Roasted gazpacho, tomato and cucumber salad, a table red and some bread

Now that’s a great Friday night dinner to my mind!

The gazpacho recipe was taken from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything, so as always go to that, but here’s a link to an excellent looking version that uses cucumber, which I should have included with mine, as I have plenty and to spare! But it would not have gone well with roasting, I think.

If you want to go the route I took, all one has to do is simply spend some time roasting your vegetables of choice — tomatoes and peppers obviously being key — in olive oil, then mixing it with water, seasonings and dry bread, then letting it soak overnight before blending, straining and serving. As it happened, after blending and straining I let it sit for another day’s worth and so that meant tonight I could just simply open up the containers, add the Parmesan cheese and croutons and go nuts.

And a new music blog to note

I’ve just added a new blog by UK writer Marcello Carlin to my blogroll, Then Play Long. Given my post the other day about Tom Ewing’s Popular, this is wonderfully well timed, and as Marcello discusses in the blog’s first post his work is inspired in part by Tom’s ongoing effort. Where Tom’s looking at UK number 1 singles, however, Marcello is looking at number one albums:

Right from the beginning, albums have had their own concepts and constructs, their extended tales to be told. Surprisingly few of the early entries constitute a case of hit single plus eleven fillers, but then that may also be a reflection of the more specialised album-buying market in the early days of the long-playing album’s existence. In particular, however, when we move into the late sixties and early seventies – when conventional wisdom says that rock was expanding and pop contracting – the bias of the singles lists can become irritatingly one-sided; the 1968 single and album number ones, for instance, seem to tell two entirely different and only haphazardly connecting stories, but then so do the equivalent lists for crucial years such as 1982 or 1995. So this is an attempt to reconcile the two and provide a broader picture, a fuller story of what the British record-buying public liked.

Looks very promising, so flag it and check in from time to time — should be a good read.

So I’ve got some great work news to share

And I do, really.

As I’ve idly said before here and there, I don’t talk about my actual regular job on here, a library position at the University of California, Irvine, simply because I don’t think it’s professional to do so, nor does it apply to most of what I do talk about (beyond being a wonderful resource for all the books I read, of course!).

But I think I can make an exception today — as of yesterday, while the actual work duties remain the same, a thorough revision and update of my job description means that I have been officially reclassed to a higher work level, with a nice little salary boost to go with it. I’ve been waiting on this for a little while — and more than once people have marveled at my patience! — but I knew it would come along and so it proved.

I am always careful to note that one’s life is not one’s work and vice versa, no matter how inclined or apt one might be for the job. And I certainly do not claim perfection in my work, there’s stuff I’ve had to work on and be mindful of, and I will continue to do so. But it is very gratifying to see one’s efforts noticed this way, and it’ll help me greatly with a variety of long-term plans, ranging from further travel to other work ideas in general.

I spent last night with a couple of friends over a good meal at Wahoo’s plus some beers just enjoying life and catching up a bit. Because why not celebrate? Thanks to them and to everyone else who’ve extended their good wishes and congratulations, and here’s to hoping you all get some equally good news like it as the summer closes!

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