Tuesday, November 20, 2012

November 2012 Newsletter: Potatoes au Gratitude

It's hard to believe that this Sunday will mark one year since my Kickstarter project to fund the release of Celtic Chamber Music was completed!  I'm so incredibly proud of this recording and all the hard work that went into it.  But I know that the CD itself would never have become a reality if it hadn't been for the generous support of fans like you!  And not just financially: every new or veteran audience member, every word of encouragement (in person or online), every positive Youtube comment, every retweet, every time someone says to their friends, "hey, check out this great music!"-- it means so much to me, and is just further confirmation to me that my listeners are awesome individuals.  So, in the spirit of the season (and all year round), allow me to offer these sincere words of gratitude:  thank you guys, for all that you do to support me, in whatever way you choose.  You rock.




(And as an extra way of showing my thanks: for those of you who are thinking of giving a copy of Celtic Chamber Music to a friend or loved one for the holidays, I'm holding a special sale for you this coming weekend on CDBaby:  from Friday, Nov. 23rd through Monday, Nov. 26th, hard copies (not downloads) of Celtic Chamber Music will be over 50% off!  For those four days only, you can purchase the CD for just $6.)
Click here to access this discount.





Upcoming Concerts

12/7/12  
Southbridge, MA
A Winter Celebration
FREE all-ages event hosted by the Quinebaug Valley Council for the Arts & Humanities
Come celebrate the Winter Season at the Arts Center in Southbridge! A free family event with live seasonal violin music by Samantha Gillogly, ice sculpture demonstration by Don Chapelle and Brilliant Ice Sculpture, glassblowing demonstration by Gale Scott and Shaun Conroy courtesy of Worcester Center for Crafts, blacksmithing demonstration, hot mulled cider, ice wine and other treats, and much more... All set against the backdrop of the annual QVCAH Art & Crafts Sale. A perfect way to do one's holiday shopping by supporting local artists, artisans and craftspeople!
Time: 5:00pm-9:00pm
Admission: FREE
Location: The Arts Center - 111 Main St., Southbridge, MA




12/8/12
Southbridge, MA
QVCAH Holiday Art & Craft Sale 
A perfect way to do one's holiday shopping by supporting local artists, artisans and craftspeople.  Choose from hand blown glass, jewelry, framed prints, original paintings, photographs, fine woodwork, folk art & sculpture, metal work, handmade pillows, quilts & needlepoint, etc.  It's free to visit & a wonderful opportunity to support your community by purchasing locally made gifts!
Live seasonal violin music by Samantha Gillogly.  (CDs will be available for purchase as well.)
Time: 10:00am-6:00pm
Admission: FREE
Location: The Arts Center - 111 Main St., Southbridge, MA



12/9/12
Southbridge, MA 
QVCAH Holiday Art & Craft Sale
A perfect way to do one's holiday shopping by supporting local artists, artisans and craftspeople.  Choose from hand blown glass, jewelry, framed prints, original paintings, photographs, fine woodwork, folk art & sculpture, metal work, handmade pillows, quilts & needlepoint, etc.  It's free to visit & a wonderful opportunity to support your community by purchasing locally made gifts!
Live seasonal violin music by Samantha Gillogly.  (CDs will be available for purchase as well.)
Time: 10:00am-6:00pm
Admission: FREE
Location: The Arts Center - 111 Main St., Southbridge, MA





Photo Travelogue



Members of Celtic World Fusion band Calon performed on Oct. 28th for Madame LeDuke's annual "Haunted Hafla & Witches' Ball" at The Gypsy's Cauldron in Spencer, MA - L to R: Samantha (violin), Rich Parker (percussion), Ray Price (vocals, bagpipes, electric dulcimer), & Brian LeDuke (saz, percussion)

Priestess/dancer Neylan and Celtic World Fusion band Calon perform to Madame LeDuke's reading of her poem, "Dark Lady" - The Gypsy's Cauldron; Spencer, MA

Madame LeDuke herself and Samantha pose for a photo at The Gypsy's Cauldron in all their witchy finery

A talented troupe performing at the bellydance revue for Madame LeDuke's Haunted Hafla




Some very creative wedding clients of mine got married at the Jane Pickens Theatre in Newport, RI on Oct. 20th.  The whole event (including some of the ceremony music I performed) was classic movie/cinema-themed!  They even had a "concession" stand for guests to snack on popcorn and candy.

A restored organ from the era of silent film, at the Jane Pickens Theatre in Newport, RI

The organ had a setting for just about any cinematic mood

Close-up of the organ keys

A crustacean of good taste.
(pub sign in Newport, RI)




Tim Maurice and I had the great pleasure of performing our Celtic Chamber Music program at the First Congregational Church in Rindge, NH on Oct. 21st.  This was our first time giving a concert in New Hampshire.  The space was lovely, and the show very well-received.  Many special thanks to the wonderfully warm and generous church volunteers who helped make this concert possible!







Note-worthy Noms

One of my absolute favorite cold-weather dishes is colcannon, a hearty Irish take on mashed potatoes.  If you are celebrating American Thanksgiving this week and want to add a touch of Irish cuisine to your holiday meal, I highly recommend including some colcannon.  It's deliciously nurturing, as well as an efficient use of plate space (gets your taters and green veggies all in one go!). 

This celebrated dish even has its own song:




The following recipe is adapted from Irish Pub Cooking by Love Food/Parragon Books Ltd. (sold in the Barnes & Noble cookbook section).  I personally like to substitute the scallions for lightly sautéed white onion, and the cabbage for a couple cups worth of chopped kale.  If you use kale, be sure to boil it for a good long while before blending it into the potatoes.  It's quite a tough vegetable when raw, but well worth it for the flavor it adds to the potato mixture once cooked.

Also, for best results, use a generous helping of Kerrygold for the butter. ;)


Colcannon

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1 lb/450g starchy potatoes
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 2/3 cup light cream
  • 1/2 small head of green or white cabbage
  • 6 scallions, cut into 1/4-inch/5mm slices
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Cook potatoes in a large pan of boiling salted water for 15-20 minutes.  Drain well and mash with a potato masher until smooth.  Season to taste with salt and pepper, add the butter and cream, and stir well.

Cut the cabbage in half, remove and discard central stalk, and shred finely.  Cook cabbage in a large pan of boiling salted water  for 1-2 minutes, until it is soft.  Drain thoroughly.

Mix the cabbage and mashed potatoes together, then stir in the scallions.  Season well with salt and pepper.


"Colcannon" - photo by VegaTeam 





Postlude

I'd like to give a special shout-out this month to a really wonderful charity organization:  Tipp City, OH-based Project Believe.  Their mission is to "enrich the lives of young people in residential [mental health] treatment facilities" by collecting donations of clothes, school supplies, toiletries, arts & crafts materials, games, toys, and a variety of other items, which are then wrapped and delivered at Christmastime by volunteers to children and teens in need.  Many of the kids who reside in these facilities are in the foster care system, so the holidays can be an extremely lonely and difficult time for them.  Even a small gift can mean the world to these children.  This year, Project Believe has expanded to working with two Ohio hospitals, and has also begun a little offshoot program called "Granny's Scarves."  I love to knit, so (as you can see from the photo below), I've been busy crafting some homemade scarves to contribute.  Please take a moment to check out Project Believe's website, and consider sending them a gift to help make a child's Christmas a little brighter.