Archive for May, 2009

Photograph by Matt Rouge: Tree in the water


Click on the photo for a larger image.

I took this last month while walking the paths off the Monon Trail in Broad Ripple. The tree was reaching into spring with green leaves, but, having fallen into the creek, its journey was over.

Walking through the woods is one of my favorite things, and Indiana indulges me with parks large and small of great beauty. When I walk through the trees, I find it interesting how many of them are fallen and falling, not necessarily of great age.

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Vegan Punjab choley with ultimate grain mixture!

img_0237Last year, I posted my recipe for vegan Punjab choley, and this delivers more visitors to my blog than any other post! I must confess, it’s a great recipe, as it gives you choley that is:

  1. Tender
  2. Flavorful
  3. Satisfying
  4. Virtually fat free (you use no oil, so only the fat that is in the ingredients is in there)
  5. Low-sodium
  6. Easy to freeze and reheat
  7. Vegan
  8. Delicious!

Today the photograph includes my “ultimate grain mixture.” Did you know that you can cook any grain (wheat, rye, oats, buckwheat/kasha, millet, amaranth, quinoa, etc.) in the rice cooker using the same measure as you use for rice? It’s true! Hence, this receipt:

Matt Rouge’s Ultimate Grain Mixture (Gluten-Free)

1 measure brown rice

1 measure yellow millet

1 measure quinoa

Cook in rice cooker or on stove as you would brown rice.

This sounds like a very simple recipe, and it is, but I actually came across it through years of experimenting with differnt proportions of grains. The texture and fragrance and flavor is simply to die for! It’s rich, nutty, moist–yet with a wonderful crumbly feel to it at the same time. Give it a try–I think you will be most pleased.

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Angela Hewitt played Bach's Goldberg Variations magnificently

I went with friends yesterday (May 24, 2009) to see Angela Hewitt at Chicago Symphony Center. She played Bach’s Goldberg Variations without an intermission (her only scheduled piece; it is quite long, having an aria and 30 variations). According to allmusic,

The Goldberg Variations are among the most sophisticated works ever written for keyboard, but the work does not sound like the awesomely complex compendium that it is. The music is deceptively simple and heartfelt, with a noble calm even when the performer is obliged to cross hands at lightning speeds.

Angela’s hands were clearly visible from where we were sitting, and therefore the difficulty of the piece was understandable both visually and aurally.

The performance was impeccable and astounding both in the areas of technique and style: she perfectly walked the line of mechanical precision and human art. It was simply the best performance of any type I have ever experienced.

There was no question that a standing ovation was coming, and, within a second or two after her performance, the rather full house was on its feet. Angela took four curtain calls and at least returned to the instrument to play, again beautifully, “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring.” After the encore, she took two or three more curtain calls, thereafter going to the gift shop of the hall to sign CDs.

I must thank one of my great instructors for showing me by playing at her Yamaha her principle of “concepts” in piano performance; I could very clearly hear and understand them yesterday. I must thank a newer instructor for the introduction to the piece and the performance, as well as a wealth of other information and ideas recently imparted. Blessings to you both!

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Indiana, make gay marriage legal

In general, I am not down on Indiana. I’m a writer, so I could live anywhere, but I live here because I like it. Some people say that Indiana is “conservative,” perhaps even reactionary, but I don’t really buy it. Our state has certain characteristics that sometimes are misunderstood.

I was especially proud of Indiana when Barack Obama carried the state in November, and I was also proud to be a Hoosier when a proposed ban on gay marriage failed in 2007.

Now here is one of those characteristics: Hoosiers are practical. We have a very good, very practical governor, Mitch Daniels. We have a strong manufacturing base. We have excellent corporations based here. If something looks as though it might get in the way of doing business, it’s likely to fail here. Hence, according to the Purple Pew,

“House Democrats took a stand today against ill-crafted legislation that would have done more harm than good,” Indiana Democratic Dan Parker said. “This wasn’t a vote against traditional marriage; it was a vote for protecting vulnerable Hoosiers and promoting job growth.” (


Several prominent Indiana businesses opposed the amendment for fear it would limit Indiana’s job growth as it would send a message to the nation that Indiana is a state that subscribes to discriminatory practices. The five businesses that opposed the amendment, according to Indiana Equality, are Emmis Communications, Cummins Inc., Dow AgroSciences, WellPoint, Inc., and Eli Lilly.

Emphasis added.

Give big business credit where it’s due: they knew that disincenting gay people from being in Indiana could only do our state economy and themselves grievous harm. This, of course, was not the most noble reason for supporting the ban, but it’s a respectable reason nonetheless. Funny how a “conservative” state like Indiana gave this idiotic bill the air, whereas a “liberal” state like California actually went ahead and banned gay marriage.

The governor makes frequent trips to Asia and elsewhere to attract business and investment, and he does quite a good job. Governor Daniels, in practical Hoosier fashion, should now affirm in our state the natural right of gay people to marry. Showing that Indiana is ahead of the pack in this fashion will not only attract the best and brightest gay persons to participate in our economy and polity; it will be of great benefit to Indiana’s image–the state’s brand image, if you will. And that, too, can only be good for business.

Most importantly, however, it’s the right thing to do. Like Dick Cheney, we all have gay friends and relatives whom we know in our hearts deserve fair and equitable treatment, not to mention equal protection under the law as the 14th amendment requires. It’s time for “conservative” Indiana to take a stand.

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