Friday, June 08, 2012

It Ain't Nothing But the Blues

If you haven't been, you should go see for yourself what It Ain't Nothing But the Blues is all about. 

Here's what they have to say about the show: "From African chants and Delta spirituals to the urban electricity of a Chicago nightclub, from dusty backroads bluegrass to the twang of a country juke joint, It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues is a stirring retrospective of blues classics that summons the soul of American music. Over two dozen musical numbers are included, among them “I’m Your Hoochie-Coochie Man,” “Goodnight, Irene,” “Fever,” “Walkin’ After Midnight,” “The Thrill Is Gone” and “Let the Good Times Roll.” It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Musical, and has played to rave reviews all over the country. Through the music that is cherished as an original American art form, the standout group of musicians and singers on stage share a moving American story of troubles and triumph."

Tracing the blues from it's beginnings in Africa through the deep south and then north is very cool. Showing the difference over time and place is very interesting. What they do to the song Goodnight Irene is spectacular. The actors are superb. Portland Center Stage did not disappoint. It was a foot stomping, body swaying, heck of a good time.

Friday, June 01, 2012

Rhubarb Custard Cake

I don't often bake anymore since only Rick and I would eat the goodies and we don't really need to go there. But it's rhubarb season and Nick and Lynn were coming home for the weekend and it's rhubarb season and... I know I am repeating myself but a girl has to make her's rhubarb season.

I cut this recipe from the Oregonian sometime in the last 15 years. It was originally from Chris Christensen's column A Matter of Taste. I know that because I really liked the story that came with the recipe and cut it out too. She tells how a reader, Mara Nesbitt-Aldrich, sent her the recipe in response to a comment about not using store bought cake mixes for cake baking. It was love at first bite and tune changing time. I never thought much of rhubarb until my friend Lee Fowler made a rhubarb pie and I was smitten. Remembering this recipe, I dug it out and now it is an annual thing during rhubarb season. The recipe directions are odd but easy and the cake is oh so delish. Give it a go. You will not be disappointed.

Rhubarb Custard Cake

1 18 oz box white cake mix that uses oil as an ingredient like Duncan Hines
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3 cups of diced rhubarb
1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar
1 pint of whipping cream (2 cups)

Preheat the oven according to the cake package directions for type of pan and size.

Cut rhubarb into pieces and set aside.

Prepare the cake as directed on the package and add the nutmeg to the batter. Pour the batter into a prepared 11x15 baking dish or a deep 9x13.

Toss the rhubarb with the granulated sugar and sprinkle across the top of the uncooked cake.

Drizzle the entire carton of whipping cream over the prepared fruit and cake. Do not mix in.

Bake for about 35 minutes or until the top of the cake turns  golden brown and begins to pul away from the sides of the pan. A toothpick stuck into the cake part of the center should come out clean.

Trust me on this one, the cream and rhubarb sink to the bottom and form a fruity custard. The cake bakes on top of this. Amazing, I know but it works every time. And, the cake bottom is the prettiest shade of pink and white. Lovely.

Of course I forgot to take a photo so I searched my files for something pink and white and share this one with you.