Photo above: Look! It’s that dish made in Moonstruck/V for Vendetta — egg in a basket.
There are certain movies where something is being made or served that have resonated with me to this day. Sometimes randomly during the day, almost always when I cook or eat. Those movies are “Kramer Vs. Kramer,” “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” and “Moonstruck” — all for different reasons.
“You like your French toast crunchy don’t you?”
The earliest was “Kramer Vs. Kramer.” I don’t know why my parents dragged me along to see this 1979 movie. And to this day, no scene stands out except when Dustin Hoffman’s character attempts to cook his son French toast for breakfast. As a 5-year-old, that scene shocked me down to my little sneakers. It spoke volumes about how Hoffman’s character was coping as a newly single parent and how to care for his son. To this day, every time I have French toast, I think of Hoffman dunking slices of bread in a coffee mug with the name Ted on the cup.
“Do you have something simple? Like soup?”
On a more light-hearted level is “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.” It’s not that I’ve eaten any of those items served during the infamous dinner scene. Who has, really? But that scene has become sort of a coping mechanism for me when dealing with a meal that seems bizarre or overly weird. I simply draw in my reserve and think that it can’t be as bad as chilled monkey brains. This way of thinking helped me get through my first experience with sushi.
“Old man, you give those dogs another piece of my food and I’m gonna kick you ’til you’re dead!”
In “Moonstruck,” there’s a scene where Olympia Dukakis is going on to Cher about moving out, getting married and whatnot. All that caught my attention were those eggs and how they were being cooked with bread. Up until recently, I thought it was called “toad in a hole,” but they are actually called “egg in a basket.” Regardless, I make this almost every weekend and the effort to cut a hole from a piece of bread is worth it.
Eggs played a role again in 2006’s “V for Vendetta” as V, the masked title character, is cooking up breakfast for Natalie Portman. Upon further research, “egg in a basket” was also referenced by Beach Boys musician Brian Wilson during an interview.
Now for some optional reader participation: Are there any movies that have affected your culinary outlook? Which movies are they and how have the affected you?