It’s been quite a while since I’ve had a decent cabernet. It’s been quite a while since I’ve had an indecent cabernet. I’ve three or four unopened, still full, decent bottles lying around hereabouts. They’ve been in that prone state for quite a while. A couple, like me, have even managed to remain upright. It’s because they’re screw-tops, not corked that they’ve remained upright.
I’ve remained decently upright and am not lying around indecently because the bottles have remained unopened. I’m not lying.
Some could say – probably do say – I’ve a screw or two loose; others have an even worse scenario for me - that I am missing a few, as well, but that’s okay. I’ve learned to cope with the situation...the missing or loose screws, that is. I gave up searching for them years ago.
The movie “Cabaret” was a huge hit when it was released in 1972.
Like a quality cabernet the movie has aged well.
Liza Minnelli sparkled and mesmerised as “Sally Bowles”.
Performing at Berlin’s Kit Kat Klub in 1931 during the years of the Nazi Party’s violent rise, Sally Bowles sang, danced and lived life to the full. She experienced the good, the bad, the ugly - the tragic.
“What good is sitting alone in your room? Come hear the music play – life is a Cabaret old chum!” Sally sang night after night, encouraging her audience to forget their woes...to enjoy life...if only for a brief moment.
For Sally life wasn’t all a cabaret. Not everything was positive. They were difficult times, hard to bear; challenging, intimidating and fearsome.
“Cabaret” is not a light-hearted musical, but it is a wonderful musical; an emotional story with an undercurrent of the atrocious Nazi regime ever-present.
One way Sally got rid of her pent-up emotions, her fears, her anger and frustrations was to stand up close to the railway line as a train roared by. There and then she would scream her lungs out. The booming deafening din of the heavy iron, steam-powered locomotive drowned out her piercing shrieks.
I believe we all need a place like that to go to every now and then, to let off steam. I know I do.
Driving along the ridge of this plateau, en route to the local supermarkets, with my car windows closed shut is when I do my venting. No one can hear me bellow, not even those in the valley below.
This interesting behaviour occurs when things e.g. the behaviour and attitude of some people - have gotten me down. Doing so does no harm, and it helps me retain what little is left of my sanity - or stops me from becoming a member of the Woodford Correctional Centre...if you know what I mean!
A loud, lengthy bellow or two has to be good for retaining one’s sensibilities - equilibrium. Akin to releasing a pressure-cooker, the ridding of pent-up emotions, particularly anger would have to be a “load off”.
Venting in an area where no one else can hear or see you would be far better than forcefully expressing, releasing those feelings in the presence of another or others.
With the regularly occurring disturbing incidents of road-rage, domestic violence, neighbourhood battles etc., etc., that we read about, or see on the news bulletins day after day, the perpetrators should take a leaf out of Sally Bowles’ book...or mine.
If they did, they might discover life is a cabaret, old chum. Maybe then, they will hear the music play.
Music sounds much better than angry voices. Dance actions, no matter if out of tune and off beat, are far better than violent actions.
As the saying goes – “Dance as though no one is watching; love as though you’ve never been hurt; sing as though no one can hear you; live as though heaven is on earth”.
That's pretty sound advice, in my opinion.
Many years have passed since I’ve visited a cabaret. Perhaps I should branch out - alter the situation. Maybe I’ll go in search of a passing steam engine; or simpler, just open a cabernet.
Cabernet-Braised Short Ribs: Preheat oven 180C. In large bowl, combine 2 celery stalks, cut into 2cm pieces, 2 medium carrots, cut into 2cm pieces, 1 leek, white and light green parts only, split lengthwise and coarsely chopped, 6 garlic cloves, 1 bay leaf, 4 sprigs thyme, whole black pepper, to taste, 2tbs plain flour, salt and pepper; add 1 bottle Cabernet Sauvignon. Add 6 large, trimmed beef short ribs. Marinate 6hrs or so in fridge. Remove from marinade; pat dry. Strain marinade; keep both liquid and vegetables. Season meat well; coat each side with flour; set aside. Heat olive oil in ovenproof dish; sear ribs until well-browned. Transfer to plate. In same pot, sauté veggies until lightly caramelised; add wine to pot; deglaze. Add 2tbs tom paste; bring to boil. Add 2 litres beef stock; bring back to boil; add ribs; spoon liquid over ribs. Cover; bake about 2-1/2hrs; serve with mashed potatoes or pasta of choice.
Cabernet Lamb Fillets: Mix together a large glass cab sav, ½ c red wine vinegar and balsamic (mixed), 6 crushed garlic cloves, leaves of three rosemary sprigs, freshly ground black pepper, 1tsp salt, 2tbs x-virgin olive oil and 2tsp brown sugar. Rub half of mixture into a couple of lamb fillets; chill 2hrs. Seal fillets on griddle; then place in ovenproof dish; cover with remaining marinade; cook to your liking; turning halfway through. Serve with veggies of choice, and a bottle of Cab Sav!
Kit Kat Brownies: Preheat the oven 175C. Line 9x9 baking dish with foil; spray. Combine 3/4c plain flour, 2tbs cocoa, 1tsp baking powder and 1/2tsp salt. Melt 4tbs butter and 2c semi-sweet chocolate, stirring. Cool 2-3mins. In bowl, combine 3 eggs, 1-1/2c sugar and 1tsp vanilla; add melted choc; slowly add flour mix; mix well. Pour enough batter into baking dish just to cover the base. Break apart Kit Kat bars; lay on top of batter – about 8-10 bars. Pour rest of batter on top; bake 25-30mins. Frosting; Combine 1/3c cocoa, 1/4c butter, 2c icing sugar and 1tsp vanilla; slowly add 3tbs milk; beat on high. Spread over brownies. When frosting has set a little, cut brownie into squares. Break Kit Kat bars into 1/3rd pieces...place a piece on top of each brownie.