Music and cooking seem to go hand in hand. Perhaps it is the sense if personality, or maybe it is the sharing that goes along with both food and music. They are both great ways to create, too, of course.
Glenda Piece Facemire has been in a unique spot to consider all this: she is the longtime makeup artist for Austin City Limits. From her informal chats with artists, she came up with the idea for a book that would show both recipe and personality.
In the more than three decades since it began, Austin City Limits has hosted artists who play the many varieties of Texas music, and over the years has been the place to see top country and bluegrass artists, musicians who play the blues, the occasional world music act, and in recent years, edgy alt country and rock acts as well. A wide range of that musical talent contributed to Music in the Kitchen, coming up with recipes for game birds, organic entrees, simple two or three ingredient preparations as well as dishes that take several stages to prepare.
My favorites include Kathy Matteaâ€™s Roast Veggies in Pastry, Kelly Willis Creamy Corn and Garlic Risotto, and Acorn Squash- Sweet Potato Puree, from Emily Robison of the Dixie Chicks. There are plenty of meat and seafood recipes, too, lots of varieties of red beans and rice, meat loaf several ways, rack of lamb, striped bass with curried spinach, Thai food, Indian food, and Texas chile several ways, as well as a selection of appetizers and deserts.
The book is arranged into sections by type of dish. Each artist within the section is featured across two pages, with a large photo -- some from the ACL stage, some not, all good -- and a short bit about the artistâ€™s music and career. Some artists offer comments and instructions with their recipes, some donâ€™t. Thereâ€™s a note of the artistâ€™s web site, and each was invited also to cite a favorite charity, which range from local humane societies and churches to major international organizations. Thereâ€™s also a sort of recipe grab bag chapter at the end, with brief additional recipes from some of the artists.
Itâ€™s an interesting book, whether you prefer cooking, music, or photography, or all three. There are dozens of artists included, although, as Facemire points out, time and logistics didnâ€™t permit her to contact every artist who has crossed the ACL stage. In addition to Mattea, Willis, and the Chicks, though, artists youâ€™ll find include Joan Baez, Ralph Stanley, My Morning Jacket, Marcia Ball, B.B. King, Nanci Griffith, Blue Rodeo, Joe Ely, Christine Albert, and Patty Loveless.
In the studio and on the airwaves, Austin City Limits has always kept that indefinable element of family feeling that connects musicians and audience. Music in the Kitchen is a well done way to extend that idea.
enjoy reading about food and cooking? check out three of my favorite food blogs
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MyKidsEatSquid stories and ideas on making creative and tasty food for and with your kids
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Kerry Dexter writes about the arts and creative practice at Music Road and is the Music Editor for Wandering Educators, where she writes about music and travel. Her work has appeared at Barnes and Noble Music, CMT, Perceptive Travel, and other publications, and she is also a former music correspondent at Gather.