Marble Poundcake and a Movie Review: The Help

I suppose works of art move people in different ways.

They can make you wonder in clouds of blue.
They can flood in memories of white-washed front porches and smells of Hydrangea after the rain.
Sometimes, they can make you think, plan, require more.

Last night, I saw The Help. The movie fashioned after the book, by Kathryn Stockett.

And it made me do a little of all those things. But mostly it just made me proud. Proud to be black. Proud to be an American, whose ancestors were slaves, and then housemaids and cotton pickers . . . .and now doctors, lawyers, and business owners.

Because sometimes, I live in this world, where my life is pretty perfect. With my four little girls, and my husband who loves me, and the choices to do as I please. Do I want to go to school? Shop at the grocery? Raise my own kids?  I can do what I want, be who I want.  But sometimes I forget, it wasn’t always that way. 

My parents both grew up in the south, under Jim Crow laws.
They lived in all black neighborhoods, and went to segregated schools. They saw things happen to friends and family that I dare not mention aloud. It really hasn’t been that long.

And I guess, I just wanted to say, that when I saw this movie, my eyes welled up with tears, because it made me remember how strong WE ALL ARE. You and Me. How despite adversity we persevere, we believe, we know that we are an image of Greatness. And that others fought for us, pushed for us, and braved persecution, tragedy, and even death for us. So that you and I could sit here and do what we do today.

Sometimes, I wonder if I tell my children enough that they should be proud of their ancestry. Do I let them know enough, that the things that fill this countries history shouldn’t scare or embarrass them? I wonder if they are proud to have dark skin. If they realize that their tight curly hair, is a beauty all it’s own. I don’t want them to wish to be anything else but who they are. And I want them to love themselves to the core.

These are questions that always sit at the back of my brain.

And yesterday afternoon, I got a hint of an answer.

My daughter Bella begged to have braids. She whined. She pleaded. She literally bugged the mess out of me until I finally caved.

But I couldn’t help from thinking. . . She’s not going to like it. Braids are very. . .distinctive. She’ll have to sit for hours. She’s 7. She’ll look different from all her friends. Will she want to set herself apart like that?

And when I saw her. . . . .

I knew. She knows.  She knows the beauty of her ethnicity. She knows the magnificence of her skin. She may not articulate it, but she knows that her braids are just as glorious as straight blond hair and she is proud to flaunt it to the world.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

I know. That’s not really a review, but it’s what I’ve got today.

Yes, go see it. 5 stars.
The actors are glorious. Skeeter, played by Emma Stone, was fabulous but I wish her hair had been frizzier. LIKE IN THE BOOK.

As always, Academy Award Winner Viola Davis (Aibileen) and Octavia Spencer (Minny) were dynamic in their roles.

The movie was very much like the book, though it skipped over A LOT of material. And you really couldn’t delve into the depth of the characters in such a short amount of time. You know this. I don’t have to tell you. BUT know matter how great a movie is. . . .the book is always better.

So go ahead buy your ticket, but oh! eat before you go. Because the food in this flick is ridiculously enticing. Mouth watering fireworks for your eyes and mouth. I’m talking fried chicken, hams, peas, greens and cornbread, and just about any southern pastry treat you could think of. It’s DEFINITELY going to make you hungry.

So maybe you should make this traditional style southern pound cake first. It’ll help stave off any hunger pains in the movie, and it’ll be a simple reminder at how lovely vanilla and chocolate mix together. The flavors and the people.

I love each and every one of you. The End.

In case you hadn’t noticed. I’m eating the cake now.

Chocolate and Vanilla Marble Pound Cake
Adapted from Shop. Cook. Make.

Ingredients:  

3 eggs
3 TB milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 plus 1/3 cup butter, room temperature
1 TB Cocoa Powder

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour a loaf pan.
2. In a mixing bowl, beat eggs, milk, and vanilla. Set aside.
3. Into a separate mixing bowl, sift flour, salt and baking powder. Add sugar. Mix.
4. Add butter to the flour mixture and mix with a hand blender. Add 1/2 the egg mixture. Mix. Add the second 1/2 of the egg mixture. Mix until well incorporated. The batter will be very thick.
5. Transfer 3/4 of the batter into a small bowl. Add cocoa powder and whisk to incorporate.
6. Pour half of the vanilla batter into the bottom of the loaf pan. Pour all of the chocolate batter on top of that. Finish by pouring the remainder of the vanilla batter over the chocolate.
7. Bake at 350 for 35 to 45 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.  Savor the love.

Before. . . . . .



After.



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