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Friday, April 24, 2009

May Dinner and a Movie: Shirley Valentine (and a little Souvlaki)

Who hasn't ever questioned the relevance of their place in this world? Very few, I would imagine. I think you know what I mean. Maybe you've stood in front of your mirror one day and asked yourself, "Who the hell am I, and what am I supposed to be doing here?". Or, perhaps you've reached a point in your life where you look back and wonder what happened to all of your dreams and the plans you made. Have you gotten so bogged down in the everyday minutia of your life that you lost yourself somewhere along the way? Are you merely existing instead of living? If true contentment can only come from within ourselves, why do most of us have such a hard time finding it?

I struggle with these issues myself from time to time, and I don't necessarily think it's a bad thing. It's important to stand back and take stock of yourself sometimes - to question where you've been and where you're going. It helps us to grow and evolve and hopefully, to become better. One of the reasons that I chose Shirley Valentine as this month's Dinner and a Movie selection, is because this award-winning British film examines these struggles in a very charming, poignant and humorous way. It struck a chord with me when I first watched it back in 1989, and is even more relevant to me today.

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Shirley Valentine-Bradshaw is a fortysomething housewife from Liverpool wondering what has happened to herself, as she feels stagnant and in a rut. She has become a proverbial doormat. Her family pays her so little attention that she's taken to talking to her kitchen walls in order to keep a conversation going. She's always dreamed of going to Greece, and when her friend wins a trip for two to Mykonos, Shirley uncharacteristically puts herself first and accepts an invitation to go along. She packs her bags, leaves a note on the kitchen table, and takes off on her dream vacation!

Immersed in her stunningly beautiful surroundings, Shirley takes stock of her life after years of marital neglect and mundane domesticity. What she discovers there is a new awareness of who she is and what her existence can be with just a little effort on her part. (A little tryst with a hunky Greek doesn't hurt matters either!) When her nice, but complacent husband Joe arrives on the island to bring her back to Liverpool, Shirley is forced to make the most important decision of her life.

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Another reason that I chose Shirley Valentine, is because I felt that there was a lot of inspiration to be had in it when deciding on your DaaM submissions. From the humble chips and egg to a myriad of mouthwatering Greek specialties to choose from, everyone should be able to come up with a fabulous dish like this Souvlaki I made a few weeks ago.

Anyone who spends any amount of time surfing the food blogs has probably come across Peter from Kalofagas. Peter is a Greek from Toronto who writes a wonderful blog devoted to Greek food and recipes. Not only is he a creative and adventurous cook, he is like a one man Greek Tourism Board! With every recipe he presents, he shares a bit of Greek history and culture as well. Whenever I visit Kalofagas I am tantalized, inspired and always impressed!

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Souvlaki is a popular Greek dish consisting of small pieces of meat and sometimes vegetables grilled on a skewer. It may be served on the skewer for eating out of hand, in a pita sandwich with garnishes and sauces, or on a dinner plate, often with fried potatoes or rice pilaf. Pork is the traditional meat used, although it can also be made with chicken, beef or lamb. I made my Souvlaki with pork, using Peter's recipe. Let me just say, it was terrific!

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To go along with the Souvlaki, I also made Peter's Tzatziki, which is one of the classic sauces in Greek cuisine. It is a creamy and delicious combination of yogurt, cucumber, dill and garlic, which makes a refreshing accompaniment to grilled meats.

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I hope I've convinced you to play along with my co-host Marc from No Recipes and I this month and give Shirley Valentine a watch. It is a really lovely and sweet movie with an important message. May's post date will be on May 20. Please visit our Dinner and a Movie page for all of the details on submitting an entry for the round-up. I hope to see you all there!

30 comments:

Jeff said...

Definitely going to have to check this movie out although it may remind me to much of my life.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

This sounds like a good movie Susan! Did you ever see the Italian movie "Bread and Tulips" (that is the title in English)? It sounds very similar in premise.

I hope to be able to join in again.

Gabi said...

I adore this movie- one of my all time favs and one I quote often!
"I'll have to have some Greek wine while I'm doin'the cookin' won't I wall?"
I love Bread and Tulips too! They have similar themes of finding a new direction when you find your life isn't all you'd dreamed it might be.
I love dinner and a movie :)

City Girl said...

Ooh - this will inspire me to make something Greek again this month. I actually have made that very souvlaki recipe a couple of times, and it is *delicious* - and definitely one of my husband's favorites :)

Gera @ SweetsFoods said...

A movie that worth to see Susan!

A terrific Souvlak recipe literally.. I prefer if possible with lamb and pita it is super-delicious :)

Have a great weekend!

Gera

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

I love Souvlaki! That is one of our favorite Greek dishes...

Yours looks really tempting!

Cheers,

Rosa

Cajun Chef Ryan said...

What a great post and now I can't wait to see the movie too!

Val said...

I can't handle how good this looks right now. Wowza!

Peter M said...

Well now...after a killer souvlaki and tzatziki recipe...how can I not jump in on movie night?

Thank you so much for your kind words, I'm blushing and I must whip up a dish for the event.

I've been to Mykonos and I'll be inspired those visits and this hilarious movie about a mid-life crisis.

Esi said...

I will have to Netflix this movie sometime. I just made pork souvlaki last night (great minds...)

duodishes.com said...

Everything sounds great. Interesting movie as well. Love a good tzatziki. It can go on almost anything.

Karen said...

The movie sounds like it'd be a good one. The pork looks yummy!

Pattie T. said...

This is one of my favorite movies. It is similar to "Bread and Tulips" with its Venezian backdrop, and an American film called "American Dreamer" with Paris as the destination. Interestingly enough Tom Conti is in the latter as well.

Farmer Jen said...

This is a good movie, and I do enjoy reading Peter's blog, Kalofagas. I love Greek food! Great pick Susan!

Tangled Noodle said...

I have always been curious about this movie - when it came out, I was at an age when this kind of story of self-discovery simply wasn't interesting. Now, I have a great reason to watch it! Souvlaki and tzatziki - delicious combo!

Elyse said...

Looks like another great movie! Can't wait to see what people come up with.

Snooky doodle said...

oh wish to see this film looks really interesting and yummy dishes

Pam said...

I haven't seen this movie in ages! I'll have to put it on my TIVO wishlist.

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

Thanks so much for all of your great comments! I'm so pleased that you like my movie choice for this month! I promise that you will really enjoy Shirley Valentine. My goal is to try to pick some interesting films that I love, and that are a little out of the mainstream, in the hope that you all will discover and love them too.

To all of you who mentioned Bread and Tulips - Bravo! That is another of my favorite movie gems. The premise is similar to SV, but the latter is, I think, more "in your face" funny.

I'm also very glad that you liked the Souvlaki! We order it often at our fave Greek restaurant, and it was fun to make it at home. Many thanks to Peter for his terrific recipe!

RecipeGirl said...

Greek is just about my favorite food (2nd to Italian) and Peter is pretty much a favorite blogger of mine (2nd to you :) )

Anyway, love these recipe choices. Tzatziki is wonderful to make homemade, and dipping souvlaki in there is just heaven!

Kevin said...

Your pork souvlaki looks great! Nice photo!

Memoria said...

I truly loved this post. I'm going through an identity crisis right now, so I needed to read this. I definitely plan to watch this movie ASAP.

Nina Timm said...

This is my favorite movie and Peter one of my favorite bloggers so I would be crazy not to participate in this one!!! Your photos are so cool!!!

Maryann said...

I love love LOVE Shirley Valentine!

Mermaid Sweets said...

I love souvlaki, yum. I have to try this - when i went to greece I think I had it for every meal.

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Guess I gotta rent this one, Susan. I have never seen it.

Debbie said...

Well I will have to check out this movie - seems I ask myself the same questions a lot lately....

joanne at frutto della passione said...

I remember when this movie was released and how much my mother loved it. She was always quoting from it *HELLO WALL* I was too young to get and I never saw it. Now I'm 40, a mom and I think my time has come to sit down and get to know Shirley.

Meg said...

Found your blog through Stumble Upon and I'm really excited to try out DaaM!

What I've seen of your blog so far is inspiring, so I added you to my own blogroll at A Dash of Nutmeg!

HappyTummy said...

i love greek food, and this looks fantastic! the hubby would love this!

when we went to greece on vacation last year, we stayed at the mykonos grand hotel, which is where the beach in this movie is located. it is absolutely stunning there...