The Unanswered Question Satisfied Us Twice
Saturday, April 18, 2009
In 1972 I took my Mexico City high school class to Bellas Artes the birthday cake edifice that houses many cultural events of the city like opera and the symphony. I took them to see a special concert that featured, The Unanswered Question
(1906) a not often played composition by American composer and life insurance guru, Charles Ives (1874-1954). I had been listening to Ives in the 60s. His music was virtually unlistenable to me but the more I played his recordings the more familiar the chaotic dissonances seemed to me. The beauty of The Unanswered Question
, a 6 minute long composition, is a haunting trumpet solo that is all melancholy. My Mexico City class was curious as to why this composition featured two conductors. The main conductor directed the orchestra and the first violinist directed the string section. It seemed to be exquisite organized chaos.
Like English amateur gardeners, historians, archeologists and explorers of the 19th century, Ives felt it was anathema to try to make money from what he liked to do best which was to compose music with his own personal signature. So he started his own life insurance company and created innovative ways of selling life insurance packages. His method made him a millionaire many times over and his techniques are still an insurance Bible today.
Not bothering to please people with his music, Ives defended his polyrhythms, clashing harmonies and dissonances. He had zero tolerance for the wimps and mollycoddles who shuddered, or worse, hissed, at new music. He was famous for standing up at concerts and bellowing at such offenders, “Stand up and take your dissonance like a man.
To me Ives is like a Champagne sherbet used by the French to cleanse the palate between different courses. If I have been listening to overly sweet music, Ives clears my ears just fine. And I must admit that after a while his music can even seem melodic in certain parts.
|Peggy Lee, Jane Hayes, François Houle and Marc Destrubé|
It is for the above reasons that my friend Graham Walker (he is up for any music that is challenging) and I went to the Turning Point Ensemble’s Living Toys: Thomas Adès/Charles Ives
concert at the Telus Studio Theatre at the Chan Centre in UBC.
Graham Walker was familiar with the Telus Studio Theatre as he and the firm he works for, Karo Design, created the signage for the whole Chan Centre. But neither of us had been to the venue for a concert. This was a rewarding revelation. Turning Point Ensemble violinist Marc Destrubé remarked to me, “This place reminds me of one of those tiny opera houses in Italy that may have burned down and only the structure remains.” That pretty well describes the shape of the little theatre with its excellent acoustics. You can either sit on the main floor in a tight semi-circle or do the same in three levels or tiers.
Both Walker and I loved the experience. Besides Ives there was the English composer Thomas Adès (1971) with his composition Living Toys
about a young boy who dreams about being a bull fighter and an astronaut and then imagines his own heroic funeral. The piece had lots of noise like castanets, the sounds of bulls and bullfighting music and finally the sounds of the muffled drums of a funeral cortège. Watching the musicians (an unusual contrabassoon played by Ingrid Chan, a bass clarinet played by Caroline Gauthier, David Owen, English horn, and a pocket trumpet (it looked like a toy!) played by Marcus Goddard.
But we were all there to listen to that Unanswered Question.
Goddard played the trumpet from up in the rafters and the band was divided into a string section in one corner and a woodwind section in another. We were not disappointed in the performance. It emphasized Simon Jenkin’s column
I had read in the Guardian on Friday. There is not way that his Ives performance could have been as appreciated and enjoyed either in a downloaded recording or on YouTube. The last piece of he evening was Ives’ Three Places In New England.
The piece as performed last night was a world premiere as each one of its three movements was arranged for a the smaller Turning Point Ensemble by Marcus Goddard, Michael Bushnell and Owen Underhill.
We were most entertained, but not as blown away as by local composer Stefan Smulovitz’s - the still unanswered question
- complete with that wonderful solo trumpet and with many extra surprises. These surprises involved solo musicians spread around the tiers of the theatre. We had Marc Destrubé behind us and from our vantage point we could see virtuoso clarinetist François Houle. On the floor, trombonist Jeremy Berkman played into a special microphone and the reverberated sound was piped in through the sound system of the theatre. This was our favourite performance of the evening and it left us with a happy feeling that indeed Vancouver is lots of fun if you turn off the TV and venture out.
I also reflected that the Turning Point Ensemble
within six months has given us Olivier Messiaen’s Quartet For The End Of Time
and Erik Satie’s Relâche
and now all that Ives. At the same time this was the year that we heard the complete Brandenburg Concertos
with Richard Eggar’s Academy of Ancient Music
brought to Vancouver by the shrewd folks at Early Music Vancouver
|Lauri Stallings and Owen Underhill|
In the pictures here you see first, composer Stefan Smulovitz, then four Turning Point Ensemble musicians, from left to right, Peggy Lee, cello, Jane Hays (she pounded her piano with humour in Ives’ Three Page Sonata
), François Houle, clarinet, and Marc Destrubé, violin. In the last picture you have gentle (even with Ives) Turning Point Ensemble conductor Owen Underhill being inspired by Ballet BC dancer Lauri Stallings.
As we drove home I pondered on the idea that 103 years have passed since Ives composed The Unanswered Question
. How can something that sounds so avant garde be that old? The answer is most simple. I am old!
Friday, April 17, 2009
Today’s blog is shaped the way it is because Blogger, owned by Google, is not working properly. I am unable to insert pictures from my server (Net Nation) through FTP. I use another method where I upload to Photobucket and then download the photos in HTML code. The problem is that I am not as adept at writing code as I should so I don't know how to move the pictures to the left or the the right. But at least I can put up photographs.
The reality of the 21st century is that any company or service that is owned by the likes of Google, Microsoft, eBay (bought Skype recently) makes it impossible for one to ever communicate with a human being either on a phone or even by e-mail. Patience is the only solution as you wait for the service to fix itself.
While driving home on Thursday night I was exhausted after having taught photography to 16 eager students from 7 to 10 pm. I turned on the radio and Leonard Cohen was being interviewed ( I will not mention the person doing the interview as this person when not interviewing is usually promoting the show). Who says the CBC does not have commercials?
Cohen explained his relationship with the many women of his life and was comfortable in describing women as being beautiful and how they have inspired him through the years. Without having to go into political correctness or evade the issue he managed to set me straight that a beautiful woman is all you need as justification for writing a song or in my case taking a picture or using the woman’s image to illustrate a blog. In today’s blog I am displaying the faces of two beautiful Argentine sisters.
I am not one of those conventional men who gets excited with the sight of two women together, be they clothed or unclothed. seeing two women dancing is not particularly my cup of tea. But the parameters change when you have two sisters, the Lorenzo sisters, in your studio dancing the Argentine tango and every move, every gesture; every whispered secret, becomes a marvel of intimacy and eroticism
Addendum: Blogger is back in service (Sunday afternoon) so I have insterted the pictures in the normal way.
Cocktails For Three & Bananas At The Dinner Table
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Inesita O’Reilly Kuker is 85. She is my first cousin and also my godmother. The reason she is my godmother is that her mother Ines (my father’s oldest sister) who wanted to be my godmother was not a Roman Catholic. To have such a person as a godmother was frowned upon by the conservative Roman Catholic society of Argentina in 1942 (the year of my birth). Ines’ daughter Ines (Inesita) became my de-facto godmother. She had married Jorge O’Reilly that same year and had converted to her husband’s Catholicism in order to have a church wedding. I never found out if I had a godfather. My mother told me often that I had been given my middle name of Alejandro because of Ines’ second husband Alejandro Ariosa.
In my late 40s and early 50s garden birthday parties, Inesita (very beautiful) would appear with her then three children (she subsequently had another). The eldest, Georgito was a holy terror who bullied my friends. He had this crazy grin on his face that usually indicated he was about to sock you.
In 1965 I showed up at Inesita’s palatial home in Belgrano in my new Argentine Navy conscript uniform. Inesita had been a young widow when her eldest Georgito had been 14 in 1957. Georgito was given a special dispensation by the Argentine schoolboard to abandon school and to work as a messenger boy. By 1965 she had married a wonderful widower (with four daughters) called Dolfi Kuker who was of German extraction and was mayor of Buenos Aires for a short period of time.
When I rang the bell I instantly felt the presence of spying eyes. I was shown in and everybody stared. I had last seen them at my last birthday party, one in August of 1954. I was shown to the dining room where I saw the longest dining room table I have ever seen in my life. If you count Inesita and her husband, his sister Lala, his four daughters, her four children (three boys and one girl) and then accommodated for the girl friends and boyfriends you can understand the size of the table. My lovely red-haired first cousin, Elizabeth Blew was there, too. I faintly remember that my place setting had silverware in the double digits. When we began to eat I noticed that nobody did anything. They were all staring at me wondering what uncouth table manners the relative from far away Mexico was going to reveal.
I must have passed muster as soon, everybody was happily eating. Inesita with her Queen’s English ( I argue that it is the other way around as Inesita is older than Elizabeth II) asked me, “Alexander, what have you been up to? ” I was so startled by it all and by the presence of my beautiful first cousin Elizabeth that I don’t remember a thing. I have even forgotten that Elizabeth was there until recently she told me, “Alexander, I was there as I dined there every Tuesday and it was a Tuesday.” After a few dinners in Belgrano I was comfortable enough to notice the details. I watched one of Dolfi’s daughters Heidi peal an orange on her plate with a fork and knife. I watched her do the same with a banana.
Through all these years I have had an increasing affection for my godmother. I admire her beauty, her intelligence, her sense of humour and her ability to remember the names of her 14 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren.
In 2004 I traveled with Rosemary and Rebecca and re-connected with Inesita. Rebecca was impressed by her English and her perfect high-tea table that she offered us one day. I had brought Inesita books in English. Books in English are expensive and hard to get in Buenos Aires. Currently a pocket book will cost $30. Inesita appreciated the books.
The problem now is that Inesita’s eyes are failing her because of a recent fall that resulted in a blood clot in one of her eyes. I know how she misses reading in English. Like many members of my family (my mother would have called them “gente fina como nosotros” or people with good taste like us) Inesita doesn’t read just any book. She likes authors like Susan Howatch and P.D. James.
I may have found a solution yesterday where I noticed a promotion at Chapters. You could buy two audio books for $10 (complete and not abridged) by such good authors as Philip Roth and Umberto Eco.
The hitch is mailing anything to Argentina. My package can be pilfered or stolen. The solution, I believe is what I ended up doing. I copied the four CD's of Madeleine Wickham's Cocktail for Three
and sent them in an innocuous envelope marked family photo CDs, no commercial value. I think it will get delivered. If it isn't I can try again. My friend Mark Budgen always suggests DHL Couriers. "The reason they are more expensive than Fedex," he says, " is that the price includes the bribe."
I Skyped Inesita today and told her I had mailed her book. She is all excited. I have no way of knowing how long it will take. I took the opportunity to get a few more facts like the exact number of her grandchildren. And then on a lark I told her how astounded I had been to see Heidi peeling a banana with a fork and knife. Inesita's answer made my day, "You don't eat bananas at the table like monkeys."
I must not have ever eaten a banana at the dinner table in her Belgrano mansion. Had I, I would have certainly known.
A Policeman's Dessert Pleases Rosemary
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Mermelada.(Del port. marmelada).
1. f. Conserva de membrillos o de otras frutas, con miel o azúcar.
Membrillo. (Del lat. melimēlum, manzana dulce, y este del gr. μελίμηλον).
1. m. Méx. Pasta dulce o carne hecha de frutas como membrillo, durazno, guayaba, etc.
Diccionario de la Real Academia Española (RAE).
We know that the English love their marmalade
and that the best is made from Seville oranges that are brought by ship from Spain. In English marmalade is always made from oranges and not as frequently from lemons.
In Spanish it all changes. Mermelada
is jam made from any fruit and jelly is jalea
. The Portuguese beg to differ since for them marmelada
is quince paste, period and forget oranges and any other fruit! The story is that Greeks and the Romans brought quince plants (from the rose family) from the middle east to Spain. Portugal did not exist at that time so the argument between the Spaniards and the Portuguese as to who invented jellied quince jam is no contest. Quince is high in pectin and with equal amounts of sugar (or honey) and cooked quince the result is a conserva or preserve that does not neet to be refrigerated. Wherever the Spaniards and the Portuguese went in their travels of exploration to the New World or around Africa to the East they brought their quince jam recipe. Another favourite is to make it from guayaba (guavas in English). In Mexico they make ate
(as the Mexicans call jellied fruit) not only from membrillo (quince) guayaba but also from apples, strawberries and mangoes (my personal favourite). Mexicans insist that to make proper ate de membrillo one must use a copper pot. I have not been able to corroborate this yet.
Only Argentines seem to make a dulce
from sweet potato or yam. It's called dulce de batata
. It is extremely sweet and only an Argentine can possibly stomach it. Another variation dulce de batata con chocolate
where the sweet potato is layered with jellied chocolate is even sweeter!
In brief dulce de membrillo
(Spain, Argentina and most of South America) is called ate de membrillo
in Mexico. In most of these countries the sweet is served as a dessert with some sort of white cheese. A little finger sandwich is made with the cheese and the quince paste. It is almost a ritual dessert in Argentina. It is called el postre de vigilante
or the policeman's dessert because he (I have yet to see an Argentine policewoman on a beat in Buenos Aires) the cop can eat it parado
or standing up and he can wolf it down if he has to leave for an emergency. In Argentina the cheese of choice is called queso fresco
which is a cow's milk cheese that is not aged. In Mexico they like to use Queso Chihuahua which is similar to a mild white cheddar.
|George W. Hayward, far right, Buenos Aires 1965|
For reasons that escape me Rosemary likes "dulce
" (you need not add the words membrillo and cheese, it is understood!) as if she were an Argentine. She was out to a Master Gardener meeting last night and when she returned I surprised her with her favourite dessert. My grandmother, Lolita, liked her dulce and cheese dunked into her morning coffee or her afternoon hot chocolate.
Two Aircraft Carriers Into A Sunset
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
: Colossus class light carrier in service in the Royal Canadian Navy from 1946 to 1948; return to Royal Navy and sold to Argentine Navy as ARA Independencia (V-1) ARA Independencia
(V-1): Colossus class light carrier in service from 1959 to 1969; scrapped 1971 NAeL Minas Gerais
: Colossus class carrier in service from 1960 to 2001. Retired.
In 1958 the Argentine Navy purchased an aircraft carrier from the Dutch. The small carrier had been around the block. It was HMCS Warrior which had been in service with the Canadian Navy (see above) until 1948. The Royal Navy had then sold it and a sister ship to the Dutch Navy. In the 60s, as now, Argentina and Brazil were out to prove who the military power in the Southern Hemisphere was. As soon as the Argentine Navy had its carrier the Brazilians could not be left behind. They wanted one just like the Argentine one so they approached the Dutch Navy and purchased a Colossus class carrier and named it the Minas Gerais (look on the left side of the first picture or below left). The Brazilians had a problem.
When the Argentines bought their carrier they immediately created a naval air arm. They then made arrangements to get Douglas Skyhawks
which were aging but still excellent carrier borne jets. The Brazilians had no naval air arm. Their navy argued that the planes on the carrier would be their jurisdiction. The Brazilian Air Force pointed out that since the navy had no airplanes they (the Brazilian Air Force) would have command of the planes on the carrier. They argued back for years. In 1966 when I took this picture the argument was still in full force and the ship was rusting on Guanabara Bay off Rio de Janeiro.
Not having any planes did not stop the Brazilians from showing off their purchase. I was in the Argentine Navy in 1965 when the Brazilians decided to make a port of call with the Minas Gerais in Buenos Aires. I will never know the exact truth. Perhaps the Argentine Rivert Plate pilots gave the Brazilians the wrong information. The carrier ran aground coming into Buenos Aires and
leaving it. The River Plate has to be constantly dredged as silt quickly settles on the access channels for sea-going vessels. It was most embarrasing for the Brazilian Navy. I remember that we made fun of the Brazilian's uniforms particularly those of the officers. They had huge 19th century style epaulettes and the colour combinations were jaring.
Shortly after I remember going to a Santos of Brazil soccer match with the Argentine side, River Plate. Santos dressed in dazzling white uniforms (in impeccable taste) soundly defeated the Argentines in their own turf. Santos had Pelé when he was playing in his prime. One of the only perks of being in the Argentine Navy was that I could go to football matches for free if I wore my uniform. It was during this match that Pelé was met by a couple of overly enthusiastic Argentine defenders. Pelé kicked the ball forward (with his back heel) high into the air. He jumped over one of the defenders and ran around the other and when the ball came down he was alone with the goal in front of him. He deftly, and gently, tapped the ball in for the best goal I have ever seen. In retrospect I think that Pelé somehow made ammends for his navy's poor seamanship.
During my voyage from Buenos Aires to Veracruz in the Argentine Merchant Navy Victory Ship Río Aguapey I had the run of the ship as the only passenger. After my stint as a conscript
the Argentine Navy I had swung a repatriation passage to Mexico (where I lived) from a friendly Argentine admiral. Besides reading Spengler I decided to photograph every sunset we had. Not too many of those sunsets have survived storage in my files all these years (since 196) but here are three off the coast of Brazil that did.
In 1985 I saw Terry Gilliam's Brazil
at the Park on Cambie with science fiction writer William Gibson
. I saw the film again today. After the film I went into my files and looked for Brazil. I found the sunsets.
One of my favourite books of all time is Lawrence Norfolk's The Pope's Rhinoceros
(1996) which is a novel on how both the Portuguese and the Spaniards attempted to bribe Pope Leo X with a mysterious and yet unseen rhinoceros so that he would divide the "New World" to their favour. It would seem that somehow the Spaniards lost out.
The Treaty of Tordesillas, which had been ratified in 1494 by Pope Alexander VI, with its line of demarcation gave the Eastern bulge of South America (a future Brazil) to the Portuguese. The Spaniards had lobbied and kept lobbying to change this but the country became a Portuguese-speaking Brazil. It is just as strange, as that rusting aircraft carrier, that an African/Indian mammal, the rhino, would affect the future of the New World.
Onward Christian Soldiers - A Confirmation
Monday, April 13, 2009
As a little boy I often saw my grandmother saying her Holy Rosary in silence. I could discern the syllables of the padre nuestro
and the ave Marías
on her lips. This was the reverent side of religion of which my grandmother taught me a lot. But there was an irreverent, almost comical, side of her Catholicism that even as a small boy I found funny. When my mother or grandmother lost some precious or not so precious object they would make a bargain with St Anthony of Padua. If this saint, the patron saint of lost objects, would come through, they would then paylots and leave said some at his box at the local church. But he would get nothing if the object remained lost.
In the general and then predictable order of my Catholic life, Confirmation was the second sacrament I received after baptism. My grandmother made it plain that this sacrament made it a duty for me to be a defender of the faith. I enquired about that heroic tune that my father and I would sing in bed, Onward Christian Soldiers
, and she told me that this was not really what confirmation was about. “You have to be able to explain your religion to strangers, who may ask
, defend its tenets verbally and by example. Only then will you be a proper Christian soldier."
At the time I found this most boring as singing Onward Christian Soldiers
and My Bonny Lies Over the Ocean
was much more fun. The prospect of hitting some uncouth heathen on the head with my wooden sword and forcibly entering them into the bosom of the Mother Church was much more exciting.
Four years at a Catholic boarding school in Texas, St Edward’s High School and four years of excellent and detailed instruction of Catholic doctrine (courtesy of Brother Edwin Reggio, C.S.C) complete with forays into Aristotle, Augustine and Aquinas, made me truly a Catholic soldier that my grandmother was proud of.
It all unraveled (or at least in hindsight it seems to have done so then) sometime around mid April 1966 in the Buenos Aires zoo. The April 8 Time Magazine
had on its cover the shocking question, Is God dead?
I was dressed in my Argentine Navy whites and I was sitting by the tigers (like Borges used tod do) reading my copy of Time. In those days I read the magazine every week and only missed a few that the Argentine Junta deemed insulting to their benign rule.
It was in the late 60s when talking to my mother that I seriously began to doubt some of my beliefs. My mother suffered from an advance case of vertigo Ménière. Besides a constant ringing in her ears that was making her deaf she had terrible dizzy spells that had the whole world moving under her and she would hold on to her bed for dear life. By then my mother was in her late 50s. One day, one I will never forget, she told me, “I no longer believe in a God that cares. I believe that my prayers a wasted on a being who created us and then left us to our devices. I believe in a remote and selfish God.”
Years before around 1963 my grandmother and I had been against her being wooed by a pleasant but balding man, a Mr. Medrano, we nicknamed “Poco Pelo”
or Little Hair. We did everything possible to scuttle the relationship until my mother finally gave up. I look back at that event in my life with deep shame particularly when I remember what my mother told me right after her concept of her selfish God.
“Alex, I am 57, I am still a sexual being in spite of my Ménière’s. I have lived in loneliness since I left your father in 1953. I want more of my life.”
I was speechless and had no comforting words. She left me in depression when she added, "I have lost my faith in the power of prayer."
Since those days I have dabbled in the works of Spinoza, Hegel and Spengler. The Time article on God pointed me in the direction of Nietzsche. I have found some comfort in the notions of non existence so calmly explained by Epicurus.
As I lay in bed last night after our successful Easter dinner with our guests, the Stewarts, I asked Rosemary, “We have been married for 41 years. How has all that time passed without us really knowing? Where are we going?”
Rosemary was silent. I was troubled because of a 1927 silent film I had seen a few hours before.
Last night I finally saw in its entirety, Cecil B. D. Mille’s The King of Kings.
After filtering out of my system some of the over dramatic acting I enjoyed the beautiful camera work. I instantly dismissed D. Mille’s “Christ trick” of using an ever present backlight and a soft focus filter. These two factors when combined with Christ’s (H.B. Warner) white toga made him fluoresce like magic. Add to this little fluorescent-white trained doves and the effect was rather campy. This film is well worth watching for two performances. One is by Austrian born Joseph Schildkraut (Judas) and the other by Victor Varconi as Pontius Pilate. Schildkraut in later years made wonderful films (The Man with the Iron Mask
) where he played a hateful villain. In The King of Kings
he played an uncommonly handsome and complex Judas to matinee idol perfection. Varconi, as Pilate without the advantage of sound, was a Pilate who truly knew this man, this Christ was innocent. The path between him trying to save Christ to his eventual washing of his hands is a silent tour de force.
The film left me empty. It was like watching a magician when I was 8 and believing that what I was watching was pure magic. The magician was truly swallowing that string of Gillette blades. Many years later I marvelled at films that showed pianos playing without the help of human hands. I could never get the thrill of watching the keyboard of my Smith Corona PWP-40 magically type out my letter after I had pressed, “print.”
As my St Ed’s High School reunion looms in June I am thinking of going a day early. I want to sit with Brother Edwin and chat. Do I dare ask him about his beliefs? He gave me all the intellectual tools to make me a perfect soldier of Christ. Or should I just let those days of soft focus magic remain and just soldier on as I am now?
Fried Eggs, Deviled Eggs, Scrambled Eggs & Rosemary's Yorkshire Pudding
Sunday, April 12, 2009
It was sometime around 8 years ago when I finally gave up trying to urge Rosemary to cook meals for us. All my constant nagging caused was ill feeling. I could not use the male argument that as the breadwinner she should cook for me. Her breadwinning was every much as important as mine. I am a freelancer so my monthly income has always been uncertain. Rosemary has always had a good and steady salary.
I knew something was up when we married 41 years ago and Rosemary had asserted, “I will never scrub floors for you.” I had plenty of advance preparation for this sort of treatment, from females, from my own mother. I may have been around 11 when I complained that she had broken my fried eggs. I told her, “I refuse to eat fried eggs that don’t have pristine yolks.” I remember pushing my plate away. My mother said, most calmly, “Hijo ya es hora de que sepas freir un huevo.” (Son it is time that you learn to fry your own egg.)
I learned to fry eggs. I don’t like to fry them in very hot grease. I want them to look poached. I scramble them without mixing the whites and the yolks too much. And I never overcook them. Unfortunately I like to eat them with catsup as we were forced into this culinary depravity back in the middle 50s at St. Ed’s where the frugal Brothers of the Holy Cross had purchased tons of Korean surplus powdered eggs. Catsup was the only way to make them edible. I learned to make mean cheese omelets and I can surprise many with my French shirred eggs. I use Gruyere cheese, cream and hot paprika. Summer in the garden is never complete with my deviled eggs. I make mayonnaise from scratch for them and I use a generous amount of Keen’s Dry Mustard. After all it is the hot mustard that makes a deviled egg a genuine deviled egg. But my specialty is the cheese soufflé. My secret is to always add an extra two or three egg whites into my mixture.
Rosemary is the expert who buys the groceries. She knows her prices and knows how to economize. She has a special talent for choosing ripe mangoes and sweet grapes. She is no Argentine but the meat she buys for me to cook is always the best.
We are looking forward to our Easter dinner. We have invited the Stewarts (Hilary, husband Bruce and our beloved granddaughters Lauren and Rebecca). I am cooking the roast beef ( a Rosemary bought sirloin tip). I partially brown it on the outside on the barbecue before I bring it in and finish it in the oven. But the most popular dinner item (especially with Hilary) is Rosemary’s Yorkshire pudding. When Rosemary is inclined to cook she cooks very well. It is Easter, after all, so I might also prepare a few of my deviled eggs!
Rosemary had the last word with eggs. She announced we were having a merengue for dessert. She uses whipped cream and strawberries.