Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Still Married Heats Up

A couple years ago, Craig and I played an evening parking lot gig in Anderson in July. Because my husband has a bit of a sadistic streak, he brought a thermometer onstage, and at the time we finished our 2-hour set, the temperature was 109 degrees.
The restaurant is long gone, (I don't think THAT was our fault), but the memory of that scorching day is indelibly burned in our minds. Craig positively wilts in the heat, and I made a solemn promise to NEVER, EVER agree to a free, outdoor gig in the summertime.

I kept my promise, because I'm a Good Wife. Then this very interesting opportunity came up: Play at Redding's Fourth of July Freedom Fest. For hundreds of people. Good Wife morphed into Whiny Wife: "C'mon. Pleeeeeze? It'll be fun! You believe in Freedom, don't you?"

So we'll be there. And just to make it interesting, we're running a contest. Be the first commenter to correctly guess what the temperature will be at the end of our set (7:55 PM), and win a lovely Chisum Trail Neck Cooler. We love these coolers for beating the summer heat -- soak them in water and get instant relief.

Enter your guess in the comment section below. One guess per person, please. If no one nails it exactly, the prize will go to the person who gets closest to the temperature without going over.

Friday, June 25, 2010


My sister Nora recently shared a recipe for Pork Char Sui - brined and barbecued pork tenderloin sandwiches. It was wonderful - but I'm seriously into simplifying my recipes. And I'm currently in love with my crockpot - It cooks while I'm at work! It's like having a a maid without the guilt of that comes with ordering people around.

I tweaked the recipe -- tossed a pork shoulder into the crockpot with some sauce and came up with this marvelously scrumptious and pathetically easy dish.

Pork Char Sui is a barbecued pork. Since this meat doesn't get anywhere near a barbecue, I'm calling it Pork Crock Sui.

1 boneless pork shoulder (about 1 1/2 lbs)

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tbs vanilla extract
1 cup ketchup
1 cup hoisin sauce
4 tbs toasted sesame oil
4 tbs minced garlic
4 tbs soy sauce

12 slices of canned pineapple
24 King's Hawaiian sweet rolls - the whole wheat dinner rolls from Winco work just fine, too
1 cup cilantro sprigs

2. Put pork in the crock pot.
3. Mix sauce ingredients.

4. Pour 1/2 the sauce over the pork - reserve the other half.
5. Cook pork on low for 5-6 hours.
6. Take out the pork and slice into 1/4 inch slices or shred, if that works. Just get it into manageable pieces. Place it back in the crockpot to stay warm.
7. Fry or grill pineapple slices til light brown. (Or you could skip the grilling part and just put the pineapple on the sandwich naked and cold - it's OK, really.)
8. Cut rolls in half. Spread about a couple tablespoons of reserved sauce on bun, put some pork on top, and add a piece of pineapple and a cilantro sprig.

Thank your lucky stars for tastebuds and pigs .... and enjoy.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Nick Ciampi at the Post Office

Wednesday, June 23 and Saturday, June 26th.

Redding singer-songwriter Nick Ciampi will help Redding usher in Summertime with a performance at The Post Office in The Downtown Mall. Wednesday's show start around 7, Saturday begins 8:30.

Enjoy Nick's original folk-rock music and some classic covers at this friendly venue. Nick's a gifted songwriter, an amazing guitar player and he's generous with his talent - both on stage and off.
Enjoy Magazine profiled Nick a couple years ago - you can read it here.

Photo credit: Wyatt Olson
Nick's myspace

Friday, June 11, 2010

Celebrating Independence: Music Giveaway

It's Friday and that's reason enough to celebrate. I'm giving away two Still Married CDs - all you have to do is leave a comment.

Well - there is a catch, but the catch is a good one - I'd like you to sample some independent music over at Whole Wheat Radio. Whole Radio is a listener-driven Internet radio station. -- and the folks who run it are heroes to independent musicians.

From their website:

Whole Wheat Radio is a grassroots online radio station originating on Birch Creek Blvd. near Talkeetna, Alaska. We are independent and entirely volunteer operated and funded. We've been at the leading edge of demonstrating people-powered new media for over 7 years. We're for real - and we'd love to have you stick around and become part of the effort.

So pop over to Whole Wheat Radio and listen to a song or two -- leave a comment here or on my Facebook page and tell me what you heard. If you're in the mood, go ahead and tell me: Was it new to you? Did you like it? Your comment is your entry in our drawing for one of two CDs. That's it -- you'll be helping to support the heroes of independent music world and you may even find a new website to bookmark.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Picture Perfect

When I met Craig back in 1977, this was the picture hanging in his bedroom.

Craig had ordered the print (Gray and Gold - by John Rogers Cox) when he was a teenager - because he loved the look of it.

We both grew up in the San Fernando Valley - land of tract homes, swimming pools and cinder block walls -- light years away from this landscape we call home here in Cottonwood. Sometimes we wonder how we ended up here. Maybe it was dumb luck or maybe that picture Craig chose thirty-five years ago set the whole thing in motion.

When we look out from our back patio on days like this, it sure seems like destiny: