Hooray for Hollywood

On Wed., May 1st, I attended the celebration of Glenn Ford’s 90th birthday with my husband and one of our hosts, Ignacio, who works for Sony Pictures. (Sony was responsible for the new printing of the movie we viewed.) Unfortunately, Glenn Ford was too weak to attend, but he had made a video just in case he could not be at his celebration. (His son was there to receive plaques and kudos for his father’s work.) He was frail and bed-ridden, but what I took away from the short clip of his thank you was that, despite his fragility, he was still positive about Life.

Before the viewing of the film Gilda, which was made 60 years ago this year with the sultry Rita Hayworth, who is actually of Spanish descent, we heard from the various actors who had worked with him: Shirley Jones, Martin Landau, Jamie Farr (of M.A.S.H. fame, and Debbie Reynolds. Each one spoke his or her praises of Ford, and what struck me was that all of these stars were the older versions of what we remembered on the screen, but none of them was old. They all were positive and present in the moment, savoring their memories of Ford, but not moaning and groaning about the “good old days” gone by.

What I took away from the evening, besides the memorable vision of Rita Hayworth’s sensual dancing and dialogue, was that we everyone grows older, even movie stars, but we need not grow old in our attitudes. Debbie Reynolds was the finest example of this, because she bantered and joked like a stand-up comedienne, even noting that she had been born in 1932, the same year as the Graumann’s Egyptian Theater in which we were sitting, and that the “two old broads” were both holding up quite well!

It was a terrific night of entertainment, both on the silver screen and in the theater itself with the actors and gave me a new appreciation of Hollywood as represented by these older, but not old, starts who had come to celebrate Glenn Ford’s 90th birthday. Hopefully, the picture of Shirley Jones with Ignacio will come through.

Recipe of the Week: Polo Lounge Pasta

For lunch on the same day we went to see the Glenn Ford movie, my husband’s son Jay (our other host) took us to the Polo Lounge in the Beverly Hills Hotel. Then, instead of eating out (again) before the movie, I made a pasta dish and salad, so we did not have to rush from Ignacio’s job to the theatre. I call it Polo Lounge Pasta because I made it on the day we ate there. The amounts are approximate, since I did not expect to post it on my blog. Purchase organic whenever possible.

one 12-16 oz. angel hair pasta (or pasta of your choice)
one bunch asparagus
one small organic onion
one box sliced mushrooms
one small carrot, scrubbed and grated
oregano, thyme, garlic
olive oil, salt and pepper

1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
2. While waiting for the water to boil and pasta to cook, wash the asparagus, break off woody stems, and cut spears into thirds, slicing the thicker stem-parts in half lengthwise Then, slice the onion and rinse off sliced mushrooms.
4. Place the three veggies in a baking pan, toss with enough olive oil to coat, add herbs, and broil just until the asparagus is tender and the other veggies are soft, maybe 8 minutes, less if the pan is very close to the coils.
5. If the pasta is finished before the veggies, drain, toss with a little olive oil and place back in the cooking pot to stay warm. When the veggies are done, put everything in the pot and toss gently, adding salt and pepper to taste, if you wish. Then transfer to a serving bowl, sprinkle with raw carrot shreds, and serve.
Variation: Feel free to grate some Romano cheese and toss with the pasta before adding the carrots. Can also be served chilled.

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