Saturday, September 25, 2010

BRRR - Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion

It only took 10 years. The initial Rhythm & Roots Reunion began in September of 2001 with $50,000 in start-up funds from the twin cities of Bristol, Tennessee and Bristol, Virginia. In its first year, the festival had 40artists and attracted about 7,500 fans.
The poster this year (A Charles Vess design)

Over the past several years coworkers brought back glowing reports about the festival. Schedule conflicts prevented my attendance for at least the past three years. Setting my priorities this year, I delayed starting a trip to Wisconsin in order to attend the 10th annual Bristol event.

Jeff, Andrenne and I at BRRR

The event now features 187 different acts over the 3 day weekend and crowds likely topped last years attendance of 32,000.
Folk Soul Revival

At the festival, artists perform in little alcoves and big stages, 22 stages in all, along State Street. Originally capitalizing on Bristol's heritage as the Birthplace of Country Music, the festival now stretches the genre significantly, encompassing a variety of string instrument and vocal performers.
MSG Acoustic Blues Trio

The current budget approaches $750,000 and while there are big name acts like Ricky Skaggs, small, local talent is well represented. Scheduling demands kept me from attending on Saturday, the biggest day of the festival, but I was well pleased with the acts I took in on Friday and Sunday. Next year I hope to be present all three days.


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Beginning to Celebrate

Some of us are lucky enough to know people that bake for us, even if they will only see you Friday and your birthday is not until Monday.

This slice does not fully demonstrate that the cake is four layers of delicousness.

Coworkers were happy to share.

The baker was generous enough to share her recipe.


Dark Chocolate Cake Mix

Raspberry All Friut ( A preserve)

2 Tubs Chocolate Icing

Fresh Raspberries

White chocolate

Bake the cake following the instuctions on the box.

Cool the cake.

Slice the cakes in half to make 4 layers total.


Put All Fruit on the fist layer.

Put Chocolate icing on second layer.

All Fruit on layer three.

Chocolate icing goes on the top and sides.

Top with fresh raspberries.

Drizzle melted white chocolate on top.

Additionally, my baker friend says you can use any flavor of All Fruit. She makes a delcious variation on this cake using orage marmalade instead of All Fruit and then decorates with canned mandarin oranges.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

They beat me to the punch!

Last year, after making the spray paint and collage picture I call Simian Manifesto an idea popped into my head.

Cross this image with the iconic Che Guevara image taken by Alberto Korda in March of 1960 and turned into a famous poster.

Give it the title Viva la EvoluciĆ³n

I never got around to cutting a beret component for my chimp stencil.
Good ideas occur to more than one individual.

So last weekend in Asheville I saw that someone else did pull the concept together.

Hope it motivates me to put it in gear and run with my idea.


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A new month and a recipe - Beef Stroganoff

One of my daughter's friends asked for the recipe, so I thought it may as well become a blog post.

My recipes tend to be procedural in nature which allows them to adapt to your particular circumstances more easily.

At the grocery store:
one package beef (read further to find which cut)
one or more cartons mushrooms
fresh rosemary
fresh garlic
onion or shallots
red wine (inexpensive table red)
Worcestershire sauce
olive oil
beef stock
carton of sour cream

Use an inexpensive cut meant to be cooked a while to get tender. Check what is on sale any particular week and use that. I have used round steak, chuck roasts and tip roasts.

Cut your beef into strips or cubes, discarding tendon and real fatty bits. A little fat is good and adds flavor.

Marinade the meat a mixture of olive oil, rosemary,garlic, Worcestershire sauce and red wine. The proportions are roughly 2-3 tablespoons olive oil, 3-4 glugs or bottle shakes of Worcestershire sauce (maybe about 1-2 teaspoons if you must measure), 1/3 cup red wine and rosemary and garlic.
Prepare the herbs by finely slicing 2 or 3 cloves of garlic, strip the leaves off a stalk or two of rosemary and with both of these on the cutting board, use a chefs knife to mince it all up fine.
Marinade at least 30 minutes, a couple of hours in the fridge is better.

Drain the marinade and put it in a pot. Add the beef stock and start it simmering.
Saute the chopped onion and/or shallots in olive oil .
When your onions or shallots are tender add them to the simmering stock.
Saute your sliced mushrooms in olive oil or butter.
Added cooked mushrooms to the simmering stock.
Cook the drained beef in small batches on fairly high heat in the frying pan. You want the meat to brown and get a slight crust. If you add too much meat at once it will bring the pan temperature down too far. Marinade will come out of the meat and it will boil rather than brown. This is not a tragedy, but is less than optimal.
Add the batches of cooked meat to your simmering broth.
When all the meat is in the pot, continue simmering until the beef is tender and the broth is reduced to almost nothing. If the beef is particularly tough you may need to add water during the cooking process to keep the meat from scorching.

When the beef is almost done, bring a pot of water to boiling and boil your preferred variety of noodles.
Drain the cooked noodles and put them back in the original pan you boiled them in with heat turned off.
Pour your beef, mushroom and onion mixture over the noodles.
Stir in a carton of sour cream.
Stir it all together. To be fancier yet add a little fresh ground pepper and/or a little fresh ground nutmeg.

Additional thoughts

White commercial mushrooms or portabella mushrooms can be used. You may mix mushroom varieties and in fact I have made a vegetarian mushroom stroganoff that was quite tasty. It was essentially the same procedure, just substituting mushroom for the beef broth and using 3 packages and varieties of mushrooms and of course deleting the beef.

When making this consider your own and the guest taste preferences and tailor your seasoning preferences to suit.