Sacred Music Friday: Maria durch ein Dornwald ging

From VOCES8. This translates as “Mary went through a thorn forest.” The description tells us: “This beautiful German carol is decorated with a literary motif; thorns blossom into roses as Mary carries the Christ Child under her heart.” Appropriate, as Advent begins Sunday.


simplifying my walk

For a number of years now I have listened to lectures from The Great Courses on my iPod when I took my walks. It has worked out well and I really enjoyed it. Recently I wrote about how I couldn’t get a clean copy of the lectures onto my iPod from iTunes. What I did was start streaming my lectures from the Great Courses app, which has worked out fine now that we have a more generous data plan on our iPhones.

Great Courses for iPhone appInitially I was concerned about the transition from WiFi to cellular as I got out of range of our house. Turns out that’s not an issue. That is all handled seamlessly and I listen to the lecture without interruption as I head out.

The other advantage is even better. At one time when I downloaded lectures from the Great Courses I could click a button and it would download all 24 or 36 lectures automatically to iTunes while I walked away. Some time back they changed that, and I had to download each lecture individually. Big pain.

Now that I’m streaming I don’t even have to think about that. And instead of having both my iPod and my iPhone (with the fitness app that records my time and distance) on my belt, I only have my iPhone.

Simpler and easier. Much better!


London Broil

Terry and I had planned to have tri-tip on a recent Sunday. It was on sale at Sprouts for $3.99 a pound. But when I got there the packages were labeled “untrimmed” and there was a lot of fat on the meat. I picked up a London Broil instead. Terry was quite happy with that.

London BroilI found a recipe on myrecipes.com for London Broil that had an interesting marinade that included lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and soy sauce. I followed that formula and added a splash of orange juice. To that I added a creole spice blend that I found on a recipe blog for an entirely unrelated dish: paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, cayenne, oregano, thyme, and salt, which I omitted.

I marinated the steak for a good four hours and broiled it until the internal temperature reached 148, about fifteen minutes. It came out a bit rare for my taste, but it was right in Terry’s wheel house. And she absolutely loved the flavor.

I love it when I can make a meal that my wife really loves.


The Futures

The Futures coverThe Futures
Anna Pitoniak
Lee Boudreaux Books (January 17, 2017), 320 pages
Kindle edition $12.99, Amazon hardcover $14.95

I returned to the world of fiction for this one.

In this novel Julia and Evan are in a relationship at Yale. Julia is from a Boston blue blood family. Evan is a hockey player from a small town in Canada. As graduation rolls around Evan has lined up a job with a brokerage house in New York City while Julia is at loose ends. Not having a lot of options, Julia moves in to Evan’s apartment.

We know from the outset that the relationship is in trouble. Julia tells us that directly in the prologue. In alternating chapters narrated by Julia and Evan we learn of their struggles. The brokerage firm deals with the effects of the Great Recession and Julia finds a job at a non-profit organization through connections her parents had. Evan becomes involved in business dealings that are not only questionable, but downright illegal. Julia is inadvertently (or not) responsible for those dealings being exposed.

Both people make mistakes and both make bad decisions. Each had betrayed the other, as Evan’s friend Arthur pointed out. The book ends a little too neatly and neither Evan nor Julia seem to have to pay for their actions.

Nonetheless, I was carried along by the book and its narrative. The Futures is not a “page turner” in the conventional sense, but I kept turning the pages wanting to know what would happen to the characters next.


salmon with aioli

My recent blog on aioli generated more interest that usual. My cousin commented that aioli is “killer” on salmon. I don’t eat much salmon these days. It’s just too terribly rich for my stomach. But we had a piece in the freezer and I thought it would be worth the experiment.

Salmon with AioliI baked the salmon in our new toaster oven on the convection setting at 400 for about ten minutes. I coated it with the aioli and added another five.

It was excellent. Served with baked potato with all the trimmings, it made for a great Saturday dinner. And my stomach was perfectly happy with that small piece of salmon.

Thank you, Cousin!


Sacred Music Friday: Come, Ye Thankful People, Come

The Summer Choir and Congregation of First Plymouth Church, Lincoln Nebraska, Tom Trenney, organist.


Happy Thanksgiving

Blessings of the day!

Thanksgiving