Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Myrna Loy's Senegalaise Soup

“Life, is not a having and a getting,
but a being and a becoming.”

I'm going to ponder that over the next few days Myrna, what with the end of the decade fast approaching and resolutions to be made...

I had a go at Myrna's soup for the first time, simplicity itself and yummy too. I did prefer Nazimova's version but maybe that is because other people's cooking is always nicer than one's own. It's a good little recipe though and a definite for the book. Apples, onions, curry powder and chicken essentially. Mmmmm.

I'm busy, busy, busy this week. Trying to get a head start on my tax return before I head off to TEXAS. I am beside myself with excitement.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Roland Young's Rissoles

I'm as surprised as Roland is that the rissoles are not an annual tradition as I first thought. The last time I made them was the year before last and they didn't make an appearance in 2008. I am shocked!

I hereby pronounce them an annual tradition. The best, best, best way of making the most of the annual post Christmas food parcel. I chopped up the turkey slices, pigs in blankets, stuffing and bacon and mixed them up with the other ingredients Roland suggested and they made the most yummy little patties ever.

I had to make a last minute plan today. Charley was poised for a trip to the countryside but Rosalind and Jimmy had to wait in for the cable guy. Hence a luncheon party in the Crouch seemed the best option and we had a late lunch (Linner / Dunch) incorporating Roland's Rissoles.

Alas, nobody knew the classic phrase to quote when invited to such a repast, as Ginger would have put it when invited to a last minute lunch: "I'll be round like a rissole!"

Betty Grable's Watermelon Pickles

“It's loud, it's cheap, it's gaudy.
It's like everything I've ever done - I LOVE IT!”

Well, Betty's pickles were sampled on Boxing Day with a large amount of cheese and cold meats. My mum, as always, was very polite and said, "I would class these as an acquired taste" and they were certainly unusual as pickles go. I pronounced them to be "clovetastic" as they smelt and tasted like a visit to the dentist. But many thanks go out to Cary who had the patience to make them for us and I'll ask him what he REALLY thought of them when I see him next.

Christmas was LOVELY. Just me, my folks and 2 waifs and strays who couldn't get to their family because of the snow. My favourite part of Christmas Day was when we all had a "zizz", as my dad calls it, after lunch. He set the alarm so that we could have an hour and a half of shut eye and wake up in time for a game of Walkers Whist before Poirot. Ha ha - a trad Christmas alright!

And today I must rush as I have Rosalind, Jimmy and Charley coming round for rissoles...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Rita Hayworth's Angel Food Cake

I am seeing my Shellac Sister Jean this evening and I'd forgotten that she had quite a success with the Rita Hayworth cake. We are DJing at Kokos in Camden (formerly the Camden Palace) and I'm going to ask her about her egg white whisking between discs.

It's the first time I have really felt sad about the hundreds of records I had to leave behind when I split with Sidney. My CHRISTMAS 78s are all there so I have nothing festive to play tonight. Let's hope Clara has some Xmas Swing in one of her boxes.

Jean took her cake to work and got great feedback from colleagues, most saying how light it was (in marked contrast to the brick I made at the weekend). Some suggested accompaniments such as peach / apricot compote (Will in the Arts team), fruit and yoghurt (Auntie Jean) and stem ginger (Denise in the Sports team). Mmmm, that would be nice and Christmassy.

Speaking of which I'd like to wish all my readers the most fabulous Christmas and fantabulosa New Year. 2009 has been a bit crummy at times, but 2010 is going to be ace. As Bob Hope puts it, "My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?" Right on Bob!

So let's all have a great big love in, not just for Christmas - for always! Happy holidays.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Clara Bow's Vanilla Marlow

"A sex symbol is a heavy load to carry when one is
tired, hurt and bewildered"

I've been feeling a bit like that myself lately Clara but it's getting better...

London is FROZEN. It took me two hours to get home from work as trains were on go-slow, buses were cancelled or turned back from slippery hills and I had to walk all the way from Archway. Blitz spirit prevailed as we all tried not to fall over shuffling down Crouch Hill to the Broadway. It's like a Victorian scene outside my house, I just looked out the window and there is a bunch of boys chucking snowballs at each other. Lovely.

So it seems an apt kind of evening to blog the results of Lita's testing of the Marlow - not a success alas. I'm going to have to write more in depth instructions about cream whipping and milk steaming I think. Lita approached the recipe with gusto - but rather too much gusto unfotunately and the resulting curdled mess did not impress her husband! Attempting to fix the marlow reduced this very glamorous domestic goddess to a jibbering wreck but she did volunteer to give it another go once she has recovered from her diva moment!

Not right now though, too bloody cold for ice-cream!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Gloria Swanson's Butterless Devil's Food Cake

"I feel sure that unborn babies
pick their parents."

Well if that is true Gloria, I have very good taste!

Today I went up to Suffolk for a surprise 80th birthday party for my lovely mum. Miraculously all 5 of us kids made it - despite the snow, plus assorted partners and a smattering of grandchildren. We had a lovely time as the wine flowed freely as did the conversation. It was just wonderful.

My plan of taking a Gloria Swanson Devil's Food Cake AND a Rita Hayworth's Angel's Food Cake FAILED. I blame two things firstly, not using the right tools for the job (my soup masher just would not whip the egg whites to stiff - it got very, very hot and smelt a bit like a fairground dodgem - it may well be bust) secondly RICKY WHITTLE. Gloria's cake stuck to the cake mould and ultimately never made it out of the kitchen because I lost track of how long it had been in the oven due to Mr Whittle's Cha-Cha. My goodness me. Rita's made it to Suffolk but although it looked lovely, had the texture of a brick. More testing required and a wire whisk to be bought.

Despite me feeling like a very poor cook today it ultimately didn't matter as there was mountains of food and mountains of love so a stodgy birthday cake wasn't really anything to worry about...

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Rita Hayworth's Angel Food Cake

"We are all tied to our destiny
and there is no way we can liberate ourselves."

Hmm, but what does destiny have in store for me Rita, Rita Peanut Eater?

I have a Rita Hayworth's Angel's Food Cake in the oven, to be followed by a Gloria Swanson's Devil's Food Cake. These are for a very special event happening tomorrow but I can't reveal what it is in case a certain someone reads this blog and twigs that there is a surprise party being hatched. It will be intriguing to see which of the guests chooses to be Angelic and who Devilish...

Yesterday was a lovely, lovely day. I finally got my waist length hair chopped to collarbone length so I can do some Rita style hairdos. Pincurls here I come. My new hairdresser is a peach! Her salon in Primrose Hill is full of original 1920s bits and pieces and she knows all about vintage hairdos. My appointment was at noon and the first question was, "Do you feel it is too early for a mulled wine?" Hell no! There were also homemade biscuits, yum, yum, yum!

I'd never met Lisa before, but she and her mum have test cooked LOTS of the Silver Screen Suppers recipes as my lovely friend Hugh had told them about the project. So I'll be posting their feedback here soon. Great, great, great to meet in person some test cooks who were previously just an email address...

Lisa's lovely salon - http://lisahauck.com

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Ann Sheridan's Chili Casserole

"They nicknamed me "The Oomph Girl",
and I loathe that nickname!"

Ann's casserole is in the oven. The first in my new batch of test cooking. I'm really doing it properly, making copious notes and working my way through the whole list of sixty something - even Katharine's Eggplant dish - yeach! Everyone is welcome to join in!

There is something really nice about making something then leaving it to cook for an hour or so and doing something else while delicious smells fill the air. Maybe that's why most of my star favourites are casseroles - Marlene's Lamb Chops, Constance's Spanish Chicken and Ann's Chili. All gorgeous. There's a picture on the flickr site...

By a fantastic quirk of fate I have switched on the TV to find that "Who Do You Think You Are "is on and for reasons I can't explain right now (top, top secret) I am particularly interested in this one as it is all about Alastair McGowan finding out exactly what Anglo-Indian actually means... Fascinating stuff....

I'm off now to switch on my birthday electric blanket - the perfect gift from the lovely Rosalind and Jimmy. My room is awful cold!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Dorothy Lamour's Strawberry Ice Cream

"I felt like a wonderful sandwich,
a slice of white bread between two slices of ham."

So said Dorothy of working with Bob Hope and Bing Crosby - ha ha!

It's been my birthday week and chock full of fabulousness. My feet have barely touched the ground and it isn't over yet! I've seen many friends old and new, received two sung birthday greetings and many felicitations through the post, interweb and telephone. Feel very loved, and happy to be alive. Birthdays. Good. As Gloria Swanson puts it, "I don't let age bother me. Whenever I am a year older, everyone else is too."

So it's a chance to blog Dale's findings on Dorothy's Ice Cream Recipe. Dorothy was born on the same day as me but around 50 years earlier (you can do the "math" if you care to!) so she is my honorary birthday buddy. Can you see a likeness? The conk is big enough!

I haven't made her ice cream myself but Dale pronounces it time consuming but good. "Fat + sugar + strawberries = super easy deliciousness," she says. Dale is one of our most dedicated test cooks and she made two versions - one in her ice-cream maker and one in the old fashioned way (using the NORGE!) - verdict? Her guests preferred the flavour of the latter and the texture of the former.

When the weather gets warmer I shall have a go at this recipe. At the rate I am filling the house with purchases from the Crouch End kitchen shop I will probably have an ice cream maker myself by then!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Rita Hayworth's Angel Food Cake

"After all, a girl is - well, a girl.
It's nice to be told you're successful at it."

I should say you were Rita! Extremely successful at it!

I'm going to be channeling Rita's spirit during my birthday week. I have bought myself a birthday gift - heated rollers - and will be attempting to do the Hayworth "do" for the work Xmas party tomorrow. Watch out Gilgamesh!

I thought as yesterday's post was about Devil's Food Cake, it would be nice to blog the Angel's Food Cake today. Olivia made this AGES ago so apologies for taking so long to write it up. I haven't tried this recipe myself but it's next on the list of things to offer to work colleagues for approval. Olivia proclaimed the cake to be highly enjoyable with a "light and slightly marshmallowy texture". Good for the waistline too as it is low in fat. Mind you, it does contain 9 eggs! No wonder it serves up to 16. These Hollywood folks sure knew how to feed the five thousand...

Monday, December 07, 2009

Gloria Swanson's Butterless Devil's Food Cake

"Because I take care of my body,
it doesn't look like the body of a woman of my years.

Same here Gloria, honestly!

Wow, I have had such a great reaction from work colleagues to Gloria's cake. Admittedly it did contain over a bar of Green & Black's Expresso Chocolate but yes, to paraphrase Mr Tibble downstairs, it was freakin awesome! I shall make another soon to test the cooking time. I made it in my fancy silicone tube pan thingy so I'll need to test it as a plain and simple sponge cake too.

Had SUCH a lovely weekend with Ginger and Grace - our annual girls weekend Christmas shopping at the seaside. Who would have thought it, when we all decided to live together we were three single girls and now look at the pair of them! Ha ha. One is married and pregnant, the other is heading that way - tee hee! So they both gave me a good talking to about how I should give a NICE man a go for a change.

Sigh. Not sure I am wired up for a nice boyfriend, but I might give it a go...

Sunday, December 06, 2009

William Powell's Beets Piquants

"Cultivate solitude and quiet and a few sincere friends,
rather than mob merriment,
noise and thousands of nodding acquaintances."

I am trying to William, but it is DECEMBER and therefore I have the double whammy of Christmas and my birthday which, I'm afraid, always results in mob merriment. I guess I'll just have to relax and enjoy it...

I've been thinking a lot about dating this week. Ava persuaded me to try the dating website she's been using but it's just made me very depressed about the prospect of trying to get to know somebody via a short profile and a photograph. Would I have begun communication with William Powell for example, if this was his profile picture? Hmmm. I don't like this game. I'm going to forget about it all for a while.

It's a Silver Screen Sunday and I'm just about to retire to the kitchen to cook some Rum Jam for Christmas presents and some Beets Piquants to go with my fishcakes. I am going to seriously campaign for the Beets to replace the Artichokes for Mr Powell's recipe in the book. Although I know that my co-writer is not a fan of the beet...

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Colleen Moore's Shamrock Salad

It's taken me ages to find out if Colleen actually was Irish - as her Shamrock Salad would have us believe. An excellent source on the internet - The Colleen Moore Project - says she was half Irish, half Scottish but born in the US. After my visit to Cardiff and in-depth chats to Anna I am currently VERY interested in the promotion of stars as being of a particular nationality. Colleen often played colleens if you know what I mean, but I LOVE this picture all Americanized. I would like an outfit like this to wear to the forthcoming wedding in Texas...

Today I had an email from Mickey in Athlone, Ireland which reminded me that I hadn't blogged the results of his testing Colleen's recipe. I loved his question, "what exactly is “chill in the Norge?” Ha ha - Colleen's recipe appeared in a fantastic promotional booklet for Norge fridges. All the recipes say things like, "leave overnight in the Norge", or "chill in the Norge" and there are various pictures of stars such as Ginger Rogers posing with Norge fridges. It reminds me of my lovely two years in Walthamstow with my own Ginger and Grace. We always referred to the fridge as The Norge.

Neither Mickey nor Katharine were mad about this recipe. It's a novelty one I agree. Katharine suggested using very small peppers which I think is a good idea. I also loved Mickey's point about pimentos - he left them out as he hadn't a clue what they were! A recurring problem for the Silver Screen Suppers cooks. We may have to have a little section in the book to clarify some of these ingredients.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Silver Screen Sunday Extravaganza

What a FANTASTIC afternoon we had in Cardiff at the Silver Screen Suppers event. There was a lot of love in the house and a LOT of cream cheese too! Chefs Ruth C, Katharine and Anita rustled up tonnes of Silver Screen Supper foodstuffs and the guests wolfed the lot washed down with champagne cocktails and lashings of wine! It was a stardust sprinkled buffet table groaning under the weight of Greer Garson's Gucamole, Lana Turner's Simple and Easy Salsa, Anna Sten's Russian Sandwiches, Katharine Hepburn's Brownies, Janet Gaynor's Ice Box Cookies, Colleen Moore's Shamrock Salad and - my fave - Mae West's Pumpkin Pies. YUM YUM YUM.

Lots of guests came done up as their favourite film stars (Warren Beatty, Shirley MacLaine, a singing cowboy (not sure which one!), Cary Grant and Lauren Bacall to name but a few), Anna ran a fabulous film quiz and I gave a little 10 minute introduction to the project. Several people volunteered to test cook (email me at silverscreensuppers@yahoo.co.uk for a list of recipes) and there may be a chance for me to visit St Donat's - former holiday home of MARION DAVIES in Wales sometime soon.

The event was all in a very good cause - raising money for Theatre Versus Oppression - see http://www.theatreversusoppression.com/ and photos of the splendid food can be seen here - http://www.flickr.com/photos/fritzyritz/ or by clicking on the picture of the heaving buffet table in the side bar. I put on 3 and a half pounds - that's how GOOD it all was.

Oh and if you are wondering, I have put ROMY SCHNEIDER at the head of my post to welcome Joan and Bette's brand new bundle of joy into the world. She goes by the name of Romy so how can she fail to be fabulous?

Friday, November 27, 2009

Marilyn Monroe's ???

"I don't want to make money.
I just want to be wonderful."

Same here Marilyn.

It's rare that I write a post without it relating to a star's actual recipe but this week has been Marilyn week and there is still NO RECIPE. I guess Marilyn was outside the key era for film star recipes being published (1920s and 1930s) but there MUST be one out there somewhere. The call is out. If anyone knows of one, please let us know. We know from Katharine in Cardiff that Marilyn DID cook but it would be just ELEGANT if we could find one of her actual recipes.

I am off to Cardiff this weekend - very exciting. There will be a Silver Screen Suppers extravaganza on Sunday with many, many film star dishes on offer. I'm going to give a little talk about the project and hopefully score some more test cooks. The call for second round of testing should be going out this week so if you fancy having a go at one of the recipes that hopefully will make it into the book drop me a line.

Last Sunday I was invited to Paulette & Ivor's place for a screening of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. It was the first time Shirley (aged 9) had seen it and it was great to see her reaction to the whole shebang. The funniest moment was when Ivor said something about how his wife was just as beautiful as Marilyn and Jane. Their little angel Shirley (sitting between myself and another female guest) said, "What about these two?" pointing to us. She followed this up with the statement, "Just because you are old and withered, doesn't mean you're not pretty".

I THINK that it was meant as a compliment....

I'm watching "The Seven Year Itch" and Marilyn has just gone upstairs and changed into a fabulous frock as she thinks that, "it just isn't right to drink champagne in Matador Pants." Ha ha! Billy Wilder was so right when he said of Monroe, "There has never been a woman with such voltage on the screen, with the exception of Garbo." Voltage. Hm. Interesting. I think I may have to replace my fuse. I've been operating at low voltage lately. But birthday / Christmas season is coming up. I am going to crank it up.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Myrna Loy's Senegalaise Soup

"Some perfect wife I am. I`ve been married four times,
divorced four times, have no children, and can`t boil an egg."

Well I'm not sure that Myrna was being totally honest about the egg boiling, because her recipe for Senegalaise Soup was absolutely scrumptious.

A bunch of us from work had a fantastic evening at Nazimova's place last night. I made her put on the oven glove she burned a hole in the last time she cooked for me TWICE because it makes me laugh so much. It was great watching her cook Myrna's soup through the hatch. When I grow up I want a kitchen with a hatch!

We had no idea how a soup incorporating apples, curry powder and chicken would turn out but there is no doubt about it, this recipe is a HIT. Naz also prepared us some traditional Prebranac and Ajvar which we set upon with gusto. I resisted the toast with special "G. Butter" though, as I vividly remember what happened last time...

A screening of the legendary Rum Jam films "Milkman" and "The Proposal" followed dinner. There was much hilarity when someone we know and love from the office popped up in the back seat of a Citroen looking mightily dishevelled. How very cool to have a screen to pull down and a DVD projector in your own living room. I want to live like Nazimova! She has promised to teach me how to make Prebranac sometime which I am very much looking forward to...

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Joan Bennett's Baked Salmon

"With all of Constance's juggling of dates over the years,
I started out as the youngest, then became her twin
and finally wound up as the oldest sister."

It's a Bennett sisters bonanza this weekend. My very own Sister of the Shellac Veronica is coming over tonight for baked salmon then I'll be cooking up Constance's Spanish Chicken tomorrow for Ava and Edmund. "Sisters, sisters, never were there such devoted sisters..." I am enjoying lots of sisterly stuff at the moment both from my real one (love the email system) and my surrogate ones. Lots of girl energy this week.

Isn't this picture of Joan amazing? I shall be channeling her energy this evening as I am going on what feels like my first night out as a single woman for around 15 months. Weird. After the salmon Veronica and I are going OUT. Yes, OUT. I've forgotten how to do it...

Regarding the salmon, it's a bit of an experiment. Joan's recipe includes bacon and as Veronica is a veggie I am replacing that with tempeh. Could be good, could be a disaster, we shall see.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Tallulah Bankhead's Coconut Jumbles

“Nobody can be exactly me.
Sometimes even I have trouble doing it.”

Got a fab freelance commission this week - selecting fashion films of the 1940s and writing about them. Film archiving doesn't get much better than that! In discussion over a burger and fries my commisioners concluded that although folks have a strong idea about what 1940s fashion looks like - the 1930s is a bit of a forgotten era fashion-wise. But here is Tallulah rocking the very best look of the era - a white, slinky, silky, bias cut evening gown. YUM.

I'm getting excited about my impending visit to Austin. Not least because I am going to meet some of the lovely test cooks who are doing sterling work in the Lone Star State. One such is Gene, who gave a detailed response to the challenge of Tallulah's Coconut Jumbles. Again, Tallulah's dough was too sticky for rolling and Gene offered the alternative of making dropped cookies instead of cut out cookies. Makes sense! Although her hubby liked them, Gene thought they tasted like a "heap of cooked flour more than anything else". Hmm. This one may need another attempt in the Crouch End kitchen. Food dye and dessicated coconut here I come!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Deanna Durbin's Santa Monica Dressing

Yes, I know it's too early to start thinking about Christmas but I just couldn't resist!

I can only imagine the shenanigans going on Stateside regarding the wedding of the century. I think it is all out in the open so I hope I'm not giving the game away by saying I'll be travelling to Austin, Texas in January to see my Sister of the Skillet tie the knot. Let's get Christmas out of the way QUICK, I can't wait! I have already bought a dress equally showstopping as Deanna's for the occasion...

Ruth is leaving the organisation to her mom, who if test cooking is anything to go by is amply equipped to organise absolutely anything! Here are her verdicts on the first three recipes she rustled up for us. Firstly Joel McCrea's Frojoles with Cheese - a one word verdict - Bad!

Surprisingly (especially as it is one of my favourites) Jean is the only person who volunteered to test cook Constance Bennett's Spanish Chicken. But the "disjoint two fat hens as for frying" instruction has been queried - one is quite enough she says!

Last but not least, Deanna's Salad Dressing. A "bit of a pain" to make as it has so many ingredients says Jean, but the verdict was "good" and "similar to a Louis Dressing". Of course I had to look this up on Wikipedia and I'm pleased to see that this is the dressing used in a Crab Louis dish.

Cary Grant's Crab Louis here I come!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Lupe Velez's Orange Flower Appetizer

All is right with the world. I have an afternoon of writing ahead, there is a casserole in the slow cooker and an episode of Columbo has just started on ITV. A perfect Sunday.

My most excellent weekend began on Friday with me being hostess for the book group. As we'd been reading "Me, Cheeta" it was a jungle themed evening with Paulette and myself sporting leopard print and preparing some Tarzan related foodstuffs together. First as a starter, Lupe's Orange Flower Appetizer which was quite, quite charming. Fun and easy to make - half a greengage with a little swirl of cream cheese making the centre of the flower and orange segments forming the petals. There was a complaint that I hadn't (as Lupe prescribed) presented it on crystal plates but that just made me more inclined to buy some - ebay here I come.

The William Powell Beets Piquants which accompanied Nigella's fishcakes were very much enjoyed. Deceptively simple ingredients yet again surprising the palate. Paulette's wonderful rendition of Johnnie Weissmuller's Apricot Meringue Pie rounded off the evening and I am very pleased to report that I have some leftovers in the fridge for my tea.

More good feminine energy was provided over the weekend by Joan and Bette. I nipped down to Brighton to see them yesterday and it was great to find them both in top form getting ready for the imminent arrival of their baby. Talked long into the night with Joan about volatile relationships. Fascinating...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Lilian Gish's Lemon Pie

"The older I get, the more I believe in what I can't
explain or understand, even more than the things
that are explainable and understandable."

Yes Lilian, I understand. Or at least I think I do. Please explain.

I can't really understand or explain how I managed to get my hands on my number one heart-throb Ricky Whittle on Saturday night in Blackpool. The universe works in mysterious ways and this glorious encounter has given me enough good palpitations to last for a fair few months. Ask, believe, receive indeed. I know that some of the ladies who read this blog and know who Ricky Whittle is will want more details but alas, I'm afraid that,"What happens in Blackpool stays in Blackpool."

Anyhow, I am VERY behind on reporting on the test cooking that has been going on all over the world so am planning to get right back into that this week. We are putting out a second call for testers very soon so if you are game to assist please just drop us an email at silverscreensuppers@yahoo.co.uk

Ruthie's cousin Judy had a go at Lilian's Lemon Pie and the report back was very pleasing. "It was a hit" said Judy and elaborated:
"It's a light and fluffy way to approach a lemon pie. Really refreshing and not too heavy. Good spring or summer recipe. (And this is perfect for Ms Gish, as she probably would've been watching her weight anyway...)" Very true - she was a teeny tiny little thing La Gish. And not as sweet as you'd think according to Marion Davies...

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Janet Gaynor's Ice Box Cookies

I have had a terrible few days. Disappointed in love (amazed at how low some people will go), disappointed in my handwashing skills (shrank a gorgeous vintage frock) and disappointed with Amy Winehouse's Beloved Camden Cobbles (ripped the heel off a favourite pair of shoes). Was feeling very down in the dumps until I checked my emails and found I had WON AN AWARD!

I feel like I have won an OSCAR as Matthew over at Movietone-News has awarded me a Kreativ Blogger award. Yowzer. Soooooooo chuffed. Apparently there are two conditions involved in accepting the award. First, one must list seven other blogs to receive the award, and secondly reveal 'seven things you don't know about me'. So here we go. My current favourite 7 blogs - click on the blue name to check them out for yourselves:

Silent Stanzas - wonderful poetry about stars of the silent era
Carole Lombard - my favourite single star website - just gorgeous
Allure - I'd like some please
Geoffrey Chaucer Hath a Blog - one of the first blogs I ever read, and it still tickles me
Matilda's Delights - always something lovely to look at
Sassy Minx - my cheerleader
Kemp Folds - silly but I love it

And seven things you MAY not know about me:

1 - My hair IS longer than Anna Mae Wong's (see post from Oct 16th) - 25 inches long in fact, from centre parting to split ends.
2 - Like Marilyn Monroe in "How To Marry A Millionaire" I am far too vain to wear my glasses.
3 - I come over all peculiar if I ever see Fran Healy or Ricky Whittle on the telebox.
4 - I strongly dislike my best friend's favourite classic movie (she does not know this).
5 - The film I have watched more than any other is Gone With The Wind.
6 - I don't like to touch any tea towel unless it belongs to me.
7 - Janet Gaynor's Ice Box Cookies are my favourite thing to cook.

I shall now bask in the glory of being an award winner - how utterly, utterly lovely!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Vincent Price's Sweetcorn Fritters

"I sometimes feel that I'm impersonating the dark unconscious
of the whole human race. I know this sounds sick, but I love it."

I am learning a lot about the dark unconscious of the human race this week Vincent, but luckily I am also doing things to balance it out.

Like running up and down the stairs every five minutes for the trick or treaters last night. What kind of INSANITY was going on in the streets of the Crouch? When I got in loads of goodies when I lived in Amersham not a single child knocked on my door. Last night there were HOARDS of them. Madness. By the time Shirley and her posse got here all I had left was ONE chocolate eyeball and 15 chocolate skeletons. I am buying 3 times as many treats next year. I had to stop answering the door.

I had Vincent's corn fritters with my steak last night. I have to say it was the most delicious steak I have ever eaten - apart from maybe the steak at the crazy Italian place I used to go to with Charley. Luckily Vincent's recipe was very generous so I only ate half of the steak last night and had the rest of it tonight. Double bubble!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Vincent Price's Peppered Steak

“It's as much fun to scare as to be scared.”

It's Halloweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeen. How exciting. The pumpkin is carved and on the doorstep, there are treats to be dished out to any children of the night that come round to call and I have a very, very, very large spider in my hair.

I know for sure that Shirley and five of her chums will be rocking up later. It's her first time trick or treating and she is very excited. I have chocolate eyeballs and chocolate skeletons for them. And when all the little critters are tucked up in bed I shall have Vincent's Steak which is marinating in the fridge right now. It's garlic a-go-go which will keep the vampires away.

It was great seeing Charley on Thursday. He really is a lovely man and it was good to get his perspective on everything that's been going on in my love life. I am following his advice and slamming the iron door. I'm very pleased that he is giving it another go with A.M. Good for them. Gives me faith in the modern man...

Oh my LORD! I've just had 3 visitations from 3 different bunches of kids in 15 minutes. Hope I am going to have enough treats!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Marlene Dietrich's Lamb Chops En Casserole

"Without tenderness, a man is uninteresting."

That is so true Marlene - but the question is, how to tell the real tenderness from the fake...

Well, sometimes you know for sure and tonight I shall be having Charley to dinner, a man for whom I have always felt great tenderness, and I hope and I'm pretty sure, he has for me. As I know he is a fan of a lamb chop, there was not too much agonising over what to cook. I shall report on what he thought of it tomorrow, but I wanted to do a quick post today as I am very excited about this:


My little article about film star sandwiches in the Queens of Vintage online magazine. If you've never visited their site I whole heartedly recommend it - gorgeous!

I don't know how to make the above a "hyperlink" but to go straight to the article you can click on the picture of Tallulah Bankhead eating a sandwich in the sidebar!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Margaret Sullavan's Peanut Butter Hermits

"This little box makes you candy conscious!"

So said Margaret (in The Shop Around the Corner) to a rather hefty customer who didn't like the song a particular music box played when the lid was open. Margaret's sales patter was to suggest that every time the lady opened the box to get another chocolate, she'd be reminded of the sin she was about to commit!

As discussed here before, Margaret's Hermits are pretty sinful. Not for those on a diet... My lovely (and very knowleagable) work colleage Renee made some of these despite not having baked for about 20 years since Home Economics at school. As we are not in the vacinity of Graham Crackers, Ms Adoree used crushed up digestive biscuits. This will be suggested in the book. As I am planning a trip to Austin soon (top secret) I will bring back some Graham Crackers and try both versions side by side and have a taste test.

I do love it when test cooks send a photo of their finished items and when I get around to jazzing up the website I'll have a page for these. Renee's pic of her Hermits was utterly charming and she was very pleased with the results saying, "I may even attempt the recipe again and perhaps feel confident enough to let others try my cooking!'

I say YES my dear, and bring them into the office!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Jimmy Stewart's Chicken Pie

"I lasted one night.
They said my playing spoiled people's appetites.”

Well Gene's appetite certainly wasn't affected last night. He ate TWO pieces of the pie and took one home with him this morning. We christened the splendid beast the "Piewacket" after Kim Novak's cat in "Bell, Book and Candle". OK, so I fell asleep on the sofa while we were watching it, but it wasn't because of Jimmy's acting.

Jimmy's Pie takes a LONG time to make but I consider it worth it as it is so scrumptious. In another kitchen elsewhere in London, Basil was having a bash at it too. He made his half the size of mine, using chicken thighs and proclaimed it to be "absolutely delicious!" adding, "If you commit to making it, the rewards WILL justify the efforts!" He admitted that he and his lovely wife Bettina ended up eating the whole pie between them (even though it should have served 4). I don't blame them, it's virtually impossible to resist.

Also virtually impossible to resist is Gene, but resist each other we did! He was charm itself and took himself off to the spare room to get his beauty sleep after pie and a movie. I did enjoy the business with the apron strings though...

What a lovely day today. It began with a text from the very top of the house to me down in the kitchen asking if there would be crumpet for breakfast. For comedy factor I got two out of the freezer. Later on I had lunch with my mentor Hugh. How lovely to spend quality time with two people I am VERY fond of in the same day. Lucky me.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Bing Crosby's Turkey & Eggs A La Crosby

“Where the blue of the night
Meets the gold of the day,
Someone waits for me.”

Bing’s Turkey and Eggs sure pokes a snook at Harold Lloyd’s Eggs Dolores for a Saturday brunch. Delicious! I’ve just scoffed an enormous helping of it in front of the TV and I am so full I think I may have to have a snooze.

Day 1 of a whole weekend set aside for Silver Screen Suppers business and so far so good. I nipped into the Crouch for some bits and pieces and got a great haul of classic movies on DVD in the second hand record shop. There are 2 Jimmy Stewart films amongst them, which is great as tomorrow The Artist Formerly Known as Gene Kelly is coming to dinner and I’m making Jimmy Stewart’s Chicken Pie.

Unlike when I lived in Beaconsfield, there are 3 places within walking distance of my house where a friendly butcher will chop up a “fricassee chicken” in front of your very eyes, and give you all the yucky bits in a separate bag in case you want to do something with them.

And now Joy of Joys “The Shop Around The Corner” has just started on TCM. If only I had some Margaret Sullavan’s Peanut Butter Hermits to munch on...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Anna Mae Wong's Tea Cakes

"It's a pretty sad situation, to be rejected by the Chinese
because I am too American."

Jennifer has not only posted some fabulous pictures of home movie day here:


but she has also made some Anna Mae Wong's Tea Cakes. These are proving to be a hit with most testers but they are not really what we in the UK would expect from tea cakes - no sultanas in these babies. Jennifer proclaimed them to be like vanilla fairy cakes - not sure if that would translate for our USA based chums - but she is right about possibly jooshing them up with some lemon flavoured icing. Nice.

I particularly liked the fact that she took some of these into a work meeting! Love the idea of archivist types over there at the Wellcome Trust sampling some film star fodder!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Lupe Velez Tamale Pie

“I have flirt with the whole film colony. Why not?
I am not serious. What harm is a little flirting?
No I do not kiss many mens. But when I kiss them, they stay kissed!”

Ha ha, Lupe is my inspiration today. Partly the quote, but also the coat. I wish I had one of those on today, it is FREEZING in my office.

Well, encouraged by Moya in New York I finally made the Tamale Pie last night. As expected, I failed. I don't think cornmeal in the UK is the same entity as cornmeal in Mexico - or possibly my mistake was to buy "fine" cornmeal. Jeesh. It was, as anticipated, rather semolina like in consistency. Reminded me of cremola - which was something I hated as a kid - a custardy kind of semolina thing. YEUCH! I think I need to get me over to Texas though, to see what a real Tamale looks like.

Luckily I can use up some of the enormous bag of cornmeal I have for some Gary Cooper Buttermilk Pancakes. Now HE is one hot tamale! (Or can that only be applied to women?)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Claudette Colbert's Claudette Colbert Cake

"I know what's best for me, after all
I have been in the Claudette Colbert business longer than anybody.”

Oh what a lovely day it was yesterday! I was DJing with my wind-up gramophone at the Home Movie Day at the Cinema Museum and it was so gorgeous to see everyone dressed up in cinema uniforms from the 1950s. Looking utterly charming in her usherette's outfit, Dorothy was not only mistress of ceremonies, she had also taken the time to make a Claudette Colbert Cake! Superb it was too. I had a great big slice with a cup of tea while I wondered if I'd ever get the sound system to work.

Another of our lovely test cooks, Jennifer, had asked her boyfriend's flatmate to lend us his valve amp and such a splendid thing it was too. Like something from a Frankenstein movie we had to wait for the valves to heat up, jiggle around with various wires and hope for the best. It worked! I fell in love with the way the element in the four glass tubes glew red as the sound of movie related 78s filled the room. I want my own valve amp! My favourite part of the day was playing tunes to fit a screening of Phyllis Calvert's home movies which her grandson had brought along.


Friday, October 16, 2009

Anna Mae Wong's Tea Cakes

"I've come to the conclusion that everybody should marry,
including me."

Well, I'll see if anyone ever asks me Anna...

I love this picture, and I am going to measure my own hair when I get home to see if it is as long as Anna's. Could be...

Had a lovely time with little Shirley last night working on her papier mache project. She seemed most peturbed that one of the legs on her trouser bowl was wonky - having one wonky leg myself I couldn't really see the problem. Tonight we shall paint it.

Paulette had made some AMW Tea Cakes and totally delicious they were too. MUCH nicer than the ones I made, I think she adds some secret ingredient when she is baking things to make them taste so good. Or maybe it is the magic of the heart shaped baking cases. I bought Paulette some of these as a "thank you" gift for looking after me during my post-break-up-trauma-period and they are such lovely things.

I was extremely happy to be back in the fold there, especially when Paulette had to search for something in the food cupboard near the back door. Pleased to see that the lightbulb has STILL not been replaced, making it necessary for Paulette to do the thing which always makes me laugh: don the head torch.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Vincent Price's Pepper Steak

“A man who limits his interests,
limits his life.”

It warms the cockles of my heart (and believe me at the moment they need warming) to hear from test cooks who don't know myself or Ruth, but just like the idea of being involved in our cooking project. I've been having a lovely email correspondence with Mickey in Athlone, Ireland who has tested three recipes for us with great vigour!

I loved his report on Vincent's Steak: "A mighty lump of meat as they say in Ireland. Goes well with chips and onions." That makes me STARVING for a good hairy steak! I guess the amount of garlic in Vincent's recipe would keep the vampires away for sure. I may rustle this one up for myself on Halloween night then watch a scary Vincent Price movie. Rosalind and Jimmy are currently residing just under the Hollywood sign and a neighbouring (and by all accounts spooky looking) house was once owned by Bela Lugosi. Alas we have no recipes for him but they might try out Boris Karloff's Steak and Kidney Pie on the 31st whilst hiding somewhere in the garden. Ha ha!

I've got some brilliant CDs of Vincent Price's radio cookery show which I heartily recommend. Sometimes I listen to them while I am cooking for inspiration. He sure knew how to throw a dinner party. If you are clever enough to work out how to do it, you can listen to them here...

http://calliopyranch.com/this-n-that/cooking-with-vincent-price - happy listening!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Lupe Velez's Tamale Pie

“The first time you buy a house you think how pretty it is
and sign the check. The second time you look to see
if the basement has termites.

It's the same with men.”

I am loving that hat Lupe!

Well, I failed in my attempt to make the Velez Pie last night, the filling was all done and in the fridge and I was going to cook up the cornmeal for the base and top but copious amount of booze waylaid me. My new landlord insisted on pouring me two very large glasses of wine and singing me several songs (he is Welsh).

Luckily, I have a report of this recipe being made Stateside by Ruthie's brother's wife's mum. What relation therefore she is to Ruth I am not quite sure, but it was very kind of her to test the recipe for us. The verdict? Sis-in-law proclaimed it DELICIOUS and we received a hilarious photo of little Spanky in his high chair chowing down on some. The youngest participant in the project since Baby Peggy! Hoorah!

I may get around to making the pie on Sunday but I have to admit, cornmeal gives me the fear - especially now I have found out that it is the same entity as Polenta...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Bette Davis Hollywood Salad

"That's me: an old kazoo with some sparklers."

Ooh! A lucky shamrock charm bracelet. I want one!

I'm feeling a bit like an old kazoo myself today so have cheered myself up by re-reading Rita's verdict on the Bette salad recipe. I haven't seen Rita in a LONG time which is something I must rectify as she is one of the funniest people I know. Always a tonic.

The salad was rustled up in Cape Town (isn't this project getting cosmopolitan?!) and Rita shared it with her cleaner Busisiwe - they both loved it. Although Orson professed to not liking three of the main ingredients (figs, dates and sultanas) once he'd had a bite he ate whatever was left on the plate. Rita said she wouldn't bother with the figs next time as she "didn't give a fig" about figs and they were hard to get hold of in Cape Town.

The thing that made me really laugh was in reference to a conversation we'd had ages ago about Bette Davis. She said that she might add olives the next time she'd made the salad as they would, "add a twist of acid which is precisely what I would have expected from Bette - having seen her at the Ashcroft Theatre in Croydon, you know: 1973". Ha ha! Perfect.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Maurice Chevalier's French Onion Soup

"Many a man has fallen in love with a girl in a light so dim
he would not have chosen a suit by it."

Ha ha, how true. It's true for women too, I'm only going to brightly lit nightspots from now on. And I shall get my failing eyesight checked.

I didn't get around the Lupe's Pie last night, the household chores and the making of Rum Jam took over, so instead I shall blog the results of Joan C's testing of the soupe a l'oignon. Joan thought the soup delicious and shared it with Bette saying, "Ma petite cherie scoffed deux helpings (as did I)". The croutons were much savoured and she suggested adding a note not to skimp on these. As she points out Monseiur Maurice did amiably warble, "Thank heavens for little (cheesy) grills." Groan...

She also made one comment about husbands and soup on the feedback from that is not suitable for a family forum. Her sense of humour is so blue sometimes it takes me about half an hour to work out what she is actually referring to! Naughty girl, I do miss them both now they are living down there in Brighton.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Harold Lloyd's Eggs Dolores

"The pain was considerable,
but trivial compared with my mental state."

Hmm, yes, well my mental state has been somewhat rocked by your Eggs Mr Lloyd!

Revolting they were, almost inedible! It's a long time since we had a failure in the Silver Screen Suppers kitchen but Harold's eggs were it. He might as well have called them Eggs Dolorous (meaning sorrowful) as the pile of them all pink and scrambled was not a pretty sight to see. Sigh. Luckily I had some nice crispy bacon on the side to allieviate the pain of wasting 3 perfectly good eggs by adding cheese and TOMATOES. Bleaugh! Bring back Dorothy Dandridge's Emotional Omelet.

I am hoping for better things from Lupe Velez's Tamale Pie which I'll be attempting later today. I have never had Tamale Pie, I do not even quite know what it is, but I'm going to find out...

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Ida Lupino's Lemon Mousse

"Keeping a feminine approach is vital -
men hate bossy females."

I'm taking a break from the unpackathon to watch Strictly and report on the gorgeous Jessica's experience of Ida's mousse. I've spent more or less all day doing the lock-up rock-up and scrabbling around in bags and boxes. Unrolling newspaper wrapped mystery items has brought exclamations of great joy when things I have totally forgotten about (my Japanese owl mugs for example) emerge like rubies in the dust.

Jessica's verdict on the mousse? "It was awesome and all my housies loved it". Fabulous. Love the idea of these dishes being shared with loved ones - the way it should be. I have taken on board Jessica's comment about maybe specifying a shorter freezing time. A perfect excuse for me to rustle up another batch and scoff it spinster style straight out of the tupperware with a soup spoon. Just testing you understand...

Friday, October 09, 2009

Diana Dors Bhuma Ghosht

"I was the first home-grown sex symbol,
rather like Britain`s naughty seaside postcards."

Oh my stars, Diana was so LUSCIOUS. Just gorgeous. And our viewing of "Yield to the Night" proved that she could act too, given half the chance. What a humdinger of a movie.

It was a long awaited Silver Screen Supper in West One last night. Edmund rocked up with the Diana Dors boxset, Rosalind cooked up a curry and our surprise handsome guest sprawled on the sofa wolf-whistling and making comments such as "She's a STUNNER" regarding the lovely Ms Dors. Rosalind made two versions of the dish, one to Diana's specifications and one a bit spiced up for the modern palate. Being a purist, I liked the authentic one.

Rosalind made me laugh by saying that when she told her mum she was making a curry her mum said, "An INDIAN curry?" as she legendarily prefers curry that comes from a Chinese takeaway. Rosalind also commented on Diana's pneumatic physique, "She must have eaten a lot of Bhuma to get those Bhumas..." Indeed!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Ann Harding's Hollywood Salad Dressing

Just a quick post today as I'm off to get my fringe cut - I'll not be taking this picture of Ann to the hairdresser though.

Another feedback report from Dale's Star Spangled Rhythm party. As she is off this weekend to turkey wrangle at the annual Turkeyfest in Cuero, Texas I thought I would wish her luck. Apparently she gets to wear an umpire's outfit and blow a whistle, I am so jealous.

Ann's Salad Dressing turned out to be a bit like Thousand Island - with caviar. I am loving Dale's detailed information about pimento though! A recurring theme throughout this project is how to define the pimento. Dale used a "jarred whole fire roaster pimento" in this dish. Where on earth would I get one of those outside the Lone Star State? Pimento, Pimiento, shimiento...

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Maurice Chevalier's French Onion Soup

"It is always the same: women bedeck themselves with jewels and furs,
and men with wit and quotations."

Rosalind came to dinner last night, my first supper guest in my new home and Maurice's crouton bedecked soup went down a storm. I had forgotten to ask Rosalind if she liked onions but we both agreed that EVERYONE liked onions, didn't they? Rosalind's parting comment on the subject being, "if you don't like onions, I don't like you!"

My new pad meets with Rosalind's full approval and as we toasted each other with multiple cans of beer she announced that for the first time in a long time I was, "sitting pretty". She also asked the rhetorical question, "Who am I? Angela Lansbury?" at some point. And in respect of housing, and children, "why buy when you can rent?"

Side by side in bed next morning, she dispelled my doubt that I would ever succeed at buying a place of my very own with the exclamation, "you got the Kaiser Chiefs tickets didn't you?" Which I have to admit, made me have to examine my negative thinking pattern on that one...

Monday, October 05, 2009

Ronald Reagan's Corned Beef Hash in Bell Peppers

"All great change in America begins at the dinner table."

And possibly all over the world too. I suggest that we all work towards world peace by eating like the stars!

I'm always intrigued when test cooks choose a persona of a different gender. So it is with Oliver. He / she sent feedback with an apology that it had taken so long as, "the corned beef sat ominously on my shelf for a while before I was brave enough to try it." I'm the same with the Tea Matzos! Maybe next weekend for the Matzo Ball Soup. I dreamed about it last night.

Oliver - like others who have tried this dish - suggested roasting the peppers rather than boiling them. And s/he loved the popping of an egg on top at the end, "providing protein so the post-war generation grew up big and strong..." Ronnie's dish was proclaimed as being definitely worth trying as a quick journey into the past and Oliver summed it up thus, "It really felt like retro gastronomy - the techniques and the result were so incredibly different from our Nigel Slater dominated, balsamic vinegar and olive oil idea of cooking nowadays."


Sunday, October 04, 2009

Joan Bennett's Beetroot Salad

I have found the cigarette pen that Ruthie and I had so much fun posing with in her jeep, pretending to be smokers, and also the fabulous cowboy hat ashtray she gave me. So now I really feel my dressing table is complete. When I was walking through the park that is a stone's throw from my new place this morning I felt a sudden surge of happiness. I am truly in the right place for me, right now.

Tonight I will have an evening of self-indulgence. I shall make Joan's Beetroot Salad and watch her and James Mason in The Reckless Moment. I haven't seen this for over 20 years and am intrigued to see if the scene that has stuck in my mind ever since is just as I remembered it.

Joan Bennett is dragging a body along a beach wearing the most divine sunglasses ever. The thing I remember about the scene (apart from the accessories) is the absence of music. It was such a dramatic moment and it seemed all the more ghoulish because all that was on the soundtrack was the sound of Joan's efforts to get rid of some evidence... We shall see.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Ann Sheridan's Chilli Casserole

Work colleagues were joking about my potential author's photo for the book on Friday so it is an ideal opportunity to post this fab pic of Ann again. I really think Ruthie and I should have twin pics like this side by side. Who wouldn't given half the chance? We'll need someone ace on the photoshop though to make us look this good.

First night in my new flat and it is so exciting. Ann’s casserole is in my new oven in my new casserole dish. I spent over £100 in Budgens to stock up my new kitchen cupboards. Foxgloves and Baby’s Breath decorate my new room and I plan to spend the rest of the weekend right here, in my new home relaxing and writing. New room, new life.

I’ve settled in for the evening in front of Strictly Come Dancing. Missed the first couple due to preparing the dinner and am REALLY hoping it wasn’t Ricky Whittle from Hollyoaks. It is very rare that I fancy someone on the telebox, but for him I will make an exception!

Bruno himself has personally approved myself and Rosalind being on the guest list for the big event at the Tower Ballroom in Blackpool mid November. It will be this year’s romantic mini-break for myself and Rosalind – an annual tradition. Thank you Groucho! He’s not working on the programme any more, but he’s obviously still got the influence. I owe you some Matzo Ball Soup Mr Marx. This year Rosalind and I won’t make the same mistake as last time. Who knew you needed a passport to fly from Stansted to Blackpool? We missed our hairdresser’s appointment and everything! After an interminably long coach journey we made it to the show though. And sat on the same table as Brucie’s charming wife. And chatted to Len at the after-show party.

Major excitement is that Rosalind has booked us a room at the Helmshore Hotel. The location of our first trip as groupies for the Penge Latin American Formation Team in 1991. Ah, memories... I seem to remember VERY high beehives were in evidence.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Ingrid Bergman's Trout in Cream Sauce

"Success is getting what you want;
happiness is wanting what you get."

On a day when the subject of cosmic ordering is foremost in my mind, Ingrid's quote is rather apt. As the first cosmic order I placed (a lovely flat - nice and cheap) came in a month before I requested delivery, I am planning to place another. Not sure what to wish for though...

Paulette and I wondered how long it would be before Ivor made a joke about "old trouts" when he found out what was for dinner - answer, approximately 30 seconds. Alas, I forgot to buy the cream (dolt!) so in the end it was a modified toasted almond scattered version and tasty it was too. I made my first batch of Alan Ladd's Potato Pancakes and they were a good accompaniment. Shortening is now on my list - Paulette says I am to look for TREX.

Tomorrow I leave my lovely friends and trundle round the corner to the new place where I shall leave my hat... It's been utterly fabulous living at number 3 and I feel very lucky to have such gorgeous and generous benefactors. Another suitcase in another hall...

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Alan Ladd's German Potato Pancakes

"I just want to make pictures that are entertaining.
I'll leave the scenery chewing to someone else."

I wonder if Alan was thinking of someone in particular...

Further to yesterday's post I'm wondering if some of Alan's Potato Pancakes would be a suitable accompaniment to Veronica's Spiced Beef. I'm going to try it. In fact, this may be my first Silver Screen Suppers dinner party when I move into my new abode (this weekend I hope) alongside a screening of "This Gun For Hire" - tagline "Lover without a heart...killer without a conscience!"

Alfred cooked up a batch of these and suggested fancifying them in several ways. He added some grated cheddar cheese and chives to his second batch and suggested other possible tweaks such as wholegrain mustard or chopped anchovies, or even chopped crispy bacon - oh YUM. He also proposed using circular moulds to make the pancakes more celeb-chef style looking, even topping with a poached egg or kipper for a special breakfast. Mmmmmmmm - I want some right now.

He also flagged up something we'll need to address in the book, Alfred wasn't sure what shortening was. He isn't the first either - this is now top of the list of test cook queries, overtaking the confusion over pimientos. In fact, the very first person to volunteer to test cook (our David Niven lookalike) sent me a text after receiving his Errol Flynn's Baked Fish Havanaise recipe which simply said, "What is pimiento?" That was on the 3rd of August and he hasn't been heard of since!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Veronica Lake's Spiced Beef & Peas

"You could put all the talent I had into your left eye
and still not suffer from impaired vision."

Said by the woman with the best assymetrical fringe since Phil Oakey of the Human League! Well, she was first of course but you know what I mean...

The Daricraft booklet mentioned in the previous post also supplied Veronica's signature dish. My lovely artist friend King ("The Man Whose Face Is As Familiar As The Man In The Moon") volunteered for this one and I'm certainly glad he did. We were all pretty puzzled by what exactly Veronica meant by her ingredient of "spiced beef" and it took 3 generations of Americans to figure it out. By the process of lateral thinking King decided to try it with pepper-crusted pastrami and it was an enormous hit with him and his friends who had gathered together to watch Mildred Pierce. They also managed to put away Joan Crawford's Creamed White Onions in a Red Pepper Cup AND Rudolph Valentino's Chicken from Parma - what a FEAST!

King said of the Spiced Beef, "this is SO delicious I might make it often. It makes a bit of a mess out of the frying pan though. But you can always lick it if no one is looking, or if you don't care."

Oh those ARTISTS!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Paulette Goddard's Creamed Sprouts

"You don't have to be a Freud to know that the most fascinating
person in the world- actors or anybody - is yourself."

'ave a banana!

Paulette is one of those stars that we REALLY want to feature in the book but hasn't furnished us with a very inspiring recipe. In fact, the Creamed Sprouts is only recipe we have for Paulette, originally featured in an advertising booklet for Daricraft - a brand of evaporated milk.

Even for someone who counts sprouts as one of her three favourite vegetables (me), this recipe doesn't really tickle my tastebuds. However, Dale out in Austin made these as part of the Star Spangled Rhythm party and reported that her guests did enjoy them. She's a natty cook though and added a few items to joosh up the recipe including breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese and thyme. Actually, now I fancy some!

I mentioned recently that my book group is reading "Me Cheeta" the spoof Hollywood biography. I am NOT recommending this to my blog readers because it is far too rude. I particularly objected to his salacious description of Paulette's behaviour at a Hollywood party. The author is denigrating my idols! Nasty man!