Sunday Music

The new year is already a bit used ; it’s still shiny, full of promise and all, but this special new-year-smell fades, and now we simply have to use it – because that’s what it is made for.
The American Leader is now one year in office – no, don’t worry, I will not speak about this creature here in abundance. With a little luck he’ll be gone in another twelve months. One may wonder who or what will replace the orange ham actor. I see a good chance that the US will implode when The Leader survives the whole four or – GOd forbid ! – eight years in office. There will be no more “democracy” left. But we can not change the c(o)urse of history, and if America wants to wreck herself, so be it.
The week was uneventful. I worked, I slept, I looked out of the window.
A bit more windy than usual. This heavy & strong wind came from the West, so it would be a Ζέφυρος, a Zephyr (Ger., Eng.). But I think the ancients would not count this storm as Zephyrus, who usually is understood to be a mild messenger of spring. It was more of a brutal Northern Βορέας (Ger., Eng.), just from the wrong direction.
And Βορέας brings us easily to this Sunday Music, a sweet little nothing from M. RAMEAUs (Ger., Eng.) (last) opera Les Boréades (Ger., Eng.) (Boreas’ children), performed by Les Ambassadeurs under the French musician & conductor Alexis KOSSENKO (Eng.).
I hope you like the music. If you have snow in your part of the world, just be a little more careful please. Especially inhabitants of Devon seem to have a fondness for falling into the mud, what would Freud say ?




Cake for Scarlet

Ms Scarlet needs cake.

It is urgent. The poor darling was “schlepping about the house with an extension cable slung over my shoulder for the past week“. (source)

Be a blogging friend – show affection, put up a cake : Cake for Scarlet !


THEY’LL BE EATING OUT OF THE POM OF YOUR HAND! POMEGRANATE MOUSSE CAKE June 27, 2010 by Chef Dennis Littley 132 Comments A while ago I received a case of Pomegranate juice from the nice folks at POM Wonderful.   As I read through their website I discovered some very interesting facts about Pomegranate Juice, but what I didn’t expect to learn was that most Pomegranate juice drinks on the market are not created equal!! It seems the pomegranate / blueberry juice blend that I have been buying my wife has 0.3% Pomegranate Juice and only 0.2% Blueberry Juice.  I couldn’t understand how that could be possible, after all what I did read was the large print exclaiming “Pomegranate-Blueberry Juice”  for all the world to see and rejoice in its wonder!!!! But what I hadn’t noticed in almost negligible much smaller print below it was…..”flavored blend of 5 juices”……..sigh So after I admonished myself for being mislead once again by “The Man and Big Business” in my best Dennis Hopper voice (I don’t really  talk like that, it just seemed appropriate, unfortunately I strayed into a few lines from  Blue Velvet too, I’m so easily distracted….sigh). I read on.  After all Knowledge is Power!! Now I didn’t know if I should be mad at myself or that super huge manufacturer of fruit juices, but in all fairness, I decided I should have know better…..sigh……caveat emptor, let the buyer beware. So now as I read on it I found out that to get the equivalent of 16 ounces of Pomegranate Juice I would have to buy Ninety (90 , yes it’s not a misprint) 59 ounce bottles of that colored sugar waterother national brand!  WOW…….. If my wife had to drink that much juice, She would never leave the bathroom!I had been racking my brain trying to think of something really interesting to make with that wonderful pomegranate juice, there were of course so many obvious choices.  I thought marinades, dressings and sauces, oh my…….  Then of course the super obvious would be to make a dessert. But not being a very experienced baker, I thought this would be a challenge (having not gotten much sleep last night, my brain jumped at the super obvious). I started going through my cook books, I had already decided to make a cake, but I wanted it to be a little different (for me at least).  I finally found my inspiration In Baking by James Peterson .  Not a particular recipe but a mixture of a few, so lets begin my Pomegranate Mouse Cake! Fluffy Light Yellow Cake  by James Peterson, Baking

Fluffy Light Yellow Cake by James Peterson, Baking


Here is the link to the original post. Thanks to Chef Dennis – it is an emergency !


A storm comes up, temperatures fell, air pressure changed, I felt hang-over the whole morning and from the mirror something swollen stared at me. Great to have something to close the holes in the walls. Chances are that, when you look around in the room you are in, some fabric hangs in front of said holes – curtains !
They are part of what is in German called Fensterverkleidung, door and window coating. Looking at the history of this interesting element of  interior design one can see that the main elements are already known in the 17th century : The two piece curtain (“zweiflügeliger Vorhang”), die Aufziehgardine (pull-up curtains or “hissgardinen”), the rouleaux. And of course there are different kinds and sorts of Fensterläden, blinds or shutters, which may be fixed on the outside of the house or inside the room, closing the whole of the opening or just a part ; they may swing from side to side (“Klappläden”) or be drawn up. The innovative æra of textile window coating is the seventeenth century, all the forms that were later used or dismissed, following the whims of goddess Vogue, were developed in this age.
Gardinen or curtains (Ger., Eng.) had a use value first, later became elements for interior design. They are seemingly related to the older Bettvorhang.
To get one thing out of the way : There never has been a tax on curtains, a Gardinensteuer. This is always cited as reason that in The Netherlands fewer curtains were in front of citizens’ windows. The reason may be that in earlier times few people had clear window panes, but pretty small and dim ones, so that not too much light came in anyway and there was no reason to shut out curious peeps from the outside. Simply because the interior lightning also was pretty dim, bright burning wax candles were expensive, most people had only tallow candles. All speculation about a special Calvinistic mindset or mentality etc. is simply speculation. What really existed was a tax on windows.
I read somewhere that one of the earliest depiction of a two piece curtain can be found on a picture by Wolfgang HEIMBACH (Ger., Eng.) from 1653, but I could not find it. In the last third of the 17th century the role of curtains changed from being just something to keep out peeps and sunlight to an element of interior design. Notably the materials changed to Taft / tafetta, Damast / damask and silk.
Of course all this is first located in noble interiors. Through the 18th and 19th century curtains became part of bourgeois living ambiente and even rural living rooms.
Since the 1680s, starting from France of course, the pull-up curtains (Aufziehgardine, hissgardinen in Swedish) started to conquer living rooms – they survived on the stage, when the curtain goes up. The king himself, Louis XIV., gave advice how these things should be fixed – he should know, carpenter that he was. Today they are known as Wolkenstores or Raffrollos (images), their high times were the 18th century.
The rouleau (“der Rollo”), is a curtain rolled on a wooden rod, fixed on the inside of the window, a sun protection. KRÜNITZ (Ger., Eng.) in his Encyclopädie, calls it “Rollstäbe mit gemeiniglich bemahltem Papier, Leinwand oder seidenem Zeug” (“wooden staffs usually with painted paper, canvas or silk”). The rouleau can be found in 18th century inventories, since the 19th century it shows up in simpler environments on the countryside.
In FONTANEs (Ger., Eng.) novel Effi Briest (ebook, listen to it) we can read for noble Berlin :
Von Juni an schläft dann alles ein, und die heruntergelassenen Rouleaus verkünden einem schon auf hundert Schritt ‘Alles ausgeflogen’; ob wahr oder nicht, macht keinen Unterschied …”
“Everything turns quiet from June onwards, and the lowered Rouleaus tell one from a hundred steps’ distance ‘All absent’ ; true or not makes no difference …”
Another form is the Scheibengardine, the half- or café-curtain, first examples can be found on 17th century paintings. Their main use is visual cover. Besides these forms of curtains from the late 18th century onwards large Draperien, draperies, are develop, not only through the Empire, but they can be found in Biedermeyer-interiors too.
At least mentioned should be the colouring of glass, mostly with chalk – this is known for Sweden in the mid of the 19th century ; even in the middle of the 20th this could be found in remote rural areas of Germany ; also putting cut-outs, Scherenschnitte or silhouettes, into the windows was a praxis – but there are basically no sources for these habits.
Here is an example of a colourful, light-weight, printed Gardine, circa 25 years old, as it was used in a child’s room :


Simple green curtains as used in a child's room, originally two panels of fabric, sewn together
Simple green curtains as used in a child’s room, originally two panels of fabric, sewn together


Sun makes fabric tired, mürbe, fragile, so a strong grip can break it :


An incautious grasp ...
An incautious grasp …


Damn Books

Rummaging through the shelves may lead to interesting discoveries – ha, you once bought that, really ? I came about a volume in plain brown cloth, could not read the title embossed in gold on the spine – low contrast and dim light, I really should take care for a good bulb ! – and found BODINs (Ger., Eng.) (1529-1596) Dæmonomania in FISCHARTs (Ger., Eng.) (1545-1591) translation, Vom ausgelasnen wütigen Teufelsheer ; of course a reprint (Graz 1973), originally published Straßburg 1591. Superstition, witchcraft, the whole program, was all the rage in 1980s seminars. Wonder whether it is time for a new generation to “discover” the area.
BODIN was a very “modern” man in some respects. He wrote about money and economics, clearly understanding the results of the influx of gold & silver from Southern America ; he – as a protestant – always advocated tolerance between the confessions (remember that the “Bartholomäusnacht” (Ger., Eng.) of 1572 was a pogrom that left some thousand protestants dead in Paris and France) ; and – most important – he was a theorist of the state. His ideas were based on the rule of natural (thus : divine) law that stands over all other laws (id est those that origin from confessions or from other social groups), and hence a “state” is obligated to the law, only following this law gives its reign over individuals reason, justification and foundation : The state is bound by law. He was no advocate of the “absolute” state, but that is what later theorists made out of it and what finally came into existence, notably in France. Some writers go so far to call BODIN a “proto-enlightener” (Frühaufklärer).
And then he publishes a book that could easily be written by a narrow-minded Dominican inquisitor of the worst ilk. Some writers of the 19th and even 20th century wanted to understand this work as a kind of satire or persiflage, but it is not. Its bloody serious, BODIN is bloody serious about it. The whole text is an answer to the ideas of WIERUS (Ger., Eng.) (1515-1588) who came to the conclusion that those witches and magicians are ill, people suffering from a mental disability, and thus may not be condemned to death.
Leaving Mr. BODIN behind I came to think about it. Here we have a “proto-enlightener” of the late 16th century following the darkest superstitions. How did it go on ?
The 17th century saw a war of European dimension fought originally about confessions, superstitions wildly growing, stacks nicely burning, and the development of the modern state. The 18th is called the “age of enlightenment” and on the other side the golden age of alchemy and secret societies of any kind. The 19th sees progress in natural sciences and modernisation, inventions like electricity and photography – and what did they photograph, the modern occultists ? Spirits.
The 20th brought us wars of before unknown dimensions, and finally the engineer’s wet dream, atomic power – and Auschwitz, the culmination of irrationalism. At the beginning of the 21st century we have to watch barbarians beheading people who are unlucky enough not to be of the right faith. And the barbarians use of course most modern technology. As the SS did. Even black uniforms are en vogue again. Pereant !

There is no progress. No development to the “better”, only stupidity, shrewdness and greed. Always and everywhere.

The bottle of greed was found and smashed.