Saturday, July 31, 2010

Chris-cepie...try it!

Hi all,
Here is a summer salad I made up just now. Try it.

Chris Layer's Sabi-Slaw
You will need:
1 head of Napa Cabbage or Bok Choy, "slaw-chopped".
(or double the other ingreeds and use both!)
4 average sized carrots, grated. (I don't peel them, but I do give them a good scrubby wash.)

For the dressing:
1 Tablespoon of ground horseradish OR 1 teaspoon of Wasabi paste.
(Make sure you know how hot/potent your Wasabi paste is!)
1 Teaspoon of red pepper flakes*.
(Or add flakes to suit as far as heat, but beware: as the mixture "cooks" in the marinade it gets hotter!)
(*For a Korean "kim-chi" twist, substitute Srirachi hotsauce for the pepperflakes to taste.)
2 Heaping tablespoons of sesame seed. (Use the black seeds if you can find them.)
1/4 of an average sized sweet onion, grated or diced finely. (Vidalia if possible.)
1/3 cup rice vinegar.
2 Tablespoons of Honey. (Or to taste, for sweetness.)
5 Tablespoons canola oil. (Mild Sesame oil is OK too but will change the palate, for sure.)
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt, coarse crystals, if you please.

1/2 lemon. (Keep aside until just before serving.)

Combine the "dressing" ingreeds, less the oil and whisk them together, then add the oil, whisk again, set aside.
In a large glass bowl, combine dressing/cabbage/carrots and toss until well-combined.
Once tossed, GENTLY press ingreds down a bit to maximize marinade/slaw contact.
Lay a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the salad and insure it's well-sealed.
Place bowl in the cooler for at least one to two hours to chill.

Just before serving, squeeze the lemon over the salad and give the mixture a toss to fluff it up.
Garnish with fresh mint or cilantro. Serve with pork on the grill, baked beans, and salad. Dry riesling or beer, please.
Consume it.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010



Nagasaki Calling

Each time I return to Nagasaki, I recall my history classes and the presence of Europeans here in the 17th Century. The Dutch established trade relations in this city when all other japanese ports were closed to the West. Our performance here was memorable, and the cast visited the Atomic Bomb Peace Memorial here. I refrained from that emotional visit, but recommend it to anyone passing this way.

The photo in this entry was one I snapped of several ancient Shinto and Buddhist "shari" shrines on the island of Inoshima during my visit there in March. Inoshima was the site of Kulai Khan's first failed invasion attempt in the year 1274 when the "Kami-kaze" literally "god-wind" destroyed his fleet at the foot of the island temple and city behind.
Tomorrow: Kumamoto....and Oysters!!!!!!!

Japanese Food Chain

Nagoya, July 9th
While strolling on the Nagoya Castle Grounds, I came upon an odd pair; This stag munching on the lawn while the raven ostensibly munches on the stag. The cruel bird (I never was a fan of ravens and their daunting song) harried the stag for 15 minutes or more, the stag waving his antlers at the bird each time he alighted on his rump.

Our opening night was well-received with 2,300 attending. The cast rose to the occasion, in lieu of jet-lag and so many new pieces. All in all an excellent start to the tour. Next stop Nagasaki.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Opening Night

Aichi Prefectural Arts Theater, Nagoya, Japan-Just looking out at the lush green grounds of Nagoya Castle across the street from our hotel. The soft summer rain has turned the arboretum and surrounding gardens into a sort of weepy blob of verdant sponges, drifting peacefully to and fro in the sweet lulling breezes of July in Japan. It's a weird sight since the whole place is really a dynastic fortress, complete with the slanting stone battlements and buttressed bastions of an old European stronghold: The age of gunpowder was well under way when the Samurai rulers and warlords built this stop on the king's highway between Kyoto and Edo. (Tokyo)
So opening day's schedule: Rehearsal with Brendan O'Shea, and Barret Harvey at 10:30am this morning then lunch and off to the theater for opening Night! Full company onstage, new pieces, new lights, new sound, new, new, new. Nearly all of the 2,500 seats are sold for the show and the dancers, who are some of the youngest and strongest we have ever carried with the Company, are pounding the boards frantically. Every step and jump aimed at giving their best tonight. It's no small achievement if the performance goes as planned: Mark and Natalie Howard are really pushing the group of dancers to their limits getting them in shape for the show. It is a monumental task, given the prep time leading up to the tour, but both are well up to the task, and enthusiastic if not fanatic in their belief in Trinity.

After rehearsal last night Brendan asked me what I thought makes a great musician in terms of craft. I answered from my heart, thinking back on how I had behaved during the day's being short with him, or just ignoring the suggestions of others. Smiling inwardly, I answered "patience".
Much love to all, and many thoughts to those in the Gulf of Mexico

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Nagoya Dreaming

Having escaped 100 degrees of Gotham at home, the Trinity Irish Dance Company has gathered it's forces, summoned the wind and touched down in Nagoya, Japan. We will be shedding here and then performing the first concerts of the tour here as well. Art Director, Mark Howard has cooked up some new works, and the band has new material as well. Looking forward to lifting the dancer's feet and sharing this great company with the people of Japan! Yokoso okoshi kudasai mashta!!!!!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Ni Hong On 3,500 Yen A Day

Yes, it's true I'll be boarding the plane for Japan in 23 hours and rambling the ever-so-clean highways and byways of that lovely place once more! Trinity Irish Dance will be touring thru the 21st and I may stay for an extra wee bit to visit my old teacher and his wife in the mountains. (see photo) Much love to all and hope to see you on the Shinkansen:-)