Sunday, January 30, 2011

Cooking up culture

I have now reached the recognizable operas in the Complete Mozart Edition and the number of disks to be fed into The Machine has now dwindled to almost manageable proportions.  The last part of “Idomeneo” is now being lodged firmly in the innards and we are on the home stretch with only another 16 disks to be loaded.

I think that what I now need is a good, but relatively simple but comprehensive guide to Mozart’s music so that I can meander my way through melody after melody with little tit bits of information about the notes to keep me going.  There are some aspects of Mozart’s prolific output where some sort of route through, for example, the violin sonatas would be greatly appreciated.

I have been listening to a whole parade of German Marches that Mozart wrote.  They are very jolly and to me they sound, to put it mildly, fairly slight.  It was after I had listened to about twenty of them that I turned to Beethoven for something a little more substantial and less insanely tuneful!

Tonight is the night of The Perfect Bolognase – or it would have been if I could have found the recipe that Stewart sent me.

I had, of course copied it into The Machine, but I couldn’t remember what I had called the file.  I had written the ingredients on a memo on my phone so I knew what I had to buy, but I had not included the method.

Remembering that the recipe was Guardian Newspaper orientated I googled that and found a couple of recipes the gist of which I followed.

I tend to be rather free and easy with quantities, and I am not sure that my brain can cope with instructions which call for a “pinch” of anything.  I have used all the meat; all the chicken livers; half a bottle of wine; generous amounts of milk; pepper in the way that I like it; a slew of salt; more wine; all the contents of the tin of tomatoes – but no garlic!

It is bubbling away merrily and looks rich and edible.  It will be eaten at the end of the game of Barça and Hercules and the sauce will be soaked up by mini penne rather than spaghetti.  I for one will be having cheese with my meal, though this will be Lidl’s defrosted and crumbled Cheddar rather than the more traditional Italian.

Well, I think that the meal was excellent.  The meat was tender and rich and the sauce subtle without being innocuous.  It wasn’t runny and the Cheddar added a more than usually tasty overtone.  If you sense that I am making a case for myself then you would be right.  Toni was unimpressed finding it too dry and lacking the right amount of tomato.  I think I will salvage what is left of the enormous amount I made and re-treat it in a more Catalan way!

It looks as though the festivities planned for tomorrow are not going to take place and I am going to be cheated of my chance to eat the dirty onions that is the basis of the whole concept of colçets.  And it may rain.

On the bright side I have now loaded the complete works of Mozart on the machine and it is at this very point that the earphone socket has taken to not working.

Sometimes irony is very irritating.

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