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!