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Breakfast the Fritz Lang way: Martinis with scrambled eggs (and a toy monkey)
06:10 am


Fritz Lang

Fritz Lang and friend
Fritz Lang and friend
The record seems clear on this point. Fritz Lang loved monkeys, and especially toy monkey dolls that he could pretend were his constant companions. The best-known of the succession of toy monkeys was called Peter, but possibly all of them were called Peter, it’s not really clear.

Here’s some testimony on the subject, courtesy of Fritz Lang. His Life and Work: Photographs and Documents, edited by Rolf Aurich, Wolfgang Jacobsen, and Cornelius Schnauber:

Lang had a rather touchingly tender, sentimentally boyish relationship to Peter the Monkey: he took him with him on trips, put him to bed, dressed him up and posed in pictures with him. In the countless letters he exchanged with his lifelong friend Eleanor Rose, there are many passages devoted to Peter: for example, greetings from him for Magali, Eleanor Rose’s favorite cat; or letters directly addressed to Peter or “written” by Peter to Eleanor:

“Peter sends his warmest regards. He is meditating a great deal and enjoying the California sun. He loves martinis, smokes a long pipe now and again, and has taken to chewing gum. He sends his compliments to Magali and wishes her the best.”—Fritz Lang to Eleanor Rose, July 30, 1963

I found that quotation from this “Old Hollywood” blog—there’s slightly more on the subject there, so be sure to check it out.
Fritz Lang and friend
Fritz Lang and Peter the Monkey at home, c. 1960’s

As you can see from the quotation, Peter the Monkey favored martinis, according to Lang. In fact, Peter liked to have them for breakfast. Well-known Hollywood biographer Charlotte Chandler, author of books on Groucho Marx, Alfred Hitchcock, Mae West, Billy Wilder, Bette Davis, etc., had first-person experience with Lang’s morning repasts:

It was his favorite breakfast—scrambled eggs with martinis. Or rather, martinis with scrambled eggs. It was a breakfast he preferred, and he preferred not to eat it too early in the morning. There were scrambled eggs for two, Fritz and me, and two martinis—one for Fritz and one for Peter, who was sitting at the table with us. Peter was a German felt monkey doll who wore his sailor cap at a rakish angle, a turtleneck sweater, a gold earring in one ear, and a suave, urbane look on his face that indicated he knew Hamburg’s St. Pauli district well. Fritz always ordered a martini for Peter, who was his mascot and alter ego. Then he helped Peter drink it.

(For those puzzled about the biography of Lang that Chandler never wrote, her account appears in the Anthology Film Archives book Fritz Lang 2000, edited by Robert Haller.)

Here’s Lang being interviewed by William Friedkin in 1975:


Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Irate woman calls 911 over raw waffles
09:26 am


Raw waffles

“They gave me some raw waffles,” starts the woman’s story, “and I told him that I don’t want the waffles.”

Do I really need to say where this wacky-ass 911 phone call over raw waffles happened? Do I really?

Tampa. Florida.

Via Arbroath

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
What no pastrami?!: Egg cream scented candles from Katz’s deli
05:02 am


New York City

For the many years that I patronized Katz’s deli on Manhattan’s Lower East Side I don’t recall the smell of egg cream being the first thing I was hit with when I walked through the venerable joint’s doors. It was the pungent scent of vinegar, rye, mustard and smoke that permeated the air like a Romanian storm front.

I guess a pastrami-scented candle won’t appeal to the masses so Katz’s is offering something tame for the Goyim out there. You can buy the candle here. Personally, I’ll wait for one that smells of brine and garlic.
Via Ev Grieve

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
The Kids in the Hall’s Scott Thompson has plenty to say about fruits
06:28 am


Scott Thompson

I wish I knew about this when it was still active: Scott Thompson, the member of the Kids in the Hall sketch comedy troupe who broke ground as an out-of-the-closet gay performer at a time when homosexuals were still punching bags for some of the world’s most popular comedians, used to maintain a blog about fruits. Ha ha.

Thompson announced the fruit blog’s existence with the following, in February of 2011:

In the beginning there was the apple and everything was quiet. Then Eve took a bite and that’s when the fun started. The apple is the most popular fruit in the Western Hemisphere and grows pretty much everywhere. There are thousands of types of apples. My favourite is the Macintosh or Macs. Maybe that’s why I love my computer so much. I used to love Delicious apples when you only had them rarely. Then one day they were there every day, their bumps no longer exotic, their almost cloying sweetness no longer exciting. And then they weren’t even called Delicious any more and we were all suppposed to pretend that it had always been that way. No thank you Big Brother. I’m fine with my Mac and a hunk of cheddar. And no thank you, you can keep your fancy handkerchief to yourself. I’ll just polish it on my jeans.

New postings ended in September of 2012, roughly coincident with the announcement that Thompson would play crime scene investigator Jimmy Price on NBC TV’s Hannibal. But in that year and a half or so, Thompson (and friends) blogged a ridiculous series of video fruit reviews. He bravely took on the pomegranate, confronted guava with steely resolve, and went toe-to-toe with tiny bananas and lived to tell the tale. It’s pretty obvious these were all made in a single session. Since I’m laughing, I don’t care.

Pomegranates, part I
More fruit reviews after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Hilariously WRONG sexist ad from the 1970s
11:28 am



Balls, huh? They give you courage? What the fuck was in them?

Here are a few choice quotes from this 1978 ad:

“You need BALLS to conquer the world.”

“Just pop a few BALLS in your mouth and you’ll be ready for anything.”

And my personal favorite:

“Brown-bag your BALLS to work, so you don’t run out of steam.”

Click here to read a larger image.

Via Boing Boing

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Mmmmmm, art: The Museum of Donuts
02:27 pm


Museum of Donuts

Museum of Donuts
Nancy Carroll and her husband Jan have an artistic bent and a developed sense of whimsy, so when they were casting about for an idea that would allow them to participate in the Art Walk of Ontario, California (near Rancho Cucamonga), they hit on the idea of creating a museum for a ridiculous and perishable item: the donut. They have refashioned the downstairs floor of their dwelling, which also doubles as an “art studio,” into a Museum of Donuts. As Nancy says, “The Museum of Donuts was inspired by our love of the roadside attraction, and of curiosities.”

It’s been a challenge to get people to not grab and eat the exhibits. They put up signs telling patrons not to touch, but they do anyway. As befits any self-respecting Museum of Donuts, donuts for the purpose of eating are readily available elsewhere on the premises. However, the patrons’ confusion is somewhat understandable, as the donuts for eating and the donuts for displaying are pretty damn similar. Nancy says that for the exhibits, it’s important to use stale donuts: “Better to buy that dozen a few days before the exhibition and let them dry out and firm up a little bit.  Nothing sadder than seeing all your hard work sagging on the wall because it was floating in a deep fryer a few hours ago.” 
Museum of Donuts
The museum featured a “cereal/serial killer donut series,” complete with a “zodiac cruller” donut and the Son of Sam “David Berko-Trix” donut. It also ran a popular “extraterrestrial” series. They should have an exhibit of Kenny Scharf’s signature donut paintings one day, too.  If you’re in the area, you should see about stopping by.

Related to the museum only by content, here’s a fun video of a woman making a sweet watercolor painting of some donuts in a matter of minutes, a bit further north at Colonial Donuts in Oakland, California:

via Internet Magic

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Dean Martin’s burger recipe vs. Frank Sinatra’s burger recipe
10:38 am


Frank Sinatra
Dean Martin

Sinatra’s recipe is very clear cut and straight to the point. Just the way I like ‘em. But Dino’s method has a charm all its own!

Click here to view a larger image.

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Ernest Hemingway’s burger recipe is the manliest thing you can do with a cow except beat it up

‘The time I met Dean Martin…’ A True Story

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Ernest Hemingway’s burger recipe is the manliest thing you can do with a cow except beat it up
11:40 am



That’s a lot of butch in one photo

My favorite Hemingway anecdotes always revolve around him being absurdly macho—like when he mocked F. Scott Fitzgerald for his monogamy, or when, in an attempt to prevent sharks from eating the tuna he had just caught, he opened fire with a Thompson submachine-gun directly into the water. This, of course, was pretty counterproductive, since it only produced more blood, attracting more sharks and exacerbating the feeding frenzy.

It only makes sense that Hemingway would tire of shooting fish at some point, and settle himself down for a nice, slow-moving animal like a cow, and it turns out that he had very interesting (and totally delicious-sounding) specifications for his burgers. Below is his recipe for an ultra-manly, super-robust burger. Apparently, Mei Yen Powder is no longer on the market, but you can approximate the rich, umami flavor with nine parts salt, nine parts sugar and two parts MSG. For 1 teaspoon of Mei Yen Powder, use 2/3 of a teaspoon of the mix, plus 1/3 of a teaspoon of soy sauce. (And don’t believe the hype about MSG—it’s harmless and delicious.)


1 lb. ground lean beef

2 cloves, minced garlic

2 little green onions, finely chopped

1 heaping teaspoon, India relish

2 tablespoons, capers

1 heaping teaspoon, Spice Islands sage

Spice Islands Beau Monde Seasoning — 1/2 teaspoon

Spice Islands Mei Yen Powder — 1/2 teaspoon

1 egg, beaten in a cup with a fork

About 1/3 cup dry red or white wine

1 tablespoon cooking oil

What to do–

Break up the meat with a fork and scatter the garlic, onion and dry seasonings over it, then mix them into the meat with a fork or your fingers. Let the bowl of meat sit out of the icebox for ten or fifteen minutes while you set the table and make the salad. Add the relish, capers, everything else including wine and let the meat sit, quietly marinating, for another ten minutes if possible. Now make your fat, juicy patties with your hands. The patties should be an inch thick, and soft in texture but not runny. Have the oil in your frying pan hot but not smoking when you drop in the patties and then turn the heat down and fry the burgers about four minutes. Take the pan off the burner and turn the heat high again. Flip the burgers over, put the pan back on the hot fire, then after one minute, turn the heat down again and cook another three minutes. Both sides of the burgers should be crispy brown and the middle pink and juicy.

That is one hell of a specific hamburger is it not???
Via Open Culture

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Louis Armstrong’s ham hocks and red beans recipe: ‘It is my birth mark’
12:39 pm


Louis Armstrong

Louis Armstrong hosts a big dinner
Let’s face it—we’re still in the holiday season, and what with all the snow much of the country has been getting, it’s okay if you want something utterly yummy to stick inside your belly. Exercising doesn’t start on New Year’s, it starts right after Super Bowl Sunday ... everybody knows that.

So I feel entitled to pass on a delicious recipe for ham hocks and red beans that comes from the unmatchable creative mind of Louis Armstrong. The legendary jazz trumpeter used to sign off his letters, “Red Beans And Ricely Yours, Louis Armstrong,” and he talked about red beans a lot in his autobiography, Satchmo: My Life in New Orleans. For instance:

They used to laugh like mad when I first began to practice my cornet. Then as the days went on they began to listen and to make little comments, the way kids will. Then we began to understand one another. They were growing rapidly, and the more they grew the more they ate. I soon learned what a capacity they had, and I learned to take precautions. Whenever I cooked a big pot of beans and rice and ham hocks they would manage to eat up most of it before I could get to the table. Willie could make a plate full of food vanish faster than anyone I ever saw. (p. 55)

Or this:

I thought her Creole gumbo was the finest in the world. Her cabbage and rice was marvelous. As for red beans and rice, well, I don’t have to say anything about that. It is my birth mark. (p. 85, emphasis mine)

As Satchmo said, “No need to make folks think I like fancy foods like quail on toast, chicken and hot biscuits, or steak smothered in mushrooms. Of course they taste good and I can eat them, but have you ever tried ham hocks and red beans?” Exactly right. And here’s the recipe the way he liked it:

Louis Armstrong’s Ham Hocks and Red Beans

Serves 6.

1 pound dried red beans water
1 pound ham hock
1 bay leaf
1 pod red pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
1 onion, diced
1 pod garlic, minced

Wash beans and soak two to three hours or overnight if preferred.

When ready to cook, drain off water and put beans in large pot with two quarts cold water. Let water heat thoroughly, then add ham hocks, herbs, onion and garlic. Cook slowly but steadily at least two hours or until tender enough to mash easily.

When done, place in a dish and lay ham hocks on top. May be served with rice.

I propose serving it for your Super Bowl gathering, or barring that, then for the “Big Game.” Doesn’t it look good?
Ham hocks and red beans
Ham hocks and red beans
Source: Freda DeKnight, A Date with a Dish, a Cookbook of American Negro Recipes. New York: Hermitage Press, 1948. Forgive the title, it’s a very old book. Freda DeKnight died in 1963 at the young age of fifty-three. She was the cooking columnist for Ebony and her books are still in print.

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
OK Soda: Coca-Cola’s embarrassing attempt at courting Generation X
06:15 am


OK Soda

OK soda
I occupy a weird space, generationally. I’m an older “millennial,” but my mom was young when she had me, making her a “Generation Xer.” So while most of my friends grew up with properly established adult boomers for parents, I had the younger “cool mom.” I had the mom who had Nirvana’s “Nevermind” on cassette, and this was largely positive for me. She never experienced parenthood as a break with popular culture the way a lot of older parents did, and to this day she remains very open-minded about music, art, and literature.

So when I learn about stuff like OK Soda, Coca-Cola’s desperate attempt to court the youth market, I have to wonder… how stupid did they think she was? I mean, as a parent, she might have been more “adult” than your average Gen Xer, but did they really think the tagline, “Things are going to be OK” would relate to the disaffected young masses? As if the flannel-wearing youths would watch these commercials and think, “Yes. This is a soda that isn’t trying too hard with its Charles Burns-designed cans. This is the soda of choice for Ethan Hawke’s character in Reality Bites. This soda speaks to me.”

OK Soda had its trial run in a few test markets from 1993 to 1995—it was a total flop. But while we’re left with only a few remaining cans on eBay and this absurdly transparent marketing campaign (commercials in the video below), these ads are such a perfect moment in 90s pop culture. At a time when Vogue was doing high-end grunge fashion spreads, OK Soda was doing the exact same thing—trying too hard to look like you’re not trying too hard.

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
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