On January 8, 2009 Elvis Presley would have celebrated his 74th birthday. For the life of me, I just can't seem to locate my one and only Elvis Presley cookbook; The Presley Family Cookbookby by Vester Presley and Nancy Rooks. I've checked everywhere and the only answer I can up with is...I must have let someone borrow it. Normally, this would not have been a problem because as many of you may already know, I once had a website on AOL. Back then, I knew exactly where the book was and I shared a few tidbits about Elvis' favorite foods. Now, I have no idea where it is and quite frankly, it does not make me a happy camper. As a matter of fact, up until this very moment, I wasn't even going to post about his day of birth but then I figured; Hey, I have all these links and a few anecdotes, why not?
"Starting out in the early 50's as part of the "Blue Moon Boys," Elvis mixed a brand of rhythm and blues with country music-- a sound that would become a hallmark of rock and roll..." True Elvis fans will cherish the details of an online PBS report with Paul Solman.
Unlike many of the famous people I post about here at Months of Edible Celebrations, an Elvis Presley rendezvous is easy to encounter on the internet. You can find his last visit to Nebraska, the words to the one and only jingle commercial he did for Southern Maid Donut company on November, 6, 1954, and Elvis & Priscilla's Wedding Menu.
If you glance by the days of poodle skirts and Hula Hoops, you are sure to brush up against Elvis Presely and the History of Rock. Hopefully, I have the information I need to locate the book in PA. I usually make note when someone borrows one of my books. It would be great to locate it before the Elvis Week celebration being held August 8 – 16, in 2009. In the meantime, let's see if I can conger up a few of his favorite foods and recipes just in case you want to celebrate today.
Elvis' Favorite Foods
Elvis Presley's fondness for fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches - white bread, smooth peanut butter and mashed banana, fried in butter - is legendary. In The Life and Cuisine of Elvis Presley, David Adler relates that young Elvis subsisted on a meager diet of bread, lard, greens, and peanut butter. According to his uncle Vester, little Elvis "could eat his weight in peanut butter and crackers" and pitched a King-sized fit when Vester pretended to take them away. However on that one rare occasion Graceland staff recall the King preparing his own food, he broke with tradition and went with peanut butter and cheese. Elvis Presley's Memphis, once located on Beale Street, offered Elvis's favorite sandwich. That restaurant is defunct, but the Tupelo Honey Cafe in Asheville, North Carolina, has stepped in to fill the culinary void. They offer a Grilled PB&B, described as "an Elvis born favorite on Texas toast with peanut butter, banana, and Tupelo honey." epicurean.com
According to food writers Jane and Michael Stern, "Elvis Presley's favorite food was a hamburger, burnt to a crisp. When he went to a restaurant, he would order a hamburger and send it back at least three or four times until it was charred. He preferred hamburgers to steak because he ate very quickly and didn't like anything with bones in it. He also loved baby food, pudding, and custard." On page 89 of the The Presley Family Cookbook there's a recipe called Red Eagle Meatballs and Spaghetti Dinner with a notation that states "This is the last meal Elvis ate." It's a pretty basic recipe for spaghetti and meatballs with the one exception of an addition of tomato vegetable juice. I couldn't find the recipe online, not even the one I posted years ago, because AOL took down all their pages but, I did find a "genuine" recipe for Elvis' Meatballs & Bacon. I found the recipe below at a site devoted to Elvis Presley. I don't usually grab a recipe and run but I figured since I don't have my book here I would "borrow" it. The site is filled with more unique recipes dedicated to Elvis and also other writings in his honor.
Fool's Gold Loaf (an Elvis favorite)
2 tbsp butter
1 loaf Italian white bread
1 pound lean bacon
1 normal size jar Skippy smooth peanut butter
1 normal size jar Smucker's grape jelly
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread the butter generously over all sides of the loaf. Place the bread on a baking sheet in the oven. In the meanwhile, fry the bacon until it is crisp and drain it thoroughly on paper towels. Remove the loaf from the oven when it is evenly browned, approx. 15 minutes. Slice the loaf lengthwise and hollow out the interior, leaving as much bread along the walls as desired. While the bacon is still warm, fill the insides of the loaf with peanut butter and jelly to taste. Arrange the bacon slices inside the cavity, or, if desired, layer the bacon slivers between the peanut butter and jelly. Close the loaf.
If you do a post honoring the "King," leave a comment and I will be happy to add it.
FYI: Tomorrow is National Apricot Day!
1. Elvis the Early Years
2. An Elvis Presley events timeline
3. When Nixon Met Elvis (National Archives Exhibit)
4. Elvis Presley's Favorite Dishes
5. Elvis Presley's Sweet Potato Pie @ Recipeland
6. Presley's Perfect Pancakes @ A Southern Grace
7. Peanut Butter, Bananas & Blue Suede Shoes
8. Swinging Doors on New Years Eve (scroll down for predictions it's long as usual:)