Copyright 1995 The Chronicle Publishing Co.
The San Francisco Chronicle
MAY 29, 1995, MONDAY, FINAL EDITION
SECTION: DAILY DATEBOOK; Pg. E10; PERSONALS
LENGTH: 702 words
BYLINE: Leah Garchik
BODY: MA WHISTLER WAS NO CHAIR POTATO
James McNeill Whistler is the painter of the moment at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, where an exhibition of his paintings opened this week. And while sonny was busy at the easel, his industrious mother wasn't just sitting there staring into space.
Pomegranate Press in Rohnert Park is out with a new edition of ''Whistler's Mother's Cookbook'' ($ 10.95) by Margaret MacDonald, co-curator of the show and a research fellow at the Centre for Whistler Studies at the University of Glasgow in Scotland.
MacDonald compiled the recipes from notes hand-written in a manuscript book by Mrs. Whistler. Each recipe includes the original directions and modern translations where necessary.
Here, for example, Mrs. Whistler describes the preparation of collard eels, a dish fit for a slippery king: ''Spread your eels upon a table and cut out the back bones, then sprinkle them with salt and pepper, Cayenne, Marjoram and Cloves at discretion, then roll them up and tie them round to prevent their undoing, and boil them in vinegar and water. When cold, cut them in slices.''
It should be noted that the ingredients list contains only eel, spices, water and vinegar. So that's how Mrs. Whistler kept her girlish figure.
MORE FOODS OF THE RICH AND FAMOUS
A special ''best of the best'' issue of the Robb Report, a directory for participants in ''the Affluent Lifestyle,'' includes some ''worst of the worsts,'' too.
To wit, the list of least-liked foods of the wealthy is topped (with that deemed yuckiest) by vegetables. An editor's note specifies that the least-liked among the least-liked is beets.
Rounding out the worst food list is: Mexican cuisine, liver, fish/ seafood, sushi/Japanese food.
It should be mentioned, however, that the favorite-five list includes (in descending order) fish/seafood, steak, pasta, Italian, Mexican.
One additional note: Some of the ''best'' listings -- for example, favorite type of music, rock; and best casino, Caesar's Palace -- cast a certain suspicion over the hoity-toityness of the respondents.
UNABOMBER BOOK IN THE WORKS
Crime writer Robert Graysmith, whose books include ''Zodiac'' and ''The Sleeping Lady,'' has been working on a book about the Unabomber for the past two years. ''I'm always fascinated with manhunts,'' says the author, who used to be an editorial cartoonist for The Chronicle.
Graysmith's agent, who doesn't want his name known because he doesn't want to play hide-and-seek with the Unabomber, is getting ready for a book auction, reports the latest Publishers Weekly. Graysmith is optimistic that the bomber will be caught soon. ''By the time we get this done,'' he told Personals, ''they're going to have him.''
Meanwhile, crime isn't Graysmith's only interest. He's just completed the manuscript of ''Melville's Romance,'' which he says describes Herman Melville's great passion for Nathaniel Hawthorne.
''Colored'' is still a loaded term. In response to Thursday's item about the use of the word in a New Yorker essay:
* Reader April Sinclair of Marin County called to say that ''colored'' was in general use until well into the mid-1960s, ''when 'black' came in.''
The word ''colored'' is still used by black people to describe black people, she said, as a kind of ''affectionate put- down. . . . It's getting down, going back to our roots.''
Sinclair said that New Yorker writer Hilton Als apparently had used the word in that context. '' 'Colored' is so unhip to us that now it would be hip.''
* Nicolette Weicker, who was born in South Africa and lives in the Bay Area now, said that under apartheid, there were officially four races: European, non-European, colored and Asiatic. ''Colored'' referred specifically to people of mixed origins. Under the new constitution, there are no racial classifications.
CONSULT THAT MAP
''An article on May 7 about the Central Asian lands whose names end in 'stan' referred incorrectly to Kafiristan. It is the former name of a region of northeastern Afghanistan, not an imaginary place invented by Rudyard Kipling.''
Correction in yesterday's New York Times.