70s Week: Terrific Women Make Mai-Tais

Rarely, if ever do we want to get personal on this blog. Jen and I prefer to keep it about the food and photography when we can but as we stumbled across an old photo set, stashed away in one of Jen’s well-loved Helen Reddy albums, we realized it was coming up on the 40th anniversary of when we met. It was May 5th, 1974 when our paths first crossed on set of the cable access show Terrific Women, starring local celebrities Linda Davis and Joy Johanson.

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It feels like it was just yesterday so to commemorate this major Crustcrumbs milestone, we’ve decided to make May 5th-9th, 70s Week! All week long we’ll be going through more of Jen’s vinyl collection to unearth the rest of our Terrific Women archives, sharing a few favourite recipes, stories, behind-the-scenes photos, and videos from those early days on set.

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As I remember it, I was just finishing my culinary training at George Brown and Jen had begun taking on more local gigs, joining the team as a unit stills photographer, after wrapping another successful season of The Beachcombers. Terrific Women was not a cooking show. Linda was always the first to admit she didn’t eat, but inevitably in their attempt to put together a show that would instruct women how to lead successful, independent lives, Joy’s enthusiasm for home economics and Linda’s overwhelming urges to have a good time, persuaded them to shoot multiple episodes on entertaining. In fact, their innovations on the subject were leaps and bounds ahead of their time, which is something you’ll see in the footage we’ve pulled together this week.

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It’s amazing with the sheer volume of lousy cocktails and excessive drinking that happened on set that we can still stomach the sight of another mixed drink—nowadays it’s probably better to just give us a cigarette and a glass of Mateus. Back then of course, it was all maraschino cherries and disco naps. A typical shoot always started out with a drink, nothing as complicated as the Mai-Tai they made in the episode below, usually just a couple fingers of Kahlúa in our morning coffee, a Brown Cow to deliver a healthy does of calcium, or a Bloody Mary to get some roughage into us.

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Every recipe that appeared on the Terrific Women show was concocted by Linda and Joy exclusively with a little thievery from local discos and their favourite Better Homes and Gardens cookbooks. Not surprisingly, it was Joy’s misadventure that led her to con this Mai-Tai recipe from a bartender when we were all out celebrating the end of another productive day, early into the Tuesday morning hours. Joy was somehow able to ruse the bartender into temporarily believing the baby bump she had been sporting for the last eight and a half months had something to do with him. He felt bad enough that he wrote this drink recipe across her stomach as a parting gift for the groovy evening they shared together.

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On the show it was sort of an inside joke to put a shot glass on the table for them to use because it was such a ridiculous idea that either of them would take the time to measure-out their booze. This is the actual recipe they made on the show with its measured proportions, though to stay in the spirit of the show, we’ll be making our drinks tonight by free-pouring the alcohol just like Linda and Joy used to do in 1974.


Makes 1 cocktail

Juice of 1/2 lime
1/2 oz apricot brandy
1/2 oz blue curaçao
2 oz dark rum

To serve:

1 pineapple, hollowed-out and frozen
Sliced pineapple, to garnish
Sliced oranges, to garnish
Maraschino cherries, to garnish
Ice cubes

Combine the lime juice, apricot brandy, blue curaçao, and dark rum in the hollowed-out shell of a frozen pineapple and stir to combine. Add ice to fill the shell and garnish with skewers of pineapple, orange, and maraschino cherries.

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