Tag Archives: food

Heart attack

It’s a click-bait header, I know . . . .

But I had a heart attack on a plate yesterday morning.

When in England, I love fried bread at breakfast. Look it up. It’s on the breakfast buffet at any swank hotel.

Here in the States, I make fried bread about once a year. It’s so easy and so fast and so yummy and so heart-killing. (Don’t ask me what the frying agent was.)

I’m watching loads of BBC stuff on the streaming services late in the evening, and Monday evening I found myself craving fried bread.

With homemade bread in the fridge, and bacon and eggs always at hand, I indulged.

So there it is. And there it was. And call my cardiologist.

Social distance, day 5

Breakfast of homemade latkes. And some fresh pineapple.

Trying to be normal.

Forest Park Forever has on-line a bunch of nature sounds from the park, so I’m listening to the sound of birds in Kennedy Woods.
https://forestparkforever.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=dbbe1fd374748bf5744854f97&id=f3f3c9f42e&e=d43f95b45f

And I took out the trash and recycling and breathed some outside air, then cut some daffodils for different rooms of the house.

And we persevere!

Saturday evening at home

Saturday evening at home. Snow is falling outdoors, and the roads are rough. I’m staying in, which is what I had intended to do anyhow.

The MainStage programming is all complete, the pieces are written, and tomorrow I meet the band and rehearse for the first (and only) time. This time next week, two Circus Harmony Fluente shows will be down, with four to go.

I’m spending the evening indoors, working on the NASM self-study that must be in the post on Wednesday. This project is giving me that feeling I have when I’m on my last day abroad — I want to enjoy one more day, but I can feel the call of home, and my mind is already there. My mind is already on other things, especially since school begins Monday.

And tomorrow is a circus day.

Realizing this morning what the weather would be today, I decided to make some shepherd’s pie. I had one brick of frozen ground lamb left in the freezer, so I thawed it today. Minced lamb with carrots and thyme and gravy was the base; mashed Yukon Gold potatoes with butter and Parmesan the top layer. Cheddar cheese finished it off.

Snickerdoodles

Vegetable shortening has no place in my house, since I don’t use it enough for it to keep without going rancid.

Snickerdoodle recipes almost invariably call for part butter, part shortening, so I’ve been on a search for an all-butter recipe that I actually like.

Thank you, Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook, 10th edition  (© 1989) for this perfect recipe!

I spoke too soon in prepping this blog entry.

The cookies turned out like unleavened gooey butter cake.

A total disaster, except that that crumbs tasted like baked butter. Which I happen to think is a great flavor.

Tamale day

I finally put to use the recipes and skills learned in the tamale cooking class at Kitchen Conservatory some months ago.

On Monday I drove the 20 minutes west to Grace Jones’ home, where from scratch we cooked up pork tamales, a spicy tomatillo salsa, and a corn relish dip that actually worked beautifully as a side dish.

Along the way: a cup of lard, four different kinds of peppers of varying spiciness, eight ears of corn, an onion, a dozen limes, and much more.

Grace made a tres leches cake for dessert.  And a good time was had by all!

The masa is starting to come together. That’s just lard and cornmeal and salt.
And done!
Obligatory kitchen selfie.
Roasting corn and peppers for the corn dish.

That’s two dozen tamales in there….
The tomatillo salsa.
YUM!
All in all, a worthwhile effort.

NASM 2019

I am in Chicago as Webster University’s voting representative to the annual meeting of National Association of Schools of Music.

The meeting is always the weekend prior to Thanksgiving, and we are often in warmer climates, but Chicago is the place this year.  I arrived early to take in some of my favorite places at the Art Institute of Chicago, and to catch a Chicago Symphony Orchestra concert.

Around the conference sessions, I’ve also had hotel-room time to finish some projects and write plenty of emails.  I’m feeling a bit more caught-up at the office.

One of the joys of these conferences is seeing friends and colleagues from around the nation.  Hallway conversations turn into meals or drinks.  Quick hugs turn into lingering conversations.  And all is right with the world.

Another joy?  Food!

I dined on Chicago-style pizza, AKA ‘heart attack in a deep dish,’ on Sunday evening, at Lou Malnati’s around the corner on State Street. The buttery crust was heaven.

Afterward, walking back to the hotel, I was asked by four nice men hanging around street corner “Are you stuffed, ’cause I’m really hungry”.  I gladly handed over my box with the last two chunks of pizza, and in fact had left the pizza joint with that box, hoping to run into someone who looked like a meal would be a nice thing.  I demurred, though, at buying the same man a 40-oz. beer in the corner 7-11.


The Hilton Chicago has a huge gingerbread display in the elevator lobby on the main floor:


The conference’s plenary sessions always feel a bit like an old Soviet five-year meeting, with dutiful approvals of pre-ordained decisions.

But there’s some fun too, like asking the question “Which of these photos best represents music theory meetings at a conference like this?”.

This was a rolling photo display on a meeting room call board . . . .


Finally, an obligatory selfie from Sunday morning:

I think I had on the only pink shirt in a room of 800 people.