Monday, February 26, 2007

Rhythmic Memories

I was working on some of the photos from Arizona and decided to include this as it reminded of the childhood farmers where I grew up in the Midwest. It also triggered memories of my growing up years when there would be family gatherings on my father's side. Usually it involved music with mandolins, fiddles, guitars and even pipes. This reflected the strong Scotch/Irish heritage on both sides. They would play old ballads, bluegrass, and country (one of the few music styles I rarely like). Some of my uncles were into the blues and boogie woogie also. Finally, I had Motown, hip hop, soul and classical influences. I've also gone to clubs since college and found many other influences. Really there are very few forms of music I don't enjoy. Some of my siblings and I still play musical instruments. For me, music and rhythm is as natural as breathing.

I've been trying to eat better, but during the week, I'm doing simple meals. I stopped and picked up a rotisserie chicken from a local market, but decided to make a Red Potato Colcannon that I adapted from Eating Well. I created a couple of short cuts and added a touch to make it my own.

Red Potato Colcannon

1 lb small to medium potatoes, scrubbed and cut in half
1 teaspoon olive oil, plus olive oil spray
1/2 cup thinly sliced onion
6 cups of thinly sliced cabbage (use a green cabbage and carrot bagged coleslaw mix to save time)
1 cup low-fat milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 tablespoon creme fraiche

1. Place potatoes in water and bring to boil in a Dutch oven. Cook until fork tender. Drain and transfer to a large bowl and cover to keep warm.
2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add cabbage and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage begins to brown, about 5 minutes.
3. Reduce heat to low. Stir in milk, salt and white pepper; cover and cook until the cabbage is tender, about 8 minutes. Add the cabbage mixture to the potatoes. Place creme fraiche on top and then mash with a potato masher to desired consistency.

I added the creme fraiche because it adds a rich mouth feel.

As I was looking at the picture and thinking of the bluegrass, I also thought of last night's Oscars when I saw George Clooney. He did a movie several years ago, "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" There is a video from the movie, "Man of Constant Sorrows", performed by the "Soggy Bottom Boys". It is hilarious and after yesterday, I needed the laugh:

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