Here’s our first guest column from my longtime good friend (starting back in 1977!) Disney Historian Jim Korkis who was described by another Disney historian as “oozing Disney History from every pore!” Enjoy. -Paul F. Anderson
by Jim Korkis
A few months ago, I was contacted by an author working on an official Disney cookbook. The author contacted me because the publisher wanted to include some “historical” recipes and Walt food anecdotes and several sources recommended me.
I had a pleasant talk on the phone and talked about some of the information in my research files which sparked an excited interest. I then asked how much I would be compensated and the conversation turned cold. I was told that it was felt I would just give the information in exchange for a small credit in the acknowldgements.
I pointed out that Disney Historians often spend decades and quite a bit of their own money obtaining this material that doesn’t exist anywhere else. Even though I knew from my friends that this author was being exceptionally well paid to write the book, the author immediately dismissed the information I had and said that all of it exists at the Disney Archives and would contact Dave Smith.
Knowing Dave for several decades, I know that some of the material I have does not exist at the Archives nor anywhere else but I politely thanked the author for contacting me and the conversation ended. This is not a unique situation and quite often I have been asked to hand over material simply because I have it and someone else wants it and wants to profit from it.
By the way, in the past, I have contributed a Walt recipe or two to a WDW cast member only cookbook and the author who had no budget at all was kind enough to take me out to dinner twice on her own dime to show her appreciation for my sharing the information.
Walt Disney’s daughter, Diane, has stated that many early years of trying to save money resulted in her dad developing “a hash house-lunch wagon appetite. He liked fried potatoes, hamburgers, western omelets, hotcakes, canned peas, hash, stew, roast beef sandwiches. He doesn’t go for vegetables, but loves chicken livers or macaroni and cheese.”
While Walt’s famous chili recipe has appeared a number of times in a variety of locations and I am constantly surprised that no Disney fan organization (let alone the Disney Company) has decided to re-create it for a special dinner.
However, here is an oddball recipe titled “Macaroni Mickey Mousse” that was supposedly Walt’s favorite that appeared in the February 1934 issue of Better Homes and Gardens that it took me a while to track down.
Oh well, I guess that since I have now made this “forgotten” recipe public that this recipe will probably pop up in that forthcoming cookbook. (“We found it on our own! You can’t prove otherwise! Mine! Mine! Mine!”) I will just take comfort that it will be enjoyed by true Disney fans who visit this website and maybe one of them will invite me over for lunch one of these days to sample it. Hmm, I think I will send it to that woman who is working on a revised edition of the WDW cast member only cookbook. While it would be nice to be compensated for things I struggled to find, it is also nice to help nice people.
Click on the recipe below to enlarge it and read it clearly: