Last night we spread out beach towels on the basement rug for a picnic dinner and watched Moonrise Kingdom on our big-ass TV. We all enjoyed the movie, although the kids declared it the "weirdest" thing they'd ever seen. Well, that's what you get from Wes Anderson, who in this case brings us the story of Sam and Suzy, 12-year-old misfits who decide to run away together. The setting is a nearly deserted New England island filled with all kinds of quirky people, including two of my favorites—Bill Murray and Frances McDormand as Suzy's parents—as well as a perfectly deadpan Ed Norton, superbly downplayed Bruce Willis, and others. Tilda Swinton plays a character named Social Services, who gets involved when the couple go missing, because Sam is revealed to be an orphan at the Khaki Scouts camp where he was spending the summer. Sam packs all the camping gear they'll need, and Suzy brings along a portable record player, a suitcase full of books, and her kitten (complete with cans of kitten food).
The movie takes place in 1965 and has just the right feel for that era—I don't know much about filmmaking, but something about the colors and the cinematography itself really captured the time perfectly. There's always a fairy-tale quality to Anderson's films, and this one probably exhibits that more than most. (I think this is what the kids found "weird.") But it's the off-beat-ness and the fantasy qualities that I liked best. All in all, it's a very warm and generous movie, and a good one for the whole family (if they don't mind things a little "weird"). Oh, and as for the PG-13 rating, there's just one scene in which the couple fool around a little—a very little, as the whole things takes just seconds. It was not a problem.
So, what did we eat while watching this quirky movie? A quirky dinner, of course! I was a little nervous about it, but everyone liked it. Even Steph, my least adventurous eater, said several times that she really liked it! The kids are not happy eating legumes ("too powdery" according to Julie), but these lentils went over fine. I made a box of Goya's Arroz Amarillo (yellow rice) to go alongside.
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup dry lentils, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 (14-ounce) can reduced-sodium vegetable broth
1 cup water
1 cup chunky salsa
taco shells and/or tortillas
Garnishes: shredded lettuce, chopped tomato, chopped olives, shredded cheese, guacamole, sour cream, salsa, etc. etc.
Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet. Sauté the onion until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute. Add the lentils, chili powder, cumin, and oregano; cook and stir for 1 minute to toast spices.
Add the broth and water; bring to a boil. Stir and reduce the heat; cover and simmer for 35 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Uncover; if the mixture is too soupy, cook for another 5 minutes or until it is thickened. Stir in the salsa.
Spoon some lentil mixture into each taco shell/tortilla and top with your favorite garnishes.