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.