December 16, 2011

Dead Celebrity Cookbook: Lucille Ball’s Persimmon Cake

Long before Gwyneth Paltrow wrote a cookbook or Sara Lee had her own show, Lucille Ball was baking persimmon cake and Harriet Nelson was creating her favorite chicken. This, among other reasons, is why this past fall, Frank DeCaro created The Dead Celebrity Cookbook : A Resurrection of Recipes from More Than 145 Stars of Stage and Screen. The cookbook combines his love of movie and pop culture trivia with authentic recipes from Hollywood celebs who enjoyed cooking well before it was popular.

The idea for a dead celebrity cookbook was first born at a dead celebrity party that DeCaro attended in college, he says. "It was a great concept for a party. I remember going as Euell Gibbons [the spokesperson for Grape Nuts], and thinking that there were no dead celebrity dishes at the party." After sparking the idea, it was DeCaro's love of pop culture that inspired him to start collecting celebrity cookbooks. "It literally got to the point where I was buying anything that had a celeb recipe in it!" Besides his own passion, he also wanted to remind younger audiences of the impact that some great past celebrities have had on present-day culture.
Of the 145-plus dead celebrity recipes featured in DeCaro's cookbook, he does have his favorites. Harriet Nelson's chicken, which "is everything you want on a cold winter's day. It has three cans of cream soup, and probably isn't very healthy, but it's absolutely delicious! Another favorite are Liberace's sticky buns. "They're tastier than crescent rolls have the right to be. I made a batch of 24, and ate nine before they even had time to cool!" Also in the cookbook is one of the most famous celeb-meets-oven recipes, Katharine Hepburn's brownies.
And for your Holiday Baking - here are two of Lucille Ball's recipes:

Lucille Ball's Sunday Night Goulash
Serves 6

2 bunches green onions, chopped
2 large green peppers, chopped
½ clove garlic, chopped
2 pounds ground beef
1 large can solid packed tomatoes
½ pound small egg noodles

Saute onions, green pepper, and garlic until tender. Brown meat in butter, then add sautéed ingredients. Add tomatoes with juice and simmer slowly. Add salt and pepper to taste. During last 30 minutes of cooking, add cooked, strained egg noodles.

Lucille Ball's Persimmon Cake
Serves 12

2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons butter
2 cups persimmon pulp
2 cups chopped walnut meats
1 cup seedless raisins
1 cup dates, chopped fine
Rind of one orange, grated
1 cup milk
4 cups sifted cake flour
2 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon cloves
½ teaspoon allspice
½ teaspoon nutmeg
4 teaspoons baking soda
3 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Mix all ingredients and bake in two large buttered load tins for 4 small ones for 1 ½ hours at 300 degrees F.

If you want to explore more recipes, be sure to purchase the book and get cooking today!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for these, I'm watching I Love Lucy right now, the one where she bottles her salad dressing, which lead me to look to see if such a recipe really existed, which lead me here, and both these recipes sound worth a try :)