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The beginning of the year is always an exciting time for film. A few weeks ago, we celebrated as several of our favorite films received Golden Globe Awards, and the season will culminate with the 86th annual Academy Awards. In addition to celebrating outstanding films from the previous year, the prelude to Valentine’s Day always includes several heart-warming, poignant films depicting love in all forms.
On my list of recommendations for the 20 films you must see in 2014 is a drama inspired by Joyce Maynard’s novel titled Labor Day. Starring Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin, Labor Day tells the story of a young adolescent boy named Henry Wheeler (Gattlin Griffith) who is struggling to care for his mom (Winslet), who suffers from depression while navigating the sea of adolescence. When they happen upon a man named Frank Chambers (Brolin) who beckons them for help, Henry and Adele take them into their home only to find out that this man is an escaped convict. One Labor Day weekend shapes and impacts the three of them for the rest of their lives.
I always like learning interesting, behind-the-scenes facts about a film, like the fact that Josh Brolin made a peach pie on the set of Labor Day for the cast using author Joy Maynard’s family recipe. Here is the recipe for Maynard’s Labor Day Peach Pie!
- 3 pounds peaches
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup Crisco vegetable shortening
- 1 stick plus 1 tablespoon chilled butter cut into pieces
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup ice water
- 2 tablespoons Minute tapioca plus 2 additional tbsp to stir into peaches
- 1 beaten egg
- 1 tablespoon sugar
In a large bowl, combine the peaches, sugar, lemon juice, and cinnamon. Stir in 2 tbsp Minute Tapioca to help absorb juices. Let stand, stirring occasionally.
Preheat the oven to 400°. In a large bowl, mix the flour and salt. Using a pastry blender, work in the shortening and 1 stick of butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the ice water over the flour mixture, stirring gently with a fork. Continue adding the water just until the dough holds together. Shape the dough into a ball and divide it into two discs, one slightly larger than the other.
Place the smaller disc on a sheet of waxed paper, and use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll the dough into a 12-inch circle. If the dough sticks to the rolling pin, dust it lightly with more flour. Lay a 9- to 10-inch pie pan face down on top of the circle; flip the pan over and remove the paper. For the crust, on a sheet of waxed paper, roll out the other disc to form a 14-inch circle. Do not roll the dough more than necessary.
Sprinkle the tapioca on the bottom crust. Add the filling, mounding it in the center, and dot with 1 tablespoon butter. Lift the waxed paper with the remaining crust and flip it over the filling. Peel back waxed paper. Trim the edges of the crusts and pinch together the top and bottom crusts. Optional: Roll out the trimmings and cut into decorative shapes. Brush the pie with the egg, and arrange the shapes on the crust. Sprinkle with sugar. Poke fork holes or cut vents in the top crust. Bake 40 to 45 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm.
This week, I’m planning to see a sneak peek of the film followed by a Q&A with former Dawson’s Creek star James Van Der Beek. Van Der Beek plays the role of Officer Treadwell. If you have questions, be sure to post them in the comments section below or on the Facebook Page.
Labor Day debuts in theaters nationwide on January 31st, 2014.
Recipe: Joyce Maynard
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