Inspiration can come from unexpected places. It's easy to find some while watching the charming French 1991 film, My Father's Glory. The film offers a low cost way to feel French, a "mini vacation" of sorts. It takes place in turn of the century Provence, and is based on the writings and life of Marcel Pagnol. The film is stocked with scenes of French people cooking (okay, it's primarily the French women on this one), competitive hunting (guess who gets the guns?), eating and sharing.
Laying in bed watching the pretty, busty French mama spread butter on bread for young Marcel made me want to make or share more food for my family and friends, stat. A dinner party idea began to form vaguely in the back of my mind. Although I was full from dinner, my mouth watered throughout the film. I recited French words back to the screen, paying attention to pronunciation. My pulse quickened at the mention of the ortolan songbird, which is now a forbidden delicacy in France. Ortolan is something I've always wanted to try. "Mmmmm," I murmured, thinking the adult Marcel knew he had it good as a kid.
My Father's Glory relaxes the spirit with its sentimentality and family depictions. I came away renewed, and excited to crank out some decent home meals because of it. Thanksgiving didn't seem so much like a chore list but more of an exciting undertaking. There were some successes, too. I thought of the film's warmth as I took my time while feeding and caring for a friends' cat (no, I wasn't thinking about eating him). The film helped me decide to later make some good meals: buttery poached eggs one morning, pumpkin curry for dinner, and a grand Naples style feast for a few friends on Friday. For that, I have the makers of My Father's Glory to thank.