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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Behind-the-Scenes: Christmas Cocktail Party

Merry Christmas!  As the Santa Claus of Crustcrumbs (oh wait, no, that’s John), I’m here to bring you the greatest gift of all: behind-the-scenes pictures from our Mad Men themed office cocktail photoshoot.


The worst part about doing a big photoshoot like the one we did for our Christmas cocktail series is that I can’t post all of the images from the shoot.

Whether it’s Sara Hennessey getting weird with a nutcracker…

Sara Hennessey

Crustcrumbs Behind-the-Scenes

… or creating a cheesy conga line solely because John said “NO CHEESY CONGA LINES”, and he should probably learn by now that I’m going to think everything on his forbidden shot list is a good idea…

Crustcrumbs Conga Line

Crustcrumbs Behind-the-Scenes

… or just general “pretending to be drunk” shenanigans…

Crustcrumbs Behind-the-Scenes

Crustcrumbs Behind-the-Scenes

… we obviously had a lot of fun doing this shoot.  It was also sometimes difficult to remember that it was supposed to be about the drinks.

Crustcrumbs Behind-the-Scenes

Because I was having so much fun, I forgot to take a behind-the-scenes photo of my lighting setup.  Luckily I’m also clumsy, and I took this picture by accident:

Crustcrumbs Behind-the-Scenes

Shooting in an office is difficult.  First of all, when you’re dealing with multiple light sources, it can be a pain to balance the colour between the window light (blue) and gross fluorescent office lighting (orange).  Since I knew I wanted to desaturate the images and give them a bit of a “vintage” look, I didn’t worry too much about colour balancing.

Secondly, there is stuff everywhere.  Stuff casts a shadow.  Since I didn’t want to spend all day setting up multiple lights everywhere, I set up just one as seen in the photo above – an ABR800 ring flash in a moon unit pointed down at the girls over the cubicle wall camera right.  For a secondary light source, to fill some of the shadows and make them less harsh, I used a shoe mount flash (speedlite) attached to my camera and pointed it at the ceiling.  You can read more about bounce lighting here.

The end result:

The Ladies of Crustcrumbs

A big thank you to all five of our models and to Eagle for letting us use their office on a Sunday afternoon!

Christmas Cocktail Roundup

I was out of town last week, so I missed getting drunk with all our Crustcrumbs readers during our 5 Days of Cocktails.  Allow me to reminisce with you all by rounding up all five of our Christmas cocktails.

5 Days of Cocktails

The first beverage in our week-long Mad Men themed office Christmas party was a County Nog.  The County Nog was modeled by Lynn, who later passed out under her desk.

County Nog

Next, we have Sarah drinking a Black Manhattan, garnished with bourbon-soaked cherries.

Black Manhattan

Sara joined us to drink a Widow’s Kiss, John’s twist on an old classic.

Widow's Kiss

A flashy Bourbon Sour was fourth, topped with a snowy froth and a swirl of bitters.  The Bourbon Sour was modeled by the lovely Mika.

Bourbon Sour

And last but not least is Michelle drinking a classy and elegant Bijou.


That’s it!  We hope you enjoyed our office Christmas cocktail shenanigans.  Maybe drink a few glasses of water on your way out.

5 Days of Cocktails


5 Days of Cocktails – Day 5: Bijou

Like a sparkling glass Christmas ornament, the Bijou shines bright with little extra adornment. Well put-together, it’s a cocktail that makes use of a combination of spirits with colours representative of precious diamonds and emeralds, immediately putting the drinker in a place of grace and elegance as its gleaming green hue illuminates from the glass.

It’s a polished cocktail for those looking to appreciate sophisticated flavours and aromas  such as juniper, anise, and orange.


This jewelled cocktail is traditionally made with three spirits: gin, green chartreuse, and sweet vermouth. I’ve changed the formula for the Crustcrumbs office party because I wanted this cocktail to be completely emerald in colour so as to better embody the unabashed sparkle of Christmas. It’s a joyous alteration. The Lillet Blanc is a little less sweet than the vermouth would be and adds its own pleasant aromas of orange. I’ve opted for no garnish in our version, though a cocktail cherry or orange peel (not both, please) would be a welcome addition.



makes 1 cocktail

1 oz Plymouth gin
1 oz Green Chartreuse
1 oz Lillet Blanc
1 dash Regan’s Orange Bitters No. 6

In a mixing glass filled with ice, add the gin, Chartreuse, and Lillet. Stir to chill. In a chilled coupe add a dash of orange bitters to the empty glass then pour the cocktail over top.

The Ladies of Crustcrumbs

That brings us to an end of the 5 Days of Cocktails and we’re feeling completely polluted. Soon it’ll be time to get the turkey in the oven! Thank you to all of our incredible Mad Men models – we obviously couldn’t have made it through the week without you.

5 Days of Cocktails – Day 4: Bourbon Sour

Out of all of our Christmas cocktails this week, I think the Bourbon Sour is the most decked-out for the holidays. Sit this drink in front of one your guests and the others will certainly get jealous when they see the attention given to its pretty snowy top, swirled with amber bitters.

Bourbon Sour

Underneath this meringue-like blanket is a drink that’s gently spiced from bourbon and enlivening on the palate thanks to a burst of freshly squeezed lemon juice. It’s a flashy cocktail for those that appreciate some extravagance around the holidays.

A good sour is essential to any cocktail party menu. They’re a crowd pleaser and understandably so as they offer a satisfying balance between refreshingly tart and lightly sweet. They’re great for people that don’t enjoy the harsher edge certain spirits have, providing a pleasant and smooth sip. The real trick is to get the snowy layer of froth strong enough to hold the shape of the bitters when they’re carefully dropped on top. Getting it right comes down to when you add the ice to the shaker. Pre-shaking without ice helps to combine the ingredients and the egg white. A final vigorous shaking with ice, aerates the white enough that it pours out silkily on the surface of the cocktail.

Bourbon Sour

Bourbon Sour

makes 1 cocktail

2 oz bourbon (I use Bulleit)
3/4 oz lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1/2 oz simple syrup
1 egg white
2 dashes Angostura Bitters

In a cocktail shaker combine the bourbon, lemon juice, simple syrup, and egg white. Shake vigorously for 10 seconds, add ice and shake again for 20 seconds or so to create a good, sturdy froth. Pour into a chilled coupe glass and add two drops of Angostura on either side of the drink. Using a skewer, drag the bitters through the froth in a circular motion to achieve a marbled effect.

Simple Syrup

makes 500ml syrup

250ml cold water
250g granulated sugar

Combine the water and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring a little to ensure the sugar dissolves evenly. Once the sugar is fully dissolved, remove from the heat and cool. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.