Chopstick Cinema

Celeste Heiter's Adventures in Asian Food & Film

All About the Dinner & a Movie: How Everything Turned Out

Yesterday was my Monsoon Wedding Dinner & a Movie day, so I spent most of Friday night and all day yesterday in the kitchen, although I did manage to watch a French movie (The Hairdresser's Husband) on the Sundance Channel during my prep work. The dinner was a feast as usual, however, not everything turned out perfectly. My Naan Bread didn't puff, I didn't care for the combination of spices in the Lamb Stew, and Rene didn't like the India Pale Ale, so he drank Corona instead. But other than those minor details, it was quite delicious, especially the Curry Infused Shrimp with Chutney, the Mulligatawny Soup, the Tomato Cucumber Raita and the Spiced Lentils. Will really liked the Chicken Vindaloo, and Rene helped himself to lots of the homemade chutney.

As always, I was a little over-amped when it came time to sit down to dinner, so I didn't eat much on the first go-round, but I did have a second helping of everything later in the evening. As a result, I woke up this morning with a mild reaction to the spices... slightly elevated heartbeat, a series of hot flashes, and a general feeling of heat in my digestive system. Maybe it was the cardamom and the chiles. I'm just not used to cooking with so many different spices. I love the way they smell and taste but I can never predict what effect they will have on me. An overdose of allspice almost put me in the hospital one time.

Of all the incongruous things, we watched Kill Bill 2 during dinner because Monsoon Wedding is subtitled and it's hard to eat and read subtitles at the same time. Rene and Will were keen to watch it, so I agreed. I had suffered through the first installment a few months ago and managed to find certain things to appreciate about it, but I have got to say that the sequel is one of the most self-indulgent pieces of cinematic rubbish I've ever seen. Rene and Will both agreed. I have never cared for Quentin Tarrantino's films and his two latest are certainly no exception.

After dinner, when it came time to watch Monsoon Wedding, after 15 or 20 minutes, Rene was having such a hard time keeping up with the heavy Indian accents and the speed of the subtitles flashing by that he wasn't enjoying the film. He usually loves movies, so it's rare to find one that he can't watch. Although he is remarkably fluent, English isn't his first language, so he sometimes struggles with fast-paced dialogue. Anyway, we stopped the movie and watched several episodes of Sex and the City instead. We're in the middle of the third season, and are enjoying it thoroughly. There is no sexual subject left unexamined and lampooned. At first, I thought it would be too 'girly' for us both, but I think we mostly appreciate the candor of the humor. I'm going to watch Monsoon Wedding by myself this evening.

The moral of the story: Stay flexible and adaptable, and always remember to enjoy the moment, no matter what unexpected surprises it may bring.