Archive for June, 2006

Arif Mardin

Tuesday, June 27th, 2006

There are tons of news stories and obits floating around about Arif Mardin’s death, and many of them quote Daryl Hall’s written statement calling him a “father figure.’

So, in a way, Daryl Hall has now lost a father to cancer, too.

I remember as a kid reading the liner notes on my new music (cassettes, as previously admitted in this space), and running across Mardin’s name frequently. That probably has a lot to do with his formative work with Hall & Oates (the Abandoned Luncheonette album is really the beginning of their sound as it came to be known and several of that album’s songs are among my favorites), but includes quite a few other artists whose work I would have owned back then, too (and the Boy Meets Girl album Reel Life with its infectious pop songwriting — songs like “Waiting For a Star to Fall” — was particularly influential on this aspiring then-teenaged songwriter).

Mardin certainly made his mark on music history.

No bird feeders at the pawn shop

Monday, June 26th, 2006

Karsten went by the nearest pawn shop today to check for our bird feeders, but they weren’t there. I don’t know if we’ll bother checking too many others — there are A LOT of them, and it’s kind of depressing.

Oh well.

Bird feeders stolen AGAIN - email to our neighbors

Sunday, June 25th, 2006

Germantown & Salemtown friends,

After losing several bird feeders to theft a few months ago and taking elaborate measures to secure what remained, this morning Karsten and I discovered our bird feeder pole and remaining feeders were gone. Not only gone, but the thief or thieves apparently got frustrated trying to remove them intact and bent the pole back and forth to break it off near the ground.

And actually, we were forewarned: yesterday we found that a small feeder had been stolen from the south side of the house, and the handle on one of the secured feeders in the front yard was twisted, as if someone had tried to break it off from the pole.

Not only are we frustrated at the property loss (the last theft included about $60 worth of feeders — this time, the dollar value is more like $150), but it’s upsetting on a much more significant level: the feeders were a memorial of sorts to my father, who always loved feeding the birds in his own yard.

Anyway, I filed a police report, and I’m letting you all know so you can be aware of the trend. You probably already know to secure your possessions, but here’s a disappointing reminder to be extra cautious.

Take care and be safe,

- Kate O’ at [home address]

Oregon, Hall & Oates, and “Almost Famous”

Sunday, June 18th, 2006

This article in the Oregonian made me smile; it’s like a Hall-and-Oates-flavored version of “Almost Famous.”

I was 9 years old when the H2O album came out, and a girl in my fifth grade class (I sure wish I could remember her name) introduced me to the album. I’d decided that I wanted to give them a try, too. It was the first cassette (yes, cassette) I bought at full price and with my own money. Definitely a risk, but as soon as I got it home and listened to it all the way through several times, I knew I was hooked.

20-some years later, I’m still a fan. I haven’t been to see them in concert in maybe five years, but I’ve seen them several times, beginning with their Ooh Yeah! tour in 1988 (I was 15, just like the author of the article in the Oregonian was when he saw his first H&O concert). They are wonderful performers, Hall is an incredible singer, they have had some of the most talented musicians accompany them (G.E. Smith, Charlie DeChant, Tom “T-Bone” Wolk, etc), and crowds just love them all.

And, like the author, my tastes have broadened considerably over the years, and although I have a more educated ear listening to music now than ever before, their music still impresses me. My songwriting has doubtlessly been shaped irreversibly by the craft of their lyrics and the hookiness of their melodies. And yes, they’re still my favorite act.

Last night’s dinner

Tuesday, June 6th, 2006

My cilantro plants were sky-high, so I was curious to try this cilantro pesto recipe stashed away in my recipe files. I made it last night, and Karsten said he felt like he was eating at a fancy restaurant in Monaco. Not sure about that, but it is pretty tasty.

Fusilli With Cilantro Pesto


2 pints cherry tomatoes
4 bunches fresh cilantro leaves — loosely packed
1 pound pine nuts — toasted (1/2 pound per usage)
½ cup lime juice — (1/4 cup per usage)
⅓ cup olive oil
freshly grated lime zest
salt and pepper — to taste
2 pounds fusilli


Slice the cherry tomatoes in half and place cut side up on an oiled baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and roast in a 350˚ oven for about 45 minutes or until they start to brown. Check them every 15 minutes or so to make sure they are not sticking to the pan (shake pan to eliminate sticking).

In a blender, purée the cilantro, half of the toasted pine nuts, and half of the lime juice. Taking the top of the blender, slowly drizzle in the olive oil while the machine is running until desired consistency is reached. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

In a pot of boiling salted water, cook fusilli until tender.

Drain pasta and toss with pesto, remaining pine nuts and lime, lime zest, roasted tomatoes and salt and pepper to taste.

Preparation notes:
I substituted grape tomatoes for cherry tomatoes, and gnocchi for fusilli and was excellent. Served dusted with chili powder and parmesan cheese.

Printed from A Cook’s Books — Recipe management for Macintosh