Martinis and Music

When I was reading Dash of Cinema’s Movie Soundtracks to Cook To: French inspired, I was immediately back in my dad’s kitchen and listening to Edith Piaf.  I have a dirty martini in my hand, and dad is hovering over his stove and sipping his own drink and creating one of his many hearty dishes.

Ray’s dirty martini                                                 IF

6 fluid ounces vodka (always more)

1 dash dry vermouth

1 fluid ounce brine from olive jar

4 stuffed green olives (always  more)

Music was always a part of his cooking and any gatherings. Now it was rarely a movie soundtrack that was playing at my dad’s, but there was music.  He wanted a cow cooked, good booze, roasted veggies, dessert, and company to share all this with. But, no food gathering was complete without music.

Perhaps because there was no soundtrack to our evening meals, I spent a better part of my childhood refusing to eat much of dad’s cooking. One of his favorite meals was liver and onions. I’m not sure what music would’ve made liver and onions taste better, but perhaps our family mood would have been lighter with a little Ray Charles or Charlie Parker in the background. Of course, my child’s palate was limited to the wonders of peanut butter, scrambled eggs, and macaroni and cheese so anything beyond that was exotic. As I’m sure the music would have been as well.

Filling the kitchen with wonderful aromas and music seem to go together for me. I know many, who would never think to have music playing as a part of the culinary process, but I have found it relaxing and insulating, and sometimes, I feel I’ve conjured my dad and he is cooking with me.

I found this in my dad’s things–A small notebook with recipes written in pencil:

Ray’s Olla

1 lb ground beef

1 onion chopped

Garlic to taste

3 cans Ranch style Beans

2 cans minestrone soup (lg)

1 can Rotel

1 med. Diced tomato

Brown meat, onion, garlic and all of ingredients. Stir and heat.

Serve with cornbread and salad, a cold Corona with lime, and Dusty Springfield.







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