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Film Released: 1954
Genre: Comedy,  Musical,  Romance,  Western
Film Directed by: Stanley Donen
Cast/Actors include : Howard Keel,  Jane Powell,  Russ Tamblyn

The story is set  in 1850s Oregon and begins when backwoodsman Adam Pontipee,  played by Howard Keel,   visits the nearest small town after the winter to restock his farm with provisions such as corn and farming equipment.  He is also determined to take back a wife, much to the townspeople's  revulsion and he is very particular too, boasting that he wants a woman who is young and pretty but just as importantly, strong and a good cook. In short someone who can work along side him and do the many chores required as the wife of a farmer - an unpaid servant.


Milly, played by Jane Powell,  works at the local inn where her tasty food and pretty looks entice many of the local men not only to eat,  but also to court ask her.  Her strong will and sassy ways finds her always refusing them, but when Adam visits the inn for a meal, she falls in love with him the moment she sees him and, after a short conversation,  agrees to marry him, despite the town parson's advice against it.  So, they get married the very same day and leave for the Pontipee farm in the mountains.


Her dreams of having her own home and cooking for just one man instead of the hoards at the inn are soon shattered when, upon arriving at the farm, she discovers for the first time,  that Adam has six younger brothers, all of whom live there and all of whom are uncouth and unkempt.


After a rocky start, Milly takes charge of the unruly family,  teaching them some of the social graces which will enable them to behave properly in public and even get themselves wives of their own. Things seem to be going well and on the brothers' first social outing to the annual festival in town, they fall in love with six of the most sort after town-girls, who are also quite taken with them.


When they return to the farm the brothers are all besotted and love sick much to Adam's amusement.  Fed up with their moping about,  Adam comes up with a  plan to kidnap the six girls and the parson and carry  them up to the farm where they can all get married - with unforeseen consequences not only for the brothers, but for Adam too who is faced with Milly's wrath at him having concocted such a stupid, insensitive and immoral plan -  they forgot to kidnap the parson !


After the whole winter snowed in with the girls during which time Milly has a baby and the girls all fall in love with the brothers,  the townsfolk get together a posse to rescue the girls from the evil clutches of the backwoodsmen and after much confusion, including the question as to who the new born baby belongs to, a mass shotgun wedding is conducted by the parson.


Various foods are mentioned throughout the film and we've chosen a dish which is mentioned near the beginning when Milly is on her way to her new home with Adam. When they stop to water the horses, Milly spies a huge patch of herbs and starts to pick some.


Milly:  "It's my wedding bouquet"

Adam  "Sorrel?"

Milly:  "Makes real nourishing soup "


Here's our version of what she may have had in mind.


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Sorrel and Potato Soup    Veg HT


Serves 4      Hot   Vegetarian  Soup

25g1oz Butter
225g/8oz Sorrel Leaves, shredded
100g/4oz Lettuce Leaves, shredded
1 small Onion, chopped
225g/8oz Potatoes, peeled and diced
1L/35fl.oz. Boiling Water
Salt and Pepper
6 tbsp Single Cream


1. Melt the butter in a large sauce pan then add the sorrel, lettuce, onions and potatoes and fry gently over a low heat for 10 minutes, stirring from time to time.

2. Add the boiling water to the pan, mix well and simmer for 10 minutes.


3. Allow the mixture to cool a little then transfer to a  liquidiser or food processor and process until smooth.

4.  Return the soup to the saucepan, season to taste with salt and pepper then bring back to simmering point.


5. Just before serving,  stir in the cream and serve immediately.



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