Archive | 4:10 pm

Currently Digging

20 Sep

The_BeatlesNow that Game of Thrones is over, I’ve been casting about for a good series to dive into. Nothing had quite hit the mark so I turned to documentaries as I browsed Hulu recently and happened upon the new Ron Howard documentary Eight Days a Week. 

THE BEATLES WERE SO CHEEKY! I quickly fell hard and fast for it. I’ve loved the Beatles years now, but I didn’t have quite the same introduction to them as most. My mom loves Sarah Brightman, Andrea Bocceli, and Elton John so those were the voices I grew up with. (And Billy Joel. Thanks Dad.)

As with most things television, film or music, I have to credit my husband for helping me grow to appreciate the Beatles. Some of the first mix CDs he made me early in our relationship featured Beatles’ songs that are some of my favorites to this day. Songs like “When I’m Sixty-four” still make me chuckle:

I could be handy, mending a fuse
When your lights have gone
You can knit a sweater by the fireside
Sunday mornings go for a ride

Still, my knowledge of the group is largely culturally sourced. Broadly, I know they’re considered the most creative force to hit popular music and I’ve picked up bits and pieces over the years about various songs, like how Paul McCartney supposedly wrote Hey Jude for Lennon’s son, Julian. But it wasn’t until I watched Eight Days a Week that I learned just how rare a group they really were. Their candor and silliness in their early days, matched with their artistry rendered them unlike any other band in history. When I look at artists like Taylor Swift today, I see a product. I’m not saying Tay is any less an artist, more that what so many artists today strive for is what The Beatles just had by nature of being four young, talented friends who wanted to make music together.

Beatles_HWB_CD_Cover_RGB

I can’t recommend the documentary enough. It gave me an excellent peek inside the lives of these artists I’ve come to love and piqued my interest enough to pick up some reads so I can dive a little deeper. And in the meantime, I’m adopting a new musical appreciation strategy for our kids that will henceforth be known as Beatles Sunday. All Beatles. All day. It’s never to soon to start teaching them to appreciate good music, right?

Sources: 
Dempsey, Liam. How the Beatles Changed Music. Digital Music Academy [online resource]

Picco’s Warm Spinach Salad

20 Sep

10562588_938865354494_5022638164799507105_oA few years ago the advertising agency I was working for catered lunch for us from local Boston eatery Picco. While the pizza was to die for, it was this warm spinach salad that I absolutely fell head over heels for. It’s a seasonal salad so the second the temperature turns cooler, I look for it on their menu, but when it’s not available, (or I’m craving it on a weekday and can’t drive into the city) I like to use the following recipe to make it at home:

Warm Spinach Salad

Ingredients

  • 4 slices bacon (cut into 1 inch slices)
  • 1 cup red onion (sliced)
  • 1 1/2 cups white beans
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 small clove garlic (grated)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 ounces baby spinach
  • ¼ cup goat cheese (crumbled)
Instructions
  1. Cook the bacon in a pan and set aside reserving 2 tablespoons of bacon grease.
  2. Caramelize the onions in the remaining bacon grease and remove from heat before tossing with the beans and set aside.
  3. Add the vinegar to the pan and deglaze it.
  4. Add the reserved bacon grease, sugar, garlic and season with salt and pepper and remove from heat.
  5. Assemble salad, toss with dressing, and serve immediately.