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Airplane!

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Airplane

Image credit: Airplane!, 1980

Since air travel is a distant memory for most of us these days, there’s no better time to watch a 90-minute joke about flying. Airplane! (Disc/Download), the classic parody film inspired by disaster flicks of the 1970s, makes me nostalgic and nauseated all at once. Two words you never want to hear on an airplane: Stomach. Virus.

To be honest, flying was always my least favorite part about travel. The seats are tiny, the air is either too hot or too cold, I distrust the ice in my cocktail, and I always end up next to a man-spreader. Now add virus anxiety, and you’ve got a situation that’s even more nightmarish. Somehow, the writers of Airplane! managed to turn all our air complaints into comedy gold, delivering a steady stream of one-liners and deadpan jokes—some of which land, and some of which fall pretty flat. Luckily Leslie Nielsen is on board to provide his dry sense of humor, almost single-handedly keeping this movie aloft.

I talk a lot about what I don’t like about air travel, but here’s something I do like: BISCOFF COOKIES. Day or night, I always look forward to my Biscoff and Ginger Ale. It’s the perfect snack, and the only thing that can distract me from the annoying person behind me watching YouTube videos on their ipad, without headphones. Yes, we can ALL hear you. While watching Airplane!, mimic the feeling of being airborne with this Biscoff Highball (recipe adapted from TheKitchn).

Biscoff Highball

1 ½ oz Bourbon

½ oz Biscoff Syrup (recipe below)

8 oz Ginger Ale

Combine Bourbon, Biscoff Syrup, and Ginger Ale in a glass over ice. Stir gently to combine.

Biscoff Highball

Biscoff Syrup

½ cup sugar

½ cup water

2 Biscoff Cookies, loosely crumbled

Boil sugar and water together, until sugar is dissolved. Let cool. Add cookie crumbles to a jar, then pour in the cooled syrup. Let the cookies dissolve and infuse the syrup, 4-6 hours. Strain to remove solid pieces, and keep syrup refrigerated in an air-tight container.

Airplane! is one of those movies where the more you drink, the funnier it gets. If you’re in the mood to watch one million Hare Krishna jokes and a blow-up “Otto” pilot, then by all means, stock up on bourbon. Surely, that’s all of us by now. But don’t worry- I won’t call you Shirley. Cheers!

Tammy and the Bachelor

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tammyandthebachelor

Image credit: Tammy and the Bachelor, 1957

The world lost one of its brightest stars last month when Debbie Reynolds passed away, following the tragic death of daughter Carrie Fisher. Although best known for Singin’ in the Rain, I’ll always have a fondness for her 1950’s rom-coms. One of my favorites is this week’s film Tammy and the Bachelor (DVD), a film equally famous for Reynolds’ rendition of the theme song. Sweet, dreamy, Tammy’s in love. And so am I.

When country cutie Tammy rescues wealthy farmer Peter Brent from the wreckage of a plane crash, I couldn’t help but be shocked when the lifeless face pulled out of the swamp is that of 80’s comedy star Leslie Nielsen. I’m of the generation who only knew him as the deadpan comedy star from Airplane! and the Naked Gun film series. Seeing him as a sexy leading man with brown (not stark white!) hair is certainly a trip. Add to that an aged Fay Wray as the wacky spinster aunt at his Antebellum mansion, and you’ve got a cast that has to be seen to be believed.

Tammy’s journey is set in motion when her grandfather gets arrested for making moonshine, forcing her to turn to Peter and his family for sanctuary. This makes me appreciate what a wonderful time we live in, where homebrew is as easy and legal as ordering the kit from a catalog. Back on a bayou river in the 1950’s, things were tougher. If you’re watching Tammy and the Bachelor and you care to wet your whistle, I recommend drinking Riverwater*.

Riverwater

1.5 oz white moonshine

4 oz sweet tea

1 oz lemon juice

Mix all ingredients together in a mason jar, and stir until combined. Fill jar with crushed ice, and garnish with a lemon twist.

riverwater

(*Good for your constitution!)

Reynolds’ star was formed in the golden age of the Hollywood studio system, and lucky for us it resulted in so many endearing performances. It’s hard to watch her and not smile. Her sweetness and joy were infectious, and Tammy was no exception. As she sings her signature song in the moonlight, we realize that nothing in that sky outside her window could ever shine as brightly as her. Cheers!