Real Cooking

Well, it has been a long time since I went to a rock-and-roll concert. Yes, a long time. In my foggy memories of the 1970s, I remember attending some of the top acts of that day-swaying to the beat and dancing with abandon in some smoky arena or capacity filled auditorium.

But then I married a farmer from Hillsboro who tamed my wicked ways. (That’s a joke, kind of.) Let’s just say that even though my love for rock and roll has never changed, my priorities have.

That, and I found myself married to a man who thought The Carpenters with lyrics like “Why do birds suddenly appear, every time you are near?” were really “rockin.” To me, that’s elevator music. At best.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that Keith and I have different tastes in “popular” music. We share affection for the classics, we both like a good bluegrass band, and I think he’s grown to appreciate the Irish folk music I play when I need to get back to my roots.

But when it comes to rock and roll-he more or less tunes out.

Which is OK, because music is such a personal thing. Aldous Huxley is quoted as saying, “After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.”

Every individual is going to hear and interpret a piece of music in his or her own unique way. So, for the last couple of decades, I’ve been on my own in the enjoyment of rock and roll. Played, of course, really loud. Is there any other way?

Since the children were born, I’ve been tutoring them in the rock-and-roll classics in the hope that at least one of them will somehow develop a love for an up-tempo tune with a hard back beat.

“Listen to this piece of music and tell me what band is playing,” I ask my son.

“That would be Led Zeppelin”

“And who’s on guitar?”

“Jimmy Page, of course,” shouts my daughter, jumping in to our own private version of “Name That Tune.”

“Very good, children,” I say as I inwardly smile.

“Uh, Mom? Can I listen to my Tim McGraw CD now?”

Country music? Yes, yes of course. In our home, all varieties of music are welcomed-although some artists have been banned because of lyrical content. But that’s another story.

And here’s another. Last Sunday evening, Keith and I took our kids to the Matchbox 20 concert in Wichita. I had purchased the tickets as a Valentine’s Day gift for my husband and kids.

Actually, I wanted to go to the concert and I used the Valentine’s thing as a ruse to get my husband to come along. The kids have both of Matchbox’s CDs, so I knew they would be pleased.

I thought this concert would be a good one for my kids to cut their teeth on. Matchbox 20 is pretty mainstream with unobjectionable lyrics and catchy tunes. At 11 years old, my children aren’t ready for a Red Hot Chili Peppers concert, if you know what I mean.

We went to the concert and had a great time. The band played an extra long set because their opening act, Everclear, ended up not playing due to illness. Turns out the lead singer of Everclear wound up in the hospital with food poisoning.

Welcome to Kansas. Bummer.

Matchbox 20 was in good form. Lead vocalist and songwriter Rob Thomas seemed to enjoy upward to 12,000 people singing along with him on some of the band’s more popular numbers.

It must be quite a feeling having thousands of people spitting back to you the words you have written. It would be like if four times the entire population of Hillsboro could quote, verbatim, one of my columns.

I wonder if that’s a humbling feeling or one that just feeds an ego. Maybe both.

Don’t worry. I’m not expecting you to memorize this or any other column.

So the kids got to see one of their favorite bands and Mom got to experience the concert scene again. Sort of. The concert scene-at least last Sunday’s concert scene-was different from that of the ’70’s. First, there were a lot of families in attendance. And there was a lot of gray hair.

And the haze that hung from the top of the arena came from the mix of humidity and the band’s lighting system, not from burning cannabis sativa.

But it was fun to sway with the crowd, to feel the rhythm of the bass reverberating through my body and to yell for the band to come back for an encore. And even though I was judicious in my deportment-so as not to embarrass my family-a couple of “woo’s” did escape my lips.

Keith was a good sport.

“I saw all of you singing along, but I couldn’t understand a word anyone was saying. It was just so loud.”

What can ya’ do?

“I know, it’s only rock and roll, but I like it. Yes, I do.”

* * *

And now, a recipe that our family enjoys. These muffins are especially delicious hot from the oven.

Applesauce Muffins

1 stick butter

1 cup brown sugar

1 egg

2 cups flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground cloves

1 cup applesauce

1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

Grease the bottoms of a 12-cup muffin tin. Cream butter and sugar together until smooth. Beat in the egg. Add dry ingredients and then add the applesauce and pecans. Spoon into tins. Bake about 17 to 20 minutes at 350 degrees or until golden brown.

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