Monday, April 26, 2010

Jean Harlow's Stuffed Celery a la Shrimp

Just back from a wonderful weekend in Stroud with Gary C and chums. Two days of belly dancing, eating a vast amount of delicious food and consuming a vast amounts of red wine and fruity cocktails. Fabulous!

Just wanted to write a quick blog entry before the site goes offline for a few days. It's having a makeover so it has to come down for the work to be done. I'm excited but scared - what if everything I've written here gets lost in the ether? Four years of cooking antics gone! Keep your fingers crossed my lovely chums.

On Friday gorgeous Paulette cooked dinner en famille and she made Jean's stuffed celery as a starter. YUM. She was using premium quality mayonnaise and I must say it does make a difference. They were scrumptious. I made Ida Lupino's Lemon Mousse for pud and got it all a bit wrong as I was chatting to Shirley when I should have been concentrating. I put in too much cornflour but it still tasted good. Didn't set like it usually does though - was more mouseey..

As with all gizmo's young 10 year old Shirley was doing all sorts of fancy tricks with Paulette's new i-phone while us grown ups just looked at it like it was something out of a Star Trek film. Shirley took some pretty good pix of the celery, one of which can be seen on the flickr site

See you once the site transformation has taken place...

Friday, April 23, 2010

Janet Gaynor's Ice Box Cookies

Oh what FUN it was to be on Market Kitchen! They had cooked up 4 dishes to be sampled but I was so nervous I didn't take a bite of any of them! Alex James from Blur was on the show too and my favourite moment was seeing the look of horror on his face when he cut into one of Joan Crawford's Creamed White Onions in a Red Pepper Cup - ha ha! I admit, it didn't look very appetising!

Everyone working on the show was adorable. I got to sit in front of one of those mirrors surrounded by lightbulbs to have my hair and make-up done. Blusher! I haven't worn that since the 80s! Matthew Fort interviewed me and was absolutely charming. He got a few classic film quotes in and it was a fun chit-chat. I can barely remember what I said because it all went by in a flash, but I do remember ranting on about imagining Marlene Dietrich playing the musical saw while she waited for her Banana Nut Bread to cook!

I made a batch of the good old JGIBCs and gave some out to all the lovely folk who worked on the show. TX date will be Friday May 7th at 7pm on the Good Food Channel with repeats on Saturday. Can't wait!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Cary Grant's Tuna Fish Pie

My lovely work colleague Kim came over last night for a trying on session and Cary's Pie. We are going to an awards ceremony next week and Kim wanted something vintage to wear. My wardrobe was raided, many frocks were paraded up and down the landing and a decision was made. Well, a choice of two actually. I think she should go with the Joan Crawfordesqe black number that I bought to wear to the Brits - it looked amazing on her. We are about the same size and shape so we may just swap frocks halfway through the event!

Man, we put the world to rights last night over two bottles of red. Main subject? Men we have loved and men we would like to love. There's a certain fellow at the bfi who better watch out when Ms Kim is wearing that frock on Tuesday! A certain award winning film director too the way she is feeling...

My desk-mate Jim has returned from the ash cloud. So nice to have him back taking the mick out of my cooking. I've got some left over pie for lunch and I admit, it doesn't look very appetising after a journey in on the bus. I did like Jim's observation though that the little "biscuits" that top the pie look like miniature scones.

Market Kitchen tomorrow - EEK!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Jimmy Stewart's American Apple Pie

Tonight's post is a slow process because to be frank, I am absolutely sloshed. Usually a fast touch typist, tonight this is like typing underwater...

My lovely Walthamstow chums have been over for lunch and it was supposed to be a dinner and a movie affair - Barbara Stanwyck's wine soaked leg of lamb with Jimmy's Apple Pie to follow. These were both DELICIOUS but as we are having an unseasonally gorgeous weekend the six of us went to the Middle Lane Pleasure Gardens instead of watching Ball of Fire.

It's been an odd weekend. After lying fallow for 8 months or so - like buses, two have come along at once. For the first time since moving to Crouch End I had a bed fellow of the opposite sex last night. I am having to keep my eyes open with matchsticks this evening - not much sleep was had. But I was strangely disconnected throughout. Perhaps I was just hungry? After the promise of a nice dinner, turned out crisps and wine sufficed.

And then, after a big build up from Grace, ROD turned up on the scene this afternoon. Interesting. There's a touch of the David Essex about him, and as some of my readers know, I am rather partial to the gypsy lifestyle...

Over and above all of this was the absolute HEAVENLY PLEASURE of spending some time with Cary, Grace, William and the lovely and very zen Douglas Fairbanks. I do not see these folk often enough so a whole afternoon with them all was a springtime treat of the very best kind.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Rudolph Valentino's Secret Spaghetti Sauce

My lovely friend Gary C is coming to stay for a couple of nights next week so I have made a batch of Rudi's spaghetti sauce for us to have one night for dinner. I couldn't get the Italian sausage I usually get for this dish so bought Sicilian sausage instead. I hope that won't make Rudi turn in his grave...

There is a big weekend ahead. I've been preparing for a big gig tomorrow night, I am DJing solo - without my sisters - at a big house party in Islington. It's a blitz themed party so I'm going with two gramophones, two boxes of 1940s records and my new gorgeous red and gold guitar amp. I don't have enough shellac from the actual blitz period (strictly speaking 1940 and 1941) so I'll be treating the rug cutters to some futuristic sounds right up to 1949. I'm being paid in champagne and canapes - have they any idea how much fizz I can put away during a set?!

Then on Sunday night I am going on a DATE. Yes, another one, but this time with somebody brand new. A friend of Ava's who my desk mate thinks looks like George Clooney... Intriguing.

By the way, quick update on the moth box situation - moths in the bedroom moth motel - zero (good) - in the lounge moth motel NINETEEN! The swarm continues...

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Dolores Del Rio's Arroz Con Pollo

"Beauty does not come with creams and lotions.
God can give us beauty, but whether that beauty remains or changes
is determined by our thoughts and deeds."

Wow, Dolores you are a wise, wise woman. I shall only think beautiful thoughts and do beautiful deeds from now on.

Edmund came to dinner last night and much fun was had. It was the first time I'd made Dolores' chicken dish and Edmund enjoyed reading the characteristically bizarre recipe. He was much amused by the fact that the stock was supposed to be made from veal knuckle and mixed vegetables with the exception of celery. Why no celery? Because Dolores no likee celeree we decided. He was also amused by the fact Dolores said to throw the unwashed rice in a pan and fry it until it was "tea colour". Who knows how Dolores took her tea? We let it get to a kind of "tea with a dash of milk" colour.

Anyhow it was absolutely DELICIOUS and much more appropriate for the book than her Enchiladas - with or without the veal knuckle. Edmund had brought along "Flying Down to Rio" which we half watched and half gossiped through. When we were almost at the end Edmund started obsessing about the fact that there should have been a song called "Orchids in the Moonlight" somewhere or another in the film. He insisted on rewinding then fast forwarding while we searched for it. Every time Dolores appeared on screen I waited until she opened her mouth to speak then bust out with ORCHIDS IN THE MOONLIGHT in a strangulated falsetto. All very amusing when one has drunk three packs of Coronas between two!

Monday, April 05, 2010

Gloria Swanson's Butterless Devil's Food Cake

Oh my goodness! It is with much excitement that I report that the first edition of Vintage Life magazine is out and it has my article on GLORIA in it. Oh how very lovely! I am going to try and link to it here...

I had heared nothing from the editor for months so assumed that she wasn't going to run it - just IMAGINE if I'd known before - it would have completely blown my Gloria Swanson frock competition as the answer to the question I posed is right in there!

It has cheered my up no end - still no word at all from the New Yorker who stood me up last night - he has brought disrepute on a whole city with his dating style!

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Bette Davis' Marmalade

Bette looks how I feel. Mildly pissed off that her marmalade yet again hasn't set. I am beginning to come to the conclusion that it must be the ratio of fruit to sugar that's to blame rather than my technique. I'm going to have to do some research on preserves. It was nice to have Paulette's lovely big copper preserving pan in to make it but I do feel like I have wasted the whole day standing over a pan of bubbling sugary fruit...

Alongside wasting time doing that I have YET AGAIN been wasting my time waiting for the phone to ring. Spoke to Mr Mayfair on Thursday and agreed to meet this evening. 5pm and still no call. Has he forgotten? Or is this just his style? Well whatever (as the teenagers say), I'm going to go for a swim, watch a movie and blow a raspberry in his general direction. He'd better not come up with some cock and bull story...

I am getting some comfort from the fact that a newly purchased moth box seems to be doing its work. I can see three moths from where I am sitting and they are all in the general vicinity of the moth motel. I predict that when I get back from my swim there will be three less of the critters to worry about. In general I like animals but the moth is the enemy of the knitter and my wardrobe is full of beautiful hand-knits so death to the moth!

Update - it is now 22.15pm and no phone call - should I consider that being stood up?!

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Gloria Swanson Frock Competition - RESULT!

Well, the competition has closed and the winner has been announced. The answer to the question, "Which fruit did Gloria Swanson regularly keep in her handbag?" was AVOCADO. Quite a few of you guessed correctly, and everyone amused me greatly with their reasoning for choosing certain fruit, but only one person could win the frock and that person was the lovely Brian Dennis - portrait painter extraordinaire.

The exciting news is though that Brian did say that if he DID win, he would paint a portrait of someone wearing the dress (not sure it is his size!) so I'll keep you posted as to who that is going to be. In fact, I got a text from him this morning that suggested he might run his own competition to find a sitter to wear the frock.... So you may still get a chance my lovelies!

I am back from a little Easter visit to my folks which was lovely and I've just scoffed some Joan Bennett's Beetroot Salad which was yummy. Much to do this afternoon and tomorrow. Mostly watching 1940s fashion newsreel items. It's WORK you know!!