Someone’s in the Kitchen with Dinah

My dad was a Navy seaman aboard the USS Fanshaw Bay when World War II came to an end. He was stationed in Japan after the surrender and wrote home to his parents about his experiences in Tokyo. One night, he and his Navy buddies got tickets to a show where the orchestra played popular American songs.  On December 5, 1945, he wrote, “Much to our surprise, some numbers were even sung in English, like ‘Blue Skies’ and ‘Dinah'”.


My dad was singing my name before I was even a dim glimmer in his eye.

Unfortunately, “Dinah” isn’t the only song with my name in it. Another ditty that I have heard over and over is “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad” which contains the lovely chorus, “Dinah won’t you blow, Dinah won’t you blow, Dinah won’t you blow your horn.” The lyrics go on to say, “Someone’s in the kitchen with Dinah, strumming on the old banjo.”


I don’t know who this Dinah was, and I don’t know who was strumming on the banjo or why they were in the kitchen.

However, my name is Dinah. I have a kitchen. And with a bit of coercion, I could probably talk PB into strumming a banjo.

“Someone’s In the Kitchen with Dinah” is an idea that is brewing. Why not invite all the best cooks I know to come into my virtual kitchen and share their best recipes? I tried the idea out on a few people — my daughters, my husband, a dear friend and a stranger I was seated next to at a wedding reception. All five thought it was a wonderful plan.

To be fair, Dinah Shore did write a cook book by this name.


My dad had a poster of Dinah Shore on board ship.

Is all this a coincidence?


This idea will simmer on the back burner in my kitchen for awhile.

In the meantime, I’ll keep my eyes open for a banjo.

4 thoughts on “Someone’s in the Kitchen with Dinah

  1. As I recall, if you were girl, you would be either Dinah or Amanda. Dad liked Dinah Shore a lot (“See the USA in your Chevrolet” was a jingle she sang. I guess Dad didn’t like her well enough to buy a Chevrolet…..ever), but he also liked Amanda Blake of Gunsmoke fame (TV show). I guess Dinah won the coin toss…….I’m glad you are Dinah, and not Amanda. Amanda just doesn’t fit you well. Besides, there aren’t any good Amanda songs to sing with a banjo!

    I do not recall any boys names that were in the running. There must have been a few, because in “those days”, there was no way to really know what/who was coming. I must have decided that you would be a girl and just focused on that, because I already had 2 brothers and didn’t really need another one!

  2. Amanda? Miss Kitty? The saloon girl? Hahah! Didn’t know that! I’m glad they went with Dinah. I remember hearing I would have been either Matthew or Lance if I had been a boy. Yep, you needed a sister!

  3. I always wanted to have a healthy food potluck (live and in person) so people could try some new recipes and not worry about making something new that wouldn’t turn out. Unfortunately, that idea has been simmering for years 😉

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!

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