How Green Was My Valley film paired with Welsh recipes

Starring Walter Pidgeon, Maureen O’Hara & Roddy McDowall

Rating 7/10

Plot:

– Poverty overtakes a generation, people are desperate. Boys find themselves working in the mines at the order of their fathers and beautiful women are limited to marrying for money rather than love. Welcome to the world of How Green Was my Valley.
– This is a story about brokenness. Not a lighthearted romp into the Welsh countryside but one that reflects a time and a culture under attack by the forces of the world and change. There’s gossip, innuendo, drama, families are falling apart, marriages built on lies and a boy left crippled by an act of bravery.

Entree:

I love discovering new food with such awesome classic films. So, for this famous flick, we’re digging into some delicious Welsh recipes starting with the super-famous Welsh Rarebit with Ham recipe from Woman and Home.

Review:

Wales and wails. This film has both.

This film is a difficult one to watch. When I think of it, the colour brown comes to mind. Not sure whether it is because there’s so much dirt and coal around or that it shines light on the dirty side of life, especially in working class, poor towns where everyone is so desperate. There are strikes that rip families apart and dreams of greener grass for the generations to come. Perhaps they should have called it How browns was my valley instead?

Nevertheless, this is a classic, classic film. Here we are introduced to the cute as all get-out, Roddy McDowall who plays the sprightly youngest son, Huw. The story is told by an older Huw, this is how he remembers his childhood, green or brown. Music plays an important part in this film as it does in Welsh culture. Men singing with men provide the backdrop to this manly tale thick with manly dreams, work and suffering.

All in all, this is a film made of memories. It is a subjective view of life in a Welsh mining town. It is about love, duty, loyalty and bravery in the face of intense challenges. Can such a film be uplifting or does it simply leave you with a dry mouth and a hankering for a long warm shower?

Main meal:

Life is cold in Wales, right? So you need some delicious comfort food to warm those frosty bones and nothing is more tummy-warming than a stew and this is the most famous of all (in this part of the world, anyway). It’s Begw’s Welsh Cawl recipe from Earthy.

F&F-How-Green-Was-My-Valley

Image: Earthy

How Green was My Valley Trivia –

  • Budget – $1 250, 000
  • Director John Ford was determined to film in Wales itself but due to a little tussle (WWII), he had to settle for Santa Monica. Thus it was filmed in black and white to hide the subtle landscape differences.
  • HGWMV was filmed in an incredible two months. One can only assume there were many late nights and early mornings.
  • This is based on a novel by Richard Llewellyn who initially claimed he wrote it about his indepth knowledge of the area but he later admitted he wrote it after simply talking with miners.
  • HGWMV was so good it beat Citizen Kane to the Best Picture Award. I assume many tongues were stuck out and a rendition of “Na-na-ne-nar-nar” were belted out that night!!

Dessert:

And for our final act of sweetness, dessert. This one is a cracker, although I’m sure it would have been a stretch for our poor miners and their families to make. Perhaps a birthday treat. Anyway, it looks pretty darn good. Make it, eat it and watch this classic film. Here it is: Monmouth pudding  recipe from The Telegraph.

F&F-How-Green-Was-My-Valley

Image: The Telegraph

Do you like watching depressing movies? At least you can eat yummy food with this one.

Inspired? Find more great films paired with delish recipes:

Mrs Miniver movie matched with good ‘ole English food
Casablanca movie paired with amazing Moroccan dishes
* All About Eve movie matched with Bette’s fave bites

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