Loss Love Life

I’m delighted to announce that Life, the final chapter in the Steven Peter album trilogy is now available online. click here

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Life

Hey cyber folks. Just wanted to remind you all that next Monday March 21st is the official launch date of Life the final installment in the album trilogy. As usual, for you eager beavers, it is already available for preorder from all the usual online stores, where you can also listen to samples of the songs. You can also check out the first two releases here Thanks again for your support. Peace and love, SP

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For the Health Conscious and Animal Lovers

Okay this is a little different from my usual posts but I found this on line a few months ago and I know that some of you are going to love it. Now it’s a little long winded and takes some time and it is quite a messy process but believe me, it’s definitely worth it.

So here it is, my recommendation for the best veggie burger you’re likely to taste and I have eaten quite a few so i should know. And if you try it please let me know what you think because I thought it was fantastic. Enjoy.

Bean & Beet Burger Recipe

3 large red beets (about 1 pound)
1/2 cup brown rice (not cooked)
1 medium yellow onion, diced small
3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (gluten-free, if necessary)
2 (15.5-ounce) cans black beans
1/4 cup prunes, chopped into small pieces.
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 to 3 teaspoons smoked paprika, to taste
2 teaspoons brown mustard
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 large egg (optional, leave out for vegan burgers)
Salt and pepper

To serve
Thin slices of cheese (optional for non-vegan burgers) 6 hamburger buns

First, cook the beets: Heat the oven to 200 degrees C. Wrap the beets loosely in aluminium foil and roast until easily pierced with a fork, 50 to 60 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Cook the rice while the beets roast: Meanwhile, bring a 2-quart pot of water to a boil. Salt the water generously and add the rice. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the rice until it’s a little beyond al dente. You want it a little over-cooked, but still firm. This should take about 35 to 40 minutes. Drain the rice and set it aside to cool.

Begin sauteing the onions when you’re done with the rice Heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and a pinch of salt. Stir the onions every minute or two, and cook until they are golden and getting charred around the edges, 10 to 12 minutes. A few wisps of smoke as you are cooking are OK, but if it seems like the onions are burning, lower the heat. A dark, sticky crust should develop on the bottom of the pan.

Add the garlic and cook until it is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour in the cider vinegar and scrape up the dark sticky crust. Continue to simmer until the cider has evaporated and the pan is nearly dry again. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Process the oats in a food processor until they have reduced to a fine flour. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.

Drain and rinse one of the cans of beans and transfer the beans to the food processor. Scatter the prunes on top. Pulse in 1-second bursts just until the beans are roughly chopped. 8 to 10 pulses. Transfer this mixture to a large mixing bowl. Drain and rinse the second can of beans and add these whole beans to the mixing bowl as well.

Grate the roasted beets: Use the edge of a spoon or a paper towel to scrape the skins off the cooled roasted beets; the skins should slip off easily. Grate the peeled beets on the largest holes of a box grater. Transfer the beet gratings to a strainer set over the sink. Press and squeeze the beet gratings to remove as much liquid as possible from the beets.

Combine the veggie burger mix: Transfer the squeezed beets, cooked rice, and sauteed onions to the bowl with the beans. Sprinkle the olive oil, brown mustard, 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika, cumin, coriander, and thyme over the top of the mixture. Mix all the ingredients until combined. Taste the mixture and add salt, pepper, or any additional spices or flavourings to taste. Finally, add the oatmeal flour and egg and mix until you no longer see any dry oatmeal or egg.

Refrigerate the burger mix 2 hours, or up to 3 days Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or transfer the mixture to a refrigerator container, and refrigerate the burger mixture for at least 2 hours or overnight. The mix can also be kept refrigerated for up to three days before cooking.

Shape the burgers When ready to cook the burgers, first shape them into burgers. Scoop up about a scant cup of the burger mixture and shape it between your palms into a thick patty the size of your hamburger buns. You should end up with 6 large patties.

Cook the burgers eat a cast iron skillet over high heat. Add a few tablespoons of vegetable oil to completely coat the bottom of the pan. When you see the oil shimmer and a flick of water evaporates on contact, the pan is ready.Transfer the patties to the pan. Cook as many as will fit without crowding.Cook the patties for 2 minutes, then flip them to the other side. You should see a nice crust on the cooked side. If any pieces break off when you flip the burgers, just pat them back into place with the spatula. Cook for another 2 minutes, then cover the pan and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook for 4 more minutes until the patties are warmed through. If you’re adding cheese, lay a slice over the burgers in the last minute of cooking.

bean burger

Just before they hit the pan.

Seeing the World Through the Eyes of a Child

Whenever I visit Braunschweig in Niedersachsen Germany I have to smile when I see what’s known as The Happy Rizzi House.

The Happy Rizzi House is an office building designed by architect Konrad Kloster and American pop artist James Rizzi after whom it’s named. The reason it makes me smile is because the building itself looks like it could be straight out of a cartoon. Obviously the desired effect and something that appeals to us children of all ages. The really cool thing I find though is that it sits right at the edge of the old part of the city where the buildings are very traditional timber framed constructions and overlooks all the glass, concrete, straight lines and neon lights of the new part. I find it to be a true work of art as it is original, it captures the imagination and, even if it is not to your taste, you certainly will appreciate experiencing it.

James Rizzi himself died in 2011 but his art apparently can be seen throughout Germany. He was also hugely successful in Asia and the US where he was a native. Other notable works include commissions from VW, Lufthansa, Japanese Rail Ads, postage stamps and a limited edition MetroCard for the New York MTA. He was also the official artist for the Atlanta Olympic Games and the soccer World Cup in France.

So, when looking for something to do in Braunschweig, check out The Happy Rizzi House. It’s the happiest house you’re likely to see.

Happy Rizzi House

Bremen Musicians

I was playing in Bremen this weekend and I was reminded of the story of the Bremen Town Musicians by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm.

As the story goes, 4 farm animals, a donkey, a dog, a cat and a rooster, who were getting on in years were seen to be of no more use to their masters and it was decided that they’d be killed. Not wanting to accept this fate the foursome decided to run away to the town of Bremen, where it was said that one could live freely, start a band and make their living as street performers. Along the road they happened upon a cottage inhabited by three robbers. As the house was full of food and the four musicians were hungry and cold they came up with a plan to frighten the robbers away and take their food and lodgings.

Anyway to make a short story even shorter the musicians never actually made it to Bremen but ended up staying at the cottage.

So why am I writing about this? Well obviously, being a musician myself, I sympathise and even identify with the characters and their nomadic lifestyle. But I think there are also some other social issues that are being subtly addressed here that are often largely ignored. Firstly the one of ageism. Where when we’re past our sell by date we’re no longer of use even within our community. Secondly, the general attitude of human beings towards other living beings simply believing that animals are put on this earth to feed us and work. Isn’t that animal slavery? Finally, I like the idea that great things can be achieved when like minded individuals join forces. Power in numbers, united we stand and all that.

But I don’t mean to rant and I certainly don’t want to preach I just like the idea of returning to some of these old stories as an adult because as a child the morals mostly went over my head. It’s interesting what you can find when you’re not looking.

bremen musicians

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