Today, our Best Picture Dinners progressive party moves close to my home: Oakland, where much of Moneyball, which stars Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, and Philip Seymour Hoffman, was filmed. The movie focuses on the Oakland A's 2002 season, when manager Billy Beane took the team on an incredible run using a then-unorthodox management style.
There's no question this menu has to be all about ballpark food. Three courses? No way. Eating at a game is casual, done while watching the players move around the field, and all about what you want to eat at the moment. You might have to juggle the food with your scorecard, if you're really serious about the game at hand.
We'll start with a homemade rendition of that Take Me Out to the Ballgame treat: Cracker Jacks. Sugar Pies offers up a quick and easy recipe: in 20 minutes, you've got a sweet and crunchy treat fresh from the oven.
You might want peanuts to go with your Cracker Jack, and the official baseball way of eating them is to crack them right out of the shell. If you're not a fan of the unshelled variety, though, you can make spiced roasted peanuts at home using this recipe from Grace in Full Measure.
Hot dogs are one of my traditional go-to foods at the ballpark. I love a jumbo beef frank with mustard and relish on topno ketchup, please. While I suppose one could make their own from scratch, it would be entirely acceptable to grab some pre-made ones (check your local butcher to see if you can get some without all the additives found in packaged hot dogs). But rather than buying commercial hot dog buns, how about making your own, thanks to this great tutorial from Foodie with Family?
While you're in a baking mood, bake up a batch of soft pretzels using this recipe from Meg in the Kitchen. A soft pretzel with yellow mustard is another of my favorite game-time treats.
When you're ready to wash down your food, there's no drink that goes better with baseball than beer. This is not a sport appropriate for an artisanally made cocktail, nor would I want it to be. But Oakland has lots of hometown spirit, so though you may not be able to get these beers without coming for a visit, I'm going to recommend them nonetheless. Both these breweries are in my neighborhood, in fact.
My first recommendation are the beers from Linden Street Brewery. Whether it's their Urban People's Common Lager (which would be perfect for a summer's day) or their Burning Oak Black Lager (which is a bit heavier, and maybe better suited for early- or late-season ball), you can't go wrong. I also recommend the Pacific Coast Killer Whale Stout from Pacific Coast Brewing Co..
What foods did Moneyball evoke for you? Share your movie-inspired thoughts in the comments below.
Image Credit: Columbia Pictures
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