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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

It's The REAL Thing!!

Years and years ago I was in the Sondheim play "Company". The theater group met in the Oak Park (MI) High School auditorium and easily half the cast members were from Windsor Ontario, Canada. True theater lovers think nothing of commuting to a different country three nights a week for rehearsal. Okay, so it was essentially a drive across the bridge and a ride across town but still . . .

I remember lots of tasty nuggets from that show but leafing through and old "church lady" cookbook from the 1970s and coming across a particular recipe triggered this memory.

Anyone who knows "Company" knows that the inimitable Elaine Stritch played the unforgettable Joanne and sang "Ladies Who Lunch". In case you do not know, Joanne was something of a lush and the song was performed (at least in our production) as Joanne sat at a table drinking cocktails. Each verse ended with the line "I'll Drink To That!"

The 1970s saw the demise of the classic glass soda pop bottle. Some people objected to cans and plastic so Pepsi (and other companies) put their sodas in a new style glass bottle. People liked to wash and re-use these bottles for lots of things. Drinking water from bottles was not yet a universal practice but juice, other soda flavors, tea or lemonade might be put in the bottles, as might other things.

The lady playing Joanne in our production carried such a Pepsi bottle with her at every rehearsal. It was not unusual for actors to have a bottle of water, tea or other beverages with them at rehearsal. Joanne's bottle held Pepsi . . . or so I thought. I learned later that the bottle held in reality home-made Kahlua! That may have explained why she was such a shoe-in as Joanne! She played a very realistic lush!

In case you decide you want to make some Kahlua (and maybe carry it with you in a recycled glass or plastic bottle) here is a recipe.

4 cups water
3 cups sugar
10 teaspoons instant coffee
bring to a boil and simmer about 1 1/2 hours. Allow to cool.

3 teaspoons vanilla
1 fifth Vodka

Strain into dark glass bottles or ceramic canisters. Allow to steep 3 months, shaking occasionally, before "mixing" or serving straight up!

Quotable Quotes; in the category Let's Not Forget Mahler!

"A matinee, a Pinter play,Perhaps a piece of Mahler's. I'll drink to that. And one for Mahler!"

Stephen Sondheim "Ladies Who Lunch" from the musical "Company"

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