Film archivist and food lover Jenny Hammerton suggests the perfect dish to accompany your screening of a Hollywood classic. Simply follow the recipe to enjoy a dinner with a twist and dine like a star.
Since the earliest days of the movies, mere mortals have looked towards the icons of Hollywood for guidance on healthy eating. Film stars were regularly asked for their favourite recipes by newspapers, magazines and cookbook compilers from the late 1910s onwards. Many of the dishes actors and actresses proposed were soups and salads, focusing on eating fresh food and staying slim for the movie cameras and the klieg lights.
Capitalizing on this trend, a fabulous cookbook entitled Hollywood Glamour Cook Book was published in 1940, promising “A Thousand Ways to Make Yourself Beautiful”. Written by the mysterious Mariposa, the book is a treasure trove of advice on food combining techniques, the health benefits of herbs, and weekly menus proposed for each sign of the zodiac. It is a weird and wonderful book.
Here’s Mariposa’s philosophy in a nutshell:
Let’s glamorize the streamline way
Like movie stars of fame today,
With herbs and meals combined aright
And vitamins in every bite.
As February is the month of love, why not sprinkle some stardust around your kitchen with these glamorous Canapes D’Amour?
Mariposa’s Canapes D’Amour
6 or more slices of bread
A generous dash each of Tumeric and Cardamom or Curry
A pinch of dry mustard
A pinch of powdered Thyme or a fresh spray, chopped
A pinch of powdered Sage or a fresh leaf, minced
1 tablespoon chopped green pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped black olives
1 teaspoon shredded pimento or sweet red pepper
A dash of red pepper
2 hard boiled egg yolks, chopped up
1 tablespoon Roquefort or cream cheese
A good dash of table salt
Ed. Says: Words such as drop, smidgen, dash, pinch, etc reflect the way people used to cook in the days before we became meticulous about our measurements! If you’d prefer specifics for this recipe, the best estimations are: Dash — 1/8th teaspoon and Pinch — 1/16th teaspoon
Chop the herbs, cream the butter, then stir in all ingredients. If dried herbs are used, soak them in a little lemon juice for 10 minutes before using.
Cut bread into heart shapes, toast, and spread generously with the above.
For a vegan version of this recipe you could omit the egg yolks and use a non-dairy spread and vegan cream cheese.
Here are the products and suppliers we’d recommend if you’re looking to make a cruelty-free version of this tasty dish:
Cruelty free list:
Eggs, from Hen Nation. www.goodfoodnation.co.uk & Selfridges, London.
Dairy free margarine – We like Pure and Vitalite from health food shops and most supermarkets.
Most supermarkets now stock their own brands too!
Vegan cream cheese – Our favourite brands are Tofutti and Vegusto. Available from health food shops, and some large supermarkets.
Eating and drinking like the stars of yesteryear…
For more famous foodie delights, visit Jenny’s blog