Audio Recording Services
Here we share whatever happens to strike our fancy. You may find jokes or recipes or ?
Reason #25: Instead of cleaning your house, you could be learning to play the harp.
- "30 Reasons to Stop Cleaning," Family Circle, April 1, 2004
"If I go to heaven, will I hafta take harp lessons?"
- Jeffy, in the Family Circus cartoon of 9/21/2001
What do you get when you drop a piano down a mine shaft? A flat miner (Ab minor)
Old Celts never die, they just have harp failure.
Energizer Bunny Arrested! Charged with Battery!
Everything will perish save love and music. - Scots Gaelic proverb
Far Side cartoon: "Welcome to Heaven, here's your harp." "Welcome to Hell, here's your accordian."
Adapted: "Welcome to Hell, here's your harp." "Welcome to Heaven, here's your tuning key."
Food for Thought
Practice doesn't make perfect, nor is it supposed to. Practice is about increasing your repertoire of ways to recover from your mistakes.
- source unknown
There is nothing difficult, only new, unaccustomed things.
- Carlos Salzedo
Don't play till you get it right; play till you can't get it wrong.
- Christina Capecchi quoting her grandfather, Paul L. Capecchi, quoting his high school tuba teacher (Making Music magazine, September/October 2006, p. 5)
A Story from China
There once were two men who were both very good friends and very talented. The first man was a gifted harpist who could improvise beautiful melodies. The other man was a gifted listener who interpreted his friend's music. "I can hear the wind over the mountain," he would say, or, "There is the music of the waves lapping against the shore," or, "I can hear the birds beginning to sing at dawn in nesting-time." But this man, the listener, fell ill and died. The harpist was devastated. No one understood what he was trying to express through the strings of his harp as his friend had. In his grief, he took out his knife and cut all the strings of his harp and never played again. In that part of China, to this day, when they speak of someone who is in despair, they say that he has cut his harp strings.
- heard by Barra Jacob-McDowell at the Pennsylvania Storytelling Conference in 1995
Recipes - listed alphabetically
Cocoa Pear Tea Bread- adapted from a recipe in the Palo Alto Weekly newspaper
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water, optional
1 tablespoon vanilla
||2 1/2 cups flour
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, optional
1 teaspoon ground allspice, optional
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup raisins, optional
1 cup chopped walnuts, optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two loaf pans (one 9x5 and one 5x3 or two 9x5). Peel, core and grate pears, measuring 2 cups. In a bowl, cream together eggs, butter, sugar, water and vanilla until light and fluffy. Mix flour, cocoa, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice and salt.
Stir the creamed mixture into the dry mixture, just until ingredients are mixed. Stir in pears, raisins and walnuts. Pour mixture into prepared pans. Bake for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean. (Check small pan after 45 minutes.) Cool breads for 10 minutes in the pans on a wire rack. Remove breads from pans and finish cooling on wire rack.
Note: I usually omit all optional ingredients.
Kiwi Tea Cake- from Sunset Magazine
|About 6 medium-size (about 1 1/2 lb.) firm-ripe kiwi fruit
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1 large egg
1/2 cup salad oil
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
||1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup powdered sugar
6 to 8 teaspoons lemon juice
With a knife, pare skin from kiwi fruit. If you want fruit slices to use as garnish later, cut 4 or 5 rounds (about 1/4 inch thick) from center of 1 kiwi fruit. Enclose in plastic wrap and chill up to 1 day.
Chop enough remaining fruit to make 1 1/2 cups; reserve extra fruit to eat. Put chopped fruit in a 2- to 3-quart pan, add granulated sugar and lemon peel. Bring to a boil on high heat, stirring; cook until fruit turns a paler green color. Let cool.
In a large bowl, beat eggs and oil until well mixed. Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add baking soda to cooked kiwi and stir until small bubbles form, then pour into egg mixture. Add flour mixture and stir until dry
Koulourakia- a Greek Easter cookie
|1 dozen eggs
1 lb. butter
3 1/2 cups sugar
||4 Tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 lbs. flour (approx.)
Beat eggs and sugar well. Add soft butter and beat again. Add vanilla, then add a little flour mixed with baking powder. Keep adding flour gradually while mixing by hand until dough is not sticky but soft. Knead a few minutes. Pinch small pieces of dough and shape. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 350 F until light brown, about 15-20 minutes.
To shape: Make a snake 1/4-1/2" around and 8" long, fold in half and twist 3 times.
Makes 6 dozen or more.
Mango Gingersnaps - from Rao Canham in the San Jose Mercury News
|1 large ripe mango, peeled, cut from the pit and chopped
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
||2 1/2 cups sugar, divided use
2 large eggs
3 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a food processor, puree mango until smooth.
In a small saucepan, combine 3/4 cup mango puree, ginger, cinnamon and cloves. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently so mango does not scorch on bottom of pan, for 5 minutes, or until thickened. Remove from heat and let cool.
In a medium bowl, cream butter and 2 cups sugar until light and fluffy. Beat eggs, one at a time, into butter mixture. In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda and salt. Fold half of flour mixture into batter. Stir in mango mixture, then fold in remaining flour. Scoop dough into walnut-sized balls and roll individually in remaining sugar. Place 2 inches apart on prepared pan and flatten slightly with prongs of fork. Bake 10 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before transferring from pan to wire racks.
Notes: I usually mash the mango (rather than puree) to add a little texture. Also, I don't usually flatten the cookies with a fork. This leaves them with a rounded top and may increase cooking time.
Makes 3-5 dozen.
Peppernuts- an old family recipe from Germany
|2 1/2 cups sugar
3 cups brown karo syrup
1 1/2 cups shortening
1 teaspoon soda dissolved in 1/4 cup hot water
2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
||1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 cups flour
Mix Thoroughly. Chill. Make into rolls 1/2-inch thick. Cut into squares or "pillows". Or place rolls into freezer until firm, then slice into circles like carrot pennies. Bake at 350 F until lightly brown, 18-20 minutes.