Saturday, January 8, 2011

Rock 'n' Roll Cuisine

Today, dear reader, is the day, dear reader, that the proclaimed King of Rock 'n' Roll was born.
Who hasn't heard of Elvis Presley? No one. Groovy! Oh, I know, we've discussed Elvis Presley's favorite foods previously on this blog, however, did you know, there is also a person touted as the "Father of Rock 'n' Roll? His name is drum roll... Alan Freed.
But Hey, you're not here to learn about the Birth of Rock and Roll Music. I'm thinking you're here for some jammin' food; quick.

How's that for starters? Or perhaps this:
Not your style? Need tasty bits of funk? Well, have I got the book for you!!!

No, I didn't create that warning sign all by myself. It came enclosed in this:
Let's get legal...Rock 'n' Roll Cuisine was published by Billboard Publications in 1988. The foreword:
...The generous souls who have contributed their favorite recipes to this collection agree. We have feasted on their musical delights--now here is the chance to sample some tasty culinary morsels from the world of Rock 'n' Roll. These stars are sharing their ultimate dishes with us to support the efforts of Phoenix House, which runs drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers worldwide, and a portion of the royalties generated by sales of the book will be given to this deserving charity...
As the responses came in, it became obvious that some contributors had a greater sense of humor than culinary expertise, and that they should continue to do their cooking on the stage or in the studio! So we have designed a warning symbol for those recipes whose results tended toward the dubious or the inedible...
Thankfully, the recipe contributed by my personal favorite; Don Henley, is considered safe to eat, albeit a bit lengthy. If you want to really see the recipe, you're going to have to click on the image. Let me give you a taste of Don Henley's interpretation of the brief history of chili.
Don Henley's Texas Chili
"The word chili (pronounced "chee-lee"), is an Aztec word, but the spanish version commonly used now is chile (pronounced "chee-lay). Both words refer to the fruit of the "Capsium annuum" plant, which was, because of its piquancy, misnamed "pepper" (after the black pepper-corn of the East Indies), by the spanish explorers. This practice of mislabeling things because they are "like" other things has been going on for centuries and is something that musicians, particularly, have come to know and abhor. The labelers have given us such gems as "county rock" "jazz fusion" (melted jazz?), "Dylanesque", "adult contemporary", "pop rock", "dance music", "punk", "post punk", and my latest favorite, "New Age" music. Who does this stuff? I don't know, but then I don't know who names streets either. At any rate, there are roughly 200 different types of chilies in the world and nobody knows the names of all of them. so, when we refer to a dish as "chili", what we really mean is "chili (or chile), con carne"--chili peppers with meat. Somewhere along the line, the "con carne" was dropped, additional spices were added and the chili that we know today evolved. Unfortunately, this evolutionary process also produced several aberrations which cannot be called anything but hogslop. In fact, let's get one thing straight right now: True, authentic "chili" does not--I repeat, NOT--have beans in it. Beans are in a separate dish to be relished and revered in their own right. When you put beans in chili, you insult both the beans and the chili."

Next up we have a "recipe" from Jim Cregan. Heed the Warning.

And, last but not least, House of Schock Crab Cakes contributed by Gina Schock.

Don't get me wrong, there are a host of other recipes in Rock 'n' Roll Cuisine but, to be perfectly honest, many of them are simply illegible. I must admit though, it sure is a unique book!!! (or is that an unique book?)

...It all started back in the mid-fifties. A strange new synergy of rhythm & blues, soul, jazz, harmony, black & white gospel, and country & western music took hold of the younger North American generation. This music snared their senses with a rhythm, back beat, energy and tribal passion they had never before encountered. It's initial appeal was to middle class white teenagers who soon came to feel it was their own. Perhaps it was -- their parents hated it. In this era, so called "race music" was largely censured by America's white establishment as being too rebellious, sexual and anti-social to be acceptable. To the ears and eyes of the elder generation, this new music style or "rock 'n' roll" as it came to be known, was nothing less than evil incarnate. (The term "rock 'n' roll was first coined by disc jockey Alan Freed who featured the music on his radio programs in the early fifties)...(source)
Alan Freed's career began to plummet by the time I was a teenager in the 60s so I don't recall much about him. I do however remember American Bandstand with Dick Clark. Okay, confession time. We weren't permitted to watch American Bandstand at our house when I was a kid. My father was adamantly against the style of "rock and roll" dancing.

Whether it's a Rock n' Roll BBQ or Elvis Presley's Favorite Pound Cake, Rock 'n' Roll Cuisine is here to stay. enjoy:)

1. The Man Who Named "Rock'n'Roll"
2. In the Museum: Disc Jockey Alan Freed @ YouTube
3. Most Influential Rock 'n' Roll Artists
4. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
5. "Nifty Fifties" Rice Pudding Recipe
6. Nifty '50s Ice-Cream Cone Cakes from Betty Crocker
7. Quick Links Elvis Presley (previous unchecked post:)


  1. what an odd book - imagine doing the recipe testing for that one!!!

  2. I would love to read that book just for curiosity's sake! I doubt I would want to make the recipes though!

  3. Hi Louise- Haven't ever seen this book, though I'd like to. I like how the pages are designed, regardless of how the recipes might taste. I see Don Henley brought up the old "beans" or "no beans" in chili debate. Even though I'm from Texas, I secretly prefer my chili with beans!

  4. What a fun read! Don's recipe actually sounds okay even...

  5. OMG! A cookbook after my own heart. As you know, I collect literary and movie and TV related cookbooks. An immediate search to come. Recipes don't sound great, but who can resist.

    Love, love this post!

  6. Just ordered from Abe.com Thanks, Louise.

  7. Happy New Year, Louise! I had to go back and catch up with your posts!
    This cookbook looks like great fun to own (I adore Don Henley) BUT the recipes are a tad doubtful! :)

  8. Louise, I like cooking to music, but it's usually Bach! Love this!

  9. How interesting, I love how you always learn something new here. Thanks Louise.

  10. I have to admit the same shame as Kathy...even though I'm Texan, I put beans in my chili, unless it's chili con carne over my enchiladas and tamales.

  11. Good point Johanna and I was easy on the selections.

    It is a most curious book Joumana

    Some of the pages are beyond recognition, Kathy. The chili debate lives on...

    It is one of the palatable Channon, I think:)

    You are too funny, Janet. Let me know what you think when it arrives.

    Thanks Barbara and a Happy New Year to YOU! Very doubtful recipes. Some of them are hilarious though...

    I too enjoy cooking to music T.W. I'm a smooth Jazz girl myself...

    Thanks Lou Ann. You have some GREAT offerings of tidbits at your place for sure...

    I wouldn't have expected anything else, duckie. Mmmm...enchiladas, tamales...

  12. Love these retro recipes! Thanks for sharing!!!

    1. I'm so glad you liked them, Liz. Thank you so much for visiting:)

  13. I bought this cookbook on ebay, not sure how many years ago, simply because I found out Weird Al had a recipe in it, and I'm a huge fan. ;) His doesn't involve cooking, but you can eat it, if you wanna make a mess. :P There are some legit recipes in here that I'd like to try, and some no one should attempt. It's a very interesting book, and like no other cookbook I've seen before.

    1. Welcome algonacchick and thanks for visiting. I know exactly what you mean about the selection of recipes in this book. Some of them are literally "out of this world!" I do hope you get a chance to try some of those that are feasible and just enjoy the context of those that are better left undone!!! Thank you so much for visiting and commenting...I couldn't find a blog for you:)


Through this wide opened gate,
none came too early,
none returned too late.

Thanks for dropping in...Louise