Monday, January 2, 2012

Life This Week: January 2, 1939

I have to admit that I'm very much looking forward to my Life This Week feature this year. Think of all the great movies I'll get to watch--1939 is often hailed as one of the best years (if not the best year) in filmmaking. Well, The Dawn Patrol isn't quite Gone with the Wind, but how could I resist after seeing this ad in the January 2nd issue of Life magazine? January 2, 1939, that is.

Looks exciting, right? I even convinced Paul to watch it with me because it's about, like, airplanes and stuff. I think he definitely enjoyed the movie more than I did. Not that I wasn't entertained, I just wasn't that interested in all the aerial warfare. I'm really not much on war movies in general, but this one's not bad and it makes up for it with lots of Errol Flynn and David Niven (along with Donald Crisp and Basil Rathbone).

If you couldn't tell from the poster, The Dawn Patrol is about the Royal Flying Corps during World War I. When the film begins, the commanding officer of the 59th squadron, Major Brand (Rathbone), is on the verge of a nervous breakdown. He's losing several pilots every mission and the replacements HQ sends have less and less training. Plus, he has to attempt to reign in Captain Courtney (Flynn) and Lieutenant Scott (Niven). Not an enviable job!
Stills from TCM

Since the action of The Dawn Patrol takes place in France, I made a recipe that's originally from Normandy (although I found the recipe in The National Trust Farmhouse Cookbook). I just love apples and pork together! Since I don't plan out my vegetables in advance and I just buy what looks good, I served my escalopes with a rather un-French roasted sweet potato.

Escalopes de porc à la normande

2 (4 ounce) boneless pork chops, pounded to 1/4-inch "escalopes"
1 1/2 tablespoons barley flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon brandy
1/4 cup hard cider
1 apple, peeled, cored and sliced
2 tablespoons heavy cream

Dredge the pork in the seasoned flour. Put the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. When the foam starts to subside, add the pork and cook two minutes per side, then remove to a warm plate.

Deglaze the skillet with the brandy and cider, then add the apple slices and boil until the volume of the liquid is quartered. Stir in the cream, then add the pork and any juices back to the pan and adjust seasoning.

Serves 2

Adapted from "Escalopes of Pork with Apples and Cider" in Laura Mason, The National Trust Farmhouse Cookbook (London: National Trust Books, 2009), 101.

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Submitted to:
Monday Mania
Fat Tuesday
Real Food Wednesday
Simple Lives Thursday
Foodie Friday
Fight Back Friday


  1. Happy New Year, with plenty good cooking!

  2. Yeah, war movies are not my thing...even with Errol Flynn! Can't believe it's 2012 already. Where does the time go? Here's wishing for the happiest year ever - and there's some great ones to beat!

  3. What a cast. Love the dish as well. Happy New Year!

  4. what a fun project! and yes, 1939 is going to be an awesome year in films :) cant wait til you get to Wizard of Oz!~ i look forward to reading your latest adventures in movies and cooking :)

  5. Gosh, I've missed stopping by! Thanks so much for the comment...and jarring my brain to visit you! Wishing you a very happy and delicious 2012! Loving the sound of these pork chops...they'd be well received in my house!

  6. Coo, I don't half fancy Errol in those jodphurs!

    Happy New Year Lauren - so nice to "virtually" meet you in 2011 and really looking forward to noseying around your life in 2012!

    Jenny x

  7. @superheidi
    There'll be lots of cooking--let's hope it all turns out well! :-)

  8. @Lori
    Yes, definitely looking forward to a happy 2012.

  9. @Lora
    It was a pretty awesome cast! Of course, Errol Flynn, Basil Rathbone and Davin Niven can't be topped. I really like Donald Crisp, too. He's just so...likeable! I really love him as the concerned brother in What Every Woman Knows and as "The Laird" in Svengali.

  10. @Heather
    Oh, The Wizard of Oz. We're constantly inundated with it here in Kansas. I actually need to read the book. That's on my to-do list! I'm really looking forward to all the 1939 movies!

  11. @Lya de Putti
    I asked Paul why pilots used to wear jodhpurs, but he had no idea. They're pretty spiffy, though.

    It's been great meeting you, as well!

  12. @I dream lo-tech
    A bit pale, but very awesome tasting, if I do say so myself.

  13. Oh, that looks yummy! I might have to try. :)
    xo, Kinsey

  14. Pork and apples is a classic and delicious combination - and everthing sounds better in French! I am not into aerial warfare either, but this movie is worth a look for David Niven and Errol Flynn alone.

  15. Looks like a great film and a great recipe! Happy new year!
    From Carys of La Ville Inconnue

  16. your blog is such a dream! I just noticed how silly I am for not recommending you to my sister yet: she is such a cooking nut (and pretty good if I may say so). I shall link you to her right away and I'm hoping that maybe she'll conjure up some of this yumminess for me soon!
    xxx Ninja


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