Thursday, July 12, 2007

Beginning of the Retreat


Today our Tango Folias band drove up to Traverse City for a 5 day band retreat. Dean, Debbie, me, and Andy packed more stuff that we did for a month long tango tour. We drove the short two hours to Interlochen State Park, our home for the next few days, and then went to the Traverse City Co-op to buy some serious goods for our camp meals. On the way home we stopped by Left Foot Charley's, a new winery in the Traverse area that is housed in a building on the old State Asylum! A lot of the old buildings are still there, white and abandoned. Kind of a spooky place for a tasting. Good thing the wine was so good!

When we got back to our campsite (#332, a very lucky number for tango musicians) it was about to rain. We quickly gathered our instruments and slid them into the tent along with ourselves. Within a few seconds it was absolutely pouring rain. We each found a sleeping bag to prop ourselves up on and then we practiced: Derecho viejo, Felicia, La cumparsita, Nueve de julio, Silueta portena, Desde el alma, Francia, Corazon de oro, and Oblivion. All from memory! Or course since we could barely even sit with our instruments, let alone find room for the music.

About halfway through Nueve de julio Debbie and I looked at each other at the same time and burst out laughing. A simultaneous recognition of how ridiculous the scene was. Debbie was all crunched up on her rolled up sleeping bag, he head titled almost 45 degrees so that when she moved her bow it wouldn't poke through the top of the tent. Accordingly her glasses where edging closer and closer to the end of her nose. I on the other hand played piccolo because my flute wouldn't fit in the space. Kind of a funny scene playing, especially the Piazzolla tunes on piccolo with thunder crashing down every minute.

Luckily it stopped raining and we were able to get out and make a delicious dinner:

Coconut Milk Stir Fry with Vegetables and Golden Tofu

16 oz locally made tofu (from Traverse Co-op), drained and cubed
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, diced
1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and diced
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp crushed coriander
1 can unsweetened coconut milk
1 package thick rice noodles

1. saute the cubes of tofu in olive oil, lightly salt to taste
2. Saute spices, garlic and ginger 30 seconds over high heat
3. Add pepper, stir fry 1 minute
4. Add coconut milk and heat
5. Meanwhile pour boiling water over rice noodles and let stand for 5 minutes
6. Before coconut milk mixture heats add rice noodles, then serve

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