Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Happy Birthday David Letterman!!!

Before I share some of "David's" favorite recipes from Home Cookin' with Dave's Mom, I thought I'd have a bit of fun. After all, it is David Michael Letterman's birthday today.

Top 10 Things You May or May Not Know About David Letterman

10. David Letterman was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, on April 12 1947 @ 6:00am-CST. This day is better known to food lovers' as National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day:)

9. David Letterman occasionally works under the pseudonym Earl Hofert, the name of his maternal grandfather. (You will see this name in the credits for shows like The Simpsons, in the feature film Cabin Boy, or a host of other media appearances. He also goes by the name "Class Smart Alec" in his high school yearbook.

8. While going to high school, David Letterman worked as a grocery bagger and stock boy at the Atlas Supermarket in his hometown. He eventually worked his way up to cashier. According to his mother, "Once, David stocked the can display all the way to the ceiling, so customers couldn't get a can from the stock without bringing the whole thing down on top of them."

7. David Letterman began his career in broadcasting in Indianapolis, Indiana, working as a weekend weatherman. While working as a weatherman, he once described a storm as having hail "the size of canned hams." He was also a host of Freeze Dried Movies and a kid's 4-H show called Clover Power over at WTRE. Rumor has it that he auditioned for the role of Ted Stryker in the comedy classic, Airplane!
"...Then he went to work as a wacky weatherman in Indianapolis, occasionally making up cities that didn't exist ("Eight inches of snow in Bingree and surrounding areas"), and once erasing state borders from a weather map during a broadcast. He anchored the evening news for a short while, and even hosted a news/talk radio show. Too funny to play it serious, though, Letterman starred in a local kiddie show, and wisecracked as host of late night TV "Freeze-Dried Movies" until he quit his job, loaded his possessions into his truck, and left Indiana in 1975... (source)
6. One of the first big breaks that David Letterman got in small screen comedy was a guest spot on the sitcom Mork & Mindy.

5. David Letterman appeared in issue 239 of the Marvel comic book The Avengers. (scroll down for the comic)

4. The pencils used on The Late Show with David Letterman are specially designed with erasers at both ends, since Dave is in the habit of tossing them at his camera operators and on rare occasions, the band or the guests. Julia Child and Martha Stewart both had memorable moments on his show.
3. The name of Rupert Gee's restaurant, which is found right around the corner from Dave's studio, is
Hello Deli.

2. David Letterman was a Boy Scout. Also according to his mom, he doesn't like spinach or asparagus. However, he sure does like peanut butter sandwiches!
"When David was in junior high, he had a paper route. Every day he'd set off on his bike at around four in the morning, and he'd be so hungry when he came home that he'd wolf down a snack of two or three peanut butter sandwiches, go back to bed, only to get up and have a breakfast of cereal, fruit juice, and toast a couple of hours later."
And, the #1 thing you may or may not know about David Letterman:

1. In order to win tickets for the Late Show with David Letterman, you must correctly answer a random trivia question about the show before you actually get your ticket.

Home Cookin' with Dave's Mom

What a delightful recipe book! I never realized how chatty and personal Home Cookin' with Dave's Mom really is until I was preparing for today's post. Shame on me, I have so many cookbooks that just sit on the shelf waiting to be "investigated." As a matter of fact, I'm so enthralled by its contents, that I've decided to devote a future post on the book and Dorothy Letterman, Dave's mom, on her birthday in July. Sure, the book gives us a glimpse into Dave's pre-Late Night shenanigans but where it truly shines is in the homespun commentary given by Dave's mom who in her own right is quite a fascinating women. Through snapshots, anecdotes, laughter and her down to earth spirit, Dorothy Letterman spins quite the enjoyable cookbook. It reminds me of another recipe book I shared quite a while back, Aunt Bee's Mayberry Cookbook. (I'll leave the link below in case you missed it:)

I did a quick internet scan before choosing the following recipes in order to avoid duplicates. I discovered David Letterman's Favorite Breakfast Casserole @ Mr. Breakfast and also the recipe for Dave's mom's Flaky Pie Crust @ Just A Pinch. You might want to check out that pie crust recipe if you should decide to bake up this Sour Cherry Pie for Letterman's birthday. Of course, you can also use your favorite pie crust recipe too. It seems, Chocolate Chiffon Pie is Dave's preferred birthday "cake." Since I just did posts for all things chiffon, I've decided to include his second preferred birthday dessert; Sour Cherry Pie.

Sour Cherry Pie
"Since I can't send the chocolate chiffon pie overnight to David, this is the dessert I usually send to him for his birthday-or if I'm just thinking about him. First I freeze the pie, wrap it tightly in Saran Wrap, wrap it again in bubble wrap, and fold newspaper around it...Once, when David was still at NBC, I was watching his show and I saw him pull out the cherry pie I had sent to him a couple of days earlier for his birthday. There was a big wedge cut out of it and a big bolt lying in the pan. He told millions of people that I had baked a stove bolt in his pie. Oh David, I did not!"
Pie dough for 2 crust pie
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup flour
4 cups sour cherries
Dash salt
Unsalted butter


In bottom crust, mix and add 1/4 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons flour. Distribute evenly. Add cherries, remaining sugar and flour. Sprinkle a dash of salt over all. Top with butter cut into pieces. Cover with top crust. Sprinkle with a little sugar. Bake in a 450 degree oven for 20 minutes. Finish baking at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. To prevent crust from becoming too dark, cover the edges with foil when you reduce oven temperature.

A Letterman post just wouldn't be complete without David's Fried Baloney Sandwich!

Spring has Sprung and Easter is right around the corner. Dave's mom shares this recipe for Lilly Salad given to her by her friend named Virginia. The recipe comes from Virginia's mother, Katie, who always made it for Easter dinner and sometimes served it over Angel Food Cake. So retro!!!

Lilly Salad
1 pound miniature marshmallows (gee I wonder if peeps would work?)
4 large oranges, peeled and cut into pieces
1 large can pineapple chunks, drained

4 egg yolks
1 cup milk
1 cup pineapple juice
2 tbs. granulated sugar
2 tbs. flour

Whipped Cream
1 pint heavy cream
2 tbs. granulated sugar
In a large mixing bowl, mix the marshmallows and fruit. Set aside. Combine dressing ingredients in a medium saucepan, and cook over medium heat. Cool. Add to fruit. In separate bowl, beat cream and sugar to whipped consistency and fold into salad mixture. Place in your prettiest serving bowl and let stand overnight in refrigerator. This salad will keep for several days. Makes 8-10 servings.

FYI: Today is also National Licorice Day! Don't believe me? Here's how to celebrate from Licorice International!
1. David Letterman Trivia and Quotes
2. How to Get Late Show with David Letterman Tickets
3. David Letterman Trivia
4. David Michael Letterman
5. Fun Facts About David Letterman
6. David Letterman @ Turner Classic Movies
7. Letterman Image (courtesy of wiki)
8. Aunt Bee's Mayberry Cookbook


  1. Louise - I have to say I didn't know any of these items about Dave, except for the fact that he had worked in news in Indiana. I remember his first show, where he used to chat with an actress named Edie McClurg who called herself home living expert Mrs. Marv Mendenhall. Very funny. Fried bologna!??? I wish I could have a taste right now! (PS - You'll see I'm doing right by National Grilled Cheese Day over at my blog!)

  2. oh that was lot of fun - I don't know much about david letterman as I have never watched his show but we had a tv chat show in the 1990s that borrowed heavily from his format, apparently - and I had to watch the mork and mindy vid for a bit of nostalgia because I loved that show

  3. Not a Letterman fan, but love that his mama has a cookbook...

  4. Can you hear the strains of "Only You" playing in the background. There is no one else who is able to ferret out this kind of information. I really love to visit here. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  5. Really fun Louise, what nice post I adore that antiques David Letterman pictures, love with Julia Child, I love all! and the recipe of course, (LOL) gloria

  6. Louise, you have outdone yourself. I enjoyed this so so much. Love David Letterman; I had no idea dear Julia and Martha had ever been on his show; I don't know how you do it but please keep it up!.
    Between you and me(I am suppose to be a real foodie/gourmet)my husband's favourite sandwith is a fried balogna sand. Sorry to say, I don't buy it very often; after reading this I am feeling guilty, so I will remedy this next trip to the supermarket. Thanks again for an entertaining post!

  7. Interesting facts about Letterman...sour cherry pie...I love it! Have a great week ahead Louise :-)

  8. I just learned a whole bunch of stuff about Dave that I didn't know. I love that his mom has a cookbook out. The sour cherry pie sounds fabulous!

  9. What I think most people never figure out is that Dave must be highly intelligent, behind that goofball persona he shows. Have you ever listened to one of his interviews of serious people, like politicians? He can out think those people like there's no tomorrow!

  10. Louise, you have done it again. What a wonderfully fun post. Now I know to look for this book and for Aunt Bea's Mayberry cookbook, too :)

  11. When I saw the first photo, I went "how is David Letterman related to food" or edible celebrations pe se...;P

    This is a good one!

  12. Will never find such interesting blog of yours if not you dropped a sweet comment on my blog earlier. GREAT JOB! Shall be always be entertained by your blog from now on :) . Thanks or sharing!

  13. How does he write with erasers at both ends?

  14. Really fun videos Louise. Mork and Mindy was such a cute show, wasn't it? Funny to think Letterman was on it. And he looks so young! (Didn't we all?)
    The recipes look so much fun too. We all made some version of the Lilly salad in those days.

  15. Oh my gosh, what a fun post, Louise! That Mork and Mindy was great...but the Julia episode takes the cake...I have tears in my eyes- too funny =) I'm going to find this book, too...thanks for starting my day off right!

  16. Interesting bits about Dave Letterman; can't honestly say that I was taken by his humor or personality; but his mom sounds interesting. Love that lilly salad, retro and brings back fond souvenirs of friends making similar things years ago!!

  17. The L.A.Times says to celebrate grilled cheese all month, and has a photo gallery of 12 varieties.

    I like to think of quesadillas, croque Monsieur (or Madame), Reubens, and stratas as types of grilled or melted cheese sandwiches as well as more classic American versions. I wish cheese were a healthier choice of filling!

  18. Loved this post! I have Dave Mom's cookbook... my kind of book. :-)

  19. I didn't know he was on Mork and Mindy! I really enjoyed the video of Julia! So funny. And I used to love fried bologna - it gets all nice and crispy and kind of tastes like a hot dog.

  20. David Letterman's mom cookbook sounds like fun - great recipes there!

  21. Love the story about the cherry pie--I think I saw that when it aired Sounds like a fun book!

  22. The video of Mork with David Letterman is neat. They both look so young, I am not a big fan of David Letterman or Robin Williams but it's always fun to see people in television shows where you least suspect them. I do think Dave's mom seems quite sweet when I see her on his show.

  23. Ha! What a fun and interesting post. Glad I stopped by this morning. Many things I didn't know about him. I love how you set it up . . . the 10 things we didn't know . . . I'll have to check out that cookbook. I bet it was fun watching him as a weatherman! Thanks Louise and have a great day!

  24. This is just too funny. I'm going to have to keep my kids away from your blog--if we can use Letterman's birthday as a celebration excuse, they'll never let me stop baking!

  25. You always have something interesting going on here. Thanks for all the research you do.

  26. What a fun post! I enjoyed reading every bit of it, though must confess I did know a lot of the stuff about David Letterman as I seem to have quite the brain for trivia. You've inspired me to sit down and read some of the cookbooks that I have. I tend to cook from the same dozen or so and often let the others slip through the cracks.

  27. Such a fun post!!! I learned a lot of new things about Lettermen! Enjoyed it!

  28. Finding David Letterman on that Marvel comic book is a real treat. It's like seeing Stan Lee's cameo appearance in every Marvel movie.
    conversational hypnosis mastery


Through this wide opened gate,
none came too early,
none returned too late.

Thanks for dropping in...Louise