Tuesday, December 8, 2009

What should Gorgeous Gloria Swanson Eat?

Madame Sylvia recommended this diet for Gloria Swanson in Hollywood Undressed. Madame Sylvia described it as a "typical meal for nourishing the Nerves, while causing no increase in weight" (Hollywood Undressed, Page 195). As someone who has a case of "the nerves", I was curious about it.

Half Grapefruit
Small dish of Fresh Figs
3 slices of Calf's Liver
2 slices of Crisp Rye Bread with Thin Butter
1 dish of Fresh Raspberries
Plain cup of Tea with 1 Lump Sugar

Only one meal for our poor Gloria in the first half of the day. I definitely could not do it! I could eat everything - except the calf's liver. What is it with liver in the 20s diet? And at least Gloria gets a little butter!

Roast Pheasant or Chicken; or Boiled Fish
2 Tablespoons Mashed Turnips
2 Tablespoons of String Beans
Can substitute 2 Scoops of Noodles with Melted Butter for Turnips or String Beans
Pickled Beets
Black Coffee

I've never had Pheasant, so I can't comment on that (I've heard it's fantastic). I would definitely be willing to eat Gloria's dinner - minus the pickled beets. My mom adores Pickled Beets on Toast and have trauma about being asked to eat it as a child. Can't bring myself to eat it. And she even gets a little dessert - how cool is that?


2 pounds calf's liver, cut into 6 pieces
1 cup whole milk
8 bacon slices, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large onions, thinly sliced
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup dry sherry
1 tablespoon beef broth

1. In a large glass baking dish, add liver and milk and let soak for 20 minutes.
2. In a large skillet over medium heat, add bacon and butter and cook until fat has rendered, about 6 minutes. Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain and reserve 3 tablespoons fat in skillet. Reserve remaining fat.
3. Cook onions with salt and pepper, to taste, in bacon fat in skillet over moderate heat for 10 minutes or until caramelized. Transfer onions to a bowl and add bacon. Set aside.
4. Pat liver dry and discard milk. In a large zip-top bag, add flour, Essence, salt and pepper. Working in batches, add liver and shake to coat. Set aside on baking sheet until ready to cook.
5. Add 2 tablespoons reserved bacon fat to skillet over high heat and add liver; cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Turn liver over, remove pan from heat, add sherry and beef broth, return pan to heat and shake and flambe. Cook on second side for about 2 minutes or until cooked through. Serve liver with pan sauce, topped with onions and bacon.

1/4 cup Scotch whisky
2 oranges, cut into 1/8ths
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 (2 to 2 1/2-pound) pheasants
Freshly ground black pepper
6 slices bacon, halved

Whisky-Cumberland Sauce:
1 cup Scotch whisky
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons grated orange zest
1 cup red currant jelly
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pinch cayenne

1. For the pheasant: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. In a bowl, toss the oranges with 3 tablespoons of the whisky. Rub the pheasants with the remaining 1 tablespoon of whisky and lightly season with salt and pepper. Stuff each pheasant with the oranges and 1 sprig of fresh thyme, and close the cavities with skewers. Wrap the breast of each pheasant with the bacon and set in a roasting pan. Roast the pheasants until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast registers 160 degrees F., about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let stand 10 minutes.
3. For the Whisky Cumberland Sauce: In a medium saucepan, combine the whisky, orange juice, and orange zest, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced by 50 percent in volume to about 3/4 cup. Add the currant jelly, salt, and cayenne, and stir well.
4. Cook until thickened, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and pour into a decorative bowl. Cool slightly before serving.
5. Remove the bacon from the pheasant breasts, if desired, and cut each bird in half. Discard the oranges and thyme in the cavity. Serve hot with Whisky-Cumberland Sauce and wild rice.

2 pounds whole beets
1 cup water
3 cups apple cider
1 quart size preserving jar

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place the beets in a small roasting pan. Add the water to the pan and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Place in the oven and cook until the beets are fork tender, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and cool for 15 minutes, reserving the liquid. Remove the skins from the beets and slice 1/4 inch thick. Season the beets with salt. In a saucepan, heat the reserved beet juice and vinegar, over medium heat. Sterilize 1 quart-size preserving jar in boiling water and keep hot. Soak the lids in the boiling water and keep hot. Pack the jar tightly with the beets. Pour hot liquid over the beets, adding enough of the liquid to come within 1/2-inch of the top. With a clean, damp towel, wipe the rim and fit with a hot lid. Tightly screw on the metal ring and process in a hot-water bath for 15 minutes. Using tongs, remove the jar, place on a towel and let cool. Test seal. Tighten the ring. Store in a cool dry place. Let age for 2 weeks.

2 1/2 lbs. turnips, peeled and diced
1/4 c. butter
2 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. pepper
Parsley for garnish

Heat turnips to boiling in water. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 15 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat and drain. Mash; add butter, salt, sugar, pepper. Stir until well mixed. Serve garnished with parsley.

Double fillet Northern so there are NO bones. Cut into bite size pieces. In large kettle 2/3 cup full of water and add 1/2 cup salt, bay leaf, minced garlic and minced onion. Drop fish into boiling water. When fish floats to top its done. Dip in melted butter to taste.

Up next: How to bulk up Constance Bennett


Anonymous said...

Thank you for your comment...Love these recipes!

Lucy said...

Coffee on a diet for bad nerves? Yeah! I'm in! (The liver can always be snuck under the table, up your sleeve or in the flower arrangement.)

A said...

Lucy and Dick Show - Wonderful idea about the liver.

I didn't think about it, but wouldn't coffee hop some people up rather than calm them down? Can't imagine that would be great for someone who has a case of the nerves:)

Witchcrafted Life said...

While I can't say as though this is my ideal menu, it's not nightmare inducing by any stretch of the imagination. If only the good Madame would have realized that it's better for one to eat at least three times a day, even if the meals are small.

Thank you very much for all of your wonderful recent comments, honey, I appreciate them so very much!

Big hugs,
♥ Jessica


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