Category: Celebrity Cookbooks

Dark House Lentil Soup – Celebrity Cooking inspired by Circus Magazine #1

When we were in Bali earlier this year,  we visited the The Fire Station in Sanur a couple of times.  The first time we went I had a blue cheese, rocket (arugula) and pear salad that was to die for.  The second time we both had the burgers which were awesome!

Fire Station Sanur - BurgerOne of the features of The Fire Station is that the walls are COVERED in celebrity photos. 

The Fire Station - Sanur

And I became utterly obsessed with one of them.  It was a cover from Circus Magazine from February 1970. My photo was a bit crappy so here is a copy I found on the internet. 

Can you imagine ANY magazine today placing 20 celebrities on their cover and asking which of them are likely to die of drug overdoses in the next ten years? Because unless they thought Logan’s Run was a documentary and people over 30 would actually get rounded up and shot, this is exactly what they are suggesting!

One of the first things I did when I got home was to google to see if it was a real magazine cover.  As far as I can ascertain this actually was the cover of Circus Magazine in February 1970.  

There are a few people featured on the list who I was a) either not sure who they were or b) not sure if they were still alive.  So I started doing a bit of Googling.  The very first person I looked up had a recipe.  The second had a recipe named after them.  The more I looked the more I found. 

So, to save you the same effort I went to, here is the first part of my research.

Johnny Cash

The Man in Black survived the ’70’s but sadly passed away on September 12 2003.

The wonderful Jenny Hammerton over at Silver Screen Suppers has  made Johnny Cash’s Chili Recipe.  You can find it here

In a piece of weirdness that I have yet to fathom, the magazine cover quite clearly states both that:

  • These people are approaching 30 and,
  • Johnny Cash is 37

So either JC had some weird Benjamin Button thing going on, or he’d mastered the art of backwards time travel.  If anyone else has also mastered this skill, please let me know.  I’d very much like to be approaching 30 again too!

Bob Dylan

Still going strong at 75!

The Clever Pup has featured a recipe by Bob Dylan’s mother.  Here it is:

Beatty Zimmerman’s Banana Chocolate Chip Loaf Bread. 

Alvin Lee

Was one of the people I had never heard of.  He was the lead vocalist and lead guitarist of the blues rock band Ten Years After who I have also never heard of.  I couldn’t find a recipe by or about him. All I know is that he was a man not afraid to pout.

Alvin Lee survived the 70’s passing away at the age of 68 in 2013.

George Harrison

My favourite Beatle and creator of this week’s recipe Dark House Lentil Soup.  And what a superb photo of him!

The soup was a huge hit in this house!  I love lentil soup.  The Fussiest Eater in the world?  Not so much.  He has been known to mutter  things like “You know what would make this soup better?  Bacon” when I have made different versions of lentil soup.  I was heading out for a night with the girls this week and told him “There’s some lentil soup in the fridge if you don’t want to cook”.  I got an eyeroll and a less than enthusiastic “Great”. However, by the time I got home the response was a far warmer, “That soup was excellent!  Can I take some to work?”

Thank you George Harrison, you’ve converted TFEITW to being a lentil soup lover. 

Sadly George Harrison passed away from cancer on 29 November 2001. 

Pete Townshend

For many a year, I was absolutely OBSESSED with Mod Culture and The Who in the Quadrophenia era so I am a big fan of the work of Mr Townshend. 

I was able to find a recipe attributed to The Who in Cool Cooking by Roberta Ashley. 

Roberta says that “flashy drummer, Keith Moon..is recognised by critics as one of the best drummers in the business.  He’s also the one really into food.  He owns a pub called the Crown and Cushion. a  converted 16th century coach house…you can even find Keith there working as a bartender occasionally….One of the specialties of the house and a favourite of all The Who is Burnt Sugar Pudding:

scan_20160912

Pete Townshend is still very much alive and kicking and living in London.  Keith Moon, on the other hand, did not survive the ’70’s.  He died on 7 September 1978 of an overdose, somewhat ironically from Heminevrin, a drug used to treat symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.  The Crown and Cushion is still going and it looks absolutely gorgeous. I’ve already earmarked it as a “must stay” for our next trip to the UK.

At the time I looked, there was, sadly no burnt sugar pudding on the menu.

Crown and Cushion Hotel, Oxfordshire

Janis Joplin

Janis Joplin did not survive the 1970’s.  She died at the age of 27 (one of the founding members of the 27 club) of a drug overdose on October 4th 1970.  Janis Joplin was a big fan of Southern Comfort.  Personally, I tasted it once when I was about 17 and decided SoCo was not for me. I am probably being a bit elitist here but in my head it is a drink drunk by what we call bogans in Australia.  (Chavs would be the equivalent for my UK readers and rednecks? for those in the US).   Any SoCo drinkers out there? I am willing to be proved wrong.  And to be honest this recipe from Jane Rocca for a Janis Joplin Cocktail could be the thing to bring me over.  The rest of the ingredients sound delicious!

Jane Rocca’s recipe for a Janis Joplin cocktail

  • 30ml Southern Comfort
  • 30 ml Lillet Blanc
  • 15 ml Peach Liqueur
  • 3 drops Peach Bitters
  • Twist of lemon to ganish

Shake and strain all ingredients into an old-fashioned glass over ice. 

Garnish with a lemon twist.

Ray Davies

Waterloo Sunset by The Kinks would be in my top ten songs of all time.  At 72, Ray Davies is still around to sing it.  (Yay!)  I could not find a recipe by Ray or The Kinks but the BBC website has a recipe for a cocktail called Waterloo Sunset  – http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/3094680/waterloo-sunsets.

Here is my recipe for Dark House Lentil Soup which is inspired by George Harrison’s recipe in Mary Frampton’s Food With Friends.  I added in a quarter cup of Italian Bean Soup Mix in with my lentils and some carrots.  I also do not like green peppers so I subbed in some celery.  I’m sure George would not have minded.

Dark House Lentil Soup
A delicious and hearty vegan soup, liked by even the staunchest of meat eaters
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Ingredients
  1. 1 red chilli
  2. 1 tsp cumin seeds (I used 1 tsp ground cumin)
  3. 2 large onions, chopped
  4. 2 garlic cloves
  5. 1 cup of lentils, you can use one or a mix of types
  6. 2 large tomatoes, chopped (I used a tin of Italian tomatoes)
  7. 2 Green peppers, chopped (I used two sticks of celery)
  8. 2 carrots chopped
  9. 1 Bay leaf
  10. Salt and Pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat a small amount of oil in a frying pan. When oil is good and hot, add the red chili and cumin seeds.
  2. When the seeds stop sputtering, brown the onions and garlic in the seasoned oil. In a separate deep pan, wash the lentils in plenty of water.
  3. When clean, liberally cover with water.
  4. When the onions are browned, add them to the pan of lentils. Then add the tomatoes, peppers, bay leaf, salt, and pepper.
  5. Potatoes and carrots and small boiling onions may be added for a more substantial meal. Bring to the boil, cover, and turn down to very low heat.
  6. The soup is ready to serve in an hour and tastes better the next day.
Adapted from Taryn Fryer
Adapted from Taryn Fryer
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
 Have a great week!

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Retro Food For Modern Times: Singers and Swingers In The Kitchen – Roberta Ashley (1967) – Franks, Mince and A Saucer of Milk!

Whilst I love all old cookbooks, there is a special place in my heart for the celebrity cookbook and finding Roberta Ashley’s “Singers and Swingers In The Kitchen” was like finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. 

Subtitled

“The Scene Makers Cookbook Dozens of Nutty Turned On Easy-To-Prepare Recipes From The Grooviest Gourmets Happening” 

Singers and Swingers is a collection of recipes from The Rolling Stones, The Byrds, Leonard Nimoy, Barbra Streisand, Liza Minelli and other icons of the ’60’s  “that will keep you grooving with the greatest.”

Life really does not get much better than this!

Front Cover - Singers and Swingers in the Kitchen
Front Cover – Singers and Swingers in the Kitchen
Back Cover - Singers and Swingers In The Kitchen
Back Cover – Singers and Swingers In The Kitchen

As teenage columnist for This Week Magazine, Ms Ashley often asked bright young things of the day what their favourite foods were.  She advises that many of these dishes were:

“Worked out while they were quietly starving or working in a “pass-the-basket” coffee-house.  That means that most of these dishes can be cooked on allowance type money…or very little bread as they say”

Which just makes me love it more…star studded AND thrifty is one of my favourite combinations!

And for those readers who may be new to the kitchen, or hesitant cooks, Ms Ashley offers the following words of encouragement.

“Give it a try, the recipes are mostly easy ones and remember a year ago, Barbra Streisand couldn’t cook at all”

Adorable!

The recipes in the book are mostly solid, with only the occasional piece of  WTFery  thrown in.  If there is a real problem with the book it is that there is a certain degree of repetition in the recipes.  Of the 68 main recipes in the book, minced meat features in 11.  These include:

3 recipes for Chilli:

  • Chili by Paul Revere
  • Chili Esperanza by The Mamas and The Papas.  They liked to eat this with scrambled eggs…the thought of that makes me gag a little. (Then again, maybe they should have stuck to softer types of foods like chili and scrambled eggs and avoided the types of food that can get stuck in your throat like sandwiches.)
  • Chili for Chums.  This is not name checked but to my mind is actually the best of the lot.

Paul Revere was the lead singer of a band called Paul Revere and the Raiders who liked to dress up in period costume and presumably precede all of their gigs by repeatedly shouting “The British are coming, the British are coming”.

Paul Revere 1967
Paul Revere 1967

Ah, those crazy days of the ’60’s.  I bet he feels a little silly about wearing that costume now….

Then again, maybe not.

Paul Revere 2007
Paul Revere 2007

Returning to the prevalence of ground mince, there are also 3 recipes for Sloppy Joe Type Creations:

  • Sloppy Joe A La Sam The Sham
  • A Jones Delight by Jack Jones
  • Snick Snack Hamburgers by Lesly Gore. Lesly Gore was famous for her song “It’s My Party and I’ll Cry If I Want To”. She must have self catered because these sound repulsive.
Lesly Gore's Snick Snack Hamburgers
Lesly Gore’s Snick Snack Hamburgers

There is an equally revolting concoction called Robb Stew made by one of the three Robb brothers from the band called….you guessed it…The Robbs…They appeared to operate on the principle that if you can’t be original, be consistently unoriginal.   Surprisingly, all members of this band were not wiped out by food poisoning in 1968 but 3 of them went on to have illustrious careers in the music industry by founding Robb…I mean…Cherokee Studios in Los Angeles.  This studio has produced artists such as The Gogo’s, Aerosmith, Lenny Kravitz, Devo, Public Enemy and Jane’s Addiction to name but a few!  Quite possibly this is truly a case of what doesn’t kill you making you stronger.

Robb Stew
Robb Stew

There are also 4 instances of minced meat with pasta:

  • Carol Lawrence’s Lasagne
  • Noel Harrison’s Bolognese Sauce
  • Paul Anka’s Party Spaghetti
  • The Buckinghams‘ Spaghetti and Meatballs

Whilst their recipe does sound delicious, some of those Buckinghams look a little druggy around the eyes if you ask me!

The Buckinghams
The Buckinghams

Not like these clean living young men from groovy London town!

Rolling Stones 1967
Rolling Stones 1967

Wow! Look at the young Keith Richards in 1967 (middle row on the right).  And look at him now:

Keith Richards 2012
Keith Richards 2012

If you ever needed a reason not to take a bucket load of drugs look no further!

 The Stone’s recipe is one of the six that contain frankfurters as one of the key ingredients.

  • Chili Dog Chili by the aforementioned Paul Revere.  That man sure did love his chilli!
  • Golden Joys
  • Hurry up Casserole
  • Frankfurter Casserole
  • Hot Dogs on The Rocks by the Rolling Stones
  • Frank Pops by The Cyrkle.  I have no idea who The Cyrkle were.  And  if this recipe is anything to go by, I’m not surprised that they have faded into obscurity. Placing battered franks on a stick doesn’t make them more fun, it only adds insult to injury!
The Cyrkle's Frank Pops
The Cyrkle’s Frank Pops

Mind you, the recipe from The Rolling Stones is not up to much either…although…with the right sausage, a proper gourmet one, and proper mash, this could be a perfectly acceptable meal!  It can, can’t it?  Or have I just been married to an Englishman for too many years?

Hot Dogs on The Rocks
Hot Dogs on The Rocks

I love a recipe that comes with its own warning! In case you were wondering

“Mick Jagger invented the potatoes and franks; Charlie Watts added the beans”

There is a tone to some of the entries that suggests there may not have been much love lost between Ms Ashley and some of the celebrities. Here is Ashley’s introduction to Liza Minelli’s recipe for Crepes Suzette:

“Liza Minelli is a little girl who’s come a long way despite a terrible handicap”

The part of me that craves gossip and scandal read on with an overly avid “Wow, really?  What’s she got?”

The so-called terrible handicap?

Famous parents.

Unless they had different meanings for both the word “terrible” and the word “handicap” back in the late ‘60’s that is a nasty thing to say about someone! Poor old Liza doesn’t even get a proper photo, just a teeny thing on the cover!

Carol Lawrence also gets short shrift (even if she does get a very glamorous photo).

Carol Lawrence 001

We are told that Carol is:

“Making a rather nice name for herself in Hollywood; not as a star but as a lasagne-maker”

Ouch! 

Not really how a Tony Award Winning Actor would want to be known!  Mind you, she did go on to write a best-selling cookbook about Italian Cooking so maybe Ashley’s comment is more prescient than catty. 

 You may have noticed whilst reading this that there have been no pictures of food.  That’s because the book doesn’t contain any. This, as with most celebrity cookbooks, is long on celebrity, short on food.  That some of the recipes sound super is a bonus.  That some of them sound absolutely vile will be the subject of the next post.

In the meantime, put some flowers in your hair, light some incense and groove out to some fabulous sounds of the sixties. It’s what I’ll be doing!

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