Posts tagged ‘Mildred Pierce ‘




Drinks anyone?


I just watched the first two installments of the remake of Mildred Pierce, and a particular scene caught my attention.

Bert Pierce was offered a cocktail by his daughter, and Mildred dutifully went into the kitchen to fix the drinks. Except she poured four scotch and waters—one for her, one for her estranged husband, and one each for their young daughters! Really? The youngest one was barely nine years old, if she was day.

So that got me thinking….What was my first “official” cocktail? The sloe gin fizz my cousin Faith and I—we were 12– shared at an older cousin’s high school party doesn’t count, nor did the countless red cups of beer years later.

My first real cocktail was a Manhattan. I was 21 years old, and out to dinner with my parents and their office staff. Wanting to feel grown up and mature, I ordered something other than my usual Diet Coke—or was it a Tab? I had just finished reading Catcher in the Rye for the umpteenth time, and recalled it was Holden Caulfield’s go-to drink.

It tasted horrible, sickly sweet, and so strong you could smell the alcohol before the glass was placed on the table. The only consolation was the cherry plopped in for garnish. I gamely finished the drink, as my parents’ eyebrows raised in disapproval.

My second drink was a Tab.

What was your first official cocktail?

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5 comments March 29, 2011

Communal Tables: Jump right in

Communal tables, common at many popular Chicago restaurants, make me uncomfortable. I found myself at a dreaded communal table while dining with my family at Little Italy’s newest offering, Davanti Enoteca. How can you carry on a conversation within your party, comment on your food, and eat with gusto, knowing your opinions and eating habits are within sight and hearing distance of a group of strangers? Or do you edit yourself?

Usually, I find myself sitting up straighter, a little more careful with my table manners and servings, and more reserved with my tone—not the makings of a comfortable evening. Tonight was a little different; the restaurant was noisy and everyone had to speak up to be heard. Or perhaps because the waiter pointed to our side of the table when our fellow diners inquired of the evening’s special. Maybe because I had a BiG glass of wine with dinner. But probably because the conversation at the other end of the table was so freaking interesting…I couldn’t resist but, “excuse me,” jump in.

And I’m so glad I did. We talked about a soon-to-air remake of the classic, Mildred Pierce (Joan Crawford vs. Kate Winslet!) and traded stories about their craving for a particular thin crust pizza, which by coincidence is less than a mile from my parents’ house. Conversation was short and sweet, and after the bill was paid we said goodbye. However, the outcome was exactly what restaurants desired from a communal table–interaction.

Communal tables are still not my first choice of seating, but next time I’m in the same situation, I’ll skip the self-editing, and jump right in.

2 comments March 21, 2011

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