Happy Halloween with Death Becomes Her and “A Touch of Magic Cocktail to Beat Thyme”

Has anybody else noticed this about themselves…with all the ZOOM meetings?

I look old.

While some of my colleagues are close to my age or older, they seem to look great when we have our virtual staff meetings.   Other colleagues (and the ones I work with the most closely) are MUCH younger and always look great when we ZOOM…dewy and bright skin, glossy hair, shining eyes.

Damn, when did I get so old looking?  As another birthday is nigh, old age seems inevitable.  The course of time marches on.

But, what if I could stop it?  Would I?

Welcome to October’s Food ‘n Flix post!

This month we could pick any Halloween movie we wanted. (Simply Inspired Meals is hosting.  You can read the announcement post here.)   I landed on Death Becomes Her, the 1992 film with Meryl Streep, Goldie Hawn, Bruce Willis and Isabella Rossellini.  (Like me, his film feels really dated as well.)  If you haven’t seen this movie, Streep plays an actress who has seen better days.  Hawn plays her dowdy best friend, Helen.  Willis plays Helen’s fiance.  Rossellini is the mysterious enchantress.  

Apparently Streep’s character, Madeline, has a track record of stealing Helen’s men.  Ernest (Willis) becomes infatuated with Madeline and they soon marry, leaving Helen in a deep depression and a psychological mess.

Fast forward and Madeline and Ernest are miserable.  Helen, however, is a literary star and looks marvelous.  She looks so good that it spurs Madeline to take drastic measures.  She seeks out Lisle (Rossellini) for the secret of eternal youth.   Madeline drinks the kool-aid.

Fast forward a bit more and Helen has her eyes set on rekindling her love affair with Ernest and stealing him back from Madeline.   Soon it becomes apparent that Helen has also drunk the magic potion.

Dazed and overly made-up!

Lisle really only had one caveat for her clients—one must take care of their bodies.  They have to last forever.  Helen and Madeline try but with being pushed down stairs, drowned, and shot through the stomach, it is hard to keep their looks.

I won’t spoil the ending….I’m sure you can see where this is going.  Oh, and did I mention that Ernest was a talented plastic surgeon but because of his displeasure and depression of being married to Madeline he started drinking heavily.  Now he is a talented mortician, making up the dead with remarkable results.

I do have to mention Lisle’s party, a gala she holds once a year for her best clients.  One gets to see Elvis, Marilyn, James Dean, Andy Warhol, Greta Garbo, and Jim Morrison.  These famous people all drank Lisle’s potion and then disappeared from public life, pretending to die in the process.

Amazingly enough, Death Becomes Her won an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects.   We’ve come a long way since those 1993 awards because the special effects look quite dated, even vintage.  One more tidbit, Fabio plays one of Lisle’s bodyguards.  That just made the film even more retro.

There’s not a lot of food in the film but this is what I spotted:

  • White wine in dressing room
  • Champagne in the operating room
  • Frosting out of the can
  • Apples, tapioca and tea
  • Bloody Mary and aspirin
  • Peanuts
  • Scotch
  • Champagne at book party
  • Lisle’s potion
  • Salad during Helen’s rendition of Madeline’s narcanol poisoning
  • Vodka and whisky in the car

Keeping with the boozy theme of the above list, I decided to make a pink cocktail, something resembling Lisle’s potion:  A Touch of Magic Cocktail to Beat Thyme.  Lisle’s potion had a pink hue so I researched pink cocktails.  I found this one here.

A Touch of Magic Cocktail to Beat Thyme

Based on recipes found here.

Mix up a big batch and enjoy while watching a classic Halloween film or while enjoying the beautiful fall weather on the patio.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 3-4 thyme sprigs
  • 2 c. vodka
  • 4 c. pink grapefruit juice
  • sparkling grapefruit flavored water
  • maraschino cherries and more time for garnish

Instructions

  1. Make the syrup by combining sugar, water and thyme sprigs in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat, cover and allow to cool completely.  After mixture is cooled, remove thyme, place in a jar and chill.
  2. When ready to make the cocktails, place the simple syrup, vodka, and grapefruit juice in a pitcher and stir.
  3. Pour over ice into highball glasses.  Top off with sparkling water. Garnish with a sprig of fresh thyme and a cherry.

Yield: 4

This cocktail is so refreshing and is very “drinkable” (vs. sip-able) with the addition of of the sparkling water.   I’m sorry it didn’t turn out as pink as I would like, but oh well.

 

In conclusion and to answer the question I posed at the beginning:  Would I roll back or stop time?

Does one really want to end up like this?

Honestly, in 2020 I would definitely answer with a resounding NO.  With maturity comes some freedom.   If I want to attend a ZOOM meeting in a tie-dyed T-shirt and hair wrapped in a colorful bandanna, who cares?  (Well, maybe my boss might give pause, but she knows I am a bit of an aged “granola girl.”)  I look forward to the days in the upcoming future where I can stay up all night reading because I can sleep in and if I want to putter around the yard in my pajamas I can do that.  I also like to think of those classic older ladies like Elon Musk’s mother and Meryl Streep and Judi Dench and Candice Bergman.  These are some beautiful old broads.  I want to wear what I want, do what I want, and relish the opportunity old age gives.

 

There’s lots of Halloween themes and motifs in Death Becomes Her—dark and stormy nights, dreary mansions, floating nuns, the undead.  Many times Ernest reminded me of Dr. Frankenstein.  Last tidbit about the film:  apparently it is a cult classic among the LGBTQ community.  And, I do think Mad and Hel’s get-ups would make great Halloween costumes.

Thanks to  Simply Inspired Meals for the opportunity to choose our Halloween films this month.  I cannot wait to see what movies the other members chose for October.  Join FnF next month when  A Day in the Life on the Farm is hosting  Knives Out.   In December, I’m hosting The Holiday   That will round out 2020!

 

I’ve posted many Halloween cocktails here for Food ‘n Flix.  If you want some more Halloween inspiration, check them out!

Voodoo Grog

Pumpkintini

Good Zombie Voodoo Cocktail

Beetlejuice Cocktail

Vampire Blood Cocktail

(All of these cocktails were inspired by other Food ‘n Flix films.)

8 comments to Happy Halloween with Death Becomes Her and “A Touch of Magic Cocktail to Beat Thyme”

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