And Now For Something Completely Different: Christmas in August

It may be sweltering outside, but I’ve got Christmas on my mind. To be specific, my favorite Christmas movie, It’s a Wonderful Life, starring James Stewart and Donna Reed. Sadly, there’s no way I can spin this post into having any kind of durable pre-Code or film noir connection – except maybe that both Stewart and Reed appeared in noirs during their careers: Stewart in Call Northside 777 and Reed in the underrated Scandal Sheet. (How’s that?) In any event, for today’s “Something Completely Different,” I’m serving up my review of It’s a Wonderful Life: The Official Bailey Family Cookbook.

This hardback book, published in 2021 to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the film’s release, is organized into seven sections: appetizers, sides, entrees, desserts, cocktails and drinks, Christmas crafts, and vintage Christmas dinner. Within those broad categories, each individual recipe starts out with some sort of tie to the film or its characters. For Date Bars in the appetizer section, for example, we’re told: “If George Bailey had ever gotten the chance to sticker that sturdy travel case Mr. Gower gifts him with labels from Italy and Baghdad, he might have tasted the world’s best dates in Iraq. As it turns out, his life is better for staying put in Bedford Falls, but he doesn’t know that yet.” Other dishes are named for characters, like Zuzu’s Gingersnaps and Annie’s Mixed-Berry Pie.

Zuzu’s Gingersnaps (because she’s her daddy’s little gingersnap . . . get it?)

The book is loaded with full-color pictures of most of the recipes (one of the things I love best about cookbooks) and there are so many dishes that I plan to try, including Clarence’s Angel Food Cake, corn muffins (seriously, I may make these tonight!), Cacio E Pepe, Tortino, Potter’s Prune Clafouti, and Clarence’s Hot Rum Punch.

The Christmas crafts look like fun, even though I doubt I’ll be making them any time soon – my daughters are grown now – but maybe I’ll save them for the grandchildren (whenever I have them). In any event, the crafts include bells made from egg cartons and paper cups, salt dough ornaments, and wreaths made from fabric scraps.

All in all, this is really an enjoyable little cookbook, combining delicious-sounding dishes, great photos, and blurbs about the film that will bring a smile of recognition to your face. I highly recommend it.

Even in August!

~ by shadowsandsatin on August 5, 2022.

3 Responses to “And Now For Something Completely Different: Christmas in August”

  1. Mmm! Now you’ve gotten me in the mood for a turkey dinner with all the trimmings.

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