Rock-a-Billy Babe in the Kitchen

As some of you know, my stove went kaput and fixing the problem is a chore I’d rather not tackle. I boil water on the one last remaining burner. I heat things in the microwave. Who wants a stove when a brand new kitchen is needed?

I’d rather work in the garden or write or vacuum or clean the cat box than bother going through the rigamarole of picking out something I don’t want to spend money on, hiring a contractor and explaining how I so don’t want to get involved, and then supervising installation when there are lots of other cool things to do.

And, my kitchen is small, perfect for a low-end sail boat on a weekend excursion in the delta. I’ve been waiting for my ship to come in so I can remodel the whole shootin’ match at once, instead of doing it piece-y. But, the stove, new in 1973, has taken to sparking a bit, which makes houseguests nervous. The knobs have fallen off and the oven door is sprung. It has gotten hard to bake a cake or roast a rump.
So, it probably wouldn’t surprise you that reading cookbooks isn’t at the top of my to-do list.

Then I get this email about Ruby and I’m come full-stop in front of my sparkin’ stovetop. She sings, she cooks, she rocks—and she’s getting over a serious brain injury. Talk about flame broiling!

Ruby Dee rockin’ it
Here’s what Ruby’s publicist has to say: In Ruby Dee’s Juke Joint Americana Cookbook, chef, chanteuse, and former Seattle restaurateur Ruby Dee Philippa (of Ruby Dee and the Snakehandlers) she offers readers a taste of down-home American cuisine.

A Grammy nominated musician, Ruby combines her two loves—music and food—by packaging each book with a full-length Americana CD. The disc features songs by Two Hoots and a Holler, Marti Brom, The Modern Don Juans, Teri Joyce, Elizabeth McQueen, Rockin’ Lloyd Tripp, and even Ruby herself.

But it’s not all gravy. Ruby began writing after a devastating scooter accident left her with a brain injury that caused vertigo, trouble speaking, and memory loss, which hindered her ability to recall lyrics onstage. Soon, Ruby turned to writing as a form of cognitive therapy. She began with stories but quickly realized recipes were an even better workout for her mind.

“I realized if I wrote out the recipes that friends and family had been asking me to share for years,” says Ruby, “I could challenge my brain to find the exact word it was looking for. In stories, I could substitute words and change details when the exact word escaped me. But with recipes, I had to be precise: tenderloin is tenderloin, a carrot is a carrot, whipping cream is whipping cream, and so on.”

Ruby Dee’s Juke Joint Americana Cookbook, a smorgasbord of recipes from appetizers and drinks to special occasion dinners and bittersweet farewells. Recipes include:
·Bacon Wrapped Dates

·Texas Martini

·Pineapple Rum BBQ Short Ribs

·Banana Cheese Pies

ABOUT Ruby: She finally “settled down” as a musician in Austin, Texas, where she lives today. Her book, Ruby’s Juke Joint Americana Cookbook, is a veritable feast of down-home recipes meant to be enjoyed with family and friends.

Ruby’s Juke Joint Americana Cookbook is available at and, in hardcover, paperback, and eBook format. It can also be purchased from major and independent bookstores nationwide or from Ruby directly at

Ruby Dee Philippa is the lead singer of the high-octane roots and rockabilly act Ruby Dee and the Snakehandlers. Raised on Northern California foothill ranches and the cotton and oil fields of the Texas panhandle, Ruby has worked on fishing boats in Alaska, lived in South America, and toured most of the United States. Her travels have inspired her devotion to Americana culture, which celebrates the melting pot heritage of the United States. Previously, Ruby owned three successful restaurants in Seattle, Washington.

See you in the Kitchen — that’s where I’ll be
hanging out for a while! Bring muffins!

The result of her efforts has become

Published by Kate Campbell

Writer, editor, photographer, novelist, short story writer, poet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: