Dead Celebrities Serve Up Festive Dishes for “Christmas in Tinseltown”by Larry Cox on Nov. 29, 2012, under Uncategorized
The Dead Celebrity Cookbook Presents Christmas in Tinseltown: Celebrity Recipes and Hollywood Memories from Six Feet Under the Mistletoe by Frank DeCaro (HCI, $14.95)
Between making movies and tenderizing her daughter, Christine, with coat hangers, Joan Crawford made angel food cakes in her kitchen during the Christmas holidays. That recipe and dozens of others by departed celebrities are in this nifty cookbook edited by Frank DeCaro, author and XM Satellite radio host.
Building on the success of his previous collection, “The Dead Celebrity Cookbook,” DeCaro serves up recipes geared for holiday entertaining. In addition to brief biographical sketches and atmospheric illustrations, there are directions for making such dishes as Judy Garland’s Ham Casserole with Sherry, Dinah Shore’s Fruitcake, Gene Autry’s Texas Chili, Eartha Kitt’s Crocked Rabbit with Winter Vegetables, and Elvis Presley’s Hush Puppies.
The recipes are grouped into fifteen sections: It’s a Wonderful Lunch; Miracle Whip on 34th Street; I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas Cookie; A Feast of Fabulous Forgotten 40s Features; Eat Meat in St. Louis; Munch of the Wooden Soldiers; Animation Mastication; Ranking the Narrators; ‘Force’ Yourself to be Merry; What a Fruitcake; a Christmas Homecoming; A Dozen Holiday Platters; Just a Little Christmas Now; Mr. and Mrs. New Year’s Eve; and One for the Road.
The big surprise is that most of the 60 recipes found in this collection are actually tasty and accessible. I tested three. Fred Astaire’s Chicken Soup with Homemade Noodles was hearty and proved my noodle making skills were much better than I had anticipated. Barbara Stanwyck, who was in one of my all-time favorite holiday movies, “Christmas in Connecticut,” contributed her Kiffels cookie recipe, a simple, festive blend of cream cheese, sour cream, butter and raspberry jam. The third recipe I tested was Joan Crawford’s Angel Food Cake. It was a nice little treat and contained NO WIRE HANGERS!!
Joan Crawford’s Angel Food Cake
1 c cake flour
½ c, plus ¾ c sugar
Whites from 12 large eggs
1/2 Tbs cream of tartar
1/2 Tbs vanilla
¼ tsp almond extract
¼ tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350F. Sift the cake flour and 7/8 c sugar together three times.
In a large bowl, beat the egg whites, cream of tartar, vanilla, almond extract, and salt until foamy. Add the remaining sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, and beat until stiff peaks form. Gradually, sift the flour mixture over the beaten egg and fold it in, until the flour disappears.
Spoon the batter into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan, and gently cut through the batter with a knife to spread it evenly. Bake one 1 hour. Let it cool for ten minutes and then invert onto a rack to cool completely.