Sunday, May 17, 2009

Graduation Day

Back in February, I wrote about a student who was building his own mandolin. Nic finished his mandolin about 3 weeks ago, and since today is his high school graduation, I thought I'd take time to share the final product with you.
It's beautifully crafted out of cherry, which will develop a deeper red with age. Nic told me that he plans on crafting more instruments. I look forward to admiring his future craftsmanship.

For the record, the following are my five favorite songs featuring the mandolin:
  1. "Blue Moon of Kentucky" by Bill Monroe
  2. "Orange Blossom" from Marty Stuart's album Live at the Ryman.
  3. Any song on Radney Foster's live album Are You Ready for the Big Show featuring Chris Thile on the mandolin.
  4. "Losing My Religion" by R.E.M.
  5. "Tom Ames' Prayer" from Steve Earle's album Train A Comin.

While listening to these songs I might eat a bit of this Green Chile Hominy, which is a great accompaniment to some good bbq.

Green Chile Hominy

  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 4 15-ounce cans of white hominy (drain and reserve 1/2 cup of the liquid)
  • 1 tablespoon juice from pickled jalapenos
  • 1/2 pound grated cheddar cheese
  • 10 slices bacon, fried crisp and chopped (reserve drippings)
  • 1 cup chopped green chiles.
  • 1-2 pickled jalapenos, seeded and chopped
  1. Saute the onions in a little of the bacon drippings and put aside.
  2. Heat the hominy in a separate saute pan, stirring often. When heated thoroughly, add the hominy liquid and jalapeno juice, bring back to peppers and bacon and all the onion.
  3. Pour into a 9 x 13-inch baking pans and sprinkle with the remaining cheese, bacon and peppers.
  4. At this point it can be refrigerated or even frozen, if you want to make it in advance.
  5. Bake at 325 degrees until cheese on top melts and the casserole bubbles. This will take 15-20 minutes or longer if the casserole was refrigerated.

May every song you sing be your favorite tune,


Anonymous said...

Many a foodie in these parts has told me I need to get the Sante Fe School of Cooking cookbook. They all claim you'll never look at hominy (posole) the same way again.

Thanks for highlighting the work of this gifted student. I wonder if he is old enough to realize what a big deal it is that he just created something so beautiful, or if teenage nonchalance puts him in "no big woop" territory.

muddywaters said...

I have the Santa Fe cookbook. I'll need to try the posole recipe. The next time I visit Santa Fe, I might take a class at the institute. If you go online, you can see the classes, and you'll notice that it's not that expensive.

I'm glad you enjoyed the mandolin. I think, Nic's realized what he's created. I respect him because even though he's created something beautiful, he's driven to create something even more artful the next time out.

Anonymous said...

Just a little shout-out:

One Toothbrush said...

I LOVE the mandolin. I dream of being a mandolin/fiddle/stand-up bass player. Maybe when I finish my PhD...