Sunday, December 30, 2007

Roland Young's Rissoles

No need to look so worried Roland, we LOVED your rissoles. Left over turkey never tasted so good. It also gave Ginger the opportunity to crack her, "I'll be round like a rissole" joke.

Grace and I tucked into the rissoles with delicious caper & anchovy sauce whilst discussing our favourite subject - relationships. Heady from a night rolling around with Charlie Chaplin there was much to debate. We decided that we don't really know what we DO want from a man but we certainly know what we DON'T want.

Looks like we are both headed into the New Year with a clean slate. Or fairly clean slate - just a few penciled in possibilities, Charlie C for Grace and the artist, the cabbie and the social worker for me...

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Adolphe Menjou's Venetian Spiced Cheese version 3

Adolphe's spicy cheese is becoming quite a house speciality. Grace requested it for our Christmas shindig it so it was rustled up. How she manages to make two types of potato salad, some mackerel pate and a bundle of cheese & chorizo puffs in the same amount of time it takes me to mash up some cream cheese I will never know. However, when I overheared William saying, "these are the most delicious things ever" about my Venetian Cheese stuffed Pepperdews I was full of foolish pride.

It was party night at number 43 yesterday and it was a lovely festive occasion. Everyone did a party piece and much fun was had. I gave gifts of Bette Davis Mamalade to Myrna & William, the Stockabilly and Dick. Even though beautifully wrapped in tissue paper nobody was fooled. "Is it a jar of jam?" two of them asked immediately. Well yes, sort of...

The year is drawing to a close and to paraphrase Julian Maclaren-Ross it was a year I could have well done without. Well, the job stuff and the men stuff I could have done without. Everything else has been fabulous. Still, good things ahead in 2008. A new job from the 6th Jan and a clear slate man wise. Oh, apart from the cabbie who lives up the road...

Monday, November 26, 2007

Bette Davis' Marmalade

"Everybody has a heart. Except some people."

I spent most of the weekend crying and making marmalade. It wasn't the making of the marmalade that made me cry, it was, as usual a boy. A big cloud of woe hung over me whilst I stirred Bette's marmalade for about four hours and my melancholy mood spoiled the time I had with my parents which upset me more than anything.

When I got home I had a crying jag of Routemaster proportions and thanked the Lord for Grace and Ginger who got me through it just before guests arrived for dinner. I scrubbed up a bit and when I arrived all wobbly in the dining room the charming Stockabilly announced with a big smile, "You look very glamorous". I said, "I'm wearing lots of make-up because I've been crying over a boy", and gentleman that he is, he immediately opened up his big strong arms and gave me a huge bear hug. I'm a lucky, lucky girl to have such lovely friends who care about me.

My last blog entry about being well and truly single must have sent some kind of ripple out into the ether because a cage rattler sent me a disconcerting text involving the L word. The magic of the mixed message precipitated what my Alexander Technique teacher would call an "emotional gust" which blew me off kilter. However, changing the habit of a lifetime, this morning I called a halt to the nonsense that's been going on instead of just putting up with it. I would rather be a spinster for the rest of my life than feel like this on a regular basis.

Grace and I had some marmalade on toast for breakfast this morning and it was scrumptious. All that stirring and stirring and stirring and testing and testing and testing was worth it. It was also worth it for hearing my mother swear - only the second time I can recall this ever happening. When she saw how much sugar I was going to put into the huge preserving pan she said, "Christ!" which made me laugh a LOT.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Adolphe Menjou's Venetian Spiced Cheese version 2

There has been much hilarity this week with all kinds of high jinx. Myrna and William came over for a Strictly Come Dancing dinner and we had another batch of Adolphe's spicy cheese. It was very much enjoyed and I liked Myrna's observation that he was "probably the last person ever to be christened Adolphe".

Other japes have included smuggling in the military man to a Blockheads gig and a night out with Rita which had me laughing like a drain as she ran the length of Marylebone station in an attempt to catch a soon departing train, legs akimbo and arms dangling around.

It is a weird but good feeling to be completely man free for the first time in about 10 years. I am waiting on nobody...

Monday, November 12, 2007

Adolphe Menjou's Venetian Spiced Cheese

"It was my mustache that landed jobs for me.
In those silent-film days it was the mark of a villain."

If only you could tell these days if a man were a villain by whether or not he wears a moustache. There seem to be a few villains around at the moment posing as nice people...

Anyhow, those Rolling Stones boys sure enjoyed the Sunday lunch we whipped up for them. Ginger cooked up two delicious chickens with all the trimmings and Grace made two beautiful Pavlovas so there was no need for a trifle. Instead I made Adolph's spicy cheese which we had on crackers with our pre-dinner glass of bubbly. Lee Van Cleef liked the delayed reaction of the paprika and I liked him. He said, and I quote, "The delight of the initial taste of the Venetian Spiced Cheese is further excited by the after tang of the what-have-you." A drummer with eloquence...

Ginger proclaimed it to be "blooming marvellous" and now I'll have to wait for her to find out if Mr Van Cleef is interested in seeing me again. A matchmaker put me and Charley together so maybe her plan will work...

As for the New Zealander, he was a no show on Saturday night at White Mischief and not a peep out of him to say why he didn't take up his guest list spot. Rosalind and I have always considered the New Zealand male to be the nicest but as she announced with some venom, he has single handedly brought the whole country into disrepute!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Pola Negri's Banana Trifle

"Yes, I was correctly quoted in saying I introduced sex into films in the 20's,
but it was sex in good taste and left a great deal to one's imagination."

I am going to invoke the spirit of Pola when those Rolling Stone hunks come round to dinner on Sunday, I just cannot WAIT. And Rosalind will no doubt be pleased to hear that I am planning a trifle for the occasion.

The cooking has gone on the back burner with much DJing activity around the place and my new venture into Roller Derby. There is no time to eat, let alone cook. But roll on Sunday Rrrrrrollergirls, a trifle will be created.

Ah, the pleasures of a Monday afternoon "working from home". Columbo is on and it is the "Requiem for a Falling Star" episode which features the magnificent Anne Baxter as the villain. Look at that OUTFIT! She is a DIVA.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Joan Bennett's Baked Salmon

"If only Vivien Leigh had stayed in England,
that part would have been mine."

Hmm. I presume Joan is talking about Vivien's role in Gone With The Wind there. Intriguing. Can't imagine Joan in that part.

Well, bouncing up and down to the Kaiser Chiefs on Friday seems to have dislodged the feeling sorry for myself molecules. I'm still planning to download Nick Cave singing, "Nobody's Baby Now" just in case I need it though. I have reprogrammed my phone so that the screensaver has the floating message, "NOBODY CALLED!" which makes me laugh everytime I see it.

I am turning my energy to the writing and a strong streak of fiction scribbling has appeared out of nowhere. I guess all the energy I have been putting into men is being redirected. Good. A sea change.

Joan's Salmon was kind of weird. I did a veggie version for Paulette which was probably nicer than the bacon infused version myself and Ivor waded through. The beetroot, goats cheese and lentil salad was much nicer.

I apologise for recent confusion between Warner Baxter and George Bancroft - the brain has been boy addled.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

George Bancroft's Luscious Savory Beef Stew

A very SNAZZY picture of George that I didn't see yesterday when I looked...

It is very late (past midnight) and I am very drunk (2 pints and approximately 1 bottle of red) so this will be short. The Stew was a hit and Charley said, "Good staight ahead vittles" which is obviously a compliment (especially as he had seconds).

It is always lovely to see Charley and I hereby apologise publically for upsetting him in a previous blog entry, All of this blog activity is merely an aide memoire to the things I have cooked, the friends I have shared them with and the men I have loved and lost… Ha ha!

I hereby decide to focus on things like the forthcoming SWAPARAMA, the chance of doing my Pavlov's Dog style Kaiser Chief's dance on Friday and the fact that Elvis (the cat with a bad foot I am looking after) is lapping up the George Baxter leftovers as I type...

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

George Bancroft's Luscious Savory Beef Stew

"In nine times out of ten, the slanderous tongue belongs to a disappointed person."

Well that's about the size of it. I am a disappointed person. Still, it's only Tuesday... I have recovered my equilibrium somewhat and am looking forward to cooking up a feast for Charley tomorrow and seeing what he has to say about it all. If I get the afternoon off work it will be George Bancroft's Beef Stew which takes about 3 hours to cook. If not, it will be Joan Bennett's Baked Salmon.

I can hardly be moody about it tonight with Desmond on the radio followed by an Al Bowlly documentary on BBC4... Anyhow, my luck is changing. First of all a man in the street said, "NICE LEGS" to me this morning (admittedly I had remarked upon the fact he was dancing in the street by saying, "NICE MOVES") and then later I got a text from the lovely BBC telling me I had won two tickets to go and see the Kaiser Chiefs on Friday night.

Na na na na naaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Joan Blondell's Sunday Night Special

I've been holding a candle for a man named Joe for about two years and last week he announced totally out of the blue that he'd broken off his engagement and wanted to see me for a drink on Friday night. I hardly dared imagine that it might be a date and just assumed that as usual he would counsel me on my turbulent lovelife. After many dirty martinis at the Hungry Bear we ended up in bed.

After a night of much passion he left in the morning telling me once more how "hot" I was and saying he'd phone me later "just to say hi". As Rosalind would say, "manners!" She said that he has always been her favourite (even though she has never met him) as he has always been a shining example of a man who is emotionally intelligent and nice to women.

But what does "later" mean? I behaved like Briget Jones all day yesterday and most of today waiting for a call and there has been tumbleweed. I decided that I was only going to think about it until noon then go out for a "meat cure" and when my expensive Sunday roast turned up and it was cold I CRIED. Right in the middle of the pub. Oh for goodness sake.

So now I am settled in for the afternoon to watch Gone With the Wind with a few beers and then later if I can drag myself out of the funk I will cook Joan Blondell's Sunday Night Special.

I do NOT understand. Perhaps I should just turn myself into a HORNET like Scarlett O'Hara.

Ooh, there he is. Clark Gable at the bottom of the stairs. That's cheered me up.

Friday, October 05, 2007

David Niven's My Man Godfrey Cocktail

"I have a face that is a cross between two pounds of halibut
and an explosion in an old clothes closet."

I don't usually write about things I haven't made myself but I must just mention the marvellous "My Man Godfrey" cocktail served in the 5th floor bar of Waterstones, Piccadilly.

On Tuesday I was attending a "spiv" night with readings by the seriously handsome stockabilly. I decided to fortify myself with a cocktail to fend off a possible swooning fit and the first thing I spotted on the menu was a Niven themed number which seemed wholly apt. The waitress poured it at my table with an expert vermouth swirling technique and a chunk of lemon rind squashed around the rim of the glass. Scrumptious.

I have to confess that I had two more after the show and was so squiffy I lost my nice umbrella somewhere on the way home. By way of a contrast, the following night I found myself at a late night drinking session at a tattoo parlour... I wonder how a tattoo of a martini glass would look?

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Ann Sheridan's Chili Casserole

What do you see for me in your crystal ball Ann? Several days of waiting for The Artist to call me on the phone I expect...

I remembered that Ann's Chili Casserole needed testing for the book so we had that last night and the ladies liked it. We almost polished it off between the three of us and we all liked the flavour imparted by the cloves. I had to make a minor modification to the recipe though. I went up to my local corner shop and asked the nice man if he had any celery. "Stella - yes!" he said, pointing to the beer fridge. "No," I said, "celery, it's a vegetable". He just shook his head and said, "Stella?" again so I used a leek instead.

Mind you, it was an easy mistake to make on his part. I am far more likely to be in that corner shop buying beer than vegetables these days...

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Richard Arlen's Chili Con Carne

Well would you believe it? The very DAY after I spend the weekend canoodling with a new squeeze WHO should phone out of the blue to "see how I am" but the chaw-bacon. He must be finely attuned to the vibrations throughout the ether of an ex girlfriend finally putting a nail in the coffin.

Tonight I shall make the ladies a Chili Con Carne - from memory the one proposed by Richard Arlen was the best so far so I shall hunt down that recipe and remake it. Turning quite chilly in the UK and the nights are drawing in so it is a time for stews, casseroles, hot pots and chilis.

Onwards and upwards those cosy nights in wearing the house pyjamas.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Joan Blondell's Onion Soup

“I don't know what the secret to longevity as an actress is. It's more than talent and beauty. Maybe it's the audience seeing itself in you.”

Another winnner from my favourite of all the stars. I rustled it up for Grace and Ginger exactly as per Joan's recipe. My little copyright buster was to cut the toasted stale bread into a little circle with a pastry cutter before sprinkling on the parmesan. What a treat to find a soggy cheesy bit of bread at the bottom of your soup eh?

I must admit though when I returned to the house after watching a most entertaining independent film about Walthamstow Market it was like something out of an Emile Zola novel in there. The smell of onions was mighty strong throughout number 43. This morning in the shower it was coming out of my big old mop of hair too. Still, I amused myself by having a crack at singing, "The world is just a great big onion..." and now I am hopeful that I smell a bit nicer.
Things are afoot in the love life thank goodness.

The Artist seems to be on the verge of making a date for me to pose for him. He will be inspecting my head for bumps as he portrays everyone as a baldy. Should be fun.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Ida Lupino's Lemon Mousse

"My agent had once told me that he was going to make me the Janet Gaynor of England - I was going to play all the sweet roles."

I've been in a bit of a spin since my last entry. Just after I finished Marlene's delicious lamb chops and was just about to find out who won Big Brother the phone rang and a bombshell was dropped. I cannot reveal all the ins and outs of it here as it is sub judice but suffice to say I am just back from the Mortimer Market Centre and most definitely, for the first time in about 2 and a half years 100% single.

Anyhow, life goes on and one has to eat. I hereby give a public vote of thanks to Paulette who, completely understanding the tizz I get myself into when cooking for more than 2 other people rustled up some of Ida's mousse for the book group. It was, as usually totally delicious and at least I know that one recipe translated into English measurements actually works.

Much industry on the book proposal and sorting out my love life and not enough time cooking. Still, Joan Blondell's French Onion Soup is on the cards for tonight. Tres bien.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Marlene Dietrich's Lamb Chops en Casserole For One

"Glamour is what I sell, it's my stock in trade."

Ahhhhhhh. My 3 week writing retreat in Crouch End is almost at an end. There's a cat on the stairs, the sprinkler is on in the garden, my massive foot is elevated and propped up on a cushion, there's a Marlene Dietrich casserole in the oven and it is the final night of Big Brother 8. Hence, I am having a big night in with me, myself and I and a "6 for £5" bunch of beers.

All is well in Silver Screen Suppers world.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Gloria Swanson's Butterless Devil's Food Cake

"Hollywood abounded with driven creatures endlessly looking for solace
or compensation in alcohol, drugs, and sex."

Well after the weekend I've just had the same could be said of North London Gloria.

I am still reeling from Nazimova's party, I was so out of control my ears are still ringing...

Still, to the cooking. To celebrate the birthday of Rosalind’s beau Jimmy I made some cup cakes using Gloria Swanson’s Butterless Devil’s Food Cake recipe. The butter icing I made to go on top probably ruined the health benefits of a cake made with super high quality Green & Black’s plain chocolate and no butter, but they were pretty delicious anyhow.

Gloria was somewhat of a health freak in her day. Very interested in a macrobiotic style diet and wholefoods in general she was. I wouldn’t be surprised if she is the secret star for whom the Hollywood 12 day diet was conceived.

After my trauma over Charley’s new girlfriend I managed to knock 5 years off Jimmy’s life by decorating his birthday cakes with the number 30. At least I didn’t add 5 years on…

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Greta Garbo's Swedish Meatballs x 2

"Gif me a visky, ginger ale on the side. And don't be stingy, baby."

Maybe if I hadn’t drunk so much I wouldn’t have ended up wailing and howling late into the night then waking up surrounded by piles of snotty tissues.

Charley came over for meatballs and in conversation mentioned that his new girlfriend was 14 years younger than me. Gadzooks. There aint no words of wisdom from Greta that are going to help with that.

Maybe a mantra though… "I want peace and peace I will have."

I keeled over in the library today – a humdinger of a fall which brought five people running to help me up. I decided to go home and watch an afternoon movie to get over it. Luckily “The Man Who Came to Dinner” is on and I can sympathise with Monty Woolley being wheeled around in a bath chair after falling down some steps. Out of the corner of my eye I am watching my ankle swell up to the size of a football.

The hats in this movie are gorgeous. I want a little skating hat with a pom-pom on top.

Charley’s verdict on the meatballs? Too many cornflakes, not enough meat.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Oliver Hardy's Spaghetti With Tomato Sauce

"We never see ourselves as others see us."

After a week of insane bills being run up on ebay by my internet hacker I settled down to Oliver Hardy's Spaghetti with Grace to try and forget about it all for a few minutes. We decided it was quite an apt dinner for such a bon viveur and found it easy to imagine Mr Hardy tucking a big white napkin into his bow tie to catch the spaghetti sauce splashes.

Charley was a bit peeved when I spoke to him on the phone and I revealed what I had been eating. I was supposed to cook this for HIM, as he is a Son of the Desert and all that. Well I'll have another go sometime and he can try and educate me once more into why Laurel and Hardy make so many boys so very happy.

How many women are fans?

Friday, August 03, 2007

William Powell's Beets Piquant

“I highly recommend worrying. It is much more effective than dieting.”

Well the worrying is over for Ginger. She exploded into the house yesterday evening with the fabulous news that she has scored a great new job with S&S. Yippee. We celebrated with a bowl of Beets Piquant and a glass of champagne. A very nice combination. We agreed that a big hairy steak and a healthy green salad might go down well with the beets for a big meal but Ginger was off to meet the in-laws for a family dinner and I was off to the Cafe de Paris for an industry party.

As I got purple beetroot juice all over my hands, the kitchen floor and the kettle I had a mini daydream about meeting a handsome new man at the party. Radio 2 broke my mood though as just as I started thinking about it they played a song with a chorus along the lines of, "You came on your own, and that's how you'll leave". And of course it was exactly thus...

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Janet Gaynor Ice Box Cookies

Deep in the depths of the magical New Forest another batch of JGIBCs were cooked up. Early in the morning before most of my fellow writers began shuffling into the enormous kitchen for their herbal teas and barley cups I sliced and baked whilst in my kimono and slippers.

These were gluten free versions and although more crumbly than usual they were a nice mid morning snack sitting beside the fountain with the fish beneath our feet as we tried to write a surrealist poem. What a lovely way to get away from the hurly burly...

Monday, July 16, 2007

Joan Blondell's Peach and Cherry Compote

"In the 20s, you were a face. And that was enough. In the 30s, you also had to be a voice.
And your voice had to match your face, if you can imagine that."

Well, my favourite star of all came up with another winner. Even though this dish included an alarming amount of icing sugar and MARSHMALLOWS it wasn't as sugary sweet as expected and with a nice chunk of Green and Black's Vanilla ice-cream was a perfect end to a perfect Sunday lunch.

Can't believe that my Silver Screen Suppers Sister of the Skillet has already gone back to Texas. Not long enough! We had a great 5 days brainstorming on the project but the glamorous globetrotter had to go back to the homestead. We are planning our Texas Film Round Up trip already and are aiming to cook each of our 26 star recipes at least once by the end of August. Yippe-io!

Jean Harlow's Celery a la Shrimp

"She didn't want to be famous. She wanted to be happy."

So said Clark Gable...

Poor Jean - only 26 when she died. Lots of people were madly in love with her - including William Powell it is rumoured.

We liked her crispy shrimpy celery. We had a "taste test" involving stuffed celery to Jean's recipe and some modified with style by Ruth. Admittedly the modified version was more suited to the modern palate but we did like the subtle pinky green hue of Jean's original.

Cary and William were over for lunch and much discussion was had as to whether a sprinkling of paprika or cayenne pepper would perk it up. We may have to include a health warning though that inhalation of cayenne can cause a choking fit that might amuse other diners but isn't much fun to the pepper throated cougher.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Dorothy Dare's Flora Macaroons

As Doris observed, it looks like Dorothy Dare is WEARING her Flora Macaroons in this frock...

Much fun in the kitchen while these were being made and the resulting propped and styled photographs were as pretty as a picture. We don't know why they are called "Flora" Macaroons but this title led Doris into taking on the persona of Flora Macdonald in a tartan throw. We made her take off her head torch for the photos.

The Macaroons were very tasty indeed but the recipe needed a bit of modification. Also, where does one buy rice paper these days?

Anna Sten's Coffee Parfait

In a country kitchen in Devon with a whirlwind of cooking activity going on around me I attempted another version of the Coffee Parfait, this time from the pen of the actress Gary Cooper referred to as "Anna Stench". The fact that I was on a cookery writing course surrounded by PROPER cooks only added to my shame when the cream curdled and the resulting Parfait looked more like runny beige cottage cheese. Not a dish with the "gosh" factor the food editors are looking for by any means.

Doris Day came to the rescue with her excellent solution of heating the milky mess and adding some egg yolks and sherry thus turning what could have been a disaster into a Baileys-esque after dinner tipple for fifteen.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Margaret Sullavan's Peanut Butter Hermits

"Most actors are basically neurotic people. Terribly, terribly unhappy.
That's one of the reasons they become actors."

Well there is a word of warning for myself and Grace. Might help prevent a cat scrap over the handsome new rockabilly...

Margaret's recipe stated that there would be enough cookie dough for "eighteen Hermits" and so there was. I packed some up for Ginger to take to a family lunch where they were a great success. Both Clark and Betty declared them to be delicious and Betty said that she would eat a lot of more of them if she wasn’t trying to lose a stone by next Sunday. Cyd is worried about her hips but nonetheless enjoyed them. I know what they are saying now I have just eaten one for breakfast. The calorific content of just one Hermit is probably equivalent to a big fry up.

I took most of the rest of the Hermits up to Penny at the shop. I was musing over why they were called Peanut Butter Hermits and she decided that it was because they were designed for people who lived alone and ate a lot of peanut butter.

Well I DO eat a lot of peanut butter, but by Jove I don't live alone. Thank heavens for my wonderful housemates. We are having a barrel of fun in the Stowe and on Friday night went to a rocking Grease themed party where I won second prize for my prom frock outfit. Later I learned some legs akimbo rock chick air guitar moves from Grace who was sporting a remarkable pair of electric blue skin tight Sandy pants. Ha ha. It's a great life.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Sonja Henie's Scandinavian Cookies

“Jewelry takes people's minds off your wrinkles.”

Ha ha! That's my favourite Silver Screen Supper quote so far. LOVE IT.

Like Sonja herself these were cute, cute, cute. Easy to make but they look impressive with their little dents filled with blackcurrant jam.

The MS Cake Break day was a roaring success. I raised almost £150 thanks to the generosity of my workmates. I was in the office kitchen all day with my pinny on cooking these, Fred MacMurray Chocolate Fudge Upside Down Cake and Anna May Wong Teacakes which I attempted to ice so they looked more like cupcakes. HOW do people make cupcakes that are flat on the top? I guess they use plain flour rather than self-raising. All mine had very pleasing mounds on top which resisted butter icing but so be it!

Verdict on Sonja's Cookies from her big fan Phil? "Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!"

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Fred MacMurray's Chocolate Fudge Upside Down Cake

"Suppose I bust out crying and put my head on your shoulder."

I'd give you a cuddle Fred.

It is the first post using my swanky new MacBook computer. I was seduced by the marketing campaigns but it sure is perty.

In advance of the MS Cake Break Day I made one of Fred's chocolate cakes for the girls. Luckily two hungry men turned up out of the blue to assist in its consumption because it was a great big lump of seriously heavy duty chocolate cake. I was most impressed by the way it turned out as it involved a weird process involving pouring cups of boiling water over the mixture. Bizzare but it worked.

Larry and Bogart sat on the sofa and chuckled away to themselves at the ways of the ladies in the Tri-Delta Sorority House. It seems to give them endless amusement and they made us laugh very loudly with their impressions and gags. There was much SHUSHING done when it was feared that an impression of Mr Pizzeria and his wife might be heard through the walls by them themselves next door.

Larry proclaimed of the cake, "Very ding dong!"

I shall make another today.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Gary Cooper Griddle Cakes x 3

“My wife said she'd help young people, ... That's what I'd do.
Help young people,
then buy a big motor home and get out of town.”

Had a lovely time with the Panther this weekend, he was making me laugh a lot. Even when his car got towed away he kept his sense of humour. I fed him Super Cooper Griddle Cakes and the Aunt Jemima Maple Syrup provoked a wry grin.

We got to discussing the Round 2 of our relationship when I felt he was standing me up left right and centre. He denied all of this and I said, "Well I've got it written down... because I'm a writer". He laughed and said, "NO, you've got it written down because you are a WOMAN!

Well yes of course! And indeed I am the kind of woman who enjoys, as he puts it, "donning the pinks and tottering around on high heels" and a lot of that is going on this week. I haven't had a glass out of my hand for days.

It seems that I am also the kind of woman that SCREAMS and jumps around when a mouse runs over her foot. Ginger and I had a fun half an hour yesterday standing on chairs holding on to our skirts as a mouse called "Gordon the Love Rat" terrorised us in our own kitchen. Humane traps have been purchased...

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Alan Ladd's Hamburger Rodeo

"We got potato soup and mutton week after week at home.
I still turn green when lamb is served. "

Charley came round for dinner last night and because of his passion for the FRANKFURTER I made Alan Ladd's Hamburger Rodeo. What a strange dish that is. Not to mention the fat content - you have to slice the frankfurter's in half then fry them in butter before smothering them in chili. Very bizarre.

Still, even though my local Asda didn't sell Charley's all time favourite HERTA Frankfurter's (cue impression of Frank Muir) he seemed to enjoy his dinner saying, "you can't complain about a Frankfurter".

It was lovely to see his big old beared face on the pillow this morning...

Louise Brooks' Chicken Knickerbocker Supreme

“Most beautiful dumb girls think they are smart and get away with it, because other people, on the whole, aren't much smarter.”

Louise had to be the smartest of them all I think. I am loving "Lulu in Hollywood".

Thanks to Thomas Gladysz of the Louise Brooks Society I had a chance to make Louise's Chicken Knickerbocker Supreme for Ginger and Grace this week. Published in an obscure and defunkt Hollywood newspaper I had despaired of ever getting hold of a copy but Thomas came to the rescue.

Eaten during our first "house meeting" it was a very tasty accompaniment to talk of bill splitting, cleaning rotas, communal food and general house tidyness. The evening soon evolved into a gossip fest instead of the matter in hand though and we sunk so much red wine I cannot remember the judgement of my flatmates on Louise's dish. I will have to ask them for an appropriate quote...

Next morning as I flicked through a 1935 film star recipe book Grace saw a photograph of Gracie Allen and a discussion ensued about her sexuality. I am almost 100% certain that there were no other people in the whole of England sitting at their breakfast table discussing whether Gracie was more man than woman.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

More Bette Davis Hollywood Salad

“I will not retire while I've still got my legs and my make-up box."

Me neither doll.

William and Cary came over for tea and we polished off the Hollywood Salad for appetizers. Cary decided that the gherkins I placed on top of each salad smeared cracker would be "the copyright buster". Ha ha!

Much fun was had as the conversation turned to Ginger Rogers' tapioca extravaganza. I revealed that I'd been so amazed to find a whole 1930s tapioca cookbook on ebay that I'd got trigger happy and bought it. The fact that the book is entitled "Miss Dine About Town" was the clincher. Ginger wondered out loud how one could Dine About Town purely on tapioca then suggested perhaps there could be a chain of restaurants called Tapioca Hut.

A late night phone message from a beau of Grace boldly demanding she meet him for a drink provoked a celebratory bout of Scottish dancing - purely due to the fact he has a Scottish name. I can see that there are going to be plenty of high jinx round at number 43.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Bette Davies' Hollywood Salad

"I didn't forget your breakfast. I didn't bring your breakfast.
Because you didn't eat your din-din."

Bette is still coming up trumps with the recipes. There is just something GOOD about all of hers I think. And I do love the use of the term "din-din" - I'd forgotten all about that - my dad used to say it.

Her Hollywood Salad was weird but good. I must say that I have never eaten so many dates in my LIFE - what was it about dates in Hollywood in the 1930s - they all LOVED them. We had the salad stuffed into pepperdew peppers and popped on top of some Ritz crackers - very 1970s dinner party stylie.

And the verdict? As Ginger put it, "There's no need to apologise for THAT!"

Cliff Richard's Shepherd's Pie

"Celebrities meet a lot of people and we just can't maintain them all in our fuddled brains."

Some people might find it strange that Cliff features in the Silver Screen Suppers project. I justify it thus: firstly he is the patron saint of the Tri-Delta sorority house, secondly I have a lovely photograph of him with a gramophone, thirdly his 1958 hit MOVE IT rocks, fourthly have you seen EXPRESSO BONGO?

The folk who came round to dinner last night seemed to think his Shepherd’s Pie was a winner. Mind you, Rosalind is going to blow a gasket when she finds out that his recipe specifies BEEF and not lamb. That will REALLY mint her peas…

Mary Pickford's Strawberry Shortcake

"The past cannot be changed. The future is yet in your power."

I have finally cracked open the box of Biscuick that Rosalind kindly lugged all the way back from the USofA for me. I have two lovely 1930s recipe books for the weirdness that is Biscuick and so I wanted to try some using the real McCoy. Mary's little Shortcakes were very cute indeed. A visiting Paul Newman proclaimed them to be a hit, awarding them "100 out of 10".

Some that I overcooked made it into a Bank Holiday trifle too - I gave them a good old fashioned soaking of cheap sherry to soften up their crispy bits. Mmmm - soggy cake and custard.

Marion Davies' Rarebit a la Marion

"With me it was 5 per cent talent and 95 per cent publicity."

Grace and I awoke with the humdinger of all hangovers on Sunday morning after our singles night in the champagne bar of the Great Eastern Hotel. Grace had more success than I did - there was one incident of her encouraging a young man to take his T-shirt off I hear - as usual I only fancied the DJ. What is it about them I wonder...

Anyhow, we attempted to eat Marion's Rarebit in the garden wearing very dark sunglasses and sipping gingerly from cups of tea. Grace's verdict on the dish didn't really help with the digestion. She proclaimed that "it looks like VOM but tastes delicious". After I'd managed to calm my hysterical laughter and try and be sensible I dropped the pepper grinder right in my rarebit. This produced more hysterics which caused Grace to drop the top off the milk bottle into hers.

We went back to bed for an hour to recover.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Ginger Rogers' Date Butterscotch Pudding

"Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, except backwards and in high heels."

My sorority girls proved their mettle this morning when we shared Ginger's Butterscotch Pudding for breakfast. Who in their RIGHT MIND eats tapioca? When boiled with water it turns into frog spawn and when butter, sugar and dates are added it resembles anaemic caviar. Yeuch.

Grace proclaimed that it was "not very appealing" and Ginger's namesake composed a song:

Oh, that slimy tapicoa
It makes me want to choka
Or throw it at a bloka
Who's happened
To tiiick me off

When we should have been leaving to go to work we discussed how we could feed a whole pan of it to the chaw-bacon until his belly expanded into a big fat drum.

That would serve him right for not letting me have that Cliff 78rpm.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Zsa Zsa Gabor's Hungarian Chicken with Egg Dumplings

"Macho does not prove mucho."

I am insanely happy after finally moving into a room of my own in the Stowe. After two and a half years of being of no fixed abode I am at last installed in a fabulous 3 bed house with two housemates. It's like a sorority house in there - delta, delta, delta.

To inaugurate our new lives of fun and plenty I made Zsa Zsa's Hungarian Chicken on our first night in the house and it was devoured around the dining room table by the three of us and our handsome helpers. The dumplings were a bit weird but all in all it was pretty tasty.

On our first morning we sat in the garden with a massive plateful of Gary Cooper Griddle Cakes with what Ginger pronounced "the dog's of all maple syrup" - Aunt Jemima's.

It is going to be a great life!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Janet Gaynor's Ice Box Cookies

I am living the high life at a stayingcool apartment in Manchester. "Deluxe Meets Pop" in the Edge - blime. It is SO fabulous with swanky furniture, blobby wallpaper and shag pile rugs that you could lose a puppy in. It is a "Forty Bottles" event. Marilyn is in bed in full make up and a leopard print scarf "doing some work". This is the way of a modern entrepreneur. This is the life I want and I shall get it too!

Made a batch of Janet Gaynor's IBC to take to the London Book Fair earlier in the week. Rosalind and Jimmy set up a production line for putting groups of 5 into little cellophane packages with gold ribbons and tailor made labels. They looked ace. As a "sweetener" for potential publishers they seemed to do the trick. Smiles all round when I plopped the cookies on the bargaining table! I am ashamed to say that as I was making the cookies in a slightly inebriated state having an animated conversation with Edmund I forgot to add the vanilla essence. They still tasted good though.

What on earth was Janet thinking when she listed the quantity though? I got over 120 cookies out of that dough!

Maurice Chevalier's Brown Rhubarb Pie

MMMMMMMMmmmmmmmm! That was good. I made a rhubarb crumble with 6 sticks of rhubarb my mum plucked from the garden for me the other day. It was delicious.

It was a bit sad that there was nobody there to share it with me... I had it for my breakfast before going for a crazy day in the Stowe. This time next week I will be moving into my new abode. I have a feeling that there will soon be plenty of people around to sample the delights of the SS Suppers.

Ann Sheridan's Chili Casserole

It was lovely to share a massive casserole dish of Chili with Edmund. I expect in the silver screen days that dish would have served four people but we scoffed the lot accompaied by two bottles of red wine.

Edmund made me laugh really hard with his excellent advice on what to do with the chaw-bacon. After I did an impression of him with limp hand on brow giving out all the "woe is me, I am just too messed up to be with anyone at the moment" Edmund exclaimed, "SEND HIM BACK TO PLANET TRAGICALLY FLAWED".

Ha! Quite right. Because I am off to planet fabulous.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Marion Davies' Meadow Cheesecake

“Somebody told me I should put a pebble in my mouth to cure my stuttering.
Well, I tried it, and during a scene I swallowed the pebble. That was the end of that.”

I love Marion. I hereby resolve to get hold of some of her films on DVD. I miss her.

The Cheesecake was good except I think I should have put the cottage cheese through a seive. The lumps all sunk down to the bottom of the pie which made it look a little weird but it tasted fine. I'm going to have another go at it sometime.

The Panther had the tiniest slither - I think he is suspicious of things he doesn't cook himself. At least HE likes women. He has to. He is surrounded by them.

Bob Hope's Baked Ham With Cider

"There will always be an England, even if it's in Hollywood."

Bob came up trumps with his Baked Ham. I made it for Charley on Easter Sunday as it seemed like a lot of soaking and boiling and baking were involved so I needed a good run at it. Definitely worth it as we enjoyed it immensely sitting out in the garden in the sun.

I have to admit I was rather shocked by a conversation with Charley about his ex. I'm beginning to feel like men don't actually like women very much...

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Marlene Dietrich's Banana Nut Bread

"Once a woman has forgiven a man, she must not reheat his sins for breakfast."

Well, it looks like I have at last broken free from the Toxic Scot. It is over and hopefully this time for good. Feeling positive and full of energy, not sad and miserable. Must remember that there was good stuff, just not enough of it.

Some weird stuff started happening the day it actually ended. It seems that all the negative energy I've been expending on my lovelife has drained away to be replaced by good, good, good things on the book front. It feels like it is starting to happen...

Easter is here. The house is full of the smell of Marlene's delicious Banana Nut Bread and all is well with the world. Charley is coming for lunch tomorrow and the Panther on Monday. Yippeio.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Joan Blondell's Sunday Night Special

"It amazes me how some of these little numbers with dreamy looks and a dead pan are getting away with it. I'd hate to see them on stage with a dog act.”

I may have already used this classic quote from Joan however, it kind of fits my mood. Had a horrible day with the chaw-bacon yesterday where he not only gave me the big square cold shoulder but also flirted with a redhead whilst I was sitting right beside him. Methinks the time has come to well and truly get out of whatever it is that is STILL going on with him. Bearing in mind that this project started on the day after he dumped me and I am now almost a year down the line and still feeling like a teenager about it all I think I had better wake up and smell the ice box cookies.

I was planning to make myself Joan's Sunday Night Special in an attempt to cheer myself up but after being in tears all day Rosalind and Jimmy insisted on taking me out for "Meat Therapy" at Bodeans. It worked too. I felt better.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Janet Gaynor's Ice Box Cookies

We are back to Janet's Cookies. It is ten past midnight and I have just eaten one. Fact is, I was feeling like a GOOSEBERRY here at Rosalind's place. The politics of relationships are very, very complicated and methinks it really is time to ship out to the sorority house in Walthamstow STAT.

Fact number two is that Janet's Cookies by my estimation were made on Wednesday and frozen overnight. Cooked on Thursday. Bagged up and taken to New York on Friday. Taken on to Washington D.C. on Sunday. Put in my luggage which left D.C. on Monday and arrived in London on Tuesday. The Cookies taste just as good tonight as they did on Thursday fresh out of the oven.

This is the power of Silver Screen Suppers! All the memories of the Summit live on in those little scotchbread circles of wonderment.
Rock and roll Janet Gaynor!

Anna May Wong's Teacakes

"Every time your picture is taken, you lose a part of your soul."

I can hardly believe that this is a 1940s photograph of Anna - she looks so MODERN. And her cakes are so good. Rosalind and Jimmy both said so. Unfortunately they got a little squashed in transit from Washington D.C. but Rosalind is "planning a trifle".

Ronald Coleman's English Pot Pie

"A man usually falls in love with a woman who asks the kinds of questions he is able to answer."

Hm. That is worth a ponder Ronald. I liked your Pot Pie. Even though the first attempt at cooking the round steak ended in a very burned pan that boiling with vinegar and soaking with dishwasher powder could not remedy. I feel bad about that.

However, Ruth and I went to the GIANT supermarket and bought some more round steak. We planned it perfectly so that we could participate in the "RELAXING MOMENT" the in-store Starbucks was offering everyone. This turned out to be a free coffee without the kind of BONDING with locals I had been hoping for.

The second attempt was fine as I hovered beside the stove with a glass of NOVAKEG on hand. Ruth and I had a slice each and thought it very tasty. I'm going to have another go and make more gravy next time. We left two thirds of it in the freezer for Bill, H.L. and Letha (sp?) to sample and comment upon. Their verdict will be reported here in good time.

William Powell's Baked Artichokes

“Dessert is probably the most important stage of the meal, since it will be the last thing your guests remember before they pass out all over the table.”

What are artichokes FOR? And how do they WORK? It remains a mystery. Although we did come to the conclusion that the fiddliness of the baked artichokes with breadcrumbs and gruyere and not much to get your teeth into would be EXACTLY the kind of "amuse bouche" that William would have with his "mixed drinks".

Janet Gaynor's Ice Box Cookies

Turns out that Ruth is not only slightly camera shy but is also extremely blog shy. I am writing this for the record in the hope that at some point she will add stuff in, if not delete all this and rewrite it to her own specifications for it is SHE that made the Ice Box Cookies and not I.

I am returned to the UK with several hundred JGIB Cookies and several Anna May Wong's teacakes. All DELICIOUS. I am dishing them out to Rosalind and Jimmy tonight and hopefully Charley tomorrow and the Chaw-Bacon on Friday. Happy is the man or woman who gets an item baked by Ruth...