Food ‘n Flix post: The Help

The Food ‘n Flix feature this month is The Help.

Food‘nFlix
Loved the book.

Watched the film because I loved the book.

How many times is this the case?  We fall in love with a novel and cannot wait until the film version comes out only to be disappointed.     It happened to me again with The Help.

I read the novel soon after it was published.   I loved it.  (Sorry, I think we have established that.)   But, when I re-watched the film for this post, I again was aggravated by the cast of characters.  (See my last Food ‘n Flix post for a major character aggravation!)   Don’t get me wrong, all of the actors did a fabulous job bringing Mississippi culture to life and I believe the screen play was pretty much true to the novel.

Perhaps it was not so much the characters like Hilly and her narrow-minded and bigoted ways, but the entire beliefs and environment of  the Deep South prior to the Civil Rights movement that aggravated me so much.

An ideal time in American history? Definitely NOT!

Let’s not forget the message of the film.  In that regard, this is an important film and I’m glad it is there to remind us about our not too distant past history.

I am off my soap box so let’s get on to the food.

Three different varieties: Clemson Spineless, Jade, and Red Burgundy Okra.

What could be more Southern than okra?   Since I was able to grow at least a bit of it this summer, I wanted to post a super spicy recipe for fried okra (and an easy way to preserve it for winter meals).

Spicy Southern Fried Okra

1 lb. okra
3 T. flour
3 T. cornmeal
1 t. chili powder
3/4 t. fine sea salt
1/4 t. cayenne
canola oil for frying

Start a pot of water to boiling.  Wash okra and cut off stem.     Prepare an ice water bath.

Blanch okra in small batches 3-4 minutes.

Blanch the okra pods.

Remove and place in ice water bath immediately.

Cool quickly.

When cool, slice into 1/2 inch slices.    Place slices on a paper towel lined baking sheet to drain a bit.  (Your okra will never be dry because it is slimy okra after all.)

While okra is draining, mix together dry ingredients in a small bowl.

Whisk the spices together.

Heat canola oil in a cast iron skillet.   Dredge okra pieces in the spicy flour mixture.    When oil is hot, fry.

Fry it up!

Remove to a paper towel lined plate to drain.

Eat as soon as it is cool enough.

 

I served this with Copy-Cat Chik-Fil-A Chicken from Jen at Juanita’s Cocina.   You must try this recipe.   It is deliciously different.

It may not be Southern-fried chicken, but it is delicious.

Another great idea is to freeze this okra after the dredging step above.   Place the dredged okra in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze.

At this point you can freeze the okra.

Once the slices are frozen, remove and seal in freezer bags.   It is best to use a seal-a-meal if you have it.

Measure out whatever sized servings you will need for winter meals.

Just to recap, this film offers us all a glimpse into a dark era of American history that in itself makes it an important film to revisit.     We can learn a lot, even in these “enlightened” times in which we currently live.

One special thought we can all keep to heart at times, especially if we work with children:

“You is kind. You is smart. You is important. ”
Aibileen

This thought should be a mantra repeated often to some children and adults alike (but with correct grammar, please).

Thanks to Glennis at Can’t Believe We Ate for hosting this month.

I am really looking forward to September’s film, It’s Complicated with Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin.    I love Streep and am really excited that she is starring in August: Osage County, a play turned film currently shooting in northeastern Oklahoma.    Don’t worry, if I have a star sighting it will be posted immediately!    We were lucky enough to see the touring cast of this play in Tulsa  a couple of years ago.    Talk about a dysfunctional family squared on crack.     I can’t wait for the movie and I hope I am not setting myself up for disappointment again. 🙂

For the latest on who is playing whom in the movie version, click here.

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My Favorite Reads

Eat, Pray, Love
Running with Scissors
SantaLand Diaries
Me Talk Pretty One Day
Angela's Ashes
Naked
Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly
My Life in France
Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen: How One Girl Risked Her Marriage, Her Job, and Her Sanity to Master the Art of Living
Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise
A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table
Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table
The Liars' Club
Code Name Verity
The Paris Wife
The Shoemaker's Wife
The Secret Book of Frida Kahlo: A Novel
Brother of the More Famous Jack
Burying the Honeysuckle Girls


Debra's favorite books »