Friday, November 28, 2008


Today I learned to play this.

It's much easier than it sounds, and like most of Mastodon's stuff it's a beautiful example of the elegance and logic of the guitar. Much of the piece is built around artful little symmetrical shapes on the fretboard. The bit starting at 0:42 in the video, for example, is simply a three-note pattern played repeatedly, shifting up one fret and down one string each time, making a perfect zigzag line. It ends up as a CM7 chord, but that seems incidental to the geometry that's going on. It's very, very cool.

Today I also made stock using a clever method that Ruhlman recommends and that I haven't tried before: I turned my oven on to 180 degrees, put my chicken carcass in the pot, covered it with water, brought it to a simmer, and stuck it in the oven for four hours. Just a few minutes ago I cut up an onion and a carrot and threw them in, along with some thyme branches and peppercorns. I'll pull the stock out and strain it in an hour or so, and use it to make risotto.

Yep. Wild rock 'n' roll lifestyle I've got going here.

By the way, my friend, the amazing banjo-playing confectioner/budding trapeze artist/personal trainer Mary Duke, who kicks ass in all kinds of ways, has a blog now. Everybody go and leave her interesting comments.


hsempl said...

trapeze artist? i definitely will check out her blog.

this may be obvious, but i'm oblivious; do you simmer the watered chicken on the stove prior to moving to the oven (and if so, what kind of pot do you use?) or do you mean you simmer it in the oven?

Rob said...

The first. Bring it to a simmer on the stovetop, then move it to the oven. Veggies go in for the last half-hour to 45 minutes; longer than that and they'll cloud the stock. Ruhlman also recommends straining through a cheesecloth.