BASKETBALL: SHAME AND BEWARE
I was disgusted with the United States' effort in the recent world basketball tournament held in Chile (First Sputnik, Now This! SI, Feb. 9).
The country which is the birthplace of basketball should set its best foot forward—or not at all.
Shame on those involved in the various leagues—college, AAU or industrial—for not finding the time or sacrificing their league schedules for the defense of our national honor and prestige in a world tournament.
Santa Ana, Calif.
Jeremiah Tax's article was enjoyable and accurate. It also carried a note for Americans and Canadians to bear in mind at world hockey championship time.
Canadians were the first to feel the pain of sending fourth-class players to tournaments where other countries were sending their best. The States now feels the pinch, and I sympathize.
It might be an idea for Americans to bear in mind the points Mr. Tax brought out when they think that Canada is slipping hockeywise. We have lost the world championship a couple of times recently, but we hardly sent our best players. Rules and officiating vary in hockey, too.
We sympathize with you but, since we both suffer from the same ailment, how about you giving us some sympathy too?
FOOD: THE FEMININE SOUL
It is a pleasure to tell you how much we enjoy Mary Frost Mabon's interesting and workable recipes—also, they are so temptingly illustrated.
Cooking is one of my hobbies, and with a large library of around-the-world cookbooks I still look forward to the unexpected in her stories.
MRS. LEWIS G. CARPENTER
The men have always been so very possessive about their magazine being purely masculine. It does my feminine soul good to see articles on food in it.
Heron's Roost, Fla.
I think it is all right to show the sportsman a simple way to prepare game shot in the field, but when it comes to apple dumplings, pot pies and, worse, French chicken curry that is something else.
Betty Crocker is not covering the Rose Bowl, so why not let Mary Frost Mabon team up with Betty and leave the sports coverage to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED?
I enjoy very much Mrs. Mabon's various recipes. There are a couple that I have never found in any cookbook, and they are simple dishes that I have enjoyed in many fine restaurants.
One is a good recipe for braised sirloin or tenderloin tips cooked with the vegetables. The other is for a cheese dressing that is put on a sandwich made of toast, cold sliced turkey and crisp bacon.
GEORGE W. BERGMAN
•Herewith Mrs. Mabon's recipes:
"Sirloin or tenderloin 'tips' are a good cut of steak cut raw in small pieces, then cooked fairly quickly. It is a dish that has become popular with the vogue of Oriental cookery. For four people cut a pound of lean sirloin or tenderloin steak in strips about 1½ to 2 inches long and about l/8 inch thick. Place these in a heavy 10-inch frying pan in which 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil have been heated, stirring over high fire till pieces are browned. Lower heat. Add 4 tablespoons finely diced onions or scallions, one green pepper cut in dice, 1 cup minced celery,½ cup sliced mushrooms; also 2 tablespoons more of vegetable oil and (optional)½ clove of garlic mashed. Season with salt and pepper. Stir till vegetables are coated with oil and slightly cooked. Add½ cup tomato juice and½ cup beef bouillon. Cook covered 5 minutes. Then thicken slightly by adding a tablespoon of cornstarch (or more if thicker sauce is desired) dissolved in a little water with 2 teaspoons soy sauce. Cook uncovered, stirring till sauce thickens slightly and vegetables are tender.
"The hot-cheese-turkey-bacon toasted sandwich referred to sounds like the so-called Hot Brown, for which the Brown Hotel in Louisville became famous.
"Here is a satisfactory cheese sauce to use for such a sandwich:
"To make 1½ cups of sauce (ample for 4 sandwiches) place in top of double boiler 1/3 cup milk,½ pound sliced Cheddar cheese,¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper and 2 teaspoons minced onion previously cooked soft without browning in a pat of butter. Heat and blend over the fire, stirring, till hot and smooth. Meanwhile, you have toasted 8 slices of white bread on one side only. Spread cheese sauce on toasted sides of 4 slices of the bread, laying turkey slices and crisp bacon on top, covering with more cheese sauce. Press 4 remaining bread slices, toasted side down, on top of prepared slices, brushing untoasted outsides with melted butter. Toast in broiler or sandwich grill. Serve hot."—ED.
THAT P'VILLE PIE
About Gerald Holland's Renaissance in Pinckneyville (SI, Feb. 2): where's the apple crumb pie recipe?
•We made a long-distance call to Pinckneyville, Illinois last Saturday to talk to Mr. Luke at Luke's Café, but he wasn't there. He had a very big night because the Pinckneyville Panthers played a return game with the Sparta Bulldogs Friday night, and it was a close one. The game was played in Sparta, and the Pincks won a tight 75-72, so Mr. Luke was spending the day in bed recovering. We asked Mrs. Luke for that apple crumb pie recipe. "Well," said Mrs. Luke, "I don't know whether we should give it out or not. Since Mr. Holland's story came out there's been some talk of a cash offer from a commercial bakery for that recipe." We approached Mrs. Mildred Krupp, who has been baking pies for Luke's for 15 years. After some verbal sparring Mrs. Krupp told us what we sort of suspected all along: a good country pie cook doesn't have recipes, takes a little of this and a little of that; a good cook knows these things by instinct. The apples are Winesaps, Mrs. Krupp volunteered, and the shortening is made by Kraft. That's as far as we got.—ED.
MANO A MANO AMONG THE AFICIONADOS
Kenneth Tynan's profile on Antonio Ordó√±ez (Hail, A Torero de Epoca!, SI, Jan. 26), is certainly a garland of prosies for my favorite bullfighter. Unfortunately, the article has enough errors of fact and generalization to discount its value. Tynan is an articulate British drama critic who writes on the bulls with literate enthusiasm, but sometimes his technical mistakes trail like shadows over his variegated praise.
Only prejudiced or superficial aficionados can accept this symphonic analysis of Ordó√±ez, who looks back on 1958 as the first great season of his life. This does not make a torero de época. The term torero de época is a serious expression with an explicit meaning, and it is used by taurine authorities with the utmost care. A torero de época must leave his signature on an epoch, and that means a lot more than being the most important bullfighter in an era. It takes bullfighting genius to make an epoch out of an era.
Domingo Ortega is a good example of a bullfighter who, probably, characterized an era. But this limited, brave, able and conscientious matador showed his skill under the adroit management of Dominguín's father. I watched him fight for several years but saw no epochal figure.
Tynan states that Ordó√±ez revealed himself in 1958 as the "first undisputed torero de época since the death of Manolete." What Ordó√±ez proved last year is that he is ready to dispute the No. 1 position with Luis Miguel Dominguín. I am an Ordó√±ez man, and I expect to see him prove this year that the last temporada was no combination of happy circumstances. I am sorry to see him placed prematurely on the dizzy heights of época publicity.
It is a serious error to say his supremacy is "undisputed." All over Spain they are discussing the relative merits of Ordó√±ez and Dominguín. No two toreros have caused such violent controversy since the days of Belmonte and Joselito. As of now, the name Dominguín fills a plaza more than that of Ordó√±ez. A rivalry with Dominguin could light the greatest blazing star ever to cross the taurine sky. It is not yet in orbit.
Tynan says that Dominguín took a holiday "after officials decided to enforce the old taurine code which barred clipping and blunting bulls' horns." This was an unfortunate implication, because Ordó√±ez took a holiday at the same time, 1953. He did not point out that they were clipping and blunting horns all over Spain last year.
Tynan calls the bull fair at Màlaga "the brightest spot on the Spanish taurine calendar." This is far from a fact, despite the enthusiasm of its established, interesting and kaleidoscopic British-American colony.
Tynan says he had never known of two bullfighters buying extra bulls in a single corrida until Màlaga last year. I not only have heard of such a thing, I have seen it happen.
Tynan declares that Ordó√±ez will have to pass the "final test": "This is to fight six bulls singlehanded in the Madrid arena, a feat of stamina and concentration which ultimately decides a matador's range, class and place in history." He has been misinformed. This is simply not true.
New York City
•"What Mr. Smith calls 'errors of fact,' " replies Kenneth Tynan, "are actually matters of opinion. There is no hard and fast definition of what constitutes a torero de época, any more than there is of what constitutes a great actor. I think Ordó√±ez has the qualifications; Mr. Smith disagrees; and that's all there is to be said. As to his comparison of Ordó√±ez to Dominguín: the latter made a comeback halfway through last season and, as I wrote, had some fine afternoons. But during the preceding five years he had made only a handful of appearances in Spain, usually with scandalously underweight bulls, and his reputation among serious aficionados had slumped almost to vanishing point. Ordó√±ez, by contrast, although he took a short holiday after his marriage at the end of 1953, was back in the ring in 1954, and (apart from his year of military service) has stayed there ever since. It is Dominguín, now, who must prove himself. Incidentally, I dispute Mr. Smith's estimate of the latter's box-office pull. Last season, even at his own small plaza in Guadalajara, I saw him play to far less than capacity.
"As for horn shaving 'all over Spain' last year: the practice has unquestionably been creeping back since the rigors of 1954; although for several years the edict was strictly enforced.
"I repeat that, for me, the Màlaga bull fair is 'the brightest' in Spain. (Not, of course, the most important; that honor belongs to the Madrid feria of San Isidro.) Next year the August festivities in Màlaga will offer more fights (12 are promised) than any fair outside Madrid. And I shall be surprised if Madrid offers better bulls; Màlaga, alone among the big ferias, concentrates almost exclusively on Andalusian breeds, instead of the flabby Salamancan cattle preferred by most matadors.
"I said with perfect accuracy that I'd never known two fighters buying extra bulls in the same afternoon to happen before. I'm glad to hear that Mr. Smith has had the same, rare experience.
"On the question of six bulls in Madrid, I advise Mr. Smith to consult Angus Macnab's Fighting Bulls, which has been acclaimed, in Spain as well as on both sides of the Atlantic, as the best book on the corrida to have been written in English since Hemingway's. Mr. Macnab thinks, as I do, that a solo performance in Madrid is the touchstone of a matador's quality. Again, Mr. Smith's disagreement, though interesting, must not be mistaken for disproof. It may be worth adding that the man—Joselito—who is generally regarded as the greatest all-round bullfighter of the century, is also the man who performed the feat most often."—ED.