Sacred Music Friday: Look at the World

It’s been too long since I’ve shared a John Rutter work. Enjoy!

Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, February 17, 2008, The Mark Thallander Foundation Choir Festival


not in a Lenten state of mind

Some years I am ready for Lent. Other years I am not. This year I was not.

keep calm and put ashes onI missed the Last Sunday after Epiphany because I was without my hearing aid. I missed Ash Wednesday for the same reason and because Tasha was in serious need for a trip to the groomer and Terry was working.

I was, however, made very much aware of the season on the first Sunday of Lent. We did the Great Litany. Sigh. “From the Great Litany, Good Lord deliver us,” Father Phil in Morgan Hill once said.

We are now deep into Lent, and I’m just not there with it. It’s simply one of those years, I suppose.


scratch pizza

I love making pizza from scratch, but I don’t do it terribly often as it is a lot of work. My latest foray, however, I believe was my best effort since leaving behind my convection oven in Gilroy.

I have developed a set of steps for making pizza, which I adapted from the instructions that came with a Chicago Metallic pizza pan. This is just about right for a 12-inch pan.

Scratch Pizza

Ingredients

  • ⅝ cups warm water (105° to 115°)
  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 ½ tsp (1 packet) yeast

Procedure

  1. Mix ingredients in a stand mixer (KitchenAid, of course).
  2. Let rise 1 to 1 ½ hours, punch down.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  4. Grease pizza pan with olive oil, roll out dough.
  5. Bake for 5 minutes on middle rack.
  6. Add sauce and toppings.
  7. Bake 15 minutes on lowest rack.

For the sauce I use a Spicy Pizza Sauce recipe from Cooking Light. I drained the canned tomatoes and (roughly) doubled the tomato paste which made for a thicker sauce without the liquid that I had experienced previously. I like a smooth sauce so I blended it using my immersion blender.

I used Provolone for the cheese and topped the pizza with bulk sausage from the service meat department, fresh white mushrooms, and sliced black olives.

Delicious!

scratch pizza


a victory for the Oxford comma (and for grammar nerds)

Grammar nerds are delighted at the news story last week that the Oxford comma decided a court case. Being a grammar nerd who loves the Oxford comma, I got caught up in the excitement.

The Oxford comma, or serial comma, is the final comma right before the conjunction in a series of words. Some style guides favor it, others say to omit it. The New York Times Manual of Style and Usage says not to use it. The Chicago Manual of Style tells us we should use it.

Here is an example: “I had eggs, toast, and orange juice.” If you omit the final comma (I had eggs, toast and orange juice) the sentence could be read as telling the toast and orange juice that you had eggs for breakfast.

In fact, eliminating ambiguity is one of the strongest arguments in favor of the Oxford comma. Take this example: “This book is dedicated to my parents, Ayn Rand and God.” While this was probably never really a dedication in a published book, I love it nonetheless. The implication that the author is saying that his parents are Ayn Rand and God really strikes my funny bone.

And the court case? The court case was all about ambiguity. In Maine a group of dairy delivery drivers believed they were entitled to overtime pay. Their employer said they weren’t. The relevant statute states that workers involved in the following activities are not eligible for overtime:

The canning, processing, preserving, freezing, drying, marketing, storing, packing for shipment or distribution of:
(1) Agricultural produce;
(2) Meat and fish products; and
(3) Perishable foods. 

Note the missing comma before the “or.” Because that comma was not there, the court read “packing for shipment or distribution” as a single activity, when in fact “packing for shipment” and “distribution” were probably meant to be understood as separate activities. Nonetheless, the judge sided with the (missing) Oxford comma and ruled that the delivery drivers were eligible for overtime.

Here’s to the Oxford comma!


Tandoori chicken kebabs

Tandoori Chicken KebabsI’m always happy to have a new recipe for my NuWave oven, and I love Indian food. I’m not sure where I came across this recipe for Lean Tandoori Chicken Kebabs, but I had added it to my database at some point. It nicely covered both categories, so I decided to make it on a recent Saturday.

The first thing I did was to make the marinade the evening before in order to give it a full 24 hours. That was the right thing to do.  The chicken came out very flavorful. I followed the recipe for cooking times plus a couple of minutes, and I think it was a bit too long. The chicken was a tad dry. But I put both a lemon and a lime on our plates, and drizzling on the citrus made up for any dryness and added a little zing.

The basmati rice on the side worked well.

It made for a great Saturday dinner.


Sacred Music Friday: Prayer

Prayer by Rene Clausen. Plymouth Choir of First Plymouth Church, Lincoln Nebraska. Tom Trenney, conductor.


it turned out after all

I follow the posts from the kitchn in my news reader each day so I see all of their new content. They publish some interesting recipes, and when I saw their recipe for One-Skillet Cheesy Beef and Macaroni it caught my attention. I saved it and added it to my database.

grillers crumblesWhen I was ready to make it I decided that Terry and I had gone rather heavy on meat that week. So instead of using ground beef I used a 12 ounce bag of Morningstar Grillers (soy) Crumbles. The recipe also made way more than we needed (it was written to serve 10 to 12), so I cut back on the quantities. I pretty much followed the recipe with respect to the veggies, canned tomatoes, seasonings, and pasta. I didn’t add the soy crumbles until near the end, however, and I seasoned them with Cajun seasoning. I was beginning to think I had a disaster on my hands, and so I held my breath as I mixed in the shredded cheddar cheese.

I put the dish on plates and brought them to the table. Terry really liked it, and I thought it was pretty good as well.

Whew!