Friday Tip

Dear Constant Reader,

We are now official in “the holiday season”, which is stressful enough under normal circumstances, and these times are far from normal.

Enjoy what you like and let others do the same.

Do what makes you happy and no shaming of anyone else’s joy. Let everyone deal with things in their own way, okay?

M2These writings and other creative projects are supported by my Patrons. Thank you so much! To become a Patron, go to my Patreon page. Or you can just tip me if you liked this.

Published in: on 27 November 2020 at 11:19 am  Leave a Comment  

In the Kitchen: Black Walnut Sweet Potato Pudding (1953)

Dear Constant Reader,

The other night we were having barbecue to celebrate Scratch’s birthday. I thought this dish from 250 Delectable Dessert Recipes might make a complimentary dessert. It was good, but not in the way I expected. It’s not very sweet and makes a much better side dish. I thought I would share it here in case you’re looking for a not-so-sweet sweet potato dish for your Thanksgiving table.

You will need sweet potatoes, honey or syrup, eggs, butter, milk, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, raisins, black walnuts.

The recipe itself couldn’t be simpler. Grate the potatoes, melt the butter, beat the eggs, and combine everything together. Pour into a buttered baking dish and bake. Top with more walnuts.

A few notes:
I cut the recipe in half, since the original was supposed to serve 6. They didn’t say what size baking dish to use, so I grabbed a 9″ pie pan. This amount filled it completely and I would say serves 8.

I used maple syrup for the sweetener, but I’m sure agave would work fine, or honey, like they say. I also used almond milk, like I almost always do. You could probably sub other dried fruit for the raisins. I’d probably also add a bit more that the recipe calls for.

The recipe specifically calls for black walnuts, but they’re not so easy to get. Our neighbor has a tree that drops nuts into my backyard, so I collect and process them (which is *very* labor intensive. They’ve got a very distinctive bleu cheese-y taste and really want to be toasted before using. I see no reason you couldn’t use English walnuts, or any other nut. Pecans or hazelnuts would probably be quite delicious.


(slices missing because I forgot to take a picture before I cut into it)

Here’s the recipe just as it appeared in the 1953 cookbook 250 Delectable Dessert Recipes.

Black Walnut Sweet Potato Pudding
1 pound uncooked sweet potatoes, grated
1/2 cup honey or sirup
3 eggs, well beaten
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 cups sweet milk
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger or allspice
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup black walnut meats

Mix all ingredients together and pour into a buttered baking dish. Bake in slow oven (325F) 1 hour, stirring occasionally, for 6.

M2These writings and other creative projects are supported by my Patrons. Thank you so much! To become a Patron, go to my Patreon page. Or you can just tip me if you liked this.

Published in: on 23 November 2020 at 1:29 pm  Leave a Comment  

Friday Tip

Dear Constant Reader,

I know I haven’t been around much, but I’ve been a little busy. For the past two weeks, BurlyCon has been happening virtually. I’ve been trying to cram in as many classes as I can, preferably live, but catching the recordings when need be. And I taught twice. Plus we’ve been filming The BeauTease Holiday Special. It’s going to be a lot of fun!

Also upcoming, Betty Blaize will be back at B.A.B.E. with another makeup class! In Hot for the Holidays, she teaches you a 1940s pinup look, perfect for your socially distanced holiday party. It’s December 12, 2PM EST; price is Pay-What-You-Can ($15 suggested).

And now for your tip!

Press your seams three times. Once flat to set the stitching, once from the inside to open the seam, and once on the outside to really get the open seam flat.

M2These writings and other creative projects are supported by my Patrons. Thank you so much! To become a Patron, go to my Patreon page. Or you can just tip me if you liked this.

Published in: on 20 November 2020 at 10:16 am  Leave a Comment  

Friday Tip

Dear Constant Reader,

This week’s tip is a suggestion from Scratch.

Photograph your wardrobe.

Go through your closet or where ever you store your costumes and take a picture of each item. Keep them on your phone or some other easily accessible place for easy reference. Not only does it give you a visual record of all your costume pieces, you might find some items you forgot about or some pieces that have served their purpose and should be to a new home. It’s a multi-purpose good idea!

M2These writings and other creative projects are supported by my Patrons. I’d like to welcome my newest Patron, Rob H.! Thank you so much! To become a Patron, go to my Patreon page. Or you can just tip me if you liked this.

Published in: on 13 November 2020 at 3:10 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Friday Tip

Dear Constant Reader,

It’s been a heck of a week. Here’s your tip.

Do something nice for yourself that’s also good for you.

Exercise. Go for a walk or a bike ride (it’s beautiful out in Boston). Take a bath. Drink lots of water. Eat something delicious and healthy. If you choose to indulge in a treat, make it worth it (no cheap chocolate!). Take a nap. Snuggle a cuddly animal. Listen to your favorite music. Dance.

M2These writings and other creative projects are supported by my Patrons. Thank you so much! To become a Patron, go to my Patreon page. Or you can just tip me if you liked this.

Published in: on 6 November 2020 at 2:20 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Friday Tip

Dear Constant Reader,

Happy Halloween Eve! I know this isn’t going to be the Halloween everyone wanted, but I hope you have a spooky one nonetheless. A few treats before your tip…

The American Burlesque Collection currently has a Halloween exhibit! If you can’t make it to Salem, you can take a virtual tour on Burlesque Galaxy.

For some light-hearted Halloween striptease, BeauTease Burlesque presents H.A.U.N.T. (Here’s Another “Unprecedented” Night of Theatre) This is a new pre-recorded show.  It contains some old favorite acts, but these are new performances just for H.A.U.N.T.  You will be able to watch the show on our website or to download a copy to keep.  Tickets are PAY WHAT YOU CAN, with a suggested price of $10 per device.

And now for your tip!

Tomorrow is Halloween! Are you ready for your winter holiday show?

You’ve got about 6 weeks to create, film, and market a show for the winter holidays. If you haven’t started yet, jump on that ASAP so you’re not scrambling. You always should be thinking at least one season or theme ahead.

M2These writings and other creative projects are supported by my Patrons. Thank you so much! To become a Patron, go to my Patreon page. Or you can just tip me if you liked this.

Published in: on 30 October 2020 at 2:36 pm  Leave a Comment  
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In the Kitchen: Sham-Pain Salad (1952)

Dear Constant Reader,

I’m back in the kitchen for a new challenge! I’ve been cooking with historic recipes for quite a while and I’ve made some crazy things (ham-banana rolls anyone?). I realized there was one particular type of dish I’ve never made* — a molded gelatin salad!

For my first attempt, I chose Sham-Pain Salad from Date Bait: The Younger Set’s Picture Cook Book by Robert H. Loeb, Jr. (1952). It’s aimed at teenagers (that is, teenage girls) so they can impress their friends and parents with their culinary skills. There’s a lot of boxed and canned foods involved. I picked this one because it’s not as weird as some other gelatin “salads”.

I filmed the making of this, so if you are one of my Patrons, you can see the whole thing from ingredients to taste testing. I did the majority of the video editing** (of which I am quite proud) and all the camera work (of which I am not so much) myself. I’m pretty pleased with the end result and have more cooking videos in the works.

 

It’s a pretty straight-forward recipe. Make lemon gelatin with hot water and ginger ale and let it chill until slightly thickened. Stir in sliced celery, chopped nuts, and chopped peaches. Pour into a dozen individual molds and chill until firm. Turn molds out onto a lettuce covered platter around a bowl of mayonnaise.

I made a couple tweaks. The minor ones were using jarred peaches instead of thawed frozen ones and using pecans for the generic “nutmeats”. The big ones were cutting the recipe in half, as it served 12, and there are just 2 of us, and using one large mold (a bundt pan, since that’s all I had).

 

Everything went well until it was time to unmold and it just collapsed. My first gelatin mold was a disaster! Ah well, just keeping it real…

At first I thought there was just too much stuff and not enough gelatin to hold it all together. Maybe the peaches, being jarred instead of frozen, added too much liquid, which kept the gelatin from setting up as firmly as it should have. I should have let the peach slices drain for a while before adding them. In the end, I think the failure was due to the half-full mold. Instead of resting on the platter and having the mold lifted away, it just plummeted out and lost structural integrity.

Despite the collapse and having to serve it in bowls instead of decorative slices, it tasted quite good. The celery is fairly inoffensive, just adding some crunch and no strong flavors. I did try the salad with a dab of mayo, just for authenticity’s sake, but it’s much better with some whipped cream.

If you want to see it all, step by step, in living color, become a Patron!

Here’s the recipe as printed, slightly translated because of the pictures in the original recipe.

Sham-pain Salad (serves 12)
WARNING: you must have 12 individual molds

ingredients:
2 12-ounce boxes of frozen peaches (thaw immediately)
Lettuce
Celery
2 boxes lemon Jello
Ginger ale
Mayonnaise
Nutmeats

procedure:

  1. dissolve lemon Jello in 2 cups hot water
  2. add 2 cups ginger ale
  3. refrigerate till slightly thickened
  4. then add 1/2 cup sliced celery and 1/2 cup nut meats — stirring in carefully
  5. drain and cut up peaches
  6. add peaches — stir in carefully
  7. transfer to individual molds — then chill till firm
  8. line large platter with lettuce
  9. unmold so [onto platter around a bowl of mayonnaise] — serve…

M2These writings and other creative projects are supported by my Patrons. Thank you so much! To become a Patron, go to my Patreon page. Or you can just tip me if you liked this.

*I did once make a 17th-century layered wine jelly, but that’s not quite the same thing.
**Scratch helped me a lot though. If something is particularly good or clever, it was probably his suggestion.

Published in: on 28 October 2020 at 10:12 am  Leave a Comment  
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Friday Tip

Dear Constant Reader,

It’s Friday again! So much is going on!
Introduction to Burlesque has an Early Bird price through Sunday!
Bebe Bardot is teaching shake dancing at B.A.B.E.!
I’m on Burlesque Galaxy!
The American Burlesque Collection is also on Burlesque Galaxy!
Tomorrow at 8pm Boston BeauTease are releasing H.A.U.N.T., a Halloween burlesque show! Watch or download it whenever you want a fun and spooky time!
And now for your tip…

If you’re going to do a “messy” act, make sure your pasties can stand up to it.

If you’re working with stuff you smear on or pour over your body, like whipped cream, stage blood, oil &c., you’ll need to clean it off your pasties — especially it it’s something that will become rancid over time.  A non-porous material for your pastie base is best and then make sure any decoration is something you can wipe off or wash.

If it’s a water act, you’ll need pasties that can hold up to being wet and drying without losing their shape. Buckram is not the material for this! Check that the glue holding on your decorations can get wet. And also, very importantly, that the pastie adhesive you use will survive immersion!


My “Midnight Bath” pasties were made by Canova Studio using Hardcore Pasties bases and E6000 glue (probably the only purpose for which I’d recommend the stuff). They’ve been dunked many a time and still look as beautiful as the day I got them!

And remember to check out my other tips on messy acts here and here.

M2These writings and other creative projects are supported by my Patrons. Thank you so much! To become a Patron, go to my Patreon page. Or you can just tip me if you liked this.

Published in: on 23 October 2020 at 3:26 pm  Leave a Comment  
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News and Notes

Dear Constant Reader,

I’ve got so many exciting things to share with you! Where do I start?

I’ll start with B.A.B.E. The next session of Introduction to Burlesque starts November 1st. That’s a Sunday, for those of you who’ve been asking for weekend classes! Sign up by October 25 to get the Early Bird price for the entire class series.

I’m delighted to announce that Bebe Bardot will be teaching her acclaimed class Shake It Up: Shake Dancing in History & Practice on November 7th!

Betty Blaize’s workshop on false eyelashes went so well, she’s going to teach a new make-up class, The 1940s Face, in early December. Stay tuned for details!

Next up, some news from The Boston BeauTease! We are having a Halloween show this year. We wouldn’t miss our favorite holiday, even if everything is terrible. We were going to broadcast it live, but we decided you should be able to watch the show on your own schedule, so we’re recording our spooky striptease. The show will be available for download next week!

And lastly, me! I’m thrilled that my writing is being featured on Burlesque Galaxy! Go to the Sextra-Sextra News page to see my article on Sally Keith, Queen of the Tassels. More to come!

M2These writings and other creative projects are supported by my Patrons. Thank you so much! To become a Patron, go to my Patreon page. Or you can just tip me if you liked this.

Published in: on 19 October 2020 at 3:35 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Friday Tip

Dear Constant Reader,

It’s Friday! Don’t forget that Betty Blaize is teaching a false eyelash class tomorrow! Here’s your tip!

If you need a backdrop for filming, some fabric (like a bedsheet or tablecloth) and some temporary stick-on clips can quickly and easily transform a wall.

I just did a photoshoot in my living room using this tip!

What the camera saw…

What it really looks like…

I covered the pale blue walls with dark red curtains that are held up with Command clips, which won’t hurt the paint. The clips are spaced so that I could pleat the fabric a bit and add texture. I only had three curtains, and I really needed four, so the fabric closest to the candelabrum is actually one of my tablecloths. Lucky for me it was a close color match. And it also hides a curio cabinet that’s attached to the wall.

Get creative and let the camera see only what you want it to!

M2These writings and other creative projects are supported by my Patrons. Thank you so much! To become a Patron, go to my Patreon page. Or you can just tip me if you liked this.

Published in: on 16 October 2020 at 2:54 pm  Leave a Comment  
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