Friday, August 7, 2009

Summer in the City-Tomato-Basil Goat Cheese

Home again, Home again
Jiggity Jog

Margo and Mark's Magnificent Back Yard
This is summer, isn't it?

It is a day of, shall we say, mixed emotions. Today is the last day of my conducting class at University of St. Thomas. It is also the day before we head home, slowly wending our way through the Badlands toward home and our own bed, house and loved neighbors and friends. Leaving Minnesohhhhhta is bittersweet and that puts it mildly. Out my door and down a few blocks west (toward the Mississippi River) lies the campus, full of newly-loved people and dreams come true. One block south sits Mac Plymouth United Church (combination PCUSA and UCC) and many good friends in the surrounding neighborhood. Lots of good meals, wonderful music...memories of worship alive--changing and continually becoming something it had never been before. A worship goal to hold in your hands and smile at.

My view as I walk out my front door:

Not sure what I'll miss most. You guess.

My car stops automatically when it sees this sign. There's absolutely nothing I can do about it.

I return home a different person; I will never again look at music in the same way and my years' old conducting method (gotterdone, but by the seat of my pants), has been wiped away and replaced by something I'm only beginning to glimpse. A newbie art at 55. If God calls us to do the things he needs, be very sure he also calls to what heals.

Still a real movie theater two blocks down

Big breath, close this chapter. Move on to another life. I thought I'd leave you with some images of life in St. Paul. They could speak for themselves (I've put in a few notes)-- though the dog is my friend, Max and, while Max DOES indeed speak volumes, you can't hear her from there. Because I've enjoyed so much great cheese, I'll leave Summer in the City here in Minnesota with a cheese starter.

Pizza you grab and bake at home; worth the trip ------the very best of the take homes.

Oh, are we cooking? Ok...................I remember now.
The recipe for today is a quickly managed cracker or sliced baguette topping to share with someone you love or to take as a house gift if you're going to dinner. Buy an inexpensive ramekin, fill it with the cheese and wrap it up with saran and a tiny bow. This cheese will keep a day or two (longer if you leave out the tomato until right before serving). I would hug a Sancerre with this cheese. While I am a red wino, my very favorite wine in the world is probably a

Tuesday night bagpipe practice at Macalester College

Sancerre, which is a sweet (not literally) Sauvignon Blanc from the north side of the Loire. Get your map out. The smoothest thing about a Sancerre may very well be its price. If you want a top level red wine, you are going to pay dearly. However, a GREAT, aromatic and versatile, lipsmacking Sancerre will set you back only $22-$27. You can buy very drinkable Sauvignon Blancs for much less.

Some of the great stuff from St. Paul Cheese and Breadsmith

While the cheese (including from the Farmer's Market) has been topnotch, I am still fond of creating something on my own. I am in the process of finding out more about making goat's cheese myself, but in the meantime, why not make this starter for late summer? It is also a good omelette filling or sandwich spread. Have a go; it takes..........oh......5 minutes??

serve on crackers or toasted, sliced baguette

4 oz goat's cheese at room temperature
4 oz ricotta cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced finely
1 medium tomato, seeded, juiced*, and minced
2T fresh basil chiffonade (shredded, "ragged" in the French)
1/4 t Freshly-ground mixed pepper
1 t grated lemon rind

Do this in the way you like best. Either put the whole kit and caboodle in the food processor and let it have its way with the cheese or put it in a bowl and mix the love of life into it by hand. Either way, you could make a meal on this if you had to. Dreaming cooks might add a little milk and use this for a veggie dip.

*Cut tomato in half. Take each half and, with one hand, squeeze it well over a bowl to extract juice and seeds.

Bye, Max

Lifelong thanks to teachers Angie Broeker (Head of Choral Activities) and David Jenkins (Liturgical Director)----------
I've sung so many new songs I can't name them all; now you try--


  1. Alyce,

    So glad you're coming home. Could you please tell me what the "Yellow" ingredient is 2T of what? The yellow lettering doesn't show up on my screen.

  2. The first is basil chiffonade and the other is grated lemon;I don't know why they're not visible. Weird; I'm going to try to edit out that color! Hugs, Alyce


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