Many moons ago… John and Mary Emmerling invited Rhonda and me to a dinner party at their apartment on 57th St. and Sutton Place. For those of you who’ve never heard of Sutton Place, this is one of New York City’s most exclusive places to live. Mary (editor at House & Garden magazine) said there would be 40 people or so and asked us if we could bring a dessert. John, an ad exec at Y & R, also invited Steve Gordon, a friend of mine who wrote the screenplay for the movie Arthur. Steve (who couldn’t boil water) called and asked if he could chip in for the dessert Rhonda and I were planning to bring. Of course we said yes. This happened before Rhonda turned into an incredible cook, so I was the one who would be responsible for the dessert. I thought about possibilities for the type of dessert we could bring. Let’s see, 40 people, needs to be big. Why not make my mom’s ice box cake? Simple, easy, and won’t cost a fortune to make. What to put it in? Rhonda and I went to a Woolworth’s in our neighborhood and that’s when I spotted a large Rubbermaid tub, big enough to wash a baby in.
• 2 boxes of chocolate pudding
• 2 boxes of butterscotch pudding
• 1 box of honey graham crackers
• 1 quart of whole milk
We arrived at the party… we’d never seen so many elegant people in one place before. Men in suits, double-breasted sport jackets, with button-down shirts and rep ties. (There was even a guy in an ascot). The women, all of them straight out of the pages of Vogue Magazine. Fashion-forward trendsetters. We asked Mary our hostess, where should we put our dessert. She looked at our rather large covered Rubbermaid tub and suggested we put it along side all the other desserts. “Oh my gosh!” Rhonda exclaims… “Look at all those incredible desserts.” Petit fours, mini key lime pies, vanilla mousse, strawberry cheesecake, cannolis, tiramisu. And we have to put our washtub next to them. Man, did I screw up! Our friend Steve arrived and he started with the jokes… “I had nothing to do with this!” he exclaimed. After the dinner buffet, it was time for dessert. Steve was the first person to try our icebox cake. He started raving about how good it was. “This is incredible!” The next thing we knew, everyone was digging in. There wasn’t a drop left. The society crowd loved it!