I've been looking forward to tonight for ages. I'm not an avid watcher/listener of The Proms when they are on, except for the last night which I watch religiously. Last year, for one reason or another, I managed to watch a good five or six of the televised broadcasts from The Royal Albert Hall. They tended to be the off-piste prom's (Dr Who and the Comedy Prom amongst them) but one really stood out.
The Spaghetti Western Orchestra are a five piece troupe of excellent, multi talented musicians, who clearly adore the music of Ennio Morricone. I have gone on record in the past to say that I didn't like Westerns but clearly this doesn't include the music. Watching the Prom (on a night that I was baby sitting) I was giddy as a kipper. Z got home late but the following morning I replayed the concert to her and we were both astounded by just how good the music sounded and by how good the musicians were.
If you weren't aware, we are currently in the middle of The Leeds International Concert Festival. I'd seen posters about the events in the past but not really paid any attention, that was until a brochure for this year's line-up fell through my letter box. In an idle moment I started to flick through and there, staring out at me from the pages, were The Spaghetti Western Orchestra. There and then I knew we were going, there was only the small matter of a babysitter to sort.
Our first attempts to find a sitter were unfruitful and once we had found a willing friend* I attempted to buy the tickets. They had all but sold out and we ended up on the back row of the balcony. This, it turns out, is not a bad thing. We had a cracking view and the acoustics were brilliant. An added bonus was the fact that the Grand Pipe Organ of Leeds Town Hall was used during one of the renditions. That organ has some serious pipes and the music flows into your heart and soul.
So what, if anything does this have to do with tonight's menu? Well, due to the start time of the concert, and the imminent arrival of the baby sitter, we decided that we should eat early. Nothing was more fitting than a cowboy-style sausage and bean stew. A one pot, open fire, camp-site wonder to keep you warm whilst looking out for cattle rustlers.
I fried off bacon, onions and sausages before adding black-eye and pinto beans, onions and tinned tomatoes. To give that camp fire aroma I added oregano and smoked paprika. All that was missing was some fine gulping whisky, the stars above our heads and the unmistakable sound of a rattlesnake in the distance.
*Thank you Rebecca