Monday, November 12, 2007

I'll Be Cookin' in the Morning, All Over This Land

T sent me a message the other day after reading one of the posts. It consisted of the following:

I like food. Food tastes good. -The Descendents

That got me started thinking about food and music. There are several ways to do this, and I'm sure I'm starting with the least creative. Bear with me, there will likely be more of this type of post. There's a lot of music.

My guess is there will be a sappy Christmas post about Aunt Ida's cookies (and I have the whole blessed recipe booklet Aunt M put together) and Christmas Carols, trips to R to see Aunt M, Uncle P, and the cousins on Christmas Eve, etc. My sister will probably like that one. It will also be a detailed eye-opener to her about the evolution of my ability to withstand, and even thrive on, the sounds of Christmas tunes.

But for now, since my initial searching led me to this, I'll start by pulling some of my favorite food songs and trying to connect them to food and life somehow. Might work.

And don't worry, the biting sarcasm comes back with the recipes, and I'm anticipating a 'clean out the pantry' session tonight that should be entertaining.

Squeeze - Black Coffee in Bed

What a fantastic food. It is a food. I know, I've survived on it for mornings on end because I am 1) often too lazy to go to the store after work to ensure there is liquid dairy product available for my morning ritual, and 2) I have lived in black coffee as my only sustenance for the hours 2 am through 12 pm on so many days that it simply must be sustaining of human life.

The Rolling Stones - Brown Sugar

This is all about cake. Pineapple Upsidedown Cake to be specific. It is my favorite cake. There's melted brown sugar on the bottom/top. C'mon folks, see it in your head...brown sugar and butter goo!!! I am religious about whoring for a friend or family member to make one sometime near the end of January to celebrate my entrance into the world of solid food. Some memorable ones include the vegan pineapple upsidedown cake W made while I was in grad school (the link is the google search, i couldn't find one with apple sauce as the 'moist-making agent' like she used); and 2) B's for my 20-something-th birthday with no maraschinos (for dad and me) and walnuts instead.

This is close to what I made for H's birthday last month. I was at the bar and found out his birthday was coming up. I give people food for presents. So I asked him what he wanted me to cook for him.

"I don't know. Whatever you want."

"Well, when you were too old for the big party with all your friends, but your mom still made your special birthday dinner and asked what you wanted, what did you tell her?"

"Pineapple upside down cake!"

"You got it." week later...

"How is it?"

"I love this like a fat kid love cupcakes!!!"

And I said I couldn't bake. I did forget to put the walnuts in the pan before I poured in the batter (after asking 20 people if they were allergic to nuts). So when I plated the cake, I took a stick of butter, 1/2 cup of brown sugar, and 1 cup if rough-chopped walnuts and made a quick candied walnut topping.

James Brown - Grits

I love grits. Strangely, I discovered grits at Norm's Diner in Groton, CT. I know, I know. That's not real grits. This is real grits (Not the recipe, which uses...gasp...8 cups of water. But the Adams Milling Company. Use that phone number. Order those grits). The Old Post Office on Edisto Island, SC uses them and is real low-country grit cooking. I know, I'm still working off the butter and cream they put in my grits.

  • 3 cups milk
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup grits
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1 T salt

  1. Combine the milk, water, and butter in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Add the grits, bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
  3. Reduce heat to low and cook for 5 to 10 minutes until thick, stirring occaisionally.
  4. Add the cream and salt and cook for 10 to 20 minutes until the desired consistency is reached.

Squeeze - Pulling Mussels (from the Shell)

Paris in winter is beautiful, in large part because if you are there visiting, you are one of the few. Also in large part due to the season for Moules et frite. Mussels, scads of them, at every bistro. With pommes frite. Think of it, a menu with nothing by mussels with 30 different sauces. Garlic, white wine, and butter; Provencal with tomatoes, herbs de provance, and white wine; Florentine with butter, white wine and spinach. All of that comes in a bucket with a bowl for the shells and a plate with perfectly crispy pommes fritte. They're a coastal thing from Belgium and Normandy that the Parisians go nuts for two months out of the year.

I was lucky enough to have this bite of tasty in Soulac-sur-Mer on the Normandy coast one summer too. I still remember slurping the sauce with my spoon after all the mollusks were de-shelled and the fries were a mere bit of crispy crumbs on the side plate.

Dizzy Gillespie - Salt Peanuts

I discovered boiled peanuts about two years ago as I drove across northern Florida between Gainseville and Jacksonville by way of St. Augustine. You need green peanuts, so don't try this with Planter's.

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