Mary Lou Rutenberg painting of my stunning mother, Evelyn Duke, 1960's

Mary Lou Rutenberg painting of my stunning mother, Evelyn Duke, 1960’s

I posed nude, you know.  Several times.  Me and my two good buddies.  All three chicks, totally naked.  In a bathtub.  It was for an artist who thought this would make a great painting.  Or, perhaps, it was a commissioned painting.  Either way, I was asked, and I was in.  It got cold because we sat in that water for hours.  Or did it only seem like hours?  The two friends of mine were sisters, Lori and Lesly.  I slept at their house a lot.  We were kind of inseparable.  Only, secretly, it was Lesly, the younger one, who I was closest to; she looked up to me because I was older.  Lesly rocked herself to sleep in this crazy, enviably violent manner that totally intrigued me.   I guess I should reveal that I was nine years old, though I was trying to figure out a way to tell the whole story without saying how old I was, to make it funnier.  However, it’s probably not all that funny to imagine an adult woman after you hear the tale.

 Here is what happened, one fateful day, in that water-filled tub.  I farted.  Yep.  As a kid, I was pretty much constantly constipated.  Truly, I spent my whole childhood blocked up, because I ate no fiber and consumed mostly mayonnaise sandwiches on white bread (which you would know, if you’re following my blog), so it’s not a surprise, really.  There we three girls were that day, and when their mother, the artist, told us to get out of the bath, I looked back at the water and saw a turd floating about.  A little rabbit sized pellet of a thing, just like the one that I was used to expelling — to use a polite word.   I’m trying very hard to keep this polite and not say shit.

Me around the time I posed naked

Me around the time I posed naked

We three adorable girls step out, and I am horrified when I see “it.”  So, I do what any guilty person does, and I turn to Lesly, the youngest, and blame it on her.  Yep, I yell, “LESLY!!!!!” And, her sister, realizing what is floating around, jumps on the bandwagon and joins in, but even nastier: “Lesly, you are SO disgusting, oh my God, Lesly, LESLY!!!!!”  By the way, that was a really good impression of Lori if you know her.   I can hear her voice to this day because, for some reason, Lori inherited this oh-so-slight twang of a southern accent from her mom.  Now, Lori and I joined forces to play the blame game on that embarrassing little sister of hers.  “LESLY,” we kept repeating in disgust, and in unison.  My secret best friend.  We never took another bath together after that day.  Her mother would have to finish her masterpiece by memory.  And the subject was never mentioned again.

Not until we were in our thirties, that is.  I was invited to Lesly’s baby shower and I showed up with, I thought, an amazing gift.  An apology from me.  I came clean.  To Lesly.  But, I did it in front of Lori.  The three of us stood there as grown ups, with children of our own already, and I said how sorry I was, because that rabbit pellet poop was mine and, “I’m so sorry for blaming it on you, Lesly.”  Well, then, guess what happened?  Both Lori and Lesly claimed that they were responsible for it.  A fight ensued.  “I did it,” said Lesly.  “No, I did it!” insisted Lori.   I stood my ground and said it was impossible because I had been eternally constipated, but each of them stood her ground.  And then we were all confused.  I’m not sure anymore who did “it.”

When my own kids were growing up, this story became a bedtime tale.  And because it ends as a mystery, I would ask my small children who they thought was responsible and all three would point at me and say, “YOU, Mommy.”  My daughter, Augie, even wrote this story as an assignment for school and turned it in once.  No wonder that school thought we were a disturbed family.

Are you thinking what I’m thinking?  How to turn a story like this into one about food?  I mean it is a food blog.  Well, why don’t I segue to something that I should have eaten more of as child.  Something green.  I could tell you my dog Bing’s favorite delicacy is eating shit….but I’ll spare you those details.

There are a few pressed juice bars around Los Angeles that I love.  Two that I have been going to for awhile now are called Kreation which has a few locations, one in Beverly Hills, one on Montana in Santa Monica.  Another place in a nook, literally a closet sized space behind the Brentwood Mart is PJ or pressed juicery.  I love to get Green 2 in both places which has tons of greens but lemon and sometimes apple to sweeten the juice.

And now in Pacific Palisades and also Brentwood is Juice Crafters which could possibly be my new favorite.  I get the Green 2 which has Kale, Spinach, Romaine, Parsley, Cucumber, Celery, Apple and Lemon.

Recipe Green Beans with Pistachio’s and Red Pepper Flakes

Blanch green beans in boiling water for a minute or two.  Sautee green beans in a skillet with sesame oil ( a few Tablespoons ) and Pistachio nuts.  Add a pinch of red pepper flakes.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

10 Responses to “Paintings”

  1. Augie Duke says:

    oink who farted? hahaha you are funny

  2. Hoov says:

    Two “T” up. Hoov

  3. This could now be a novel: ” The mystery of the floating turd”! Best seller!!
    Fredde, you always come up w/ something fun and graphic for our reading pleasure…Another great tale, told…

  4. stephanie rappaport thompson says:

    I remember that painting well.

  5. you are so funny and so real…great combination!

  6. Julie Phalen says:

    Haha, funny story. I have seen a few floating pellets, a few times when I took a bath with my brother.

  7. libbie aroff-lane says:

    Quite the story recipe combo. Funny and unique!!!! xxoo

  8. Fredde,
    You are fucking hilarious. I aspire to your courageousness. Thank you as always for forging the way to total transparency.

  9. oh gosh! hilarious! moral of the story ~ we were all constipated in the 60’s. in fact, wasn’t going to mention this in front of Lesly, but pretty sure I ‘did it’.

  10. Linda says:

    … and I liked the green bean recipe, too …

Leave a Reply