And I thought I knew everything.

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A while back, I was out with some friends, and we ended the evening at Wilf’s listening to jazz. I presumed this was because it was too cold out to walk anyplace where we might actually have fun, but my companions actually seemed to be enjoying themselves. Let me be clear: the group included my husband, who is younger than me, a couple about his age or maybe a few years younger still, another couple in their sixties, and me. Now the older couple, yeah, okay, waggling their heads to an endless stream of discordant nonsense probably made them feel frisky and “hip.” (Or is it “hep?”) In fact, as I looked around the room, all I could see was a panorama of drink menus being read at arm’s length and knobbly crooked fingers trying to applaud every time the cacophany stopped. But the behavior of my tablemates was shocking to say the least. Smiling! Woo-hooing! And not bolting for the door when a break between sets was announced! All the way home (yes, eventually the evening did end, about 3 hours after it should have) I wondered: is there something wrong with me, or is there more I need to understand about jazz in order to appreciate it?

Over the next few days, I posed that question to a number of friends, colleagues, and random strangers. (No doubt there is a fair number among them that wholeheartedly believes there IS something wrong with me but they were too polite to tell me.) They began to educate me about what jazz actually is: the improvisation, the building up and tearing down of musical frameworks, the layering of instrumentation to create fresh soundscapes out of classic tunes. I began to see the complexity in the various styles…how a skilled musician has to use both art and craft and be 100% open to whatever art and craft his or her bandmates are using. Basically, jazz is more honest than theater improv, more rigorous than composition, and more collaborative than a first date. Wow! I get it! Still not my favorite art form, but at least now I can appreciate what’s going on and why people young enough to still get carded are so crazy about it.

I’ve run into a similar situation with Bloody Marys. If you don’t know anything about them, you don’t get what all the fuss is about. But if you keep an open mind, and run into someone like me who can bend your ear all day long on the subject of what’s so great about them, you’ll begin to see that there’s more going on than meets the eye. Bloody Marys have a fascinating history, and they’ve continued to provide a blank canvas for personal and culinary expression for over 75 years.

There’s oodles more I could tell you here, but you really should just read my book. Everything you need to know, wanted to know, and didn’t know about Bloody Marys is in there. And, did you know it’s available in Kindle format? How easy is that??

Whichever one you choose, I wish you enlightenment, deliciousness, and creativity. Cheers!