Endeavor: Oscar Night’s Dish Inspiration

Since the Academy Awards was just a couple of days ago, one of my friends threw an Oscars Party where everything was themed in accordance to not only the nominees for Best Picture, but others as well.

I chose to create a dish for the occasion and since I was coming to the cooking party late I had minimal choices…

In the end I decided to create a dish inspired by a drama film: The Master… a film that I knew absolutely nothing about. Sometimes I am really glad that Wikipedia exists.

After reading through the summary provided I latched on a few key words:
– alcohol
– ink blots
– sex
– paint thinner
– Slow Boat to China

Yeah, I know… an interesting list. So what did I plan to do? Well originally I wanted to create a savory dish and had my mind set on make pate chaud for the Oscar Party… however, the issue i was having was how to tie that to the film that I chose.

Then after a few nights of not thinking about it, inspiration hit me… there was a jello that my mother made for parties that when created looked like a crazy mess which would actually fit with the idea and themes of the film. However, the primary ingredients for the jello included:
– coffee
– coconut
pandan leaves

So how to invoke a feel and theme that I wanted so that it would tie in with the film?

Well how about changing up the color scheme? Instead of the traditional brown, white and green I originally wanted to attempt either a brown, black, red combo or a black, white, red combo. A quick call to my mother to help me figure this about and soon an evening was planning to create the jello.

While most people familiar with the jello would know that it is usually set as layers… in my family it is more of a Pollack-style mess and a good thing too.

In “The Master” the World War II vet went through a series of inkblots with an army medic only to interpret them in some sexual reference or another. Throughout the film he finds himself lured into a philosophical movement called “The Cause” and its teachings. However throughout the film there have been insinuations that the various practicings of “The Cause” appear to be made up on the spot and that the front man just seems to make things up as he goes along…

I find myself realizing that in a film like “The Master” you don’t really know what is coming up next or how it all comes about. Much like you don’t know when a WWII vet suffering from PTSD might be set off or what his reaction would be.

Focusing on the inkblots aspect from the start of the film it seemed rather obvious to me that the jello that i desired for my Caucasian friends might be exactly what the doctor ordered… pun fully intended.

What about the color scheme? Well the Vietnamese jello is traditionally in green (pandan leaves), white (coconut) and brown (coffee). For some reason I rather liked the idea of keeping the brown, but the green was a bit off-putting for there was no real way to tie that with the film.

As for the white I ended up using as much red food coloring as I was allowed and used that to tie into the sex insinuations from the inkblots and the concept of blood or death…

While originally I wanted to turn the green into black to signify the inkblots my mother put the kibosh on that one… ah well…

But voila! Jello! Now what is this jello called? Why not wait until tomorrow and find out.


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