Whatever Coat I Want…

Some women like shoes.  Some dig purses.  I love coats.  And I have lots of them.

I own a vintage Biba coat, which means nothing to most people, but I bought it for 5 pounds at the antiques market on London’s Portobello Road in the late 70’s.  Though I have a few designer coats, it isn’t about the name for me at all.  It’s about covering up and looking good when I am probably wearing sweats and looking faintly homeless underneath.

I screened a documentary about my dad the other night, and in a little speech before the movie I stated that some chicks in this town spend on a purse what I spent on the whole budget of my film.

One day, my son Oliver had these friends over.  The girl made a passing remark that she liked my coat.  Boy, was she sorry.  I said “If you like this, you might also like this,” then I came out to the pool where they were talking wearing a different one.  She oohed and aahed.  At that point, I just went into full-blown modeling every single coat I owned, or at least the ones I adore.  She was a model herself, so I thought she might like my show.  Only, it took over an hour.  An hour of her life and mine spent digging in my closets to find stylish coats that I’ve purchased over the years.  Poor Oliver.

Each year on my birthday, my husband either goes hunting for a new coat on his own or he might go with me to pick out a cool one.  And then I wear the shit out of it.  If you see me in the market, I will be wearing that year’s model, and you can only guess what’s under it.  Not pretty, trust me.

Recently at a party, I sat with my friend Lynne and we stared out at the crowd, commenting on this person or that.  Pointing to the old lady parked on the couch that never moved the whole night, I said, “Look Lynne, that’s me in the near future!”  She said, “Yeah, but you’ll be rocking a cool new coat.”

me in Biba coat, in 70’s


My friend Joy and I headed up to visit our friend Joel who lives with his girlfriend Birte and their adorable newborn baby named Oliver. Joy picked up a big stash of fresh croissants from Maison Giraud in the Palisades. They were going to be a host/hostess gift for Joel and Birte. We ate a few perfect buttery ones on our long drive. We stopped in Visalia to have lunch with Joy’s old friend and my new friend Bruce. Going out with Bruce in Visialia is a little bit like hanging out with the biggest celeb in town. Everyone knows Bruce. We went to the best restaurant in town, San Joaquin’s finest, The Vintage Press. What a stunning looking place, designed to look like you are on a grand ocean liner. We ordered a Green Chili Relleno for the table and the chef sent out a specialty…because we were with the famous Bruce!!!

When we arrived at Joel’s ranch near the Sequoia mountains, we were served warm cookies and I added some cookies that I had baked the night before. Then they served us dinner which was delicious, soup and salad.

In the morning, everyone ate those amazing croissants and Joel told me that it instantly transported him to a sidewalk cafe in Paris which is just the highest praise!!!

The model in the story and her boyfriend are vegans. There was never anything I made that they would eat in my home except one time they did eat some broccoli.
Here is a vegetarian recipe that my friend Joel just sent me to use in honor of vegans or vegetarians everywhere, especially the model that had to suffer through my “show”.

Mung Beans with Rice

3 medium onions, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
4 tablespoons oil
2 teaspoons turmeric, ground
1 teaspoon cumin, ground
1 teaspoon coriander, ground
1 teaspoon garam marsala, ground
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2 zucchinis, sliced
6 carrots, sliced coarsely
4 celery stalks, sliced
1 ½ cups of broccoli
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
Add any number of additional vegetables for variation (green beans, cauliflower, spinach, chard, kale)
1 ½ cups dry mung beans, soaked overnight
1 cup brown rice
6 cups water

Sauté onions, garlic and ginger in oil until soft under medium heat. Add turmeric, cumin, coriander, garam marsala, cayenne pepper and salt and cook for 3 minutes. Add water to large soup pot, and throw in all of the ingredients. Bring to boil and then turn down to lowest setting to simmer for 40 minutes. Serve with Braggs or your favorite chutney. The end result is a delicious and nutritious comfort food that is great for restoring health and vitality. This receipe is a variation of Yogi Bhajan’s traditional Indian dish which is a favorite of Sikh yogis.

favorite pic of me and Joel at our recent reunion

on Joel’s property with Joy and Joel

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

13 Responses to “Whatever Coat I Want…”

  1. Augie Duke says:

    nice mamma, looking hot

  2. I loved your video…it made me feel like I was there while you were showing off your coats to your son’s friend. You have panache Fredde. I love the Vintage Press too. I have only been there a couple of times considering how close it is to where I live. I just wish you could have stopped by my house with those croissants on your way to your friends…I’m only five minutes off the freeway 🙂

  3. robin says:

    as always, love the story. love the writing. envious about the croissants.
    love most of the coats but do have a definite favorite:
    the white with black piping
    but the biggest delight is always when I see your user name on you tube.

  4. Irene says:

    You are simply the cutest thing on the planet!!!!

  5. Mumy says:

    Turbo Fab, Ms. Duke! As usual! Thank you. You really pop in that pink raincoat.

    Your mumy’s love ya.

  6. Pauli says:

    Coats and Croissants – two of my favorite comforts. A fitting tribute to vegans ( I just don’t get the whole concept so please forgive me) and delightful to read, as always.

  7. eileen tomson says:

    Love it, love it, love it! Indeed, the reunion picture is beautiful of you both, and I love the photo of you, Joy, Joel and the new sweet baby! Thank you for sharing your life with us. xo ET

  8. TMiller says:

    And there in lies the reason that there are so few Vegans… that recipe is too much!!!!! No serious carnivore worth their weight in USDA Prime would even attempt it!!!
    Loved your coats though! (and what was under them…)

  9. Lauran says:

    Great story. I loving this video thing. Coat envy!

  10. Jennifer Dudley Arbaugh says:

    Oh Fred. The barbie pink raincoat gets my vote. You continue to make my innards warm and fuzzy.. I feel confident you will not let me down. Without your channels I am lost. Xxx Jenn from Middle America ..

  11. […] me a new special coat each year would become a tradition (please refer to blog piece titled “Whatever Coat I Want.”)  I’ve amassed quite an impressive collection over the years […]

  12. […] get that hit of a feeling when my husband is in that buying-his-wife-a-coat mood (see previous post here).  It’s a high really.  I am forever grateful for any clothes I can purchase, but when it’s […]

  13. jody briskin says:

    I LOVED Biba, and I love that coat! I hung out in London a lot when they first opened and I think I was at that store every day. Matisse Green nail polish was my favorite. And their deep chocolate brown lipstick (can’t remember what they named it). That amazing dish used to be called Bajan’s Banquet (Yogi Bajan). It is so delish!!! You are a rock star, love the coat modeling

Leave a Reply