Tag Archives: Bluebird-Blvd

I’ve talked a lot about Indies over the last two years, but today I stumbled upon an Indie musician who  completely blew me away. She’s young, she’s an amazing musician, and her name is Kawehi. Watch this video to see an example of a cappella that will have your eyes popping out of your head!

My heartfelt thanks to Bluey at Bluebird Blvd for introducing me to Kawehi with this video clip :

All I can say is go Indies!

Meeks


Super-Secret Friday Night 5-Minute Dance Party [Partir]

I pinched this amazing video clip from Bluebird Blvd [well, I did ask first].

Bluey has this amazing talent for finding unusual, beautiful things. She’s also a master wordsmith when it comes to both poetry and prose, AND she’s a talented photographer. If you haven’t been to her blog before then please watch this video and then go over to her place for more goodies.

p.s. I forgot to mention that Bluey has been Freshly Pressed! Grats Bluebird. 🙂


Show us your weather blog carnival!

Rain kissed grass

reaching for the sun,

promise of spring.

Here in the great Southern Land, August is the last month of winter and yet when I go out into my garden I see spring in every nook and cranny. I guess the plants didn’t get the memo about the seasons. Can’t say I blame them because it feels like spring to me as well. I can hear the gentle patter of the rain on the roof yet a shaft of sunlight is shining through the clouds, right into my …eye. Damn, time to close the blinds.

In years past, August has always been the month when I come out of my winter hibernation. I squelch out into the crisp, invigorating air and begin grandiose projects that usually involve sculpting my garden with rocks, pebbles and wheelbarrow loads of rich mushroom compost.

I’m not sure what I’ll be doing in the garden this August but I know I’ll be checking the new strawberry plants I put in and I will be watching the garlic shoot up with hand-rubbing exclamations of joy. Spring, real spring,  may turn out to be a disappointment but the promise of spring is always a delight.

Hugs and thanks to Bluebird Blvd and Buried words and Bushwa for inspiring this post with their ‘show us your weather blog carnival’! As Haiku goes my effort is not great so all I can say to them, and to the shade of Basho,  is “Sumimasen deshita!”

Happy ‘show us your weather blog carnival’ wishes to everyone who participates! If you’d like to wax lyrical about your weather please follow this link. It will take you to Bluey’s carnival page. There is a link on that page to the ‘rules’. Don’t worry, they’re easy to follow!

Have a great weekend everyone. 🙂

Meeks


Dahl and rice for a Bluebird

When I began this blog seven odd months ago I had no intention of posting recipes, partly because there are so many truly amazing, dedicated blogs out there about food. Nonetheless the recipes began creeping in because, well because I love good, home-cooked food. It’s a part of who I am and this blog is me, in all my eccentricities.

So today dear friends I’m posting a recipe for da Bluebird!

My version of Dahl and Rice was inspired by an Anglo-Indian dish that my late mother-in-law used to make. I’ve fiddled with the original recipe so it’s not quite authentic but the family love it and so do family friends who cannot eat wheat products. But what is dahl?

The tiny red lentils pictured on the left are the heroes of this lentil stew with a mild, Indian flavour. Here in Australia you can find them in the dry bean section of  most supermarkets.

One of the things I love about red lentils [as distinct from their bigger, green and brown cousins] is that they do not need to be soaked before cooking. That makes dahl a fairly quick and easy meal to prepare when you don’t feel like eating a heavy meat meal. Or on those days when guests arrive out of the blue and the fridge is bare! [I keep red lentils in the pantry at all times!]

Ingredients [serves 4]

1 cup of dried red lentils

1 large brown onion chopped fine.

3 cloves of fresh garlic, mashed or chopped

2 tablespoons of tomato paste

1 generous teaspoon of ground cummin*

1/2 a teaspoon of ground tumeric*

pinch of salt

3 cups of water [or a mix of water and any left over chicken soup you may have in the freezer]

2-3 tablespoons of peanut oil [it goes better with asian style dishes than olive oil but use whatever you have].

Method

1. Sometimes the quality of the red lentils varies so I always give them a quick check and remove any dark bits of grit that may have snuck in.

2. Gently sweat the onions and the garlic in the peanut oil until they are translucent and golden brown.

3. Add the cummin and tumeric and allow to cook gently for a minute so the onion mix becomes aromatic.

4. Mix the red lentils into the onion mix and allow them to braise for about 5 minutes to soak in the flavours. Stir frequently so they don’t burn!

5. Add the tomato paste, stir and allow to braise for another minute or two. Again don’t let it all burn!

6. Add the salt and the water/soup stock. Stir, bring to the boil and then lower heat and cook covered for about 10 minutes.

7. After 10 minutes check the lentils. They should have begun to swell and absorb the liquid. Add more water if the stew is starting to look thick. Keep cooking for another 10 minutes.

8. Total cooking time will vary but allow for about 1/2 an hour. You will know the stew is done when the lentils have almost disintegrated and the stew has a rich, orange colour and is about as thick as a bolognese sauce.  Remove from the heat.

Rice and accompaniments.

Cook about 1 1/2 cups of long grain rice. [I use the absorption method because I have a heavy, cast iron pot with a good lid but you should use whatever method you are comfortable with].

While the rice is cooking heat a frypan with some more peanut oil and crack 2 eggs – freerange of course 😉 – into a bowl. Beat the eggs lightly and then pour a small quantity into the hot pan, turning the pan quickly to spread the egg into a thin pancake. [Like making crepes].

When the first side is golden brown, flip and fry the other side for a few seconds. Remove from the pan and place on a chopping board. Repeat with the rest of the beaten egg until you have a number of flat, golden brown egg pancakes piled on the chopping board.

Cut the egg pancakes into thin strips and place in a small serving bowl.

To Serve

Place a serving of rice in a bowl, top with a generous ladle full of  the dahl and then sprinkle the strips of egg pancake on top. Add more salt to taste.

Bon appetit!

* If you are new to Indian spices add less to begin and then increase the quantities once your taste buds have adjusted.

 


The Piano Guys dispel writer’s block!

I’m sitting here listening to the Piano Guys CD and waiting for inspiration to hit. I’m really enjoying the music as I love both the cello and the piano but I’m not sure whether this elegant classical style is going to get my muse out of hiding. Nonetheless I’m going to keep writing whatever pops into my head because Bluey’s advice to just ‘write anyway’ is as good a way to get past this block as any I have discovered.

So who are the Piano Guys? The public faces of this interesting artistic endeavour are Jon Schmidt [piano] and Steven Sharp Nelson [cello], however behind the scenes are highly talented gremlins who create the amazing video clips that go with the Piano Guys music. In a very real sense the concept of The Piano Guys is a fusion of sound and image, often with a delightful sense of humour thrown in for spice.

I was first introduced to the Piano Guys through their Star Wars video clip which takes the idea of duelling light sabers to a whole new level. Steven Sharp Nelson [cello] plays the musical and visual roles of both Light and Dark and at times his bow becomes a light saber! The whole thing is fun and fantastic, great music as well.

In another video clip Nelson plays all four members of a chamber music quartet. The scene is a wedding and ‘they’ are playing Pachabel’s Canon as the bride walks very slowly up the aisle. But then one of the cellists begins to fall asleep from boredom and the music changes to a very up tempo riff upon the theme. The congregation begins to dance and my foot starts a-tappin’ as well. The clip is hilarious and takes serious classical music to a whole new level.

After seeing these two video clips I was so impressed I went to the Piano Guys website to find out who these brilliant maniacs were. I’m not a ‘joiner’ but I was so impressed I joined up as one of their founders and received their CD in the mail a few weeks later. [Everything takes forever to reach Australia].

One of the most beautiful tracks on the CD is ‘Bring Him Home’ from Les Miserables. The first time I heard it I was gobsmacked because I have never really like the sung version of that piece all that much. Somehow the lyrics and the difficult melody just never quite did it for me. It always sounded strained. The voice of the cello though  is so perfect and effortless that it makes me ache with the wistful pathos of the melody. Watch and tell me what you think.

Well I don’t know about you but I am feeling a million times better. The Piano Guy’s music has soothed my frustrations and, wonder of wonders, the advice to ‘write anyway’ has actually worked. Now hopefully I’ll be able to get some work done on The Book as well. I still have to rework my ideas of how the light from twin suns would actually appear to a native of the planet but… the kettle’s on, I have lots of coffee and I’m sure I can work this out. After all, a binary system can’t be that difficult to work out… can it?


Fridge pic blog carnival

I was chatting with Bluey [from Bluebird Blvd] recently and the conversation turned to fridge doors and what we put on them – you know, fridge magnets, shopping lists, emergency numbers etc. We discovered that we both use the fridge door as an aid to memory so we thought it might be fun to swap pictures of what’s on our fridge door.

And that lead to the idea of having a ‘fridge pic blog carnival’ [Bluey’s idea] where people could post a picture of their fridge door, with maybe an explanation of what that door says about them. The fun part would be in finding out what other people think our fridge doors say about us 😀

So what does your fridge door say about you? Come join the fun and let’s give Pinterest some competition!

The first pic is a not so great picture of my fridge. The second is an even worse one of what’s on my fridge. This picture shows a part of my step-by-step bushfire plan and I think it screams ‘Paranoid Wench!’ … but I’m not taking it down because in six months time summer will be back again. 😉


Tell me about yourself award

Mary Ann from Mypenandme just left a lovely comment on my blog saying that she had nominated me for the ‘Tell me about yourself’ award. I’m rather stunned because I’m still very new to blogging in general and awards in particular. To me just logging into wordpress and seeing those bright orange numbers up there is an award in itself and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank every single person who has ever read anything I’ve ever written, or may write in the future! My special thanks though go to Mary Ann who has talents in the poetry department that I wish I had.

Now, according to the rules of these awards I have to write 7 things about myself that I haven’t revealed before and then I have to nominate 7 other bloggers for the same award. Oh and copy/paste the proudly displayed award into your own blogs! I hope you guys are paying attention because I know I messed up on the instructions when Daud [aka Lord David Prosser] nominated me for my very first award so try to get it right 😉

Ok, here we go. 7 things I haven’t yet revealed.

1. This is a biggie – I’m 59. That is just one year away from the big six-o when I officially leave the ranks of the late middle aged and become a baby oldie.

2. I’ve learned many things over the last 59 years but none of them has made me grow up, not properly. I can pretend to be dignified for about five minutes but after that I tend to revert to my true age which fluctuates between 10 and 35.

3. I used to ride motorbikes in my twenties and I still love them but I lost my nerve years ago. I blame my Kawasaki 400 which was so big I couldn’t put both feet on the ground at the same time, even on tippy toes.

4. I’m short – see 3 above.

5. When I was younger I used to wear 4″ heels to make me look 5’8″. Being short is hell!

6. I’m an absolute softie when it comes to kids and animals. I do however draw the line at spiders. Nothing with 8 legs need apply.

7. I don’t believe in god or in any religion but I do believe in goodness and I venerate life in all its forms. I justify my stance on roast chicken and spiders as hypocrisy with extenuating circumstances.

Phew, that was actually quite hard. Be warned my lovelies!

Now for the easy part – Seven bloggers I nominate for the ‘Tell me about yourself’ award :

–  Jennifer Scoullar.  Jennifer is another aussie but I’m nominating her because she can write like crazy.

The Pink Agendist.  Because this is a man with a big heart. And he can cook!

Courtney Bluebird.  Bluey is not an aussie but she could be 🙂  She is also teaching me about poetry and deserves a medal of valour for that.

Maggie O.  Maggie is funny and kind, she is also funny and loves animals. Oh and did I say she was funny? Well she is 🙂

Alex Laybourne.  Alex writes horror but it’s his understanding of human nature that is his greatest talent.

Caressingthemuse.  Stephanie is a whiz at marketing and shares her knowledge with great generosity. She also has a way with words that makes learning fun.

Sable City.  M. Edward McNally creates worlds I want to visit and has a sense of humour that hits all the right buttons with me.

I have dear friends I haven’t nominated this time around but DaudCandy, Metan, SweetMother, I love you all!


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