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And What's More, Baby, Queens Can Cook: Grove Doctor's Fund Introduces New Cookbook
Photo courtesy of Dr. Rick Byrdt
Book Cover
"Drag Queens Can Cook-Recipes to Sync Your Lips Around" is a new cookbook, being sold for a tax deductible $25, created by doctors and life partners Rick Byrd, PhD, and Patrick Fratellone, MD, as a benefit for the Elmer A. Lindsay Memorial Medical Center, the Cherry Grove Doctor's Fund. The book, the third cookbook to come from our communities in as many seasons, makes for a winning combination, for anyone interested in cooking, some laughs, and fabulous drag queens, to put on the bookshelf alongside recent cookbooks "Taste of Cherry Grove" and "Into the Pines Kitchen." "Drag Queens Can Cook" contains not only great recipes from appetizers to desserts, but also adds a bit of spice we can enjoy for years to come. The foreword is by the ever-tasteful Brini Maxwell, who also contributed a couple of recipes. The book's concept came from Rick Byrd, and The Moderns staff, under the creative direction of Janine James and Kevin Szell, donated the design. More information can be obtained at

The appetizer section, billed as the Pre Show, gives us Urban Sprawl's creation called Urban's Little Chicken Tortilla Soup, a tantalizing starter. Jacqueline Jonée has a mouthwatering recipe called Jacqueline's Celery Root Purée, a simple but fascinating recipe to use when "tired of smashed potatoes, proving she's on the cutting edge not just of music, but of food as well. Grove Homecoming Queens who show us their skills in this course include Mandi (1998), who tells us how to make Mandi's Asian Coleslaw Salad, even though she isn't East Asian, but has been to China, where she got this fantastic recipe; Panzi, the first HQ (1976 and '77) and Empress XII of New York, who instructs us, in a very humorous way, on how to make Irish Soda Bread, including tips on use of Guinness Ale to ensure that the soda bread is authentically Irish; and reigning HQ Margo, who shows us how to make Margo's Mini Bacon and Potato Frittatas, which sound as delightful as she is. To get the party started from the get go, you would need Shirley and HQ 1995 (as Legs Labohn) Sylvia's Shapiro Sisters' Sabbath Egg Nog, which sounds festive enough for any occasion, not just Shabbat. Check out the Shapiro's eggnog mustaches in the accompanying photograph, inspired, no doubt, by the "Got Milk?" series of ads.

The main course, called the Main Stage here, shows us that Charity, the second Miss Fire Island and HQ 2003, is not only entertaining in performance, but can entertain us in the kitchen as well with her Beef Stew à la Charity, a dynamic recipe from a dynamic lady. Georgie Girl dazzles us with her Meat Rack Surprise stew. Porsche not only sings in many voices, while splashing Southern Comfort around the stage, she also shows us how to incorporate alcohol into cooking, with Porsche's Baked Beans and Franks with Jack Daniels, a must-try for any Porsche fan. A Queen among Queens is our own Cobra, who warms her man Victor's heart and stomach with a delightful and downright scrumptious-sounding Cobra's Favorite Roasted Pork Loin with Potatoes. We should also try another savory pork recipe, which comes from last year's HQ Lola Galore, who gives us her famous Lola's Stuffed Pork Chops. Coco Love, HQ 2006, gives life and humor to everyday chicken in the recipe called Coco Love's Beer in the Rear Chicken, which tempts us while warning us not to waste the beer-or the beer cans either, which can double as hair curlers, to judge from the accompanying photo. HQ 2001 China shares a dish using a more upscale beverage: China's Supreme Duckling Grand Marnier(r). The beautiful Bella shows off her Italian familial cooking skills in Bella's Mom's Pasta e Fagioli. HQ 2002 Ariel Sinclair brings cross-dressing into the kitchen with her Drag Rice Balls: rice wearing breadcrumbs and Parmesan and mozzarella cheese. Key West's R V Beaumont, a performer visiting Cherry Grove this summer, brings us prime White Trash cooking in the form of Stuffed Meat Rack Loaf, into which Lipton's(r) onion soup mix, French's(r) cheddar fried onions, and A-1(r) steak sauce figure.

Once the Main Stage is cleared away, one can head over to the After Party for desserts to cap the perfect meal. Celexa and Carmella make a wonderful, vanilla-flavored Suck-U-Lent Crumb Cake. The very talented Miss Sweetie shows us how to punctuate the party with flair with Miss Sweetie's Chocolate Thunder Cake, which comes with a WARNING, in capital letters, followed by three exclamation points, against overindulgence, as follows: "This cake if eaten too often will limit your fashion options to caftans or worse...king-sized sheets." Curlers gone from her hair now, Coco Love gives us another recipe called Coco's Cranberry and Pear Crisp. The one and only female Grove HQ Scarlet Oh! (1994) contributes a simple, but elegant dessert billed as Queen Scarlet Oh!'s Brownies. A dandy holiday recipe from Empress XIX of NY Robin Kradles is called Robin's Candy Cane Jewelry and yields six peppermint candy canes. (See Robin's photo, in candy stripes and candy cane headgear, on the opposite page.) Veteran Grove diva Rose Levine adds a haimish touch of tradition with Rose Levine's Sour Cream Coffee Cake, which sounds simply marvelous.

Other familiar figures in the cookbook include third Miss Fire Island Rita George, JoJo Gerard, bartender Frankie Cocktail, Miss Pride Alliance of Long Island 2008 Madison Mansfield, Fluffy, Mary Ooofaaa, Marianne Hoffa, HQ 2005 Ivanna Cocktail, the Grove Hotel's Renée Ryan and Martina Skyy, HQ 1999 Luisa Verde, Miss Out in Sayville 2008 Gina Marie Versace, Under the Pink Carpet TV's Lady Clover Honey, and Marsha Mellow AKA Rhoda Dendron.

"Drag Queens Can Cook" is available at the Doctor's House, 153 Doctor's Walk, or Post Office Box 4092, Cherry Grove, NY 11782, and the Grove Market, Belvedere Guest House, and Garden Grove.

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