Monday, July 20, 2009

Dinner and A Movie: Breakfast at Tiffany's

Picture a Yellow NY taxi


People don’t belong to people. I’m like cat here. No-name slobs. We belong to nobody and nobody belongs to us, we don’t even belong to each other.


You know what’s wrong with you, Miss Whoever-you-are? You’re chicken, you’ve got no guts, you’re afraid to stick out your chin and say, ok, life’s a fact.

People do fall in love, people do belong to each other, because that’s the only chance anybody’s got for real happiness.

For my favourite on-line foodie event,

organised jointly by Susan and Marc, Susan chose an absolute classic this time: Breakfast at Tiffany's. The film, with its innovative costuming by legendary designers Edith Head and Givenchy, predominantly in black and white, produced some of the most iconographic images ever, thanks to Audrey Hepburn’s elegant beauty.

She plays 19-year-old Holly Golightly, a self-declared wild thing who abandons relationships and responsibilities when they threaten to jeopardize her freedom. Her desire for "breakfast at Tiffany's” (absurd, as Tiffany's do not serve food) symbolises in its unattainability her struggle against conventional constraints such as settling down in a stable relationship. (Oh, I’m so with her!! She’s 19, for heaven’s sake!!!)

Apart from the fashion, and the equally famous music by Henri Mancini (Moon River), one of the most striking aspects of this 1961 film is the perpetual smoking and cocktail drinking. Clear evidence, if any was needed, that drinking yourself into a comatose state wasn’t invented in the 90s. It just wasn’t called binge drinking.

There is no food to speak of at these parties, so no inspiration there. We do see a pressure cooker exploding, but I really had no wish to repeat this experience, I vividly recall the eruption of my lentil soup some years ago, with the tiny legumes reaching even the most remote corners of the ceiling.

Another draw-back this time was the circumstance that the list of ingredients I am allowing myself, after being seriously ill, drastically reduces my range of recipes. Just as I felt I couldn’t possibly invent something that would be good enough to reflect this superb film, it came to me in a flash: The Little Black Dress Diet!

Not only does it have Holly Golightly on the cover, it’s also contains really healthy diet meals. I opted for a breakfast (of course), and decided to serve it in a cocktail glass (of course, again).

Breakfast at Tiffany’s

(adapted from Michael van Straten’s The LBD Diet)

Fresh pineapple (representing gold)


Cardamom seeds, pounded

Coriander seeds, pounded


Blueberries, redcurrants (representing rubies and sapphires)

Cut up your pineapple into bite-sized pieces, put on a foil covered baking sheet. Pound the spices with pestle and mortar, and sieve the husks out. Mix with cinnamon and honey, then spread the mixture on top of the pineapple pieces and grill until golden brown. Serve in a cocktail glass together with the rubies and sapphires.

The original recipe uses only cinnamon and brown sugar. I used local honey instead as that is supposed to be good when you're a hay fever sufferer.

The film is of course based on the 1958 novella of the same name by Truman Capote, whom Norman Mailer described as "the most perfect writer of my generation". When the story was adapted for a mainstream audience by scriptwriter George Axelrod, it was to lose its obscene language and explicit sexual references, and the plot and character details were drastically changed, the most striking of which was to turn the relationship between Holly Golightly and Paul (George Peppard in the film) into a conventional heterosexual love story.

Never mind, it’s a glorious film, and I’m reading the book right now, so I’m divinely happy, darling! Thank you Susan for another inspired choice!!