Mushroom Brie Soup ~ The Modernized Dietrich
They say that Marlene Dietrich’s favorite meal was hot dogs and champagne.
Sister Madly saw this as a challenge.
It happened some years ago, when all that Sister Madly really knew about the elite was what classic Hollywood had glamorized. Apparently, this required pairing junk food with fancy spirits which, in Sister Madly’s mind, was limited to brandy, scotch, port and bourbon. What can you expect from a wide-eyed little ingénue who grew up in a place where the state flower is the highway cone?
Well, Madame Dietrich: challenge accepted.
Hot dogs and champagne, you say?
Well, Sister Madly can deal you one better:
And French Fries.
The Modernized Dietrich.
And the bartender didn’t even bat an eye.
While no one has ever paired Port with French Fries in the golden years of Hollywood, Sister Madly just assumed that was an oversight on their part. She may never achieve the status of Madame Dietrich, she may never attain her glory, but there’s no reason that Sister Madly couldn’t be a legend in her own little world.
Yes, Sister Madly: Sophisticate.
Of course, the real thing turned out to be nothing like she expected, much like that one summer on Mackinac Island, when she and Tallulah decided to try the god-awful tandem thing. Actually, the tandem thing was all right as long as only one person was riding it. With all the speed and enthusiasm of continental drift, Sister Madly looked over her shoulder to find an empty bike seat and no Tallulah.
That is also when Sister Madly discovered the incredible stopping power of a picket fence.
While Sister Madly can’t tell you what, exactly, her expectations were of the Modernized Dietrich, she was still surprised by the ostentatious presentation of the purple-filled thimble. In all the great fairy tales, these tiny goblets contain either a sleeping potion, the blood of a virgin, or some other poison evident to everyone but the ill-fated victim. But while the bartender was, indeed, a shifty sort of fellow, he lacked the imagination- certainly the humor- to carry out such a prank.
So tell us, Sister Madly- what were you expecting? Sure, you’ve had bigger shots of cough syrup, but this is the cultured life: the way of the sophisticate, flaunting feathered boas and paying a fortune for a single string bean and a chicken nibblet in all of your finer French restaurants. This is what they call class, and lord knows, you could use some.
Besides, any libation with that sinister character on the bottle can’t be all bad. Who wouldn’t want to run into a caped marauder some lonely night during a bout of selective nocturnalness? *
*On the street, that is; not in the apartment.
Then came another surprise: Port, it turns out, is a fortified wine, and Sister Madly did not drink wine in those days. Had she known this, she would have tried a bit of scotch, which might have paired better with the French Fries. She certainly wasn’t thinking that Port was a wine- nature does not embed that knowledge into the human DNA anymore than it dictates that all cats should respond to the Here Kitty, Kitty gesture.
Fortified wine- fortified with what? Doesn‘t fortify mean to make something stronger? Perhaps the wine had just completed an Olympic training course, or attended a week-long motivational seminar; perhaps it has been armed with battle axes and spiky helmets in anticipation of facing the ultimate foe that is Sister Madly.
But this one thing is for certain: Port is chock-full of anti-French Fry compatible enzymes and all things sticky-purple. In other words, Port and French Fries do not mix.
The Modernized Dietrich was a failure.
(No doubt, most of you knew this without having to sample the delicacy, with the wiser amongst you knowing that any such warning to Sister Madly would have been met with a squirt of mustard to the face. You see, sometimes things just aren’t true until you prove them to yourself.)
Port and French Fries, hereafter known as The Bastardized Dietrich.
Just face it, Sister Madly: this sophistication stuff is for the birds.
MUSHROOM BRIE SOUP
- 16 oz mushrooms, sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 shallot, finely diced
- 8 oz brie cheese, cubed, rind removed
- 1 lg onion, chopped
- 2/3 c dry white wine
- 4 c chicken/vegetable broth
- 1/2 c heavy cream
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1/2 tsp basil
- 1/4 tsp pepper, or to taste
Sauté mushrooms, garlic and shallot in butter/oil, until fragrant. Set aside.
In large saucepan, sauté onion in butter/oil until translucent- 5 minutes or so
Add wine and simmer about 5 minutes
Stir in broth, brie, and spices.
Stir in sautéed mushrooms.
Simmer for 20 minutes.
Add cream and simmer for 5 minutes- do not boil.
POST’S THEME SONG: Lili Marlene, Marlene Dietrich