A Christmas Story film paired with festive family food

Starring Peter Billingsley, Darren McGavin & Melinda Dillon

Rating 9/10

Plot:

– Ralphie’s older self narrates this story about a special Christmas when he was nine-years-old. Ralphie longed to have a Red Ryder BB Gun for Christmas but everyone around him kept saying things like “You’ll shoot your eye out”.
– Then he heads to school where his teacher asks the class to write about what they would like for Christmas. Ralph is ecstatic because of his passion for the BB Gun. But when he gets his assignment back, his teacher gives him a C+ and writes that he’ll shoot his eye out as well. Sigh.
– In an act of desperation, Ralph decides to ask Santa himself and goes to the mall where a horrible Santa with his horrible elves frighten him so much, he nearly forgets to ask for the gun.
– While this is all happening, bullies hassle Ralphie and his friends until one day, Ralphie loses the plot and strikes back, bashing up the bullies and swearing his head off. After getting in big trouble last time for swearing (because his dad does), Ralphie starts to worry about what his punishment will be when dad gets home from work. But good old mum doesn’t tell dad all the juicy details, letting him off the hook. Phew!
– Christmas morning! Ralphie and brother, Randy, race downstairs to find out what Santa has brought them. After many presents, good and very, very bad, Ralph realises that Santa hasn’t given him a BB Gun and looks glum but ok.
– Then good old dad this time gives him a secret present, his gun! Yay! But then disaster strikes when the next-door-neighbour’s dogs break into the house and eat the beloved turkey.
– So then the family cuts its loses and ends up having Christmas dinner at a quirky Chinese restaurant. Too funny!

Entree:

Remember when cute little Randy won’t eat his dinner and his clever mum suggests that he eat dinner like a piggy? Classic scene. Well the family was eating a typical American dinner of Meatloaf and mashed potatoes and something else. So, for starters, we’re making Not Yo Mamma’s Meatloaf Muffins thanks to From Dahlias to Doxies.

F&F-A-Christmas-Story

Image: From Dahlias to Doxies

Review:

This is a funny old film. The family is so quirky! They border on weird but in their hearts they love each other deeply and use humour and their imagination to cover over their faults. The flashbacks/imagination scenes are great! It really is like  seeing the world through a child’s eyes. The mum is great. She puts up with her grumpy husband and crazy kids with great humour and selflessness. The dad ain’t too bad either although he swears like a trooper and loses his temper when things break, oh and lusts over a funny leg lamp that he won.

I almost cheered out loud when Ralphie started fighting the bully. Good on him! Little brother, Randy was so cute with all his giggling and food shenanigans. All in all this is a fun old film with loads of heart, humour and a bit of justice thrown in for good measure. It’s childlike and honest about life, dreams, the world and family. Brill film.

Main meal:

This year I’m cooking a Christmas turkey for the first time like Ralphie’s mum. And I reckon if a pack of annoying dogs came in and ate my turkey like it did to this family, I would cry. But all credit to them, they turned a disaster into a fun night out! Good on them. To celebrate this family’s awesomeness, let’s cook a chook (or, rather, turkey). It’s Cider-Brined Smoked Turkey with Cranberry Barbecue Sauce from Gourmet Traveller.

A Christmas Story trivia:

  • Budget – $4 million
  • A passionate fan of this film bought Ralphie’s house and spent $500,000 on renovating it to look just like the house in the movie.
  • Filmed in Cleveland and Ontario
  • This movie inspired the hit TV show, The Wonder Years
  • Ralphie mentions the BB Gun 28 times in the movie
  • I was wondering how they did the ‘tongue stuck to the pole’ scene. They actually used a hidden suction tube to make it look like the tongue was actually stuck to the pole. Eek!
  • It took 10 years for this film to be made from the initial idea to opening night.
  • This film was made into a Broadway musical in 2012.
  • The writer and narrator of this movie, Jean Shepherd. can be seen as the angry man waiting in line for Santa. He’s the one that gives poor Ralphie a hard time. Shepherd’s actual wife is the lady next to him!
  • Director, Bob Clark appears as the randy neighbour checking out the leg lamp with the dad from outside the house.

Dessert:

Now although there aren’t a lot of baked sweets in this film, there is a scene where Ralphie is eating his cookies with milk which is pretty Christmassy actually, isn’t it? We all leave out some milk and sweets for Santa, so we’ll make them for ourselves as well. Here they are: Chocolate Peppermint Cookies from My Baking Addiction. YUM!

Are you sick of Christmas movies yet? Me neither. Let’s watch them ALL!!!!!

Check out more great film and food pairings here:

The Nativity Story movie matched with traditional dishes
Miracle on 34th Street film paired with NYC Christmas recipes
* Top 10 Christmas films matched with my fave Christmas recipes