A Salad Matinée: The Green Goddess

IMG_0001 green goddess

Green Goddess salad dressing was created by the chef at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco in honor of George Arliss, the stage actor who was staying there during the run of William Archer’s play of that name. 

It also capitalized on the release of the silent movie version of the play in that year (the movie was remade as a talkie in 1930). As far as I can tell, it is sort of a 1920s version of the Beatles’ Help! (1965), complete with politically incorrect South Asian stereotyping and the possibility that the British characters will be sacrificed to appease an angry goddess. Well, OK, otherwise it is different. The George Arliss production doesn’t have all those Lennon-McCartney songs, for one thing.

Anyhow, here is more information, including contemporary reviews and stills, about The Green Goddess on film. And here is more information about the original creation of the salad dressing.

A few other things were named for Archer’s play, including the beautiful 1927 locomotive on the Romney, Dymchurch & Hythe steam railway at Tentenden, Kent, England.

I also have some recipes for Green Goddess dressing that will appease anyone at your dinner table – just in case you happen to have an angry goddess on the guest list. There was a commercially bottled version made by Seven Seas in the early 1970s. I remember seeing that. My mother never got it. I thought that it had something to do with the fondness for avocado green in decorating, actually.

GREEN GODDESS MAYONNAISE

1 clove garlic, crushed
2 Tb finely chopped anchoveis or anchovy paste
3 Tb finely chopped chives or green onions
1/3 cup finely chopped parsley
1/2 cup thick sour cream
1 Tb lemon juice
1 Tb tarragon vinegar
dash of salt, dash of finely ground pepper

[Combine, presumably. Marye did not say, but we can all figure this out!]

–from Marye Dahnke’s Salad Book (New York: Pocket Books, 1954, reprinted 1965), p. 41

And from the Red Lion Room at the Holiday Inn at Bismarck, North Dakota (circa 1972) – whose “continental cuisine is outstanding” -

GREEN GODDESS DRESSING

1/4 cup parsley, minced
1/4 cup onion, minced
3 to 4 onion tops, minced
2 Tb cider vinegar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 cups mayonnaise
8 oz. sour cream
1 dash green food coloring

Mix all ingredients together and let stand in refrigerator for a short time before serving. Makes approximately 3 cups.

–from the Holiday Inn International Cook and Travel Book, ed. Ruth Malone (Holiday Inns, Inc. 7th ed. 1972), p. 230.

Yum, green food coloring! Actually, this sounds great, if you use fresh garlic (or roasted garlic maybe), cut down on the mayo, and leave out the, um, food coloring. The hungry goddesses at your table will thank you, and come back for seconds.

Serve them a good dessert as well, and they will be too content (and full) to be angry!

Image is from the theatre program I mentioned in the last post, from the Booth Theater in New York. My grandparents saw the play there in April 1921. Note snazzy Egyptian cigarette ad at the bottom of the page.

Adams Pure Chewing Gum, 1921

IMG Adams gum 1921

I know what Chiclets are like (peppermint), and Black Jack (that would be black licorice) and the California Fruit is what they are calling “tutti frutti” (this must be Adams’ version of Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit). But what is Yucatan Chewing Gum like?

It was peppermint, actually – just like the Chiclets. See here for a little more gum history at Candy Favorites. Advertisement from a theatre program from the Booth Theatre in New York, from 1921. My grandparents went to see “The Green Goddess” by William Archer, starring George Arliss, in April 1921 – 87 years ago! The program is in great condition and is packed with ads (which makes me very happy!).

I sense a Green Goddess Salad post in the near future…so please do come on back for the Salad Matinee later on!

In A Prune Spin

Marshall Field 1909 tearoom LOC

Dorothy Parker’s short story, “The Bolt Behind the Blue”(ca 1940), is about two sort-of friends, one rich and bored, the other poor and obsequious (at least on the outside). The rich lady, Mrs. Hazelton, makes herself feel better by giving Mary Nicholl her worn-out handbags and the occasional cocktail. Miss Nicholl, in turn, flatters Mrs H. and tells self-deprecating stories about herself and Idabel Christie, another friend, who like to go to the Candlewick Tea Room for dinner.

Mrs. Hazelton is horrified by the very idea of the tea room but even more by what Mary has there: “…those yummy sticky rolls, served in baskets, and that prune spin with maraschino cherries in it. Idabel Christie likes the fudge cup-custard, but I can’t resist the prune spin.” 

Michael and Jane Stern discuss the tearoom in their wonderful book Square Meals (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1984), calling it a place for “frilly” ladies’ lunches often found in city department stores, where one or two women could dine peacefully, free from masculine intrusion. They say that “the label tearoom distinguished these citadels of femininity from the serious restaurants in town, as well as from plebeian coffee shops.” [p. 8]

Ever since I read “The Bolt Behind the Blue” I wondered – well, about the prune spin. The custard and the sticky rolls sounded good to me too (although not your usual evening meal – Mary and Idabel went at 6 pm, so I guess it was almost a late afternoon tea) – but what in the world was a prune spin?

I am here to report that I think it is analogous to the classic Prune Whip. There are plenty of prune desserts in 1930s and 1940s cookbooks. It must have been a special name that the Candlewick Tea Room in Parker’s story gave to the plebeian Whip. Spin sounds a little bit snazzier, doesn’t it? Here is a recipe for the very same, complete with a maraschino cherry (feel free to add more, in the style of Miss Mary Nicholl):

PRUNE CREAM WHIP

5 cooked prunes, drained
1 Tb confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp orange juice
1/4 cup heavy cream, whipped

Pit and cut prunes, mix with next two ingredients and chill. Whip cream, add chilled mixture and top with maraschino cherry if desired. [From Culinary Arts Institute Encyclopedic Cookbook, Ruth Berolzheimer, ed. New Revised Deluxe Edition, 1971; orig. pub. 1948, p. 909]

This is for one serving of course. If Idabel can be persuaded away from the fudge custard, merely double the ingredients. Image is from the Library of Congress American Memory collection, link here: it depicts the Marshall Field & Co. tearoom in 1909. [It is originally from  the Chicago Daily News negatives collection, DN-0003451. Courtesy of the Chicago Historical Society.]

Marshmallow Dénouement: Dachshund and Giraffe

IMG_0001 dachshund IMG giraffe

The final marshmallow critters – Fritz the Dachshund and my personal favorite, George the Giraffe.

GLUE FOR MARSHMALLOW FAVORS

1 1/2 cups unsifted confectioner’s sugar
1 egg white, unbeaten

In small bowl of electric mixer on medium, beat sugar with egg white until mixture is thick enough to hold a definite shape. Keep glue covered with damp cloth until ready to use. Makes about half a cup. When using on favors, let glue dry completely on each part before going on to next part.

FRITZ THE DACHSHUND

1. For body, string 5 large marshmallows on a wooden skewer.
2. Make each leg with 2 mini marshmallows on half of a wooden pick. Insert 2 legs into each end of body; then insert into inverted paper plate, for support.
3. Make head: Cut ears and nose from brown paper. Make slits with wet knife in a large marshmallow: insert ears and nose. Glue small piece of licorice candy to nose; add 2 pieces of licorice string to head, for eyes. Att ach head to body with wooden pick.

GEORGE THE GIRAFFE

1. For neck, insert a wooden skewer through centers of 7 mini marshmallows. Insert into apple, for support, while making head.
2. Make head add another mini marshmallow to neck, inserting skewer through side. Glue a mini marshmallow to last marshmallow on neck, flat ends together. Add pieces of licorice string, for eyes. Cut ears from white paper. make slits in head with wet knife; insert ears.
3. Use large marshmallow for body. Insert neck into body. Insert 4 wooden picks on underside of body, for legs; insert legs into inverted paper plate, for support.

And there you have it! For the rest of the marshmallow series:

The whole kit and caboodle: group photo!

Part 1: Lamb and Piglet

Part 2: Snowman and Turtle

Part 3: Poodle and Hippo

Part 4: Elephant and Lion

Part 5: Three Little Seagulls

“The Wiener The World Awaited!”

IMG_0002 wieners in can 1950s LHJ

I’m not sure that the world realized this. All the other issues at hand in the 1950s: the Cold War, the postwar economy, trying to fit into pencil skirts…all solved, nay “revolutionized,” by all the (gulp) “quickie meals” that would arise from Oscar Meyer Wieners in a Can. And also the Sack o’ Sauce. Can’t forget the Sack o’ Sauce, can we now?

Also: it is not a plus when a food (especially food in a can, or emanating from a sack) is “so different it’s patented!” It’s different, all right.

A decade after this ad, they had that commercial where the kids sing that they wanted to be Oscar Meyer Wieners, remember that? I do, it was on into the 1970s. I never actually knew any kid who expressed that desire; nor did I really want to be a hotdog. Supposedly the deal was that if you were one of those things, everyone would “be in love with you” – an idea that I don’t want to deconstruct right now (or ever, thanks) but…I think that it’s a more likely proposition that IF you are a hotdog, people will EAT you for dinner. Not be in love with you!

And if you are a hotdog in a can…oh, ugh. Never mind. Moving right along…

Here’s a recipe to go with this entrancing product. From Recipes For Young Adults (1973), here is a grown-up “After-The-Game Snack”:

WIENER WINKS

8 frankfurters
8 slices sandwich bread
1/2 cup grated cheese
butter
3 Tb chopped onion
3 Tb prepared mustard
toothpicks
8 stuffed olives

1. Cover frankfurters with boiling water; let stand 8 minutes; drain.
2. Butter bread (remove crusts if desired).
3. Combine chopped onion and mustard.
4. Dip buttered side of bread in grated cheese and spread onion mixture on unbuttered side. Place a frankfurter diagonally across each slice on onion-mustard side.
5. Fasten two opposite corners of slice with toothpick.
6. Place bread side down on broiler pan 3 inches from heat. Broil 2-3 minutes on each side to toast.
7. Perch stuffed olives on toothpicks.

Aw, the olives are perched on the toothpicks, how cute. I didn’t know they could do tricks. But now that wieners come in a can I guess anything is possible.

Note that if we make this recipe we will have a leftover Sack o’ Sauce. I can’t imagine what we’re going to do with that.

“I Used to be a Glamour Girl”

glamour girl

“Well, you can go right on being all that’s lovely.” No I can’t, I’m scrubbing the toilet, maybe you didn’t catch that. And anyway, there’s more to it than that. The toilet-scrubbing’s just a symptom. It’s 1945, and this is the glamour girl’s ultimate fate, Sani-Flush to the rescue or not. I remember something in Marilyn French’s The Woman’s Room about this, how no matter how educated or liberated you get – or how evolved the menfolk get (don’t hold your breath, it’s 1945 after all) – the toilet bowl will still be there, demanding a scrub. It’s one of those inevitable things in life. The sun rises, the sun sets. And stuff in the house just keeps getting dirty over and over. No more Stork Club for you!

Still Life With Bundt Cake and Brooding 1970s Waiter

IMG_0001 strange bundt waiter pic

This is a nice recipe, but the photo is strange. If you want to see gorgeous photos of the best Bundt cakes ever, I refer you to the incomparable T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types.

The weird waiter is in several photos in this book, jealously guarding a Bundt cake in a dark, moody setting. I don’t know who he is or why he is so obsessed.

WALNUT-BOURBON POUND CAKE

2 cups finely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup bourbon
3 q/2 cups sifted flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
8 eggs
2 cups butter or margarine, softened
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup bourbon

In small bowl, combine walnuts and 1/2 cup bourbon, mix well. Let stand. Sift together flour, baking powder, salt and spices. Set aside. In small bowl, beat eggs until they are thick and light. In large bowl, cream butter with sugar until light; beat in vanilla. Add beaten eggs, beating at low speed, then at high speed until mixture is thick ad fluffy. Gradually beat in flour mixture just until combined. Stir in bourbon-walnut mixture. Turn batter into greased and floured 12-cup Bundt Pan; spread with rubber scraper s that batter is slightly higher at side and against tube. Place a 12″ square of brown paper over pan. Bake 55-60 minutes at 350. Cool in pan 10-15 minutes; turn out on wire rack to complete cooling. Soak 18-inch square of cheesecloth in 1/2 cup bourbon. Wrap cake completely in cheesecloth then in foil. Store several days in an airtight container. Just before serving glaze with Coffee Glaze and garnish with nuts or sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar.

COFFEE GLAZE

2 tsp instant coffee
scant 3 Tb hot milk
2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 Tb soft butter

Dissolve instant coffee in hot milk. In small bowl, combine sugar and butter. Gradually add milk to achieve desired consistency and stir until smooth.\

This recipe is from Over 300 Ways To Use Your Bundt Pans(1973) brought to you by the Nordic Ware Kitchen/Northland Aluminum Products folks in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Muriel Saves the Day

IMG_0003 Muriel and the floor, LHJ 1934

Muriel is unhappy with the kitchen reno. They forgot abut the old splintery floor. Mother says they have to wait, there’s no more money for a fancy new floor. This is 1934 after all, Muriel – the Depression, remember that?

Then Muriel sees an ad for Congoleum Gold Seal Rugs and Mother’s ready to whip right down to the store and shell out for a kitchen rug.  Huh? A rug? How is this going to solve any problems?

Happy ending: Muriel has the gang over for a “kitchen party” – wow, that’s some hot time they’re having. A couple of elderly F. Scott Fitzgerald clones talking about insurance over by the cupboards, Muriel sitting in a hard chair, and Muriel’s pal sitting on the table. Don’t they have more than one chair?

“Don’t bother about crumbs,” our gracious hostess tells the scintillating group. Which kind, Muriel? The cupcake bits that are being ground into the rug, or the ones wearing the Arrow collars?

The Formal Picnic

IMG_0001 the formal picnic IMG_0002 formal picnic theatre program

This is a little much, even for 1963. Here we have a “Theater-party Picnic” presented in Better Homes and Gardens’ Barbecues and Picnics. In the smaller photo you can see the theatre program, I couldn’t get it all into the big one. It is a program for “Ravina” - the closest thing I could find to this was the Ravinia Festival in Chicago, which features concerts and theatrical performances. (Why do they already have the program if they’re about to go to the theater?)

I can’t believe that people who are actually going to the theater, who are all dressed up (though really, they look pretty every-day by 1963 standards) are going to “take supper…and enjoy dining on the lawn.” Excuse me, but what lawn would this be? I mean, suppose you were going somewhere off-Broadway. What do you do, spread the plaid blanket out on the sidewalk?

And here’s the menu that you are going to be (a) cooking, (b) setting out on the theatre’s back forty (hah) and (c) cleaning up and stuffing back into the car before the curtain rises:

Chilled Fruit Toddy
Cold Roast Chicken
Assorted Condiments
Curried Picnic Salad
Salt Sticks
Limed Pineapple-in-the-Shell
Cheese and Cracker Tray
Hot Coffee

Oh, plus “flares for a touch of atmosphere” and a candle in a red glass like they had (in plastic netting) in “fancy” restaurants back in the day. Trying to eat roast chicken and drink hot coffee while attempting to avoid grass stains on the theatre dress - I don’t know about this. It’s risky, is what it is.

And don’t get me started on the flares and the candle. It’s a scenario rich in the possibilities of disaster. I predict a comedy of errors: dramatic grease stains, spilled coffee, burnt fingers, messy condiments everywhere. The dénouement: a mad panic to get everything packed up in time. These people may miss the first act altogether. Which might be for the best, since the production appears to be an amateur one – most professional theatres do not sport a white picket fence.

Even if a young Henry Kissinger (or possibly it is Steve Allen, who might be more the theatre type) does seem to be enjoying the Salt Sticks there in the background. Love those light-blue shoes he has on, they match the jacket. Actually they look like running shoes, don’t they? Where’d he get them in 1963?

A Heart-Breaking Blonde

IMG_0002 1940 UK Womans Weekly

It must be the “DOUBLE lemon rinse” that puts the heartbreak in the blonde. Although I think the idea is that she’s supposed to make the menfolk unhappy, not turn the heartbreak inward. That’s the wrong message to give the readers.

She doesn’t look all that happy, does she? Maybe it’s the housecoat that’s worrying her. That’s not really very glam. And wartime or not, the ads for hair and makeup products were usually, well, very glam indeed. This is supposed to be an “after” pic, isn’t it?

This ambiguous ad is from a 1940s British women’s magazine, for Snowfire Shampoo. It does a lot for you (don’t they all): it’s a root-stimulating, brightening, burnishing treat for your dull horrid lifeless hair. And if you throw in the Tinted Wave Set you can have enchanting – um, tinted waves. Nothing wrong with that!

But why does it come in Henna for dark hair as well? Do the dark-haired Snowfire users also become heart-breaking blondes? Heart-breaking brunettes? Do the brunettes do something else altogether? Maybe they hypnotize the men instead. That’d be good.

If you’re brownish blonde, like me – what they used to call a California blonde in the forties (i.e. you had light brown hair with sun-lightened bits) – maybe you could do both! The power of hypnosis and heart-breaking beauty. I’d like that.

I still wish the model looked a little perkier though. Since she seems to have used both the Snowfire shampoo AND the Tinted Wave Set. Man, she ought to be levitating and laughing hysterically with all that  on her head!