This was piano recital week! It’s a time that most students really look forward to. We rent a small, historic church downtown, and it is a nice atmosphere for both the performers and the guests. As I always tell my students – you’re never going to get a more appreciative audience than a room full of parents and grandparents, so it’s their best chance to start playing publicly.
That being said, there are always those who don’t prepare adequately. I help students choose recital songs about six weeks ahead of time. Some come back the next week, and they could perform right then. Others take the next few weeks to learn their songs, and some, sadly, wait until the last minute and end up disappointing themselves. Thankfully, this year that did not happen. Yay students!
When I was growing up, my teachers did not do recitals. My first foray into public playing was when my Dad informed me that he had spoken to the musical director at church, and I was now in the music schedule. I was 12. I believe I told him that I didn’t agree with his plan, but he told me that if I wasn’t going to use my piano playing gift, then he would stop paying for lessons. I reluctantly began playing in church, and while I’m sure the first few times were rocky for those in the congregation, I’m glad that I was pushed out of my comfort zone. However……I think our recitals are a slightly gentler way to have students face their nerves and go public. 🙂
After the recital everyone is invited downstairs for a punch and cake reception. It gives us a chance to chat, and gives the students a small reward for a job well done. This year, Kate came and provided us with a beautiful iced tea as well. So good! However, one of my friend’s students can’t have gluten, so I always bake something separate just for her. I try and do something different each time, and this time I chose Pineapple Upside Down Cake. We also served Rhubarb Punch (recipe found here).
Pineapple Upside Down Cake
3/4 cup white rice flour
3/4 cup of blended brown rice flour/sweet sorghum flour
1 tsp. xanthan gum
3/4 cup sugar
1 chia egg (instructions below)
3/4 cup dairy substitute (I used flax beverage)
1/3 cup softened butter
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
1 can sliced pineapple, drained
several maraschino cherries
1/4 cup butter
2/3 cup pack brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Melt the 1/4 cup butter in a deep dish pie plate (I used the microwave to melt it). Sprinkle the brown sugar over top evenly. Lay the pineapple slices over the brown sugar and place a cherry in the centre of each ring. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl, mixing well. Combine the wet ingredients, and then stir into the dry. Mix well. Spoon over the pineapple topping, spreading gently to cover evenly. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until top springs back, or it is nicely brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Upon removing from the oven, flip immediately onto a serving plate.
1) True confession – I totally forgot the cinnamon when I made it, and it was yummy, so I’d say cinnamon is optional. Ha, ha.
2) Any non dairy beverage should work fine – rice milk, almond milk, coconut milk (not canned, but from a carton), etc.
3) Chia egg – mix 1 tbsp. ground chia with 3 tbsp. water and let sit until it forms a gel.
4) I can’t have dairy, but for some reason butter is still my friend, so I used butter. If you can’t have dairy, substitute a non-dairy margarine.