Monday, October 27, 2008

Rotary Phones and a Recipe

Some disturbing news. I was at a bar on Friday night, and one of the patrons paid GOOD MONEY to play the song "Mambo Number Five" not once, but TWICE.



On Saturday I attended a Halloween get-together hosted by my good friend W, who related a story from her high school days that made me laugh so hard I nearly wet myself. We were discussing concerts we attended in our youth. Not only do I remember my first concert (Joan Jett at the Fond du Lac County Fair, 1987), but I even remember what I wore (strategically-ripped acid-washed jeans and a blue and white-striped sleeveless turtleneck sweater). I went with a neighbor (Sara) and a boy she liked, and I rode in the backseat, right next to a giant subwoofer blasting Appetite for Destruction.

But I digress. W's parents were not keen on her attending a rowdy concert with friends, but they did tell her that if she could ever call in for tickets when they went on sale, they'd drop her off at the show. Unfortunately, they had a rotary every time W called Ticketmaster, the line would be busy and she NEVER. EVER. GOT THROUGH. She believes to this day that it was one of those passive-aggressive things parents do when they know that a particular outcome, however seemingly random, couldn't possibly go against their wishes.

Also, the only way you could ever win a radio contest with a rotary phone was to call in at least two hours before they even played the song which you had to be the tenth caller to correctly identify. And then you just had to guess. "Um, is it Styx 'Come Sail Away?' No? How about Eddie Rabbit 'I Love a Rainy Night?'"

The dish I brought to the party on Saturday won rave reviews, so I'll share the recipe here. It's from my mom, doctored a smidge because I just can't leave well enough alone.

Tuscan White Beans with Sage and Butternut Squash

1 whole butternut squash, seeded, peeled and cubed (1/2 inch cubes)
2 cans cannellini beans rinsed and drained
3 T chopped fresh sage
8 - 10 cloves garlic, peeled and quartered
4 T balsamic vinegar
1 T brown mustard
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper
Shredded parmesan cheese
Drizzle truffle oil

1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees; toss the squash & garlic with about 2 T olive oil on a baking sheet; sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake for 30 minutes, or until squash is tender.
2) Pour beans into large bowl and microwave for about 30 seconds, or until just warm.
3) Whisk 2 T olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mustard, and sage and pour over beans.
4) Add the squash & garlic; flavor with salt and pepper to taste and drizzle with truffle oil. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese before serving.

I omitted the mustard and increased the sage to 4 T, so feel free to play with your food. Enjoy!


  1. 'tis the season for Squash!
    YUM - thanks for the recipe.

    My first concert - Huey Lewis & the News - Hip to be square tour. (insert RAWK hand signal and headbanging here)

  2. Anonymous4:24 PM

    GREAT 80s concert flashback--my first was REO Speedwagon with Richard Marx opening. I can't remember what I was wearing, but you can bet my asymmetrical hair was big!

  3. Anonymous5:55 PM

    I was SO at that Joan Jett concert...not sure what I wore though...

  4. My first real concert? Herman's Hermits. I'm not even kidding when I say that it rocked. But then I went to U2 six months later and that's my all-time favorite.

  5. Anonymous12:11 AM

    My first concert was Michael W. Smith. (embarrassed)

  6. Anonymous10:33 AM

    Oh my favorite things! Squash and rotary phones, that is!
    Why do people replay only the bad songs on juke boxes? And then--then they're all hyped up thinking "Greatest Song Ever!"

  7. Anonymous10:57 AM

    OMG - thanks for the music memories! I totally loved "I Love a Rainy Night!" (Don't laugh) And now I'll probably be singing it all day. My first concert was Pat Benatar.

    Thanks for sharing your recipe. It sounds yummy.

  8. I am proud to say that I own a CD single of Mambo Number 5. And there are (wow, brilliant) FIVE versions of the song on the disc. Don't diss the Lou Bega (...or whatever his name is).