Monthly Archives: November 2015

Marilyn Monroe’s Stuffing

CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES - MAY 1953:  Marilyn Monroe on patio outside of her home.  (Photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt/Pix Inc./Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images)

Maybe more famous now then during her lifetime, Hollywood starlet, Marilyn Monroe seems as at home in the kitchen as she did on the silver screen. Auctioned off during a 1999 sale of her personal effects at Christie’s, heralded two well used cookbooks and a set of bright yellow enameled Le Creuset pots and pans. She had a love affair that fans never knew of, she was a kitchen goddess, long before it became a “thing” to be.

I know that today, for many, is a day of preparation and if I was at home celebrating Thanksgiving with my family, we would already be in the kitchen working away on family favourite’s and much loved recipes.  In case you are looking for something new this year or haven’t quite finalized that Thanksgiving menu, I thought I would share this little recipe.

Marilyn Monroe Stuffing Recipe

This recipe, like a recipe from your grandmother or mother, is scrawled on letterhead from an insurance company, probably the nearest thing she had to hand. Recipes written on the back of receipts or in the margins of a book always seem to me, the best kinda recipes! And like many old recipes I have, there is not a clear step-by-step directive, but you can still follow along or hazard a guess at her meaning. However, the NY Times Cooking section has researched and refined her scribbling in to an exact recipe and I shall include that below, in case you don’t have the time or inclination to decipher this yourself.

{Recipe Image From “Fragments: Poems, Intimate Notes, Letters by Marilyn Monroe”}

Marilyn Monroe’s Stuffing, Matt Lee and Ted Lee

INGREDIENTS

  • A 10-ounce loaf sourdough bread
  • ½ pound chicken or turkey livers or hearts
  • ½ pound ground round or other beef
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cups chopped curly parsley
  • 2 eggs, hard boiled, chopped
  • 1 ½ cups raisins
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 ¼ cups chopped walnuts, pine nuts or roasted chestnuts, or a combination
  • 2 teaspoons dried crushedrosemary
  • 2 teaspoons dried crushed oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried crushed thyme
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon salt-free, garlic-freepoultry seasoning (or 1 teaspoon dried sage, 1 teaspoon marjoram, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger and 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon pepper

PREPARATION

  1. Split the bread loaf in half and soak it in a large bowl of cold water for 15 minutes. Wring out excess water over a colander and shred into pieces.
  2. Boil the livers or hearts for 8 minutes in salted water, then chop until no piece is larger than a coffee bean.
  3. In a skillet over medium-high heat, brown the ground beef in the oil, stirring occasionally and breaking up the meat, so no piece is larger than a pistachio.
  4. In your largest mixing bowl, combine the sourdough, livers, ground beef, celery, onion, parsley, eggs, raisins, Parmesan and nuts, tossing gently with your hands to combine. Whisk the rosemary, oregano, thyme, bay leaves, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper together in a bowl, scatter over the stuffing and toss again with your hands. Taste and adjust for salt. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to use as a stuffing or to bake separately as dressing. To serve as a dressing, pile about two quarts of the mixture into a 9-inch square baking dish and bake at 350 degrees until the top is evenly browned, about 1 hour.

The Written Word Endures #4

Foxs Earth Book Cover

The old road lies in another country, in an older South. Broom sedge and seedling pines chew voraciously at the roadside ditches. Malignant green kudzu masks toppling tenant shanties, rusted barbed-wire fences, brittle old telephone poles, whole sweeping miles of lunar roadside landscape. Cotton fields here are smaller, scantily tended, leached much of the year to blowing pink dust; 1930s iron bridges span tea-colored creeks with names like One Stump, Hellpeckish, Booger’s Water, Coosaula. They are tributaries of the deep-running Oconee River, which powers the textile mill in Sparta and a dozen towns like it, on its leaping journey to join the Ocmulgee and create the Altamaha at the fall line. The creek names are the harsh and homely place music of the Piedmont.

The naked earth is seldom visible along this old road, thatched as it is with sedge, pine, and kudzu. The pale dust of the fields and ditches is not the true color of the earth but the color of fatigue and decay. The earth is littered crazily here: with cement-block houses and grocery stores; with one-pump filling stations attached to wailing road-houses and evil-smelling rest rooms; with ancient, gap-toothed family graveyards; with sagging power lines and county road signs bleached by decades and pitted by the showered gravel of pickup trucks and tossed Pabst and Nehi bottles. Along this road only Jesus saves, only Coke adds life.

-Anne River Siddons, Fox’s Earth

Je suis Paris!

It’s been a week since I last posted here. First, it was because school was keeping me busy, but since Friday it’s been for different reasons.

I awoke on Saturday morning to Mr. Michie sharing what had happened in Paris with me and I cried. Since then, I’ve been glued to every shred of information I can read or watch about the #ParisAttacks.

I have started and restarted this post many times. Each time I have felt like I am scrambling in the dark – searching for the right words; desperately trying to process this terrible event.

I believe that events such as these encourage us to reflect, and while blogging can be a great way to do just that, I don’t like to use this space as a political platform. I have read other blogs over the past few days that have either been flippant about what has happened, or extremely visceral, voicing their tears and thoughts.  I couldn’t be either, I only felt silent and heavy hearted.

I first visited Paris when I was 16 and fell in love. I knew that I would return and I did! I spent a wonderful long weekend there with my sister when I was in my early 20s. We walked the streets, visited galleries, found the greatest fondue restaurant and ate our weight in pastry.

I honeymooned with Mr. Michie in Paris; we drank wine and walked along the river. It is a place we have visited many times, throughout the seasons. We have favourite stores, favourite restaurants, favourite places to stroll or just sit. A visit to Angelina’s for hot chocolate is always a must. For a while, Paris became a second home to us. It still is.

To see the violence that was thrust upon this magical place made me sick. Sick to my very core.

But Paris is resilient. It always has been.

As I’ve walked around London this week, it is clear that things have changed. Everyone is on edge. People stop and watch police cars passing by; they listen to the sirens – jerked out of autopilot; they jump at sounds and sights that no one normally pays attention too. People are on edge, but they, like me, are trying to keep with their daily lives. To go on as if nothing has changed.

Even though we may all be a little more wary, a little more cautious, we will continue to live our lives. We will continue to go out, to shop, to laugh, to see friends, to enjoy time with those we hold most dear. We will appreciate the little things even more. We will hug a little tighter, kiss a little longer, and savour every single word breathed from the lips of those we love.

We will not be made to cower; our voices will not be silenced. For there is no where we should fear to tread.

We appreciate the value of life; the value of living that life to the full. And we will continue to look for the good in people, to not let evil shake our faith in humanity, for that will mean the terrorists have won.

Je suis Paris! Vive le France!

Be Cool

The Two Commandments

This has been quite a week so far and we’re only at Wednesday. There’s just so much to say but for now, I’ll just let Charlton Heston speak for me.

Charlie Brown

The candles are lit. The twinkle lights are glowing. The light has faded and we’ve been enveloped into ebony. There’s music on and as of late that means one thing: A Boy Named Charlie Brown.

I’ve always been a Charles Schulz girl and my feelings for Vince Guaraldi are no different. What a talent! Next to A Charlie Brown Christmas, this is my most loved Guaraldi album. His rendition of Fly Me To Moon, I could listen to non-stop.

I feel like I should be in a nightclub in Manhattan in the 60’s, throwing back cocktails, dressed to the nines and watching this trio just groove into the wee small hours of the morning.

Copenhagen: Art

Jennifer Michie Louisiana 1

The main purpose for our trip to Copenhagen, was a selfish one on my part. I wanted to see an exhibition at the Louisiana Museum. They were holding a Yayoi Kusama retrospective. I have long been a fan of this woman and the exhibition did not disappoint!

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Kusama left Japan and moved to the states in 1957, first to Seattle before settling in New York. There she became a fixture within the avant-garde. She mixed with and influenced the work of Andy Warhol and others. She considered Eva Hess and Joseph Cornell close friends. She designed “happenings” all over NYC, usually involving nudity and conceived to protest the Vietnam War. She moved back to Japan in 1972 and slowly became forgotten. But not by everyone! Over the last 10 or so years, I have seen such a resurgence of her presence and it makes me tremendously happy.

The Louisana and Kusama have a strong relationship. She is truly appreciated by the museum and I can tell you by the number of people that flocked to the exhibit, she is worshiped by the people as well.

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The exhibition was all encompassing. Three of her pumpkin statues greeted you in the courtyard. The show moved through her life and work, including films and sketchbooks. The scale truly gets you. The size of some of her pieces are almost unreal. They dwarf you. You don’t just enter her installations you also become a part of them. You are totally encompassed within them, the floors, walls, ceilings all covered in her polka dots.

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I was delighted to see her pumpkins and I was especially delighted to see and take part within the “Obliteration Room”. Where visitors were given different colored polka dot stickers and allowed to place them on any surface of the white room. The room gradually becomes obliterated by polka dots.

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There is something so unique about this museum. The modern design; the light and openness created by expansive windows; and the surrounding grounds filled with the joys of nature and one hell of a breathtaking view across the sound, all work to add the magic of the place. Seeing Kusama’s work exhibited within their space made it all the more special.

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