I love it when readers get in touch and ask for recipes and I am always happy to rummage around in my bookshelves to find them and send them out.  Usually I don’t get so much as a “thank-you” in return, but sometimes – hurrah – a lovely correspondence ensues.  I am all about corresponding in 2021…

When a writer called VT Dorchester got in touch to ask if I might be able to send him a couple of Alan Ladd recipes, this task was hanging around my to-do list for a while.  I knew it would take some ferreting around in my books and boxes but in the meantime, while he was waiting, VT tested Lynn Bari’s Almond Cake recipe for the Vincent Price book – what a STAR.

It made me so happy to learn about where VT lives in Canada as Googling places that aren’t my own four walls and looking at pictures of them has become a new obsession during lockdown.

Where I live…

Where VT Dorchester lives…

Ah, I am DREAMING of the wide open spaces!

Because I am a nosey-parker I started doing even more digging around the internet and I found a story by VT on the Frontier Tales Magazine website and it blew my mind.

I am in a bubble with Mr R and was sitting on his sofa waiting for him to wake up, watching the sunrise from his 13th floor window in urban North London

and for half an hour I was absolutely TRANSPORTED to another place and another time.  I just loved it.  Friends, make yourself a cuppa and settle down for a read, it’s such a lovely piece of writing and in these weird times we are living in, might give you hope that there is GOOD in everyone.

It’s not just me that thinks this is a great story…

I was so pleased with myself that I actually took pause, hunkered down and read this story.  My normal course of action would be to think, “oh, I’ll read that sometime”, go off down a different Google rabbit hole and then I would forget all about where I found the story.  In these strange times I hereby vow that when I discover something that I want to read, I will read it – there and then!

After you’ve read VT’s story, you might fancy rustling up some of Phyllis Diller’s Garbage Soup – you will know exactly why!  Or, how about an Alan Ladd recipe?  These are all the Alan Ladd recipes I have in the collection, if you know of any more, do let me know!

I made this for my cookbook club when I was allowed to have someone other than Mr R across my threshold.  I loved that anchovy and egg salad!

I’ve made Alan’s potato pancakes a few times…

They are goooooooood!

I made the Hamburger Rodeo dish for my ex-boyfriend Vic way back in 2007, before the days I took photos of food.  Remember those days?  When you could go out to a restaurant (!) and nobody took a photo of their food?!  Haha.

I’ve not tried the Date Bars or the Italian Squash recipe, but I know VT has!


I can never think about Alan Ladd without thinking of my darling Caroline Frick and her wonderful story about SHANE.  Will I ever get to read that in a book?  I bloody hope so!

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