Sunday 6 December 2015

Recipe Time With Jack and Mary

Jack Benny liked Chinese food, claimed a newspaper article way-back-when and we posted some recipes in it. Another newspaper came up with some Benny recipes as well, though I don’t think the comedian actually tried them.

This column was written by Bessie M. Gant of the Pittsburgh Courier, published May 25, 1946. As you can see, it has a capsuled history of Jack’s career, no doubt supplied by his manager or ad agency, before going into a few recipes.

There’s a reference in the column to the movie “Always Leave Them Laughing.” For some reason, Jack never starred in it and it was made into a fictional vehicle for Milton Berle.

Jack Benny, Ace Comedian, Like Seafood of All Kinds
Dear Readers:
We know you have wondered for lo these many months way I haven't given you the history of one, Jack Benny, who has been responsible for so many laughter each Sunday night at seven. A veritable romance of the American tradition is the story of the former Benjamin Kubelsky which brought an eight-year-old boy before the public for the first time as a violinist.
Jack's father was an immigrant from Russia who hid under a load of bottles to escape to the promised land of America. Settling in Waukegan, he married and became the proud father of a son and daughter.
The violin lessons Jack took when he was a youngster were eventually. to launch him on the road to fame. At seventeen Jack went into vaudeville, teaming with a girl. Still later, en route to big-time vaudeville, he teamed up with a pianist, Lyman Woods and toured the country, ending up with a coveted engagement at the Palladium in London.
During the first world war, Jack Benny joined the Navy, and when he returned to the stage, he dropped his violin playing for the role of comedian. From thence on, his violin was to be the butt of some of the gayest jokes on the Benny repertoire.
Jack Benny began his radio career in 1932, and gradually he has built up his air "family" into a famous team in which each person is a distinctive personality and a star. Jack Benny's "Mary Livingstone" is, of course, his wife, who was written into the script early in the broadcasts as a wide-eyed fan from Plainfield, N. J. Persuaded to read the part, "Mary" was born and with her infectious laugh, is an integral part of the Sunday show.
Frank Parker, Don Bestor, Kenny Baker, Dennis Day, Harry Stevens [sic] have all had their day on Benny's program, with Dennis returning recently to the air from a stint in the Navy.
In 1935 [sic], the highlight of the season was the appearance of one, Rochester Van Jones (Eddie Anderson) on the program. Since then, the gravel voiced comedian has helped keep the Benny program in the top-notch brackets of entertainment.
Phil Harris, the curly haired band leader, is another reason for the popularity of the Benny show.
Early in his career, Jack Benny discovered that the public likes the fall guy . . . the character who is cheap . . . the man who wears a toupee . . . the guy who gets into trouble that plague the ordinary man. He has capitalized on it and it has built his program high in air ratings.
Jack owns his time on the air, an asset no other performer possesses.
His next film, "Always Leave Them Laughing," has been subtitled "The Life of Jack Benny."
Favorite foods of this king of comedians is seafood, so this week I give you a trio of delicious recipes created especially for Jack Benny.
Flake crab meat and mix with just enough jellied mayonnaise to hold the meat together. Season to taste and chill. Roll into croquette style. Roll the croquettes in finely chopped hard cooked eggs. Place on plates and garnish with tiny tomato slices and watercress. Serve with melba toast or crackers.
2 cups cut up lobster
3 hard boiled eggs
1 tart apple chopped with juice of half lemon added
1/2 cup chopped blanched almonds.
1 cup chopped celery
Season to taste
Add mayonnaise to lobster mixture, mix thoroughly and chill. Serve on bed of shredded lettuce.
To one cup of finely chopped white fish add one pint of very thick cream, season to taste and fold into mixture four stiffly beaten egg whites. Put into buttered ring and set in pan of hot water, cook in moderate oven until set. Turn out on platter and serve with black olive sauce.

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