Monday Motorway Music™, March 20 – A Whiff Of Royalty

 

We spent a long weekend in Scotland this past weekend – throwing a few days of luxury at ourselves with a two-night stay at Culzean* Castle.

* Don’t know why, but the “z” is silent…

The aim of the weekend was to un- and rewind and with the fabulous setting, the care and gentle, warm service bestowed on us by Billy and the other staff at the castle plus a couple of walks out in the Scottish terrain – and weather! – we certainly achieved what we came for.

We started, actually, even before arriving at Culzean – by having lunch at the Brig o’Doon of Robert Burns and Tam o’ Shanter fame:

Ah, Tam! ah, Tam! thou’ll get thy fairin’!
In hell they’ll roast thee like a herrin’!
In vain thy Kate awaits thy commin’!
Kate soon will be a woefu’ woman!
Now, do thy speedy utmost, Meg,
And win the key-stane o’ the brig;
There at them thou thy tail may toss,
A running stream they dare na cross.
Excerpt from Robert Burns, Tam o’ Shanter poem

The Brig o’Doon

The castle itself was of course a lovely place to stay – and on top of everything else, the weekend guests were treated to a tour of the castle on Saturday morning. Where we learned and saw many interesting things – history, architecture, anecdotes and much more.

We learned that the other door in our bathroom actually was to a servant’s starircase – there were a handful or so of those along with anterooms etc, so that the servants of the castle’s heyday could come and go and see to their chores without unduly disturbing the family and their guests!

And there were bell calls in a lot of the rooms – in fact, in the lower floor down by the kitchen and other practical rooms, there were 31 bells all originally connected to each their room. Each bell had its own tone – so the experienced servants didn’t have to look which room was ringing down, they could hear it.

Often, the rooms had two of the small jandles for the bell call – especially if these were next to the fireplace. Only one worked – the other one was there to create symmetry. For the same reason, a door on one side of the room could well be duplicated in the other side – the second with no function other than balance.

Bonnie Scotland is indeed that – beautiful!

Since You’ve Been Gone – Journey
Real Wild Child – Iggy Pop
Leader Of The Pack – The Shangri-Las
She Bangs – Ricky Martin
Hey Good Lookin’ (Your Place Or Mine?) – Backseat Boys
I’m Gonna Getcha Good – Shania Twain

Photos by me.
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Monday Motorway Music™, March 13 – Travels Coming Up!

Saw this little scene as I came driving by it the other day – and thought “They’re certainly queueing up nicely, those cows. Wonder where they’re taking the bus to…?” 😉

And I’ll be boarding a few times of my own in the coming weeks – two work related trips and one relaxation getaway in between. Should be all lovely and good, all in Europe and no real time zone fuzziers in that agenda.

But, actually, for once this is not meant as a disclaimer for non-postings to occur. I should be around on Mondays! 🙂 In other words, if posting schedule disruptions occur, it is more likely to be a regular screw-up than anything else…

Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad – Meat Loaf
Let’s Face The Music And Dance – Diana Krall
Missing – Everything b´But The Girl
Every Song But My Own – Sinne Eeg
Since I Fell For You – Bob James/David Sanborn/Al Jarreau

Photo by me.
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Monday Motorway Music™, March 6 – Wakeee, Wakeee

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Last week, Monday was a day of work and meetings and somewhat unexpected Birthday cake – in the US. So no music while driving in the morning and no post. Sorry.

The picture above also is a “semi-desparate dive into the archives” effort – even with the travelling last week, I had no news-worthy shots in stock. Especially because the last few ones I’ve made already has been posted over there ( –>) to the right, in the Instagram feed.

Oh, the perils of productivity 😉 But I must admit that I liked the torn look of these clouds, as if the sunlight hidden behind them really was trying to claw its way through. Something we can relate to in Denmark in the throes of winter.

Which links a little to the music list of today – in order to be able to reach something like productivity on this Monday morning, a certain … energy level … in the music had to be employed.

Since You’ve Been Gone – Journey
Sheena Is  A Punk Rocker – Ramones
Livin’ On A Prayer – Bon Jovi
All Revved Up With No Place To Go – Meat Loaf
Hold The Line – Toto

Photo by me.
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Winter Wonderland On A Friday Morning

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And the obvious music to it?

Photos by me.
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Monday Motorway Music™, February 20 – Winter Flowers And A Unique Concept

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We had winter. Today we’re back at +6°C or something – and rain. Ugh 😦

But while we still had winter last week and it was frosty and sunshiny and cold and everything – we also had an afternoon or two where the sun was doing what the sun does and as you walked around in the sunshine, you knew it was winter but believed that spring would come… 🙂

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And this is of course where you get a lot of much needed comfort and confirmation that spring will, eventually, arrive – when the earliest flowers peek their heads over the snow. Erantis and snowdrops. Always so welcome.

How, do I hear people from warmer and sunnier and not halfway as dark places on this Earth ask – how do you manage up there in the dark and cold North?

dsc_7614We emply “hygge”. A quintessentially Danish concept. It involves warmth – physical as well as inter-human. And candles, books, blankets and duvets, food, drinks, whether hot or cold … Not all at once – that would likely be messy and impractical – but always at least some of these parts.

There are many ways to describe this “hygge” thing. Take your pick from the following or make up your own definition 🙂

The music of today probably do not feature high on the “hygge” lists – but, y’know – to wake up on  a Monday morning…

Links 2, 3, 4 – Rammstein
Stairway to Heaven – Heart
Get Over It – The Eagles
Guns and People – Eric Serra

Photos by me.
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Cobblestone Cooking Music XXXV – Basics: Curry

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Up here, it would have been nice with a picture of the dish, wouldn’t it? Something digitally bad happened to it, though – and the leftovers aren’t really photogenic. So, no. Instead, you’re having a picture of fenugreek seeds – hoping that I got the translation of those done right 🙂

  • Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, Mighty Quinn
  • Coldplay, Everglow

This story actually starts a little less than a year ago. Or, if you will, in the early 90s…

The 90s version of the story starts with me, in my first commercial job, starting to travel on a regular basis to the UK – more specifically, to the general Glasgow area. As a side effect to that, I soon spoke a decent Glaswegian and to this day loves that accent – I can watch Taggart just to listen to it. But more to the point, the quality and level of Chinese and Indian restaurants were – and probably still are – way better than anything in Copenhagen.

As for the more recent developments, my dear kids gave me a cooking class gift certificate last year for my birthday – at an Indian restaurant.

So – finally – today it was time for trying out curry in the kitchen.

  • New Radicals, You Get What You Give,
  • 5 Seconds Of Summer, She’s Kinda Hot

Curry base: Onions, Tomato, Ginger, Garlic – roughly 10:4:2:1. The tomatoes can easily be the peeled, canned version. Better if they’re somewhat acidic.

Peel and slice things thinly. Get the onions on the pan with oil – they need to get clear and not brown, so stir! When they’re there – add the ginger. Then the garlic, frying well and stirring until it all turns soft and nice and ever so slowly yellow, light brown.

Once things have come that far, add the tomatoes. And continue over medium heat, stirring, until the oil sort starts separating – then it’s time to similarly stir in some plain yoghurt, to the acidic side if you have a choice. And, when that is absorbed and well and ready, blend (optional, I am told).

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That altogether took maybe an hour or so. And here is a good place for a break in the procedure – you can actually make up a decent amount and freeze in portions at this stage.

For the meal itself, I got Basmati rice cooking, then cubed up some chicken breast, added salt & pepper and got that frying. For the curry, I heated up oil on a pan, added cumin, dried chili, coriander seeds and fenugreek seeds (?!), all freshly ground together in the mortar. Carom seeds are apparently essential – didn’t have any – and I forgot the turmeric. Oh well.

  • Wild Cherry, Play That Funky Music
  • R.E.M., Everybody Hurts

Put the spices on the hot pan in the oil and fry – take care not to burn! Add the curry base and heat/stir until it once again starts separating the oil. At this time, some fresh spices can go in – I added a touch of chili and some fresh ginger – garlic could have been an option, too.

  • Dire Straits, Money For Nothing
  • ZZ Top, Tush

Whenever both parts are ready, add the curry to the chicken and serve with the rice. Yum! We had a 75 cl Leffe Blonde in the refrigerator – went well with the food.

Happy cooking!

Photos by me. Fenugreek seeds photo by Sanjay Acharya.

 

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Monday Motorway Music™, February 13 – Winter And Advanced Rocketry

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Finally – someone might say unfortunately or even ¤%&/¤!!§%&%/ – we had some snow and proper winter. It’s white outside and the thermometer clocked -8°C at home this morning.

dsc_7583I believe I may have said this before – I’m the kind of guy wo likes living in a place with four distinct seasons, so I’m good with this! And it is beautiful, too. More so when the sun is shining – even if high clear skies typically also means low temperatures.

What is the rocketry stuff about, then?

Something I have also mentioned in passing before (ok, admittedly, bragged about before) is that I sometimes manage to win a game of Civilization VI. And yesterday – on the verge of it being today, actually, I squeezed my way through to my first Science Victory playing as Egypt with my Cleopatra getting her (well, our!) rockets to lift off not too much ahead of Arabia and the Aztecs 😀

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If Leaving Me Is Easy – Phil Collins
Nothing Else Matters – Metallica
Lady Marmalade – Christina Aguilera, Pink et al
– and then, due to the sad news of Al Jarreau passing away in the weekend –
Since I Fell For You – Bob JAmes / David Sanborn / Al Jarreau

Photo by me. Civ VI screenshots from iMac.
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Cobblestone Cooking Music XXXIV – Another One On The Light End

 

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I swear, we haven’t been doing this “light” thing religiously – whether since Christmas or just since post XXXIII. It just so happened…

Anyway, today ended up being light fare with a salad based on what was on the supermarket shelves and a few thoughts in my head – along with some Parma ham and (which is another story) a rosé Cremant de Bourgogne…

  • Celine Dion, Pour Que Tu M’Aimes Encore
  • Supertramp, My Kind Of Lady

The salad? Finely cut pointed cabbage – must better than the salads you get this time of year that have been driven in greenhouses in Southern Europe and transported here and there and everywhere. Diced avocado (ok, those we don’t have those anywhere near this end of the world – principles go only so far), cucumber, edamame beans and apple.

Whee! The apple is truly local – from the backyard!

  • Aretha Franklin, Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing
  • Melody Gardot, Our Love Is Easy

img_0755And then we had some leftover quite nice bread that I turned into slightly garlicy croutons – remove the crusts, cut into cubes, roast until golden and crisp in olive oil on a pan (I prefer that to in the oven – more control, I feel). Towards the end add a bit of very finely chopped garlic and a wee bit of salt.

  • Fleetwood Mac, Wish You Were Here
  • Trine Rein, Torn

Well, then – just toss the salad, adding a vinaigrette if you wish (I did it on the side as I’m sometimes the only one who wants that – and sometimes, even I don’t).

Rolled up the Parma ham – mostly because the slices were a devil to separate from the sheets in the package and still have them look as whole slices. And served.

  • Katrine Madsen, Just Friends
  • Caroline Henderson, Made In Europe

Happy cooking!

Photo by me.

 

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Monday Motorway Music™, February 6 – A Sucker For Good Puns

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Photo from a recent company dinner arrangement in a central Copenhagen restaurant 🙂

We didn’t get to taste the wine in question – actually spotted the bottles in their wine cabinets on the way out of the place. The ones we had – South American, both the white and the red – were quite decent. Even taking into account that their labels didn’t carry bad jokes….

And yes, I am really enjoying a bad (read: good!) pun. Sometimes, I am sure, to the desperation of my family as I don’t hesitate trying my own out on them. Oh well.

By @JUSTBADPUNS on Instagram

If you’re the same, try Just Bad Puns – you can find them on a variety of platforms. I tend to chuckle over their stuff on Instagram but I’m sure they’re equally funny anywhere!

A suitable example to the right of here…

And to take me to work this morning –

If Leaving Me Is Easy – Phil Collins
Back In Black – AC/DC
Million Reasons – Lady Gaga
The Air That I Breathe – k.d.lang

Photo by me.
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Tuesday Motorway Music™, January 31 – Wintery This And That

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Yep, that’s kale. And the white stuff is frost. Was sort of cold over the weekend…

dsc_7554Actually, I have had some other shots in mind out from the garden – but the ones I took at the same occasion as this one turned out not quite passing muster, so that’ll have to wait. Always a good things to have topics queing up for blogging 😉

And, yep – that is leek right there (*points left*). Actually holding up rather well in the cold though, if the frost lasts too long, it can be a devil of a job fetching some for the kitchen.

As to listening, it’s been streamlined, non-random mornings the last two days – I recently re-discovered Marillion’s fantastic “Misplaced Childhood” album.

marillion-misplaced-childhood-2013-lp-1Album track list:

Pseudo Silk Kimono
Kayleigh
Lavender
Bitter Suite
Heart of Lothian
WaterHole (Expresso Bongo)
Lords of the Backstage
Blind Curve
Childhoods End?
White Feather

 

Photo by me. Album cover via Google.
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