vp19 (vp19) wrote in carole_and_co,

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Carole does some rib-bing

For a stretch during the mid-1930s, Carole Lombard was renowned as a partygiver and hostess (http://community.livejournal.com/carole_and_co/110894.html). That sort of faded later in the decade, probably because 1) her star had sufficiently risen to a point where she didn't need it to enhance her career, and 2) her deepening relationship with Clark Gable precluded big partygiving. From 1936 on, any social gatherings Carole organized were small in scale.

Well, as it turns out, Lombard apparently had some cooking skills, too. Sure, she had help available, but since she lived a relatively unostentatious life considering the money she made, she probably did her share of actual work in the kitchen. Keep in mind that less than five years before that article above ran in the February 1935 issue of Photoplay, she lived with her mother and two older brothers in a middle-class Los Angeles home (http://community.livejournal.com/carole_and_co/81610.html, http://community.livejournal.com/carole_and_co/150717.html).

By 1930, Lombard had been acting for several years following her recovery from an automobile accident, and one guesses that she contributed her share in making meals, especially during those periods when she was between pictures.

What's the angle here? Well, in 1939, authors Kenneth Harlan and Rex Lease issued a cookbook called "What Actors Eat -- When They Eat." It featured 247 recipes from noted actors and actresses. Here's the book's cover, along with an entry of two recipes contributed by Henry Fonda (one wonders whether Peter and Jane ever had these items for dinner):

Heck, even Roy Rogers provided a recipe, although it probably wasn't for a Double-R Bar Burger (those of you who recall the Roy Rogers fast-food chain will get the reference).

Lombard contributed a cooking idea of her own. I don't have the original page, alas, but I do have the recipe, courtesy of the "Flapper Jane" Web site (http://www.flapperjane.com/archives.htm). Note that the site also features recipes from Jean Arthur, Claudette Colbert, Gloria Swanson and author/screenwriter Anita Loos.

Here's Carole's recipe for barbecue spareribs. I believe the comment preceding it also comes from her:

Here is a dish that I am sure everyone will like, and it doesn't require any course in cooking to prepare, if you follow the directions. Hot, it is swell, and when cold -— well, you'll just want to make enough to have a nibble, later.

3 to 5 lbs. spareribs

1/2 c. soy sauce

3/4 c. honey

2 tsp. prepared mustard

1 clove garlic

1/4 c. water

2 Tbs. flour

Combine one-half cup soy sauce, three-fourths cup honey, two teaspoons prepared mustard and one clove of finely chopped garlic. Mix well together. Place three to five pounds of spareribs in a roasting pan, pour the sauce over the ribs, cover and place in oven. Bake at three hundred degrees for two hours or more. Remove ribs from the pan (be sure to stir occasionally while cooking to make sure all the ribs are covered with the sauce). Drain off all the fat, with the exception of about two tablespoons. Add one-fourth cup of water to the remaining liquid and cook on top of the stove until well-blended, then add two tablespoons of flour mixed with a little water and cook until the sauce is thickened. Replace the spareribs in the pan with the gravy, and stir. Return to oven to keep hot until serving time.

Sounds tasty. I hope some of you try your hand at it (of course, reduce the ingredients proportionally if you plan on making smaller portions).

Incidentally, the book is now being auctioned at eBay (http://cgi.ebay.com/What-Actors-Eat-When-They-Eat-247-Actor%2FActress-Recipes_W0QQitemZ260406309018QQcmdZViewItemQQimsxZ20090507?IMSfp=TL090507124009r11325). The opening bid is $49.95, and as of this writing no one has yet made a bid. The auction closes just after 10 p.m. (Eastern) on Wednesday.

So maybe you can't dress like a star...but perhaps you can eat like one.

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