This past Friday was our second date night. It was another success. We watched ‘Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner’ and made Apple Bacon Pancakes, Mimosas, and Classic Coffee Creme Caramels.

The pancakes were heaven. I made them with whole wheat pastry flour and they were wonderfully hearty and filling. Whole wheat flour has always added more of a nutty flavor to foods and when combined with the apple- HEAVEN!!!

The coffee cremes came from the ‘Chocolate and Coffee Bible’. I wasn’t crazy about them. I loved the texture (like a custard) but it had a very strong coffee flavor. Too strong for me. The hubby loved the coffee flavor but wasn’t jazzed about the custard texture. So we will probably not be making these again.

The movie was great. Ryan felt that there wasn’t enough action (go figure) but I enjoy ‘talking’ movies (as my younger siblings termed dialogue-driven dramas many years ago) and thought it was very well-paced. To me, the movie’s biggest strength is that it took a large concept (an interracial relationship at a time when it was still illegal in many places) and restricted the setting, time frame, and characters in order to tell the love story of the parents for each other and for their children. By the end of the movie, the couple’s relationship became the backdrop for them learning about their parents in a way they never had before.

It was also interesting to watch the movie with a contemporary eye, considering that the topic (an interracial couple) is no longer controversial. It was somewhat uncomfortable because, to have been so advanced for its time, it is very politically incorrect for our time. And when you add a viewing of ‘The Help’ to the mix, the character of Tilly, the housekeeper, takes on a whole new dimension. It is also a teensy bit vindicating to me, a Southern girl, to know that Southerners were not the only ones to have help that they genuinely did not ‘see’. Wealthy, west coast liberals did too.

This is another movie that I appreciate because of its optimism and because I can watch and see how far we, as a society, have come. Even in ways the movie did not intend- like understanding the role of the help. Sometimes you see something from a past era and think, “Goodness things have changed. How on earth did we get here?!” and then other times you see something that reminds you that not all movement forward means something valuable is lost. Sometimes, every so often, you get to see what we have gained.

It is further evidence that things to do not have to be grim and angry in order to be serious and valuable. The subject of race, romantic relationships changing over time, children growing up and gaining their own lives, etc. are all very serious matters that all human beings have to confront. And I think the movie allows viewers to appreciate the seriousness of those matters against an open, sunny, beautiful backdrop. Nothing in the setting or cinematography makes the viewer feel cornered or edgy. The movie allows the viewer to see the optimism of the Joanna Drayton (the soon-to-be bride) and the eventual happiness of the parents to know that they have helped pass on something beautiful and lasting to their children- even though the world is changing around all of them.