I don’t want to bore you with the details of my time in exile, but I can confirm that there was one big name star that was reaching out to me each week in concern. And that was Academy Award winning multi-hyphenate Quentin Tarantino. As such, I knew he would be the perfect person to kick off this year’s Oscar Gold celebration. Particularly since he directed three of my friends – Margot, Brad and Leo – to nominations this year.
Quents and I have known each other since the ‘80s when we both guested in the same episode of The Golden Girls. Sensing each other’s talents, we were drawn to each other through the sea of Elvis-impersonating extras and became the fastest of friends.
The question has probably struck you – how have two talented writers, such as ourselves, never worked together? It is a combination of unbridled sexual tension – dat chin, yo – and the fact I prefer to act as his muse, rather than tip the balance of our current relationship.
Fun fact: I inspired the characters of Mia Wallace, The Bride, Elle Driver and Daisy Domergue. What can I say? I am a strong, independent woman.
As soon as I say Quentin, I collapsed in a heap, the emotion of seeing him, the director of my beloved Luke Perry’s final film, hitting me like a wave. He ran and scooped me up in his arms, carried me into his home and lay me next to him on the couch to discuss this year’s Oscar odds.
I may have been high on the smelling salts, but we kicked off talking about Best Director and without even thinking about the fact he was nominated, said that Bong Joon-ho would be robbed if he lost for Parasite. And Mendes likely beating him with 1917 may be deserving, but I’d still be heartbroken.
“I assume you’re fucking tipping me for Best Original Screenplay then,” he joked, bringing me back to earth.
“Yes, obvi. But that is a conversation for later in the week. You’ve got some other categories I’d like you to run with me!”
He agreed that Bong has International Film in the bag, despite Pedro being equally deserving for Pain and Glory. He thinks Documentary Feature will go to American Factory, while I am all in for The Cave. We agreed that Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl) should and will win Documentary Short, Film Editing will go to Ford v Ferrari as it is the most technical and Visual Effects should go to Avengers: Endgame but will likely get swept up in a 1917 sweep.
With the formalities out of the way, I acted weak again to distract from my earlier faux pas. And so that I could enjoy being hand fed Quentin Maraschino Cherries by their namesake.
Some people say that maraschinos are a garnish. A sticky sweet morsel of magic to heighten a cocktail or dessert. But to Quents and I, they’re not a snack. They’re the whole damn meal in and of themselves. And once you make your own, you’ll never go back.
Quentin Maraschino Cherries
Serves: 2 talented friends with palpable sexual chemistry.
1kg sweet cherries, pitted
11 cups water
1 tbsp pickling salt
4 1/2 cups raw caster sugar
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1/4 tsp red food colouring
30ml almond extract
Bring 8 cups of water and pickling salt to a boil in a large pot, and cook until the salt is dissolved. Remove from heat to cool for about fifteen minutes. Stir in the sweet cherries, cover and leave to brine overnight.
The next morning, bright eyed and bushy tailed, drain the cherries and rinse under cold water for a couple of minutes. Set aside.
Meanwhile combine the remaining water, with the sugar, juice and zest of the lemon and food colouring in a large pot and cook, stirring, for five minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in cherries and almond extract, cover and leave another 24 hours.
The next day when Quentin questions whether the recipe really takes this long or whether you’re just using it as a ploy for sleepovers, pour cherries and juice into hot, sterilized jars and leave in a cool, dark place.
Or devour, instantly. You know the drill.