Celebrating Betty White and Her "Dusty Muffin"

January 12, 2022 | Bill V.

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This January 17 would have been the wonderful Betty White's 100th birthday.  She died, with impeccable timing, on New Year's Eve (great for the news cycle). She was a gifted comedian, well known for her roles on Mary Tyler Moore Show, Golden Girls and more recently Hot in Cleveland. But she actually had her own show as far back as the 1950s called "Life with Elizabeth."

White became kind of a cult figure in her 90s and hosted Saturday Night Life thanks to a grassroots Facebook campaign.  She was the oldest host ever!  She also had that wonderful mix of "grandmotherly" sweetness with a "grandmotherly" raunchy sense of humor. See the "Dusty Muffin" skit on Youtube below from the popular Saturday Night Live segment “Delicious Dish.” This is a perfect example of White's risque yet deadpan innocent comedic delivery. On a more serious note, she was also deeply involved in animal rights and campaigns for the humane treatment of animals. 


Learn more about Betty White

Here are some biographies and autobiographies you can borrow from the library.

If You Ask Me (And of Course You Won't)

If You Ask Me (And of Course You Won't)

"Drawing from a lifetime of lessons learned, seven-time Emmy winner Betty White's wit and wisdom take center stage as she tackles topics like friendship, romantic love, aging, television, fans, love for animals, and the brave new world of celebrity."


Betty White The Illustrated Biography

Betty White: the Illustrated Biography

"Nothing in the world of American show business or celebrity today is more fashionable than to love Betty White. Be it her latest turn on "Saturday Night Live" or her latest hysterical ad or her latest appearance on Craig Ferguson's "Late Late Show" or last week's episode of "Hot in Cleveland," any and everything Betty does has us gathering at the watercooler on Monday morning: "Did you see?" 


Here We Go Again My Life in Television

Here We Go Again: My Life in Television

"Legendary actress Betty White chronicles her long and storied television career."


Betty White in Black and White

Betty White in Black and White

"Several episodes from Betty's first acclaimed hit series, Life With Elizabeth (1953-55), along with Betty's own daytime series The Betty White Show. Included also is a rare episode from November 1954 where Betty sings, dances, and is joined by surprise guest Rin Tin Tin, plus a message from Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis.


When Women Invented Television The Untold Story of the Female Powerhouses Who Pioneered the Way We Watch Today

When Women Invented Television: The Untold Story of the Female Powerhouses Who Pioneered the Way We Watch Today

"The best-selling author of Seinfeldia documents the lesser-known story of how four trailblazing women from the radio era, including Irna Phillips, Gertrude Berg, Hazel Scott and Betty White, helped establish the foundation of the modern television industry."


Betty White Champion for Animals

Betty White: Champion for Animals

"This fascinating and heartwarming program, hosted by Betty White, transports you coast to coast and across the continents for unforgettable encounters with the amazing creatures with whom we share our planet and the people behind the scenes charged with their care, protection and maintenance."

See also: Betty & Friends: My Life at the Zoo


Bake a muffin to celebrate her life

In honour of Betty White some folks online are talking about making a small donation to an animal charity in her memory which I think is a grand gesture.  Otherwise, bake a muffin in her name! Here are some of my favourite recipe books.

Mad for Muffins 70 Amazing Muffin Recipes from Savory to Sweet

Mad for Muffins: 70 Amazing Muffin Recipes from Savory to Sweet

"Jean Anderson, the legendary, award-winning food writer, brings her incredible talents to muffins. In seventy recipes, Anderson covers every kind of muffin imaginable, from Corn with Country Sausage to Swirled Mocha to Old Vermont Cheddar-Cranberry. With such a wide range of choices for every season, you can bake these comforting treats year-round."

150 Best Vegan Muffin Recipes

150 Best Vegan Muffin Recipes

"This undeniably delicious and varied assortment of vegan muffins will reassure anyone who has doubts about vegan baking. These muffins are easy to prepare simply by using readily-available ingredients like non-dairy milk, soy yogurt and ground flax seeds."

Easy Flourless Muffins  Bars & Cookies Delicious Recipes for Healthy  Portable Gluten-Free Snacks

Easy Flourless Muffins, Bars & Cookies: Delicious Recipes for Healthy, Portable Gluten-Free Snacks

"Presents flourless recipes from the popular blogger for muffins, brownies, cookies, and bars, including ideas for grab-and-go breakfasts, quick and easy snacks, and healthy desserts, along with oil-free, dairy-free, and refined sugar-free options."