Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Betty MacDonald and the golden egg recipes

The Favorite Egg Recipes of Claudette Colbert and Fred MacMurray

Betty MacDonald fan club fans are especially fond of egg cookbooks and of celebrity recipes.  The Favorite Egg Recipes of Claudette Colbert and Fred MacMurray was published in a booklet form by the National Egg Board as an advertising compliment to their movie, "The Egg and I." 

In 1947, Claudette Colbert and Fred MacMurray stared in "The Egg and I." The movie was based on Betty MacDonald's book of the same name. It was a wildly popular account of her life as a young bride on a chicken farm. When I say The Egg and I was a popular book, I mean that in less than a year it sold a million copies! The film rights were quickly sold and in 1947 the book became a movie with Claudette Colbert and Fred MacMurray.

In addition to Colbert and MacMurray, the film co-stared Marjorie Main and Percy Kilbride as Ma and Pa Kettle. (The co-stars have nothing to do with egg recipes, but I am a huge fan of Ma and Pa Kettle) Main was nominated for an Academy Award for best Supporting Actress but she lost to Celeste Holm in "Gentleman's Agreement." (It is so hard to win for comedy!) After all the publicity, practically everyone involved with the book was sued.  According to the folks down on the farm, old Mrs. MacDonald portrayed them negatively and they wanted monetary gains for being made to look foolish! And they did indeed get paid, but enough about them.

The Favorite Egg Recipes of Claudette Colbert and Fred MacMurray features introductions by the two stars, a recipe from each bearing their names, and a handful of additional egg recipes. What do they say about the egg?

According to Colbert:

"The egg is really one of the greatest boons to womankind, ranking with the sewing machine, the electric washer, the permanent wave and the right to vote."

According to MacMurray:

"The egg, for my money, is the best friend of any man ever trapped in the kitchen."

I love eggs as much as the next person, but I am not sure I would equate them with voting rights.  What a difference seventy years makes. Well we are still eating eggs, still voting, and still drinking. Of course, today we are drinking alcohol. In 1947 such drinking, especially endorsed by the family friendly National Egg Board, was frowned upon. Here is an eggy julep for you, in the truest sense of a sweet, flavored drink, as opposed to the kind that most often feature a good shot of bourbon.

Egg and I Julep
3 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups orange juice, strained
1/3 cup lemon juice, strained
Crushed ice, club soda

Blend eggs, sugar and salt. Add fruit juices. Shake or beat until sugar is dissolved. pour over finely cracked ice to fill tall glasses 1/2 full. Add club soda slowly. Stir. Serve promptly.

Feel free to add a big ol' glug of bourbon

Vita Magica

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