Happy Birthday Peter Cushing!

Today is Peter Cushing’s birthday! One of the most recognisable faces of Hammer Horror, Mr Cushing was born on 26 May 1913 and is well known for his portrayals of Baron Frankenstein and Dr. Van Helsing, often appearing opposite his best friend Christopher Lee. If you’re planning on watching some Peter Cushing films later, why not enhance your viewing pleasure by preparing one of the recipes below – personal favourites of Mr Cushing himself...

Peter Cushing's Pain - Grille Brule
From the book "The Cook Book of the Stars" - Copyright 1983

"It is surprising how my passion for this delicacy will not be taken seriously. Even the best Maitre d'Hotel - possibly because of that - smiles indulgently and serves the usual rack of something that looks (and tastes) like white flannelette - made of rubber.

Place 1-2 slices (according to appetite) of brown bread under a grill set 'high'. When flames appear, it is done. Reverse until the other side cries for mercy. Do not scrape off the cinders. Served with butter and your favourite marmalade, plus a pot of Indian tea, it constitutes a meal that can be eaten any time of the day or night, and often is by Peter Cushing."

Peter Cushing's Beetroot and Onion Supper Special
From the book "Living Without Cruelty" - by Lorraine Kay

"Actor Peter's two favourite flavours are combined here to make a filling and easy-to-prepare evening meal. Serve hot in individual bowls, sprinkled with chopped fresh mint if desired, and with a chunk of fresh granary bread. Busy mums could adapt this recipe by incorporating any left-over vegetables, turning it all into an ovenproof dish, spreading thickly with grated cheese and putting under a hot grill until bubbly. Serve with salad and hot garlic bread.

4-6 medium beetroots, scrubbed
2 sticks celery, scrubbed
2 large onions, roughly chopped or 8-10 pickling onion, whole
2 large potatoes, pre-boiled for 10 minutes
Sunflower oil
Freshly Ground black pepper

Dice the beetroot and finely slice the celery. In a large pan saute the onion until just turning brown. Add the beetroot and celery. Turn down the heat and cook for 2 minutes. Chop the potatoes into chunks and add to the pan. Season with pepper. Cover and cook on a very low heat until the potato is tender, stirring every few minutes to prevent sticking."

"As to my favourite recipe: I am a strict vegetarian, and enjoy greatly wholemeal bread toast with butter and Olde English Marmalade, served with a pot of Typhoo tea with milk and sugar! Simple, but delicious." – Peter Cushing

"Let a dear chicken be free-range and enjoy its life as God intended. And if it has a mind to, it can lay a lovely egg for your tea which you can give thanks for, but to put them in those horrendous cages is such an offence. Factory farming is a disgrace to God and mankind and should be stamped out." – Peter Cushing

After you’ve prepared your food, pop a copy of The Hound of the Baskervilles or Frankenstein Must be Destroyed into your DVD player, stick the kettle on for a nice cup of tea (Cushing was a BIG tea drinker) and bask in the subtle, nuanced brilliance of a perfect English gentleman’s work.

Christopher Lee said of his friend's death (11th August 1994): "I don't want to sound gloomy, but, at some point of your lives, every one of you will notice that you have in your life one person, one friend whom you love and care for very much. That person is so close to you that you are able to share some things only with him. For example, you can call that friend, and from the very first maniacal laugh or some other joke you will know who is at the other end of that line. We used to do that with him so often. And then when that person is gone, there will be nothing like that in your life ever again."

Recipes from the online Peter Cushing Museum.


thekelvingreen said…
What a wonderful tribute. I'll have some tea and toast in his honour!
James Gracey said…
Cheers Kelvin - and ensure that your toast is well done, won't you! ;)

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