February 1, 2018
I sport my sparkly “Be My Guest/Beauty and the Beast” sweater,
as I embark on week number four of my broken leg adventure.
(Note my colorful “scooter/walker pouch” from my dear friend
and blog follower, Patti!)
You can read more about my broken leg here.
Be My Guest!
(My guest blogger, that is.)
Back in the “dark ages”, when I was in junior high (in the early 1970’s) in Iowa, I had a pen pal. I do not recall exactly how we came to be “matched-up” (through school, I imagine), or just how long we corresponded with one another (not more than a year, as I recall). I
do remember, however, that the world seemed a much bigger place back then, with the absence of home computers, cell phones, and the Internet. As a result, when I received these photos via airmail from my Japanese pen pal, Toshimi, I was mesmerized.
My pen pal in Kyoto/Japan.
Although, the brilliant colors of these photos’ images have faded over the years, I still recall the excitement that I felt when the overseas letter and snapshots arrived in my very own mailbox. These photos were from, what seemed to me, to be a far off and exotic land.
A photo of Kyoto from my pen pal.
I believe that this is a photo of
The Golden Temple of Kinkakuji
My Email “Pen Pal”
Fast forward to the present, 2018. Through the wonder of the Internet, awhile back I happily stumbled upon the fun blog Silver Screen Suppers , by Jenny Hammerton. Not unlike pen pals, with Jenny living in London and me living in the USA, Jenny and I have enjoyed email correspondence relating to our similar love of cooking and classic movies and film stars. Also, through our correspondence, Jenny has kindly agreed to be the very first guest blogger on I’m Annette! (Jenny tells me that this is her first time being a guest blogger, too! :o))
Jenny, with her soon to be released cookbook,
Cooking with Columbo
I included a brief introduction about Jenny in my last blog post.
You can read it here
I’m writing to you from Muswell Hill in the UK. It’s a leafy part of London, and I live in a fabulous 1930s block of flats(apartments). There is no central heating, and it has massive windows, so it’s freezing in the winter and boiling in the summer! Right now, I am huddled up beside my 1970’s gas fire with a very big 1980’s mohair jumper(sweater).
We are having a cold snap! Here’s what my abode looks like in warmer weather.
Where I live.
I’m a film archivist, and in my day job I work mostly with the British Movietone cinema newsreel, which is a treasure trove of 1930’s – 1970’s content. I regularly get totally lost in the collection, researching obscure events of the 20th century.
I am a film archivist working with British Movietone.
My passion for the last 15 years, or so, has been to collect the favourite recipes of movie stars of the golden era of Hollywood. There was a real craze for fan magazines and cookbook creators to ask film stars for their signature dishes in the late 1920’s onward. This trend slowed down in the 1960’s, but a trickle of recipes can still be found for the more recent eras. I have over 7,000 recipes in my collection. To say it has gotten a bit out of control is a total understatement! Here’s the 1930’s pamphlet that I bought in a dusty stamp collector’s shop, which started my obsession.
It cost me £12 (about $16).
My 1930’s cookbook pamphlet
I started blogging in May 2006. At that time I was living on a houseboat on the Thames in London.
My houseboat on the Thames
I was recovering from a broken heart, and decided that learning to cook would be a good distraction from feeling miserable all the time. I had a sudden brainwave from out of nowhere, I would start cooking my way through my crazy movie star recipe collection.
I had a tiny tabletop cooker that had to be turned on with a pair of pliers, but I really enjoyed looking at my recipes, planning what to cook, and experimenting in my little floating caravan on the river. This is the tiny kitchen where it all started.
My houseboat kitchen
My blog is called Silver Screen Suppers, and when I started, I didn’t think anyone would read it. I just wrote about the recipes that I tried, and in my mind it was a kind of an online diary. I started blogging long before food blogs really took off, so I didn’t think
to post up the recipes, or even photograph the food that I had made. Things have changed such a lot since then.
The website banner for my blog Silver Screen Suppers
The very first recipe that I cooked was Bette Davis’ Boston Baked Beans. If I go back and read the blog entry from that day in May 2006, it really reminds me so much about that afternoon. The way it was pelting with rain, the way my friend Heather’s old flat looked, Heather and her ex-boyfriend falling asleep on the sofa, while I carried on watching
All About Eve all on my own…
Bette Davis in All About Eve.
Bette Davis’s Boston Baked Beans was my first blog recipe.
As I’ve gotten into reading other blogs, it’s this kind of detail that I really enjoy. I am very nosey indeed, so I love getting glimpses into how people live their lives. Blogs to me are a little peek into other worlds. I absolutely love them. Thank goodness for the internet!
The thing I love most about being a blogger are the connections that I have made
with people that I would never have encountered in real life.
I have met people online that I consider firm friends now.
Greg Swenson, who writes the Recipes for Rebels blog, in Greece,
Yinzerella, who writes my favourite food blog Dinner Is Served 1972, in Baltimore,
and folks who cook recipes from my blog and send me photographs, like this one of Natalie, dancing round the kitchen whilst making Rudolph Valentino’s Secret Spaghetti Sauce. I have never met Greg, Yinzerella, or Natalie in person, but I very much hope to one day.
Natalie, my blog friend, cooking up
Rudolph Valentino’s Secret Spaghetti Sauce
My absolute favourite movie star is Joan Crawford, and a few years ago I decided to put together a collection of her recipes in print for a Joan Crawford cookbook. It was such a fun project, as I had to cook all of the recipes, tweak them a little bit for the modern chef, and learn all about self-publishing. I think the Joan cookbook took about 2 years to put together.
The cover from my cookbook Cooking with Joan Crawford
The Cooking With Columbo Cookbook, which is coming out on the 20th of February, took around five years to write. The process for this was very different from my other cookbook. In the Columbo Cookbook, I wanted to write an appreciation of each episode, then propose a recipe for a dish to eat alongside. I bought a mini-DVD player and had Columbo episodes on repeat in my kitchen whenever I was cooking, so I would absorb them by osmosis! I sometimes watched an episode before work too, in bed, while I was writing about it. I have a full-time job, so I write in the early mornings and on Saturdays. I test-cook recipes mostly on weekday evenings On Sunday I collapse!
The Cooking With Columbo Cookbook contains several of Peter Falk’s favourite recipes, plus lots from his co-stars such as William Shatner, Janet Leigh, Myrna Loy, Celeste Holm, Johnny Cash, Dick Van Dyke, John Cassavetes, Donald Pleasence, Rod Steiger and many more.
One of the most fun things about writing a food focused blog is getting involved in cook-alongs. For those who aren’t familiar with them, these are events where a specific recipe, or dish, or foodie theme, is proposed, and bloggers all around the world, cook something and write about it on their blog. I’ve done quite a few of these, and they are so much fun!
I’m organizing a cook-along to celebrate 50 years of this classic TV detective series, and I’d love as many people as possible to join in. Everyone is invited, and you don’t have to be a blogger to participate. I’d love folks who just dig Columbo, or love chili, or just fancy joining in with a cook-along, to participate – there are some really groovy prizes on offer!
All the details for the cook-along are here, I’d love for you, Annette, and some of your readers to join in! There’s a vegetarian version of the chili, as well as a meat version.
She Bakes, too!
Other Good Stuff about Jenny,
in addition to her Cooking and Baking
I made fougasse. Peek-a-boo!
My Top Three Favorite Films
1 – Gone With the Wind (I watch this at least once a year)
2 – All About Eve (flawless!)
3 – Sunset Boulevard (Gloria Swanson is magnificent)
TV Series that I Love
1 – Columbo (of course!)
2 – Burke’s Law (only discovered this recently, but it’s brilliant)
3 – The Rockford Files (my friend lives in the same block of flats as me and we get together once a fortnight (every two weeks) to watch one of these. There are 123 episodes and 8 specials, so it’s going to take us some time…)
It’s been such fun writing a guest post for you, Annette!
If any of your readers care to have a peek at what I’m up to,
here are all my details…
@silverscreensup on Twitter
Silver Screen Suppers on Facebook
silverscreensup on Pinterest
Cooking With Joan Crawford is available from blurb.com
Cooking With Columbo will be available on Amazon on February 20th
Silver Screen Suppers and Loaf on Mars
Among my requests for Jenny, as a guest blogger, was to include one of her awesome recipes for my readers. Jenny graciously offered up any recipe, of my choice, from her past blogs. My choice was an obvious one, I chose Annette Funicello! Here it is, just in time for your Super Bowl munchie menu! (You can read about my Annette Funicello connection here.) I look forward to trying this recipe out soon!
Annette Funicello’s Wee Pigs in Blankets
2 cups of biscuit mix
1 package lil’ smokies, or any little cocktail weenies/frankfurter
1 stick butter, melted
Preheat oven at 425 degrees.
Grease cookie sheet.
Prepare biscuit mix according to the directions on the package.
Roll out dough to 1/8 inch in thickness.
Cut into rectangles 2 inches wide and 1/2 inch longer than the frankfurters.
Place one frankfurter on each piece of dough.
Moisten ends of dough with a little water.
Pinch dough together so that the franks are completely covered.
Brush outside of dough with melted butter.
Bake on greased cookie sheet at 425 degrees for about 15 minutes.
Serve piping HOT!
Columbo Fun Facts
Learn a few fun facts about Columbo from this recent MeTV article, here.
If so, please, tell me about your cook-along experience in the comments section of this blog! I’d love to see photos, too!
I hope to participate, too, when my leg is healed! :o)
Thanks for reading,
To enjoy any, or all, of my past blogs and photos, click here, or go to imannette.net, selecting the posts that you desire to see in the Recent Posts,
or “search” in the Archives sections, on the upper right-hand side.
I’m Annette usually posts every other week.
Look for my next post on Thursday, February 15.
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My daughter, hubby, and I enjoy a London tour bus ride in January 2013.
(I did not know Jenny back then.)
Very interesting Annette. Was fun to read.
Thank you, Jenny!
Annette! I just love your blog post. You make me sound like superwoman! If you could see me now, in my filthy flat, and cookbooks all over the floor you’d realize that I am just like other mortals – haha! Seriously though, it’s been great fun having you as a new pen pal and I look forward to much correspondence in future.
I did wonder why you requested the Annette Funicello Wee Pigs In Blankets recipe, but now I get it! I’ve got a few more recipes for Annette, once the Columbo book is published I will dig them out and send them over in case you fancy rustling up an Annette related feast and watching one of her movies. Which would you recommend by the way?
I’d love it if some of your readers joined in with the Cook-along – it’s a fun thing to do and it tickles me to think that the Columbo finger puppet prize might go on a little journey across the Atlantic. I do hope that whoever wins him will take many photos of him wherever he ends up!
I think you should start planning your next visit to London immediately so that you can come round to Silver Screen Suppers and I can make you a movie star dinner!
Thanks so much for having me as a guest blogger – it’s been so much fun!
Your pen pal in London – Jenny
I am so happy that you liked the blog!!!!!!!
You ARE a superwoman! What an interesting
life you have had and are currently living!
I am proud to have you as a new “pen pal”!
I would love Annette recipes! :o)
Some of the more fun Annette movies-
Disney’s Shaggy Dog
Frankie and Annette in Beach Blanket Bingo or other early beach movies
She also has a cameo in Ski Party, one of my faves
Your puppet prize for the cook-along is cute!
Next time that I am in London, I will let you know. :o) Dinner
with you sounds wonderful! (unfortunately, no plans in the near
Thanks again for being my guest blogger!
Your USA Pen Pal,
Pingback: New York Steak Dabney Coleman - Silver Screen Suppers
Such a pleasure having you as my first guest blotter, Jenny! I look forward to many more years in our blogging friendship!
Jenny really IS Superwoman…she left out all the parts of ALSO being a Shellac Sister (she DJ’s events, spinning 78rpm disks on an antique Victrolla), or all the horticultural society cooking competitions that she wins, and on and on…
This was a fun read…
Best wishes for a speedy recovery, Annette!
Greg, Thank you for the additional info on Jenny! As I said, she really is Superwoman!!!! Wow! Thank you for reading, and for the get well wishes! Annette
Very interesting lady!
Jenny is such a fun person to have as my blogging friend! :o)
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