Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Snack Master Tube and Real Tube

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The Snack Master, a 1-1/2″ long aluminum tube with a wooden plunger, is the vintage quintessential kitsch kitchen accessory that cuts holes in food, making teeny round, bite-size appetizers. Which means that you can turn a slice of American cheese into a slice of Swiss cheese with one simple plunge not to mention whipping up little toothpick skewers of bologna, liverwurst and other festive lunch meats to impress your friends!

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Snackmaster_2047

This particular tube is featured today not only because of its unique function as a standout 1950′s convenience kitchen tool but because I had dinner with a real Tube last night, Michele Rundgren, wife of Todd and member of the historic Tubes (“She’s A Beauty”). Michele and I met in 1986 when Cassandra Peterson a.k.a. Elvira brought her to my  Tourist Trap party here at Willis Wonderland.

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Though we hit it off we didn’t see each other again until we met at Street last night, 24 years later, during a trip back to LA from Hawaii where Michele and Todd now live.

Michele had never been to Street before and was very pleased with the menu.

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We ordered enough food to feed all of The Tubes with Earth Wind & Fire thrown in on on my end.  We started off with Albacore Sashimi,

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followed by Toasted Amaranth with slivered almonds, cuzco corn and roasted yam in almond milk.

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Then Malaysian Black Pepper Clams, simmered in oyster sauce with cracked black pepper, palm sugar, soy and lime,

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and Thai Rice Noodles with Chinese broccoli, seasoned pork, tomato, mint, Thai basil and chiles.

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Even though we were only half way through the meal when we snapped this photo with Chef Susan Feniger we were so stuffed it felt like we were hugging balloons.

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Our food fest continued with Tatsutage Fried Chicken marinated with soy, mirin and sake, crispy fried rice batter topped with spicy kewpie mayonnaise sauce, with pickled vegetable slaw and chilled soba noodles.

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Then we tried two new as-yet-unnamed dishes that were sent out from the kitchen with pasta, pork, chickpeas, feta, parsley, lemon and shredded crispy pasta sprinkles…

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… and albacore with mushroom aioli on top of arugula and corn salad with honey truffle vinaigrette.

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This was all topped off with Espresso, Chocolate and Halva – espresso jelly, chocolate ganache and sesame halva cream; served with sesame-matzo candies. I forgot to take a shot of it until we picked off all of the candies.

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I’m sure that Susan and co-chef Kajsa didn’t need the aid of the Snackmaster to assemble our mindboggingly Around-The-World-In-8-Dishes meal but imagine what they could have thrown together had such a handy tool been at their side.

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Categories: Art, Celebrity, Food, Furniture and Housewares, Gadgets, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Music, Party, People, Street

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Disco-Tex and the Sex-O-Lettes Fan Club Button

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Disco is one of my favorite genres of music EVER.  For the most part I love more sophisticated fare (like “Boogie Wonderland”!) but way back in 1975 I fell hard for the sugary pop sweetness of “Get Dancin’” as performed by the ultra-camp and feathery Sir Monti Rock and his Sex-O-Lettes. Co-written by Bob Crewe (Lady Marmalade, “Big Girls Don’t Cry” and just about everything the Four Seasons sang) this song actually had a great melody and background vocals and exemplified the happy state of mental funktitude that Disco made your brain drip with.

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Categories: Accessories, Celebrity, Fashion, Kitsch O' The Day, Music

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch’ O The Day – Vintage Shrimpmaster and Dinner at Street

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I am so absolutely not a cook so the fact this 1950′s kitchen tool de-veins and peels a shrimp in one fell swoop isn’t what I cherish most about it but, rather, the gorgeous aesthetics that grace the box. From the pre-psychedelic background pattern on the lid…

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Categories: Food, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, People, Place, Political, Self expression, Street, The Color Purple

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Salty ‘N Peppy S&Ps

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Salt and pepper shakers have always provided an excellent opportunity to spice up any meal. As a firm believer in making meals as entertaining as possible, cat chefs Salty & Peppy, typical of the genre since the 1950s, can always be counted on to achieve that goal. Six inches high with screw-on chef caps they’ve seasoned everything around here including the fried egg I just burnt myself for breakfast.

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Categories: Food, Forgot to Categorize, Furniture and Housewares, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day

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“Allee Willis’ Wonderland O’ Kitsch – East San Fernando Valley, Part 1″ VIDEO

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As Kitschmeister General I love, love, love the San Fernando Valley, just inches from the center of Hollywood and pumped full of Kitsch like a buffet line at Trader Vics. This is the first in a series of short films I’m making glorifying the Kitsch monuments that abound around me for bigisgood.tv. Part 1 features everything from Roman architecture and giant submarine sandwiches to clowns, frog families, volcanoes, giant fish, horses, shoe cars and very happy houses.

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Categories: Animals, Architecture, Art, bad art, Crafts, Creativity, Food, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Los Angeles, Nature, Sculpture, Self expression, Transportation, video

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Cell Phone Flask

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As if the dangers of using a cell phone while driving aren’t pronounced enough already now we have the ubiquitous gadget coupled with driving danger #2, drinking.  Accompanied by a convenient clip-on carrying case, this was actually really well designed to pass as the real thing when it was first manufactured a few years ago.

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Categories: Accessories, Drink, Gadgets, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Vintage Sweetie Soda Bottle

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I’m not sure what flavor of liquid came in this bottle but the Sweetie logo featuring an early ’50s extra-pert secretarial type sucking on a straw that looks more like a striped cigarette would have had me buying this drink no matter what it tasted like.  Beautifully designed with the concentric circles on the pyro-glazed logo echoing the raised flanges of glass above it, the aesthetic effects of this squat little 8″ Sweetie bottle would make anything taste good.

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – 1950′s Amoeba Candy Dish

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This is one of the most popular things in my house. It sits on a bar as you walk from my dining room into the kitchen and has been pumped full of M&Ms since the day I bought it at the Rose Bowl swap meet for 35 cents. My house is pretty much a health food lover’s nightmare anyway but even the strictest vegetarian can’t resist scooping out a handful as they pass by.

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Categories: Food, Forgot to Categorize, Furniture and Housewares, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Julie Brown, the Astroturf Golf Couch, Food and more…

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From 1989 through 1991 I art directed and hand built the set and props for “Just Say Julie”, MTV’s first ever clip show starring (Uptown) Julie Brown. Julie was one of my best friends and we had a ball, especially as it was so early in MTV’s scripted show evolution that no one from the network paid much attention to what we were doing so we just went nuts.  We shot 10 shows in three days each of the three years. The art direction budget was insanely small, something like $500. It made no sense financially to do it so my deal was that I could keep everything once the shoot was over. This is when my collection of Kitsch went into serious overdrive. I still have just about everything but none of it so close to my heart as the 14 foot long astroturf couch with sandtrap ashtray and golf club feet that sat in the middle of Julie’s living room.

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Categories: Art, Furniture and Housewares, Hollywood, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Party, People, Street, TV/Radio

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Giant Coffee Cup

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I never drank coffee before I was 21 and almost fainted in a doctor’s office after he gave me a shot and a big cup of coffee to keep me from going down all the way. Slowly but surely over the next few months I built up a taste to it and by the time I started living in recording studios in the late 70′s when I got my big break with Earth Wind & Fire I was up to 20+ cups a day as social breaks at the coffee machine and playing Pong was the only time I ever saw sunshine.

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Categories: Drink, Earth Wind & Fire, Furniture and Housewares, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day

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