Thursday, August 31, 2006

Hattie McDonald's Chicken With Dumplings

"Why should I complain about making $700 a week playing a maid? If I didn't, I'd be making $7 a week being one."

I had a look through my recipes to see if I had any "Gone With The Wind" related ones and found a great article in a 1941 "Modern Screen" magazine that was all about Hattie McDonald's love of cooking. Hattie was so fab in the role of "Mammy" mumbling and grumbling about Scarlett's behaviour under her breath and ticking her off whilst yanking on her corset laces. The Panther informed me that she was the first black woman to win an Oscar - he knows his movie stuff does the Panther - and she deserved it too.

Having learned my lesson with both the trifle (around 7/8ths of it still in the fridge several days later) and ditto Yvonne's Salome Salad Dressing, I am going to save this recipe for an evening when I have enough people to share it with and then I shall put it on the recipe blog. There is a whole banquet of food in the article - Chicken With Dumplings, Corn Bread, Sweet Corn Pudding, Cranberry Jelly, McDaniel Dressing (ALSO includes a can of tomato soup...) and Cracker Cake. I would love to make all of these things and watch the film with a bunch of chums sometime. I will plan it once I am ensconsed in a permanent abode and have found out what the hey Graham Crackers are and where I can buy them.

For now though I wanted to record something else I found along the way to Hattie's recipes and that is a breakdown of how Constance Bennett spent her money in 1931. This was when Constance was at her peak and was probably the top earning female star in Hollywood. I am going to ask someone clever how I can work out what these amounts would be in today's money.


$15,000 for the upkeep of her homes

$15,000 for clothes

$10,000 for a vacation in Europe

$6,000 for servants

$5,000 for her automobile

$5,000 for pin money

In the article Constance explains that she has 4 servants including a cook - ha! I bet it was her cook that made the Spanish Chicken...

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