What’s in a Name?

You’ve gotta ask, though, would a rose by any other name smell as sweet? If roses were called . . . feces or stinkers or something, would they still be quite as appealing? I have my doubts.

There are so many names I love, even some that circulate through my family, too. Chloe, Penfield, Charlotte (lottie!), Robert, Beatrix, Evelyn, Zoe, Nicolas, Merry, Henry, Isabelle, Ernest, Oscar, Frederick (Freddie), Tova, Nora, Josephine, Augusta, Lawrence, Della, Irene, Esther, Jack, Lucille/ Lucy, Maude, Emilie, Francis, Dorothy (Dot), Primrose, Rosalind, Pearl, Vera, Genevieve (Vivvy), Ruby, Horatio, Edmund, Calvin, Sidra, Eloise, Eileen, Sylvie, Rebecca, Wesley, Diana . . . you get the idea. BUT, you do have to wonder if it’s the person that makes the name or vice versa. I submit that great names don’t make great people, but that they can’t hurt!

Lets take a look at some snazzy names that went with some equally swanky ladies . . .

Gertrude Millar: An English Actress and Countess

Irene Vanbrugh, Sybil Carlyle and Muriel Beaumont: Three actresses who starred in The Admirable Crichton around the turn of the century.

Clara Bow: The actual original “It Girl” who was pretty much the sex symbol of the roaring twenties.

Myrna Loy: An actress and a dancer and quite a hair artist.

Dorothy Parker:An American poet and a renowned wisecracker.

Tallulah Bankhead rocked her name with her famously husky voice, not to mention her panache on the stage and screen as an actress!

Mary William Ethelbert Appleton “Billie” Burke was one of the first ladies to show me the magic of cotton-candy pink confectionary-like clothing as Glinda the Good Witch.

Maude Mary Hawk Fealy was in her first Broadway show at the age of 3 . . . plus, she was a silent movie starlette!

Daphne Du Maurier was that brilliant author who creeped people out (through Alfred Hitchcock) with her stories, including The Birds and Rebecca.

Evelyn Nesbit Thaw was a chorus girl and a model whose lover treated her as muse UNTIL her jealous husband shot the famous artist/architect atop a roof of a theater in Madison Square Garden in 1906.

These snazzy ladies with their equally snazzy old-fashioned names did some name trail-blazing, if you ask me. Would I want to be any one of them? No, that’s not my point. Do I love their names and their panache? Yes, yes I do.

I do so love old-fashioned names!

How to Make A Millionaire!

Dorothy Parker, a female writer before female writers were “de jour”, once said,

Well, I completely empathize with Dorothy, but sadly I can’t give you the secret to making millions. HOWEVER, I can give you my new favorite recipe for Millionaire Bars that will make you swoon like preteens at a Twilight Premiere.

Ingredients to Gather:

milk chocolate (I used chips, one big bag or two small ones)

2 cans sweetened condensed milk

2 sticks plus 2 Tbsp butter

2/3 c. sugar

2 c. flour

1/2 tsp. salt

Sea Salt ( for sprinkling on top of chocolate if you want it!)

Just so you know, this whole recipe should probably be prepared a little in advance of when you’d like to serve them. Millionaire Bars are not highly hands-on or time consuming to make, but there are definite steps to this process which involve cooling time, so if you’re looking for a last-minute wonder-dessert, I’d try something else!

First, make the shortbread. Wash your hands, because you’re gonna get up close and personal with these guys. Put the 2 sticks of softened butter, the flour, and the sugar into a bowl and then mush it all together with your fingers until it looks like a coarse sand. Then, spray down a pan and press the crumbles down so that they mush into a dough. Bake these for 20 minutes at 350 F (or until the edges start to look golden!)

Set these out to cool, because you’ll want them pretty chilled for the next step. When they’re room temp OR (if you’re like me and highly impatient) in the fridge, pull out a heavy-bottomed saucepan (I used a wok, because that’s what was handy) and throw in the 2 cans of sweetened condensed milk and the 2 Tbsp of butter. Stir these slowly over medium heat until the sugary goodness starts to turn more caramelly colored. The longer you stir, the more of a caramel-like consistency you will get. I’ve heard about 15-20 minutes recommended, if you’re going to shoot for a ball-park time, but it really does depend on your oven-heat and what consistency you’re going for. I recommend less time for people of the fragile tooth persuasion! 20 minutes was chewy. Like, hang-with-Han-Solo-speak-in-strangely-llama-like-sounds Chewy.

When this ambrosia is finally to your desired consistency, spread it over your (relatively)chilled shortbread to set a bit. It will still look gooey when you pour the chocolate on, so don’t stress! Get ready to melt down your chocolate with your favorite chocolate-melting process. I know double boilers are highly recommended, but seeing as I don’t have a real one (substitutes aren’t my favorite since I always end up grabbing the scalding-hot bowl when using the improvised version), and impatience is my vice, I usually go for the microwave-40-seconds-at-a-time-stir-repeat-til-melty method.  Highly effective.

When your chocolate is melted and spread over your gooey caramelly, shortbready goodness, sprinkle a little sea salt on top before sticking the whole lot into the fridge until the chocolate has set. Slice into bars (or little candy bite-sizes if you want a fabulous finger food!) and serve with enthusiasm. Your audience will LOVE them. Or you can just hoard them.

They’re fairly simple to make, right? And highly tasty. You can store them at room temp (so no worries, making these is not renouncing your fridge space for a week!) if there are any leftover!

Anybody know why these are called “millionaire” bars?