Friday, February 27, 2015

Apple crumb pie for Jack Benny and Canadian cheese soup for Bob Hope

"How to hold a star" is a 12-page staplebound recipe booklet that was published in 1950 by the Edison Electric Institute.1

It's one of the most sexist things you can imagine.

Which was par for the course in the United States in 1950.

The introduction states:
"Like clever wives everywhere, the wives of movie stars know that there's more truth than poetry in the old saying, 'the way to a man's heart is through his stomach.' ... On the pages that follow, you will find how the wives of top-notch motion picture husbands 'hold their stars' by cooking their favorite recipes the modern way — with a modern Electric Range."
And so we get pages of recipes and photos in which women who only get to exist as "Mrs. Pat O'Brien" and "Mrs. Gene Autry" share the recipes that apparently kept them in good standing with their Hollywood husbands.

Here's the full rundown:

  • Jack Benny: Apple Crumb Pie
  • Pat O'Brien: Savory Beef Stew
  • Bob Hope: Canadian Cheese Soup
  • Robert Young: Ham-Yam Casserole
  • Gene Autry: Veal Chops California
  • Alan Ladd: Hamburger Rodeo
  • Eddie Cantor: Almond Chicken Casserole
  • Broderick Crawford: Mixed Grill

Here are two of the pages from the booklet...

And here are the two above recipes typed out for your convenience, in case you want to try to wrangle a movie star of your own.

Apple Crumb Pie
Made by Mary Livingstone for her husband
  • 7 cups peeled, sliced apples
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange rind
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup sifted, enriched flour
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • whipped cream
Place apples in greased deep pie pan; add orange juice. Combine sugars, orange rind, spices, salt and flour. Cut in butter or margarine with 2 knives or pastry blender. Spread evenly over apples. Bake in moderate oven, 350° F. 1 hour. Top each serving with flavored and sweetened whipped cream. Yield: 6 to 8 servings.

Canadian Cheese Soup
Made by Dolores L. DeFina for her philandering husband
  • 4 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cans condensed consomme
  • 2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Dash tobacco
  • 1/4 cup minced pimientoes
Melt butter or margarine; blend in flour, paprika and pepper. Add milk; cook over low heat, stirring constantly until thickened. Add consomme, just as it comes from the can. Add cheese; stir until melted. Add remaining ingredients, salting to taste. Serve at once. Yield: 8 to 10 servings.

1. The Edison Electric Institute is still around and is holding its 2015 convention this June in New Orleans. Just FYI.

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