Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sacred Music and Sunday Dinner

Music is always a big part of my Sundays.  Classical Sacred music is always a good choice for Sundays, but also I like some gospel-both country and black spiritual styles.  Sometimes I play old church hymns on my own piano.  Today I thought for something different I would share this vidoeo of Valentina Lisitsa playing Ave Maria with my Sunday dinner of Roasted Quail and Grapes.

I discovered Valentina on You Tube.  She was born in Ukraine and emigrated to the US.  In the middle of a lackluster career her husband posted some videos of her playing to You Tube-and they went viral.  She now has a recording contract and plays the great concert halls around the world to sold out crowds.  And I, like so many others, am totally enchanted with her.  She plays with such passion and urgency.

She also usually plays a Bosendorfer rather than the more expected Steinway-she has said that she gats a more "rumbling bass" out of the Bosendorfer.  I play the considerably more modest Wurlitzer in the second picture and am lucky to get something remotely musical out of it-I keep trying anyway. 

Roasted Quail and Grapes with Roasted Pumpkin
4 large quail-4 to 5 ounces each
4 cloves of garlic
4 rosemary sprigs
4 bay leaves
1 orange, quartered
Salt and Pepper
2 Tablespoons of olive oil
1 celery stalk, cut into sticks
1 carrot, cut into sticks
1 small onion quartered
1 cup grape juice
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1/2 pound red seedless grapes, cut into four clusters
1/2 pound green seedless grapes, cut into four clusters

Rub the birds with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, salt and pepper the birds and the cavities.  Stuff the bird's cavities with a clove of garlic, a sprig of rosemary, a bay leaf, and an orange quarter.  Truss the legs.

Let the seasoned birds rest at least 1 hour, or overnight in the refrigerator.  Let the birds return to room temperature before roasting.

In a roasting pan just large enough to hold the birds, place the celery, carrot, and onion, toss with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, season with salt and pepper.  Roast the vegetables for 15 minutes in a pre-heated 425 degree oven.

Place the quail, breast side down on the vegetables and return to the oven for 15 minutes, add the grape juice and vinegar, return to the oven and roast for 15 minutes.

Turn the birds breast side up, add the grape clusters and baste with the juices; return the birds to the oven for 15 more minutes, basting the the birds every 5 minutes with the juices.

Serve the birds with some of the roasted vegetables, a slice of roasted pumpkin,and the pan juices.

Roasted Pumpkin

1 small pie pumpkins
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 tablespoons brown sugar
salt and pepper

Cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds.

Place the pumpkin on a rimmed baking sheet, cut side down.  Add 1/2 cup water to the baking sheet and place the pumpkin in a preheated 425 degree oven for 1/2 hour.

Turn the pumpkin cut side up and brush the surface with the melted butter, sprinkle the brown sugar across the surface.  Season with salt and pepper and return to the oven until the pumpkin is totally soft and the edges are caramelised-about 15 minutes.

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