Best JewMom Film: A Review of “Guilt Trip”

Since it’s almost Purim and Passover, this is the PERFECT time for a little JewMom guilt, dontcha think?

First of all, don’t go all hinky on me; I maintain the right to use the term “JewMom” not only affectionately, but proudly, respectfully, and accurately, because I AM a JewMom. Probably the JewMommiest Mommy of them all, to be totes honest with y’all.

ince it’s almost Purim and Passover, this is the PERFECT time for a little JewMom guilt, dontcha think?

I CONFESS (this IS Confessions of a Tugboat Captain’s Wife and I DO confess transgressions and deep dark secrets every once in a while just to keep me honest and to keep you guys on your toes)

So, I CONFESS that I saw “Guilt Trip” three times in the last two weeks. CRZY. Cray. Beyond cray.

Why, you ask? Netflix stuck? TV broke? Dementia? (That description is from my snarky son, Angel Boy, I mean DOCTOR Angel Boy.)

Here’s how it happened. I was baking up a storm, a marathon baking sesh ‘cos my son, DIL, AND tugboat man were all arriving at Casa de Enchanted Seashells virtually within hours of each other, which meant that I had one train station pickup and two airport pickups back to back to back.

While the Ginger + Ginger Cake was in the oven and chocolate chip cookies were cooling on a rack, I poured myself a glass of chard and searched through Netflix for something funny with which to entertain myself while i allowed myself a relaxing moment or two.

On Netflix “Guilt Trip” came up a few times in New Releases and Newly Added and Suggestions for me, but I kept looking for something else, cos the thumbnail pic of Seth Rogan and Barbra Streisand didn’t really call out to me – film marketing companies need to work on their thumbnails! — but then nothing else did either, so I thought I’d give it a try.

I’m so glad I did ‘cos it was an unexpected and sweetly funny surprise. Rogan and Streisand have a great chemistry together; natural, easygoing, playing off each other effortlessly. Road trip films are a tried and true formula; moms and sons is a savory twist to the genre.

I love movies that aren’t full of gratuitous violence, gratuitous sex/nudity, and have happy endings. If you’re like me, you’ll like “Guilt Trip”.

A SHORT SYNOPSIS: As UCLA organic chemist grad and  inventor Andy Brewster is about to embark on the road trip of a lifetime to sell his product, a quick stop at his mom’s house turns into an unexpected cross-country voyage with her along for the ride.

BEST MOM QUOTE EVER: “If all the little boys in the world were lined up, and I had to just pick only one, I’d choose you… every time.” (Streisand to Rogan)

Every mother and her adult son SHOULD see this film together, whether you’re a Jewish mom like me or not. They are, after all, always our baby boys, no matter their age. Like I tell my son, there are worse things to endure in this world than having a mother who loves him as much as I do.

It is SO funny. I saw a lot of myself in it — the zillion phone calls, screaming out his name at the airport, the son going to school 3,000 miles away from home (we don’t even want to GO THERE) — Angel Boy and I haven’t gone on a road trip together, but it might look pretty much exactly like this one if we did, except for me winning a steak eating contest.

Actually, we did something similar when I flew to Goettingen, Germany to visit him for his junior year abroad at the University of Goettingen when he was at UCSD. We spent a week together traveling around Germany. I had an amazing time, even though we got stuck in a blizzard, and even if I was prolly a bit annoying. OK, maybe a LOT annoying, but still, to spend time like that with my Angel Boy was priceless. Spending the night at the airport in Frankfurt is still something that makes us laugh.

Aside: In the film, there’s a LOT of blatant product placement from Kmart to Costco to QVC, but it wasn’t too distracting and i had to admire the chutzpah.

The second viewing was with Angel Boy and DIL. I think DIL probably enjoyed it more than my son; he cringed a bit during some of the scenes of Rogan with Streisand that we thought were HILARIOUS. I think it all hit a bit too close to home at certain moments, LOL. And yes, I too have purchased underwear for my adult son. I confess…

DIL thought that UCLA as Rogan character’s school and the UCLA sweatshirt was “art mimicking life” and perhaps a SIGN FROM THE UNIVERSE because Angel Boy recently interviewed for a teaching job there (fingers crossed!) and because all I wear are t-shirts and sweatshirts from the universities my son has attended. Right now I’m sporting  a “Someone at Yale loves me” t-shirt under a “Yale Mom” sweatshirt. I am SUCH a cliche, I know, I know.

And i’m drinking out of a Yale/Hello Kitty water bottle. Pathetic, right? I know.

The third viewing was with my tugboat man and I know he liked it mainly ‘cos he didn’t fall asleep once, ha ha!

I hope I’ve “guilt tripped” you into seeing it, too, and I hope you like it as much as we did.

I totes recommend “Guilt Trip” (2012)
I give it 5 Louboutins out of 5
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A Kugel-icous Recipe for Passover, too!

I posted this for Hannukah but we make it for Passover, too. I hope you try it and enjoy! Since my stupid oven broke for the 4th time yesterday as I was making my son’s birthday cake, I’m not sure I’ll be able to make Kugel since we couldn’t get a repair appointment until Thursday and the stupid part will take a week to arrive, so we are out of luck! Stupid Sears! Stupid Kenmore! Stupid planned obsolescence!
A pic of kugel (not mine) from http://www.jpost.com/ArtsAndCulture/FoodAndWine/Article.aspx?id=290152

 

What is Kugel?                                                                                                                            Kugel is a savory or sweet pudding of potatoes or noodles usually served as a side dish. It’s of German/Jewish origin. Our family’s traditional Kugel is the sweet noodle kind and my mom’s version is to die for. Really. It’s spectacular hot or cold. I’ll make it tomorrow and take pics. It’s one of those recipes you can make a day in advance and it gets better and better. If you have any leftovers–which we never do- it freezes pretty good. I limit myself to making it only a couple times a year and I eat as much as I want and just work out a bit harder and a bit longer to burn off the calories.

Angel Boy’s Grandma’s Kugel

Ingredients

One large package wide egg noodles
One large can fruit cocktail in juice
One small can pineapple pieces in juice
One large can canned peaches and pears in heavy syrup, yes, you read that right.
At least 3 Granny Smith apples, sliced with about 1/3 cup sugar and 1-2 TBS cinnamon.
3 Eggs
2 tsp vanilla
One lemon,  juiced and zested.

This is a good dish to make in advance especially if you’re also planning to make apple pie (which I am) ‘cos you can just prepare all the apples for both dishes. The secret to this dish is a LOT of cinnamon. If you think you have enough, add a little bit more! Cook a whole package of wide egg noodles and drain. Add 3 beaten eggs with vanilla; it will be super slippery. Add the lemon juice and zest to the apple slices. Drain all the canned fruit but keep the juices; you will need them. Mix together all the canned fruits. Butter one large and one medium deep baking dish. Add a layer of noodles, then a layer of canned fruit, a layer of apples, then another layer of noodles, a layer of the canned fruit, sliced apples, more noodles, more canned fruit and apples, ending with a final layer of noodles. Pour over any remaining egg mixture, and a cup or so of the fruit juices. Be very liberal with the juice. It will all get soaked up as the kugel bakes. Jason’s grandma would dot the whole thing with a bunch of Crisco, like ¼ cup, which sounds gross, but I still follow her recipe. Some people use butter, but we don’t. Other recipes add cottage cheese and raisins, but I’ve only made it my mom’s way, although I’m sure it would be delicious. Bake covered at 300 degrees for about an hour or so depending on the pan size. Take cover off for final 15 minutes. Excellent reheated and/or cold.