Global Advent: Day 3

The Film: Pane e tulipani [Bread and Tulips] – Italy

Bread and TulipsI thought I was in for a serious drama about a woman who finds herself. By the time the bus drives off, leaving Rosalba behind, I knew it was going to be so much more. Bread and Tulips quickly bounces between over-the-top comedy and genuine character-driven storytelling.

The charming tale weaves the fantastical into the more grounded side of the story which prevents the frothiness of a film like Amélie.  Writer/director Silvio Soldini uses his protagonist’s escapism as a foil to the magical reality of the life she creates in Venice.

The Swiss-born actor Bruno Ganz plays brilliantly against Licia Maglietta as Rosalba. The story of their relationship is what makes the film, takes it away from being quaint but forgettable. But even the side characters are memorable.

Soldini does an excellent job of keeping his audience in the moment, bringing out each sensory experience of Venice as Rosalba discovers them. The music, the sights, the flowers, and food.

Bread and Tulips is as beautiful and touching as it is funny. It’s the perfect film to watch on a gray day, when you need a little escapism.

Holiday Spirit: +2

The Food: Whole Wheat Pita Bread

Whole Wheat Pita BreadNothing beats homemade bread. I’m clearly not concerned with making the most artisan bread I can. It’s more about keeping things simple, letting the bread-machine do the work.

I enjoy having control of the ingredients and trying new recipes. I love the feeling of a achievement when it all turns out.Today whole wheat pita bread was the perfect way to escape the drizzly gray day.

This recipe is for the large batch, yielding ten 6″ pita.

Whole Wheat Pita
from The Bread Machine Cookbook by Donna Rathmell German

  • 1 1/3 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 1/3 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/3 tablespoon salt
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 1 1/3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons yeast

Upon completion of the dough cycle, divide the dough into 10 pieces and roll into balls. Let rise about 20 minutes. Flatten each ball into a disc, rolling each one into a circle approximately 6″. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 500° over for 8-10 minutes.

Holiday Spirit: +2

About Saint

Filmmaker, Screenwriter, Cinephile, Coffee Zombie
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