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TV Dinner Time: Oscar edition

In television on 02/17/2009 at 11:19 am

The first Oscar bash I remember was the one I missed. My mother, who denied me even Carole Burnett and Clem Kadiddlehopper because they were too late (yet allowed Outer Limits because it was earlier and what did she know from sci-fi), allowed my brother and I the rare privilege of staying up late to watch the swish Academy Awards with her. My mother looked a little like Elizabeth Taylor. The movies were and are her thing. Watching with her – the smell of burnt Jiffy Pop and melted butter heavy in the air – was more glamourous than even the real thing: I tagged along with the photographer boyfriend when he covered the event a couple of Oscars ago and though I strode the red carpet (the day before, but still) and was only feet from Helen Mirren on the day of, the real thing seemed shockingly … mortal.

But back to that first remembered Oscar bash. So it was mid ‘60s and my younger brother and I took to our beds for the pre-awards nap and… Morning came with the bitter realization that the then-hated brother had failed to wake me. Bitter. I’m better now, after years of red-carpet therapy, but Iever since, I really like to tart it up on Oscar night. And no naps.

This year, I am thrilled to share a true gift of a dip recipe. After years of pestering, and never once having failed to wake her for the Oscars, Gaylene has finally consented to share her mom’s hot crab dip. You’ll find the recipe below. She advises a solid cracker. I suggest skipping the cracker and just going in with a spoon, but that’s me.

If you desire two or three more courses for your Oscar feast, there are two high-falutin ways to go.

You can do you best to pretend that you have scored an invite to the bash of post-awards-show bashes, the Governors Ball, at which Wolfgang Puck will, for the 15th consecutive year, feed the starving red-carpet waifs. According to Oscars.org:

“The menu created by Puck and chefs Lee Hefter and Matt Bencivenga will feature several Ball favorites, including Tuna Tartare in Sesame Miso Cones; Chopped Chino Farms Vegetable Salad with Ginger Soy Vinaigrette, Maine Lobster and Caviar; and Pastry Chef Sherry Yard’s gold-dusted chocolate Oscars®.”

(Richard Harbaugh / ©A.M.P.A.S.)

Or you could pick one (or more!) menus crafted by epicurious.com and inspired by the best-film nominees, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Frost/Nixon, Milk, Slumdog Millionaire and The Reader.

Now, other preparations: What’s an Oscar soiree without a ballot to vote on? Oscars.org has a lovely ballot that you can download here (it’s a pdf). And who to vote for? Well, you could check out the Gazette’s fab Oscar package, including an audio podcast of predictions, featuring yours truly with Gazette columnists Bill Brownstein and John Griffin, as well as a fashion look-back with Fashion Editor Eva Friede.

But back to the main event. So without further ado, here is devoted foodie and good friend Gaylene’s generously shared recipe.

Gaylene’s Mom’s Cherished and Beloved Crab Dip

1 onion chopped
2 strips bacon chopped
1 tomato chopped
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp paprika
8 oz cream cheese (softened)
1 tbsp milk
1 can crab meat

Brown onion and bacon. Add tomato, salt, pepper, paprika. Beat cheese with milk. Add crab to bacon mix. Put together in casserole dish. Bake at 375 degrees until it browns and bubbles.

— Denise Duguay


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