Bon Voyage Professor

20 Jan

russell (photo from the Improbable Research website)

I first learned of the death of actor Russell Johnson from the Improbable Research website. They recounted a moving story of how Mr Johnson, better known as the Professor on Gilligan’s Island, made an appearance at the Ig Nobel prize ceremony, then held at MIT, back in 1993. The article states, “Mr Johnson told us he was fearful that people in the audience would think badly of him for pretending (in the TV series) that he was a scientist. We all assured him that, to the contrary, people were thrilled at the chance to be in the same room as him.” And true to the author, Marc Abrahams’ words, “When I introduced him on stage, the audience-many of whom were MIT and Harvard students, faculty and staff- went utterly wild with joy and tears.”

(read the full story at

The story was touching and sweet. And I thought it was fitting to do A Haunted Fondue Farewell to such a lovely man. And in the Haunted Fondue style, I present recipes from “Mary Ann’s Gilligan’s Island Cookbook“, by Dawn Wells, the actress who played that beloved girl-next-door. The following three recipes were give to her by Russell Johnson and his wife Connie.



Professor’s Miracle Rescue Slaw

1 small head green cabbage, diced into 1/4-inch dice (about 4 to 5 cups)

3 or 4 green onions, including tops, chopped into 1/4-inch dice

1/2 cup cucumber, finely diced

6 radishes, finely chopped

1 small carrot, finely chopped

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

1 cup salad dressing


In a large bowl combine the cabbage, onions, cucumber, radishes, carrot, salt and pepper. In a separate bowl thin the salad dressing with a little milk. Toss the dressing into the salad. Chill for a couple of hours. Makes 8 t0 10 servings.


Roy Hinkley’s Spanish Rice (how many of you remember the Professor’s name on the show was Roy Hinkley? No, me neither)

2 cups brown Basmati rice

4 cups chicken broth

2-3 tablespoons olive oil

1 bunch green onions including tops, chopped

1 cup chopped parsely

1 green bell pepper, chopped

4 to 6 cloves garlic, crushed

1/4 cup chili powder

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon oregano

1 16-ounce can tomatoes, crushed

2 7-ounce cans diced green chiles

In a large pot bring the rice and broth to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil and saute the green onions, parsley, green bell pepper, garlic, chili powder, cumin and oregano for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and diced green chilies. Mix well and transfer the mixture to a baking dish. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Serve with green salad. Makes 6 to 8 servings.


Professor’s Apples Archimedes

6 to 8 tart apples (Granny Smith or Pippin), peeled and sliced

Juice of 1/2 lemon

3 tablespoons dark brown sugar

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 cup raisins

Hot water

2 cups any bran cereal or shredded wheat

1/2 cup butter, melted

1/2 cup orange juice


In a large bowl combine the sliced apples, lemon juice, brown sugar and cinnamon. In a small bowl soak the raisins until plump in hot water to cover. Drain and discard the water. Add raisins and bran cereal to the apple mixture. Add the melted butter and mix. Pour the mixture into a buttered, shallow  baking dish, and pour the orange juice over all. Dot with butter. Cover the pan with foil. Bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake until brown on top, about 15 minutes. Makes 6 servings.







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