The other week, we were having dinner with a long-time friend of ours and we were talking about movies. Specifically, we were discussing our tendency to judge people (we’re judgers, you see) by what movies they’ve seen and liked. We started discussing some of the classics, when our friend said:
“I don’t know if I should say this, but I’ve never seen Gone With The Wind…”
I was surprised, because even I’ve seen GWTW a bunch of times and it’s not really a genre that I’d normally seek out. The Beloved, raised in the Capital of the Confederacy, was nearly apoplectic, “What!? What?!!? WHAT!?!?! <splutter> WHAT!?!?” might capture her initial reaction. This was quickly followed up with fanning herself and saying, “Well, I do declare! This is something we have to rectify right away!”
And so, the other night, courtesy of Netflix streaming, we had our friend over for dinner so that she could watch the film. Of course, striving for some semblance of Southern hospitality, we had to have an Old South sort of evening.
Now, even though I went to UNC for grad school, in the Beloved’s family I have zero Old South cred (born in New Jersey, you see) and when I try on a Southern Gentlemen’s accent I always sound more like Foghorn Leghorn than Rhett Butler. Fortunately, I can still pour some pretty good Dixie-oriented drinks.
We started off with pimento cheese dip and a Derby Cocktail*. I didn’t know pimento cheese dip was southern, but now that I think about it, I only have had it at the Beloved-In-Law’s house.
We followed that up with a bourbon tasting and a mint julep or two. Fully fortified, we were ready to embrace the antebellum South. It’s always fascinating to watch Gone With The Wind – it really is a cultural touchstone and I think probably was the first truly epic film and even though it’s cliché you really can say “they don’t make ‘em like that anymore”. From a historical perspective, it’s a little sobering (though not so much after a couple of juleps) to realize that the making of Gone With The Wind is about as close to the Civil War as we are today from the making of Gone With The Wind.
At intermission, we dined on pork, greens and grit-cakes and then returned to watch the ugly days of Reconstruction and rise and fall of Rhett and Scarlett. Bonnie Blue has always sort of bugged me, so her you-know-what didn’t really bother me, and if I’m completely honest I probably would have enjoyed a whole movie about Mammy.
It was a long afternoon and evening of good food, good drinks and a great movie. Fortunately, we did it on Saturday because maybe I wasn’t quite a daisy the following morning and I might have been hard-pressed if that particular tomorrow had have been another (work)day.
*muddle some peach slices with mint, add a couple dashes of peach bitters and 1.5 oz of gin. Add ice and shake vigorously – fine strain into a coupe’ and garnish with a mint sprig.