Young Frankenstein

Young Frankenstein is a 1974 comedy directed by Mel Brooks. Gene Wilder stars as a descendant of the infamous Dr. Victor Frankenstein who wants nothing to do with the man. A great supporting cast includes Teri Gar, Cloris Leachman, Marty Feldman and Madeline Kahn, among others. The film is a parody of the classic horror films of the 1930s. The film was shot entirely in black and used 1930s-style opening credits and scene transitions like fade to black. The film also features a period score. All of this lends just the right touch to the movie. A box office smash, Young Frankenstein ranks No. 13 on the American Film Institutes’s list of the 100 funniest American moves.

In my books it’s a classic. I’ve never laughed so hard in my life. And I still do, every time I watch the movie. Peter Boyle’s portrayal of the monster was hilarious, He could speak volumes without ever opening his mouth. Cloris Leachman was perfect as Dr. Frankenstein’s housekeeper and paramour and who could forget Marty Feldman’s Igor? The actors comedic timing was impeccable. The move reminded me of Bing Crosby and Bob Hope and their “Road To..” shows I watched on late night TV when I was growing up.

Quotes from the movie are priceless. For instance, when Igor says “what hump” or Gene Hackman as the blind man shouts to a frightened monster running out the door “Where are you going? I was going to make espresso.” And then there’s Igor’s reference to “abby normal” or Gene Wilder’s “put…the…candle…back” If you want to kick back and have a belly laugh, this is the movie for you.

Because the movie is set in Transylvania, I decided to go with an “old country” recipe that seemed fitting. I grew up in Texas and we lived close to the New Braunfels area where many German families settled, so I’ve had this stick to your ribs dish many times.

SAUERKRAT AND SAUSAGE

sauerkraut and sausage

2 lb sauerkraut, rinsed and drained

1 T caraway seeds

¼ c brown s ugar

1 diced apple

½ bacon

1 large onion, chopped

1 ½ lb kielbasa sausage cut into 1 inch slices

  1. Place the sauerkraut, caraway seeds, brown sugar, and apple into a large saucepan over medium-low heat, and bring the mixture to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, and cook for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.
  3. Place the bacon and onion into a skillet over medium heat, and cook until the bacon is almost crisp and the onion is beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Stir the bacon mixture into the sauerkraut. In the same skillet, brown the kielbasa sausage in the remaining bacon grease until the sausage begins to brown, 10 to 15 minutes; stir into the sauerkraut mixture. Spoon the sauerkraut and sausage mixture into the prepared baking dish.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until bubbling, about 1 hour.
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