There’s much to discuss in episode four. The ingredients, the co host, the recipe even the time of year. Spring in to action and come hungry.
The change of the season was rejuvenating after a drab winter. Coming from the East, Spring was a verb as well as a noun as we would spring outside to distance ourselves far far from the cabin fever that the months prior had brought. The air wasn’t quite warm yet, it was slightly brisk but the sun was shining and made you happy. The crocuses would be up, jonquils, daffodils, tulips and but of course; Lilies. Side note; Easter without a Lily is like a kiss without a hug. Certain things go hand in hand; cocoa and marshmallows, spaghetti and meatballs, Laverne & Shirley (“Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight…..”) Outside we’d be, laughing and free. The smells linger. New ground ready for gardening. We’d be turning the soil to make ready for tomato plants, buying starters to get the first planting in. On the west coast we have good produce year round, but seasonally I look forward to asparagus in the spring, white peaches in May and white corn in July. It sets you up with something to look forward to. And Easter Dinner at Aunty Goosy’s was a sign of good things to come, and eat.
Aunty Goosy spoiled us annually with lasagna and leg of lamb. Every sunday dinner at her house brought great smells, but Easter was off the hook. Such food! Papa Spats (Uno as he is called) older sister aka Aunty Lucy aka Aunty Goosy has been a steadfast supporter of me and my siblings. To the point of which she earned the nickname “Aunty Alibi”. If you needed a car for prom, a low-interest loan, or an alibi you called Aunty Lucy (real name). Zia Lucia and I traveled the boot of Italy several years ago on what we called “The Countess & The Pool Boy” Miracle Tour. Please don’t think that the frequently renaming of my family members is indicative of some mental illness or control issue on my part. It is all artistic license and many of my family members appreciate the use of a good pseudonym. We traveled Italia in search of a good meal and a great time. We came back both with double pneumonia, a fancy red dress and some kickin’ red leather boots. Our family forbid future outings. She drafted her obituary to start with, “He Killed Me…”. I admired my new boots. The Countess & The Pool Boy took to the air again in 2008, this time the homeland Sicily was the destination. We toured Palermo, Marsala, Syracusa and armed with our Vitamin C and Airborne tabs we came home safe. Our first stop was Palermo and within the first half hour of being there she dragged me to mass. She heard bells, she ran for mass. I heard bells, and thought it was lunch.
While in Taormina we ate at a trattoria so fantastic that the amaretto cake is still fresh on my taste buds. It was warm ricotta cake with amaretti flavor it’s texture and taste burned itself in to my smile. I proclaimed my love for all things Sicilian, Zia Lucia included. If I hadn’t signed the contract (hefty deposit too) with Uno saying that I would bring the lady home in one piece I would be there today quoting “Eat, Pray, Love”. I digress, but fear not! When we make the movie of the trip (Calling Hellen Mirren and Taylor Lautnor) you can see out it all played out. Lucy’s lamb is so spectacular that we wanted to share it with you all and taste you on the flavors we grew up on. Families come in all types, and with that said let’s talk Charlene.
Our Special Guest Sous chef this episode was amazingly talented star of stage & screen Miss Charlene Tilton. Charlene is a great friend and part of the extended family we’ve assembled out
here. Charlene became a household name in the late 1970’s by playing “Lucy Ewing” the flirty, manipulative younger Ewing sister to Larry Hagman’s “JR” and Patrick Duffy’s “Bobby” on the smash TV drama, “Dallas”. Charlene was 17 at the time but not unfamiliar with rubbing shoulders with big names. She attended Hollywood High School and soon became president of the Thespian Club. She shot commercials with big names like Ringo Starr and made a successful modeling career work for her before being summoned to Southfork Ranch in Texas. She refers to each day on the set as an incredible learning experience. To be under the tutelage of greats like Larry Hagman, Linda Gray and Barbara Bel Geddes a blessing and an education. Today Charlene teaches an on-camer audition technique class for actors in Los Angeles (TiltonRuschActing@gmail.com) with talented Bob Rusch. Charlene also spends time teaching acting to youths with Autism. Most recently she made a great appearance on “The Wendy Williams Show”.
She makes the rounds in the Acting world. You can catch her in the reboot of “Dallas” coming up on TNT Network. She pops up in the Los Angeles Improv scene, makes many fan appearances and enjoys long luxurious bubble baths. She was recently in London playing the Wicked Stepmother in “Cinderella” and jumps at any chance to do theatre. And yet she had no qualms about doing our little show. We had promised her a bubble bath. Charlene is good people and great talent and we’re lucky to know her. And if you didn’t see her as
Lisa Mercedes on “RuPaul’s Drag U” you owe it to yourself to see her.
With all of this we were feeling a little Lucy, I mean loopy. We had great food, great friends to bring it to and great family to have learned it from. Having Charlene on set was amazing from beginning to end. Marie was right there with all technical and comfort needs. Michael kept us moving at a comfy gate and reminded us what was most funny out of the fun play we had in the kitchen. And Chris, he caught it all for us and edited another great episode of Dish It Out. Great stuff, all around. So with that said, watch our show and get inspired. Great tastes are a shake of lamb’s tail away. It’s Spring so get out there and go be fresh. Not to the point where you get smacked in the face or a drink thrown on you. Go find the Farmers Market and get the nicest, shiniest, best smelling veggies they have. Invite some extended family in to share some stories fire up the kitchen and taste a better life.