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Tag Archives: Keri Russell

Waitress

Image Credit: Waitress, 2007

Y’all didn’t think I’d let Pie Month go by without talking about the ultimate in cinematic pie experiences, did you? Frankly, I was shocked to see that I haven’t covered Waitress (Disc/Download) before now. It’s one of my favorite movies, and I watch it every year the night before Thanksgiving, on what we call “Pie Night”- a glorious evening when my husband and I eat all the pie we won’t have room for after the next day’s feast. Trust me when I say that Pie Night is the greatest holiday of the year.

Why is this the best movie to watch on our annual pastry binge? Because it features Keri Russell as sweet, strong heroine Jenna, a waitress who spends her days making gorgeous pies in a rural diner. Her combinations are inspired and often autobiographical, such as the “Pregnant Self Pitying Loser” Pie, and the “I Don’t Want Earl’s Baby” Pie. The pies are an outlet where she can vent frustrations about an abusive marriage, her elation over a secret affair with an OBGYN, and her fears about impending motherhood. Honestly, the movie itself feels like dessert. It’s got sweetness, a little bitterness, and just a touch of heat to make us feel all warm and cozy inside. Director Adrienne Shelley gave women a delicious gift in this movie, and I intend to eat every bite.

There are a lot of pies in this movie, but my favorite is probably the Chocolate Strawberry Oasis. I subbed white chocolate for dark, but the complexity of this drink makes it feel like one of Jenna’s lush desserts. While watching Waitress, I recommend drinking this Everybody Hates Earl Martini (because we DO all hate Earl).

Everybody Hates Earl Martini

2 oz Strawberry Vodka

1 oz White Creme de Cacao

1.5 oz White Chocolate Liqueur

1 oz Chambord Raspberry Liqueur

1 oz Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk

Strawberry for garnish

Combine all liquid ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake until chilled, then strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a strawberry.

Although Jenna has some complicated romantic entanglements, the true heart of this movie lies with her friendships. The bond she forms with fellow waitresses and cantankerous diner owner (Andy Griffith) is such a joy to watch, and reminds me of what I’m most thankful for every year- good food, good drinks, and great friends. Cheers!

Austenland

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Image credit: Austenland, 2013

Due to the publication of Curtis Sittenfeld’s fabulous new novel Eligible (an adaptation of Pride & Prejudice), there has been a lot of recent publicity about the works of Jane Austen. How fortuitous that I’m closing out Cocktails & Corsets month on Cinema Sips, since there happens to be a fantastic movie that celebrates all things Austen, and features Keri Russell in corset-attire. This week’s film Austenland (DVD/Download) is an absolute must for any Austen aficionado.

Based on the novel by Shannon Hale, Austenland is about a Jane Austen superfan who travels to a fantasy resort in England in order to live the Regency-period lifestyle. This means empire waist gowns, croquet, reading in a grassy meadow, and the promise of a romance-filled ball. There are Darcy references galore, a rescue in the rain (on horseback), and catty remarks over high tea. Plus, everybody’s favorite scene stealer, actress Jennifer Coolidge. What time is check-in again?

Although my first instinct for a Jane Austen-inspired cocktail was the Pimm’s Cup, research tells me that this liqueur was not available until decades after the author’s tragically short lifespan. Therefore I’ll be serving a beverage that any Austen fan worth her salt would be drinking during her 5th reading of Sense & Sensibility– tea. While watching Austenland, I recommend drinking an Erstwhile Evening Tea.

Erstwhile Evening Tea

1.5 oz Gin

1.5 oz St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur

1.5 oz English Breakfast Tea, chilled

.75 oz Lemon Juice

3 dashes orange bitters

Combine all ingredients in a shaker filled with ice, and shake until chilled. Strain into a chilled teacup, and garnish with a lemon twist.

erstwhile tea

As Jane, Keri Russell makes an interesting statement about the Regency period. She says it’s a lot like a corset- she likes the way it looks, but it makes it hard to relax. In a world where emotions are kept in check, and image and social standing matter far too much, I could see her point. Austenland might not be the best place to establish a permanent residence, but it sure looks like fun to visit. Cheers!