One of the worst movies ever made was the 1999 film Deep Blue Sea, starring Samuel L. Jackson.
The premise is that a bunch of scientists are experimenting on sharks at an undersea lab in an effort to find a cure for Alzheimer's disease. The experiments lead to an elevation of the sharks' consciousness and intelligence... and they're pissed.
Samuel L. Jackson stars, with a supporting cast of... a lot of people you've never heard of.
And Samuel L. Jackson stars. I keep mentioning this because I'm sure that Mr. Jackson's salary accounted for an inordinately large proportion of the overall budget. Rather like the ground cardamom in the recipe for the Dimply Plum Cake. (I promise I'll have the Golden Child's college fund repaid by next semester.)
And like the cardamom, Samuel L. Jackson is responsible for the best moment of an otherwise forgettable film -- he is unexpectedly eaten by a shark. About thirty minutes into the movie. You're left looking at your watch wondering, "What else is there?"
Having another big name on the poster -- even a B-lister -- could have carried you contentedly through the rest of the film. Likewise, a nice sauce would have saved the pedestrian Dimply Plum Cake -- a sweet, buttery concoction to serve as the Edward Norton of dessert sauces.
Would Deep Blue Sea have been even worse without Samuel L. Jackson? Would the Dimply Plum Cake have suffered without the investment in cardamom? We'll never know. And I'm left trying to figure out how to incorporate cardamom into all of my cooking (reference next week's creme brulee), because by God, I'm going to get my money's worth.
(This week's recipe was selected by Michelle at Bake-n. It has gotten rave reviews from other bloggers... so maybe it's just me.)