Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Fun Finds: Now We're Cooking!

It's been a little while since I posted about one of my Fun Finds, but this one leapt out at me from a crowded shelf of old books as if there were roaming klieg lights originating from its jacket! It's a hardbound celebrity cookbook, a 1978 fund-raiser for a rehabilitation center in Hawaii called Habilitat!

The center had previously published a (slender by comparison) book of recipes submitted by primarily Hawaiian-based personalities, but this time (Volume II) had opened it up to include stars from the Continental United States.

No harm to her in the slightest, but any book that would choose to place Anne Francis' photo on the all-important spine (the part that we see when the book is placed between others) was something I just had to pick up! Anne Francis over Ann-Margret or Mary Tyler Moore? Other show business luminaries, some to be named later, didn't make the jacket at all. I hope you find this as hooty as I did and, who knows, maybe you'll even be compelled to try out one or more of the recipes!

Habilitat was (and is) a youth-oriented drug rehabilitation facility, set in a stunning locale with a variety of services and athletic-oriented programs and amenities. In order to compile this book, a number of celebrities were approached to provide their own favorite recipes along with, presumably, a head shot. In some cases, a brief congratulatory quote might also have been provided from the star. In other cases, the compiler might editorialize, always favorably about the dish. Some of the stars who promised to visit Habilitat if they were ever in the area really did do so, including Carroll O'Connor, Marie Windsor and Bob Newhart. The captions on the head shots provided me with several big smiles as I leafed through!

The Shangri-La-esque building that housed the organization from 1971 on...
...was later added on to and re-faced with a brighter, cleaner (if a touch blander) look. The organization is still in full operation as we speak (I don't believe we've seen a drop in the need for help in drug rehabilitation in this country lately!)
Sadly, I couldn't begin to scan in all of the recipes from all of the celebs. This is a sizable cookbook! I had to make some decisions along the way and do my best. They aren't in any order other than how the items are arranged in the book (appetizers, meats, salads, and so on.) What struck me about this first recipe more than anything was that the author decided to describe Cher Bono (not just Cher!) as “willowy.” Is that the first adjective that comes to your mind??
I love the way Carol Burnett chose to word some of her recipe's instructions. (Thank goodness she admonishes us to wash our hands... I never would have thought of that before diving into a big ol' raw meatloaf!)
What would a book supporting drug rehabilitation be without Valley of the Dolls' Neely O'Hara herself, Patty Duke? At the time, she was wed to John Astin and going by the name Patty Duke Astin. I hope you can somehow follow this intensely complicated recipe.
Another excruciatingly difficult recipe to follow comes from Richard Anderson of The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman, among many other movies and TV shows. Mr. Anderson smoked like a train, worshipped the sun to an almost ridiculous extent and ate red meat for dinner practically every night, yet he's still kicking today at age eighty-six!
June Lockhart (of Lassie and Lost in Space) provides a Yorkshire pudding recipe. I had no clue that this was how this item was made, though I only had it once when I was about eleven!
Famed Hollywood Squares panelist Paul Lynde had a lifelong struggle with food (among other things, bless his heart.) He supplied two recipes to the cookbook, including this one (which I suspect could be done in a large crock pot, too.) But does it sound “diet” to anybody?? Not sure...
Mr. Burt Reynolds also has a beef stew recipe. I guess compared to this one, Paul Lynde's recipe was lower calorie! (Frying floured beef chuck in bacon grease?!)
Tastes change over the years. I cannot imagine anyone I know preparing beef tongue for themselves or a guest. Monty “Let's Make a Deal” Hall's recipe is reprinted (one of very few like this) from another source. I would not touch this with a ten-foot pole, but I am a very finicky eater anyway and also don't like very many ingredients in my food. (One of the three cookbooks in my home is one called “Five Ingredients or Less!”)
Here we have former First Lady, Lady Bird Johnson. I wonder if she used to whip some of this stuff up for L.B. Johnson when he was in the White House?
Note that at the time of this book, Barbara Walters was still appearing with Harry Reasoner as co-host of ABC Evening News, a partnership that was riddled with difficulty and enmity. This same year, she departed the broadcast and later went on to 20/20 and The View.
If Anne Meara cooked dishes like this very often, it's a wonder her husband Jerry Stiller is still alive (and that son Ben Stiller wasn't a total tub!) The sad thing is, I sorta want to make this!
Country-fried comedienne Judy Canova (mother of Soap's Diana Canova) supplied several recipes for this cookbook. The one shown below made me chuckle because of her remark in the final sentence of the paragraph!
Hmmm... I don't know about this recipe of Miss Phyllis Diller's. Sounds really tacky! But maybe, like a lot of other things, it congeals into something wonderful during the baking process. I recall my stepmother once making a stunning pork roast in a slow-cooker, so tender and flavorful, and when I asked her what she did to it, she said "every condiment bottle in the door of the fridge that had hardly anything left in it I emptied onto the roast."  !!!  Love the choice of photo, though.
When you think of Gunsmoke's Festus (and I know you think of him frequently!), does salmon spring quickly to mind? Ha! Corn pone would probably be my first guess for a recipe from him, but, no, we have salmon loaf (which would never pass my lips even if I were on Survivor!)
It might have been fun for Tippi Hedren to have supplied a bird recipe like quail or pigeon! Hee hee! Instead, she gives us one for seafood delight. This photo of the Tipster looks more like Melanie Griffith than most of the other ones I can recall seeing (perhaps due to the pale makeup and the hairstyle?) Melanie probably would have benefited from a stay at this rehab center!
Former-President Jimmy Carter shocked me by not submitting a peanut recipe, but the one he chose does include “nuts.” Perhaps it's up to the cook to decide which kind?
Barnaby Jones/Jed Clampett of The Beverly Hillbillies Buddy Ebson has an egg recipe that is another item I wouldn't go near. I do like omelets, but don't consume any eggs that aren't “done.” If you're into runny yolks, this might be a good recipe to try, perhaps with toast.

The name of this dish made me smile. I presume Jeff and Beau Bridges were treated to their fair share of this concoction growing up!
You know I love me some Dick Gautier and this head shot of him is dreamy. “A neat dish...” indeed!
I can't help chuckling at some of the “recipes” with scintillating titles like “Cloris Leachman's Baked Potato,” though it must be added that she does indeed put a spin on it. It's not just a potato pricked with a fork, rolled in salt and tossed in the oven.
This was another head shot that amused me. With apologies in advance to her fans, I have never been able to warm up to Gretchen Wyler and have always found to come off as very self-congratulatory and unnecessarily self-important.
My grandmother would have considered Miss Olivia Newton-John's chicken soup recipe to be the height of tackiness! But, hey, it's “easy, cheap and nutritious...”

It's interesting to me that in the caption for Judy Lewis, there is no mention at all of her being Loretta Young's daughter. Even though I have since discovered that she had a (primarily daytime soap opera) acting career all her own, I really only ever knew of her as just that... Loretta Young's daughter!
NOTHING would get me to try Miss Bea Arthur's dish (and I had to investigate what madrilene even was – never heard of it before!), but I worship the way she looked at this stage of her career. That face and attitude. Love it!
I'm sure they didn't mean it in a derisive way, but there's something so amusing about the terminology used to describe Samantha Eggar's part in The Collector (1965) for her caption.
I wonder if this tuna salad recipe of Natalie Schafer's is something she developed while stranded on Gilligan's Island for all those years!
Good gravy, this seems like a tremendous amount of work for some pancakes! How interesting, too, the use of bacon fat in the recipe. You wouldn't be likely to see that much these days. Incidentally, David Janssen dropped dead from a heart attack at only age forty-eight! (He had also been a very heavy smoker.)
We next come to desserts and a battle of the pecan pies. Which one would you make? Dear Abby's seems to be very simple. (And could they have selected/sent a more diminutive photograph?!?!)
George Peppard's recipe seems slightly more complex (befitting the man, who was quite complex, too!)
I didn't even realize who Suzanne Hunt was until I read her caption. I thought she was generally better known as Suzy Hunt. She was married to Richard Burton directly after his second divorce from Elizabeth Taylor in 1976 and they remained wed until 1982.
I liked the final word of Sharon Gless' recipe. Without her advice, I would have missed out. Ha! Her caption is fun, too, though it must be said that in her heyday she really was a vibrant, confident, capable and appealing “type” in most of her roles.
At this juncture, Nancy Reagan was billed in her caption not as a former actress, but as the former first lady of California. In just a few years, she would graduate to First Lady of the United States for eight years (and, perhaps, serve Ronnie these Vienna bars in the White House? No, I doubt it!)
The final recipe comes from Mr. George Burns and doesn't involve food at all. Perhaps his laid-back, undemanding approach to food (and life?) is one of the things that helped him live to the remarkable age of one-hundred (and most of it with considerably good health!) I wish the same to you. Take care until next time!


Ken Anderson said...

Oh my God...the total randomness of the celebrities assembled for this cookbook reminds me of the days of 70s variety shows. Talk about recipes: just throw any number of names into a hat and let the viewers struggle to find a linking thread. I have to say I loved Patty Duke's liquor-soaked, Neely O'Hara-esque hamburger recipe the best. To paraphrase Ann Marie's father on "That Girl" - "From a meal like that you could end up on skid row!"
I also liked Richard Anderson's meat (I'm not sure exactly why, but all my life I've had a crush on him. He was such a babe in "I Love Melvin").
Lastly, I howled at Samantha Eggar ("my dress is blue, my hair is red, my eyes are vivid green")and her being credited with a "pathetic" role in "The Collector"! Nice catch! A very fun and funny post!

Poseidon3 said...

Ha! Thanks so much Ken, for your remarks. Yes, this is an astonishingly random collection of people, many of whom I simply had to leave out because scanning and resizing and fixing and cropping is so time consuming!! I also had to snicker at Hugh Hefner submitting a recipe (not for rabbit - heh heh!) and his apparently demanding that the head shot be noted as copyright of Playboy. It's that way in the book and also on the cover next to his face in the montage! Fascinating kitsch.......

NotFelixUnger said...

Gawd, that can't be Burt underneath the Moe Fine haircut! And, I don't think I know who Dick Gautier is, but am certain I'll arm wrestle you for him!

Poseidon3 said...

LOLOL! Burt's in a sailor skull cap (I think from "The Lucky Lady.") Dick Gautier was Conrad Birdie on Broadway, but wasn't chosen for (or otherwise couldn't do) the movie "Bye Bye Birdie." He was a gameshow and TV series fixture in the '70s and an early crush of mine.

Ana Maria said...

Dear Mr. Poseïdon :

I am not impressed by most of these recipes, but I make a big exception for Mr. George Burns' recipe for happiness : that "laid-back" gentleman had understood everything from life. And it is obvious that his 'take it easy, enjoy every simple thing and food as you get it" helped him to be a long living and philosophical wise man.

Ana Maria said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scooter said...

My favorites are the those where one wouldn't normally think a recipe was required - baked potatoes, tuna salad. I'm thinking of trying Ms. Walters' recipe for Western Casserole. I haven't had a good casserole since I was a kid.

Scooter said...

PS: If you open each photo, the recipes print out beautifully!

Poseidon3 said...

Scooter, thanks for pointing that out about the pictures. In that (relatively new) photo viewer that is part of Google Blogger, there is often distortion depending on your browser. I personally HATE what it does to some of the pictures I put up here. But, yes, if you open them in a new tab or window, it's much better. I don't repeat this in all my posts because, you know... broken record, but this is especially helpful when there is text, too. Thanks! And you must report back if you try Babs' or anyone else's recipes!!!!

Scooter said...

PPS: I often forget how pretty Cloris Leachman was in her prime. My exposure to her was always in less than glamorous roles - the harpy, Phyllis or as Frau Blucher in Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein (that's FronkenSTEEN). She was quite a looker.

Scooter said...

I used yesterday's (almost) snow day as the opportunity to cook. Well, Ms Walters' southwestern cassarole recipe probably needs a bit of adjusting. After an hour and 10 minutes in the oven, the brown rice was still not tender. I wonder if I should have cooked the rice first? I thought it would steam in the oven given how much liquid was added. Anyway, good flavor but it either needs to cook waaay longer or one could use white rice which generally cooks faster.

Poseidon3 said...

Awww... what a shame that you followed the recipe and it didn't work out. I think I would have gone ahead and used (if you didn't) the INSTANT brown rice they sell that cooks five minutes then sits five minutes. I bet that baking that type slowly would have worked out better, though I find brown rice (virtually the only kind I eat these days) is always less tender than white. I hope it at least had okay taste to it!! :-) Thanks for the report back.