Carol Channing’s Sauerbraten

RASPBERRIES! 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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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A Bulgarian Shirley Temple

I am in BULGARIA having a whole heap of fun. I’ve been meeting Laurel’s neighbours (mostly very cheery toothless ladies who want to hug and kiss me) and eating cauldrons of “four kinds of meat”. I’ve had one “Joan Crawford Day” which consisted of me re-reading Charlotte Chandler’s fantastic biography in preparation for my lecture […]

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Bette Davis’ Marmalade

“Why am I so good at playing bitches? I think it’s because I’m not a bitch. Maybe that’s why Miss Crawford always plays ladies.” Bette or Joan? Bette or Joan? I am increasingly obsessed with both of them and just can’t decide who I like best. At the moment Bette has a slight edge because […]

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Sonja Henie’s Scandinavian Cookies

Ginger very kindly bought me some posh cherry jam to go in the indentations of the little treats that are Sonja’s Scandinavian Cookies. Fresh out of the oven they were enjoyed by Jack (he liked the nuts) and Grace (she liked the dough-y centre). I managed to get six of them to Southend in one […]

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Marlene Dietrich’s Banana Nut Bread

Laurel said that he was instantly transported to the banana zone upon eating a piece of Marlene’s cake. It was consumed in large slices in bed in Southend with a nice mug of tea. I am still recovering from the weekend as we barely made it out of the bedroom – apart from to walk […]

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Mary Philbin’s Brown Betty

Just back from a long weekend in Avebury. Sharing a fabulous little cottage in the churchyard with Ginger, Grace, William, Cary and Jack. Much alcohol consumed and great feasts cooked up. On Saturday night I spent a very calm couple of hours in the kitchen with Cary. He prepared a banquet of roast pork with […]

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Fred MacMurray’s Holland Brioche Cakes

“A cowboy actor needs two changes of expression – hat on and hat off.” Funnily enough I was just in the process of buying myself a self-tipping cowboy hat on Second Life when Max arrived on Sunday morning bearing a gift of two Brioche. They were a joy to behold on the breakfast table – […]

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Constance Bennett’s Spanish Chicken

“I’m a lot more sartorial than thespian. They come to see me and go out humming the costumes.” It was lovely to be rustling up Constance’s chicken for 3 whilst Grace and Jack were rehearsing their country songs in the dining room. They were on fine warbling form. Alas, Jack couldn’t stay for dinner and […]

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The David Niven Martini

“You can count on Errol Flynn, he’ll always let you down.” Perhaps it is a bit of portentous syncronicity that Niven has a good quote about Errol as I am supposed to be embarking upon “Errol Week” tomorrow. Almost finished reading his amazing biography and pen is poised to write the blurb to go with […]

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Ida Lupino’s Lemon Mousse

“Keeping a feminine approach is vital – men hate bossy females.” Don’t you love getting a new pair of shoes home and checking the end of the box to see what they have been christened? These shoes are called “Ida Lupino”. By someone… Not the actual designer or manufacturer in Bali I would have thought, […]

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Errol Flynn’s Leg of Lamb

“The public has always expected me to be a playboy, and a decent chap never lets his public down.” I am beginning to think that Errol was quite a cook. His Leg of Lamb absolutely rocked. It was the cup of coffee with cream and sugar for basting that intrigued my supper guests. Ginger’s beau […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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”. […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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. […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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William Powell’s Beets Piquants

“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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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