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Marlene Dietrich's Cucumber Salad

Peter Riva is back to talk about his grandmother's wit, wisdom the recipes.

Marlene Dietrich remains one of the most iconic stars in screen history. She began her career in the cabarets and film sets of 1920s Berlin before making the transition to Hollywood. From 1930 - 1935 she made seven films with director Josef von Sternberg and their collaboration yielded several classics including "The Blue Angel", "Morocco" and "Shanghai Express". Dietrich became an American citizen and bravely entertained soldiers across the front during WWII and was later awarded the Medal of Freedom. Her fierce intelligence, gender bending fashion and political activism make her a star of great relevance both then and now.

While Dietrich was very fond of Beef Tea, Lamb Chops and Liverwurst, it has been boiling hot outside. Instead we selected a cool, crisp refreshing dish for the summer season.

Collage artist Cherie Savoie Tintary has brilliantly combined Marlene's wanton sexuality with salad fixings!


The recipe is taken from the "Marlene Dietrich's ABC's Wit, Wisdom, and Recipes" which was originally published in 1962. Her grandson Peter Riva and University of Kentucky Press are re-issuing this book along with two others this summer.







Sour Cream


Peel cucumbers not from the narrow end down. The narrow end is often bitter and your knife transfers the bitterness to the entire cucumber. Cult off both ends. Slice very find into bowl. Add salt. Mix. Put a smaller bowl inside the bowl containing the cucumber slices. Press down. Put into the refrigerator for at least half an hour. Longer if you have the time. When you are ready to service, squeeze the juice which has gathered in the bowl out of the cucumber slices with your hands. Utensils or machines won't do. Proceed with your favorite dressing. Oil and vinegar and dill, or sour cream and dill go best with cucumbers.

Special Guest

Peter Riva is the grandson of Marlene Dietrich and the son of actress Maria Riva and her husband production designer Michael Riva. He is a literary agent and producer. He made arrangements for the Marlene Dietrich collection to be on permanent display at the Deutsche Kinemathek.

Benjamin Meißner is the President of SOME LIKE IT HOT! The International Marilyn Monroe Fan Club of Germany and editor of MARILYN TODAY magazine. He greatly admirers Marlene Dietrich and has made several visits to the The Deutsche Kinemathek Film Museum in Berlin to study her collection.

The Final Result

These great photos are from Benjamin Meißner.

These are the newly re-issued Marlene Dietrich books that any fan will want in their collection. We encourage you to contact your local bookstore about pre-ordering these titles. As always, we highly recommend our friends at Larry Edmunds Bookshop in Hollywood.

Most of Marlene's film career is available on DVD and her films are frequently shown on Turner Classic Movies. On the previous Dietrich episode, I listed many of her most famous films for suggested viewing. Here is another batch of titles that are worth checking out.

I love this photo of Marlene and her daughter Maria (Peter's Mom) at this incredible Art Deco pool!


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