09 Jun
sideview of four poached pears cooling on a plate - The Mummy

The Mummy

“For the record, if I don’t make it out of here, don’t put me down for mummification.”

– Rick


The Setup

Being that The Mummy sequel (or remake, we’re not quite sure because really it could be both?) is premiering, we figured it was time to revisit the 1999 action classic, also called The Mummy. The Mummy presented many fun food themes for us to explore, and we ended up going with a meal paying homage to all aspects of the mummy.

The Meal

For the appetizer, we drew inspiration from the canopic jars organs were placed in as part of the mummification process, and decided to preserve some organ-reminiscent foods in jars of our own. We took Brussels sprouts, blueberries, and watermelon rinds, and pickled them all separately in their own specific juices.

The Brussels sprouts sit in a typical sour vinegar brine with dill, but the blueberries and watermelon had some sugar mixed into their brine to compliment their inherent sweetness, the latter of which had some extra spices including candied ginger, star anise, and cloves to give it that extra kick of flavor. Right now these jars are sealed and stashed away, pickling, and we will have to report back in on flavors later.

The main course focused more on the skeletal remains of the mummy itself. We roasted marrow bones and spread the marrow on toast. The marrow was buttery and extremely savory and, as you can probably guess, made a great toast topping. We sprinkled a simple salad of shallots, capers, and parsley on top of the marrow for some additional interest, and found it paired perfectly. Sure, it would be little weird to actually eat the bone marrow of a mummy but off of a cow, it is a pure delight.

For dessert, we took strips of puff pastry and mummified some pears. The pears were first embalmed in a bath of honey, lemon, cloves, and cinnamon until they were soft. After letting them cool, we wrapped the puff pastry around the pears and stuck them in the oven to bake.

Meanwhile, we kept cooking the honey mixture until it started to reduce into a sweet syrup with additional flavor from the spices. Finally, we poured the syrup over the cooked pears and served it up. It was sweet, but the sweetness all came from they honey and the pears, so it didn’t taste as artificial as a typical sugary dessert.  Best of all, we were left with extra honey syrup we’ve been using on ice cream all week.

The Drink

For our cocktail, we made Blood and Sand, a cocktail containing single malt scotch, sweet vermouth, orange juice, and cherry liquor. It was a perfect mixture of smokey, citrusy, and sweet flavors. Top it all of with an ice pyramid rising out of the blood and the sand, a metaphor for the terror and reign of the mummy before it all melts away. Sure, we may be exaggerating what is ultimately just an ice cube in a drink but you’ve made it this far.

The Rules

☠️  Drink whenever “the mummy” is referenced.

🎥  Drink for bad CGI.

🐱  Drink for cats.

The Movie

The Mummy is a perfectly decent 90’s action comedy. There’s humor, there’s a quick and undeserved romance, there’s a bevy of special effects, and for the worse, it is a manwich of a film. If you go into The Mummy with the expectation that you just want to have a good time, you probably will. You’ll roll your eyes plenty, and you’ll probably laugh for the wrong reasons, but you’ll enjoy yourself nonetheless.

It helps that you’re watching Brendan Fraser the whole time. We are serious. He elicits more eye rolls from the audience than anyone else, but dammit if he didn’t keep us chuckling the whole time. From his horrible marksmanship to his bad one liners to his cringe-worthy smile, he’s a mess throughout the entire movie and was so much fun to watch. For better or worse, he took every scene up to 11, in a performance that reminded us of Nic Cage more than any other actor.

The tone shifts from comedy to a PG-13 thriller about halfway through, once the mummy is released from his sarcophagus and starts wreaking havoc on Egypt. Of course, everything that was supposed to be frightening was just really terrible CGI so it tones the fear factor down to about 0. The one scene that did really gross us out was the scarabs crawling under the skin of several party members. We could have done without that one.

Of course, The Mummy isn’t perfect. Far from it, in fact. There were a total of two women in the entire movie, and one died in the first five minutes. It was also a very white movie, which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense for a movie set in Egypt, and it doesn’t help that those that actually do die in the first half of the film are largely people of color. It also features a collection of white characters laying claim to history and treasure that is not theirs all while the depiction of men from the area are greedy, or mindless (with the exception of one). It is not a great look, and we can’t excuse The Mummy for these missteps, and it is a good reminder of how important it is to continue fighting for inclusive and positive representation in film.

The Reviews

Andre: A poor man’s Indiana Jones +1. I felt like The Mummy was trying to be an updated version of Indiana Jones, and managed to capture a bit of the spirit and charm of its predecessor. I found myself enjoying The Mummy despite myself, but I’d still rather sit down and watch Raiders of the Lost Ark than The Mummy if I wanted to watch a bunch of people seek their fortune in the desert, lead by a wry treasure hunter. Harrison Ford beats Brenden Fraser in my book, and I’ll take practical effects over CGI any day.

Leanna: 5 out of 10 plagues +1, which is all we got to see in this movie anyway. I am not entirely sure how this film managed to inspire two more films and an entire Scorpion King franchise (fun fact: there’s four of those!) but it was fine. It’s definitely best watched with friends and without too critical an eye for plot holes, discontinuity, and general filmmaking missteps, but you can have fun if you want to. I stand with the rest of Munch when I say that Brendan Fraser was surprisingly entertaining to watch, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to seek out his other work.

Ben: 60+1%. I did not have high hopes heading into this film. It wasn’t sitting at a great rating on Rotten Tomatoes, I could barely remember anything about it, and it seems to largely have been forgotten from pop culture if this new release hadn’t brought it all back. But with that being said, it wasn’t horrible? I mean sure, I was laughing at how goofy Brendan Fraser is in the film and just how out of place he is throughout it. Outside of that, there is just enough plot and moments of thriller tension to hold your attention and not feel like a total drag of a late 90s film. In 2017 I wouldn’t have thought I would see myself giving props to Brendan Fraser of all people, but here I am. It was impossible to ignore, however, that there is a whopping total of two women in the film and that the locals are largely used as fodder or as an evil foil to Brendan Fraser. It’s a dark spot on an otherwise decent jaunt of a film.