Peasant’s Potato Chowder

Hi everyone! Now that it’s officially been a month since my last post, I’m back with a slew of movie reviews! I haven’t posted in so long, because of the holidays and a lack of creativity and money, so I had no good ideas (or funding) to create elaborate dishes. Therefore, I will share with you one of the many cheap food items that I made over the break: a creamy potato chowder that I’ll name Peasant’s Potato Chowder to cleverly display the poor-man diet that I’ve been on. With that, about four different movie review, including In the Name of the King, which I announced I would be doing last time. Now without any further adieu, let’s get started.

The Food:

We pretty consistently keep a lot of potatoes and onions on hand at our house, which is great for a poor-man diet. When the weather turned really cold last week, we went out and bought some whole milk (we pretty much only drink almond milk) in order to make some rich and creamy hot chocolate. So, with all of those ingredients being in the pantry and refrigerator, my grocery list for this meal was pretty short. This is the recipe that I followed, and I obviously left things out, but you don’t have to! Here’s what you need:

6 cups diced potatoes (smaller than 1-inch square, you can peel yours, but I didn’t)

1/2 cup onion, finely chopped

2 bay leaves

1 can chicken broth

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1 can (10.5 oz) cream of chicken soup

1 cup sour cream

1 cup milk

Chopped bacon (I did about 5 half strips, chopped)

Put bay leaves, salt and pepper and potatoes in a pot and cover with broth (or water). Cook until potatoes are soft, but not mushy (25 minutes). Fry bacon as you do this, set aside to cool.

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Sautee onion in bacon grease. Chop bacon when cool.

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Mix soup and sour cream in a bowl until smooth. Add this mixture to the potatoes with your milk. Stir lightly and add your onions and chopped bacon until everything is completely incorporated. Serve with shredded cheese on top.

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The Critique:

This tasted amazing and really hit the spot since I had been craving a creamy soup like this. However, it was extremely heavy and really bloated me every time I had a bowl. The good thing about it is that it took all of 30 minutes to make and that there were lots of leftovers. Chow really enjoyed it and I, like I said, enjoyed it, but I don’t know if the taste was worth my miserable feeling afterward. I’ll be making it again though, hoping for the best.

The Movies followed by The Critiques (Spoilers):

1. In the Name of the King (2007) – Directed by Uwe Boll, this is a high-fantasy movie that follows a man named Farmer (Jason Statham) who bands together with his friend and brother-in-law in order to save his wife who has been captured by the evil wizard Gallian (Ray Liotta). All the while, the King (Burt Reynolds) is conspired against by Gallian and his nephew.

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The Critique: This is the first and hopefully the last time in foodiesatthemovies history that I was unable to finish a movie. This movie is absolutely horrendous. I first started watching it in the company of friends and many beers. Because of those circumstances, I loved it. It was so bad, that it was good. The cast is made up of some surprising picks. You have Jason Statham as the main character, which makes sense because it’s an action movie. Then you have people like Ron Perlman, Will Sanderson (who seems more like an ex-wrestler than an actor), Burt Reynolds and Ray Liotta. Let me also mention that, as a period piece, fantasy or not, Statham is the only actor who has an accent. Matthew Lillard who plays the king’s nephew, tries really hard with a Middle English accent, but as for everyone else, you just have a mish-mash of all different types of American accents.

This is one of the many reasons why I loved this movie under the influence. I believed that director Uwe Boll must have made these choices on purpose and that it was meant to be bad in the name of humor or to cause some sort of confusion. When I began to watch it again the next day in order to finish it, completely sober, I found that I was no longer a fan of these choices and that this movie was just plain bad. I got about half-way through this TWO-HOUR LONG MOVIE, and had to stop. It was a lot like the many Sy-Fy network original movies that I’ve seen in my day, however this had a big budget and actually went to theaters. It’s so bad. I would recommend that if you do watch it, you do as I did the first time around and have friends and alcohol to surround you. Or, if you ever hear that a theater in your area has a RiffTrax special screening of it, that would be an absolutely fun ride to have.

2. Tusk (2014) – The newest Kevin Smith movie which is a horror-comedy is about a podcaster named Wallace (Justin Long) who travels up to Canada to interview a viral video star for his podcast. Things go awry, and he decides to try and find another interesting person in Canada to interview instead. He finds a flyer at a local bar describing a man who has lived a very fulfilled life and has many stories to share with anyone who’s willing to listen. Wallace calls the number and sets up a meeting with the mysterious man, Howard Howe (Michael Parks) and hilarity and horror ensue as the story unfolds. Howe is actually a mentally disturbed man who dreams of turing an unsuspecting victim into a walrus.

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The Critique: I was definitely completely wrapped up in this movie the entire time. The comedy is really strong, and the horror (which I would consider more disturbing and suspenseful than horror) was really strong also. That being said, this movie had some troubles with tone. You could be rolling laughing so hard at Johnny Depp’s character one minute and then it immediately cuts to Long in his walrus suit/new body screaming and crying about what has happened to him. And I’ll just say that this happens a lot in the duration of this film. Being a huge fan of Kevin Smith, however, I took it upon myself to watch the special features on the DVD, and Smith himself even says that the switching of tones is an art form that he hasn’t perfected yet. Agreed.

Another part that really got to me, was the fact that Justin Long’s transformation is somehow irreversible, yet it’s a walrus suit that he’s wearing. Yes, he undergoes several surgical adjustments to his body, but the suit is still a suit that is attached in ways I can’t begin to understand. What I’m getting at is, IT’S STILL A SUIT! Legless Justin Long is still inside of there with organs completely intact. Go to a doctor and try to have it removed! But alas, Wallace decides to be stuck as a walrus for the rest of his life and live in captivity at an exotic animal exhibit, and for some odd reason doesn’t  try to kill himself due to the pain he’s feeling. But, all in all, I liked this movie. Unlike other movies from Smith, this is kind of a one and done sort of movie. I would probably watch it again, but far in the future and with some lighthearted company to help keep the mood up.

3. Amadeus (1984) –  Directed by Milos Forman and adapted from the play written by Peter Shaffer, Amadeus is about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and his contemporary Antonio Sallieri. The story is narrated by Sallieri (F. Murray Abraham) as he talks about the life of Mozart and the trials of being his contemporary at the height of his fame.

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The Critique: I just want to point out, that when it comes to period pieces, I am generally never on board. All I’ve ever heard about this movie, however, is how great it is and how it won an Oscar, so I had to see for myself. I loved it! The director chose to have an American cast and I feel like it’s stylized in a way that the only thing 18th century about it are the costumes and set, in a sense. The dialogue is just easy to understand and the characters are relatable. It’s a movie that you really become invested in every character. I enjoyed watching the entire time, but the scene that really got me, was one of the last. It’s the scene right before Mozart dies and he is dictating his music to Sallieri for him to write. It’s a beautiful scene and a really perfect note to leave the audience with, with these two characters putting jealousy and differences aside to just make art together. Definitely worth watching.

4. If I Stay (2014) – Mia (Chloe Moretz) and her family are in a car accident that leaves her in a coma. She has an out of body experience, finds out the fate of the rest of her family and loved ones and can make the decision for herself to live or die, essentially. All the while, her story of love and heartbreak is told in the form of flashbacks.

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The Critique: I’m not even sure why I’m featuring this movie on the blog. I think I’m doing it just to give some extra content. This movie was just mediocre. It has the same kind of appeal that The Fault in Our Stars did, where it’s a romantic drama revolving around young people. I think that I’ve decided that I’m just too old to watch teenagers fall in love. It’s awkward to watch and there aren’t really any redeeming qualities to it. At least The Fault in Our Stars had some comedy/zany characters. The parents in this movie were zany and eccentric, but they died. Anyway, I really have nothing to say about it. It’s for a specific type of audience, and that audience doesn’t include me. Therefore, I thought it was a waste of time, even though I did get a little teary eyed during one scene. It was beautifully shot and I did like that her entire back story was told with flashbacks, instead of going at it in a full on linear style. That’s besides the point, I would find something better if I were you.

Alright folks, that’s all that I have for now. I will be updating more regularly after my long hiatus, so stay tuned!

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About Leah Hatcher

My name is Leah Hatcher, I am an Electronic Media major at Texas State University and a self-declared movie buff. However, there is a surprising amount of movies I haven't seen, and worse, an embarrassing amount of good movies I have yet to see. So that's what this blog is all about. I'll watch a movie and make a new dish, whether it's a recipe I stumble upon or just something I come up with on my own, and critique them both. I'll share the recipe, too, of course! Now, I know there are some who might not trust someone critiquing their own food, so I have another key-player in this blog: my co-host, my boyfriend who will be sure to be brutally honest in order to make my critiques more "trustworthy". So, without further ado, enjoy the show!
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