If you’re looking to change things up a bit this Thanksgiving, why not serve a stuffing recipe once apparently served by none other than Marilyn Monroe.
A new book about the Hollywood icon, “Fragments” (Farrar, Straus & Giroux; $30), contains letters, poems, and scribblings from Monroe circa 1943 to 1962. But one item that especially caught the attention of New York Times writers Matt Lee and Ted Lee, was a recipe in Marilyn’s handwriting that suggests she may have been a better cook that we might have guessed about the blonde bombshell.
The recipe, pictured on page 180 of the book, is scrawled on stationery from a title insurance company and describes how to prepare a stuffing for chicken or turkey. It’s not a simple recipe. Rather, it contains a fairly lengthy list of ingredients and is a bit unusual for an American recipe of that era. It calls for a loaf of sourdough bread soaked in water, wrung dry and shredded, and has no added fat, broth, raw egg or other binder.
The Times writers decided to take on the challenge of making Miss Monroe’s recipe, in spite of a few missing details, such as the amounts of spices to be used. They made some interpretations and “judgment calls” and found the recipe to be rather “laborious.” When the ingredients were all assembled, they filled 15 ramekins. “Did Marilyn really have this much time on her hands?” the writers wonder.
So, how did it turn out? The writers found it to be a really terrific stuffing—“delicious, with a nice balance of vegetables, meats and bold seasoning.” They found the texture to be superior as well, and it looked really handsome, they said.
The two Lee’s guess that the stuffing recipe may have been made during the time Marilyn was married to slugger Joe DiMaggio. Why? The Yankee Clipper was known to have one very specific food request: No garlic. At the very top of the recipe, we see Monroe’s notation: No garlic.
You have to wonder if the stuffing was a hit with Joltin’ Joe.
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