7 Foods That Remind Us of Billie Holiday
Lady Day sings the...foods! Here's a look at the eats that remind us of jazz legend Billie Holiday.
Peking duck for one, coming right up! Lady Day loved the Chinese delicacy so much that she gave it an honorable mention in her autobiography, Lady Sings the Blues. “Singing songs like ‘The Man I Love’ or ‘Porgy’ is no more work than sitting down and eating Chinese roast duck,” she wrote, adding, “and I love roast duck.”
When Holiday wrote the lyrics to “With Thee I Swing” she had sweet romance on her mind—and a frosty treat to match, singing: But in your arms I melt away/Like ice cream on a summer’s day. You don’t need a lover or a summer’s day—or even an ice cream maker—to get that vibe. Just make a batch of DIY vanilla ice cream.
Right before she got her big break, Holiday was a hard-on-her-luck teen hunting for a gig in Harlem. One night, she went door to tavern door, before scoring a steady singing gig at the Log Cabin Club. “First thing I did was get a sandwich. I gulped it down. Believe me—the crowd gave me $18 in tips,” she told a newspaper reporter in a 1939 interview.
After she scarfed down that hard-won sandwich, Holiday picked up a whole chicken to take home to her hungry mom. “Ran up Seventh Avenue to my home,” she recalled. “Mother and I ate that night—and we have been eating pretty well since.” You’ll be eating well, too, when you make this roast chicken.
Wherever Billie would go, her dog was sure to follow. The singer and her Boxer pup, Mister, were inseparable. Mister lived a glamorous life, often accompanying Lady Day on her singing gigs where he kept eager fans at bay. As a reward, Holiday cooked up steaks for his dinner.
Not even Lady Day could resist the satisfying flavor of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. It wasn’t just any PB&J, though; it had to be fried, like this sinfully good PB&J French toast.