Friday, July 11, 2008

Soul Kitchen

It all began with Ray Charles soulfully boasting that he got a woman way cross town that was good to him. That's when Mo, the guy installing my bathroom tile, joined in this raucous proclamation and began singing along with the music blaring from my speakers. By the time Billy Preston began instructing us on the mathematical truth that nothin' from nothin' leaves nothin', Mo stood in my kitchen watching me prep food and cook for my wife's birthday party we're having tomorrow.
Being from Nashvillle, Mo appreciated the soul music from the Memphis-based Stax Records that comprised a big part of my playlist.
We talked for about 15 minutes about our preference for the Stax sound over Motown. Gradually, the conversation shifted from music to food. I talked about the food I was preparing and Mo sampled some of the food, which triggered a rush of memories from Nashville. Mo began passionately extolling. Prince's Chicken Shack and the various meat and threes spread throughout middle Tennessee. I was in foodie heaven.

(Photo from the Southern Foodways Alliance)

Eventually, Mo and I got back to work. The tile was installed. The food was prepared. Then we went our separate ways. With this experience, I'm reminded that food and music can unite strangers. Once again food is more than food.

PS. . .

Party Menu

I'll try to post pictures and recipes later.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

I love this story! I've always believed that we all have something in common with a stranger, and that "something" is often food. Can you imagine how much more interesting cocktail parties would be if we asked, "what was your favorite food growing up" instead of "so, what do you do for a living?"