Barbara Golden's Greatest Hits, Vol. 1

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9780936050126: Barbara Golden's Greatest Hits, Vol. 1
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Cooking/Music/Poetry. Barbara Golden's best recipes, lyrics with scores, prose, and poetry, an in-depth interview, photographs of and illustrations by our hostess. The audio CD offers a retrospective of Golden's most popular songs and audio works. "She has filters on her oscillators, but, refreshingly, none on her personality"--Kyle Gann, The Village Voice.

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About the Author:

Barbara Golden is world-adored as a composer, performer, and radio personality. A founding member of WIGband, Goldens meteoric rise from housewife / schoolteacher to diva / demimondaine of the avant-garde comes alive here as she champions the vibrant life of the flesh and spirit. With the license allowed to a poet, Golden provides a candid commentary about what gives a crme caramel or ones love life more body. Her pithy and heartfelt songs are enjoyed by physicists, truck drivers, bankers, and musicians.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Preface to the first edition,
Barbara Goldens Home Cooking

I was a housewife and schoolteacher for eleven years in Montreal and my big creative outlet was having large dinner parties. People actually cried when my husband and I split up for that reasonno more dinner parties. In my mid-thirties when I began to write, perform, paint, and make sound tapes, it seemed very familiarthe blending of different ingredients, splicing and seasoning. My daily lists are something like this:

Buy no. 1 paintbrush
Do sound check
Make chickens

The idea of working full-time now fills me with dread. As a result, I have very little cash, but enough to have people over for dinner if they bring the drinks. Cooking is fun when youre not in a hurry, just turn on a tape or watch the soaps, no guilt because youre doing something useful, slice, chop, sip, taste. The outcome is fantastic: food that you and others can enjoy at a fraction of the cost of a restaurant meal. For the price of a fast food cheeseburger you can be eating prawns stuffed with crab at home, or whatever catches your fancy. If you cook the day before or early in the morning you wont be burned out for your party and most stuff, especially with a tomatoey base, tastes way better the next day anyhow.

You dont need many gadgets either (unless you want them). When I came to California in 1979, I was expecting to stay just a few months. I brought only a couple of cast iron fry pans, some baking tins, a garlic press, and a wire whisk. The French false-bottomed quiche pan, the baba mold, and the food processor are back in Montreal, but Im enjoying using more muscle and theres less to wash.

Here are a few tips: Save all leftover wine for sauces and salad dressing. I havent used vanilla for yearsjust substitute brandy or any other booze. Grated lemon rind in plain cookies and cakes never hurts. Use only thick-cut bacon, the freshest and most beautiful-looking produce. Shop often in the same place, get to know your butcher. Dont use canned or processed foods, theyre filled with sugar and salt. (Salt is now almost optional in all my recipes. Try using much, much less, miraculously youll find it makes little difference.) This sounds bossy I know, but do recycle, use cloth napkins instead of paper, paper bags instead of paper towels whenever possible, plastic bags from fruits and vegetables instead of plastic wrap. And relax while youre cooking, look beautiful, for yourself. Sip a vodka gimlet (my current favoritevodka and Roses Lime Juice over ice) and singthe food will taste much better if you are happy.

One more thing, if you have a choice get a gas stove. Its faster and cheaper and youve got more control. The crme caramel syrup takes less time on gas, but theres nothing wrong with electric stoves, or Coleman camping stoves for that matter; Ive made bananas flamb over a can of Sterno in a VW van swaying in a howling snowstorm at Yellowstone. . . .

Best of luck,
Barbara Golden
San Francisco, 1984

Preface to the expanded edition,
Barbara Goldens Greatest Hits Vol. 1

Ten Years Later: a little older, a lot fatter and wiser. Luckily Ive done a few healthy things: fresh orange juice every day, spinach, and swimming endless laps. I still love crisp bacon, my fabulous fries, butter, and meat. Many of my recipes contain these ingredientsthey are just not for every day. As far as fats go, the best oils to use are olive and canola.

Meat: I am not a vegetarian but I definitely eat no veal, I use chicken instead. And the chickens are natural, hormone-free, as are the meat and eggs I now buy. I figure that whilst I am not against eating animals, I want to eat the ones that have had a good lifepecking away in their barnyards and not as prisoners in little cages. The free-range chickens really taste different.

A Good Life: one of simple but beautiful pleasures. A place where you are happy hanging out by yourself is a place others will want to visit. A few cut blooms, or an elegant vase awaiting flowers to arrive with your dinner guests. Candles, an ice bucket and ice ready for that bottle of champagne. Have good books and magazines around, lots of pillows on the bed, the telephone nearby, a map of local hiking trails, some very good perfume. . . .

A Good Larder: simple things for when you feel like cooking or when you absolutely need to graze, ingredients you will use constantly. Breakfast things are essential, they can keep one going almost the whole day: good coffee, ground or whole bean, cream or milk, excellent bread for toasting, jams (apricot, raspberry), perhaps a few croissants, baguettes or Danish in the freezer. Yogurt, fruits, cheeses. Essential to me is a box or bag of juice oranges, and a juicer, for mimosas, screwdrivers, but above allstraight OJ. I can remember, moi, a child in snowy Montreal, lying in bed early in the morning, the sound of Mum preparing the orange juice.

- Lemons: slices to put into drinks and iced waters, rinds and zest for baking, slices or quarters with fish and meats. And lemons look so great in a bowl with bananas, tomatoes, and avocados!
- Salad fixings: organic if possible. Lettuces, parsley, arugula, cilantro, spinach. As soon as I get back from the market, I go through the greens removing stems. Olive oil, wine or balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, garlic.
- Potatoes: to be baked, fried, boiled, scalloped, hash browned, used in potato saladyou name it!
- Drinks: Good cocoa, herbal teas, mineral water, wine: plenty of beverages for every hour of day and night. Keep on hand a little vodka or whiskey. Vermouth if you like martinis. . . .

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