Concert Broadcast TONIGHT and a Recipe to Enjoy from Home

Dear friends,

I hope you are all staying well, weathering the Covid 19 storm, and not climbing the walls too much during quarantine (as Finnegan is, in the photo above).

The Momenta Quartet is all dispersed and “sheltering in place” in our respective locations.

The kind of music we play does not lend itself that well to “Zoom” concerts, and perhaps there is enough of that activity in the airwaves these days anyway. But, if you would like to hear Momenta on-line, we will be a part of two very special broadcasts.

The first of these will happen TONIGHT, Thursday, April 23 at 6:30pm EST through the Americas Society website. They are doing a special feature on music from Bolivia and we are among the performers. I’ll definitely be tuning in!:

Thursday April 23, 6:30pm EST:
Music of the Americas “Recuerdos: Bolivian Celebration”, featuring archival footage of past performances of Bolivian works. 

And we will remind you closer to the date, but in case your schedules are filling up (that was meant to be a joke – but actually, sometimes I do get really busy on Zoom…), there will be a broadcast of an absolutely beautiful concert we did last December of Spanish Renaissance music with Sebastian Zubieta and his choir Meridionalis and theorbist/period guitarist Adam Cockerham at the Academy of Arts and Letters, on May 16 at 7:30pm:

Saturday, May 16 at 7:30pm EST:
Featuring the December 19 lecture/performance with Meridionalis at Academy of Arts and Letters: 
Meanwhile, I am practicing, composing and enjoying my new role as a full time stay-at-home cat mom. One exciting new hobby is urban scallion farming. I now have 6 jars full of regenerating scallions on my bedroom windowsill in the Bronx. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. A Scallion Grows in the Bronx. Hmmmm….If you save some of the white part of a scallion, you can grow it again by putting it root side down in water. And – you can do it more than once. I now have a jar on the go of second generation scallions and they are doing very well. Someone just told me one could do this with lettuce, so I started that today. 

I am also grateful that I do not even own a bathroom scale, and, of course, it would be decadent to order that on Amazon these days and potentially delay a much more urgent delivery. I wouldn’t even know if I was packing on the “Quarantine 15,” so…I can fully enjoy all the extra time in the kitchen!

Speaking of which – this is a good time for comfort food, so I would like to share with you my mother’s macaroni and cheese recipe, which she in turn got from a free paperback cookbook from an Eastern Canadian flour company some time in the 1970s.

By the way, I especially love pairing this with Brazilian-style collard greens (and collards last close to forever in the fridge – for your next grocery stockpile). To prepare these, cut the leaves off of the thick stems, pile them up, roll them into a tight cigar and slice as thinly as possible. (I usually make about 6 “cigars” per bunch of collards) Wash the resulting collard shreds and then sauté just for a few minutes with lots of fresh minced or sliced garlic, olive oil and salt, so the collards are just tender and still bright green. You could even go crazy and add some red chili flakes.

Anyway, I digress. Here is the recipe for the actual mac and cheese:

Macaroni and Cheese

Preheat oven to 375

Cook one cup macaroni until tender in boiling salted water (10 min.). Drain.
Rinse and dry pot – melt ¼ cup butter
Add 1/3 cup finely chopped onion – sauté until tender but not browned
Blend in ¼ cup AP flour, ½ tsp salt. ¼ tsp dry mustard (or ½ tsp), a few grains pepper, a couple shakes of cayenne pepper or paprika
While stirring allow it to cook for a couple of minutes
Gradually stir in 2 cups milk
Cook over medium heat stirring constantly until thickened
Add 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese and ¼ cup blue cheese
Stir into the pot, turn heat off and put the drained macaroni into the pot and stir around to coat the noodles
Pour into casserole dish
Top with chunks of white bread and dot it with butter and sprinkle with parmesan

Bake at 375 for 30 minutes or until bubbly and browned.

Yields 4 to 6 servings

(NB: It does NOT yield 6 servings!!!!!!! Not in this day and age…)
Let me know if you make this! And feel free to share any recipes with me which I will pass on to the whole quartet. I hope you can tune into one of our broadcasts and that we will actually see you at the Momenta Festival in October if that remains a possibility!

All the best,