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Olive Borden's Pineapple Charlotte

We explored the life, career and food of forgotten silent star Olive Borden.

Olive Borden started her film career in 1923 and became a star by in 1926 in films such as Fig Leaves, 3 Bad Men, The Joy Girl and Pajamas. She was known for her glamour and for wearing revealing, sexy garments on screen. Borden had a doomed romance with leading man George O'Brien and refused to accept a pay cut with the arrival of sound. After being blacklisted by the executives at Fox, she worked in low budget films and made her final screen appearance in 1934. Unfortunately Borden died at the age of 41 years old at the Sunshine Mission for the homeless on Skid Row in downtown Los Angeles.


This recipe is from the 1927 edition of "Photoplay's Cook Book: 100 Favorite Recipes of the Stars."


2 teaspoons granulated gelatine

1/2 cup cold water

1/3 cup boiling water

2 tablespoons sugar

Juice of 1/2 an orange

1 cup shredded pineapple

1/2 pint whipping cream


Soak gelatine in cold water ten minutes. Add boiling water and sugar. Stir this until ingredients are thoroughly dissolved, then add juice of 1/2 an orange and shredded pineapple. Mix well and put in ice box to cool. Before the mixture quite hardens, beat 1/2 pint of cream in it and replace it in the ice box to harden. Garnish with shredded coconut or cherries and serve.

Special Guest

A native of Austin, Texas, Laini Giles grew up the daughter of bookworms, and became a Nancy Drew devotee early on. When she realized there might be no escape from hairy tarantulas and bad guys with guns, she decided to write about them instead, finishing her first mystery novel with custom illustrations when she was eight.

A graduate of the University of North Texas, she put the writing on hold for a while when real life got in the way (i.e.—she met and married her Canadian husband and headed north for maple-flavored goodies and real beer). She highly recommends moving to another country and not being able to work for a year for finishing any novels you may have laying around.

Laini lives in Edmonton, Alberta with her cat, Lily.


The Final Result

While this looks pretty, it didn't turn out as I had planned. I think my mistake (once again) was using fresh pineapple and not canned. When will I ever learn?? The jello didn't set and even if it had, the combination of pineapple, orange juice and cream is really awkward. Olive and her Mom ran a candy shop for a brief period of time and I found a candy recipe. Maybe I should have tried that! Either way, it was fun to talk about this obscure star and I look forward to reading Laini's new book and finding out more about her life.

Sadly most of Olive's films are not available to see, but you can find the John Ford silent

3 Bad Men and the Howard Hawks silent Fig Leaves on DVD. Sometimes you can find clips from her films on Youtube as well.

Here are some fun pics to show off Olive Borden's style.

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Thank you for watching and stay tuned for more food, fun and film history.


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