Vintage Recipe Thursday/Life this Week: June 27, 1938

Thursday, June 30, 2011
I got lucky, because the June 27th (1938) issue of Life magazine has two recipes in it: Gem Tossed Salad and Gin Juleps.

1938 drink, 1938 telephone

First off, the gin juleps were a disaster.  Don't get me wrong.  I love gin (as you probably know if you read this blog with any regularity), but I fully believe gin is made to be mixed.  Sipping straight gin with some ice and mint is not my idea of a refreshing drink.  "Refreshing" drinks don't burn.  That's what's great about a Gin and Tonic or a Gin and French or a White Lady.  I've never had a mint julep before, though, because I'm not the biggest fan of bourbon unless it's got lots of soda in it or if it's in a baked good.  Paul didn't like his gin julep either, but if you'd like to try it, the instructions are at the link above.

an individual bowl of Gem Tossed Salad

I was worried about the Gem Tossed Salad, but it turned out to be pretty tasty.  The recipe sounds like it was created by an insane person: lettuce, watercress, avocado, olives, vinaigrette dressing (OK so far), grapefruit sections and pineapple tidbits.  To be honest, though, it's pretty typical of the twentieth-century salad.  I used everything except the watercress, because ours had gone all manky in the fridge.  I don't have a recipe; I just put in the amount of everything that looked right.  As for the "French dressing," I used a 3 to 1 extra-virgin olive oil to lemon juice mix and added salt and pepper and "Italian herb mix."  Once you get the salad all tossed together, everything tastes like dressing and avocado.  Not a bad thing.


Reading "America: Millions of Its People Set Out to See Their Country" made me realize I need to do a lot more domestic exploring.  The only attraction I've been to on the list is Emporia, Kansas.  That is, if eating at the Pizza Hut counts, which I doubt.  Which attractions have you seen?


The Tivo is back.  It turns out that the big electrical storm we had actually fried the outlet that powered the TV, which threw the HDMI port (which was connected to the Tivo) out of whack.  We turned off the breakers last night and Paul opened up the outlet and we discovered that there was a bare wire in there touching a rusty screw.  Fabulous.  We plugged the TV into a different outlet and now everything (except that poor HDMI port) is hunky dory.  I'm now waiting on the landlords to arrive to fix our dangerous outlet.  

Movie Recommendations: July 2011

Wednesday, June 29, 2011
To all of you who've asked, our Tivo is still out despite two visits from cable repairmen.  Paul's on the phone with Tivo right now, because our cable is no longer electrically charged, but the Tivo is making sparks when the cable is brought anywhere near it.  It blew out an HDMI port on the TV Saturday.  Hopefully, it will be up and running soon, because there are a lot of movies I'd like to record!

All times are CST; all movies are on TCM.

  • Strangers on a Train (F 7/1 2:00 p.m.) Super-creepy Robert Walker traps Farley Granger in a murder plot.  Not to be missed.
  • Tom Jones (Sa 7/2 7:45 a.m.) an excellent, very funny adaptation of the Henry Fielding classic
  • Pygmalion (Sa 7/2 8:45 p.m.) better than My Fair Lady, even without the Cecil Beaton costumes, Rex Harrison and Jeremy Brett
  • To Be or Not to Be (Su 7/3 3:45 a.m.) Jack Benny and Carole Lombard star in this Ernst Lubitsch comedy about Polish actors who get caught up in the resistance movement during the German invasion
  • On the Town (Su 7/3 12:00 p.m.) one of those Gene Kelly/Frank Sinatra musicals, but this one has Ann Miller
  • The Scarlet Coat (M 7/4 11:15 a.m.) I'm only recommending this one because George Sanders is in it--as a British spy during the American Revolution; it's total crap
  • Summertime (Tu 7/5 1:45 p.m.) Katherine Hepburn falls for Rossano Brazzi (who wouldn't?) while vacationing in Venice
  • Doctor Zhivago (Tu 7/5 3:30 p.m.) Be prepared for "Somewhere My Love" to be stuck in your head for days; it really is a good movie, though
  • The Sheik (W 7/6 12:00 a.m.)
  • That Forsyte Woman (W 7/6 11:00 a.m.) Errol Flynn gets the thankless task of playing Soames Forsyte; Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon co-star as Irene and Young Jolyon; the Masterpiece Theatre version is better, but doesn't have Errol Flynn

  • The Scarlet Pimpernel (F 7/8 10:45 a.m.) So my favorite Pimpernel is the 1982 Anthony Andrews/Jane Seymour one, but Leslie Howard does a fantastic job in this version (if you can stand Merle Oberon as Lady Blakeney)
  • It's Love I'm After (F 7/8 12:30 p.m.) a bit of an oddball film--Leslie Howard and Bette Davis in a romantic comedy
  • Casablanca (Su 7/10 5:00 p.m.) Play it, Sam!
  • The Bride Wore Red (Th 7/14 5:00 p.m.) A ridiculous plot in which a saloon girl (Joan Crawford) poses as an aristocrat, but ends up falling for mailman Franchot Tone; I really liked it, though
  • Road to Morocco (Th 7/14 9:00 p.m.) Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, silly jokes: I love it

  • The Saint Strikes Back (Sa 7/16 5:00 a.m.)  I get all the Saint movies confused, but it stars George Sanders, who makes a damn good Simon Templar (take that, Val Kilmer)
  • Mogambo (Sa 7/16 9:15 p.m.) Paul and I spent a lazy, rainy Sunday morning watching this remake of Red Dust; great on-location filming
  • The Male Animal (Su 7/17 8:15 p.m.) Henry Fonda is a college professor who has to battle stupid university trustees and his wife's (Olivia de Havilland) former suitor
  • A Face in the Crowd (Tu 7/19 5:45 a.m.) You MUST see this film.  It is one of the most amazing movies I've ever seen. Andy Griffith plays against type to perfection and Patricia Neal and Walter Matthau are magnificent; Elia Kazan was a genius.

  • The Son of the Sheik (F 7/22 1:00 a.m.)
  • Victor/Victoria (Tu 7/26 12:00 p.m.) James Garner falls for female female-impersonator Julie Andrews
  • Ivanhoe (Sa 7/30 3:00 p.m.) This movie is pretty much terrible, but it has George Sanders in it.  You might want to read the hokey book instead.
  • All Quiet on the Western Front (Sa 7/30 7:00 p.m.) devastating portrayal of the horrors of World War I; I won't be re-watching it, but if you haven't seen it, you probably should
  • Road to Utopia (Su 7/31 7:00 p.m.) Another Bob Hope/Bing Crosby/Dorothy Lamour road movie
There are actually a good number of films I haven't seen that will be on this month.  So, I'm excited about that.  Here's a list of new-to-me George Sanders movies I'll be recording for possible inclusion in the next film fest:
  • Action in Arabia (Th 7/7 8:30 p.m.)
  • Trunk to Cairo (F 7/8 12:00 a.m.)
  • King Richard and the Crusaders (W 7/27 12:30 a.m.)
For Lisa, here's a photo of an all-grown-up Ty Power (twenty-two in the photo in my last post, twenty-eight in this still from The Black Swan):


    In the spirit of full disclosure, I'm a bit biased toward Tyrone; this portrait was in my locker in high school along with numerous Errol Flynn photos:

    Blueberry Lemonade

    Picnics during the summer would be incomplete without some summery juices and lemonades. This is a no brainer recipe for lemonade with a few blueberries floating which provide just the right amount of tanginess and color to your ordinary lemonade. Also, your lemonade will have an antioxidant punch from the blueberries! This can be served during parties and during picnics and can be made in no time. They can also be made ahead and stored in a pitcher in a refrigerator. The blue color increases with time.

    I found this idea to make blueberry lemonade when i was browsing for recipes to use up my berries. i made these using frozen berries. They taste great when made using fresh berries. The lemonade can also be made using different berries like raspberries, strawberries, cranberries etc.

    Ingredients (serves 2)
    Lemon juice, freshly squeezed - 3 tablespoons
    Sugar - 3 tablespoons
    Ice cold water - 2 glasses
    Blueberries, fresh or frozen - 3 tablespoons or more


    • In a bowl, stir together the lemon juice, sugar and water until the sugar dissolves completely. 
    • Add in the blueberries and with the back of a spoon, just press a few blueberries, so that the blue color dissolves into the water. 
    • Adjust sweetness and pour into a glass with ice cubes and enjoy!

    Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#6

    Marble Cake

    Tuesday, June 28, 2011
    This is one pretty cake which does not require any frosting and it looks beautiful and tastes great by itself. It is very similar to the zebra cake except that the cake has a marbled effect and not the perfect black and white lines. It is fun to have a random mix of chocolate and plain vanilla cake in each bite.

    Recipe Source: Joy of Baking
    Maida/All purpose Flour - 2 1/4 cups
    Unsalted butter - 1/2 cup at room temperature
    Granulated sugar - 1 1/4 cups
    Eggs - 2
    Semisweet Chocolate, chopped roughly - 2 oz or about 55 gms
    Brewed coffee - 1 tablespon
    Vanilla Extract - 2 teaspoons
    Sour cream/Yogurt - 3/4 cup
    Milk - 1/3 cup
    Cinnamon powder - 1/2 teaspoon
    Baking powder - 1 tablespoon
    Baking soda - 1/2 teaspoon
    Salt - 1/4 teaspoon

    Preheat oven to 350F.

    Melt the semisweet chocolate and brewed coffee in a double boiler (Bring water to a simmering boil in a saucepan. Place a the semisweet chocolate and brewed coffee in a stainless steel bowl and place the bowl in the saucepan with water). Once the chocolate melts, remove from the heat and set aside. Alternatively, you could microwave the chocolate and coffee together for about 30 seconds.

    In a bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon.

    In another bowl, cream together the butter and sugar using a hand mixer/electric mixer until soft and fluffy or about 2 to 3 minutes. Add eggs, one by one and continue beating. Slowly add in the vanilla extract and sour cream and beat until well incorporated.

    Slowly add in the flour mixture and milk by alternating them and continue beating, until you have added all the flour and milk.

    Once the batter is ready, pour half of the batter into another bowl and add the melted chocolate into one half and mix thoroughly.

    Grease a bundt/loaf pan and pour the batter into the pan alternating with a spoon of chocolate and vanilla batter. Using a spatula or a spoon, draw some swirls in the batter to give a swirling effect.

    Bake in the preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes and slice the cake.

    Serve warm or at room temperature.

    This cake makes a great snack at picnics and this is my post for the Blogging Marathon with the theme Picnic Food. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#6

    Kale Chips!

    Monday, June 27, 2011
    Are you someone who hates kale? Then you should definitely try these crispy, crunchy, delicious kale chips! I have been seeing these kale chips a lot around the blogosphere and I had to try it. Kale is a chock full of Vitamin A, C, calcium and iron. I grabbed a bunch of kale from my farmers market to make this chips and some salad. But I have been staying away from kale salads, fearing it might have some strong taste. But when I made these chips, I knew I am going to make these very often! They are so addictive like potato chips!

    The recipe is so simple. I kept it simple by adding olive oil, salt and apple cider vinegar. The vinegar gave some tanginess to the chips. The chips also taste great with just olive oil and salt. You could also make several other variations - pepper, rice vinegar, balsamic vinegar, canola/vegetable oil, nutritional yeast, flax seed meal, garlic salt, italian seasoning etc.

    Kale - 1 bunch
    Olive oil - 1 tablespoon
    Apple cider vinegar - 1 teaspoon
    Salt to taste

    Wash the kale and dry them well with paper towels. The leaves should be dried completely. If wet, the kale would just be steamed instead of turning into chips.

    Tear the kale leaves into bite sized pieces leaving the thick vein or inner stalk.

    In a bowl add the kale and drizzle some olive oil, vinegar and salt to taste. Using both your hands, massage the kale well, so that the seasonings blend well with the kale leaves.

    Preheat oven to 350 F.
    In a baking tray, line with parchment paper or spray with some non-stick cooking spray and line the kale leaves in a single layer. Do not over crowd the pan as it might result in steamed kale and the chips might not turn crispy.

    Bakein the oven for about 10 - 15 minutes depending on the oven. Keep checking after 10 minutes to see if the chips have become crunchy and crispy. Mine took around 12 minutes to turn crispy.

    Enjoy! Store in an airtight container.

    This is my entry for the Blogging Marathon with the theme Picnic Food. This would be a great healthy snack to munch on during picnics. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#6
    Also sending this to Quick and Easy Recipe Mela.

    Forever Nigella: Nursery Fish Pie

    Sunday, June 26, 2011
    Thanks to Kat at Housewife Confidential for hosting the sixth Forever Nigella Blogging Event.  The Official Forever Nigella page is at Maison Cupcake.

    I've talked about the problems associated with seafood in a landlocked state before, but that evidently hasn't kept me from attempted to add fish and seafood to our meals.  I decided I'd like to make Nigella Lawson's Nursery Fish Pie, because a) it's so very British, b) I've never had fish pie before, nursery or otherwise, and c) I was slightly afraid of it.  We didn't eat a lot of fish at my parents' house (also in a landlocked state), so I had no idea if poached fish (and poached smoked fish) in a cheesy béchamel sauce covered in cheesy mashed potatoes was something I would like or not.  Thankfully, since the smoked rainbow trout was so expensive, the pie was very tasty.  I had to use smoked rainbow trout instead of smoked haddock, because our grocery store didn't have any smoked haddock and the fishmonger by our house promised to get some for me and didn't.  Also, I used U.S. wild-caught Atlantic pollock instead of the fresh haddock because that was the whitefish that was available this week that comes from a country with rules about food safety.  Plus it was on sale for $3 per pound, so I think I got a pretty good deal.

    I forgot to hard-boil eggs, so I had to leave those out (so maybe I didn't get a truly authentic Nursery Fish Pie), but added extra green peas to make up for it.  I actually followed the recipe for the most part; I only made 1/4 recipe and discovered it was enough for four people, not two.  I didn't want to risk four packages of smoked rainbow trout on a dish I'd never tried before!  Half of a Nigella-sized serving was plenty (even for the husband), because the dish is very dense and rich.  I did double the amount of milk for the poaching and the béchamel.

    Single-serving Nursery Fish Pie with a side of Carottes étuvées au beurre from Mastering the Art of French Cooking

    The sky east of our house last Saturday evening

    In other news, we had a storm last Saturday night that messed with our cable signal.  According to the Tivo people, the signal is strong enough to get a picture to the television, but not strong enough to allow the Tivo to record it.  So--I've been largely without film-recording capacity all week.  I even had to record a George Sanders movie with the upstairs VCR.  The cable technician is supposed to come out this afternoon to adjust our signal strength.  Fingers crossed that it actually works...

    Original poster from Dr. Macro's High Quality Movie Scans

    Speaking of George Sanders movies, I did manage to record Lloyd's of London (1936) before the Tivo went on strike.  Lloyd's of London is suitably British and maritime to go with a Nursery Fish Pie, I should think.  First-billed Freddie Bartholomew (who was the biggest star out of the cast at the time) plays Jonathan Blake, portrayed as an adult by Tyrone Power (a baby-faced twenty-two-year-old in his first starring role).  Blake goes from waiting tables in his aunt's tavern to working as an errand-boy for the syndicates at Lloyd's Coffee House to English spy and leader of his own ship-insuring syndicate.  Quite a life!  I don't know much about the historical accuracy of the script, but if other 1930s productions are any indication, I wouldn't try using this film as a source for a paper!  George Sanders, in his first American production, tries to throw a wrench into the works as the suitably caddish (what else?) husband of Jonathan Blake's lady love, played by Madeleine Carroll.  All in all, this is a solidly entertaining film.  I enjoyed it.  Keep an eye out for Una O'Connor and C. Aubrey Smith in small, but deliciously fun, roles.

    George Sanders and Tyrone Power face off; Madeleine Carroll intercedes
    (from Dr. Macro's High Quality Movie Scans)
    Lloyd's of London is not available on DVD, but is shown on Turner Classic Movies.

    10 Minute Banana Bread

    Saturday, June 25, 2011
    I bake banana breads often, atleast once a month. I make sure we have a few ripe bananas left just to make this banana bread. i have experimented different banana bread recipes, but this one has been a recent favorite and a regular at my kitchen these days. It is so simple and takes about 10 minutes from the start till it gets into the oven.

    Picnics are all about food and snacking. A fresh loaf of this banana bread makes a great picnic snack. it can be stored easily and sliced just before enjoying. Also makes a great quick and filling breakfast/snack with some coffee or tea. This is my second post for the blogging marathon!

    Ingredients (Yields 1 full sized loaf or 2 small loaves)
    Recipe Source:

    Bowl 1
    Butter - 1/2 stick or 5 tablespoons
    Eggs - 2
    Ripe bananas - 2 or 3
    Sugar - 2/3 cups

    Bowl 2
    Maida/All purpose flour - 11/3 cup
    Salt - 3/4 teaspoon
    Baking soda - 1/2 teaspoon
    Baking powder - 1/4 teaspoon
    Cinnamon - 1/2 teaspoon (optional)

    Walnuts - 1/2 cup (optional)

    Preheat oven to 350F.

    In a bowl combine all ingredients listed under 'Bowl 1' and using a potato masher, or a fork or a spoon mash the bananas well. The banana should be mashed well, but a few chunks here and there should be fine.

    In another bowl, combine all the dry ingredients listed under 'Bowl 2.'

    Then, combine the wet and dry ingredients together and stir in the chopped walnuts.

    Pour the prepared batter into a greased loaf pan and bake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

    It take 40 minutes for small sized loaf pans and 50 minutes for large loaf pans approximately, depending on ovens.

    Remove from the oven and allow the loaves to cool for about 10 minutes before removing it from the pan and slicing the bread.

    Serve warm or cold. This bread also freezes well when wrapped in foil and stored in a ziploc bag.

    Falafel-Pita Sandwich

    Friday, June 24, 2011
    Summer is ideal for picnics! Beaches, parks, riverbanks, trails, campsites are ideal for picnics. Picnics would never be complete without food and snacking! I have chosen the theme - Picnic Food for my blogging marathon this week. Yes, I will be continuously be posting recipes everyday for a week all revolving around the theme Picnic Food!

    Food taken for picnics are dishes that taste great even when served cold, spill-proof and great eaten without the use of much cutlery. This falafel-pita sandwich is great for such situations. they can be made ahead and wrapped in plastic or foils and makes great picnic food. The falafels can also be prepared individually and then sandwiches can be assembled with the pita bread and the sauce just before eating.

    Here is a simple and easy recipe for making great falafel-pita sandwiches. I have used hummus and greek yogurt as the sauce in this sandwich. Any kind of sauce can be used. I bought most ingredients from the grocery store except for the falafels which I made at home.

    I used the kuzhipaniyaram pan to make the falafels more healthy with less oil. Falafels are traditionally deep fried. I have also tried baking the falafels. But we loved this version better.

    Ingredients (makes 4 sandwiches)
    For the falafel
    Dried garbanzo beans - 1 cup/16 oz. can of chickpeas
    Onion - 1 medium sized
    Garlic cloves - 2
    Fresh parsley/coriander leaves - 2 tablespoons chopped
    Coriander powder - 1 teaspoon
    Cumin powder - 1 teaspoon
    Chilli powder - 1/2 teaspoon
    Salt to taste

    For the sandwich
    Falafels - 8
    Pita bread - 2
    Cherry tomatoes - 12 (or) Regular tomatoes - 2
    Onion - 1/2 cup chopped (optional)
    Cucumber - 1
    Greek yogurt - 4 tablespoons
    Hummus - 4 tablespoons

    To make the falafels
    Soak the garbanzo beans overnight or atleast for 5 to 6 hours. Drain the chickpeas and pressure cook for about 10 minutes. If using canned garbanzo beans, you can skip the above step.
    In a blender add the cooked and drained chickpeas along with all the ingredients listed under falafel and grind to a coarse mixture.
    If using the kuzhipaniyaram pan, drizzle a little oil in each hole and place a lemon sized ball of the falafel mixture. Slightly press with the back of a spatula.

    Cook on low heat for about two minutes on each side. Do not cook on high heat, because the outsides might brown too quickly and the inside might remain uncooked. Remove the falafels once cooked and allow it to cool. You can make these falafels ahead and refrigerate or freeze leftovers for future use. The falafels stay good in the freezer atleast for a month.

    Alternatively, you can also make the falafels by deep-frying or baking them.

    To assemble the sandwich
    Take a pita bread and slice it into two equal pieces. You can toast the pita on a pan for a minute. this step is optional.

    Open the pita pocket carefully, and smear one tablespoon each of the greek yogurt and hummus. Place two falafels in each sandwich. Top with your favorite toppings - cherry tomatoes, sliced onions, sliced cucumbers, coriander, parsley etc. You can also use tzatziki or tahini sauce as toppings.

    Enjoy your falafel-pita sandwich!

    Breakfast Club: Finnish Blueberry-Filled Buns (Mustikkapiiraat)

    Thursday, June 23, 2011

    Helen at Fuss Free Flavours started Breakfast Club last year, but this is my first time to participate.  Thanks to Nayna at for hosting Breakfast Club #12: Berries.

    Finnish Blueberry Buns
    I fully intended to post a recipe for my adaptation of this recipe (I made it in the bread machine), but I think I need another go-round.  I loved the idea of putting cardamom in the dough, but I don't think there was enough, because I couldn't taste it at all.  Also, the blueberry filling wasn't as tasty as I had hoped.  It has a whopping 1 tablespoon of cornstarch in it and I could definitely taste it.  They're not bad, but they're not as good as I hoped they would be, but they're promising enough to tweak a bit and try again.

    The recipe is from The Great Scandinavian Baking Book by Beatrice Ojakangas, which I picked up in Lindsborg ("Little Sweden USA") in December when Paul and I drove up there for the St. Lucia festival.  It's a really cute little town that has a wonderfully preserved downtown that's very pedestrian-friendly.  Lindsborg is about 72 miles north and a bit west of Wichita and 20 miles south of Salina.  It's cold there in December.

    Naturally, I didn't take my camera, but here's a photo I found on flickr of Lindsborg's Main Street in the summer.  The little painted horse is one of many "Wild" Dalas in downtown Lindsborg.  You can click on the photo to enlarge.

    Main Street, Lindsborg, Kansas

    This is where we had a yummy lunch, a cinnamon roll and lots of coffee:

    Another of the dalas:


    We also visited the McPherson County Old Mill Museum which included a tour of the town's old flour mill:
    Old Mill

    We had a really awesome tour guide who currently works at one of the flour mills in Salina.  He was one of the most knowledgable history museum guides I've ever met.

    My favorite part of the museum, though, was the charmingly absurd and slightly creepy cabinet of curiosities directly past the museum gift shop (where I bought the cookbook).  There's an entire room full of mangey taxidermal examples of local wildlife from birds to bobcats.  Everyone else did a quick once-over, commented with disgust and moved on.  Paul and I examined every sparrow, snake and skunk.  To us, it went a little way toward making up for the fact that we hadn't heard of Deyrolle until after we had been to Paris.  Alas, I could find no photos online.  I guess I'll just have to go back and take some in a crafty manner.  I promise not to use a flash.

    Show Me Your Dosa!

    After a little break from the Show Me Your.. series, I am here with another theme. It is going to be dosas this time. Dosa is a staple breakfast in South India. You can never find any home without a grinder to make dosa batter. Even people moving abroad, never forget to pack a grinder along with their luggage. It is that famous!!

    Dosa is a fermented crepe made with rice and black lentils. The dosa is rich in carbohydrates, contains no salt, sugar or saturated fats and its constituent ingredients of rice and lentils mean that it is gluten-free and contains protein. The fermentation process increases the vitamin B and vitamin C content. There are various ways of transliterating dosa: dose, dhosha, dosay, dosai, dhosai, tosai, thosai, or dvashi. There are several different kinds of dosas made with different grains and legumes. Dosa can also be made healthy with brown rice and beans.

    Here are some guidelines for the event:
    Blog about your favorite dosa and email me the following details to divyablogs[AT]gmail[DOT]com on or before July 31, 2011:
    Recipe name:
    Recipe URL:
    Attach a picture of your final dish:
    Feel free to use the logo.
    Link your blog post to this event announcement.

    Archived entries are allowed. But please link back to this announcement.
    Non-bloggers can email your recipe and picture to the above email address.

    Looking forward to all your delicious dosa entries!

    Life This Week: June 20, 1938

    Wednesday, June 22, 2011
    Poster from Wikipedia
    This weekend, Paul asked me if there were any movies I'd like to go see.  I couldn't think of anything and neither could he.  Evidently, this isn't a new problem.  The year 1938 saw the cinematic rerelease of many older films due to cuts made in the film industry.  There were 60 fewer films made in 1938 than in 1937 and something had to fill the gap.  These rereleased films performed better than most of the new releases.  Life magazine writes, "In Chicago [Rudolph Valentino's] Son of the Sheik outranked such new features as Test Pilot and Robin Hood."

    The Son of the Sheik and its predecessor, The Sheik, are two of Valentino's best-known roles.  The Sheik made him a star; The Son of Sheik turned out to be the last film he ever made.  Both films are set in Algeria (when it was still a French colony).  Valentino plays Sheik Ahmed in both films, as well as Sheik Ahmed's son Ahmed in The Son of the Sheik.  I had no idea split-screen technology was so advanced in 1926.  Both films were rereleased in 1938 and were edited to conform to the production code.  I wish I could have seen the original cuts of both films, but they're still pretty racy compared to films made in 1938.

    Still from The Sheik from Wikipedia

    Although they do propagate common negative stereotypes of Arab men and commit most of the sins outlined in Edward Said's Orientalism, what I find most disturbing is the unenlightened attitude both films have toward rape.*  No wonder our society still has trouble with "no means no."  It's important to think of the morals of a film as a product of the time in which it was produced, but that doesn't mean that I have to like the conclusion at which both films arrive: "Love thy rapist."  These two movies really got me thinking about what is "child-appropriate" in the world of classic cinema.  I certainly wouldn't want children watching either of these films without having a serious discussion about racism and sexual violence.

    Poster from Wikipedia

    All of that being said, I have to admit that both The Sheik and The Son of the Sheik are entertaining movies, and not just compared to other silent films.  I like to think of the first few minutes of any silent film as an acclimatization period where the viewer gets used to the crazy makeup, the silly facial expressions and having to read the title cards.  In a bad silent movie, all of these things bother me right through and I often give up and stop watching.  The Sheik and The Son of the Sheik had short acclimatization periods.  I genuinely enjoyed watching both of them, even if I wasn't crazy about the "message."  That's what's great about being an adult, right?  Making the attempt to separate the medium from the message?  The medium is awesome 1920s orientalist fantasy filmmaking; the message is just appalling.

    Both films are available on DVD.  The Sheik airs July 5th  and The Son of Sheik airs July 21st, both on TCM.  The Sheik is available to watch (for free!) at Internet Archive:


    For dinner, we're off to another part of Africa--

    Moroccan Pilaf
    Here's my next leftover roast beef recipe.  I have one more, which I'll try to post later this week.  Iceberg Lettuce with Grecian Dressing goes well with the pilaf (we're getting really multicultural now).  You could also use lamb in the pilaf.  I didn't give amounts for the seasonings, because I just sprinkled them in.  The cinnamon gives a nice musky heat, but be careful to just use a little bit--you don't want your pilaf to taste like Christmas potpourri.

    Moroccan Pilaf

    *I feel it's only fair to point out that both films are adaptations of books by E.M. Hull.  In the book The Sheik, Lady Diana is kidnapped and repeatedly raped by Ahmed.  They eventually realize they love each other.  Ick.

    Show Me Your Muffin - Roundup

    Saturday, June 18, 2011
    Need Muffin or Cupcake recipe ideas?

    Check out all these delicious muffin/cupcake entries i received for Show me Your Muffin event, with banana muffins topping the list! I received the maximum number of banana muffins. Needless to say, it is everybody's favorite. Thank you friends, for sending in all your delicious entries!

    Priya - Eggless Orange Poppyseeds Muffin

    Krithika - Eggless Bottlegourd muffins

    Priya - Eggless Lemon Poppyseeds Muffin

    Priya - Vegan Kiwi & Cornmeal Muffins

    Shylaja - Wheat flour banana muffins

    Priya - Vegan pineapple Muffins

    Sumi - Sweet Potato Muffins

    Shylaja - Whole wheat oats and dates muffin

    Sravani - Papaya muffins

    Sumi - Apple Cinnamon Muffins

    Denny - Flax Banana Muffin

    Veena - Eggless mango Muffins

    Radhika - Mom's Sweet Muffins

    Vidhya - Upside down double apple muffin

    Radhika - Banana Nut Muffins

    Sravani - Crunchy Banana Muffins

    Meghna - Mango Macadamia Muffin

    Vimitha - Chunky Chocolate Cupcakes

    Gayathri - Eggless chocolate cupcakes

    Gayathri - Eggless spiced nutty muffins

    Deeksha - Orange Muffins


    Divya Vikram - Eggless Banana Walnut Muffin

    Neetu - Orange Muffins

    Thanks again, for all your entries!

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