Foodie Friday: Creamy Red Lentil Moussaka

red-lentil-moussaka(Serves 4)

2 aubergines, trimmed and sliced thinly lengthways
2 tbsp olive oil
100g dried red lentils
200g carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
3 cubes frozen crushed garlic
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 x 400g tins cherry tomatoes in tomato juice
2 tbsp sun-dried tomato paste
15g fresh flat-leaf parsley, washed and roughly chopped
350g tub three cheese sauce
4 multi-seed rolls, to serve

1. Preheat the oven to 200C, fan 180C, gas 4. Put the aubergine slices on a baking tray and brush with half the olive oil. Bake for 15 minutes, until softened.
2. Meanwhile, cook the lentils in a pan of boiling water for 15 minutes, adding the carrots for the final 7 minutes of cooking time. Drain.
3. While the aubergine, lentils and carrots are cooking, heat the remaining oil in a large frying pan. Add the garlic cubes and fry gently for 5 minutes, or until softened.
4. Add the cinnamon, tinned tomatoes, tomato paste and the drained lentils and carrots to the pan with the garlic. Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in most of the chopped parsley.
5. Preheat the grill to high. Layer the lentil mix and aubergine slices in a large baking dish, finishing with a layer of aubergine slices. Spoon over the cheese sauce, then place under the grill for 5 minutes, until the top is golden. Garnish with the remaining parsley and serve with the rolls.

Four American Styles: Romantic Nationalism

American music of the later part of the nineteenth century came from Brahms and Dvorák, coloured by Liszt and Wagner. Gottschalk was among the first composers to speak with an American voice in his ‘Creole’ piano pieces and two symphonies. An American voice is still discernible through the conservatism of Chadwick’s (1895-1904) Second Symphony and Symphonic Sketches. The Sketches almost constitute a symphony; the second movement is almost a recomposition of the famous Largo from Dvorák’s New World Symphony. ‘Jubilee’ is modelled in both character and form on Dvorák’s Carnival overture.

Samuel Barber (1910-81) continued this tradition in works that look back to European traditions in their richly-lyrical character and fondness for traditional forms: yet they never sacrifice an elusive, but unmistakably American ‘feel’. Listen to his Adagio for Strings (1936), Violin Concerto (1940) and his operas Vanessa (1958) and Antony and Cleopatra (1965).

Classic CD magazine, 1995

Wordless Wednesday: Princess of the Year, by Beatrice Lorén




Beatrice Lorén

Storytime: Autumn Story

autumnnstoryYear: 1980
Author: Jill Barklem
Illustrator: Jill Barklem

It was a fine autumn. The blackberries were ripe and the nuts were ready, and the mice of Brambly Hedge were very busy. Every morning they went out into the fields to gather seeds, berries and roots, which they took back to the Store Stump and carefully stowed away for the winter ahead. The Store Stump was warm inside and smelled deliciously of bramble jelly and rising bread, and it was already nearly full of food.

Lord Woodmouse, who lived in the Old Oak Palace, was out early with his youngest daughter, Primrose.

‘Now keep close to me and don’t get lost,’ he said, as they made their way along the blackberry bushes. Primrose picked the berries nearest the ground while her father hooked the upper branches down with his walking stick.

Buy to find out more!

Music Monday: Black Eyed Peas

It’s one of those things. Little unrelated bits and pieces gathering up and demanding their own soundtrack, whether I have it in my collection or not, whether I’ve listened to it in the last five years or not. I had forgotten how much fun the BEP were, back in the day, but then, life was so much more fun then.

Month at a Glance

September 2014
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