Monday, June 23, 2008

Dolores Del Rio's Enchiladas

Seemed only fitting to try a Mexican recipe whilst here in the Lone Star State. I only have three more days here and want to cry because I am loving it so much. Last night was a real film-fest night in the old school style as Ruth's chum William Haines came over for Enchiladas and the conversation was mostly about Joan and her Daughter Dearest. Love the fact that Joan fans are so polarised over who they believe on the issue of Joan's childrearing methods.

Saturday was just the best day here. Involved driving through an electrical storm, just missing the chance to get a free watermelon, jumping the queue at the Salt Lick, sitting on a blanket at the LBJ ranch watching True Grit under the stars, having my photo taken with the joint winners of the John Wayne Lookalike Contest and being swung around the dance floor at the legendary Broken Spoke. It just does not get any better than that in my opinion. Yeehah!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Jean Harlow's Hot Rolls

"Jean Harlow is in the back room, where Sylvia is giving her a spanking she’ll remember – to judge by the howls."

So begins Sylvia of Hollywood's 1931 expose "Hollywood Undressed", I knew I was in for a big treat as soon as I opened the cover and saw the original owner's stamp. "The Circulating Library of the Bungalow Dress Shop in Alhambra, California" - NATCH. Despite the fact the book purported to be written by Sylvia's secretary it was surely Sylvia herself attempting to avoid ANOTHER law suit by adopting an alter-ego. Mind you, would Sylvia refer to herself as "a midget viking"? Probably.

She spilled the beans on all of her clients. Marie Dressler (addicted to "near beer"), Jack Holt (wore bright purple silk underpants) Constance Bennett (bony backed), Ramon Novarro (sleeps in a coffin), Mae Murray (non-payer) etc. Fabulosa!

I was most pleased to hear that Sylvia advocates a high heel, she does not approve of flats. "A patient wearing low heels will not be admitted twice to Sylvia’s work-room. The boss prescribes the so-called Louis XV heel as the one best suited to the build and locomotive idiosyncrasies of the average female."

I must seek out some Louis XV heels.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Carole Lombard's Cherry Pie

“I live by a man's code, designed to fit a man's world, yet at the same time I never forget that
a woman's first job is to choose the right shade of lipstick.”

It was the night of the Carol(e)s last night as Ruth had a dinner party for 7 in tribute to Carol Channing with a little Lombard thrown in. We spent the day mucking about with the Sauerbraten and making a cherry pie and some salad. It was only after the pie was on the table we realised that we had commited a minor faux pas. I had made Loretta Young's Chiffonade Salad to accompany the main course. Someone brought up Clark Gable's affair and subsequent love child and Ruth and I felt bizarrely ashamed to have Loretta and Carole at the same table. Weird.

The dinner was a great success with much hilarity and tonnes of film related stories. The ginger-y beef was absolutely delicious - all hail the Texas Longhorn. The cherry pie was delightful and even the salad (containing beetroot, hard boiled eggs and gherkins) was appreciated. Although not by Ruth who on top of feeling that a banana taints everything, is not a fan of the beet.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Carol Channing's Sauerbraten


I knew we had a Carol Channing recipe somewhere and we intend to make this for our dinner on Sunday night. It involves a big lump of meat and some gingersnaps. Can't wait.

Happy to report that the Sylvia of Hollywood diet is going well. Despite the fact that Wholefoods only had GARLIC melba toasts I am so far sticking to the breakfast of these with honey on top and lunch of soup. Only one misdemeanor so far, I have ignored Sylvia's strict, "Liquor is out! Absolutely!" comment and had one Margarita. Well I AM in Texas after all. Oh, and although I have done the 20 minutes of arm swinging she prescribes each morning I have so far not done the one hour of evening two stepping. Perhaps I should seek myself out some kind of hoe-down to do some partner dancing rather than just jigging around in Ruth's "recreation room".

I am pleased with myself so far (my dinner host last night had a Margarita AND two glasses of wine) but I sure am hungry...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Sylvia of Hollywood's Diet

I am in Austin and it is the evening before I attempt a diet I found in a 1932 edition of Photoplay. The proponent of this diet is "Sylvia" - she doesn't give her surname but we are told, "She made motion picture stars beautiful and kept them trim. She can do the same for you." She tells it like it is, "The reason you're fat is because you eat your head off and don't take exercise". She uses encouraging phrases like, "Come on, darlings, be beautiful and lovely and attractive! You can if you will." and gives some exercises to do after tuning the radio "to a peppy band".

So I've decided to stop expanding and start reducing. I shall attempt to follow Sylvia's advice for two weeks and see how I get on. I shall report back on how it goes with nothing but melba toast and honey for breakfast...

Oh, the picture is not Sylvia by the way. It's Ruth Etting - the namesake of my sister of the skillet. Bizarrely enough Sylvia was married to Edward Leiter, an actor who only appeared in one film - his co-star was Ruth...

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Fred MacMurray's Egg Burger

I am in Ameriki! How fabulous. I am here with my sister of the skillet in La La Land after a riotous time at the Madonna Inn. The biggest jaw dropping moment was when we were having a Hollywood Martini in the bar and an elderly lady in a bright red pant suit was getting ready to give a show. Rosalind said, "That looks like Carol Channing" and what do you know, it was. She was giving a private show for Phyllis Madonna and we got to watch! Lots of fantastic moments including a superb impersonation of Sophie Tucker ("I not only lost the dice, I lost the stick man who went in after them") and some rather raunchy dancing for a lady who is 87 years of age. Ruthie and I went up for a chat when the show was over and had our photo taken with Carol. When we told her we were Film Archivists she told us a very bawdy story about Tallulah Bankhead. RASPBERRIES.

Today we are recovering from a night drinking Blood & Sand cocktails at the Dresden Rooms and a karaoke session at a crazy Thai bar called "Smog Cutter". Don't ask me what that means because I don't know. I gave a rendition of Joan Jett's "I Love Rock and Roll" with gusto. Our handsome host did some fast moves with the valet parking and before we knew it we were high in the Hollywood Hills with the most amazing view of the Hollywood sign. Ruthie's new beau (ha ha) recommended a diner called Fred 62 and lo and behold, on the menu was a Fred MacMurray Egg Burger. I had it - natch. I will have to find the entry that relates to the version Ruth made way back when in Delaware...