We got to thinking, what if Alice B. Toklas and Gertrude Stein threw a holiday potluck, inviting a dreamy guest list of dykes from the 20s and 30s (plus a guest appearance by a snoozing Ernest Hemingway)? Presenting…. The Butch Lesbians of the 20s, 30, and 40s Christmas Special featuring butchly butches from the Butch Lesbians of the 20s 30s and 40s Coloring Book!
The other editor of the butch coloring book, Jon Macy, came up with the idea of a three-minute holiday video from our favorite butches, and I bossily decided that it needed to be a potluck, because I love to cook and I love to eat. We drew up our potluck guest-list, I wrote the script, and it snowballed into an eight-minute party,
BEHIND THE SCENES
We needed torsos of our guests for the party to look visually cohesive, and wanted to include several femmes, so the drawings of our fearless lesbians are taken from actual photographs of them, not from the coloring book. The parlour set in the background is Alice B. Toklas and Gertrude Stein’s actual living room at 27 rue de Fleurus in the 6th arrondissement of Paris on the Left Bank of Paris. The large country home in the beginning is their rented country home in Bilignin, Ain, in the Rhône-Alpes region of France.
This fascinating recipe is from Alice B. Toklas’ cookbook. She had written it in an informal paragraph format, so I modernized the format to make it easier to follow and easier to imagine. When I saw the title, I imagined it as looking like a tricolored flag, in stripes. It doesn’t have stripes, but is layered. The saffron-infused yellow layer and the spionach-infused green layer are rolled together, and then are surrounded by a tomato-infused red sauce. It makes a gigantic omelette! I have not cooked this yet, but long to prepare it for my friends.
Alice B. Toklas’ Tricolour Omelette
1 lb. fresh spinach
4 whole eggs
½ teaspoon salt
3 egg yolks
4 whole eggs
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon powdered saffron
4 tablespoons tomato puree
2 cups dry white wine
4 tablespoons melted butter
1 tablespoon flour
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
pinch of cayenne
pinch of cloves
pinch of nutmeg
1 tablespoon onion juice
Melt 4 tb butter, then mix melted butter with 1 tb flour until a smooth roux
Heat 4 tb tomato puree with 2 cups of dry shite wine. Once hot, pour roux into the tomato sauce. Stir.
Once it is nearly boiling, add ½ tea salt, a pinch cayenne, cloves, and nutmeg, and 1 tb onion juice.
Simmer for 15 minutes, then add 4 tb butter. Do NOT boil! Continue reading
I’m sorry it’s been so long. I started writing Part III once and then ditched it. This is the second attempt. Everything is fine between us, or at least as fine as possible in this turbulent environmental and political climate. Scout is still in Massachusetts and I’m still in San Francisco, yet we’re talking about living together out east. Sometimes it seems frighteningly complicated, but most of the time it feels absolutely right.
I read the Facebook group description, wondered if I qualified; genderqueer and transmasculine folks were not mentioned in the group description, just butches. I worried that the fact that I took testosterone would be a detriment, so I politely and nervously messaged the administer, a silver-haired, butch sheep farmer in Massachusetts, who went by the initials, SK. SK promptly and graciously added genderqueer and transmasculine to the group description and welcomed me into the group. I figured that I’d find companionship, but had absolutely no expectations of romance or hook-ups. My experience on the West Coast had been that there was a smattering of butch/butch and Daddy/boi romances among two groups; folks under age 30 and older leather dykes. I wasn’t interested in a Daddy/boi relationship and vastly preferred to date and fuck people that were at least over age 50. I knew that love pickings would be slim to nonexistent, and that was fine. I had my art to keep me warm, or at least that’s what I told myself.
This is where I admit the truth. I wrote my queer erotic romance novel, Behrouz Gets Lucky on a whim and a prayer. Behrouz is loosely based upon myself. No, that’s not true. In the most important ways, Behrouz fits me like a bespoke Saville Row suit. When I was 16 and living in Tehran, I had a gay English boyfriend named David Brooks. David was a beautiful green-eyed, long-haired boy, glamorous with a touch of glitter rock. When our family moved from Tehran to the States in 1971, David asked me to bring him a purple velvet suit that he’d commissioned to be sewn by a Tehrani tailor. I lusted for that Nehru suit far more than I’d ever lusted for any garment. The character of Behrouz fit me like that coveted purple velvet, glam rock suit.
The truth is that I was driven to write the first chapter of Behrouz Gets Lucky out of frustration with dating, fucking, and romance. It had been several years since I’d had a girlfriend, or even a fling. In gestational mockery, I’d had a one-night bout of bad breakup sex nine months after I’d started taking testosterone, and during that episode I was so angst ridden and tense that although I normally come with the snap of a nitrile glove, I couldn’t even manage one orgasm.
After the break-up, I’d had a series of singular dates, but nothing really stuck. Either I wasn’t interested, or they weren’t interested. My OKCupid profile was witty and well written; I was a “Daddy in the streets, and a strumpet between the sheets”, but what I yearned for was taboo; I was a trans-butch seeking a butch. Masculine-of-center pairings were not common and were frowned upon in the dyke community. Not only that, I was just another bottom in an ocean of eager bottoms, all younger and more pliable than my cantankerous, sixty-year-old balding self.