He hates these trees! Stay away from the trees!
I was lucky enough to catch Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter at our local drive-in this summer. When you live in the Land of Lincoln, you get kind of numb to all of the Lincoln stuff. I drive past Lincoln’s home all the time, i’ve rubbed the nose of the lucky bust at Oak Ridge plenty. So not only did I find this movie fun because of the action and normal, non-sparkly vampires, but because it renewed my interest in Abraham Lincoln and the time he spent here. I found out that his human cohorts in the movie are all real people, although their roles in his life are slightly tweaked to better fit the movie. Learin’!
The movie doesn’t try to alter the course of history, it simply interjects the idea that from early adulthood all the way up to his death, President Lincoln was also a vampire hunter. It all starts when he seeks revenge on the man who poisoned his mother (in actuality, Nancy Lincoln died from milk sickness, go vegan!) and discovers that he isn’t so easy to kill. And he has fangs and is really strong and whoa boy is he kind of a snarky dick about it. But luckily, Abe meets a guy who wants to train him. Yet you never see this dude kill vampires himself…curious. Anyway, all through moving to Springfield, meeting Mary Todd, and getting into politics, Abe is killin’ vampires left and right. There is killing, war, hijinks, fights on burning trains, and as we all know, eventually Mr. Lincoln is going to take a trip to the theater.
This movie was filmed in 3D, which I don’t like because when you’re at the drive-in you’re like, “God damn, these angles are annoying.” But there is lots of crazy good action and stunts, I half expected Milla Jovovich to pop out at the plantation and start shooting some bitches in the head. You wouldn’t think that Abraham Lincoln and the words ‘thrill ride’ go together, but they do! If you like action flicks but hate the dumbed down dialog, you will like this movie. It has received mixed reviews, but pfffft on what anyone but me thinks.
This is an indie flick so there aren’t any huge stars, but a few very familiar faces: Anthony Mackie (2Pac in Notorious, The Hurt Locker), Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Deathproof, Scott Pilgrim), Jimmi Simpson (Always Sunny, Breakout Kings), Marton Csokas (LotR trilogy), and some guy named Alan Tudyk who likes to play with dinosaur figures and talk like a pirate.
If you are going to watch one of the few movies that will ever feature Springfield, you have to eat our one local delicacy: The Horseshoe. I’ve posted about it before, but earlier this year the Illinois Times posted an article about the history of the horseshoe, how it’s changed over the years (now made mostly with gross frozen fries), and the original cheese sauce recipe. I tucked that away in my brain because if you look at the recipe (way down at the bottom), it’s so easy to veganize. So easy that i’m not going to pretend I ‘made’ the recipe by swapping, so here are some step-by-steps:
1. Acquire or make a loaf of white bread, bake if needed. Slice into toastable thickness. Hide the bread from the cat.
2. Slice some potatoes (also if you are doing veggies, those too), dice them, whatever shape you want, if you’re doing wedges I suggest baking over cooking in a pan. I sliced them into rounds that were thick enough so they wouldn’t come out like chips, just crispy on the outside and warm and soft on the inside. I also fried them in a cast iron pan.
3. While the potatoes are cooking, follow the recipe for the original cheese sauce with vegan subs (we used oil, almond milk, PBR, and a wedge of Daiya cheddar). You’ll spend a few minutes just poking the potatoes and stirring the sauce and singing to the dogs.
4. Now is the time to do your ‘meat’. It can be various veggies, a portobello cap, whatever fake meat or soy thing you desire. We used Upton’s seitan because they are Chicago-based (and it’s delicious), so I just waited for my potatoes to be done, moved them to a paper towel, drained the oil, and cooked the Upton’s in the cast iron.
5. Toast your bread.
6. Assemble! Lay 1-2 pieces of bread (ours was pretty small so we did two) down, pile with potatoes and your meaty stand-in, drown in cheesy cheese sauce. Dig in and remember to name your food baby after me.
Obviously this is not a healthy recipe. Lots of places do offer vegetable horseshoes (and you’ll notice that the one pictured in the article is vegetarian), so it’s possible to do it up right and get some veggies in, but you can’t make a fat-free horseshoe. To even try would be depressing. I’m just adding this as a disclaimer. And yes, it is RICH. The portion size of a modern horseshoe is so insane, way bigger than what Brian and I made, and I couldn’t finish mine. Also as a disclaimer, the cheese sauce does not look pretty as it cools down and congeals, so either eat it all ASAP or be prepared to hide your leftovers from the sight of anyone who will go, “EWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU EATING GROSS VEGAN”.
Dessert: If you have the room, you probably don’t have the desire to make anything fancy. Lucky for you, Mr. Lincoln wasn’t big on food and preferred simple desserts, like a plate of fruit and nuts. So microwave ‘baked’ apples sound pretty perfect for our Abe dessert.