THE ROYAL TREATMENT
Probably no singer in history is remembered as much for what he put into his mouth as the voice that came out of it. This Saturday would have been Elvis Presley's 70th birthday, and what better way to honor his legacy than with a meal fit for the King?
Carole Carroll, who organizes the Night of 100 Elvises benefit each December, knows how to put on a royal spread. The event features a Southern buffet stocked with the sort of stick-to-the-ribs fare Elvis loved: fried chicken, meatloaf, collard and turnip
greens, mashed potatoes and gravy and plenty of pie. "That man loved pie," Carroll says.
The showstoppers each year, though, are made-to-order peanut-butter-and-banana sandwiches. Carroll estimates that at least a couple hundred of the sandwiches are served each night of the event.
No matter what you dish up at your celebration, the key word is quantity. "You don't want to run out," says Carroll. "That's very anti-Elvis."
Here are some tips for throwing your own royal fling for the King.
This contraption is the FDK1 Sandwich Maker from Krups. Its 1 1/2 -inch-deep plates will allow you to grill sandwiches of truly Elvis proportions -- two at a time. Find it for $29.99 at Crate and Barrel or Linens 'N Things.
For inspiration, pick up one of the many Elvis cookbooks. Carroll recommends Are You Hungry Tonight? Elvis' Favorite Recipes (Gramercy, 1992, $11.99). In it, Brenda Arlene Butler compiles more than 50 recipes with anecdotes and full-color photos, including 10 pages of instructions on re-creating Elvis and Priscilla's elaborate six-tiered wedding cake.
Or check out Fit for a King: The Elvis Presley Cookbook, by Elizabeth Mc- Keon, Ralph Gevirtz and Julie Bandy (Rutledge Hill Press, 1992, $15.99), with more than 300 recipes and a foreword by Elvis' cook, Alvena Roy.
Set the table with the same china used at Graceland. Though the Buckingham pattern by Noritake has long been discontinued, settings still can be found online. This 8-inch plate was $11.99 plus shipping at Replacements Ltd. Go to www.replacements. com.
Not a fan of PB&B;? Elvis loved crispy bacon, so go for a BLT instead. If you really feel like taking care of business -- hey, why do things halfway -- add a hunka hunka cheddar cheese.
Try Nueske's Hillcrest Farms' applewood-smoked bacon, $19.95 plus shipping for 2 pounds. Order at www.nueskes.com or 800-392-2266.
Had Elvis not left the building, he would surely appreciate P.B.Loco's flavor-infused peanut butters -- especially its Jungle Banana.
"We love the King," says Jodene Jensen, who opened P.B.Loco in the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn., in 2003 with fellow lawyers Keri Barney and Ken Hall. "He's done a lot for peanut butter."
The company offers eight other varieties on its Web site, www.pblo co.com. A gift box with two 16-ounce jars and a spreader costs $21.50.
The Dish welcomes food news and notes. Send to The Dish, Attn.: Liz Atwood, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21278; fax to 410-783-2519; e-mail email@example.com.