27 September 2009

The Myra Breckinridge Cookbook

Rarely does a cookbook post allow us to mention, in no particular order: Edith Head, a book I edited, cumin covered cock, and Mae West. Not to mention Gore Vidal and Raquel Welsh. So it not hard to understand why The Myra Breckinridge Cookbook is such fun.

Once upon a time, Gore Vidal wrote a book, Myra Breckenridge. Then for some unknown reason (read $$$) he allowed the book to be made into a movie which is where Edith Head enters the picture.

Head was asked to do the costume design for stars including Farrah Fawcett, Raquel Welsh and, of course, Mae West. When West agreed to the part she insisted that Edith Head design her costume, not knowing that Head had already signed on to the production.

This design was an homage to West in "Belle of the Nineties." And this lovely number was just how I want to look when I am 80.

Then there was this iconic ensemble for Raquel Welsh.

Years later, Richard Peabody and I edited a book of interviews entitled Conversations With Gore Vidal.

But, before we edited Conversations With Gore Vidal, Beverly Pepper and Howard Austen wrote The Myra Breckinridge Cookbook which is where the cumin covered cock comes in. For those of you who have a slightly more than passing knowledge of Vidal, you will recognize Howard Austen was Vidal's companion for over 40 years.

The cookbook, as in the movie, features dishes from some of the old celluloid masterpieces. One chapter, however, features Myra's Favorites. Needless to say, the favorites are a minefield of double entendre and and not so "double" references. In addition to the Cumin Covered Cock (chicken I presume), there are dishes whose titles include kiss, faggot, trick, bun and hole. That Myra! Here is the rather tame...

Coconut Balls

Roll balls of chocolate ice cream in freshly grated coconut early in the day. Keep them in the freezer until serving.

I am not quite sure one does it "early in the day" perhaps it is because you shouldn't be rolling your balls right before dessert. Mae made me say it!!! Here's a little number from Myra Breckinridge, courtesy of Mae West.

Hard To Handle -- Mae West mp3

Always remember:


  1. Where have you been all my life? This is fantastic! Thanks for letting me know about this. Gotta get one.


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