Author Archives: Jeffrey Carter

About Jeffrey Carter

University administrator, voice teacher, choral director, professor, singer, professional theatre music director, brother, son, uncle, Anglican, Scotch drinker, chef of moderate talent, NPR fanatic, gin aficionado, proponent of the music of Herbert Howells and Elgar and Vaughan Williams, pianist, composer, theatre geek, dog love & cat hater, author & blogger, world traveler, church organist, Anglophile.

A book

I had one of those “I’m sad I finished this book” moments this past weekend.

Saturday’s events in Charlottesville, and a rather frustrating phone call, led me to the decision to cancel my evening plans and stay home.

After dinner of lamb burgers and cold potatoes dressed in lemon and olive oil, I made a quick trip to the market for a few odds and ends.

And then at about 8.30 p.m. I sat down with James Woodforde‘s The Diary of a Country Parson.

On the Grace & Holy Trinity Cathedral choir tour last summer, many of us learned of this book as we were in Norwich, England, where Parson Woodforde was the rector of a parish in that dioecese.

I’d started this book in June, and had picked away at it.  Since it’s a diary, and the entries are short, one can easily set the book aside.  But this past week I’d been more intentional in reading the parson’s account of life in Norfolkshire.

After about an hour, I had finished the last 100 pages, and found myself with tears in my eyes.

In offering the book to other folks on the tour, I wrote “What a wonder, this little tome!  The parson unwittingly has provided us a cultural, dietary, fashion, social and economic history of his age.  And for anyone who loves history, this is just a fun read.”

So Parson Woodforde’s diary is now in the hands of Lenette, who will pass it along to Joyce, who will likewise pass it along.

I found in Parson Woodforde a bit of myself: some of the melancholy, some of the impatience and even intolerance with others, so of the simple piety (I hope).

Thanks be to God for good and faithful servants like James Woodforde, for slices of life from centuries ago, and for the reminder to be thankful for the comforts we celebrate now.

Red pepper hummus


I made some roasted red pepper hummus this weekend, with red peppers I roasted myself.  I will never again buy a jar of roasted red peppers, as they are so terribly easy to make, especially if you use a pepper that is starting to go wrinkly.

  • 3/4 cup roasted red bell peppers (about 1 lb. peppers, roasted)
  • 3 1/2 cups soaked and cooked chickpeas/garbanzo beans (1 1/2 cups dry) OR 2 cans chickpeas/garbanzo beans (15 oz. each), drained and rinsed (do reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water or canned water)
  • 1/4 cup tahini paste
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp crushed fresh garlic (or more to taste)
  • 3/4 tsp smoked paprika (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or more to taste)
  • Water as needed (reserved chickpea water,of course)

For creamy hummus, I needed to remove the outer soft shell from each and every chickpea.  And so I did.  That took a few minutes, but the result was worth it.


Night sky

K and I traveled across the Mississippi on Friday evening, driving south on state roads in Illinois, and then off to corn fields on county roads, all in hopes of seeing a few blips from the Perseid meteor showers.

I saw exactly one long meteor trail.  And two more less thrilling short little meteor rug burns.

But the view of the night sky was more filled with stars than what I see in the city, and I was delighted for a few hours of peace and crickets.

ISO 1600, f/5, at 30 seconds. You see just a bit of the earth rotation.