesitant but agrees. They marry at the courthouse without telling anyone.

Once back in Ireland, Eilis temporarily takes her late sister’s old bookkeeping job and gets attention from a wealthy bachelor. A completely different life than the one she left behind in Brooklyn. When gossip goes round about Eilis, she’s reminded of what life was really like living in this small town. She leaves for Brooklyn the next day because she wants to be with her husband. On the crossing, she offers guidance to a young woman making her own first trip to Brooklyn.

Eilis makes her journey from Ireland to New York in the 1950s, along with approximately 50,000 other immigrants (around a quarter of which moved to New York) as a part of the second minor wave of migration. Many of these citizens were in search of steadier jobs and a happier lifestyle. There were also smaller surges of immigrants from many other countries at this time, leading to modern day America becoming a vast land of many different cultures. You’ll enjoy this movie. Saoirse Ronan takes us through her journey to New York. We see her courage and determination while she struggles to pursue her version of the American dream.

Brooklyn is adapted from Colm Toibin’s novel of the same name. It has been named one of “The 10 best historical novels” in 2012. The novel and the film have equally been praised for their refreshing perspective on the plight of the Irish immigrant. They both depict a realistic story.

Irish Stew

The ingrediants for Irish Stew depend on who you ask. Traditionally, it’s made with neck mutton chops or kid, potatoes, onions, and water. Others would add such items as carrots, turnips and pearl barley; but the purists maintain that they spoil the true flavour of the dish. The ingredients are boiled and simmered slowly for up to two hours.

  • Prep time: 25 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour, 50 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6

Please use beef chuck stew meat that is well marbled with fat. Lean stew meat will end up too dry.

Save prep time by prepping the onions, carrots, and potatoes while the stock with beef is simmering in step 2.

  • 1 1/4 pounds well-marbled chuck beef stew meat, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
  • 3 teaspoons of salt (more to taste)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 6 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups beef stock or broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup of Guinness extra stout
  • 1 cup of hearty red wine
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 7 cups)
  • 1 large onion, chopped (1 1/2 to 2 cups)
  • 2 cups 1/2-inch pieces peeled carrots and/or parsnips (3 to 4 carrots or parsnips)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Dinner and A Movie Monday – The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

My sister and I had a movie night recently. We couldn’t find anything new we wanted to watch, so we rewatched a favorite we discovered a year ago. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is a 2018 film based on the novel of the same name. Set in 1946, the plot follows a London-based writer who has the perfect life. She’s successful and has a rich and handsome American fiance.  She begins exchanging letters with Dawsey Addams, a resident of Guernsey Island.

She finds herself fascinated by Dawsey’s stories about how the people on the island survived German occupation during the war and decides to travel there, where she falls in love with the island, its inhabitants, and its story.

I loved it. It’s an old-fashioned tearjerker, nostalgic and romantic. The scenery will take your breath away and the music is lovely. If that’s what you’re in the mood for, it should fit the bill.

PS – If anything, I enjoyed the movie even more than the first time we watched it almost a year ago. Michael Huisman plays Dawsey, and I loved his performance. His face is an open book. And those beautiful brown eyes! I loved watching his character fall in love with Juliette. He couldn’t hide his feelings for her.

ROAST PORK

ROAST PORK (This was a favorite with The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society)

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Mix together black pepper, garlic powder and salt. …
  3. Put the roast on a rack in a roasting pan. …
  4. Roast until internal temperature is between 145-160°F, 20-25 minutes per pound. …
  5. Cover roasting pan with foil and let rest for 30 minutes.