Saturday, June 4, 2011

Dinner and a Movie: The Ghost Goes West

Poster from Russian Wikipedia

Who doesn't love Robert Donat?  Plus, the producer is Alexander Korda, who made movies so British only a Hungarian refugee could have made them.  Seriously.  Look up "more English than the English" and you'll probably find Alexander Korda.  He was even knighted by George VI.  Here's a page from Vivien: The Life of Vivien Leigh by Alexander Walker (p. 75):

Korda produced some schlock (That Hamilton Woman, starring Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier and directed by Korda himself, springs to mind), but The Ghost Goes West was directed and co-written by René Clair, which probably helped things a bit.  It's one of the most pleasant "ghost stories" ever, so you don't have to worry about scaring the children.  What makes this film so pleasant is that Robert Donat is just so darn charming.  Love him.  And, no production was ever harmed by adding Eugene Pallette to the cast list.

Pallette plays an American grocery-chain owner, Joe Martin, whose daughter, Peggy, convinces him to buy the castle currently owned by Donald Glourie (Robert Donat) and haunted by his ancestor Murdoch (also Robert Donat).  The ghost goes west when the Martins decide to move the castle all the way to Florida.  Hijinks, romance (both Donald and Murdoch are interested in pretty Peggy) and lots of dressing up in tartan fill the 95 minute runtime.

The Ghost Goes West isn't available on DVD, but it is shown on TCM.  You could also watch it on YouTube:

Since the movie was "Scottish," the meal probably ought to be "Scottish," too.  Here's my Scottish Lobster Newberg:

The grocery store had frozen steamed Canadian lobster on sale, so I bought some as a treat.  We don't get to eat a lot of seafood, because we're so far inland that it's super-expensive, has to be flown in, and a lot of it is from China and/or isn't caught sustainably.  Our state wildlife department actually warns against eating the fish caught here in Wichita based on mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls in fish, and lead and cadmium in shellfish.  Pollution: 1; local food: 0.

Well, on to the cooking.  The original Lobster Newberg was introduced to the Gilded Age American public via Delmonico's.  This lobster is flavored with whisky, which, to my mind, makes it Scottish.  The original instructions say "grain not malt."  Good luck finding an exclusively Scottish grain whisky here in the States.  However, most blended Scotches are heavily grain whisky or you could just use Bourbon, which is what I did because Paul complains about the "peatiness" of Johnnie Walker and won't drink it.

Scottish Lobster Newberg

P.S. I also think this preparation would work really well with leftover roast chicken or other types of seafood.

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  1. Your Scottish Lobster Newberg looks very tasty! It is hard to get good seafood (being inland, as well)...
    Movie looks like fun - hadn't heard of it before - have to look for it on TCM!

  2. this films look exquisite love theri costume (wonderful socks) ;) I love seafood so I should really appreciate this recipe^^.

  3. Thanks for visiting my blog. I am so glad I found yours. It's fantastic! I went to college with Robert Donet's nephew but admid I am not up on all his movies. You've inspired me.

  4. I LOVE lobster newburg, as a new englander it's a family staple.

    glad the hair tutorial worked for you!


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