Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Junk Food Supreme At A Kitsch Lover’s Party

Submitted by Allee Willis February 17th, 2011
Certifikitsch WinnerClassique d Camembert

Anyone reading my blog long enough knows I’m an unabashed lover of junk food. My conscience has upped through the years but in a perfect world I would sustain myself on the Cheetos end of the scale. I learned how to make a Cherpumple and oftentimes take trips in search of the best food junk has to offer. Last weekend I took a trip up to Alameda, CA in search of real junk, both food and artifacts, when two of the most dedicated members of The Allee Willis Museum Of Kitsch at were filmed for a segment of The Style Network’s Clean House.

If you’ve never seen that show, the people it usually features are certified pack rats who must give up the bulk of their stuff in a garage sale. But in the case of kookykitsch and Meshuggah Mel

…it was that too much junk had accumulated for kookykitsch’s small kitsch storefront and was taking over their house. I knew that with all their “junk” this was going to be a DO NOT MISS sale so Mark Blackwell and I piled into my well-groomed van and headed toward the goods.

I can’t reveal the gems I acquired until after the show airs in the summer but I can reveal some of the spectacular junk food that was made for a kitschtastic party thrown in my honor by the aKitschionados up in the Oakland area, only two of whom I’d met before.

The party took place at the home of Rusty Blazenhoff and Ken Dashner two days before Valentines Day. Knowing that I love Jell-o, Rusty was gracious enough to prepare black cherry Jell-o hearts…

…and this Cool Whip and red Jell-o “salad:

Rounding out the Jell-o smorgasbord was this vodka filled lemon Jell-o mold with “I love Kitsch” spelled out in sunken Gummi letters. Trust me, there’s always room for Jell-O and there’s always room for kitsch. There were vodka Jell-o shots to wash it down.

Good Jew that I am (my constantly malfunctioning Mac Dictate software typed “good chew that I am”, which I guess is also appropriate), Rusty surrounded Jesus with these delicious Fluffernutters on Wonder Bread hearts sandwiches:

Everybody loves Fluffernutters.

Wonder Bread was a very popular foodstuff at the party. Jenny Martens also prepared these lovely tomato and cheese and minced ham scalloped tea cakes:

As you can see in my right hand in that last photo, I was very excited that Pigs in a Blanket also made an appearance. But I didn’t see the little sign that clearly marked them as ‘vegetarian’ before I popped one of Dorinda VonStroheim, a.k.a Baby Doe’s, treats in my mouth.

I munched down on a rubbery substance that had no pig in it but I must say that it did have an excellent hot dogish taste. I grabbed another one and took a bite, excited that I liked something vegetarian. But a half an hour later someone snapped this photo of the vestiges of it crushed flat as a pancake in my hand. At least I tried.

Lucky for me, Karen Finlay brought some real Pigs In The Blanket. I was remiss in taking a photo of her dogs/pigs but that’s her in the fabulous Mexican blanket-like skirt.

Chad Martens brought several varieties of Easy Cheese and spread them on reduced fat Ritz crackers with bacon bits and tomatoes.

The Martens also brought eternal vintage party pleasers, Triscuits. By the time I got to them there was no dip left in the center of the dish.

There not being a drop of anything I’m thinking that the Martens made a concious decision to allow the beauty of the sparkle plate to shine through, skipping the dip entirely. After all, Easy Cheese is tasty squirted on Triscuits and comes in a can so no dip is necessary.

Ken Dashner brought always elegant curly Cheetos and some Pabst Blue Ribbon to wash them down.

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, Todd Evans made this lovely cream cheese heart smothered in jalapeño jelly.

Clubhouse crackers, still in their plastic vacuform case, are always a perfect complement.

Rebecca Evans made a very fancy dish.

The pimento loaf with small green olives, toothpick swords, and asparagus star center deserves a close-up because of it’s excellent art direction. The missing pieces are probably because of me.

The bulk of the desserts were made by Maggie Lewis, aka windupkitty, an Allee Willis Museum Of Kitsch party faithful since the virtual doors opened in September, 2009. She made a plethora of blindingly kitschy desserts, among them peanut M&M cookies…

… and brownies with toffee dribbled on top.

Baby Doe made these chocolate “cake bites”.

I think it’s brilliant that someone would carve tiny bite-size chunks so one can stuff multiples of them in their mouth without feeling like they consumed a whole piece of cake. You can down more that way and psychologically it doesn’t put on any calories. I only wish that jar of Maxwell House was full to wash the bites down.

Windupkitty also cooked up some excellent haberdashery for the evening. She’s very shy and prefers to be photographed from the back.

Here’s a close-up of her Pigmy Will chapeau:

Windupkitty also presented me with the stunning felt hat that sat on my head throughout the entire evening and has hardly been off my noggin a second since I’ve been home.

We did manage to get a nice shot of Windupkitty from the front though when she brought a few of the more embarrassing albums I had songs on for me to autograph.

I don’t actually think they’re embarrassing. It’s just that when you’ve written a lot of Earth, Wind & Fire, Pet Shop Boys, Pointer Sisters, Patti LaBelle, Aretha, The Color Purple. etc., Richard Simmons and The Del Rubio Triplets are not the LPs that usually come up for me. I, of course, love that Windupkitty stuck to the theme and schlepped these to a party honoring me and kitsch.

The evening was topped off with a nice sophisticated game of Twister.

Our Clean House honorees, Jessica, a.k.a. kookykitsch, and Mel, a.k.a. Meshugga Mel, had to retire early for more Clean House filming in the morning.

Just as Mark and I were about to follow them out, I noticed a set of dishes in the dining room and commented that I had 109 pieces of the same 1940’s “Bambu” by Weil Ware pattern. Before I knew it, boxes were laid out before me and I was packing up the pieces from Rusty’s bureau to take home because she wanted to make room for new dishes

I was hyperventilating from excitement so much I forgot to take a photo of the dishes on her shelf but here they are sitting with their relatives back at Willis Wonderland:

One person who didn’t make many of the shots was Mark Blackwell, who I drove up with and who was taking most of the photos seen here. But I did manage to get this shot of him as he emptied out the 40 pound freezer bag that he had to constantly lug around and refill with buckets of ice from the hotel ice machine to keep the cold packs cold that I had to constantly slap on my just-operated-on knee throughout our stay. We were so sugared up by the time we got back to the hotel, having to let a 40 pound bag of ice pee in the shower seemed like a fitting shot to end a most fabulous kitschified evening.

16 Responses to “Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Junk Food Supreme At A Kitsch Lover’s Party”

  1. windupkitty

    what a fantastic evening!!!! though i can’t take credit for the cake bites; i didn’t make those unfortunately cause they look beautiful, if not partially masticated!! that shot of mark draining the bag is the best…i’m stealing that jacket someday; mark my words!!!!!! (or at least the design for a sock monkey, that is)…

    lemme just say that i pretty adore everyone in these shots (no, i didn’t really know anyone when i showed up and yeah, i’m on the quieter side, especially when i’m having some health issues) What a FINE group of people and what a relief to know they’re all kitsching around on the planet!!!!!!!!

    and wow, i had no idea so many dishes were involved!! score!!!!!!!!

    • Allee Willis

      I thought Rusty had made the “cake bites” but she said you did. Now it’s a big mystery. It had the same type of sign stuck in it that the vegetarian Pigs in Blankets did. Maybe it was Baby Doe….?

      • Rusty Blazenhoff

        I wrongly gave credit to Windup Kitty for the cake bites but I believe it was Baby Doe! Her son’s birthday was earlier in the day, so it makes sense now.

        It was a bit of a flurry when everyone was arriving so I didn’t catch who brought what for the most part.

        I basically attributed all sugary yummies to Windup Kitty…LOL!

        It was a group effort to make all the food come together and I’m so appreciative at the level of detail everyone put in.

        Where’s the pix of your snack cakes, Allee?? One box shows an anthropomorphic Hostess cupcake…joy!

        I guess I better post *my* photos of the party now!

        • Allee Willis

          Credit has changed to Baby Doe on those cake bites! Not to rob anything from windupkitty, whose contributions were bountiful and brilliant.

          I do have shots of the 24 Ding Dongs and 24 Hostess Cupcakes and 2 lb. box of See’s candy I brought but as nothing was homemade I didn’t want to dull down the vibrancy of the culinary experience.

          Yes, post those photos please!

          • windupkitty

            oh man, those veggie “unharmed piglets in a blanket” were fabulous! QoK, you shoulda finished yours! (though the smushed one in your hand is pretty funny)….the only thing equal to the food spread, was the eclectic attire of the guests which i hope people got mad pics of, cause i forgot my camera! there was some beautiful clothing there that night….fubu meets vintage hawaiian barkcloth, pink brocade, and hand painted scenes….the list goes on….awesome.

  2. k2dtw

    What a great post… This is worse than watching the food network…I’m starving!!!
    Great party!!….CHEERS to all the FAB aKitschionados!!!…

  3. windupkitty

    I should mention, that the albums I happily schlepped are truly great…When it comes to Reach, I defy anyone to not get “wake up (and breathe)”, not to mention the other songs, stuck in his/her head. These songs have been stuck in my head since the first time I heard them, and I’m so much the better for it…go ahead, listen to this and try to frown and be unhappy…I dare you…

    • Allee Willis

      I love you that mention this. I co-wrote and co-produced that entire album and spent over a year on it. We were so ecstatic with the songs. I think they’re fantastic pop songs. But despite Richard being around everyday, it never dawned on me or my main collaborator, Bruce Roberts, that every four or eight bars an exercise command like “shoulders round!!” or “leg up!! would go over the song.Of course, they had to be there as it was an exercise album but we were concentrating so hard on writing great songs this kept slipping our mind. It was the last thing we added to the mixes and I remember walking out into the parking lot of the recording studio completely suicidal because all along I had thought we had defeated making it into a traditional exercise album (which it still isn’t BY FAR) but reality set in hard. It was an excellent lesson though. I never again waited until the end to put an element in that I was afraid might change the nature of something. Now I deal with it way up front so there are no more surprises. All in all and despite the obvious kitsch value of it I will say every time I hear a cut from that LP I’m very proud at how motivating and upbeat the music is.

  4. k2dtw

    …40 LBS OF ICE!!!.. Talk about the shopping wounded!!…wow
    I wish/hope Karen will do a post on AWMOK featuring the skirt she is wearing…stunning!!

  5. shirlie williams

    Well I wish I had been there, what fantastic fun and all those yummy goodies to eat.. I could have gone into a sugar coma . I’m very jealous of the Jesus plate. I think its just wonderful that everyone comes together like this. What a brilliant job you have done with AWMOK, and how we all keep in touch brought together by our love of kitsch.
    Do you have many of us from the UK as members, everyone I have met here has been from the US?

    • Allee Willis

      Thank you, Shirlie! I actually don’t know how many other folks, if any, live in the UK. I really only know where someone lives that they happen to mention it in their comments. You’re just going to have to come over here and visit us! Have you ever been to LA?

      • shirlie williams

        I have never been to LA , just my visits to New York to visit my sister, and she is moving back to the UK this summer, at one point they thought they might get a posting in San Francisco, as you can imagine I was beside myself, but alas it was not to be.
        Maybe one day we can all have a mass get together a Kitch Konvention but just give me enough time to save my air fare.