For the last few months, I have been working my way through listening to my entire collection of music. (Well, I can’t say entire. I have CD’s that I don’t have on my computer, we have records that aren’t also on my computer, but I digress.)
I listen to music over iTunes on my computer, on my mp3 player, and in the car I tend to listen to music selections of my choice rather than the radio. Thank goodness for auxiliary jacks and/or FM transmitters! You get to hear what you want to hear and don’t need to listen to commercials.
The vast majority of the time I listen to everything on random, I like to press play and see where it takes me. If there’s something I’m wanting to hear, I’ll pull it up. There’s always this idea in my head that I’m going to sit down one day and make myself some awesome playlists, DJ my own car trips and kitchen dance parties, but I never seem to get to it. All songs on shuffle is my radio station.
But I noticed that, even on random, some songs seem to get played over and over again (Heavy Metal Drummer by Wilco is one such culprit, shuffle seems to love that one) and some songs, even artists, never seem to go on the rotation. Also, there were certain albums or songs that would come up, and I would find myself getting frustrated because I didn’t want to listen to that. I never wanted to listen to it.
So I set forth, starting at A and ending this morning at 100th Window. 576 albums. I think the true audiophiles have said it a number of times, but there is something to listen to music in album form. An album is a look into the place the musician(s) were at at the time of recording, it can have thematic elements and interrelatedness between it’s songs. If a song is a sentence, an album can be a paragraph; sometimes this is more obvious than other times, but I do think that it is true. Spending the majority of the time listening to songs in isolation from the respective albums from which they came, going through my music this way really had a different feel to it.
There were the albums that I hadn’t had a good listen to in years that brought back old memories and nostalgic smiles. There were albums that I hadn’t listened to all of the songs on yet, and the sucker for B-sides that I am, there were some new discoveries that I’m going to have to pull up more often. Those irking few, the ones that make me wonder how they even found their way into my music folder, were weeded out of the collection.
Mr jokes, “You get to listen to what you want to listen to now.” I guess I can see where he is coming from, listening through album by album alphabetically could be seen as a folly. It’s not as though I’ve been driving to and from work, or cooking away in the kitchen, or listening and knitting and thinking “I wish I was done with the J’s. Albums that start with J are no fun.” Aside from my weird completion sense of accomplishment, I quite enjoyed the process and am happy that I undertook it.
Maybe I’m silly. Does anyone else do anything like this?
Strawberry Pear Hand Pies
1 Cup strawberries, hulled and diced
1 pear, cored and diced
2 Tbsp vanilla sugar
1 Tbsp corn starch
1 tsp lemon juice
pastry (I used puff pastry, because I had a sheet of it in the freezer. Use what you like!)
- In a mixing bowl, combine the diced strawberries and pear with the sugar, corn starch and lemon juice. Set aside to macerate, the strawberries will let out a lot of moisture in the time it takes to roll out the pastry.
- Roll the pastry out, and cut out an even number of shapes. I used a round cookie cutter, but feel free to get creative with the shapes.(Heart shaped hand pies are pretty darn cute!)
- Cut vents into half of your pastry cut outs, so that when your hand pies are sealed up, the steam from the fruit has an escape route so they don’t get soggy during baking.
- Using a slotted spoon, or just letting the juice run away at the side of the bowl while you scoop, portion out the filling onto the pastry bottoms.
- Cover each hand pie with the top piece of pastry, and then seal closed the edges with the tines of a fork.
- Bake in a 375º oven until the pastry is burnished and golden (~35 minutes).
- Let cool before eating!
If you’ve read here before, you’ll know I have a soft spot in my heart for small bites. So hand pies speak to me. I had used a teensy tiny heat shaped cutter to cut the steam vents in the pastry, but the cute little heart shapes got distorted while I sealed the top and bottom edges of the pastry together. So, I put the little heart cut outs in the windows. Precious!
If you have a taste for sweeter things, you may want to add a little more sugar. I erred on the side of scant because I wanted to taste the fruit more than the sweetener, and mostly wanted the sugar present so that the extra moisture would come out of the strawberries. I found the flavor quite satisfactory, and Mr says, “They are awesome! The perfect lunch sized pie!” And he’s right, they are just right to pack into a lunch for work!
This time last year: Granny’s Chocolate Cobbler
And the year before: Black Pepper Cookies
And the year before that: Tangy Pomegranate Vinaigrette