It is hard to find the source of the much bandied around factoid that Marlene Dietrich’s favourite meal was hot dogs and champagne. If anyone knows for sure when or where she said it I would love to know. But it’s a good foodie fact, even if I can’t actually verify it, so I am going with it!
This quote from Marlene is often bandied around too…
but after Fritz Holznagel sent me a link to his brilliant article, Marlene Dietrich and Champagne: She Didn’t Quite Say That I’m reminded that the original quote is slightly different in Marlene’s ABC
and I hereby pledge to get this down off the shelf and cook one of the recipes therein very soon. Perhaps accompanied by some ice-cold Dom Perignon!
On the night before my birthday, Mr R proposed that we have hot dogs and champagne for dinner and I was totally game. He had a slightly secret motive for proposing this which revolved around a birthday present that he planned to give me a day early.
We cannot get this in the UK and I had never seen this relish before so I was THRILLED. This was a perfect gift for me because I LOVE gherkins with a huge passion, plus anything in a mustardy sauce is like catnip to me. But also, this gift marked the beginning of a new one year project.
It is my 57th year on the planet. Do not ask me how I got so old, I do not know. It is Mr R’s too (his birthday is on 1st January) so we have decided to consume 57 Heinz related meals between us.
Mr Rathbone was more or less raised on Heinz as his dad worked at the Heinz factory in Harlesden for 27 years. Let the games begin!
We had hot dogs…
we had champers
and we had cake!
What a superb birthday din dins!
Thanks Marlene for helping us kick off what promises to be a fun year making weird things with Heinz products.
Happy birthday to you two lovelies. What a great idea too. Much love xxx
Aww thanks ducky – what a shame Vincent never advertised Heinz products! I could have done a tie-in!!
Colin worked at Heinz for 25 years max, he was, sparodically, a painter and decorator until shortly before or after Jeremy was born in 1966.
Ah, thanks for the clarification Julia. I will double check with Colin how many years it was.
Brilliant! And may you both celebrate many more Happy and Delicious, Birthdays
Haha – thanks Geraldine! I felt thoroughly spoiled!
Happy belated birthday to Mr R! This sounds like a very fun project! xx
Thanks ducky – I will pass on your wishes to Mr R. This is going to be a HOOT of a project, we are already having a lot of fun with it and have several things to blog about already! Love to you from London xx
Happy Belated Birthday to you both ! I like chili on my hot dog – some surprise ! Or a sharp mustard with onions. But with you on the pickle thing all way. In helping to clear Mr P’s flat before Christmas I inherited his paperback copy of ‘Marlene Dietrich’s ABC’ . Do you have it ? The champagne quote is part of the Champagne entry in the book. No mention of hot dogs though and they’re not mentioned in the ‘H’ category either . I suspect, if true, it may have been part of an Armed Forces Network Broadcast for the troops or part of her show when entertaining troops in WW2. It sounds like something ‘the boys abroad missing Stateside’ would like to hear and something she’d say ! Personally I think fizz and Hot dogs a little explosive. I would go for a Sancerre perhaps or Chablis. But what a birthday feast ! Did Mr R’s Dad get a gold watch on retirement or a jar of pickles with a Gold Lid !?
I absolutely LOVE the Marlene ABC book, it is full of loads of brilliant Marlene-isms isn’t it?! Also a few sort-of-recipes. I remember making her “sleeping potion” https://www.silverscreensuppers.com/marlene-dietrich/marlene-dietrichs-sleeping-potion and also trying her way of scrambling eggs which I think was in the ABC – https://www.silverscreensuppers.com/marlene-dietrich/marlene-dietrichs-scrambled-eggs – I am going to ask Mr R senior what he got on retirement!
What a great idea! Happy birthday!
Thanks Elizabeth – much Heinz fun is on the way for sure!
Well I love a sardine and onion sandwich on rye as much as the next person, but I cannot deduce any somnambulant effect in any of these ingredients, but as it’s Marlene will take her word. Likewise adding an extra yolk per egg seems a little extravagant, but I’m sure it would add to the luxuriousness of it. But I’m sticking to the ‘Marky’ method . Good knob of butter in the pan, melt over medium heat till golden but don’t allow to sizzle, add 2 eggs scrambled . Allow to begin to set [another 20 secs], season as required then scramble with spatula. Place on to buttered toast immediately. Always have toast ready to go as delay in plating up can be fatal and result in eggs slightly overcooking !
I like the reference to ‘The Ipcress File’ in the Sardine blog as Marlene also has a recipe for ‘Champignons’ in her book !
Yes, you must trust the Dietrich! It certainly worked for me – I was soundo! Marky method for the scrambled sounds good. I’m guessing that anyone who makes scrambled eggs a lot finds their method and sticks to it. Yes, when I’m making these it is ALWAYS Mr R’s job to do the toast. I don’t put my final egg in until he’s turned the bread over to slice side two!
Ah! As it happens, I just ran down that quote about Champagne and wrote up the details here: https://www.who2.com/marlene-dietrich-and-champagne-she-didnt-quite-say-that/
As Jenny notes, it’s from “Marlene Dietrich’s ABC.” Her line about Champagne is misquoted almost everywhere — she actually says, “It gives you a Sunday feeling, and better days seem just around the corner.”
But I didn’t see anything about hot dogs and Champagne. The opposite, really: her entry goes on to talk about having Champagne on the terrace of a Paris restaurant. She does talk in the ‘H’ section about how easy it is to decide on hamburgers for dinner.
The “ABC” book is very hard to find now, but it looks like there’s a new edition coming out this summer: https://www.kentuckypress.com/9780813195438/marlene-dietrichs-abcs/
Enjoyed finding your blog, keep up the nice work!
FRITZ! I absolutely love your piece and will link to it in the blog post. You have reminded me how much fun Marlene’s ABC is and I’m going to get it down off the shelf and make one of the recipes in tribute. I’m lucky enough to have an original copy and slightly ashamed to say that it is full of underlining. I’m intrigued about the new version, I think that publisher will have the apostrophe police after them! I wonder if there is some copyright reason for them changing the title?
I laughed at this line in your article, “most online quotation sites simply scan and scrape each other’s pages and post whatever they find” and admit to some laziness on my part! I found that quote in a google search for images of Marlene and Champagne and bunged it in the post. I shall add an explanatory bit pointing folks to the Who2 page for further info.
Don’t you just love this wonderful world of the internet? Now, which of Marlene’s recipes from The ABC (no THE on the cover, but I always think of it as The ABC) shall I try?!
Thanks for taking the time to stop by and link to your piece, it’s the kind of research based writing I love xx
I love that you rejoice in receiving condiments for your birthday. Anyone who knows me will gift me a food basket for any occassion. It would include the simplest well loved items (such as natural nut/seed butters, good mayonnaise, and fermented pickles) to a range of mustards, ethnic inspired sauces, kimchi, and farm fresh butter. Love your page!
Aww, thanks Maggie! It’s 7.30am here in London and your comment has made me RAVENOUSLY HUNGRY!