No, you film afficianados and pop culture vultures didn’t miss anything. Cataplana isn’t a movie; it’s one of my absolute favorite things to eat. It’s a traditional Portuguese seafood stew and it’s rich, spicy and fabulous. I discovered it a while back when doing research for a book, which qualifies it as a happy accident. And oh, it makes me happy! I mean, look at it…
We served cataplana last night at our annual Oscar gathering, to the thundering applause of all.
My husband and I watched our first Academy Awards broadcast together in 1990. *blinks* Twenty-two years of Oscar watching. Time does fly. Since then, we’ve never missed the show. It was the first evening we spent alone together and at the time, we were just friends. I don’t think either of us had a clue that we’d ever be anything more, but that’s a story for another post. Or not. 😉
I’m not sure when good food and great wine came into the picture, though I do remember making fettucini alfredo that evening, and there might have been a bottle of low-end sauvignon blanc. (We were college kids, and I probably blew the bulk of the budget on the cream and fresh parmesan.)
Since then, our Oscar event has evolved to include another couple, more adventurous meals and some incredibly fine wine. It’s something we look forward to even when – as was the case this year – we haven’t seen more than two or three of the films in the running. Once upon a time, we’d have seen at least half of them, but kids complicate things. The films we’d seen this year were nominated in the animated film category, except for Harry Potter. Need I say more?
We did see the fabulous short film The Fantastic Flying Books of Morris Lessmore courtesy of iTunes. I was totally rooting for it to win, and it did. Huzzah! If you haven’t seen it, you can check it out here – but it’s only available for a short time, so don’t wait!
Why watch the Oscars if you haven’t seen the films, you ask? Because we’re not traditionalists in the typical regard, but this tradition goes back to the root of our relationship. Because we like the red carpet broadccase, and find the speeches entertaining and annoying in turn. Because the hosts are sometimes funny and the In Memorium segment is sad and sweet. Because we get to hang out with a couple that we don’t see nearly enough of during the year. And because we get to eat wonderful things, like cataplana.
This year, as a plus, we were treated to a performance by Cirque du Soleil, which was dazzling as always.
Are you an Oscar watcher or an Oscar hater? Do you have any traditions around the ceremony, or do you ignore it as much as possible? And – most importantly – have you ever tried cataplana? If not, you’re missing out!
Here’s the recipe we use if you want to have a go at it. It makes a lot, so we halved and it was the perfect amount for six. Don’t stint on the garlic bread; you’ll need it to soak up the brothy goodness.