What did I feed the College Music Society?

The College Music Society met at Lafayette College on March 19-20, 2004. Food at the post-concert receptions was inspired by papers presented at the conference.

E-mail me with questions, or just to let me know you're here! I'd be fascinated to know if anyone's actually looking at or using these recipes.

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Some of these recipes are on this page, some are elsewhere within my Web site, and some are elsewhere on the Web.

Sufi Sesame-Semolina Halvah from Serving the Guest: a Sufi Cookbook and art gallery, a marvelous online Sufi cookbook by Kathleen Seidel of Peterborough, New Hampshire.
Inspired by: M. Rahima Hohlstein, "Sufi Poetry as set by Johannes Brahms"

Moravian Sugar Cake -- if you Google "Moravian Sugar Cake" (with quotes like that), you will get many recipes; my link is to the one I used (more or less; I skipped the Tupperware, used a mixture of whole wheat pastry flour, spelt flour, and a little wheat germ, and found that the recipe made 5 cakes, not 7).
Inspired by: Pauline Fox, "The Model of Moravian Musical Education: An Example of Easton Area History," and by keynote speaker Paul Larsen's link to Moravian College. Maybe also by the fact that there are people connected to this conference named Buttery, Ovens, and Crumb.

Bows and Flows of Angel Hair -- this is the condensed-milk classic sometimes known as "seven-layer cookies." I tried to adapt it using angel hair pasta, and decided the original with coconut was too good to substitute.
Inspired by: John White, "Many Sides of Both Sides Now"

China And The West Ice Cream Kumquat ice cream wth Kahlua fudge ripple
Inspired by: Omri Shimron, "Musical Globalism: China and the West in Chen Yi's Ba Ban for Piano Solo"

Romantic Mestizo Modernist Ice Cream Ibarra (Mexican chocolate) ice cream with dulce de leche ripple and cacao nibs
Inspired by: Max Lifchitz, "From Romanticism to Mestizo Modernism: Mexican Piano Music during the First Half of the Twentieth Century"

Affliction Cookies
Matza cookies with wine-chocolate glaze
Inspired by: Karen Uslin, "The Jewish Voice: The Story of Jewish Composers in Nazi Europe"

Oatmeal Gamelan Custard Squares With oatmeal for Scotland and coconut milk for Indonesia, this was the most culinarily inspiring paper topic!
Inspired by: Mark Nelson, "Joining Discrete Musical Worlds: I. M. Harjito's Sekat for Javanese Gamelan and Scottish Bagpipes"

Improvisation Punch Truly improvised, since I couldn't find the teabags I intended to use!
What I originally intended, which is always delicious: throw good cider into a crockpot with a handful of Tazo orange teabags. Use 1-2 teabags per quart of cider, and tie their strings together so you can pull them all out of the way.
What I actually did, improvised on the spot: throw good cider into a crockpot with a bottle of pomegranate juice and a generous splash of rosewater.
Inspired by: Tim Newman, "Yin and Yang of Jazz: Exploring the Relationship between Composing and Improvising"

Kumquat Ice Cream with Kahlua Fudge Ripple

Adapted from a recipe for orange marmalade ice cream in: Marilyn Linton and Tanya Linton, 125 Best Ice Cream Recipes (Toronto: Robert Rose Inc., 2003).

The original recipe starts with 2 cups of orange marmalade. For kumquats, I simmered approximately:
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 pounds of kumquats

I don't know how long this simmered -- until thickened and translucent. Maybe half an hour? Then, chill this mixture.

Stir in:
2 tablespoons Cointreau (original recipe had 1 tablespoon vanilla and 1 tablespoon orange extract)
2 cups light cream (organic if you can find it)
2 cups whole milk (organic really makes this taste better)

Chill overnight.

Freeze in an ice cream maker. I love my Lello Gelato machine -- Google "Lello Gelato" (with quotes like that) to see who's selling them online.

While it's freezing, make the ripple by simmering:
a good 100-gram chocolate bar, broken into pieces
approximately 1/2 cup Grand Marnier
sugar to taste -- approximately 3-4 tablespoons, depending on strength of chocolate

Simmer very gently approximately ten minutes so that you evaporate the alcohol and dissove the sugar, but don't hurt the chocolate

Chill the ripple mix while the ice cream finishes in the ice cream maker.

When the ice cream is done, spoon 1/4 of it into a container. Top with 1/3 of the ripple mix. Repeat until you're out of ice cream. Stir with just a few strokes to ripple the ripple. "Cure" by putting in freezer (refrigerator freezer, not ice-cream-churning freezer) overnight.

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Ibarra Chocolate Ice Cream with Cacao Nibs and Dulce de Leche Ripple

Adapted from a recipe for milk chocolate ice cream in: Alice Medrich, Bittersweet (New York: Workman/Artisan, 2003); and a recipe for dulce de leche in: Lora Brody, Slow Cooker Cooking (New York: HarperCollins/William Morrow, 2001).

Give yourself a day in advance to make the dulce de leche.

Put in a 3- or 4-quart slow cooker, uncovered, on high:
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise (scrape seeds into the milk)
3 cups whole milk (organic makes a difference)
1 2/3 cups sugar
1/4 cup water
large pinch of baking soda

Brody says to cook 9 hours. I find it's more like 14, maybe because I use a 3-quart cooker. Scrape and remove the vanilla bean. Whisk gently. Scrape some of the sugar from the slow cooker back into the milk.

Continue cooking for an hour or two, stirring every 20 minutes, until it's a dark butterscotch color. When it's ready, heat in microwave:
1 cup of milk

Stir the warm milk into the slow cooker mixture.

Remove from heat and allow to cool at least ten minutes. Pour/spoon/scrape into a small container, cover, and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate. Brody says this lasts up to 3 months; I've never kept it more than a few days. It's good in ice cream, in coffee, as a fruit dip, or just plain.

Now you're ready to make the Ibarra ice cream.

Bring to a simmer:
1 1/2 cups heavy cream (organic is best)
1 1/2 cups whole milk (again, organic makes a difference)
1/2 cup sugar
1 cinnamon stick (or a pinch of cinnamon, I guess)

While that's heating, whisk in a large bowl:
4 large egg yolks

Pour the hot cream mixture over the egg yolks, stir together, and scrape back into saucepan. Cook over medium heat until slightly thick; Medrich says 175-180 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. Strain into a clean bowl -- I recommend using a metal coffee filter, so you don't get any bits of scrambled egg in your ice cream -- and let cool. Let the cinnamon stick continue to steep.

Melt very gently:
8 ounces Ibarra Mexican chocolate

The original recipe melts milk chocolate by chopping it finely and putting it in a stainless steel bowl set in a pan of hot tap water. Ibarra is a little rougher to deal with. Cut it as small as you can stand, and melt it as slowly as you can, and hope for the best! Ibarra is available at some large grocery stores, but it's more fun to seek out a little Mexican grocer. It's used for Mexican drinking chocolate, and it consists of three-ounce embossed disks made with sugar, cacao nibs, lecithin, and cinnamon flavor.

Pour the custard over the chocolate, stir until blended, let cool, then cover and chill. I'd leave the cinnamon stick in the mix until you're ready to freeze this. Actually I also added:
about 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Freeze in an ice cream maker. I love my Lello Gelato machine -- Google "Lello Gelato" (with quotes like that) to see who's selling them online.

When the ice cream begins to set, toss in a handful of:
cacao nibs (to taste)
Cacao nibs are still pretty obscure. Scharffen Berger sells them; I found mine at the Fairway Market in New York.

When the ice cream is done, spoon 1/4 of it into a container. Top with 1/3 of the dulce de leche. Repeat until you're out of ice cream. Stir with just a few strokes to ripple the ripple. "Cure" by putting in freezer (refrigerator freezer, not ice-cream-churning freezer) overnight.

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Oatmeal Coconut Custard Squares

Adapted from a kugel recipe from the Jewish community of Bombay (!) in: Jayne Cohen, The Gefilte Variations (New York: Scribner, 2000).

Line a broiler pan with foil while you preheat the broiler. Arrange:
10 pineapple rings (20-ounce can in natural juice, drained)

Sprinkle with:
at least 3 tablespoons brown sugar
Broil 5-8 minutes (stop before the smoke alarm shrieks).

Oil an 8-inch square baking dish (I line it with foil first) with:
avocado oil (original says mild oil, including sunflower or almond).

At some point -- while the pineapple slices are broiling, if you are quick -- put the following items in a small saucepan to simmer:
2 cups (16 fluid ounces) unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 cup rolled oats (not quick); this is different from original recipe, which uses orzo cooked separately in water
1-2 cinnamon sticks (or a pinch of cinnamon)
about 1/2 teapoon each of ginger, cardamom, and allspice
1 vanilla bean, split (as it softens, scrape its seeds into the liquid)

Simmer slowly -- do not boil! -- at least 15 minutes. Mixture will thicken somewhat and the oats will plump, and it will pick up the fragrance of the spices.

While that's simmering, whisk until thick:
3 eggs (organic have best flavor)
pinch of salt

Remove the coconut mixture from the heat and fish out the cinnamon stick and the vanilla bean. Remember to scrape the vanilla seeds into the mixture. After the coconut mixture cools slightly, mix it thoroughly into the beaten eggs.

Pour the mixture over the pineapple. Set that pan in a hot water bath: put it in a larger pan and pour hot (boiling is good) water around it halfway up the sides.

Bake one hour, maybe a few minutes longer. This sets as it cools. Once it's cool, refrigerate it.

Unmold to serve (if you lined the pan with foil, this is very easy to do), and cut into squares.

You can make this the night before, but if you leave it more than 24 hours, it begins to get icky.

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Affliction Cookies

This is actually adapted from two recipes: Matza Cookies from: Jenny Kdoshim and Debbie Bevans, Matza 101 (Kdoshim and Bevans, 1998); and Chocolate Wine Glaze from: Faye Levy, 1,000 Jewish Recipes (New York: Hungry Minds, 2000).

Prepare matza by wetting it and letting it sit stacked between thick, wet paper towels. In about 15 minutes it should be as flexible as a thick lasagna noodle.
Brush with a mixture of:
1/2 cup orange juice concentrate
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Sprinkle with:
Let sit for about half an hour so the juice mixture soaks in. Meanwhile, grease and sugar a large cookie sheet (you can line the sheet with foil first).

Cut the prepared matza into shapes using a knife or cookie cutter.
Bake at 375-400 degrees until golden (not too dark).
Meanwhile, make the chocolate-wine glaze. Whisk:
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1/3 cup Passover wine

Bring to a boil over medium heat, still whisking. Simmer for two minutes, whisking occasionally.
Remove from heat. Add and stir until melted:
2 ounces chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
6 tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine

Refrigerate until spreadable, about half an hour, stirring occasionally.
Once the glaze is thickened and the matza cookies are cool, spread the glaze on the cookies.

These are good for about a day; then they start getting soggy.

Copyright note: I have adapted all these recipes into my own words (which I am not copyrighting, though I hope you'll tell people where you found them). Lists of ingredients are in the public domain.

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Posted March 19, 2004

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