Atlantis: The Lost Empire

Cookie’s Food

First off, I’d like to thank “this board” for taking the time to hear my proposal, er, read my blog. Now, we’ve all heard of the movie of Atlantis, a science fiction action-adventure film that was released by Disney back in 2001. “Now, some of you may ask, ‘Why Atlantis?’” It’s just a flop, isn’t it? “Well, that is where you’d be wrong.” Atlantis: The Lost Empire is the exciting journey of a cartographer and linguist who leads a ragtag band of specialists/plundering vandals to the greatest archeological find in recorded history. Sure, it didn’t perform as well as expected at the box office, but money’s not what’s important. (Unless you’re an “adventure capitalist.”) Atlantis is really all about discovery, teamwork, and adventure.

The lost continent of Atlantis is just a legend, right? So to go on an expedition to find it, you’ve got to be crazy. (Crazy, passionate, quirky, snarky, sweet.) The characters all have such strong, differing personalities. I wish the movie was twice as long, so I could learn more about each one. One of my favorite parts of Atlantis is when the team makes camp. The others finally accept Milo and they eat, and pitch up tents, and just talk. However, they probably would prefer to just skip that eating part. Cookie’s great and all, but his food doesn’t look much like food. When he slops “the appetizer” onto everyone’s trays, he calls it Caesar salad, escargot, and Oriental spring rolls. I call it…well I really don’t know what to call it! (I don’t even know what it is.) But I know it contains the four basic food groups: beans, bacon, whisky, and lard.

Recipe makes about 4 cups of beany cornmeal mush.

Ingredients

¼ pound dry pinto beans, rinsed and soaked in water overnight

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 small garlic clove, minced

¼ pound bacon, cut into small pieces

2 tablespoons ketchup

2 tablespoons molasses

2 tablespoons whisky

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon lard

6 cups water

1 cup yellow corn meal

Salt

Directions

Rinse the beans and soak in water overnight. Drain.

Place room temperature bacon pieces in a pot and bring to medium heat. Once the bacon pieces begin to crisp, add the onion. Cook the onion for 5 minutes and add the garlic. Cook for 30 seconds. Add beans and water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer the beans for 1 ½ hours.

Add ketchup, molasses, brown sugar, whisky, and lard and continue simmering for 30 minutes. Bring the beans back to a boil and add the corn meal. Stirring constantly, cook until thickened, about 3 minutes. (If it’s too thick, add some extra water.) Season with salt. Come and get it!

AtlantisTLEAtlantis M

“Thank God I lost my sense of taste years ago.” I’m just kidding. The stuff isn’t pretty, but it’s not that bad. (I don’t think you’ll be seeing any mushroom clouds if you dump it into a fire.) So are you ready for the main course? Oh, you say you couldn’t eat another bite. “Ha ha ha, don’t you worry. It’ll keep and keep and keep.”

Tune in next week for more Cartoon Cravings!

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Charlotte’s Web

A Veritable Smorgasbord

Salutations! (“It’s my fancy way of saying hello.”) Guess who I learned that from. She has eight legs, catches flies and drinks their blood, Wilbur adores her, and her name is right in the title. Yep, none other than Charlotte A. Cavatica! Now I’m not a big fan of spiders, but Charlotte is one of the very, very few exceptions. (She’s the only spider I’ve ever cried over, but I don’t want to talk about that.) Charlotte may be a common gray spider, but she’s terribly clever and has a gift for words. But most importantly, she’s a friend to Wilbur when he needs one the most. Charlotte promises to try to save Wilbur’s life and uses her talents to play a trick on Zuckerman by spinning “miracles” in her web. (“People are very gullible. They’ll believe anything they see in print.”) Charlotte’s web skyrockets Wilbur to fame and Zuckerman decides to take him to the county fair. But Wilbur isn’t safe from becoming smoked bacon and ham just yet.

When Charlotte needs inspiration for the miracles, she relies on the others in the barn cellar, especially Templeton. But Templeton is a rat who’d rather spend his time spying, hiding, and eating. He doesn’t like to do things for others unless there’s something in it for him. He has to be told that he’ll starve to death if Wilbur is killed. And even then the word he brings Charlotte is “Crunchy.” (He brings back a better word the second time.) So when the day of the fair arrives, Templeton refuses to come along until the Goose convinces him that a fair is a veritable smorgasbord, orgasbord, orgasbord. (“Why, a fair has enough disgusting leftover food to satisfy a whole army of rats.” Yummy.) After it gets dark and Templeton fetches a word for Charlotte, he declares it a night to remember and sets out to glut. He finds melon rinds, bits of hot dogs, cookie crumbs, rotten cotton candy, and other gobs of gorgeous gook. He even decides to pile up his goodies to the point where it topples over. But he doesn’t let that stop him. He eats what he can as it falls and continues his feast around the fairgrounds.

Recipe makes one ratly feast.

Ingredients

You can get as crazy as you want and add whatever to this. Here’s what I used.

Swiss cheese

Lighter cheese wedge with rind-Mine was white cheddar

Lunch meat-One grayer and one more red-Roast Beef and Pastrami

1-2 small zucchinis

Watermelon wedge

Tomato

Yellow snack cake

Chocolate snack cake

Popcorn

Egg-Boiled

Fish-Extra points if you can get a whole one. I had to settle for a fillet, but it is easier to eat.

Chocolate wafer cookie

Vanilla wafer cookies

1 leaf lettuce

Green olives

Black olive

Hotdog

Chocolate pieces

Peach-Cut in half with pit

Apple Core

1 slice bread

 

Directions

So, think of this like a giant sandwich with a lot less bread. Start with a base of Swiss cheese. I used 6 slices. Add a small zucchini and the chocolate snack cake. A piece of rolled up roast beef could work here too. Place the egg near here too. Top with a slice of roast beef, Swiss cheese, and a tomato slice. Add a slice of pastrami and a piece of the watermelon wedge. Top with another tomato slice, some lettuce, and more zucchini or some green olive. Add a slice of bread. Top that with the fish, piece of the wedge cheese, and more pastrami. Sprinkle some bit of green olive and hotdog here. Add another piece of the wedge cheese and the apple core. Top with a slice of Swiss cheese. Add a rolled up piece of roast beef. Add another slice of tomato, another chunk of cheese, and the peach half. Top with some popcorn.

Around the bottom of the stack, place the chocolate and vanilla wafer cookies and some popcorn. Start spreading out from there and add the snack cake, cheese, black olive, pieces of chocolate, another tomato slice, and other miscellaneous. The food pile is quite a balancing act, so add anything else you can think of to stabilize it. Have fun with it and don’t worry if it falls. (Mine fell twice before I got a picture, so it’s extra funky.) These foods are supposed to be leftovers so bite and rip into whatever you want to give them that feel. Once you’re happy, dig in!

Charlotte Web SmorgasbordCharlotte's Web Smorgasbord

All the food that Templeton eats at the fair has been “seasoned” by the passage of time and the heat of the day. It may be yummy for him but it would make anyone else sick, so I’ll stick with the fresh stuff, thank you. (Even the apple core is fresh, but I’m not really going to eat that.) Yeah, it’s kind of weird and kind of messy, but it is really fun. You can pick it apart and have meat and cheese, a sandwich, fruit, dessert, and whatever. Or you can just kind of go for it and eat it all together. Either way, it’ll leave you as full as Templeton. He needs to sleep all that off so his fun at the fair is over, but Wilbur’s is just is getting started. He doesn’t win first prize, but he’s honored for being Some Terrific Radiant Humble Pig and Zuckerman promises to let Wilbur live to a ripe old age. When Wilbur returns to Charlotte and asks her why she did all of this for him, she says it’s because he’s been her friend. She really was in a class by herself. “It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both.”

 

Tune in next week for more Cartoon Cravings!