Butter Roasted Salmon, Founding Fathers’ Secret Lives, Rameau, Hummel, Lana Del Rey & Tame Impala
Butter Roasted Salmon with Asparagus & Olives. My edible still life. My kind of art! Nom nom.
Butter Roasted Salmon with Asparagus & Olives, Founding Fathers’ Secret Lives, Rameau, Hummel, Lana Del Rey & Tame Impala
(Originally Published Jan 17, 2021)
As someone who drives herself crazy understanding both sides of a problem, trying to conjure a doable plan for contentment, these last few days have been agonizing. (There… I said it. Breathe in. Breathe out. ) Growing up in an extremely religious environment with most of my friends and family identifying as conservatives, watching the news and the contentious discourse around me has triggered a instinctual fear that I haven’t had since I was a kid, trying to make sense and understand unknown anger. (I sometimes feel like my toddler right now. Good thing we both like to run and goof off.)
I was initially going to write about Vikings, costumes and comedic culpability in Fascist movements, (or the rise of White Supremacy since 2009 and its rebranding) but it just seemed like an offshoot of the nauseating news cycles (no matter which side you are on. Dude! Stop harshing my mellow!) I don’t exactly remember how we got onto this topic when my husband said, “You know Ben Franklin was a pervert. Like, not just the slave trysts, but he liked to expose himself and do it front of his windows.”
WHAT? Now that’s an anecdote! Finally, something to make me laugh and make the patriotic nonsense go away (for a little while). Here’s what I found (and of course, I can’t wait to share the hilarity with you)! I’m going to have to break it up into two posts (for now.. possibly more) because our Founding Fathers were so pervy. These are the men that made America great! I hope this makes you laugh, think, and realize, wow! Our Founding Fathers were basically smart frat guys with hygiene problems.
I think a lot of my friends would have paid more attention if the Founding Fathers morality or immorality was called into question in my Catholic education. I would have loved to see my previous teachers try to explain this to us in relation to our conservative values.
These are the men we embody in history books and in our nation’s monuments. Horrifying facts about our Founding Fathers
More horrifying facts.
The Sex Lives of Our Founding Fathers
I definitely think Gouverneur Morris is at least up there with Ben Franklin. (At least Ben Franklin didn’t constantly write about his escapades… so we can laugh for all of history.) Check out what he liked to do in the Louvre and notably the mention of a harpsichord. Wonderful. Like musicians don’t have a hilarious reputation already…
More Odd Facts about Gouverneur Morris
Finally, since we are talking about Revolutionary America’s “beneficial” relationship with France in order to overthrow the British government, I thought I’d reference back to Gouverneur Morris’ illicit trysts in the Louvre, the harpsichord and the period of time he was dispatched as a statesman, which unfortunately, coincided with the French Revolution.
Check out this fascinating article about the plight of French musicians during the French Revolution and how their patronal upheaval contributed to more social equity and direction over French musical culture when the Paris Conservatory, in turn, granted them control over their standards of music production. Fascinating and quite honestly, helps explains why America lags behind in traditional music appreciation and respect for musicians in general compared to our European counterparts. Hmmm. It’s like what’s happened with musicians and the internet… or sexy performers who realize the benefits of owning their own content. Lol! Have we not changed?
How can I mention France and the harpsichord without referencing Rameau? This was before the French Revolution but I guess it’s their version of a DJ while Gouverneur Morris was “celebrating” with novelist Comtesse Adélaïde de Flahaut in the Louvre hallways… with the doors open. Morris shared his mistress with French diplomat Charles Maurice de Talleyrand, who would later sell the Louisiana Purchase to the United States as Napoleon’s foreign minister. What? This “beneficial” relationship colonial America had with France is rendering me speechless… and laughing. Wait… did we get New Orleans because of the affair? Silly harpsichord, again. Scandalous!
Rameau Harpsichord Solo Les Tourbillons
Johann Nepomuk Hummel (1778-1837) was an Austrian composer and virtuoso pianist. In 1791, a young Hummel was in London at the same time as Haydn and impressed with his musical abilities, wrote him a sonata. He was due to tour France and Spain but since it was during the cusp of the French Revolution, he canceled his tour and instead, gave concerts in Vienna. Here’s the Hummel, Piano Trio in Eb Major, Op. 12 with its first publication in 1804 or earlier.
Hummel’s Piano Trio in E-Flat Major, Op. 12
Hummel: Complete Piano Trios
I’ve always loved how unabashedly feminine, beautiful, vulnerable, and fierce Lana Del Rey’s image and music is. I find it fascinating that European history and romantic trysts, in hindsight, are almost always written by male historians. What did Morris’ mistress, novelist Comtesse Adélaïde de Flahaut really think of him or Talleyrand? Interestingly enough, after her husband was guillotined, she fled to England and supported herself by writing novels such as her book, Adèle de Sénanges (London, 1794) which was her most famous and partly autobiographical. Why is it that across cultures, the most intelligent and artistic women ended up being playthings to rich and powerful men? I guess that’s what happens when your only hope for stability, upward mobility, and access to intellectual pursuits is through marriage.
Lana Del Rey - Chemtrails Over The Country Club (Official Video)
Tame Impala felt like the right panacea to the unrest right now. I hope it feels right to you, too.
Tame Impala - Music to Walk Home By
Thanks for reading! I hope this made you laugh, think, and make you question the mythology behind our historical leaders. Please keep an eye out on the next post where I discuss more of our “Founding Fathers” and their proclivities. I guess this is what made America great? Does this mean in order to be “great” again, we need to embrace this behavior? Now, I really don’t understand party lines. If you have a question, comment, or piece of music you’d like to discuss, please drop me a line. Thanks for reading! Have a wonderful week! Xo, Melissa
Here is music for "celebrating".
Butter Roasted Salmon with Asparagus and Olives. Super easy and elegantly disheveled. So you can have your fun as well.
Butter Roasted Salmon with Asparagus and Olives
Here’s the original link:
2 bunches asparagus, trimmed, halved lengthwise if thick, divided
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter
7 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 tsp. Aleppo-style pepper
2 1/2 lb. skinless halibut, salmon, or arctic char fillet
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
2 bunches ramps or scallions, trimmed
3/4 cup Castelvetrano olives, pitted, torn (I used black olives because that's what my family prefers.)
1/4 cup finely chopped chives
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp. coarsely chopped tarragon, plus leaves for serving
Boiled small waxy potatoes and lemon wedges (for serving). (I didn't do that. Served it on rice and lentils.)
Preheat oven to 325°F. Thinly slice one-quarter of asparagus into coins and place in a medium bowl; set aside.
Heat butter and 2 Tbsp. oil in a small saucepan over medium. As soon as butter is melted, add Aleppo-style pepper and remove from heat.
Season fish with salt and black pepper on both sides and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Scatter ramps and remaining asparagus around fish; season with salt and black pepper. Pour butter mixture over fish and vegetables. Give vegetables a toss to evenly coat. Roast, undisturbed, until fish is just opaque in the center and asparagus is bright green and tender, 15–25 minutes, depending on the thickness of your fillets.
Toss olives, chives, lemon juice, 2 Tbsp. tarragon, and remaining 5 Tbsp. oil with reserved asparagus; season with salt and black pepper.
Transfer fish to a platter; top with ramps and asparagus. Spoon some olive mixture over, then scatter tarragon leaves over. Serve with potatoes, lemon wedges, and remaining olive mixture alongside.
Thanks for reading! I hope this made you laugh, think about deifying our leaders, and how some things don't really change after all these years! Have a great week! Xo, Melissa
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