Monday, January 12, 2009
Music, South Africa,
Having just read Satima's Blogspot (see link this page) all about music she loves, made me think of the music I love. We have hundreds of CDs these days, we went through a time when we could order 12 of them and only pay for 1 - you could then stop being a member and a month or two later, you could do it again. Eventually it got too difficult to choose 12 of them, so we stopped. I thought the companies were nuts to let us keep doing this, but they did so we did. With the result that we have all kinds of music available to us including cassette tapes which we have had forever. Not long ago, I went through all our vinyl records, of which we had quite a number and copied them all onto CDs. I didn't do a great job as I didn't learn til the end how to divide tracks, etc. however, its all there. We used to have a lot of 8 tracks some 30 years ago, but ended up throwing them out when they became obsolete. Pity, I always loved 8 tracks as there was a lot of material on them plus they would continue to play forever. Rather like our CD player in the car does. We have 8 CDs at a time and hit random play. It will then play until we decide to change the cartridge of CDs. I wish the player in the apartment would do that. Like Satima, one of my favourite tunes has always been Greensleeves. Reputedly it was written by Henry VIII for Anne Bolyn. He was supposed to be a very keen musician. Here is a rendition from You Tube click here. I fell in love with that song before a lot of you were born. As a young woman I loved Frankie Lane and once I saw the movie, I went nuts on Bennie Goodman music. These days my tastes mostly run to either opera or musicals. Not much music I don't like in Les Mis for instance and I think we have most of the songs sung by Luciano Pavarotti. I mentioned Celtic Thunder some months ago and love everything they sing, my newest favourites are The Priests and El Diva, I have a CD of the first, nothing of the second group yet. I do enjoy some modern music, but not a lot. Its an age thing I suppose, what member of an older generation likes the music of the younger set. I have mentioned my Yahoo cookery group, in passing, if not in detail. I have become very good friends with a number of people in different parts of the world. We swap recipes and talk about anything that is of importance to us at the time. Periodically, we have Dinner Around the World. We decide when, where and what to eat and we all do more or less the same menu at the same time. Eventually this devolved into eating the foods of a different country. We have one of these coming up this weekend and the theme is South African. We actually have a South African member so it won't be a big change for her of course, she has, in fact, produced a lot of the recipes. One member cooked her meal yesterday as originally that was the planned date. She posted pictures and her food looked really good although their daughter's guest was amused at her hostess taking pictures of all the food. We will be using avocados as a starter and the main course is Bobotie with Yellow Rice. The dessert was either Melk Tert or Malva. I have chosen Melk Tert. We have a couple of friends joining us and they are bringing a South African wine although I asked them not to bring a Pinotage. For some reason, Matt and I did not enjoy that grape. Maybe we should try it again one of these days, but not this weekend. Back to my Three and Four Ingredient cookbook. Baked Leek and Potato Gratin Potatoes baked in a creamy cheese sauce make the ultimate comfort dish, whether served as an accompaniment to pork or fish dishes or, as here, with plenty of leeks and melted cheese, as a main course. When preparing leeks, separate the leaves and rinse them thoroughly under cold running water, as soil and grit often get caught between the layers. Serves 4-6 2 lbs medium potatoes, thinly sliced 2 large leeks, trimmed 7 oz ripe Brie or Camembert cheese, sliced scant 2 cups single (light) cream From the store cupboard salt and ground black pepper. Preheat the oven to 180 C/350 F. Cook the potatoes in plenty of lightly salted, boiling water for 3 minutes, until slightly softened, then drain. Cut the leeks into 1/2 inch lengths and blanch them in boiling water for 1 minute until softened. Then drain. Turn half the potatoes into a shallow, ovenproof dish and spread them out to the edge. Cover with two-thirds of the leeks, then add the remaining potatoes. Tuck the slices of cheese and the remaining leeks in among the top layer of potatoes. Season and pour the cream over. Bake for 1 hour, until tender and golden. Cover with foil if the top starts to overbrown before the potatoes are tender. Have a great day.