Jennifer Foster

Christmas Memories on Christmas Eve, 2010

canes-thumb-250x166.jpgThis day last year, quite by accident, I received one of the greatest gifts of my season . After sharing a memory of my own, I invited you to share yours. Before I knew it, stories began pouring in from WDAV’s listeners. It was a joy and a privilege to share them on the air. With your help, I’d like to do it again this Christmas Eve. If you have a Christmas memory to share – joyful, poignant, bright, bittersweet – please do by sending me an email at or posting on WDAV’s facebook page. We have until 3 p.m., so may the reminiscing begin!

Merry Christmas and thank you kindly,

Jennifer Foster

Happy St. Patrick’s Day from The Mozart Cafe!

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I mentioned a fragrant, magnificent soda bread recipe on the air and a faithful listener called to ask for the details. Here you are…and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Rosemary Brown Butter Soda Bread
makes 2 loaves
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper plus additional for topping
1 3/4 cups buttermilk
1 egg white, beaten to blend
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375°F. Stir butter in heavy small saucepan over medium heat until melted and golden brown, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat. (This is a slightly tricky step. Watch the butter like a hawk. As soon as the solids that fall to the bottom of the pan when the butter melts turn a carmel-like brown, remove the butter from the heat. Also, I throw my chopped rosemary and ground pepper into the butter as soon as it has browned to make the flavors bloom.)
Stir flour, oats, sugar, rosemary, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper in large bowl to blend. Pour buttermilk and melted browned butter over flour mixture; stir with fork until flour mixture is moistened.
Turn dough out onto floured work surface. Knead gently until dough comes together, about 7 turns. Divide in half. Shape each half into ball; flatten each into 6-inch round. Place rounds on ungreased baking sheet, spacing 5 inches apart. Brush tops with beaten egg white. Sprinkle lightly with ground black pepper. Using small sharp knife, cut 1/2-inch-deep X in top of each dough round.
Bake breads until deep golden brown and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool breads on rack at least 30 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Baker’s Wisdom:
You’ll get the most tender soda bread by kneading the dough gently and briefly, just until it comes together, so the gluten is minimally developed.

Haiti: How to Help

On January 12, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti. Beyond a staggering death toll, the quake has left three million people hurt or homeless and in need of assistance.
For our listeners who wish to help, we’ve compiled this list of trustworthy organizations:
The American Red Cross
There are a number of ways to donate to the Red Cross:
Call toll free: 1-800-REDCROSS (or 1-800-435-7669)
Donate online: click here.
Send a check by mail :
American Red Cross
PO Box 4002018
Des Moines, IA 50340-2018
(Write “International Response Fund 2099” on the memo line on your check.)
By text: You can donate $10 immediately by using your cell phone to send the text message “HAITI” to 90999. Participating carriers are:
U.S. Cellular
Verizon Wireless
Your donation will appear on your next wireless bill.
Catholic Relief Services
Call toll free: 1-800-736-3467 (between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.)
Donate online: Click here.
Send a check by mail :
Catholic Relief Services
P.O. Box 17090
Baltimore, MD 21203-7090
(Write “Haiti” in the memo line.)
UNICEF, CARE and more:
Google Crisis Response has compiled a list of links to reputable organizations as well as to real time updates, Haitian media outlets and the U.S. State Department for Americans seeking information. Click here for full listings.
NPR’s article, “Haiti: Some Ways to Help” is here.

NPR’s 1980 Interview with Aaron Copland

Airing Aaron Copland’s ballet score for Appalachian Spring this morning jogged my memory about this audio piece and I wanted to share it with you:
November 12, 2004 – In 1980, iconic American composer Aaron Copland sat down with the late NPR producer and host Fred Calland for a wide-ranging interview.
Copland spoke about his music and life, which spanned much of the 20th century. He described the inspirations for his symphonies and other works and spoke of his desire to conduct in addition to composing.

Click here to visit this page and chose your preferred way to listen.
Three more segments from a 1977 interview with the composer are available through American Public Media’s American Maverick’s project. Click here for their interview listings. You’ll find the interviews with Copland about half-way down the page.

Watch Your Radio 12/11/09: Cinderella and the Cranes

Below is the poster that announced the premiere of Jules Massenet’s opera Cendrillon at the Théâtre National de l’Opéra-Comique, Paris in 1899. The slippers at the bottom of the poster are golden, not glass. I can handle that. What perplexes me, though, is Cinderella’s interaction with cranes in the image. I imagine they are part of the French version of the fairy tale as mice are in the version familiar to the Disneyfied. But what’s she doing with that stick and why is one of the birds wearing pince nez spectacles? I’m digging around to try to learn more, but if you can tell me, please do so by leaving a comment below.
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