Elvis Presley's Last Meal of Cookies & Ice Cream
The King Of Rock & Roll, an American Icon and a legend who changed the face of music forever. Elvis Presley is perhaps the most recognisable face of the 20th Century and certainly the most recognisable voice who took the music scene by storm in the 1950, 60s & early 70s. If from Reddit & don't want to read the same thing, click here.
Combining his country roots with rhythm and blues he paved the way for the birth of Rock 'n Roll as we know it, and cemented its rightful place in the charts for eternity.
The King was not without controversy throughout his life. His heavily-publicised stint in the army in 1958 attracted much attention and he was used more as a recruiting model than an actual soldier, whilst stationed in Germany he met 14-year old Priscilla Beaulieu.
Elvis was immediately infatuated by Priscilla and convinced her parents to let him see her regularly. She was 14 and he was 23, this inevitably raised some eyebrows at the time.
After he was discharged in 1960, he convinced Priscilla's parents to let her move in with him to his new Graceland Mansion and finish High School there.
Priscilla bore him his only child in 1968 at the height of his fame but she eventually ended up divorcing Elvis in 1973. Priscilla said she felt trapped and suffocated by Elvis, citing that he was controlling and insecure.
Speculation has suggested that his increasing dependency on prescription drugs, unhealthy diet and unpredictable routine were contributing factors to the pair's separation.
After Priscilla left him his lifestyle became more out of control and Elvis became more detached and isolated, oftentimes spending days alone in his bedroom in Graceland.
Filling the void that the love of his life had left, his prescription drug addiction snowballed. He was now taking nearly 30 pills a day and had an eclectic taste. He needed uppers to get out of bed and downers to get back to sleep. He had a penchant for painkillers and they were prescribed and dispensed by his personal physician, George Nichopoulous, or Dr Nick as Elvis referred to him.
Dr. Nick was put on trial in 1980 for overprescribing to Elvis, 3 years after Elvis had passed away. However he was eventually acquitted by the jury after they found he acted in his patient's best interest. He apparently prescribed Elvis over 1000 placebo's to try and reduce his dependency, to no avail.
Staggering evidence at the trial was brought to light that in the first 7 months of 1977 alone, Dr. Nick had prescribed Elvis over 10,000 doses of amphetamines, barbiturates, narcotics, tranquilizers, sleeping pills, laxatives and hormones.
Another member of the Elvis posse, or the 'Memphis Mafia' as they were dubbed, that was put on trial was Elvis's manager, Colonel Tom Parker. Tom Parker, a degenerate gambler, not only managed Elvis but also managed his finances. Needless to say that some of these finances ended up being wagered on the tables of Las Vegas casinos when Elvis and his crew were stationed out there. Elvis was doing around two shows a day during his time in Las Vegas and Tom Parker regularly frequented the casinos of the town. He was known to lose up to $1,500,000 in one single night and not bat an eyelid. $1.5 million in today's money is nearly $6,000,000 and he lost that in one single night.
Like Dr. Nick, Colonel Tom Parker was also acquitted on all charges of the mismanagement of Elvis Presley and walked away scot free. It was a combination of the pressure and heavy work schedule set by his manager Tom Parker and the ludicrous quantity and selection of prescription drugs administered by Dr Nick, including his own unhealthy eating habits that lead to the King's untimely death.
Elvis was a fan of fried foods, meats and peanut butter - making his diet incredibly rich. A famous favourite of the King's was a Fool's Gold Loaf. This was a hollowed out loaf of white bread filled with one whole jar of peanut butter, one whole jar of grape jelly/jam and 1lb of crispy bacon. Each sandwich was around 8,000 calories and Elvis was known to indulge in several of these on his travels, mainly on planes.
The drugs, work schedule and diet were laying heavy on his heart health and eventually something had to give. On the 16th August 1977, something did give. At around 9:30am in the morning, Elvis, who had trouble sleeping regularly, told his then-girlfriend Ginger Alden that he was going to the bathroom to read. They had been up all night and Ginger fell asleep. At around 1:30pm, she went to the bathroom and found the King lay face down on his Graceland bathroom, lying in a pool of his own vomit. His heart had given up at the age of 42 and Elvis Presley was declared dead shortly after.
His autopsy revealed Morphine, Demerol, Chlorpheniramine, Placidyl, Valium, Codeine, Ethinamate, Quaaludes, 1 unidentified barbiturate, Amytal, Nembutal, Carbrital, Sinutab, Elavil and Aventyl. An outstanding amount of prescription drugs that were to play a part in ending the life of the greatest Rock n Roll start to ever live.
A few hours before he died Elvis had his usual midnight snack of cookies and ice cream which turned out to be his last meal on this planet - and it is that last meal that is the focus today on The Last Supper. I go into more detail about the life of Elvis Presley after the recipe.
1 Vanilla Pod
300ml Clotted/Double Cream
300ml Whole Milk
115g Granulated Sugar
3 Egg Yolks
115g Light Brown Sugar
115g Golden Caster Sugar
220g Plain Flour
1 tbsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
150g Chopped Milk Chocolate
1. Put the Cannister from your Ice Cream Machine in your Freezer at least 24 hours before you plan to start churning your custard.
2. Pour the milk and cream into a heavy-bottomed pan and add half (75g) of the granulated sugar.
3. Slice the vanilla pod lengthways and use a spoon to scoop out the vanilla seeds. Slice the pod halves into 3 or 4 and add both the seeds and the pod to the cream mixture
4. Heat the mixture over a low heat for around 15-20 minutes until it nearly comes to the boil and then take off the heat and leave for 30 minutes so the vanilla can infuse with the custard
5. Whilst the vanilla is infusing, beat the egg yolks into the other half of the granulated sugar (75g) until it is pale and smooth and then scoop out 150ml of your custard mixture and beat that into the eggs and sugar until homogenous
6. Reheat your custard until it just comes to the boil, remove from the heat and then stir in the egg mixture
7. Return the pan to a low heat and stir continuously with a wooden spoon until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of your spoon
8. Pour your custard into a bowl and leave to cool, stirring every now and then, for about 30 minutes until room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap pressing down onto the top of the custard to prevent getting a skin and place in the fridge for at least 3 hours.
9. Remove from the fridge, remove your cannister from the freezer, remove the plastic wrap from the custard and finally remove the vanilla pods in the custard and pour in to your ice cream maker. Churn for around 10-30 minutes or until your paddles are struggling to get through the mixture. Transfer to a container and freeze for at least 4 hours. Remove 15 minutes before serving.
10. For the cookies first cream together the butter and the sugars until pale and fluffy and then add the egg and vanilla essence.
11. Sift in the flour and baking soda and mix thoroughly until a dough is formed. Stir through the chocolate.
12. Grease a sheet of baking parchment and place it onto a baking tray. Lightly grease your hands and roll your dough into just bigger than walnut-sized balls and bake in 2 batches - leaving space between each ball. This mixture should make about 12 cookies.
13. Bake in a preheated 200F/180C oven for 8-10 minutes and leave to cool for 15 minutes before tucking in.
14. Don't take any prescription drugs
15. Honestly, don't
16. Avoid the bathroom also
The Life & Last Meal of Elvis Presley
Elvis was born on January 8th 1935 in Tupelo, Mississippi. A north eastern city located in the middle of Memphis, Tennessee and Birmingham, Alabama. In a two-room shotgun shack, Gladys and Vernon Presley had just birthed twins. Sadly, one of the twins had died shortly after birth, Jesse Garon Presley. However Elvis Aaron Presley, the other twin, was born healthy and little did the poor family know who Elvis Aaron Presley was to become.
Vernon Presley worked a number of roles including a farmer and factory worker to support the family however he was not successful with any of his roles and Elvis was raised in a poor, but religious environment. His singing ability was discovered at an early age when he was in elementary school in Tupelo and began singing in the choir of his local church. He received a guitar on his 12th birthday and taught himself to play. He competed in many talent contests in his native Tupelo and in Memphis, Tennessee, where the Presley's moved to when Elvis was 13.
Elvis graduated from LC Humes High School in Memphis in 1953 and began working as a truck driver so he could pay to have his own records recorded and cut at Memphis Recording Services Studio. Less than a year later he recorded 'That's All Right Mama' at Sun Records and it became his first commercial release, selling 20,000 copies.
Elvis found further success after achieving his first number 1 hit Heartbreak Hotel which also topped the country charts. Heartbreak Hotel is regarded by many as the birth of Rock & Roll. It shows Elvis's ability to combine country singing with rhythm and blues and Elvis took the charts by storm after being dubbed the King of Rock ‘n Roll throughout the 1950s to its peak in the 1960s, and cementing its permanent place in music from the 1970s onwards.
Elvis was perhaps the most famous person living on the planet. His impact on American popular culture was monumental and he influenced hairstyles, dress sense and even behaviour. His energetic live performances paired with his iconic dance moves, his spinning hips being a particular fan favourite, are a contributing factor to his tremendous success. John Lennon spearheaded the plaudits and deemed Elvis as the most important influence on the Beatles. It is estimated that Elvis, in total, has sold over 1,000,000,000 (1 billion) records worldwide which is more than anyone in record industry history.
Away from the record industry, Elvis was an instant success on the big screen as well. He attracted millions when he made TV appearances but it was Hollywood where he excelled. He was a huge box office smash with Love Me Tender in 1956 and 32 movies later, Elvis had become the top box-office star in 2 decades, selling over 150 million dollars in tickets.
Once the nation's sweetheart, Elvis was in ill-health during his last few months alive. A consuming dependence on prescription pills and eating habits which had spiralled out of control had led to a decline in his physical appearance and mentality. His family and friends had tried to intervene and help but it was no hope. He was struggling with depression due to the love of his life, Priscilla Presley, divorcing him and some say the tablets, food and constant touring were his coping mechanisms of not having her by his side, however they were ultimately the mechanisms that would cause his downfall.
The King of Rock & Roll ended up a prisoner of his own success. He couldn't go out during the day as he'd no doubt be mobbed constantly by his devoted fans and flocks of wide-eyed girls who would give their left arm just for a peek at the King. Not being able to go out during the day meant that he slept all day and partied at night which started his cycle of sleeping pills and amphetamines, which he became heavily reliant on.
He had developed a truly unhealthy lifestyle and routine. I think the best way to illustrate this is taking you through the last hours of his life.
10:30pm – Elvis has a dentist appointment and is prescribed some painkillers for toothache, on top of his daily concoction of pills.
12:00am – Elvis goes to his kitchen for his normal midnight snack of 4 scoops of ice cream and 6 chocolate chip cookies.
2:15am – Elvis calls his doctor to request more painkillers, apparently because of the pain caused by his trip to the dentist. His step-brother drives to the 24-hour pharmacy and gets them for him.
5am – Elvis decides to get some sleep, 5am is quite early for him. He takes one pack of his pre-packaged packet of pills which are created by his doctor for a twice-daily use.
7am – Elvis takes a second packet of pills
8am – Still unable to sleep, Elvis takes a 3rd packet of pills
9:30am – Elvis tells his girlfriend, Ginger Alden, that he is going to the toilet to read. With a diet like his he suffered tremendously from constipation and indigestion.
Somewhere between him going to the toilet and 1:30pm when Ginger awoke, Elvis suffered a heart attack and died face down on his bathroom floor, where he lay in a pool of his own vomit.
He was the first rock and roll superstar, the first super celebrity and icon. He touched the hearts of many around the globe and left a legacy and back catalogue of music which still warms the cockles of his fans today.
It is that last meal of Cookies and Ice Cream that the King ate at midnight which I focus on in this week’s video.