January 31st, 2013
The Secret’s in “The Gravy” – And You’re Invited Into The Kitchen!
You know, as an adopted New Orleanian, for my first several years here in Magic City, I didn’t really cook much. For one, why cook when there is just SO much good food around you already? But secondly, I was scared. Scared to compete with the cuisine kings and queens that STAY churning out the most savory edible wonders this side of the gulf.
Now, some years have passed and I’ve relaxed, become bolder. Tried a few things here and there, my red beans ain’t too bad and I’ve been told that my mirliton stuffing is pretty darn good. Delve into gumbo territory though? Oh no, not yet. Best I just keep eating the natives’ and learn something.
Music though? Well-foraged territory for this girl. And what I’ve learned so far is that the secret to that incomparable NOLA melee of Soul is life. That’s it, LIFE. That sound, that New Orleans swing, is right there in front of you, just waiting to be grabbed by the hand and spun around on the dancefloor. More and more, it seems that the New Orleanian’s role is to remind Americans how to live, how to be human – how to create from within using just what ‘cha got in front of you, and that your music is not far removed from your food.
With the same ease that the Crescent City’s finest musicians weave intoxicating tales with rhythm and melody – that musical magic that bit me and sucked me in, apparently they also use to chop, sizzle and brew local foods until you have no idea what you’re consuming, all you know is that you are enjoying it! Like being invited into their music studios, an invitation into their personal kitchens is a coveted honor. And THAT, friends, is “The Gravy.”
What I love about “The Gravy” is that if you are a connoisseur of the kettle you will come away from this book with one of the more comprehensive New Orleans music complications, and if you are a music guru you will have two months of edible soul to experiment with as you attempt each recipe on the quest to discover just what New Orleans music tastes like. Admit it, you’ve wondered, at least once, what these extraordinary sound sorcerers put in their bodies to make all that magic come out their mouths… and hands… and feet. And the answer to that, is in “The Gravy.”
The introduction by Dr. John is nothing short of epic, while Monk Boudreaux’s profile has me convinced we can learn a heck of alot more than just Mardi Gras Indian tradition from chats with this man. From Mystikal‘s resourceful, prison-learned cooking tips to Johnny Vidacovich‘s “Getting Ready Spaghetti” that he eats, literally, right before every single gig, Hahne’s ethnography of The Crescent City’s incomparable folks is chock full of often surprising staples and busting with character. Antoinette K-Doe‘s section shone light on exactly why she was the ultimate “mother-in-law.”
Hahne’s choice in pairing each musician’s surprisingly simple recipe
with their notable recordings is the perfect balance of just enough, but too much – still leaving much to be discovered and experienced in
person. Kinda like a pinch of this, and a dash of that.
In “The Gravy” I learned how 10th Ward Buck morphs from a rapper to a restaurant entrepreneur to a New Orleans City Council hopeful – all with the help of his secret sauce, and his ability to read people. But let me not spoil the fun… click the link below and pre-order your own copy. You won’t regret it.
There is much more to say but most of all, thanks to “The Gravy” I no longer have to worry about marrying a New Orleanian for fear that my kitchen skills (or lack there of) would never be up to mother-in-law standards.
Now if you’ll excuse, I have to go make sure I’m not burning John Boutte’s Glorious Oyster Pie!
PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT TO CLICK ELSA’S KICKSTARTER LINK BELOW.
Watch the video, pre-order your copy – she’ll even mail it to you for free!
DEADLINE: Thursday, January 31 at 8:00pm.
$upport “The Gravy: In The Kitchen with New Orleans Musicians” x self-published by Offbeat Magazine’s Elsa Hahne
Total Posts: 13 (show recent)
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Posts in 2013: