"In cooking, as in all the arts, simplicity is a sign of perfection." - Curnonsky

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Dinner & a DVD: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

A tasty tomato sauce nicely coats this comforting combination of pork, potatoes and carrots. I put this together in my crock pot this morning before work and came home to a wonderful meal waiting for me.

Pork Roast Dinner

Boneless pork roast
Potatoes, peeled & cut into chunks
Carrots, cut into chunks
2 1/2 cups of tomato juice (add more if needed to cover pork & veggies)
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca

In a slow cooker, combine all ingredients. Cover and cook on high for 6-8 hours or until meat is tender.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

For years I refused to watch the Harry Potter movies, thinking that I would not like the idea of young witches and wizards. However, after seeing this first movie tonight I immediately came to love the series. Even though it's a PG/PG-13 series, it's terrific.

The Sorcerer's Stone is a terrific beginning to the series.The acting and the atmosphere here is amazing. The whole cast does a wonderful job, and it looks surprisingly realistic for a magic movie. Daniel Radcliffe does a good job as Harry Potter, changing his character as is appropriate throughout the movie. Rupert Grint is good, not to mention hilarious, as Potter's best friend, Ron Weasley.

Personally I love Emma Watson's performance as the bossy, clever, book-loving Hermione Granger the best. She doesn't portray Hermione as a complete bossy jerk, but more of a insecure girl who loves to prove herself, and deep down has good intentions and a good heart. Other notable performances are Maggie Smith as professor McGonnagell and Alan Rickman as the somewhat scary, dark professor Snape.

I really love how this movie starts off the series. Since it's about young kids learning magic at a school, I didn't know what to expect. The kids did not just sit and learn about philosophy, but they do not turn out to be automatic experts, either. Harry, Ron, and Hermione are like average first-year students, each showing particular strengths in different subjects. There is some good action in the movie: trolls attacking the school, sports involving flying on a broomstick, and a few good spells.

For those who don't know, Harry Potter is an average kid living with his mean, abusive aunt and uncle when he is enrolled in Hogwarts school of witchcraft and wizardry. His aunt and uncle disapprove of magic, so he is rescued by Hagrid, keeper of Hogwarts. At Hogwarts he befriends two other students, Ron and Hermione. Throughout the movie Harry discovers what really happened to his parents, what it's like to have friends, and what courage is.

At the same time he develops a feud with a cocky first-year student, Malfoy, and tries to keep the school safe from an evil he feels only he, Ron, and Hermione understand. Harry and Ron are close friends from the start of the year at Hogwarts. Hermione does not immediately jump in. Overtime she is drawn to them more and wants to be with them more.

I am looking forward to seeing the rest of the Harry Potter movies now and will probably watch the remaining three DVD's over the next couple of weeks. This was definitely a great starting point.

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