Friday, August 31, 2012

Dearth of Cow Chips, Isaac Flooding,

Drought-Cow Chip ShortageNow here’s a new story for you. Apparently the extreme lack of rain this summer has caused a shortage of cow chips – or what I would call cow pats. This has become something of a problem for the cow chip throwers of Wisconsin. They hold an annual Wisconsin State Cow Chip Throw with some 300 throwers and 40,000 spectators. I quote “The hot, dry summer — which has caused crop, water level and other problems across the nation — caused the grass to brown and cattle to stay near their barn for food and to keep cool. That means the manure in the pasture wasn't able to dry and flatten in the sun.” The report says once they are dried, they don’t really stink any more. I can verify that, we used to collect mushrooms in a similar type of field, very early in the morning, before it was light, and once in a while one mistook cow chips for mushrooms. Yeah, really. Oh, apparently there is a world championship throw in Oklahoma. Do read the article, there are even details on what makes a good throwing cow chip plus the record distances they have been thrown.

There is a lot of bad flooding in Florida caused by Hurricane Isaac, people are Flooded carbeing evacuated from their homes and haven’t even had time to grab shoes the waters came upon them in such a rush. People are sitting on their roofs or in their attics. Matt was watching TV this morning and there was a deer swimming along, we tend to forget the wild animals in such disasters. Even pets are not given much priority. This flooding reminds me of Hurricane Floyd which caused such flooding disaster in North Carolina some years ago. Pretty devastating to have your whole house flooded, bad enough to get a couple of foot of water rushing through the ground floor, been there, done that. Not funny.

Going on vacation is all very well, but trying to work out all my delivery problems for Avon and what date I should do which, is not the easiest thing in the world. I intend to bowl this afternoon too, I don’t know how that is going to work out for me with one thing and another.

EggsI came across an article saying Eggs are Better for Us - specifically they were saying British eggs although maybe all eggs are much improved. They contain more Vitamin D and selenium for a start. Reading the article, I do wonder if this does apply to North American eggs. Its interesting though. I guess one needs to check with the egg marketing board to see what they have to say about it. Will see what I can find out.

This recipe came from Splenda and I thought it sounded a good one.

Poached Salmon with Papaya Avocado Salsa

4 servings Salmon and Papaya


1 papaya or mango, peeled, seeded and diced

1 avocado, pitted, peeled and chopped

1 green onion, finely chopped

1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice

2 tsp (10 mL) SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated

2 tsp (10 mL) thinly sliced hot red pepper rounds (optional)

Pinch each salt and pepper

2 cups (500 mL) vegetable stock

4 salmon fillets (5 oz/140 g each)


In bowl, combine papaya, avocado, green onion, lemon juice, SPLENDA® Granulated, hot pepper (if using), salt and pepper. Set aside.

In shallow Dutch oven or skillet large enough to hold fish in single layer, bring 4 cups (1 L) water and vegetable stock to boil; reduce heat to simmer. Add salmon; cover and barely simmer for 10 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested.

Transfer fish to plates; spoon salsa over top.

Have a great day


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Medics. Typos, Republican Convention, Poodle Moth.

Went to my internist, she upped one of my meds, I was taking 60 mg. Talking to my pharmacist she said I was only on 30 mg which had been changed in May. Not as far as I kPillsnew. No idea what happened there. The result of this confusion is I am now back on 60 mg and I have told the pharmacist to wipe all mention of 30 mg off her computer. Sheesh. Must admit I had never noticed til today that I had somehow been put back on a lower dose. Mind you, Matt was the most awake of all, he was going down to the pharmacy to drop off the prescription and return the 30s – he said surely I could take two 30s a day until they were finished. Obvious, right? Not to the pharmacist or me.

Earlier in the day doing my banking, there was a segment recommending the use of one’s debit card cross border, one of the reasons for this was so you didn’t need to carry “access” cash.  Obviously should have been excess. I phoned and told them this afternoon. Sheesh.

I’m not basically interested in politics generally and the US particularly, but it made me laugh yesterday when I saw the Republican Convention had reached out to women and Latinos. If I were an American woman, I know what I would be telling them to do with their reaching out all the time Aikin was a member of their party. There’s another sheesh.

I’m a bit behind the times, but apparently the Venezuelan Poodle Moth has venezuelan-poodle-mothsparked a lot of interest on line and in scientific breasts. When I first saw the picture I thought it was a hoax, I’m still not sure it isn’t, but I am no botanist or entomologist. The pictures were first captured in 2009 and have only recently sparked interest. People have likened it to a Pokemon character. There has been  nothing to compare its size to either. If it is genuine it is a new find, but what a weird looking critter. Time will tell I suppose, now the world has seen it, there will be entomologists haunting Venezuela to see if they can confirm its existence.

I got this recipe from and thought it sounded delicious. I love Crème Brûlée and many times choose one for dessert although I confess I have never made one. Time I got round to doing so I guess. We’ve had the hand held torch for years.

Tahitian Vanilla Bean and Key Lime Crème Brûlée Recipe

Recipe Courtesy of

Serves 6

White chocolate enhances the creaminess of the custard and balaTahitian_Vanilla_Bean_and_Key_Lime_Creme_Bruleences the sweet and tart flavors. Due to the high amount of chocolate, if over-baked, the custard will have a denser consistency but remain smooth and luscious.


  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup plus 6 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 7 ounces imported white chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • 7 large egg yolks
  • 4 teaspoons minced grated lime peel
  • Garnish: lime peel or fresh mint sprigs


  1. Preheat oven to 325ºF.
  2. Place cream and 1/4 cup sugar in medium saucepan over medium heat. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add bean. Bring to simmer stirring to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and whisk until smooth. Stir in lime juice. Remove bean.
  3. Beat egg yolks and lime peel in medium bowl until smooth. Gradually whisk in hot cream mixture. Divide among six 6-ounce ramekins or soufflé cups. Place cups in large baking pan. Pour in enough hot water to come half way up sides of cups.
  4. Bake until just edges are set and 90% of custard jiggles but is not too fluid, about 35 minutes. Remove from water bath and let cool at room temperature. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight.
  5. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon sugar evenly over each custard. Use torch to melt and caramelize sugar, or broil about 2 minutes, watching carefully and rotating cups. Let stand until sugar hardens or chill 15 minutes to 2 hours. Garnish if desired.
  6. NOTE: If using heart-shaped molds reduce cooking time to 15 minutes and sprinkle each with 2-3 teaspoons of sugar and caramelize.

Tip: There’s no need to wait for the broiler to heat up. A hand-held culinary torch caramelizes the sugar quickly so the crust is crisp and golden brown and the custard stays cool. The torch can be used on crème brûlée, tarts and meringues.

Have a great day


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Knole Park, Photography, Recent Books.

Knole ParkBob Scotney’s post on Parallel Bars included a picture of a deer grazing between the trees, this made me start thinking of Knole Park near Ightam in Kent where we used to take the kids to see all the deer many years ago. Trouble was I couldn’t really remember the name of the park and had to Magnificent stagsdo some Googling. Although Matt was more familiar with the place, he couldn’t remember it either. We never visited the house – not really our thing at the time, with the kids, but spent many happy hours wandering around feeding the deer. I remember one deer which followed me for ages, think I could have taken it home, liked my bread I guess. Dunno how friendly the deer would be during the rutting season. Maybe they don’t allow visitors at that time. I must see if I can find the pix we have although they may well be on slides from Matt’s camera.

Talking of slides, I can get them transferred to CDs, it would cost about $20 for Kodak Easy Share200 pictures. I just can’t seem to get my rear end in gear to see which one’s I would like to get converted. We have a lot of them, at one time it was the only medium Matt used. He still is the only person I know who uses a camera with film in it. I think he still has pix on it from our last trip to NC. A friend of mine has been doing a series of blogs on the history of cameras, Matt would fit right in there. Mind you Matt does know how to take pics and his camera takes better shots than mine, but I have always been a point and shoot kind of photographer, I can’t be bothered to wait for the perfect shot etc. etc. Of course, I can snap a picture to use in my blog straight away. I love the ability to look at a picture I have taken and accept it or reject it. Matt’s film, you have to put up with what you get, which you don’t know until you get around to having the film developed.

I have recently finished a book called Of Noble Birth by Brenda Novak, a romance Genesiswith pirates, abduction and treason. I enjoyed it. It wasn’t loaded with steaming sex which I preferred. Just a fun story. I also read Genesis: A Soul Savers Novella by Kristie Cook, another good read I found, this time about demons and angels, starting with an angel who falls in love with a human, gets caught and banished to earth for 200 years. Both of these were freebies for my Kindle. I haven’t checked if there are any more in the Soul Savers series, and I want to check on Brenda Novak’s writing too. Of course I am still waiting for the last (at the moment anyway) Alcatraz book, which I hope to be able to read before I go away. I don’t usually read much on vacation, unlike others, I do so much of that all year, its kind of a vacation not to read. I recently downloaded a few classics for free too. Most of them I have read, but don’t have copies of any more. I would like, one day, to download all the books I have in hard covers because it may come to it that I just don’t have the room to store lots of books any more. Trouble is it would be expensive, although if I see them on special I grab them straight away.

The following recipe came to me as Recipe of the Day, but the link wouldn’t open so as I liked the look of it, I had to do some searching. I have always enjoyed the Greek version of spinach pies, so I am sure these too will be delicious.

Palestinian Spinach Pies

From Food & Wine

The spinach filling in these fatayer, inspired by a recipe from Palestinian-born baker Maha Ziadeh, isn't flavored with feta, as it is in the more common Greek spinach pies. Instead, it's spiked with lemon and sumac, a tangy Middle Eastern spice. Ziadeh forms the pies into a triangle, but the half-moon shape here is simpler to do.

Zubin Shroff

Yields: Ten 5-inch piespalestinian-spinach-pies


  • 1 cup(s) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 tablespoon(s) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup(s) whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) active dry yeast
  • 2/3 cup(s) lukewarm water
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup(s) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon(s) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon(s) ground sumac (see Tips & Techniques)
  • 2 teaspoon(s) fresh lemon juice
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 package(s) (10-ounce) frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1 large egg, beaten


  1. In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour with the whole wheat flour, yeast, water, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Mix at medium speed until a soft, supple dough forms, about 10 minutes. Using oiled hands, transfer the dough to an oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough stand in a draft-free spot until slightly risen, about 1 hour.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the diced onion and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 7 minutes. Add the sumac and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the spinach and let cool completely.
  3. Preheat the oven to 450°F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Divide the dough into 10 pieces. Form each piece of dough into a ball, dust with flour, and let stand for 10 minutes.
  4. On a lightly floured surface, roll each ball of dough to a 5-inch round. Spread the spinach filling over half of each round, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Brush the rims with water and fold the dough over to enclose the filling; pinch the edges to seal.
  5. Transfer the spinach pies to the prepared baking sheets and brush the tops with the beaten egg. Bake the pies for about 18 minutes, or until golden; shift the pans from top to bottom and front to back halfway through baking. Transfer the spinach pies to a platter and serve warm or at room temperature.

Tips & Techniques

Sumac is a fruity, tangy spice made from dried, ground berries. It is available at Middle Eastern markets and online from

Have a great day


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Bowling, Isaac, Lottery Win, Kindle Freebies.

Regretfully, although I am a lot better, I didn’t feel up to bowling yesterday so Matt went on his own. He apparently bowled pretty well for his first time out.

I find it quite funny that Hurricane Isaac is going to ‘interfere’ with the Republican Convention in Florida, just saw a headline which said Isaac was forcing them to be nimble. Isn’t that what politicians do all the time? Beg your pardon, it’s the organisers who are being nimble. The article I read talks about the entertainment at the convention? Entertainment? Why do they need that, surely they are there for political reasoIsaacns not to make whoopee? Guess I’m wrong again. Reports are saying Isaac will strengthen to Category 2 by the time it hits land – its landfall being more or less where Katrina hit at this time of the year, 7 years ago. Look at this idiot in Florida diving into hurricane waves. People won’t be told. Having lived through a bunch of hurricanes when we were in North Carolina, we make damned sure to be as far as possible from where they are. Or at least to be sure to be in a strong building. Not jumping into waves caused by hurricanes.

An article about an Ontario couple who have just won $25 million and propose Lottery Ticketsgiving $12 million to their family. Way to go, would like to be in a position to do that for our family. Isn’t if funny how some people are lucky, apparently a few years ago they won $10,000 with a scratch crossword ticket. You can win $50,00 on those.  Meanwhile, the best we have ever done is $80 and that was years ago.

I have been enjoying some of my free Kindle books recently; considering they were free, there have been some very good stories, some being the first in a trilogy of course, but very often a very good book which is a stand alone. Found a couple of those lately.

I have never cooked spare ribs although I do enjoy them when I get the chance. Mostly I never cooked them because Matt thought they were more like sucking bones until he had some a friend made and he enjoyed those. The one’s in this recipe look delicious, maybe I will try them. I found the recipe on

Pork Spareribs with Red Currant Sauce

Source: Outdoor EntertainingRed Current Spare Ribs.
Serves 4
Click here to find out more!INGREDIENTS
For Marinade:
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3/4 cup red currant jelly
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 - 1 teaspoon chili sauce to taste
For Spareribs:
2 pounds pork spareribs

FOR MARINADE: Combine onion, garlic, jelly, honey, soy sauce and vinegar in a large bowl. Stir in the chili sauce and black pepper.
FOR SPARERIBS: Add spareribs and stir well to coat with marinade. Cover the dish and leave overnight in the refrigerator, or for at least 30 minutes so the meat can absorb the flavors.
TO COOK: Remove spareribs from the bowl (reserving marinade). Place ribs in a single layer in a baking dish and bake in oven at 425 degrees for 30 minutes. Pour off the excess fat from the dish. Spoon on the sauce and bake for 1 hour at 375 degrees, turning the ribs occasionally and basting with the sauce. (If necessary, the sauce may be thinned during cooking with a little stock or orange juice.)

Have a great day

Monday, August 27, 2012

Prince Harry, Neil Armstrong, Sammy’s

I am disgusted by the behaviour of everyone with regard to Prince Harry’s nude pictures. IRoyalsn the first place I think its terrible that anyone should accept his hospitality and then repay it with betrayal, selling such pictures of him for money. Then to distort family pictures showing the queen in them and adding a nude picture behind her is, in my opinion, not funny, its disrespectful and extremely distasteful. Maybe  your grandmother would enjoy family pictures distorted in such a way?  No, its not a joke. I am also surprised at my friends who have posted or shared the picture which is currently on Facebook. Maybe I’m old fashioned, but I see nothing humourous about any of this. At the same time, I see nothing wrong with Prince Harry ending up nude after a game of strip poker, I just think people are making too much of it that’s all. If I’m not mistaken this was Charles and Camilla’s wedding day, would you like someone to do that to your wedding pix?

I was sorry to hear of the death of Neil Armstrong on Saturday, all of us, who are Armstrongold enough, remember him hopping around on the moon and saying his famous “One small step for man, one giant step for mankind” speech. What an exciting day that was. We really haven’t progressed that far since then and now the US space explorations have shut down anyway. They are spending too much on wars to have money for space. Pity.

Personally I have had a lousy few days health wise, but like to believe I am on the Sammy's Seafoodmend now. Sorry about the lack of blog on Saturday Our winter league bowling starts today but then we only bowl a couple of times and take three weeks off to go dahn sahth, although we are actually only away for 2 weeks. There is a new seafood restaurant I want to try on the waterfront in Morehead City, looks really good and advertises that all their fish is fairly local. Its Sammy’s Seafood House and Oyster Bar. The picture is of all fried food but I assume they serve steamed or pan fried as well. We shall see. I will definitely check out their oyster bar. I can chuck oysters down my throat as fast as anyone, I love ‘em. My parents would have been staggered because I wouldn’t touch them as a young woman, even up to much later years; can’t remember what started me liking them now, it was having them steamed I know, and in the Carolinas too, but when it happened, I haven’t a clue. Once we are in the Carolinas I am not sure how many blogs I will post as the cottage we are renting doesn’t have wifi. The realtor does, but they are not that close.

Now this recipe really appealed to me and I will certainly give it a go next time I host a dinner party. I found it on

Steak-and-Boursin-Wrapped Bells

Source: © EatingWell MagazineSteak Boursin Bells

16 pieces

Click here to find out more!For an even quicker preparation, try deli roast beef.

16 thin slices grilled steak, such as filet mignon (about 8 ounces)

1 cup light Boursin cheese, divided

4 ounces thinly sliced bell pepper


Spread each steak slice with 1 teaspoon Boursin cheese and top with bell pepper slices. Roll the steak around the bell pepper slices.

Have a great day


Saturday, August 25, 2012

No Blog

Apologies, no blog today, have been a bit under the weather.

Spicy Asian-Chicken-Salad Lettuce Cups

Source: Food and Wine

Makes 12 lettuce cups

Click here to find out more!
Melissa Rubel Jacobson uses a store-bought rotisserie bird in her reinvented chicken salad. She spikes the mayonnaise with chile sauce and toasted sesame oil and adds water chestnuts for crunch.

1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 teaspoons sambal oelek or Chinese chile-garlic sauce

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon Asian sesame oil

1 2 pound rotisserie chicken —skin and bones discarded, meat pulled into bite-size pieces

1/3 cup water chestnuts coarsely chopped

2 scallions white and green parts thinly sliced

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

12 Bibb or iceberg lettuce leaves

1 Hass avocado peeled and cut into 12 slices

Lime wedges for serving


In a medium bowl, mix the mayonnaise with the sambal oelek, mustard and sesame oil. Stir in the chicken, water chestnuts and scallions and season with salt and pepper. Spoon the chicken salad into the lettuce cups and top with a slice of avocado. Serve with lime wedges.

Have a great day


Friday, August 24, 2012

Eggs, Lady Parts Diagram,

egg yolksI am surprised that nobody commented on the egg separating video which I posted a couple of days ago. I was so impressed with it and so were my cooking friends. Maybe you had all heard of it before. Even if you are not a cook yourself, you should pass the tip on to the cook in your family, I am sure they would appreciate it. I know I would have done. I also know a friend tried it and assures me that it does work. Haven’t had the opportunity to try it for myself, but you can be sure I will do so soon.

A friend posted this on Facebook, I really think Todd Aikin should see it. He says he has had a big cash haul in the wake of his legitimate rape remarks. I figure it must all be from perverts.

Rape Legitimizer

For supper last night we had the Tropical Cucumber Salad I posted on Wednesday. It was very good and will certainly stay in my repertoire. I can highly recommend it.

I thought this looked like a good recipe too. We would have to do it on our indoor/outdoor but nevertheless, I think it would work very well.

Cheese-Stuffed Grilled Peppers

Contributed by John Lancaster and Robert Perkins


Robert Perkins and John Lancaster, the wine directors at San Francisco's Boulevard restaurant, love making this snack at backyard barbecues using all types of medium-sized peppers: As the peppers blister, the cheese mixture tucked inside turns warm and gooey.cheese-peppers

1 cup ricotta cheese (8 ounces)

1 cup cream cheese, at room temperature

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Salt and freshly ground pepper

4 Anaheim or Cubanelle peppers

4 baby bell peppers

4 small poblano chiles

Extra-virgin olive oil, for rubbing

  1. In a medium bowl, blend the ricotta with the cream cheese and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Light a grill or heat a grill pan. Using a small, sharp knife, remove the stems from the peppers and reserve. Cut around inside the peppers to detach the membranes and remove the seeds. Using a butter knife, fill the peppers with the cheese mixture and reattach the tops. Rub the peppers with olive oil.
  3. Grill the peppers over moderately high heat, turning occasionally, until blistered all over and the cheese filling is piping hot, about 7 minutes. Transfer the peppers to plates and serve.

Make Ahead The cheese-filled peppers can be refrigerated overnight. Bring to room temperature before grilling.

Have a great day


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Prince Harry, Legitimate Rape,

Prince Harry has been snapped partying naked in Las Vegas after, apparently, Prince Harryplaying strip poker. He’s 28, single and having fun, why not? Somehow the pictures have leaked out into the media, somebody trying to make a buck or two. The English have shrugged it off, I’m not really surprised, the thing that annoys me is someone spreading the pictures. Trouble is today, you can’t do anything or write anything without it getting into the media, particularly if you are a celebrity of some kind. You are not allowed to live a private life. In all probability Prince Harry will eventually meet a girl with whom he wants to settle down, but not all princes marry and many of them have fun. At the end of one article someone commented maybe he was missing his mother, or its because she died when he was young, really, after all these years, I don’t think so.

I see the politician Todd Aken who made those asinine remarks about legitimate Todd Akinrapes and women’s bodies having ways of shutting down (unwanted pregnancies) that sort of thing, is still going to run for office in Missouri. I would be very surprised if any women voted for him after such stupidity. He has said he misspoke!!!!!! How could you spout all that rubbish and then claim misspeaking? He is also saying he is pro life, sure, but there was a superb rebuttal by Eve Ensler which I would really like to think Todd Akin had read. If not, he certainly should do so. He has caused a furor amongst women world wide. If he gets his seat in Missouri I will be very surprised, or horrified at the men of that State perhaps. There have been calls for him to step down, but he won’t do so.

Well, that was fun, I just spent two hours in St. Mary’s, the local cardiac hospital, been having chest pains off and on for a while, doc said everything looked good but has written to my internist. They still put an IV junction in my arm (less painful than my hand) just in case it was needed, now I have a sore arm. What we need is someone to invent a way of doing this without an IV needle. Like Bones in Star Trek – he had a kind of gun which he place on your upper arm and it did everything. What really upset me, 2 hours = $10 parking, that’s a lot of money.

Now here’s a nice easy, delicious looking dessert I found on

Frozen Cappuccino Bars

By flower7 on February 24, 2005

Froz. Cappuccino BarsPhoto by * Pamela *

Servings: 12-15

About This Recipe

"A co-worker brought this in for my birthday and I had to get the recipe from him because it was delicious! I'm not a coffee drinker so the amount of coffee flavor was perfect for me, but you may want to add feel free to do so!”


    • 1 (13 ounce) boxes whole graham crackers ( may not use all)
    • 16 ounces cream cheese, softened
    • 3 1/2 cups cold milk
    • 3 (3 1/2 ounce) packages instant chocolate pudding mix
    • 1 tablespoon instant coffee
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 8 ounces whipped topping, thawed
    • chocolate sprinkles or grated semisweet chocolate bars


  1. Arrange graham crackers in the bottom of a 13 x 9 pan, breaking crackers to fit if necessary.
  2. Beat cream cheese in a large bowl with an electric mixer on low speed until smooth.
  3. Beat in 1 cup of the milk.
  4. Add remaining milk, pudding mixes, instant coffee and cinnamon.
  5. Beat 1 to 2 minutes or until well blended (mixture will be thick).
  6. Gently stir in 2 cups of whipped topping.
  7. Spread 1/2 of the pudding mixture over the crackers in pan.
  8. Arrange more crackers over the pudding or cover the pudding with crushed graham crackers.
  9. Top with remaining pudding mixture.
  10. Cover with remaining whipped topping.
  11. Sprinkle with grated chocolate or sprinkles.
  12. Freeze 3 hours or overnight. Let sit out of freezer for 20-30 minutes before serving

Have a great day


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Channel Swimmer, Brigg. Separating Eggs.

ancholmeThanks to a blogging friend in Whitstable, England, I have found out who the lonely Channel swimmer was, Ted May. She sent me a link to a web page about him. He was from Kent which is the county I called home for many years, but he was working in Lincolnshire where we lived for a few years, and where he practiced swimming in the canal where we lived. Having been doing some googling the canal was part of the River Ancholme which seems to have been split into the new and old rivers, I am not quite sure on which we lived, but I do know the town of Brigg was where our barge was actually moored, or just outside. If you look at the map, Ted May would have swum from Brigg to the South Ferriby Lock and back again when he was practicing.

These are two pictures of our Thames Barge, Iota, when she was at BriggIota in BriggIota in Brigg2. The second barge belonged to a friend of ours. In fact both he and my father had moved to Brigg in order to be civilian instructors for RAF pilots and they used to travel to the aerodrome at Kirton Lindsay (we used to call it Kuala Lumpur, no idea why other than the initials) every day. My father used to ride a motorised bike or what we called a put put. We were pretty broke at the time as he had lost money (not sure if he went bankrupt) on his factory in Kent. I cannot, for the life of me, remember the name of the other barge although I can remember the name of the guy who owned her.  To get to Brigg we sailed from the river Medway up the East Coast of England to the Humber and then down the Ancholme to Brigg. Gosh that’s a long time ago. I guess the photo which was obviously taken from the air, was taken by my father or his friend. I remember I used to cycle to school from there. It was the first time I had ever been to a Grammar School (i.e. a government school) and I remember being horrified that we all got inspected for head lice.

Did a couple of things which made our vacation come closer, bought some US dollars and stocked up on drugs. The latter is no joke either, we have to take so damned many between us that we carry a special bag just for them. Like carrying a pharmacy on our backs. The exchange rate is pretty favourable for us at the moment so we figured we’d buy our currency whilst the going was good.

A friend sent a link to the following video, absolutely brilliant way of separating an egg. Its in another language, but you can see what she is doing. Only trouble is, I don’t have plastic bottles. She tried it later on and says it works.

This salad seemed to me to be somewhat different and sounded rather refreshing.

Tropical Cucumber Salad

Source: © EatingWell Magazine
4 servings, about 1 cup each

Combine cucumber, avocado and mango with a salty-sweet dressing for a taste Tropical Cucumber Saladof the tropics.
Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 hour.
3-5 teaspoons fish sauce (see Shopping Tip)
1 teaspoon freshly grated lime zest, plus more for garnish
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 teaspoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 medium English cucumber, cut into 3/4-inch dice
1 avocado, cut into 3/4-inch dice
1 mango, cut into 3/4-inch dice (see Kitchen Tip)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Tip: Fish sauce is a pungent Southeast Asian condiment; find it in large supermarkets and Asian markets.
To peel and cut a mango:
1. Slice both ends off the mango, revealing the long, slender seed inside. Set the fruit upright on a work surface and remove the skin with a sharp knife.
2. With the seed perpendicular to you, slice the fruit from both sides of the seed, yielding two large pieces.
3. Turn the seed parallel to you and slice the two smaller pieces of fruit from each side.
4. Cut the fruit into the desired shape.

Whisk fish sauce to taste, lime zest, lime juice, oil, brown sugar, vinegar and crushed red pepper in a large bowl until combined. Add cucumber, avocado, mango and cilantro; gently toss to coat. Serve garnished with lime zest, if desired.

Have a great day

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

RIP Phyllis Diller. Tipped Crane, Body Parts, Teen Swimmer.

RIP Phyllis Diller. I was sad to hear she died today and astounded that she was 95, I hadn’t realised she had lived that long. Wonderful comedienne and a pioneer in the field.PEOPLE DILLER

I have alwtipped craneays been nervous passing under cranes and this is the reason why. It is not, by any means, the first time this has happened. In this case the crane operator was trapped as well as a bus full of passengers. They say no injuries have been reported. I hope none will be. The crane brought down power lines which were on the bus apparently, but people left the bus safely without getting electrocuted I am pleased to say.

We seem to be breeding murderers who like dismembering their victimsHunting Body Parts, Toronto police have been fishing all kinds of body parts out of the Credit River and a nearby creek. It has been established all the parts are from the same victim but as yet I guess they haven’t established who that victim may be and are still looking for the rest of the body. This is the second case recently, the first one, a suspect has been apprehended, in fact this current case might be recent enough to have been the same perpetrator, my thoughts not theirs.

SwimmerThe youngster, Annaleise Carr who swam Lake Ontario on Sunday has set a record, she was only 14 yrs. old. When she got close to Toronto she had to swim around for a while in order to avoid very strong currents out of Toronto Harbour so altogether it took her 27 hours. Her reason for doing the swim was to raise money for Camp Trillium which is a camp for children with cancer; she has raised $70,000 to date. I still haven’t heard anything about people swimming the English Channel unsupported.

From the cooking group I belong to on Yahoo Groups, quite a few of us enjoy rhubarb in one form or another, so, for my Recitopian friends here is a recipe from which I hope you enjoy.

Rhubarb-Ginger Fool

Source: Fine Cooking - Issue No. 14

Yields 7 cups; serves six

Rhubarb Ginger FoolThis dessert is called a fool because, well, almost anyone can make it. Just combine the stewed fruit with freshly whipped cream.

1 1/2 to 2 pounds rhubarb

1 to 1 1/4 cups sugar

2 tablespoons chopped candied ginger

2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger

2 cups heavy cream


Trim the ends of the rhubarb and, if the stalks are more than 1 inch thick, cut them in half lengthwise. Cut the stalks into 1-inch-long pieces.

In a stainless-steel pan with a tight-fitting lid, combine the rhubarb, sugar, candied ginger, and fresh ginger. (There’s no need to add water; though it will look dry at first, the rhubarb will release enough water to cook without scorching.) Cook over low heat until the rhubarb is tender and falling apart, about 30 minutes. Refrigerate until well chilled.

Whip the cream until it holds soft peaks. Gently fold in the chilled rhubarb mixture until well combined. Spoon into serving glasses or bowls and chill until ready to serve.

Have a great day


Monday, August 20, 2012

New Bowling Season, Books, Swimming the Channel,

One week today we start the winter bowling season again, we miss three weeks though bMacDaddy'secause we never bowl on Labour Day, the one day of the year when the woman who runs the place is always off, and then we will be on vacation for two weeks. No doubt we will be doing some 10-pin bowling whilst in North Carolina. I follow MacDaddy’s on Facebook which is where we go when we bowl down there. They have been having all kinds of lunch or dinner specials on with specials on shrimp appearing once or twice. We occasionally have lunch there with our friends before we bowl. Their food isn’t bad.

Over the weekend I finished my second Alcatraz book, Alcatraz versus the Alcatraz vs. CrystalliaScrivener’s Bones. The funniest thing, to me, was an extra two pages after the end of the book for those who cheat, detailing how someone died who didn’t actually do so in the story. If you did cheat you would have been upset to read about the death of the character which is intended to be a punishment for cheating. I think Brandon Sanderson is totally zany with these books. They are intended for a much younger audience but I am thoroughly enjoying them I am impressed with his totally different humour.. The next book is Alcatraz Versus the Knights of Crystallia.

At the time of writing there is a teenager attempting to swim Lake Ontario. It set up a train of memories in my mind. When I was about 14 we were living on a canal in Lincolnshire, England, and one morning, before I went to school, a man went into the water and swam to the beginning and back (don’t remember how far) but basically he was swimming all day and didn’t get back til late evening. I vividly remember my mother saying that, all day long, whatever she had been doing, she kept thinking about him still swimming. I don’t know much else about him other than he was practicing to swim the English Channel which he subsequently attempted towing his own supplies and completely unsupported. Unfortunately he went missing. I started wondering who he was and whether in the intervening years anyone else had attempted the same thing and had success or otherwise. I tried Googling without result. I have emailed a Channel Swimming group who may have records. Whilst trying some research I came across videos of people actually doing the swim, dunno why they do it, they are nuts. Here’s one of the ones I found. I had never thought about the problem of crossing the shipping lanes.

I don’t often snack between meals or when travelling, but this recipe sounded good and as we will be driving to NC very soon, I just thought it might be useful. One thing I am not quite sure about, do you shell the edamame or not?

Spicy Lemon Edamame

South Beach Diet

Frozen edamame in the pod are easy to find in most supermarkets these days. spicy-lemon-edamameThis recipe will make them your new snack favorite on any Phase of the diet. While the edamame are best served warm, they can also be chilled for a take-along snack.


3 clove(s) garlic large, smashed and peeled

1 medium lemon juiced (use 2 teaspoons), and 2 large strips of zest, cut into thin slivers

1/2 teaspoon pepper, red flakes

16 ounce(s) edamame, frozen in pods (1 bag)

1/2 teaspoon salt, sea coarse

  • In a medium saucepan, combine 6 cups of water, the garlic, the lemon zest, and red pepper flakes. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook, partially covered, for 3 minutes to blend the flavors.

  • Add the frozen edamame. Return the water to a boil and cook, uncovered, for 3 minutes.

  • Drain well and transfer the edamame to a serving bowl. Discard the garlic. Toss the edamame with the lemon juice and sea salt. Serve warm.

    Each serving is 1 cup.

Have a great day