Monday, February 18, 2008
Pictured is one of the best Val's Day presents I'm able to post on a website-The NEW Celebrity Cooks Cookbook, featuring Beachcombing uberstar from the CBC in the 70's and early 80's, Bruno Gerussi!! Many Canadian visitors will fondly remember the long-running CBC TV show "The Beachcombers", featuring the aforementioned Mr. Gerussi as Nick Adonidas, gold-chain adorned "beachcomber" off the west coast, scrounging for the perfect log to drag back to the lumbermill for that juicy finders fee (which was never really stated in the show...was he paid cash? gold chains? tank tops? Nick always had plenty of the latter two, so I'd guess either or both are safe bets). Nick was always in competition with his rascally old beachcombing rival "relic", played by veteran Canadian actor Robert Clothier. Relic was always a bit of a mess, and no matter how hard he tried to swoop down and make off with Nick's...er....log...he was always confounded, and often left drifting off to apparent doom with his boat out of gas and possibly a rabid sea lion chomping at his rudder. The show was on for about 75 years, and it gained a pretty good following, due to it's jaunty theme and the fact that, for a CBC show, it wasn't that bad.
Fewer may remember that Bruno Gerussi had a spin-off series that made up for the overall quality of The Beachcombers. "Celebrity Cooks" was a half-hour show that featured Bruno hosting a variety of 70's-era "celebrities", who always tended to be either Pete Barbuti, Orson Bean or Nanette Fabray. Of course, this was a Canadian show, so it also featured the likes of John Allen Cameron, Toller Cranston and Ed Broadbent (only in Canada is the leader of the "third" poltical party considered a celebrity. Come to think of it, compared to a lot of our new politicians, ol' Ed was pretty much on the ball). Bruno was the proud overseer of a magnificently almond-themed studio "kitchen", where he would entertain his guests by imbibing large quantities of wine and looking verile. This book (published in 1979!) is one of the progeny of that show, and I have to admit, aside from the nostalgia aspect of reading Marty Allen's Moussaka recipe, some of the items in there look pretty good. Here's a sample:
Wilf Carter's Crisp Corn Flap Jacks
1 1/3 cups white corn meal
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter
2 cups buttermilk
In a bowl, mix corn meal, salt, baking soda and flour. Cut into this, with a pastry blender (?!?), the butter and beat in buttermilk and eggs. Stir this occasionally, but don't overbeat. Cook on a very hot griddle (a drop of water should bounce and splutter). Spoon the batter on to the griddle and cook for 2-3 minutes. Turn only once. Serve hot with maple syrup.
Now if Wilf Carter's Flap Jacks don't sound down-home good enough, the fact the word "splutter" is part of the recipe has to make this one of the best Flap Jack recipes ever! Just saying the name "Flap Jack" fills me with a wholesome warmness that's practically immoral in it's deliciousness. I don't remember ever having seen this particular episode, but I'm sure Wilf (with his Col. Saunders down-south long-ended bow tie and big white hat) and Bruno Gerussi (with his glass of wine and abundant chest hairs) must have been a magnificant culinary combination.
If you try this recipe, please reply to this blog! I'm sure Wilf won't let you down.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
If anyone read and enjoyed the first "co-op" story that I posted here, get ready because here's another one! And if you didn't like it, well, go away for a while because here's another one....but come on back!! Again, it's the game where one persons starts writing a story, and the next has only the last sentence to build on.
Bob and the Purple Lady (again, bolded segments are my amazing beautiful girlfriend's contributions, the other junk is mine!!)
Bob the astronaut was proud of his profession. Proud that he was part of a very small group of scientists and technicians to have left the earth's atmosphere. Proud in his role in the building of the international space station now orbiting the planet. But most of all, Bob was proud of his space suit. Bob wore it everywhere....to the base, to the grocery store, to the bowling alley. many people thought Bob was obsessed with his spacesuit. And they were probably right. Bob probably would have continued tobe obsessed with the shiney whiteness of his space suit for years.
Until he saw....her!!
Then, all else ceased to matter to him. her purple, sparkley gown, her white and purple hair, her revolving scalp, her vacant smile. he stood, mesmerized as she approached him.
"Excuse me, but could you please tell me how to get to the laundromat?" She asked.
"Uum" he said
He woke up several hours later. Looking around, he discovered that he was lying naked in a field, among a herd of dairy cows. "Holsteins" he said to himself, ironically. Weaving a pair of maekshift shorts from an assortment of grasses, he made his way towards the mooing herd towards a farm house. "I may look suspicious" he thought to himself. "I'd better divert the home owners with a clever ruse"> Locating a tire swing, he grabbed the end of a rope and climbed to a high branch in the tree. With a yell of "Aaaaeeeeyyaaaaahh" he beat his chest and swung towards a window.
In a flurry of glass and smashed window pane, he hurtled into the house.
The purple goddess followed, carefully avoiding the pointy shards. They dashed into the bedroom and began to rip off their clothes, and stuff them into a laundry bag.
They stood, coolly, regarding each others nakedness
"We really are naked" he said. The moment lasted approximately seven minutes before he reached for the kilt that lay on the floor beside him. Strappingon the kilt and adjusting the sporrin in the front, he yelled "Och" and raced out the door.
Bystanders stood shocked as the kilted figure loped down the street. racing for a phone booth, he frantically called the operator, and asked to be connected to The Embassy. Upon hearing The Embassy staffer say "Hello?", he recited the code that all operatives were required to learn. "Oooh Eee Ooh Ah Ah" he chimed. "Ting Tang Walla Walla Bing bang" the voice responded, just before the line went dead. In less than ten minutes a black limosine with tinted windows drew alongside the phone booth.
Getting into the car, he was shocked to find himself seated next to...
strong>>... an invisible snowman! All that he could see was a carrot bobbing around in the space in front of the headrest, as the snowman prattled on excitedly about the very lucky day he had been having. "First I found a dollar on the ground, and then TWO dollars, then a sandwich which tasted AWESOME. And THEN..."
The car abruptly pulled away from the curb
"Well, I didn;t expect that"> He remarked. Luckily the car deposited him in front of a convenience store. "Finally", he thought, "I can get a bag of Ketchup-flavoured potato chips, and maybe a can of Tahiti Treat." Striding manfully through the store, he quickly located the chips, drink, and one of those little car deodorizers shaped like a pine tree. Clutching his bounty to his chest, he slipped out into the cool night air.
Looking up at the stars, he asked himself "could this be the end of my adventure?"
He was once again surrounded by broken glass, having been smashed throught the windshield of the car upon impacting the mailbox. He had forgotten all about the purple goddess, although the snowman was bleeding invisibly all over the road, soaking everything in sight. As he began spiralling upward toward the brillian stars, he changed his mind. His adventure was just beginning.<strong>