Wednesday, April 27, 2016

That other white powder that celebrities seem to love

If you've been reading this blog for any length of time, I'm sure "sweet" is not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of me, but today I'm going for sweet anyway.

The Sweet Taste of Success (1967) was Ceil Dyer's work for the Jack Frost National Sugar Refining Company. This collection is not only an ode to the sweet white stuff, but also a celebrity cookbook. Have a burning desire to know what Captain Kangaroo liked for dessert? This is your chance to find out!

I figured the kids' TV figure would name something kid-friendly, like tapioca pudding, but his recipe is by far the most sophisticated one I'm posting. Bavarese mixes a Zabaglione cream with Strega-soaked ladyfingers for a decidedly non-child-friendly end to a fancy Italian meal.

I didn't really expect a boozy dessert from Captain Kangaroo, but I wasn't exactly surprised that Helen Gurley Brown (writer of the then-shocking Sex and the Single Girl) would list a dessert calling for white wine:

I just didn't really expect to see the white wine in quite this pairing. Sure, Sinful Prunes do get a little kick from white wine, but no matter how hard you try to make eating alcoholic prunes with fancy cheese sound sexy, I can't get past the image of grandma worrying about constipation! (Apparently the book's earlier owner could, though, as the discoloration on the page marks this as the only recipe she thought worth bookmarking.)

Some celebrity tastes were a bit more predictable. Ed McMahon never struck me as being very sophisticated, and he didn't disappoint:

Only Ed McMahon could imagine this as a "rare, mysterious combination." I love that his secretary's nickname for the dish (Pineapple, Marshmallows, and Whipped Cream) pretty much gives away the recipe. Who needs McMahon's instructions?

For sheer, head-scratching perplexity, Phyllis Diller comes through:

Fruit Platter Supreme consists of a can of cranberry jelly cut into slices and arranged on a platter with other canned fruits. It's all sprinkled with flavored gelatin powder for a "Party-Pretty" dessert, according to Dyer. I suspect her desire to flatter a celebrity overrode her judgment on this one....

Have a sweet Cookbook Wednesday! Just maybe, you know, use your own favorite dessert recipe instead of using a celebrity one to celebrate.

Thanks as always to Louise at Months of Edible Celebrations for hosting!


  1. This post hysterical, Poppy but not for the reasons you might think. You see, I have this book tucked away somewhere and have never, ever, ever opened it! It seems to be one of those books I keep moving from one place to another without ever peeking inside.

    Well, that will change now, just look at these contributors. I don't give a hoot about the recipes, the notion that they memorialized the recipes (albeit tacky:) with comments cracks me up, lol...

    Thanks for sharing, I better go find that book!!!

    P.S. Poppy, I really appreciate you joining us each week for Cookbook Wednesday. It seems to be off to a slow start but forward we go:)

    1. I'm glad you're inspired to look up that book now! The comments are indeed often just as interesting as the recipes.

      Cookbook Wednesday may well pick up. I didn't join the original one until a few months in, if I remember correctly. It gave me the inspiration for my Wednesday posts, though, and I kept it up whether or not Cookbook Wednesday was "official."

  2. Replies
    1. Apparently! All I seem to remember are ping pong balls. Lots and lots of ping pong balls.

  3. Count me as another person surprised that Captain Kangaroo wore a wig! I guess he needed boozy desserts to keep him happy for his children's TV show. And I am guessing that Ed McMahon cooked the way my husband does: "I will not share my secret recipe for toast!" I enjoy those cookbooklets put out by one food company or industry.

    1. Oh, man! I could really use a great toast recipe. ;-)