Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Art tart

Who would ever have thought it?

In addition to being a spectacular performance artist, counter-tenor vocalist and 80s icon, the wonderful Klaus Nomi was a fully-qualified pastry chef!

And (of course) the faboo people over at Dangerous Minds have located one of his recipes for Lime Cheesecake, which he once demonstrated on Cable TV...
  • Step 1. The crust. It needs a 9-inch pie pan to make the tart in. Take 1 1/4 cups fine 'Graham cracker' [that's 'Digestive biscuits' to us Brits!] crumbs, 1/3rd cup brown sugar, and 1/4 melted butter to make crust. Mix the ingredients together and shape the crust into the pie pan. (Klaus Nomi mentions that it may not seem like the crust will hold together, but if it is packed tightly enough and when it sits overnight, it should hold). The artist also cautions about making the crust too sweet; you may not need to use as much brown sugar.
  • Step 2. The filling. It needs 4 eggs, 1 can sweetened condensed milk, and 1/2 cup lime juice. First the eggs have to be separated; placing yolks in one bowl and whites in the other one. Klaus uses the egg shell to actually separate the whites from the yolk by putting the yolk on one side of the cracked shell and letting the whites drip into a separate bowl. Take the bowl with the egg yolks and add the sweetened condensed milk and lime juice. Mix together. Then, in the bowl with the egg whites, whip them until the whites are very, very stiff. Once the whites are stiff it dramatically increases in volume. Slowly fold the whites into the other bowl. Once mixed together, place the filling into the crust.
  • Step 3. Take lime peel and cut it into thin strips. Place the lime peel on top of the pie. This has two purposes; a beautiful presentation but also the flavour. The zest really adds a punch to the taste and is meant to be eaten. Then place the tart into the refrigerator for at least several hours, but overnight is recommended in order to firm the tart, make it easier to cut and better consistency.
In this montage scored to Nomi’s version of “You Don’t Own Me,” you can see him baking the recipe starting at the 0:52 mark:


Monday, 28 November 2016

One must be amused

"I am sometimes bored by people, but never by life."

"I think young people have an awful feeling that life is slipping past them and they must do something - catch something - they don't quite know what, whereas they've only got to wait and it all comes."

"When the loo paper gets thicker and the writing paper thinner, it's always a bad sign, at home."

"Nothing makes people crosser than being considered too old for love."

"If one can't be happy, one must be amused."

Nancy Freeman-Mitford CBE (28th November 1904 – 30th June 1973)

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Night time is my time for just reminiscin’

You might find the night time
The right time for kissin’
But night time is my time
For just reminiscin’

Ruth Etting (23rd November 1897 – 24th September 1978)

Friday, 18 November 2016

Monday, 14 November 2016

She got the look

Possibly the most influential "look" in history.

Louise Brooks (born Mary Louise Brooks, 14th November 1906 – 8th August 1985)

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Baddely or Goodeley

"I have spent most of my life working in the theatre - which is always my greatest love - but the films and television were the providers of the little luxuries of life."

The utterly marvellous Hermione Baddeley would have been 110 years old today...

  • She started her long acting career in the 1920s, but her big breakthrough was as 'Ida' in the classic film noir Brighton Rock in 1947.
  • Her sister Angela was most famous for playing 'Mrs Bridges' in Upstairs Downstairs.
  • Her first marriage was to the arch-decadent aesthete Stephen's brother The Hon. David Pax Tennant, socialite and BBC announcer; their first date was a double-date with none other than Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (later HM The Queen Mother) and her escort.
  • Miss Baddeley was teamed up with her inimitable namesake Hermione Gingold in Noël Coward's stage comedy Fallen Angels, though the two women were apparently "no longer on speaking terms" by the end of the run.
  • Her 1961 LP A Taste Of Hermione Baddeley is notable for the presence of the rather brilliantly-titled track I Changed My Sex A Week Ago Today (a copy of which - inevitably! - we have in our collection here at Dolores Delargo Towers; it does not, however, appear to be anywhere on the interwebs now).
  • After her success playing the maid in Mary Poppins, she had a lucrative career on US television, in such shows as Bewitched, Little House on the Prairie and Maude; she died at her home in Los Angeles.
Hermione "Totie" Baddeley (born Hermione Youlanda Ruby Clinton-Baddeley, 13th November 1906 – 19th August 1986)

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

To have genius and be obscure

“Dandies... as you know - scorn all emotions as being beneath them, and do not believe, like that simpleton Goethe, that astonishment can ever be a proper feeling for the human mind.”

“For with dandies, a joke is the only way of making yourself respected.”

“Beauty is single. Only ugliness is multiple, and even then its multiplicity is soon exhausted.”

“Ever since the creation of the world there have been men like me specially intended to astonish men... men like you.”

"The most beautiful destiny: to have genius and be obscure."

As James J. Conway over at Strange Flowers says of Jules Barbey d'Aurevilly:
[He was] the author of Du dandysme et de George Brummell, published in English as The Anatomy of Dandyism. Appearing in 1844, this slim volume was the first serious appraisal of the cult of the dandy which grew around George “Beau” Brummell in Regency England. Like jazz, like Samuel Beckett, like Tina Arena, dandyism had to go to France to be taken seriously.

For Brummell and his associates, dressing well required hours in front of the mirror to arrive at an ensemble of suiting and grooming so perfect that it eluded notice. But Barbey d’Aurevilly knew that dandyism wasn’t just “the art of deportment, costume, and fortunate and audacious dictatorship of the toilet and exterior elegance. It is certainly that, but it is much more.” And if it were possible to codify the dandies’ self-presentation as a “look” (and caricatures of the time prove that it was) then that “look” had been and gone.

In any case, for Barbey d’Aurevilly, “mimicry is not resemblance. One can catch an air or a pose, as one can steal the shape of a dress-coat; but the comedy is wearisome, the mask is painful…” The French dandy was, by all accounts, quite the head-turner, and the effort he went to in constructing his look was much in evidence. Tall for the era, he stepped out in rouge and lipstick, with rings on his fingers, dye in his hair and lace at his cuffs. The whole arrangement owed little to the cool reserve of les rosbifs; as Barbey d’Aurevilly noted, “I have been as dandy as one can be in France,” further commenting that “the country of Richelieu will never produce a Brummell”.
It may never have produced a Brummell, but d'Aurevilly's influence was far-reaching, paving the way as he did for such legends of Dandyism as Charles Pierre Baudelaire and Auguste Villiers de l'Isle-Adam - and of course the "decadents" of the Aesthetic movement, including Oscar Wilde.

Jules-Amédée Barbey d'Aurevilly (2nd November 1808 – 23rd April 1889)