These posts are definitely not in order of importance. However, food was certainly a big part of the house concert experience. We have some friends that are great cooks and great bakers and brought some incredible things. Although, as Ernie used to reassure folks, a hot pizza or bucket of chicken would always go before anything else! I always told people not to feel obligated to bring anything because there was always plenty.

After a show I often shared recipes that folks had asked about. Without question, the one I shared more times than I can count was for my sesame noodles. That’s why I made a triple batch of it for this last house concert. I also wanted an excuse to use my big blue platter that I love.

House Concert Noodles

The best thing about this recipe, which was shared with me eons ago, is that it’s stupidly simple. It is not any kind of authentic Asian noodle recipe but it’s the one you can memorize and make in about five minutes once you boil the noodles.

1/3 cup of soy sauce
1/3 cup honey (I have also used agave)
1/3 cup sesame oil
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes or more to taste
1 pound cooked pasta (I prefer whole wheat angel hair pasta)

Mix the first four ingredients and pour over cooked pasta. It’s good hot, warm, cold or room temperature. It gets better as it sits and lasts a few days. I always made it plain for house concerts but it’s great with greens or other vegetables mixed in.

I did two new recipes for Saturday (The Last Show™) and was pleased with them. Friday night I thought the coleslaw was going to be a disaster but I ended up loving it. Ernie doesn’t love coleslaw quite as much as I do and this one will keep in the refrigerator for some time and get even better. I adapted this from several different recipes–had about a million coleslaw tabs open on my laptop. This is what I came up with.

House Concert Coleslaw

2 good sized heads off green cabbage
4-6 carrots
2/3 cup sugar

1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup vegetable oil

Core the cabbages and cut into four wedges. I then cut them down a bit more so I could slice them in my food processor but of course you can just thinly slice them by hand. I peeled and grated the carrots and mixed them with the cabbage. Sprinkle the 2/3 cup of sugar over the cabbage.

Put the last four ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Immediately pour it over the cabbage. Stir and refrigerate for at least six hours.

Of course most recipes call for onion or bell pepper but I had no bell pepper and can’t eat onion. 😕 I also was supposed to put a teaspoon of celery seed in the dressing. I had no celery seed but planned to use fennel seed. I’m pretty sure I forgot it because when I peer at the leftovers I don’t see any. Oh well. So what I made was pretty plain Jane BUT I absolutely loved it and got several compliments on it and Ann asked for the recipe. ANN! It’s still crunchy as hell after being in the refrigerator three nights. It was great on top of leftover pulled pork.

Three Ingredient Mustard Barbecue Sauce
Steven Raichlen via the New York Times

⅔ cup grainy or Dijon-style mustard (I used half and half)
⅔ cup apple cider vinegar
⅔ cup honey or dark brown sugar (I used brown sugar)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Put the first three ingredients in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil and simmer for three minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

The morning after The Last Show™ Ernie made biscuits and piled them with leftover pork and some of this mustard sauce and they were just mind bogglingly good.

I famously never ate at our house concerts because I was too busy hopping around. I did eat the other night as I was staying in one place. It was kinda fun.

In the early days I was more ambitious. I made cassoulet the first time Fats and Kristi Rose played at Christmas. Another Christmas show I made tourtière. Eventually we got smarter and found that you could feed a hell of a lot of people for not too much money with a cheap cut of pork. Pork shoulder for the win!

Since I never ate I don’t remember all the greats in the pantheon of SLHC food but there are a few stand outs. Please share your favorite food memories in the comments!

Sue Davis ALWAYS brought amazing food. The best had to be when she set up a hot dog stand in the front yard (and thanks to Doug Fink for figuring out why it kept blowing a fuse) at one of the Mighty King of Love Phil Lee shows. She made Sonoran hot dogs and the most incredible corn dogs. Those I did eat. Please note the Corn Dog Fairy shirt via Jill Miller’s Hooey Batiks in the photo at the top. Another time she made wonderful soups. Oh, and once we had a Thanksgiving theme and she made a Rice Crispy treat turkey.

There were also Heather Munson’s famous Moon Landing cakes which she made every time Eric Brace played.

There was the time a group of us made tamales. Thanks, Paul!

Ann Rasmus was famous for her brownies as well as those insanely good sugar cookies she’d bring at Christmas.

Jonathan Hall’s rum balls are absolutely legendary and Susan K made amazing pies (rhubarb for Jason Ringenberg). Boo and Heather always brought absolutely wonderful baked goods. Oh, and Van (and Karin when she joined him) would bring the BEST cookies!

So much wonderful food over the years. This is just a tiny sampling. Thank you all and do share your favorite house concert food memories in the comments.

Might be awhile before I buy a pork shoulder again.

I took this the other night after everyone was gone to remind me not to have another concert. But you know, it just doesn’t look that bad to me now.


2 thoughts on “The Last Show Part III: the Food on Saturday and looking back

  1. I remember the cassoulet!!!! It was awesome!!!!! I had 3 helpings!!!!! And I will always remember Kristi Rose singing “Santa Baby”. She was priceless!

  2. Cynthia, I had been to a couple house concerts before I came down to Sandwich Life and I distinctly remember thinking “boy this food is terrific!. THIS is the way to do it up right.” Once again, Sandwich Life RULED!!!!