Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Musical Food (and Drink).

Today, November 22nd …

Today is the feast day of St Cecilia, the patron saint of all things musical, which gives us an excuse to consider once again "The Taste of Music". There are plenty of ideas still unexplored.

We could simply choose random dishes with musical names, such as carta di musica, (thin flatbreads from Sicily) or timbales (“kettledrums”, that is, dishes made in a sort of bell shape, and either sweet or savoury, large or small). We look to classical cuisine for one of the many dishes named for composers, singers or operas – how about Tournedos Rossini followed by Pêche Melba for example? For a lighter meal there is a good choice of egg dishes with musical names – such as Eggs Adelina Patti, or Massenet or Manon. Unless you would prefer something like Salade Tosca? We could even have a whole menu inspired by the names of musical compositions: the Ox-Minuet, followed by Lumps of Pudding (from the Beggar’s Opera), and Bach’s Coffee Cantata.

All this music and singing is thirsty work however, so we can do no better than make a long, relaxing drink to enjoy with whatever is in the freezer. The musical society named for St Cecilia in Charleston, South Carolina developed a wonderful version to be served at their annual ball (you get extra thirsty if you dance with your music). But Beware! this Punch packs a hefty one!

St Cecilia Punch.

2 lemons, thinly sliced.
1 cup brandy
½ pineapple cut in 1 inch chunks
¾ cup sugar
1 cup green tea, chilled
½ cup rum
1 cup peach brandy
1 cup champagne
3 cups Club soda.

Combine the lemons and brandy in a small bowl and refrigerate for 24 hours.
A few hours before serving, place the pineapple in the punch bowl, add the lemon and brandy mixture, with the sugar, tea, rum, and peach brandy. Just before serving time add the champagne and soda. Serve over ice.

A previous Story for this Day …

The story for November 22nd 2005 was "Propaganda and Puddings". It has a recipe for "All British Christmas Pudding", also known as "Empire Christmas Pudding".

Tomorrow’s Story …

From Jujubes to Jelly Babies.

Quotation for the Day …

Composing a concert is like composing a menu … If you start with light pieces and play a 45-minute sonata after the interlude, it's like starting dinner with hors d'oeuvres and dessert and finishing with a Châteaubriand and vegetables. Arthur Rubinstein.

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