One of the saddest parts of Pinocchio is that Geppetto made a huge mouthwatering feast that no one got to eat!
The Fish Figaro Failed to Eat
So as it goes, Pinocchio gets turned into a living puppet that’s a little less creepy than RL Stine’s Night of the Living Dummy. Geppetto is ecstatic to have a son, so he takes it slow and kinda gets him familiar with the world around him, right? Wrong. The next day, he gives him a juicy apple and sends him off to school, just in time to be picked up by a sly fox and his cat sidekick.
Luckily, Jiminy shows up in time to tell Pinocchio that he should not be an actor and should go to school (sounds exactly like a conversation I had with my parents in high school). However, right after Jiminy tells Pinocchio not to go with the fox and cat, he turns face and goes with them. Talk about a block head. Fun fact—the cat (Gideon) that was with the fox was originally to be voiced by the famous voice-actor Mel Blanc, who also did Bugs Bunny and almost all the other Looney Toons. But all of his lines were cut, except for a couple hiccups.
Anyway, Geppetto is home cooking a fantastic feast to present to Pinocchio after his first day of school. I wonder how a puppet’s digestive system even works.
We got some chicken, some fruit, a yellow cake with chocolate frosting and a fish all cooked up for Figaro the cat. Figaro is about to go all in and rip apart that delicious fish, but Geppetto tells Figaro to wait until he finds Pinocchio.
And since Pinocchio was chilling with Stromboli the Gypsy at this time, there’s no telling if Figaro ever got to eat the yummy fish. But lucky for us, we got to taste it.
Bass is a common fish in Italy, so I got that kinda fish. We can see in the movie that there is lemon on the fish, some butter and some olives.
If Geppetto is half as good of cook as I am, Figaro really missed out, because the fish is delicious. It was a fun experience. I had never cooked a full fish before, let alone gutted one. So if anyone is like me and needs to know how to gut a fish, this link is really helpful.
|1 whole||Sea bass or White bass|
|Kosher salt to taste|
|2 teaspoons||Bay leaves|
|Lemon pepper seasoning to taste|
|10||Stuffed olives green|
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Line a sheet tray with aluminum foil.
- Gut the fish.
- Oil and salt fish inside and out.
- Stuff the fish with 3-4 lemon slices, 2 whole cloves garlic, some cherry tomatoes, and some olives.
- Add all herbs, inside and out.
- Add the rest of cherry tomatoes, olives, and lemon slices on top of or around the fish.
- Fold foil up to create a bowl around the fish.
- Bake for 35 minutes, or until the fish flakes.
A Cake Worth its Weight in Gold-fish
Man, how spoiled is Cleo. I guess you can’t blame Geppetto, she is a darling fish. I wonder how she felt as Figaro was about to devour her steaming uncle. Cleo the goldfish was given a beautiful yellow cake with a ribbon around it. Talk about presentation.
I think she would be about 3x her size if she ate that whole piece. If I were her, that’s a risk I would take.
We kinda cheated on this recipe due to time and budget restrictions. Although, just because we used a box cake mix, doesn’t mean that my wife can’t enhance it and make it absolutely savory.
Princess Cleo's Yellow Cake
|1 box||butter yellow cake mix|
|1 teaspoon||or more vanilla extract|
|1 1/2 carton||chocolate frosting|
- Make cake mix according to package directions with added milk and vanilla extract.
- Bake in 2 round cake pans according to cake package directions.
- Check with toothpick.
- Let cakes cool completely, then dump out onto plate or serving ware.
- Frost one cake top completely with a half carton frosting.
- Put the other cake on top, frost top and sides completely with 1 carton of frosting.
- Most importantly, enjoy!
The last thing that Geppetto made for his feast was a succulent chicken. I kinda took some liberty in making this because I’ve been wanting to try this recipe for chicken cooked in milk for a while. So I didn’t do my research and cook the chicken exactly like they would in Italy at that time. But who’s to say that Geppetto didn’t cook his chicken in milk. Cooking in milk makes the chicken really tender and moist.
Geppetto's Milk Chicken
|Black pepper ground|
|2 tablespoons||Olive oil|
|1 handful||Fresh sage|
|1 handful||Fresh fennel|
|1/2 teaspoon||Bay leaf|
|Lemon zest 2 lemons worth|
|2 1/2 cups||Milk|
- Preheat the oven to 375°F
- Find a snug-fitting pot for the chicken.
- Season it generously all over
- Fry it in a little olive oil, turning the chicken to get an even colour all over, until golden.
- Remove from the heat, put the chicken on a plate, and throw away the oil left in the pot. This will leave you with tasty sticky goodness at the bottom of the pan which will give you a lovely caramel flavour later on.
- Put your chicken back in the pot with the rest of the ingredients.
- Cook in the preheated oven for 1½ hours, covered.
- Baste with the cooking juice when you remember.
- The lemon zest will sort of split the milk, making a sauce which is absolutely fantastic.
- To serve, pull the meat off the bones and divide it onto your plates.
- Spoon over plenty of juice and the little curds. Serve with wilted spinach or greens and some mashed potato.
- Read more at www.jamieoliver.com
Stromboli’s French Bread
So the next meal we get to see is when Stromboli is thinking about how rich he’ll be with Pinocchio in his show. He has a platter of veggies, some spread, some sausage, cheese and some french bread. Why does he have French bread in Italy? Well he is a gypsy. Maybe he just came from France.
Anyway, during this time, he takes a bite out of an onion as if it were an apple.
I wouldn’t advise to do that, but if you so desire, chomp into an onion and eat this bread. You can find some sausage and cheese to go with it as well. This is a pretty simple bread recipe, perfect for a gypsy on the move.
Stromboli's French Bread
|2 1/2 cups||Warm water|
|2 tablespoons||Yeast (dry-active)|
|3 tablespoons||Vegetable oil|
|5 1/2 – 6 cups||Flour all-purpose|
- Add yeast to the water in a medium to large bowl, then sprinkle the sugar over top of it.
- Let it sit for about 5 minutes, until the yeast mixture looks frothy on top.
- Stir in salt, oil, and flour. Before continuing, put a bowl of water in the microwave and set it for 4-5 minutes.
- Return to bread and knead the dough until it’s smooth and comes away from the sides of the bowl easily.
- Continue to add flour if it’s sticky.
- Return to microwave and remove the bowl of water, discard (be careful, it’s hot).
- Put the dough in the microwave with the door closed for 15-30 minutes, until the dough is almost doubled in size.
- Next, remove the dough and divide into two equal balls. Roll out into rectangles, and then shape them into a bread shape.
- Place both loaves next to each other on lightly greased cookie sheet.
- With a sharp knife, make 3-4 diagonal slits in each loaf, cutting about halfway down.
- Cover and let rise while the oven heats to 375.
- Bake both loaves for 30-35 minutes, until golden brown.
Pleasure Island Pie
One of the last foods shown is in the infamous Pleasure Island. A quintessential fun-land for boys in the 40’s. If Pinocchio were remade for a modern day audience, it would be a bunch of Xboxes, Nintendos and Playstations running on giant screens and…maybe a bouncy castle, because what kid doesn’t like a bouncy castle. Even though the modern Pleasure Island would be different than the 40’s Pleasure Island, the food would be the same. We see Pinocchio walking around with a full pie and ice cream, and his friend Lampwick (what a funny name. Good ol’ Lampy. Always brings such light in our lives) with a full roasted chicken.
Since we already made chicken as part of Geppetto’s feast, we focused on the pie. It isn’t explicitly shown what kind of pie Pinocchio has, other than it has red filling. So after some research into common Italian berries, we went with the tried and true strawberry (which isn’t actually a true berry, but whatever). They also drink beer and smoke cigars later. But since I’m not in the business of letting little boys smoke and drink beer, I’m gonna skip those recipes.
Pleasure Island Pie
|1||Frozen pie crust|
|1/2 box||Betty Crocker pie mix|
|2 tablespoons & 2 teaspoons||Water|
|1 can||Strawberry pie filling|
- Pull out frozen pie crust, let thaw while working with other food.
- Mix the 1/2 box pie crust mix with 2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons water.
- Roll out on floured surface to 1/2-1/4 inch thickness, to cover a 9 inch round pie pan.
- Slice fresh strawberries and mix with sugar and 1 teaspoon water. P
- our pie filling into thawed pie crust, place fresh strawberry mixture on top.
- Cover with rolled out pie crust, mesh sides together all the way around the pie.
- Cut vents into top crust. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes, or until crust is golden-brown.
- Serve with pink ice cream and go break something.
I loved Geppetto’s feast. Pinocchio was crazy to have missed it. The fish was tender and had a great flavor. The cake was moist chocolatey and yup, I loved it. The only thing that was somewhat lacking was the chicken. I was saddened by that because I was so excited to try out that recipe. It definitely was tender, but I don’t think it was flavorful enough. So maybe when you cook it, you can add some more seasonings. Let me know if you improve the recipe.
Stromboli’s snack was good. I didn’t particularly enjoy eating an onion whole, maybe it’s an acquired taste. But the bread was fluffy and delicious.
I would go to Pleasure Island for the pie. It was scrumptious. I didn’t have any pink ice cream, just vanilla, so I added some of the pie filling to it. It turned out great and pink. Just be careful not to turn into a donkey.
Figaro’s Fish – 9/10
Cleo’s Cake – 10/10
Geppetto’s Chicken – 7/10
Stromboli’s French Bread – 7/10
Pleasure Island Pie – 8/10