I’m joking, of course! Rest assured we will still be firing a recipe at you (almost) each and every day! In the meantime, though, I have been thinking about birds a lot lately. Some time ago, I compiled a list in my head of my favorite bird related movies, birds and movies seem so perfect together – a movie is about capturing light and shadow and movement, and a bird’s whole life seems to be beautifully made of those things! I’d like to share my top four with you now. So, here we go, yo…
Le Poulet, Claude Berri’s ridiculously beautiful short film about a boy and his rooster. It’s joyful and simple, but it’s also incredibly thoughtful – it makes you think! It makes you think, specifically, about how it is harder to be cruel to somebody that you know, that has a name, than to a generic, unknown being. Once somebody (be they chicken or otherwise) goes from being a random, unnamed individual to being a friend – you have to treat them differently.
In Le Samourai, Alain Delon’s pet bird is, oddly, the most endearing character in the film. The title character is so cold and mechanical, he’d be a lesser man without this bird, who seems to represent his soul. I honestly felt more anxious about the bird than any of the other characters.
Ghost Dog. Inspired by Le Samurai. I’ve mentioned it before and I’ll mention it again. Ghost Dog’s pigeons…his home is in their coup, he’s closer to them than any human, and they’re his only contact with people. Beautiful, fragile, and accompanied by some of the best movie music ever.
Kes is surely one of the most beautiful saddest movies ever. The bird is his refuge and his friend. I can’t even watch the trailer without getting weepy!
What are some of your favorite bird-related film scenes?
And your recipe for the day is ginger cookies with a white chocolate cassis glaze. I had a small amount of white chocolate chips left in the cupboard, and I wanted to bake something with them. I thought to myself…white chocolate is very sweet, let’s combine it with something with some bite – ginger! These aren’t like ginger snaps, though…they’re pale and simple, and quite elegant. I decided to mix a bit of cassis in with the white chocolate, because I thought its tartness would be pleasant with the spiciness and the sweetness. You could leave it out, or add the liquor of your choice. Rum goes nicely with ginger! So does orange! The flavors are very nice together. Strangely lemony, despite the fact that there’s no lemon!
Here’s Patti Smith’s remarkably ecstatic birdland
1 stick butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 egg, separated
1 t vanilla essence
1 cup flour
1 t ginger
1/2 t salt
1 cup white chocolate chips
2 T milk
2 T cassis
Preheat oven to 350
Cream the butter till soft. Stir in the sugar and the egg and vanilla. Add all of the dry ingredients and beat until smooth. Whip the eggwhite till stiff, and then mix that in as well. (The dough is quite stiff, so you can’t exactly fold it in, just mix lightly)
Drop the dough by small spoonfuls onto buttered baking sheets. Press them down with your fingers to make them quite flat and round. Bake for 6 – 10 minutes, till they start to brown on the bottom. I started them on the bottom rack and moved them to the top halfway through.
Move to a baking sheet and let cool.
In a small saucepan over a larger saucepan of boiling water, melt the white chocolate chips with the milk and cassis. Stir till they’re well-blended. Using a flat knife, spread a bit of white chocolate mixture over each cookie, and place on a sheet of tinfoil to set completely.