Meals to Die by, no. 11

Today we will be taking a look at the murder-filled series by re-watching The Godfather part I. There are longer series out there, even one’s with more gruesome murders, but none have the same variety of death and none have the same variety of food. And I’ve been wanting to watch The Godfather so when a friend, Kate, suggested it for the Meals to Die by series because of the scene with the oranges it had to be.

I couldn’t remember a death involving oranges, so I watched the entire movie searching the screen for this tangy sweet fruit. They’re everywhere. A cheerful symbol of suffering.  Each time one appeared I leaned forward, tense, nervously anticipating the death. Every time. There’s the first appearance at Connie and Carlo’s wedding when a guest grabs a double fist sized fruit and starts to peel it. One makes up a fruit bowl at the dinner between Tom Hagan and the Hollywood movie director, Jack Woltz, just hours before the horse’s head takes a nap. The Godfather is buying a bag full when he’s shot 5 times, causing the start to the war and Michael’s entry into the family business. They’re on the table during the meeting with the Five Families after Sonny is killed. Then it happened, Don Vito Corleone dies shortly after scaring his grandson by using an orange peel to turn his smile into a scary face. Even then I couldn’t be sure, maybe it was an apple. Sure, oranges have been inserted into every third scene, but it just isn’t that clear. I continued my tense watching.

Perhaps, by this point I should say something wise about the movie. Something about how it revolutionized film making. Perhaps something about the book leading the way to a new crime genre. Perhaps, but I’m not just the common cook I’m also the common movie watcher. My thoughts on movies begin with “Did I like it?” They end shortly after. Perhaps if I studied films or if I had been alive in 1972 and thus hadn’t grown up with the genre I would better appreciate the movie as if it were a box of fine cannoli.

Alas we can never know. All I can do now is be wary of random appearances of oranges.

Stayed tuned for next month’s The Godfather part II. Which is where it will end. Since I couldn’t make it through one viewing of part III I refuse to submit myself to torture by attempting a second viewing.

Eggplant with Orange and Olive Quinoa
(adapted from a recipe on

1 small eggplant
½ cup quinoa
¼ cup orange juice concentrate
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 orange, diced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup parsley, chopped
½ cup chopped shallots (though I probably had about ⅓ cup)
¼ cup chopped calamata olives (the recipe called for Castelvetrano as they are, apparently, Sicilian)
salt to taste

Thinly slice eggplant length ways. Brush each side with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place onto a baking sheet and bake in oven until…well…until it looks done.

While the eggplant is cooking. Prepare quinoa by bringing ½ cup of quinoa with 1 cup of water to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook 15 minutes.

While the eggplant and the quinoa are cooking get to zest, chopping, juicing and dicing. Combine all the remaining ingredients in a bowl. Add in the cooked quinoa and toss.

Just serve it atop the eggplant or actually do the rolling thing.

One final critical note, I liked this dish. This is really good. Really. The flavors are excellent all together. I will absolutely be making it again.

One thought on “Meals to Die by, no. 11

  1. Keep it coming, Brynne !! Here in Pietrarubbia the ” blood
    oranges ” have arrived from Sicilia fittingly to your remembrances of Don Corleone ( Argrigento ) to be cooked too with the deadly nightshade and tiny black olives emerging from their brine about this time of year. It’s snowing again up here on the spine of Italy in the Appenines and time to put the white beans in the clay covered pot in the coals / ashes for tomorrow’s lunch mixed into small cut crude handmade pasta schiutta .. pasta fagiole for a hearty lunch in these cold dark days of winter as the fire is rekindled against the cold humidity of our 1569 convent here to stop the chimney’s downdraft. Give your folks my best and keep on cooking up a storm of mystery! The doggies and I are off to sleep as the wind wraps the snow around the house !


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