The next cinematic installment of Diana Prince’s story, Wonder Woman 1984, is out! And I admittedly created this recipe before its release. While we will go into my Wonder Woman-inspired dish for Themyscrian Potato Skins, I figured I would take this time to review the film.
Click here to skip to the recipe for Themysciran Potato Skins.
Wonder Woman 1984
My consensus of Wonder Woman 1984 is that it had a great message but poor execution. We learn through one of Diana’s Themysciran flashbacks — where she competes against the Amazons as a child and is caught cheating — that truth is the theme, and upholding it is its thesis.
And what better time to struggle with the notion of honesty than the American 1980s? We see an era that moralizes through artificiality, fights through subterfuge, and governs through marketing. Each one of the characters has their own version of why they would want to live a lie — and it seems very predicated on what the hyper-capitalistic era espouses as “the ideal life.”
With Diana, it’s the insecurity of being outside the romantic and family ideal. With Max and Barbara, it’s the insecurity of being a loser. One grows up outside of the ideal of financial privilege, the other grows up outside the ideal of social privilege.
The execution needs polish– a lot of it. But the message is there: the more of a lie you live, the more of a slave to that lie you will become. Freedom comes with one’s recognition and acceptance of the truth. Now granted, this doesn’t mean one shouldn’t strive for a better life. That’s where I think the film muddies it up in how it treats its villains. But dishonesty is just as destructive to one’s self as it to others.
I could go on about the dangers of toxic individualism and capitalism’s poisoning of society, but I think I’ve made my point. You’re hungry by now, huh? Let’s make some snacks.
Themysciran Happy Hour
This happens to my second Wonder Woman-inspired recipe, the first being a Feast of Five Lamb Crown Roast celebrating the Olympian goddess. Admittedly, I thought I’d do the same treatment regarding today’s dish. Having no idea what Wonder Woman 1984 was going to be about, I looked up popular menu items specifically from 1984.
Potato skins topped the list. I mean, Diana may live in Washington DC, but I figured she would still celebrate her divine ladies. So after a long day working as an anthropologist, reading ancient languages (which should not be any surprise because that’s her freaking job), she’s likely craving some Themysciran-style comfort food.
The five Olympian goddesses celebrated by the Amazons are Athena, Demeter, Artemis, Aphrodite, and Hestia, to reiterate from my last post. In Hellenic tradition, I will start with Hestia. All prayers to the gods start and end with Hestia, keeper of the hearth, and thus, society’s stability. Because pork is the traditional sacrifice, I will still maintain that she is the goddess of fire and bacon.
Next, we reference the wisdom learned through truth by honoring Athena by none other than her sacred tree, the olive. I specifically used Italian castelvetrano olives for their mild, buttery flavor.
I chose goat cheese, honey, and pomegranate as an offering to Aphrodite for love’s beauty and virtue. Goats and bees count themselves sacred in her favor, and rumor has it that she planted the first pomegranate tree.
Pomegranate also shares a patron in harvest goddess Demeter, whose daughter Persephone traded three seeds for three months in the Underworld. Demeter also takes crushed mint in wine as a sacrament — so that also went in the mix.
Finally, no Themysciran Amazon would leave out the huntress, Artemis, herself! True to her wild form, Diana’s namesake holds tree groves sacred — some of the more noted ones are walnut and bay laurel. So with that, I infused bay flavor into these spuds with a hot olive oil bath in the oven.
So light a cooking fire for the Five to get a start on your weekend. It may not have been your heart’s first desire. But this Themysciran take on 80s bar food comes deliciously close.
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I say potato. You say πατάτα.
Themysciran Potato Skins
Equipment: Oven, baking sheet with a rack, aluminum foil, and pastry brush.
- 4 medium russet potatoes
- 5 oz. goat cheese crumbles
- 2 and 1/2 Tb crushed walnuts
- 2 Tb fresh chopped mint plus more for garnish
- 1/2 cup plus 4 tsp olive oil
- 8 bay leaves6 strips cooked bacon, chopped
- 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
- 1/2 cup chopped castelveltrano olives
- honey for drizzling
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Pierce the potatoes’ skin several times with a fork before placing them directly on the top rack of your preheated oven. Bake for 50 minutes, then let cool on a cutting board.
- When cool enough to touch, slice the potatoes in half lengthwise. Scoop out all but a half-inch layer of flesh with a spoon. Set aside the mashed potatoes for another use.
- Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place the rack on top. Spray the rack with cooking spray, then place the potatoes skin-side up on the rack. Brush the skin with olive oil and season with kosher salt. Bake for 10 minutes.
- Remove pan from the oven and flip the potatoes cavity-side up with a pair of tongs. Brush with olive oil, season with kosher salt, and place a bay leaf into each potato. Pour a half teaspoon of olive over each bay leaf. Return the pan to the oven and bake another 10 minutes.
- While the potatoes cool, blend the bacon, goat cheese, and chopped mint in a bowl. Remove the bay leaves from the potatoes and fill the wells with the cheese mixture.
- Top the potato skins with pomegranate seeds, chopped olives and walnuts, and more mint leaves. Drizzle honey over the fillings before serving.