Roasted Butternut and Garlic Soup by Bill Wilkat 2010-09-01

Roasted Butternut and Garlic Soup by Bill Wilkat 2010-09-01

I love soups–all different types of soup–but some go way beyond the basic comfort of a bowl of chicken noodle soup. One of my favourites is Roasted Butternut & Garlic, and I’m happy to share my recipe with you today.  It’s easy to make, and especially welcome when the cool days of autumn come around. And while we’ve just started summer, I still enjoy a bowl of scrumptious soup as a light supper when you just don’t feel like something too filling. I prefer adding cumin & curry powder to mine but have listed those as optional if you don’t care for those flavours.

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 Medium sized butternut squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil for brushing
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2-1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup caramelized onions
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh parsley or chives for serving
  • 1/4 cup low-fat yogurt for serving
  • Salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 F (180 C).
  • Brush cut sides of the squash with olive oil, and the garlic cloves, and season with salt and pepper.
  • On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, place the cut sides of the squash face down with 3 garlic cloves under each half along with 2 sprigs of thyme.

  • Roast until soft, for 45 to 50 minutes. 
  • Once cooled, scrape out the butternut squash and discard peel and thyme sprigs.
  • Cut the squash into pieces and using a blender, purée the squash together with the garlic cloves, caramelized onions and broth.
  • Pour the soup mixture Into a medium saucepan and over medium-low heat until warmed through.
  • Divide among 4 serving bowls and top with a dollop of yogurt, & chives or parsley.

Optional ingredients: cumin powder, and/or curry powder to taste, 1 tsp of finely ground ginger, 1/2 tsp dried sage,  1 roasted carrot, chopped and puréed.

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Looking After Your Guitar

Even if you don’t own a priceless guitar or bass, every instrument will give you greater joy and satisfaction if it’s properly looked after. Just like an automobile needs regular care and tune ups, so does your guitar, and you are the best person to do that job.  The pleasure you get from playing a well looked after guitar is immeasurable, and it can reward you daily. So let’s examine a few steps you should take.

Keep it Clean: Sure that sounds obvious, but surprisingly many guitar owners don’t do that, and the result can be grungy fingerboards that are slow and unpleasant to touch let alone play. How can your notes sound clean and pristine if your instrument is not?  For many years I’ve kept my guitars clean using a light lemon oil on a rag and it cleans without leaving behind any residue or build up. Wiping the strings top and bottom and the fingerboard itself not only results in better sound quality, but results in longer lasting strings!

Use the lemon oil on a rag to wipe the back the neck as well, and it will feel smooth and welcoming when you decide to play. Note: Don’t saturate the rag with lemon oil, but apply enough to get it damp in a 2″ diameter spot, and use that to run long the full length of the underside of the strings (one at a time), gently pull upwards as you do. You’ll see the discolouration immediately as it removes build up from perspiration and the onset of corrosion.  Replenish the oil if it dries out on you, but normally a good dab will last you more than a single cleaning.

Once you’ve done that, do the tops of the strings by wiping up and down the full length and pressing downward gently on the fingerboard. You should clean he fingerboard at the same time pushing the strings to the side as you do. If the fingerboard is very grungy, it will be necessary to remove the old strings, discard them, and do a more thorough cleaning before installing new strings. You can oil the fingerboard with lemon oil, however, lemon oil evaporates quite readily and won’t protect it as well as Tung Oil.  If the fingerboard is very dry, it may be necessary to apply some Tung oil and allow it to penetrate for a while before wiping and polishing. It’s best to do this 2 or 3 times to seal off the wood, but don’t over do it. Note: I prefer Tung oil that is premixed with urethane as it does a terrific job of sealing off the surface and the pores in the wood grain. My personal favourite brand is Minwax Danish Oil (natural). I’ve also used Watco brand with successful results.

I assume you know how to properly string up your guitar? but if you don’t, or aren’t sure if you’re doing it the best way, please read my post on guitar tuning problems, and consider checking out your instrument at the same time.

Guitar Tuning Problems?

 

You are what you eat, but…..

Sure, we’ve all heard that one before “You are what you eat”.  In my opinion there’s a lot of truth to that statement, and I am a believer, since there’s no doubt if you eat way too much of the foods that we hear negative reports about, you will pay the price resulting in poor health, which can include being out of shape, overweight or both.  I can attest to that because I used to over indulge in foods rich in fat, flour, and sugar.  Luckily I never over did it when it came to sodium since I’ve always had a bit of an aversion to salt, and as one doctor explained to me once I am “salt sensitive”.  Essentially, sodium wreaks hazard with my blood pressure and causes me to bloat up and gain weight.  Of course, this happens to a lot of people, but they often don’t realize the role it plays in their health.

I’m not an expert when it comes to health or nutrition, but I am quite well read on the subjects and have come to believe that many of the things I’ve learned are true–at least for me.  Each of us is different, and so the recommendations made for some, may be of little value for others.  My mother used to quote “Stay away from the white poisons”.  She claimed that the late Dinah Shore referred to the white poisons (Flour, Sugar, Salt and Fat) as something we should all avoid over consuming, and regardless of who said it first, it’s pretty sound advice.  However, the body does need a number of things to function properly, and simply cutting all of these things out of our diets is not a wise move.  So be sure to consult with your doctor and your dietician if you have one before making any changes to your diet.

Why did I bring this subject up?

Well, I used to take prescription drugs to regulate my blood pressure and my cholesterol, but I don’t use them now, nor do I need them any more.  I decided to take charge of my life and find a better solution than taking pills that don’t cure the problem, but only serve to control the symptoms of a bigger problem–namely the cause.  If you start taking these pills and do nothing to combat the root cause, you just may be taking them for the rest of your life, and that’s not desirable.

How did I get off of these pills?

It’s not easy, but determination is the key, and once you’ve made up you mind, anybody can do it.  For me, it began by losing weight, (last year I lost 33 pounds and I’ve kept the weight off).  No magic formulas, no special diet pills, no secrets–just proper eating and exercise.  Yeah, nobody wants to hear that.  They all want an easy solution but there is no easier solution than doing the right things.  What I did, was to start by reducing things that cause us to gain weight, and you guessed it, they are the 4 white poisons.  Around the same time I learned from doctor that I had an ulcer, and I was told to avoid alcohol, spicy food, citrus, and a variety of other foods that might aggravate my condition.  Well, for 7 months I didn’t touch a drop of alcohol, but I did not cut out all the foods I was told to avoid since they are still a part of a healthy diet.  Moderation was the solution once again.  Losing weight is all about moderation, and the benefits are obvious.  In addition, I’d read an article about foods to eat to reduce the so-called bad cholesterol in our arteries, and followed that advice as well–it included a daily apple, and a small handful of walnuts–and it worked for me.  I reduced my bad cholesterol by 40%, while my good cholesterol remained high.

My exercise plan was very basic: 30 minutes daily on a treadmill, and a 15 minute regiment of morning calisthenics that included a variety of bent knee sit-ups, side to side bends, leg lifts, etc.  I still do my morning exercises daily and my 30 minutes on the treadmill when ever I can, especially in the winter months, since I don’t partake of winter sports any more, and hate cold weather LOL!

Last important notes:

If you want to take charge of your life and make changes to your diet, don’t deny yourself every one of life’s pleasures.  It’s important to satisfy a craving for a piece of chocolate, a pat of butter, or a glass of wine now and again–just don’t over do it!  Learn when to stop, and don’t let others influence you by saying things like “One more won’t hurt you”, because it can!  And finally, remember to consult with your doctor and tell him or her that you don’t want to take pills to control you, but you are looking for a life solution. If you are on any prescription drugs, don’t stop taking them until you’ve met with your doctor and have been given the okay to do so. Your doctor should refer you to a dietician who will help guide you with respect to food and portion control and daily caloric intake–they won’t steer you wrong!  It worked for me, and it can work for you too!

Guitar Tuning Problems?

So your guitar doesn’t want to stay in tune — what’s going on?

Let’s look at some common causes and their cures:

Let’s look at your machine heads / Tuners first:

Machine heads wear out — it’s a fact of life, mechanical devices do not last forever! Why would you expect them to? This is especially true if you own a vintage instrument that may have had many owners, or just years of use. So this is an important point to investigate. With the strings removed check the tuning posts for excessive play (side to side, or up and down). Do they rattle if you shake the guitar? ( If you experience only a minute amount of play, you may not  need to replace the machine heads yet, and slippage as a result of worn gears may not be your problem — please read on).

NOTE:   Consult a skilled luthier if you are not confident in your ability to assess, replace, or repair your instruments machine heads. Some replacements require enlarging the holes drilled through the head stock, while others are interchangeable, and require little or no modifications.

Machine heads with screws holding the peg head onto the tuning post, can often be tightened by snugging up these screws (be careful not to “over tighten” or strip the threads .

Conversely, wobbly tuning posts, severe rattles, loose screws, and corrosion are excellent indicators that you need to consider replacing your machine heads. Retighten loose screws and nuts if you can.  Styles vary, (as do prices), and depending on your desire to keep the instrument as “original” as possible, or your need to have a reliable tool to play on stage, your choice can be made from one of the many manufacturer’s producing replacement parts. I have successfully used a number of different brands, and if price is not  your first concern, stick with the highest quality available. I suggest you ask your favorite luthier for recommendations, and examine as many different types as you can get your hands on before you decide — remember, it’s your “baby” and you ultimately know what you want / need!

String Slippage:

Numerous guitars now feature locking machine heads designed to prevent string slippage. If you have these on your instrument, and they are working properly, string slippage will likely not be your problem. However, most guitars still have more conventional machine heads, so the question begs to be asked: Are you stringing up in a sloppy manner? Not putting enough wraps around the posts? etc. Believe it or not, a great number of guitars and basses are being played with poorly installed strings, which is a simple matter to rectify. Generally you’ll find the greatest slippage occurs on the “plain” non wound, thinner strings, and these should have more wraps around the tuning posts than say your “fat” E string.  Among the best ways to prevent slippage is to install the strings with the initial projection of the string end sticking out beyond the post, and then ensuring that the first wrap goes over and then under the projected end. SEE FIGURE No.1  Thereafter, following wraps should be uniformly made going downwards on the tuning post. It’s especially important on the thicker wound strings, to bend the string before cutting or shortening it’s length. Failure to do this often results unraveling of the wound around the string core, and slippage will occur, and the string will have to be replaced.

tune.jpg

Figure No. 1

 

NOTE: For the “fat” E string, just 2 or 3 wraps around the post are required. For the small plain E , B, and G string, 4 to 5 turns should do the trick.

Still have a problem?

Time to check a couple of other things: Got a whammy bar? If so, then you need to really stretch out those strings and re-tune numerous times (especially important if you’ve also got a locking nut — do this before you lock the nut in place), before the springs have adjusted and settled. It may also be necessary to adjust the spring tension since the bridge must be able to return back to it’s neutral position after use. On occasion, it may be necessary to replace old springs, or even add an additional spring. Adjustment can be readily done by tightening or loosening the screws retaining the spring claw (again be careful not to strip the threads in the body — they’re only in wood — not inserts). Wait! There’s more:

Some whammy bar systems use rollers either at the bridge and the nut (or both), and you’ll need to check these for smooth operation. Sometimes they just need a good cleaning and fresh lubricant to get them moving, however badly corroded, or deep wear grooves in metal surfaces may require replacements.

But I don’t have a whammy bar!

Okay, but you still need to investigate if your bridge saddles or nut slots are binding the strings. Sometimes worn nuts or saddles will grab hold of the string after bending notes, and not allow them to release fully. Consequently you strum a chord, and YEECH! What happened? Don’t fret! String slot grooves and bridge saddles can often be carefully filed, (or replaced), to eliminate the problem. Even guitars without whammy assemblies need to be set up correctly to eliminate this problem. Unfortunately, most musicians don’t have the required files to do this properly, and you may need to see your local repair guy.

Caution:  Watch out when using lubricants — too much applied at the nut can actually cause loosening of the nut or discoloration of the fingerboard.  Also use only a quality product specifically formulated for use on guitars. Some lubricants contain additives that can damage your guitar’s finish, so it pays to be prudent. Common guitar lube formulas contain graphite particles for super slippery results, which is fine and dandy, but graphite can be messy, and can penetrate deeply into the fingerboard after prolonged usage.

I’m still having problems!

Yeah, there are other causes to tuning problems, and some can be more serious. Neck stability can play a part, and can frequently be solved by truss rod adjustment and string gauge selection (heavier string gauges are less affected by intonation flaws and remain more stable after tuning or note bending ). String Intonation may be a factor — is the tuning problem evident only after you’ve tuned up and bar chords sound fine but chords with open strings sound off? If you’ve answered yes, then you need to adjust the intonation. If your intonation has been correctly set, and you still experience similar problems, (this does happen due to fret placement or string height action), you may have to live with it (or see your luthier for repair options). I read a great article some years back in Guitar Player magazine that may help you out. It dealt with this issue, and recommended a method of tuning that minimizes intonation problems, which I’ll summarize here for you:

Step 1: Tune your A string to pitch (A440 concert pitch).

Step 2: Tune your top E string to the A by lightly plucking the harmonic at the twelve fret on the E string to match the E note fretted on the 7th fret of A string.

Step 3: Tune the D and the G strings using this same method (i.e. hit the harmonic at the 12th fret on the A string, and match it to the fretted A note at the 7th fret on the D string ……).

Step 4: Hit the harmonic at the 12th fret of the G string and tune your open high E bottom string (but fretted at the 3rd fret G note) to match.

Step 5: Tune your B string to the high E at the 5th fret strumming the open E and simultaneously fretting the E note on the B string, until they match.

I’ve since shown this method to many guitarists — electronic tuners are great, but they can’t solve intonation problems. This technique works for many guitars that I’ve tuned over the years, and I’ve adopted it as my standard method (if you own a guitar with a 3 saddle bridge assembly, you will find that this may be the solution you were looking for — unless you’re ready to change to a six saddle replacement for better intonation adjustment).

Is that all?

ONE LAST THING: If you loosen a string to get to pitch, it likely wont stay tuned. Always tune up to pitch to be sure there’s no way the string will slacken and go off pitch.

Well, I’m sure that more can be said about this subject, but I have addressed what I believe are the most common problems I’ve encountered. I hope that one or more of these tips have served you well, and I’ll add more tips in the future.

If you have any questions or comments, please let me know, and I’ll reply as soon as I can. Until then, keep on plucking, tapping, slapping, bending and making those sweet sounds that we all love!

Looking After Your Guitar

 

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Delicious Croquettes (regular and Gluten-Free) by Bill Wilkat

Croquettes are popular in the Netherlands where I was born, and my mom likely got her recipe from her mother I suspect.  For me, it’s a true comfort food and may be eaten as a main course, or as appetizers–but be forewarned, served as appetizers your guests may fill up on these before the main course!

NOTE: This recipe can be made gluten-free by substituting the flour and bread crumbs with gluten-free ones, and we did just that and the results were terrific. I’ll be doing a separate posting about that in the future, but in the interim, here’s some photos of the gluten-free croquettes. Photos courtesy of Bryan Wilkat all rights reserved.

Gluten-Free Version Photo copyright Bryan Wilkat
Gluten-Free Croquettes Photo copyright Bryan Wilkat

I love croquettes and there are so many types you can make once you have the basic recipe. All you need to do after that is add your favourite ingredients whether they are vegetables or meats or seafood. Growing up my mom and dad both made them and our favourite was chicken or turkey croquettes.  I based my recipe on my mom’s but took it further by making them more nutritious by adding lots of vegetables and to boost the flavour.  Traditionally we always ate these with mustard but they are great on their own as well, or with catsup, mayo, etc.–what ever you prefer!

The key of course is starting off with a roux, the French word for a floury paste traditionally made with butter. You can make it with margarine, but using butter yields better flavour and sets up better when you chill them prior to coating with bread crumbs. With that in mind, I find that depending on how much you add to the mix when it comes to veggies and/or proteins, you may need to add more flour to thicken the roux as you go along. My golden rule is to follow my mother’s basic method: 3 tablespoons of flour, to every 3 tablespoons of butter to start a batch.

Bill’s Best Croquettes:

  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 3 Tbsp flour
  • 1 Whole Egg
  • 1 Tsp Lemon juice
  • ½ Tsp Salt
  • Sprinkle pepper to taste
  • ½ Cup of Milk (or 1/4 cup milk mixed with 1/4 cup broth)
  • bread crumbs as needed
  • egg and milk mixture for dipping as needed

Directions:

  • Over medium heat in  large pot, melt butter, stir in flour & seasonings and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring constantly.  Once mixture begins to bubble, add milk gradually & stir until sauce is smooth thick (add egg see tip 4 below). Remove from heat.
  • For more flavour add: Parsley, finely chopped celery, onion, carrot, red, or green pepper, paprika, cayenne pepper, or curry powder (yellow not the hot red spiced one). Optional finely chopped mushrooms can boost the flavour as well.
  • If adding protein (i.e. chicken, turkey, beef, etc.) I suggest no more than 2 cups chopped–no larger than 1/8″(3 mm) per batch. Mix well, chill till firm, shape, dip in egg mixture, and roll in bread crumbs (seasoned bread crumbs optional), and fry in hot oil (300 to 350 F) until golden brown. Set on paper towel to cool.
  • I used to only make these using the mixture with the milk, but now I add the soup stock as well for more flavour (50% milk 50% soup stock/broth works well).

NOTE: You can freeze these, and we find it best to freeze them uncooked, on a baking sheet with wax or parchment paper. Once frozen, transfer them into freezer bags or vacuum seal them. Thaw them on paper towel covered with clear wrap before deep-frying. They may be fried and then frozen, but re-heating is tricky afterward, and they will not taste as good.

Tips:

1) Chop veggies small–no larger than 1/8″ (3 mm) as that works best–and pre-cook them in a skillet with some olive oil before adding them to the roux—have this all ready before starting the roux mixture.
2) Chop proteins before starting the roux. Left over turkey or chicken may be boiled to make the broth and will yield more meat once picked off the bones.
3) Add more flour is mixture if too thin—you want a mix with a consistency of mortar—keep over heat while adding flour to ensure it’s cooked. If too thick, add a little milk or broth to thin out.
4) When adding the egg, temper it with a bit of warm milk or broth mixing them together and gradually pour into the roux while stirring continuously to ensure it does not turn into scrambled eggs.
5) When adding veggies, 1 cup to ½ cup chopped meat is a good ratio to use.
6) You can use any type of meat just be sure to chop it small because larger pieces will poke through when forming them.
7) Spread the mixture on to a cookie sheet to a thickness of about 1/2″ (12 mm) to chill.  Chill in the freezer for about 45 minutes to an hour before forming, dipping and coating with bread crumbs. No flour is required for coating them, just dip in the egg/milk mixture and then into the bread crumbs.
8) If you have a lot of meat or veggies to add, consider doubling the roux mixture. The number of croquettes you make will depend on the size and shape you choose–they may be made oblong or round.
9) Wetting your hands prior to shaping helps to keep the mixture from sticking to your fingers, so do this periodically. If the mixture is not chilled enough, it will be difficult to shape them.

Have Fun, Build a Guitar, or Just Play One!

OK, so I’m not going to teach you how to build a guitar in a single blog post–that’s not realistic. But I can, (and will), post things from time to time that show you generally how things are done.  In the meantime I’ve added an affiliate to my blog that offers very affordable DIY kits that can be loads of fun to build, and give you great satisfaction. It will also give you a bit of an idea of what it’s all about.

However, be realistic about your skills and abilities when it comes to putting things together. As kids, many of us routinely built model cars, airplanes, and boats, and if you learned how to follow instructions, and were somewhat of a craftsperson, then these would turn out quite nicely. You might recall that somethings did not go well, or that some of your friends excelled at these hobbies, whereas others failed. That’s natural, and while it can be due to basic failings, (like barging ahead before reading the instructions), it can also be due to having “two left thumbs” as the saying goes.

Despite that possibility, let’s not be negative, as I believe that determination and ambition lead to success, so I encourage anybody who might be interested to give it a go. The majority of us will succeed–I have no doubts!

I built my first musical instrument (a cigar box 4 string made with elastic bands) when I was ten years old. It was capable of making musical notes, but not truly playable of course. I was fascinated watching craftspersons of all sorts build items out of wood, and stringed instruments that held me spellbound. I thought then that I would grow up and be a luthier although I had no idea what these gifted individuals were called at the time LOL! It wasn’t until I was almost 50 years old before I actually embarked on that journey full time.

My first steps were little ones like working on my own guitars when repairs or improvements were needed. I was never afraid to tackle something which helped a great deal. Positive thinking usually proved successful in those endeavours, and led me to take on bigger challenges like building instruments from scratch. Whether you start with a guitar kit, or making a simple instrument like a Dulcimer, (a 4 stringed instrument that I first built from scratch in the 1970s), you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that you did it, and it makes music!

For me, the only thing better than building guitars is playing them, something I started at the age of 12, and still love doing now at the age of 65! So, regardless of what you choose to do; build it, play it, and have fun!

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Burger Time! Bill’s Best Burgers

Bill’s Best Burgers By Bill Wilkat May 21/2008

These are not made from beef, and they taste far better in my opinion—juicy, never dry, and may be made into regular burgers in a bun, or served up as burger steaks with onions and mushrooms—enjoy! Makes 8 burgers.

Ingredients:

  • 1 – pound (450 to 500 grams) Lean ground pork
  • 2- tbsp Finely chopped mushrooms (plus reserve 2 cups sliced button mushrooms for frying if desired)
  • 1- tbsp Finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 1- tbsp finely chopped green bell pepper
  • ½ – Finely chopped medium onion (plus reserve ½ sliced onion for frying if desired)
  • 1 – whole egg
  • 2 – tbsp condensed skim milk, or 2% skimmed milk
  • 1 – tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/8 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp Mrs. Dash Seasoning
  • 1 large dash Coriander powder
  • ¼ – tsp dried Cilantro
  • ¼ – tsp Paprika
  • ½ – tsp dried Basil
  • ¼ – tsp Chilli powder
  • 1 – tbsp finely chopped Garlic (about 2 cloves)
  • 1 – 1 ½ tsp sodium reduced Soy sauce
  • ½ – Cup Bread crumbs

  • For Gravy Sauce:
  • ¼ – cup red wine
  • 1 – tbsp Grand Marnier liqueur (Orange Flavoured liqueur)
  • 1 – tbsp Olive oil
  • Directions:

Mix all of the above items except for the reserved mushrooms, onions, red wine, olive oil and the Grand Marnier until blended. Make into palm sized balls and press until uniform into 8 equally sized patties. If making burger steaks, figure on 2 patties per serving to serve 4. Patties may be made and frozen in advance if preferred.

NOTE: For regular burgers in a bun, simply fry or BBQ until done.

Add olive oil to fry pan at medium high heat and brown patties  (about 2 to 3 minutes per side) on both sides, then remove and set them aside. Add the reserved sliced onions and sauté them, scraping and fond from the bottom of the fry pan as you go along, then after 2 minutes add the mushrooms. Continue cooking and add the red wine, and the Grand Marnier and simmer until the alcohol has been cooked off. Add about ½ cup of water together with the patties and continue cooking until the liquid is reduced by about half, and serve while hot. Garnish with parsley and chives if desired. Serve with rice or potatoes and your favourite vegetables.

And So It Begins

My day started out with me learning that my domain name needs to be corrected, and I’ll have to figure that out or just leave it as is LOL! Being new to blogging I was sure to make some mistakes here and there, and more I’m sure before I’m done 🙂

Regardless, I’ll be busy today as I’ve got to start rehearsing 8 songs for our band’s next practice on the weekend and while that’s a pleasant task for me, it’s also one that requires memorizing a lot of song nuances, guitar licks, solos where applicable etc. That’s the part that takes more time and effort since some are easily nailed whereas others need to be figured out. The internet is helpful in that regard but by no means absolutely correct all of the time, and there’s also the aspect of doing our own arrangements and sometimes letting loose with your own solo parts rather than duplicating the originals.

I do feel that some songs need to be done as close to the original as possible due to the recognizable / memorable elements of the tune (Hotel California would be a good example of that), and I work diligently at doing that when ever I can. It’s at times very challenging too, because every musician has their own style and way of phrasing notes, as do the vocalists who sing them.

And on that note, a good start to the day was breakfast, which consisted of two whole wheat waffles with cinnamon, strawberries, banana, butter and of course, Canadian Maple Syrup!

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Hello world!

Hello Everybody–this is my very first post, and I guess you might be wondering what the heck this is all about? Well, for those of you who know me, most of it will make sense, to those who really don’t, I’ll start by telling you a little more about what I like: I like cooking, although my late father was a chef and I used to hate anything to do with food prep. I like eating–who doesn’t LOL! But I like to eat wisely, and the food that I consume must taste great! I love all things to do with guitar, and as a self-taught luthier, I spent 14 years lovingly building and repairing electric guitars and basses–and of course, I love playing them!