Category Archives: perception

Hallelujah

By page ninety of Rachel Joyce’s The Music Shop, I had to stop reading to find a pen and pad to note the music.  Each time Frank, the music shop owner recommended a song to  one of his patrons, I wanted to hear it.

658px-Beethoven_piano_sonata_14_mvmt_1_bar_1-4.svgNot only a story of true love and redemption, The Music Shop was a resource for old favorites as well as new classics.  Now I have new playlists.  How many of these have you heard lately – or ever?

  • Kind of Blue – Miles Davis
  • Spirit in the Dark – Aretha Franklin
  • Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5
  • Van Morrison’s Into the Mystic
  • Barber’s Adagio for Strings
  • Waltz for Debby by Bill Evans

colorful-music-clipart-music-staff-blueWhen Frank courts Isle Brauchmann with his music lessons, I found a list for the next time I can’t sleep on a plane:

  • Chopin’s Prelude No. 15
  • Heyr, Himna Smiour with the Iceland Chorus
  • Brahm’s Piano Concerto No. 1
  • Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven
  • Perotin’s Beata Viscera
  • Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata
  • Vivaldi’s Four Seasons

And, the most redeeming of all – Handel’s Messiah.

Although Frank would have preferred my listening to vinyl, my music is on iTunes.

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Reading Goals

Grant Snider offered his “Reading Goals in the Book Review section of the New York Times.

75px-Hot_chocolate_p1150797  I need to remember:

“I will journey far outside myself,,,without leaving my chair.”

See the full cartoon – here.

Aunt Isabelle’s Chocolate Tipsy Cake

In Alice Hoffman’s The Rules of Magic, Aunt Isabelle’s chocolate tipsy cake has been handed down for generations.  The tipsy comes from rum; the magic comes from the baking.  You might want to try it for breakfast, as the aunts did in the book.

th-1   Here’s the recipe:

Aunt Isabelle’s Chocolate Tipsy Cake

  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for dusting the pan
  • 1 cup freshly brewed coffee
  • 1/2 cup dark rum
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Chocolate Rum Icing

  • 2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons half and half
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum (plus more as needed)

Preheat the oven to 325.  Grease a large Bundt pan;dust with cocoa powder. Warm coffee, dark rum, butter, and cocoa powder over medium heat and stir gently until the butter is melted.  Remove from heat and add sugar, stirring until dissolved.  Set aside to cool.  Combine dry ingredients.  In another bowl combine eggs, buttermilk and vanilla.  When the chocolate mixture is cool, stir in egg mixture.  Add flour mixture a little at a time until well combined.

Bake 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool on wire rack.

Prepare the chocolate rum icing by melting chocolate, then adding butter and rum; simmer 5 minutes.  Add milk or rum to thin the sauce.  Cool slightly.  Drizzle over cooled cake.

Review of The Rules of Magic

Are the Fairies Hiding in Their Houses?

This Be The Verse

Found this while researching Cathleen Schine’s new book – They May Not Mean to, But They Do – and did not want to lose it.

THIS BE THE VERSE
    by Philip Larkin 

They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another’s throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don’t have any kids yourself.