Paprika Chicken & Cream PiesMonday, September 13, 2010
I gently knocked on the door of my granddaughters’ home this morning. Rebecca opened the door and I spotted Lauren eating cereal on the sofa. “Are those Rice Krispies?” I asked her. “Yes.” “Do they snap, crackle and pop?” “Yes.” Rebecca asked me, “Did they have Rice Krispies when you were a little boy? After all you were born a million years ago.” “They did. In Buenos Aires they had Corn Flakes and Rice Krispies.” I didn't tell her that as soon as my family had moved to Mexico City in 1955 I would cycle to a nearby Piggly Wiggly to buy Kellog's Sugar Corn Pops and Kellogs Sugar Frosted Flakes. They were not available at our local super market. I have always been a connoisseur of fine and sugary breakfast cereals, Capitaine Chruche, Capitaine Chruche, Capitain Chruche!
I took Rebecca to her new school today to lighten the load and stress of going to a high school and also so I could find out exactly where the school was. We also made arrangement where she was going to get off in the bus in the afternoon so that with Lauren in the car I could stop and pick her up on our way home. On Monday the girls come to the house after school and their mother shows up in the late afternoon for dinner. We are having one of their favourite meals, my paprika chicken served with white rice. The salad will include the two trays of Campari Tomatoes that Rosemary bought over the weekend.
Because of the new school year and the pressures of adapting to home rooms and navigating the corridors of a large high school from one floor to another, it would not be practical for us to see a movie after dinner. The girls need to get home early to do whatever homework is unifinished and to prepare for bed.
But with my memory of reading Selecciones del Reader’s Digest En Español (my grandmother was subscribed to it) I decided to prepare a special program for tonight. I went to Videomatica and located a DVD version of Laurel and Hardy in The Music Box (1932). Alas there was no DVD version of the Battle of the Century (1927) with that wonderful sequence where cream pies, hundreds of them fly through the air to land on people’s faces. But I never did get rid of our VHS machine and I did find a VHS cassette. Everything is ready for tonight and as my Selecciones used to say, “La risa es la major medicina.”
I first saw The Battle of the Century and the Music Box on a Saturday afternoon next door to the work-in-progress-will-finish-it-in-a-century church of my neighbourhood's Capuchine monks in Coghlan in Buenos Aires. They had a little movie house for us and after a little sermon on how we should be good boys and little girls they would screen Tarzán flicks with Buster Crabbe, the films of Carlitos Chaplín and, of course our favourite El Gordo Y El Flaco as we knew Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. Surely Laurel and Hardy will be as relevant today as Lauren's Rice Krispies even though Laurel and Hardy and their admirer (me) were all born a million years ago.