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Mary Rocap: Journal

A Great Recipe for Breakfast - January 2, 2006

After working for so many years in the food industry, having my own restaurant and then working with Whole Foods I pretty much have lost any interest in cooking. I do still enjoy baking and making breakfasts for those special mornings. Here's a great recipe I have adapted which originally came from The Vegetarian Epicure (feeds 4-6):
German Apple Pancake
1. peel and slice up 4 apples and saute in 1 T butter with 1/4 cup brown sugar and cinnamon til soft and somewhat carmelized--set aside
2. whisk together 3 eggs with 3/4 cup of unbleached flour then add 3/4 cup milk and 1/4 t salt. It should be a very smooth batter
3. melt 2 T butter in a large iron fry pan -- add batter
4. put fry pan (and batter) in 450 degree oven for 10 minutes. Be prepared to prick it with a fork when it rises in a bubble formation
5. turn down oven to 350 degrees and continue baking til done (around 15 minutes)
6. turn out on a serving plate and spread with softened cream cheese; add the cooked apples
7. fold it in half like you would an omlette and sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve immediately with maple syrup

Chickens - October 26, 2005

So, we've got this lost flock of beautiful chickens that have been visiting our yard on a daily basis for the last two months. I love watching them. There are now ten remaining (two roosters and 8 hens); down from 18. Unfortunately our dog Zoe killed two of them while penned up! Apparently those two just flew into her pen - why they would do that I can't imagine. But there are other predators about as well - hawks, loose dogs, and fox. Anyway I have become increasingly attached to them and count them every morning hoping they all made it through the night. I am also concerned that they will have a harder time at it now that colder weather is coming on. So yesterday I bought them cracked corn and a water device. I guess I am claiming them as mine. And who knows maybe these chickens will come out in song lyrics - as I seem to be accumulating birds in my songs: flamingoes, doves, bluebirds, cardinals, owls, songbirds, and wood thrush. So time will tell. . .

Working with the UNC 40-Voice Women's Glee Club - September 24, 2005

I have been given this opportunity to work with the UNC Women's Glee Club by their conductor Sue Klausmeyer. Marielle is in this chorus. We are working on Halleujah and Sand of the Sea. Today I had a wonderful time introducing the songs and singing them through with the women - all 40 of them - at their retreat! I look forward to the performance scheduled for 11/16 at Carol Woods Retirement Community.

Thoughts on The Oak Grove Folk Music Festival - August 14, 2005

This small outdoor festival began 27 years ago by Robin and Linda Williams in Verona, VA in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley. It is held the first weekend of August, this year August 5-7. It was about a four hour trip from our home and about 20 minutes from Harrisonburg where my sister and her family have been living the past three years. We've come up for visits so it felt like familiar territory.

I was thrilled to get the invitaion to play - to share the stage with Robin and Linda Williams and Their Fine Group, James Keelaghan, and No Strings Attached.

I was asked to do a workshop on Saturday morning, as well as three concerts, two on Saturday and one on Sunday. I wasn't sure what the expectations were for the workshop but ended up talking about my songwriting muses and singing example songs.

The most eventful of the concerts was on Saturday night when it began to rain early in my set. One of the hosts came up behind me with a large umbrella and so I proceeded for several songs and then it was decided that everyone would regroup to a covered pavillion a short distance away. So regroup we did. I was horrified to find myself in front of the crowd with no amplification. I wanted to vaporize on the spot. But all turned out well and even wonderful as I tossed out my set list and started to remember songs that everyone could sing along with ending up with "Down to the River to Pray." The audience did indeed join in happily and harmonioulsy. So it ended up on a real sweet note as we were all together sheltered from the rain and making music together.

On Sunday I did a gospel set and as Marielle and Christiana and two of my nieces, Bethany and Dawn were there we were able to get rehearsed and they sang with me closing the set.

It was a wonderful time. I loved hearing James Keelaghan's rich voice and his wonderful songs. No Strings Attached were highly entertaining and are wonderfully accomplished musicians. And of course, the blend, sound, and humor of Robin and Linda Williams and Their Fine Group was a delight to my ears.

Thanks to Mel Lee, host of "Song Bag" at WEMC, Harrisonburg VA for playing my CDs and sugesting me as a performer and to Oakley Pearson for the actual invite.

I now have some pictures in the photo session of this festival. And, there are more if you go to their website. I have it a link for it under links to others. Thanks to Roz Collins, one of the organizers for taking the pictures and making them available.

Photos of Silver - August 13, 2005

The photos of Silver from at The Eno Festival were taken by David Mutter, the brother of Bob, the percussionist for Silver and GraceNote. You can find his web page linked under the "Links to Others" tab.

What's up with the Orange Blocks - August 13, 2005

My niece, Bethany Tobin, is not only one of the angel singers on Indian Summer and Hallelujah! Amen., she is also an artist. Her work is on the cover and booklet of Indian Summer as well as this website. This particular painting is called Veni (for Veni Sancte Spiritus) - that's the music behind the colors. It's actually a close-up section of a larger painting - maybe about 3x2 feet or bigger.
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