Thursday, October 9, 2008

What I did on my summer vacation ...

****** It's been many weeks since I posted. The summer has been filled with glorious weather, exciting Red Sox games, delightful books to read and new recipes to explore. (A truly easy and fool-proof chocolate cake with a surprise ingredient is included at the end of this note).

****** At times, it did seem utterly unfair that our summer weather was so beautiful when one witnessed the devastation suffered by our neighbors to the south. Help is still needed so maybe you can spare a couple of bucks for The Red Cross.

****** SloaneView has studiously avoided political commentary to date, but the Front Office feels compelled to recommend that you cast your General Election vote for the Democratic ticket. My parents lived through the Great Depression, squarely placing the blame for that catastrophe on the Republican administration of then President Herbert Hoover. My allegiance to the Democratic party was born in those difficult times. Many nights my sister and I were served frugal but nutritious meals while my parents contented themselves with toast and cocoa. We were too young at the time to notice the disparity.

****** It is overwhelming to contemplate the colossal failure of the Bush administration and the perilous position he and his advisors have placed the United States. When Bush was elected, I predicted tough times ahead. Oh, not for the wealthy citizens who helped elect the man because he promised to lower their taxes. That was really the only thing they cared about, and if he decided to place our young men and women in jeopardy by sending them to Middle Eastern hot spots, well, that was okay. After all, we'd be out of that region without too much loss of life, and then democracy would reign, the Iraqi people would embrace us as their true saviors, and the price of oil would plummet.

****** I am heartsick about it all. You may be too, so let's elect Barack Obama and do all we can to help him rectify the wrongs we face. He'll need all the assistance he can get.


Oh yes: here's the great and easy chocolate cake recipe:

CHOCOLATE-MAYONNAISE CAKE
MAKES ONE 8- OR 9-INCH SQUARE CAKE

Baking spray
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup cocoa powder, preferably Dutch-processed
1 1/3 cups boiling water
1 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups sugar
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting (optional)

Set the oven rack in the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8-inch or 9-inch square baking pan with nonstick baking spray and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt.

In a large bowl, whisk the cocoa and boiling water until smooth. Allow to cool for 2 minutes.

Add the mayonnaise, vanilla, and sugar and whisk to blend. Add the mayonnaise mixture to the flour mixture and stir to incorporate just until smooth (do not overmix).

With a flexible spatula, scrape the batter into the baking pan, smooth the top, and bake just until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean and the edges of the cake begin to pull away from the pan, about 40 minutes (do not overbake).

Place the cake on a wire rack, cool to room temperature, cut into squares, dust with confectioners' sugar, if desired, and serve.

3 comments:

Chrys said...

Dear Carole,
I just about leaped from my chair and cheered when I accidentally found your blog.
I was lucky enough and sooooo privileged to catch you "Live" at the Jazz Bakery a few years ago.
You were so fabulous....real, spontaneous, genuine, natural, artistic, all the qualities I try to teach my students. I had brought one of them along to give them an idea of what being in the presence of that kind of talent was about...I wanted her to observe the quality of your communication to see that no matter what the genre, the performance matters. And you proved my point. You were not only brilliant on stage, singing with so much real emotion, and then getting out of the way, (by sitting down)so the band guys to have their say, and then gracious and so personable when I went back stage to thank you for such a thrilling evening. We talked about New York and growing up with William B. Williams. What a thrill for me, an old big band "road rat", who discovered she could teach.
And one of the things I tell my students is that if you're singing in front of someone, it's a performance and you gotta include them.
I had this on-going feud for years with another jazz singing teacher in LA who insisted that Jazz is all about the music and pointed to Miles as the demonstration of the NON-performance. I on the other hand, would tell my students that performing could be a "razzle dazzle" kinda thing where the performer's in your face with it, or a subtle thing where you sit on the edge of your seat and are drawn into the world of musician up there, but if someone’s listening, you just can’t shut ‘em out. You gotta share it!
A couple of years ago, thinking it was to retire, I left LA. And although I swore up and down that I would never live in Texas, a place that spawned a C minus ne'er-do-well, spoiled Richey rich brat, who unfortunately for us rose to become the president, I have thrived here in Corpus Christi as the only jazz singer and teacher in town.
I also have a blog here on Blogspot, and I would be so honored if you would make a comment on one of my articles. I respect your artistry and class so much and my readers would be equally thrilled.
Thank you for the thrilling performance and recordings that have given me so much pleasure and for being a real pro…

BTW, this recipe is too too yummy!

Sin[g]cerely,
Chrys Page
www.singyourlife.com
www.mysingersblog.blogspot.com

Sloane said...

Very nice to hear from you, Chrys. Please write me at sloanejazz@aol.com ...

-Sloane

Steve said...

Interesting blog! On my summer vacation I visited the Caribbean. I spent great times in private beach front villa enjoying the companionship of beautiful European and Russian escorts at charlisangels. I was sad when I had to leave this lifetime experience.