The Celluloid Pantry: Recipe Swapping and Pillow Talk (1959)

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Men have come a long way in the kitchens of Hollywood. In the over-the-top romantic comedy Pillow Talk (1959), Rock Hudson plays a slick and devious ladies’ man (Brad Allen) pretending to be an honest country boy (Rex Stetson), who may or may not be the type who is “devoted to his mother” and likes to “collect recipes and exchange bits of gossip.” (The layers of irony are so thick and convoluted here, it’s hard to be sure now what’s intentional.)

Out for the evening with uptight career girl, Jan Morrow (Doris Day), Brad (as Rex) decides to try a little reverse psychology. Enjoying some drinks at the bar, Jan offers Rex some crackers and dip. To her great alarm, he says: “Ain’t this tasty! Wonder if I could get the recipe.” From that point onwards, Jan’s putty in his hands.

This recipe comes from that old mid-century stalwart, The Joy of Cooking.

Clam Dip

1 cup minced clams
3 oz soft cream cheese
1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
pinch of dry mustard
salt
1 Tbs. onion juice
¼ cup heavy cream

Drain the clams and combine with the remaining ingredients until well-blended. Serve with crackers, vegetable sticks, or bread.

- Nora

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The Celluloid Pantry

Nora Maynard is a freelance writer based in New York City. Her recent work has appeared in Salon, Drunken Boat, and The Millions. She recently completed her ninth marathon and her first novel, Burnt Hill Road. Nora wrote for The Kitchn from 2006 to 2011.