Sunday, November 29, 2009

From the site:

OFFBEAT: TV's 'Family Affair' actress has new cookbook for Thanksgiving

Last month while in Chicago I felt like I was in a television time warp.
It was days before Halloween and I had spent the morning at the Ford Center for Performing Arts, Oriental Theatre interviewing the finger-snapping cast of the new Broadway show "The Addams Family" and was on my way for lunch at Macy's with actress Kathy Garver aka older sister Cissy on the CBS TV show "Family Affair."
Ironically, both of these shows were on the air at the same time, though the creepy Addams clan couldn't have been more different, in addition to airing on competing network ABC.
(Check out my "Black Friday" Off Beat column for the complete scoop on the new "Addams Family" Broadway show debut in Chicago.)
As for Garver, she has written a great new cookbook with some help from author Geoffrey Mark. It even includes a foreword by actress Dawn Wells aka sweet farmgirl Mary Ann Summers from "Gilligan's Island."
This 170-page paperback called "The Family Affair Cookbook" (2009 BearManor Media $19.95) really packs in plenty of rare, vintage photos, in addition to great facts, tidbits plus a nice selection of recipes.
Remember, of the entire show cast, actor Brian Keith (1921-1997), who played the father, fussy Sabastian Cabot (1918-1977), who played butler Mr. French and child actress Anissa Jones (1958-1976) who played Buffy, all died years ago.
Today, only Garver and child actor Johnny Whitaker, 50, who played Jody, still remain.
Making things even more difficult is that this book had been planned more than a decade ago. However, a tragic fire destroyed Garver's house in California and most of her personal records and memorabilia from her career was lost. Amazingly, she's been able to replace many things.
One of the reasons I decided to wait a few weeks to run this column is because of a great photo included in the cookbook of Garver with Cabot, on the cover of a TV magazine promoting them as the broadcast hosts for Macy's Annual Thanksgiving Day Parade telecast.
Also, by running this feature in a Wednesday's edition, it gave me an added excuse to run a "bonus" recipe for readers to try, taken right from Garver's book. Notice the little narrative lead-in included with the recipe. It's one of the most wonderful features of her book, the included highlights she shares, along with fascinating tie-ins to the show and each recipe she showcases. Enjoy!
From Episode 9, you see a common trend in this TV series. We are often shown at the dinner table eating nondescript meals. Sometimes, the prop people didn't even give us real food -- we just pushed ersatz imposters around on our plates while we said our lines. I was watching this episode recently and noticed this dish, which was real because I remembered eating it and enjoying it. I am sure you will too!
Creamed Cauliflower and Peas
1 large cauliflower, separated into florets
Sprinkle of salt
1(10-ounce) package frozen peas
Splash of milk
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter (divided use)
3/4 cup chopped onion
3 tablespoons flour
1/4 tablespoon nutmeg
1/4 tablespoon white pepper
1 cup light cream
1/2 cup cracker crumbs
DIRECTIONS: Cook cauliflower in 1-1/2 cups water and salt; bring to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer covered 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and set aside. Cook peas in 1/4 cup water and a sprinkle of salt; bring to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer covered for 5 minutes. Drain peas, reserving cooking water. Add enough milk to the water to create 2 cups of liquid, then set aside. Melt 1/4 cup butter in a saute pan and add onion, cooking until golden. Remove onion from heat and stir in flour, nutmeg, pinch of salt and pepper. Stir in the reserved liquid and cream and return to heat, stirring constantly. Gently combine peas, cauliflower and sauce in a buttered casserole. Bake uncovered 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Makes 12 servings.
- - Courtesy of "The Family Affair Cookbook," by Kathy Garver (2009 BearManor Media $19.95)

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