Sol, Dhoop, Sun, Ilios, Naytheet, Ah Kin, Saule, Tonatiuh, Qurax, Gunes, Grian, Surje, Ir, Samse
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Diary and Notes
"What is this nonsense?" You may well ask. Have I suddenly learnt a new and strangely piscine language.
"Aha," you may say, "Perhaps it was fish for dinner today and you are learning to communicate with them, that must be the answer."
Nope, guess again.
"Is it a music thing, have you gone all 'bangra' on us?"
How very knowledgeable of you. You must be referring to the bangra group Dhoop. You are close in that it is a music reference, one more try.
"Are they some of the lyrics from the finest prog-rock album of all time, Tales from Topographic Oceans by the band Yes? A tour de force of lyrical and musical genius."
So why is today's title some very odd sounding words from a 1974 concept album based on the four part Hindu Shastric scriptures? Because today's meal was in many ways like this fine piece of musical craftsmanship. A great classic from a bygone age. I should perhaps have saved today's delight for 70's week but I was in the mood for a blast from the past and that's what I made.
The ingredients for stuffed peppers would have been on the shopping list of almost every 70's housewife. (Especially in 1974, as the pepper had just been invented by James Pepper of Clevedon and were all the rage amongst the chattering classes.) Though the 70's version would have been a little blander and the filling would have been at least 90% rice. But just like the great Jon Anderson I didn't want to do what everybody else was doing and went way out there with a feast of delicious sweet peppers, stuffed with a very Italian style meat sauce and served with some pasta and Parmesan. Fantastic. If Jon ever comes for dinner, I'll offer him this (though I imagine he's a vegetarian). Now then, what shall we listen to while we eat? I know, "Dawn of light lying between a silence and sold sources, chased amid fusions..."
A very excellent piece of raspberry cake from Cron and Lanz. The photo is an old one, but when the photo was taken I had something else, so came back today and had a piece. It was yumpcious.
Spaghetti with Grated Parmesan, Butter and Parsley,
Olive Oil, Fennel Seeds, Chilli Flakes, Onions, Garlic, Carrot, Celery, Minced Steak, Peppery Salami, Nutmeg, Tomato Puree, Tomato Ketchup, Canned Tomatoes, Capers, Black Pepper, Oregano, Peppers.
Make the sauce well in advance. The longer and slower you cook it the better it will be. If you don't have at least two hours to let it simmer away, have something else for dinner. If you do have, this should just be enough time to listen to the whole of TFTO (as Yes fans call it) while you are waiting.
Warm the olive oil in a large pan and add a few fennel seeds and chilli flakes (not much chilli it's not supposed to be hot).
Finely dice the onion and celery. Grate the carrot and mince the garlic. Cook in the flavoured olive oil until the onion is soft (almost everything I cook begins similar to this, have you noticed?) Add the minced steak. Keep the steak moving in the pan so as to allow it to brown evenly. Chop the salami into small chunks and add to the pan. Squirt in a dollop of ketchup, a can of tomatoes, some tomato puree, some nutmeg, loads of black pepper and some dried oregano. Mix and add just enough water to make a thick sauce. Turn the heat down low and go and check for other Yes classics in your vinyl collection.
When the sauce is nicely thickened (and has been gently simmering for at least two hours), turn the oven on quite high and prepare the peppers. Firstly, chop the tops off (and keep these for lids) and scoop out any white pith and seeds. Next, check to see how stable they are when you stand them up. If they wobble, slice off a little of the bottom to make them flat. Don't take too much off and cut through the bottom though, as then your sauce will leak out. Rub the outside of the peppers with a little olive oil. Fill each with the meat sauce, place in an oven-proof dish, put the lids back on the peppers and bake until the skin starts to blister.