Tag Archives: Elvis Live in Las Vegas

APRON SEASON

Winter is coming!

Never such a simple sentence became so popular and cool. It’s threatening, it works as a warning, and at the end of the day, it’s a fact, an axiom.

I’m more a mid-season person, passionate for Spring and Fall, but even though I’m living in Barcelona, where climate is milder than inland and we don’t experience rough super low temperatures nor snow on regular basis, it’s true we share this same extreme change of season which always catches you by surprise no matter how insistently you’ve been warned about. You just can’t believe temperature is dropping 10ºC overnight, when two day ago you were melting and sweating the shit out of you due to humidity and warm weather. But it happens, and now I’m in front of my computer wearing a ragged jumper, and wrapped in one of these couch blankets, because the house is actually cold, and temperature on the street is finally lower.

Weather changes and the time Daylight saving time is over. Two key factors for rearranging habits only exclusive for Summer. Outdoors activities remain minimum and now I have to focus on what I want to do for these next 7 months.

And this is the perfect moment for giving my last passion carte blanche. Yeah, friends! The season of cooking and experimenting has officially started with me putting on my Swedish apron.

On one hand I’ve started perfectioning all these soup spoon dishes, including different soups and creams, and also, and quite important in my veggie diet, all these legume based dishes. Warm and tasty meals to balance the fresh salads. Cold weather requires solid meals to strengthen and improve our body defenses.

Thus I started with this veggie bean stew which I like to name as Eugenio’s beans, because I’ve never been a die hard fan of this legume, till he prepared this wonderful stew last winter, concerned of my veggie condition.

It is really easy to prepare, even though, as with most stews, it’s a fact that the slower and longer it takes to cook, the better it tastes. Red and green pepper, carrots and garlic, parsley, cayenne and other spices, vegetable soup, olive oil and the beans are required.

As Halloween is getting closer and unfortunately I won’t have my planned disguise ready (I’ll keep the project on hold till Carnival time probably), I was also thinking of skeleton shaped cookies or similar stuff. But there was a consideration I forgot, as simple as the fact I can’t bake cookies yet. Serious, I’ve tried carrot cake and brownies, but bakery is not my specialty yet, probably because I have this idea in mind that you need a large working space for mixing and needing the necessary dough, and the kitchens I’ve been dealing with, are quite narrow and uncomfortable for such procedures.

Once I thought of this, my Halloween plans were reduced to none, well to attend a gig, and perhaps do this Trick or Treat candy exchange thing. Shit! I used to have a beautiful with bag for candies, my cool hat, the perfect tees with skulls for the event, and once I had this bat wing hairband which looked super cool. I hate to realize about how many stuff I was thrown away in the name of “space and order”… MY ASS!

Anyway, let’s forget about crap and let’s focus on me being a super strong headed girl who is determined to learn how to prepare and bake cookies.

First thing I did is one of the typical things I always do, I love anticipating and many times I do it wrong, but as soon as I saw this human cookie cutter at a Tiger Store, I had to have it. I’ve seen moulds and cutters of Star Wars, but I add them to my wishlist, for the future and if I finally enjoying baking cookies.

My friend Arantza is the specialist in bakery, she’s completely devoted to muffins, the so-called cupcakes, cookies, cakes, plumcakes, and bread. Man, her Guinness bread and cupcakes are RAD! She’s also a top Internet tracker, as me, and is able to find all kind of recipes and kitchen utensils and gadgets. Of course you can imagine I thought of her immediately to have one of these quick approach on the subject, so she could send me a cookie recipe for dummies like me. I reconsidered about the flat shape cookies and said to myself I had to start in the humblest and easiest way. There’s plenty of time to improve and be cool.

Thus I had this baking session, having fun with the making of the dough, mixing flour, different kinds of sugar, chocolate pears, eggs, butter…to get this hard to handle stuff, which would turn into a cookie after 20 minutes. For some time I had my doubts, thinking I was doing something wrong, but I wasn’t, everything was under control. Sometimes I feel marveled at such simple things, a disgusting looking piece of dough becoming nice chocolate chip cookies. Love it!

And here’s the result of my first homemade cookies.

Before I forget, I feel the need to comment that the preparation of these treats was done under the influence of the King’s Elvis Live In Las Vegas, thus I’d like to call them Elvis in Vegas cookies. I know, I’m a freak, but I’m pretty sure I’ve made some of you smile, huh?

I tried a couple of them last night but they were still a bit warm and too soft, but I’ve had a couple of them for breakfast and they tasted great. I’m not joking, I know the shape is not perfect, and I’ll work on that, but the most important things, the taste and texture, are outstanding, and I’m very proud of myself, of course.

I really don’t know whether passion for cooking comes together with age, or it’s also my veggie condition which has inspired me in being more creative regarding meals, the truth is that I don’t feel lazy about cooking any longer, and I enjoy being so focused on something which requires my attention in such a way, because I’m usually messy doing 5 things at the same time, but with cooking I’m quite disciplined, and I like it.

What about you, any special recipes for this season you might like to share? I’m all ears and eyes.

 

AND MUSIC DIDN’T GIVE ME UP LAST WEEK

Last week was a rough one. I started it with a rough cold, feeling quite dazed, with heavy migraine and super low spirited, some unpleasant stuff brought out, and the typical lame attitude caused by the sickness itself. To sum up, crap. Still there were some activities which ended up improving the week, so finally it wasn’t so terrible.

I won a ticket for the show of Lee Fields & The Expressions on Tuesday. I can’t recall whether I already talked about his previous show, more or less one year ago, but I know it was worth attending despite my flu.

Considering the show had been barely advertised and was programmed on Tuesday, and also that Fields had been playing at Azkena Rock Festival 4 days earlier, the venue sold an important number of tickets. Quite a surprise.

There weren’t any supporters and the show extended to approx 75 minutes, focusing on My World and his last studio album Faithful Man. Thus we could dance with Ladies, Money is King, I Still Got It, or You’re the Kind of Girl, among others. The Expressions sounded pretty solid and Mr. Fields, aka The Little Mockingbird, seemed to be enjoying lots, interacting with people and cheering us all. at least he made me forget about my cold for a while.

June the 21st is the official date to celebrate the Fête de la Musique, or the World Music Day. Nowadays, everyday is a Day Of, which is an exhausting nonsense, yet I always self-treat with some candy, when music is commemorated.

Glad to say this year’s was a very nice day, and I was starting to feel much better and stronger. On Wednesday I had decided to repeat the Alejandro Escovedo experience, this time in electric, after the great show I enjoyed in October last year, and some attendance confirmation received from some friends, thus I had purchased the tickets and I had a plan set for the evening. Meeting some friends for pre-show beers and the gig itself. Cool.

Regarding the purchase of something musical, thanks to Xavi and Pili, the Elvis Live in Las Vegas box set was waiting for me at the best record store in town, Revolver, at an outrageous cheap price. This set is out of print nowadays, thus the cheapest you can find it is on Ebay from 70USD…I cost me less than half its  cheapest price. This purchase was what we call an EPIC WIN. You might not understand it, but I already had this box in my hands years ago, even though it wasn’t of my property it was kind of mind, and I used to love it, thus it had to be mind at be at the Hellhouse sooner or later. If you are a diehard fan of The King, this is a MUST have.

The San Antonio songwriter has recently released Big Station, and is touring Europe with his band The Sensitives these weeks, introducing his last studio album. I had barely listened to, but the confirmation of Escovedo’s performance playing in electric was attractive enough as to finally attend the show, even though only 9 months have passed since his last visit in October. I think touring so early was a mistake and not many people moved their asses to La[2] to attend the show. It was also a pity that those who were there, didn’t welcome Escovedo and his band too enthusiastically.

Escovedo commented very excited, after being told his fella Chuck Prophet had been playing at the same venue few  weeks ago, that most likely, they’d be back together next year.  Sure that show will be packed, as Prophet is quite popular here.

The artist based his set list on his last 3 albums, swopping from electric to acoustic guitar. Unfortunately one of the acoustic strings broke, and they had to alter the order of the songs a bit.

Most people agreed the previous show in acoustic had been much more intense and emotional, and guess they’re right, as I commented in the post related, the ability this guy has to transmit is very intense and has a great bunch of beautiful songs, plus lyrics, have nothing to envy to artists such as Lucinda Williams or Steve Earle, just to mention a couple. Bottom of the World, Sensitive Boys, the classic Always A Friend, or the immense San Antonio Rain come to my mind quick, and I’m having goose bumps while writing this.

Nevertheless I was happily impressed with his electric side. The show started with the decadent Sally Was A Cop, and I felt moved back to the 70’s, with a groove touch, to go on with the rockin’ Man of the World, confirming Alejandro is in perfect condition as to keep on rockin’ for long time.

It was great to see the sensitive side on one hand, followed by a punk rockin’ attitude right after. Escovedo has lived much, I’m pretty sure he could be a great story teller, and recreate the wildest NY scene in first person. Someone who used to hang out with the godfathers of punk, and nowadays is invited to share the stage with great artists such as Springsteen, and others closer to us, like Jesse Malin and D-Generation, being trated with the utmost respect, can’t be but praised.

From top to bottom, the show was net and excellent, and after recovering his classics Party People, Always a Friend or Castanets, his last encore consisted on two covers, but what covers, friends! First it was time to play Like a Hurricane and then Beast of Bourbon to end the show. What can I say? It was awesome!

Some time ago, I was judged by a person hidden behind a nickname at a music forum for interacting lots with musicians, both on and offstage. I think such issue deserves a post itself, and would love to talk about it, and my own personal experiences, mostly positive.

Anyway, when Alejandro Escovedo left the backstage to greet those who were waiting for him for signing autographs, take pictures or whatever, Elena and I went straight to him to take a picture, the two of us together so we wouldn’t bother him much. He seemed delighted with the result of the show, despite the poor attendance. The funniest thing was that, I ended up talking to him, as usual, and he nicely admitted to remember me from the previous show. it’s nice to find so easy to access artists, you can share impressions with and spend some time talking to. Perhaps it’s the same shit night afer night, but at the end of the day, as an established musician, you owe your situation to your fans, and sharing 15 minutes of the day with them it’s a bearable effort, I think.

The day of the music was actually a great celebration to me, with my new Elvis box, enjoying a wonderful show, and being surrounded by nice people, perhaps not as close as my best friends, but also devoted to music, which, as you can see, can gather people, awake feelings, and help you to deal with inner conflicts. When thinking of music and its influence in my life, a common sentence comes to mind

Let the Music Do the Talking