I was watching “Steel Magnolias” for the first time this weekend (I know, I know, how could I not have seen it before, etc?  I was nine when it came out, it wasn’t a priority at the time since it didn’t involve Donnie Wahlberg) and the opening credits listed “and Sam Shepard,” which was a surprise to me since I thought his use as someone who comes in during the final 30 minutes of a movie was a recent thing, and it got me wondering when he became a literary device.  He’s like a deus ex machina at this point, just showing up in movies like “Up in the Air” or “the Big Lebowski” to bring the plot home.  I spent most of the movie trying to figure out who he would be — Annelle’s exhusband, Jack Jr. as a grown up ending the story with “and that’s how I got to be named Shelby,” or the man who would sweep Weezer off her feet.  At the end of the movie I realized that I mistook “Sam Shepard” (who played Truvy’s husband) with “Sam Elliott,” thus ruining my entire movie experience.

For real though, I don’t think I’ve ever seen Sam Elliott in a movie where he was a regular character.  It’s like male screenwriters/directors when editing their scripts think if they can’t use a Kinks song maybe they can write Sam Elliott into the same scene.

Also, here is the picture of the tinga (Mexican pulled pork w/homemade chorizo!) that Richard made.  Everytime I think it’s useless to keep subscribing to Cook’s Illustrated (any cooking magazine repeats itself after one year — how many “what kind of pots should I buy?” or “Introducing Kale” articles does one need?), Richard makes something like this that makes it worth it.