Monday, August 27, 2012

Oooh I have a cool new post!

Another great year at Fan Expo! I was in a different place (both literally and figuratively) this year but only a hop, skip and a step from the Back to the Future Delorean. They let me sit in it. I'd post the photo but unfortunately time machines make me look very fat.
So I really love Fan Expo. It's a great place to be and the third largest fan convention after San Diego and New York.
The costumes were great this year.
Here's a nice family. Now why couldn't my parents be this cool?
Christopher Lloyd was there taking photo ops at the Delorean. I got to sneak a few pics in as well. I also took a photo of Alan Tudyk's head as he was signing autographs in front of me. He's a really nice guy and I wish I had more time to spend with him but I had to get back to my table and try to sell more copies of my cookbook .... at a fan convention.
Can't wait to go back.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

I'm ready for my closeup

TGT did a little interview with me at FanExpo last month. You can view the video on their site here.

Is that what I really sound like?

Friday, September 16, 2011

It begins early...

I loved the old show Hilariouis House of Frightenstein when I was a kid. The great Billy Van created all these wonderful characters and you couldn't help but love them all. His characterizations were all spot on and he seemed to be having so much fun with them. I never knew they were all played by one man at the time but even now it's hard to believe that there is one guy under all that makeup. Every performance was exceptionally unique and compelling in its own ways.

I miss Billy Van but I am so glad I got the chance to talk to the man on the phone and tell him how much he meant to my child hood.

It's on Amazon now and well worth the viewing even if you don't have kids.

Grizelda the Ghastly Gourmet was my favourite character. She made cooking look like fun even though the concoctions weren't all that appetizing.

Here's a clip:

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Me at FanExpo in Toronto August 25-28

Hi there. Long time no write. Just a quick note to let you know that I'm going to be appearing as a guest author at FanExpo in Toronto in August. FanExpo is the third largest fan convention in the world. I was shocked to learn that but my good friend James Armstrong who is very busy organizing and putting this together does a great job of creating events for the fans.

Here's my author page at FanExpo

Hope to see you all there. I will have copies to sign and the great Terry Marsh will be there as well signing copies of his artwork.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Greetings!

I'm now recuperating from Toronto Comic Con, where Terry Marsh over at Hauntedmarsh.com and I presented the book and some artwork that Terry had done for the book. Terry has some exciting comic stories coming out. Stunted and State51 are certainly worth a look so please head on over there and watch for exciting updates of these two very different stories. 

We met a lot of very enthusiastic people and it was great to hear so many different perspectives and viewpoints.
Thanks to all who got a copy and I hope you enjoy this labour of love that's taken us so many years and so much hard work to compile. I'll have photos of the event to post soon

Take care,

Geoff

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Weird Tales from the Book

My cell phone battery died once and upon retrieving my text messages found two messages from:

  1. Bruce Campbell, indie-god of horror and awesomeness leaving me a message about our disclaimer form.
  2. Richard Matheson: author-god of such books as I am Legend and many short stories and original Twilight Zone episodes leaving a message forgetting what he sent us.
Martin Sheen sent a signed photo and wrote "Cream of Wheat" on the photo for his favourite food. This was before he got the part on The West Wing.

Once when Gord and I were lining up to meet Angela Cartwright from Lost in Space and Julie Newmar from Batman at a convention, we realized we didn't have any cash to buy their photographs. Luckily, we knew the convention organizer and he gave us cash from my credit card.

Working late trying to get out all our legal permission forms out and we spelt director Richard Fleischer's name wrong. Being a member of Hollywood royalty (his father was one of the original animators) he declined to sign the release form. Gord called him soon after and apologized and he agreed to sign the release.

Roughly 40 per cent of all the names in the book were gleamed from conventions. Travelling to fan conventions from all over, going up to actors, directors and stars and simply asking them "do you cook"? seemed to work best.

The rest of the submissions came from a brute force writing campaign and some helpful assistance from interviewer Tom Weaver and his endless supply of home addresses from stars from the classic period.

For every 18 people we wrote, we received one reply.

Tim Burton's office expressed interest but never got around to sending a submission due to conflicts. Burton's production at the time: Planet of the Apes.

We were turned down by Lou Ferrigno, Douglas Adams, Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas, Stephen King, Majel Barrett Roddenberry and Jonathan Harris (Lost in Space, A Bugs Life) who asked for money.

Buddy Hackett sent a great Sweet and Sour Salmon recipe but we ended up not including it because he hadn't enough credits. The recipe will be posted on this blog in the near future.

We were originally turned down by Ray Bradbury but Gord sent his dinosaur book and we managed to get a submission.

Tom Baker (Doctor Who) send me a great letter but we couldn't get permission to print it. It has been reproduced on this blog for all to see.

While shovelling snow in the worst snow storm in years, I got a phone call from Jeffery Combs, the star of Re-Animator and one of my favourite actors in the horror genre and we had a great chat. He sent a great recipe for Tortilla Soup. Gord who loved movies of a different generation, had never heard of him. Combs gave away the ending to me of Star Trek Deep Space nine on the phone at a later period.

Gord and I were belonged to different generations. He gathered the older generation and I got recipes from the newer generation of 1970 and beyond.

We gathered over 100 recipes from stars, directors and writers in the horror and SF film genres in the course of 8 years.

Thanks to the sons and daughters and grandsons/daughters of Vincent Price, Alfred Hitchcock, Bela Lugosi, Lon Chaney Jr, Claude Rains,

The Jessica Rains, the daughter of Claude Rains, told me a great story of working with Woody Allen on the set of Sleeper and being taken to see The Invisible Man at the movies in which he wrapped himself up in a scarf to protect his identity and failing miserably thanks to him looking more like his character than he imagined.

After getting a recipe from Joe Dante, we managed to receive a recipe from just about anybody who ever worked with Joe very easily.

I got a phone call from actor Robert Picardo (The Howling, Star Trek Voyager) about his recipe and was delighted that he dedicated it to the Godfather. My mother had answered the phone and thought it was from Patrick Stewart who played Jean-Luc Picard.

Kurtwood Smith sent a nice letter saying he was sorry he "blew it on the cookbook" but we had our deadline moved forward and I wrote him back. I never heard from him again as I had moved after that point but he sent a great photo and I got to tell him how much I enjoyed his performance in Robocop.

Harry Knowles of  Aint-it-cool-news fame sent out several emails to his friends and stars regarding the cookbook on our behalf. I received a nice email from Guillermo del Toro saying that he would think about it, but sadly, he never got back to me.

Happily enough, Father Geek (aka Jay Knowles) sent a great recipe he created for the cast of The Faculty which was a great beef brisket he named in honour of Elijah Wood. That recipe is in the book as well and is highly recommended.

Nothing was more exciting about that time of my life than getting a return envelope in the mail with a recipe inside.

Once I received a return envelope with nothing inside. I never figured out who it came from.

Forrey Ackerman (the agent and super fan) sent a ton of anecdotes and most of them are in the book. I enjoyed talking to him on the phone and he shared many more.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Home made Corn Dogs

I love these things. I never had the pleasure of having one in New York where they first made an appearance but have always enjoyed them at carnivals and exhibitions. I used extra sized all-beef pure franks and used a glass to dip them in the batter. That way the batter coats the entire wiener. The secret is to keep the weiners as dry as possible otherwise the batter won't stick properly.
I was getting somewhat annoyed at having cornmeal lying around the cupboard and not having a proper use for it since I stopped making cornbread with it. Too dry. I've since substituted creamed corn for that so this seemed like the best use of it.

Ingredients

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/4 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons of bacon fat or duck fat
oil or shortening for deep frying
10-12 hot dogs
wooden skewers or popsicle sticks

Directions:

Heat the oil in the deep fryer until it's 360°.

Combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt, bacon fat and cayenne pepper with a fork in a medium sized mixing bowl.

In a smaller bowl, beat the eggs with milk and the 1/4 cup of oil. Stir egg and milk mixture into dry ingredients and mix until the batter is fairly smooth and consistent.

Pour the batter into a tall glass. A beer glass works best.

Pat each hot dog/wiener with a paper towel to ensure it's fairly dry.

Insert a wooden skewers (I used 2 for each wiener) or Popsicle stick into each wiener. Holding the stick or skewer, dip each hot dog into the beer glass filled batter, twisting the wiener to coat evenly so that the batter is relatively thick.

Cook hot dogs in several batches of about 2 or three each until golden brown (about 2-3 minutes). Place on paper towels to drain.