I've fallen in love with the idea of living.
Shirley Valentine (Pauline Collins) in Shirley Valentine
It's May Dinner and a Movie time (created by Marc of No Recipes and Susan of Stickey Gooey Creamy Chewy), and our host this month is Susan. She has selected Shirley Valentine as the movie from which to seek inspiration this month. I had never previously seen this movie, which was released when I was still in high school. Although it is a relative oldie, this movie is a goodie, and demonstrates some universal truths that are never likely to change.
In brief, the main protagonist in Shirley Valentine is the story of a 42 year old housewife and mother of two grown children called, you guessed it, Shirley Valentine. Shirley is rather bored with her life as it has become, and she wonders wistfully what happened to the daring, rebellious girl of her youth. Shirley's fairy godmother arrives in the guise of her friend Jane, who invites Shirley along on a trip for two to Greece that she won in a radio competition. Although she is initially reluctant to go because she feels that she can't get away/her husband wouldn't approve etc, Shirley's mind is made up when her husband, Joe, behaves disgracefully one evening when she makes chips and egg for tea on a Thursday instead instead of the steak he was expecting.
On the island of Mykonos, Shirley rediscovers herself outside of her role of wife and mother, much to the disapproval of Jane and the other British tourists staying there. A brief holiday fling with a handsome Greek man is part of this journey, but is certainly not the beginning or the end of Shirley's transformation. Shirley rediscovers her joie de vivre, and the closing scenes lead me to hope that she will be able to transfer some of her new outlook on life to her husband.
Despite having a very different life to Shirley, I can certainly relate to her dilemmas; however, having recently read Thirty Something and Over It by Kasey Edwards, I know that neither Shirley nor I are alone in our quest to rediscover the spark in our lives.
As Shirley's adventures centre on her experiences in the Greek Islands, I am naturally inspired to make a Greek-style recipe for this event. During the film, Shirley Valentine rediscovers her zest for life. Together, these elements led me to make a Lime and Yoghurt Sorbet from The Press Club - Modern Greek Cookery by George Calombaris, an executive director of and head chef at The Press Club restaurant in Melbourne. Why? It's a Greek-style recipe and its zesty, uplifting flavour mirrors Shirley's new-found zest for life.
Sorbets have traditionally been palate cleansers, and this one is no exception. The lime juice gives a mouth-puckering edge to the sorbet which is wonderfully refreshing. I think this quality would make this sorbet the perfect palate cleanser or dessert with a rich Greek dish such as moussaka, as it would cut through that richness and leave your mouth feeling Colgate-clean.
To make The Press Club's Lime and Yoghurt Sorbet, you will need:
2/3 cup skimmed milk
40g white sugar
Juice of 2 limes
Zest of 1 lime
25g liquid glucose
250g Greek yoghurt
Heat the milk, sugar, glucose syrup and lime zest in a saucepan over medium heat until it reaches a gentle simmer, then remove from the heat and cover the top of the pan with clingwrap. Leave the mixture to cool to room temperature.
Once the syrup mixture has cooled, whisk in the yoghurt and lime juice, then pour the mixture into an icecream maker and churn in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. Place the mixture in a container to freeze.
Remove the sorbet from the freezer before serving and allow it to thaw for around 15 minutes on the bench so that it becomes soft enough to scoop.
If you are keen to escape to a sunny Greek Island, even if just for a few minutes, do go and check out the roundup of terrific Shirley Valentine inspired recipes at Sticky Gooey Creamy Chewy.