Fall has a way of making me happy for unknown reasons. Swamped with work, shorter hours of sunlight, rain; but so worth it when I can curl up with a bowl of oatmeal and a cup of tea and a warm blanket.
Recently, I've had quite the musical Renaissance - literally. I started playing this - an 8-course Renaissance lute. My advisor knew someone in town who could teach me. It's mildly ridiculous. But I have a new instrument, a new teacher, and a crazy, crazy new passion.
You are wondering how the hell I got interested in this.
Well, this summer, you may remember how much I fell in love with early music repertoire; so I decided to add to my passion and get a better understanding of the repertoire from a non-vocal point of view. My plan is to play in the continuo band for a program of 17th century vocal music I'm organizing next semester, another fun project.
Here's some lute music by the composer I'm currently studying like mad for senior exams.
In the video, it's a different kind of lute - a later Baroque lute - than mine, but it gives you a good idea. How delicious.
And, last night, I made myself even more deliriously happy by preparing one of my favorite foods. My mom always made lentil soup in the fall, and it was one of her favorite things in the world to eat. We had a special bond about lentils because both my dad and brother hate them, so we used every chance they were gone to indulge ourselves. This is my own recipe I invented last night - pretty freakin delicious.
1 cup lentils (I used brown, you can use any kind you like)
1/2 inch slice pancetta
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 bunches thyme
Olive oil, water, red wine, salt, pepper
Heat the olive oil and pancetta in a pot over medium-high heat. Add the carrots and garlic and brown slightly. Add the lentils, thyme, and enough water to decently cover the lentils. Season with salt and pepper, and add a splash of red wine if you'd like.
Simmer until lentils are tender and all water is absorbed, 20-40 minutes, depending on humidity, age of lentils, etc. Enjoy!
I ate it with a hefty salad of arugula and cucumber, and a little plain yogurt on the side.