‘The Burning Plain’ movie review

The Burning Plain is an independent movie directed by Guillermo Arriaga, who also directed Amores Perros, Babel and 21 Grams, and starring Charlize Theron and Kim Basinger.

Because of the non-sequential narrative, it is very difficult to summarize The Burning Plain without giving anything away but the official website (http://www.burningplainmovie.com) has a synopsis which begins: “THE BURNING PLAIN is a romantic mystery about a woman on the edge who takes an emotional journey back to the defining moment of her life”. However, if I were you, I would avoid reading the full website synopsis before watching the movie because part of the enjoyment of the movie is putting together the different segments until they form a continuous whole.

At first, I was unsure about the movie and the way in which the story is told but the lack of a sequential format does make it incredibly gripping. Initially, it seems as if the bunch of people in the movie are characters who are completely disconnected from each other but as it progresses, the story of each character unfolds and their relationships with each other are slowly revealed. 30 minutes into the movie and I was hooked on finding out what happens. It is a powerfully told indie gem which is well worth seeking out.

What I’m listening to this weekend

I went to see Twilight: Breaking Dawn part 1 yesterday. Yes, yes I know. I can’t believe I’m actually admitting it here. But the soundtracks to all the Twilight movies are actually very good. They showcase a whole bunch of great indie bands which, without Twilight, I would probably not have discovered.

From Breaking Dawn: part 1

 

Food: savory pancake stack recipe

This recipe is delicious and although it takes a while to make, it is worth the effort. As always, quantities are approximate – use your own common sense to adjust or alter quantities and ingredients if you wish. If you have any questions or feedback, feel free to leave a comment.

Savory pancake stack recipe

A serving of the recipe

Ingredients – for the pancakes

Approx. 3 cups/370 g all-purpose flour

Approx. 1/2 tsp baking powder

2 eggs, beaten

14 fl. oz milk

Ingredients – for the pancake filling

1 large onion, finely chopped

4 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1/2 medium-sized cauliflower, broken into small florets

2 potatoes, diced

2 carrots, diced

1 leek, finely chopped

1/2 cup/100 g red lentils

19 fl. oz. Vegetable stock

Mild chili powder

Dried oregano

Method:

1. Prepare the pancake batter in the usual way: mix the flour with the baking powder, beat the eggs and add the eggs and milk to the flour. Briskly mix the ingredients together until you have a fairly thick mixture.

2. Leave the pancake mix while you prepare the vegetables. Chop the onion into small chunks and saute it in approx. 1 – 2 tbsp olive oil, with the garlic for 5 – 10 minutes. Add a pinch of dried oregano.

3. Add the chopped carrots, cauliflower, potatoes and leek and cook for approx. 15 minutes, stirring frequently to make sure the vegetables don’t start to stick to the pan.

4. Add the chili powder, red lentils and vegetable stock. Cook on a moderate temperature, stirring from time to time, for approx. 30 minutes or until the lentils have absorbed most of the stock and the vegetables are soft. Adjust the cooking temperature if necessary.

5. When the vegetables are cooked, remove the mixture from the heat and cook the pancakes. You might need to add more milk to the pancake mix as it will have thickened while you prepared and cooked the veg. The pancakes need to be big enough to fit the pan you are using (I used a 20 cm diameter round cake pan). If they are too big to fit the pan, cut them to size.

Cooking the pancakes

6. When you have cooked the pancakes, layer them in the cake pan with the vegetable filling. It helps to prevent the mixture from sticking if you rub a little margarine on the base and sides of the pan. I put one pancake on the base and lined the sides with two pancakes, cut into four halves. Then, veg mix, followed by another pancake, followed by more veg and finally one pancake on top! You will probably have some vegetable mixture left over.

7. Bake in the oven at 340 F/170 C (adjust temperatures to 370 F/190 C if you are not using a convection oven) for approx. 10 minutes.

8. Serve with a garnish of green salad and enjoy!