Saturday, June 29, 2013

Letting Go, Inspiration Liebster

Yesterday Father Dragon was talking about Emptying the Cup before you Filled it. Or letting go of the old before you adopted the new. Later in the day I started thinking about computer systems. In the 80’s we had DOS and then Microsoft introduced Windows which I hated and hung on to as long as I could. It occurred to me that this is something like he was talking about. One is reluctant to get rid of the things with which we are familiar and to venture into something new without the support of the old.

Inspired liebster-blog-award

I was reminded, today, also by Father Dragon, that as yet I hadn’t responded to the Inspiration Liebster Award which was given to me by Yolanda Renèe of Defending the Pen. I was asked to answer some questions and to refer to and thank the person who sent me the award as well as tell a few things about me and pass on to some other blogger. Thank you so much Yolanda.

Cheshire, England
Ontario, Canada
Three Coins in a Fountain on TV the other night
Strands of Pattern – JEff Hargett
The Tollgate – Georgette Heyer
Fable (The Lorn Prophecy) – Lisa Fender
Listen to music on a battery powered radio and if it was daylight and warm enough, I would go outside to read. In the evening we would probably go out to eat.
Albatross by Fleetwood Mac
Blogger, not writer.
Shogun by James Clavell
Hera, the power behind the throne
Can’t remember anything weird. Can’t remember what they said anyway.

I have just lost 18 lbs but can’t move any better.
I used to write poetry
I went to 10 different schools
I lived on a boat for a large part of my life
I’ve been blogging for 6 years and married for 41.
My favourite dogs are German Shepherds
I speak rusty French, a smattering of Spanish and a very little Greek and would love to be able to afford Rosetta Stone language courses.

My nominees are
Loverofwords at Of Shoes and Ships and Sealing Wax
Tina at Life is Good
Elise Fallson at Elise Fallson
Baked Beans is a perennial favourite at picnics, and as July 1 (Canada Day) and July 4 (Independence day) are coming up, I thought this twist on the old favourite might be acceptable.

Spicy Baked Beans

Yields 8 servingsSpicy Baked Beans
Here's a spicy version of a North American classic for your next picnic.
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons prepared mustard
1 tablespoon molasses
1 clove garlic, finely chopped or 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon Crosse & Blackwell Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
10 slices bacon (about 8 oz.)
1 small onion, chopped
1 large stalk celery, chopped
2 cans (16 oz.) pork and beans

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Combine sugar, ketchup, mustard, molasses, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, salt, cayenne pepper and black pepper in small bowl.
Cook bacon in large skillet until crisp. Remove bacon; drain, reserving 3 tablespoons bacon fat. Cook onion and celery in reserved bacon fat for 4 to 6 minutes or until tender. Crumble bacon in 2-quart casserole; stir in pork and beans, onion mixture and sauce mixture.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Have a great weekend, happy Canada Day to all Canadian readers.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Habitable Worlds, Asparagus, Movie.

I see in the news lately, that three potentially habitable worlds have been discovered orbiting a star 22 light years away. This is a very positive discovery. I am not very sure how long it would take us to travel that far, but as far as I know we haven’t found any other potentially habitable worlds so far.

I went to the asparagus farm for the last time this year and decided Asparagus2to buy some of their “seconds”. I made some more Asparagus and Almond Soup which I had to end up sieving as the texture was full of strings from the asparagus. I don’t know if this was because they were seconds or what. The final soup was OK, but sieving was a damned nuisance. I didn’t get as much soup as I expected either. Anyway, I have a good batch of #1 quality to stuff my face with.

Started to watch A Bridge Too Far on TV last night, but in the end got fed up with it. Matt has always been interested in World War II, we lived through it after all. I watched it for a while, but got a mite bored. I am pretty sure I have seen it before anyway. Absolutely everyone was in the movie both British and American actors. It’s an interesting movie if only from that point of view.

I nearly forgot, told our foot nurse all about Didgeridoos and blowing raspberries in order to learn circular breathing.  For the rest of our time with her she was blowing raspberries and intends to keep practising she said. It was quite funny.

I’m not a big fan of pastry, be it pies or tarts, but the picture here was so appealing, I read the recipe and decided to share it with you.

Free-Form Blueberry Tart

Contributed by Jeremy Sewall
  • SERVINGS: 8 
Jeremy Sewall adds a little candied ginger to the tart's crust for a blueberry-tarthint of spice; feel free to add more or omit it altogether.
  1. 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for sprinkling
  2. 1 tablespoon minced candied ginger
  3. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  4. 1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  5. 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon ice water


  1. 1/4 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  2. 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  3. 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  4. 4 cups blueberries
  5. 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  6. 1 egg white, beaten
  1. In a food processor, combine the 1 1/2 cups of flour with the candied ginger and salt and pulse to mix. Add the butter and pulse until it is the size of small peas. Sprinkle on the ice water and pulse just until the pastry starts to come together. Turn the pastry out onto a lightly floured work surface and pat it into a disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 2 hours, or until firm.
  2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the pastry to a 14-inch round about 1/8 inch thick. Fold the pastry in half and transfer it to the prepared baking sheet. Unfold the pastry and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375°. In a large bowl, mix the 1/4 cup of sugar with the lemon zest and flour. Fold in the blueberries and lemon juice and let stand for 15 minutes.
  4. Spoon the blueberries in the center of the pastry, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border all around. Fold the pastry border up and over the blueberries, pleating it as necessary. Brush the egg white on the pastry and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for about 55 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown and the filling starts to bubble. Transfer the baking sheet to a rack and let the tart cool to warm. Cut into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature.
Make Ahead: The pastry can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. Serve With Lemon or vanilla ice cream.

Have a great day

Thursday, June 27, 2013

My Wednesday. Rambling.

I don’t have a whole hell of a lot to write about today. Bowling, yesterday, was a fiasco once again. Matt had one good game but I just can’t get going at all. I blame the change of venue and my apparent inability to adjust. I do hope I can adjust for the winter league. I would hate to carry on as poorly as I am doing right now.

Once again I forgot our appointment with the foot nurse yesterday so we have to go early this morning. That’s twice I’ve done that. It may be something to do with the fact that Matt goes shopping first thing in the morning, then we bowl at 1 and somehow I forget there is anything else. I could kick myself. The nurse phoned – she gets worried in case something has happened to one or both of us which makes me feel worse for forgetting. Yes, I do have it written down on my calendar. Just being particularly dumb at the moment.

I spent a lot of time yesterday morning sitting on the phone waiting to speak to people and getting somewhat fed up with the whole business. That too might have contributed to my forgetfulness. Forgot to blow any raspberries today either, I’ll never be able to play a didgeridoo.

This afternoon we take our final trip to Barrie’s Asparagus FarmPickled Asparagus. The store is open all year you understand, but Monday is the last day for asparagus. They sell all kinds of products made with asparagus, as well as other things, some of which they grow, some of which other farms grow and they trade with. I think I will get myself another jar of pickled asparagus whilst I am there, I do like the stuff and as I said, I couldn’t see going to all the effort of making my own. I want to make some more Asparagus/Almond Soup too. If you check out the link above, you can see some of the many products they sell.

An English recipe for those delectable strawberries.

Zesty Strawberries with Cointreaustrawberries w cointreau

By Good Food


Make the most of the fresh taste of British strawberries with this simple recipe. In season from the end of May
  • 500g strawberries, hulled halved or quartered, depending on size
  • 3 tbsp Cointreau
  • zest 1 orange
  • 4 tbsp icing sugar
  • mint leaves, roughly torn, to serve


  1. Tip the strawberries into a large bowl. Splash over the Cointreau, add the orange zest and sift in the icing sugar, then give everything a really good mix. Cover, then leave for 1 hr or more for the juices to become syrupy and the strawberries to soak up some of the alcohol.
  2. To serve, scatter the mint leaves over the strawberries and give them one more good stir, then spoon into individual glass dishes.
Have a great day

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Didgeridoo, Bowling, Black Tea,

Well I’m damned, according to Hilary Melton-Butcher of Positive Letters, if you learn to play the Australian Aboriginal instrument the didgeridoo, it helps with sleep apnea and snoring. I wondered how much they would be to buy? Turns out that a place in California, The Didgeridoo Store, sells them for $24.98 and actually advertise their benefit for sleep apnea.didgeridoo_ultimate
Just think, I could have saved the insurance company $1,000 and I wouldn’t have to sleep with a mask over my face. Mind you, Matt might have thrown me out of the house. Apparently it is to do with the circular breathing which has to be learned to play it. I am not sure what that is, but if only I had known before!!!

The above video shows how they are made, this next video shows how to play one. This guy (David Hudson) is quite incredible and must have wonderful lungs. He refers to recycle breathing. Absolutely fascinating stuff and something I had never looked into before.

I am now going to be blowing raspberries all over the place.

Jeff Hargett of Strands of Pattern askedMy_Ball me how heavy a 5-pin ball is. Getting them out last night, Matt decided to weigh one of mine and it turned out to be 3.5 lbs. It is quite a different game to 10 pin where, IMHOP, you have to be a weight lifter to handle the balls. Unless you throw a gutter ball, you can always get points with 10 pin. With 5-pin, although it doesn’t often happen, it is perfectly possible to roll Bowling Pin Placement 5the ball between 2 pins because they are placed in a V but each pin is 18 inches from the other. I have done that once, but once only I am glad to say. To get a strike you need to hit the head pin (5 points) just off centre. The corner pins are 2 points and the others are 3. Come visit us in Canada and we will show you what it’s all about.

I was talking about making pickled asparagus yesterday, but having checked all the ingredients, I decided not to bother. I’ll just buy a jar from Barrie’s Asparagus when I want one. They really are good to eat though.

Went to have my hair cut and my hairdresser was telling me about Pooh Air Tea. It is supposed to be good for weight loss. She assured me that that was how it is spelt too. It is, over here, but I checked it out and it is in fact Pu’erh Tea from China, it is a specially produced black tea. The medical benefits listed were lowering of cholesterol because it contains a statin and improving mental alertness. Nothing about weight loss at all although it might lower triglycerides.

We are coming into two important holidays. July 1 is Canada Day and July 4 is Independence Day. Needless to say I am now being inundated with recipes for these two occasions. Many of them are versions of burgers which, basically, I don’t eat. I have never developed the North American passion for burgers. Most of you know how to prepare them and lots of different ways of doing so. However, I did like the look of this turkey recipe and figured one could always have asparagus as a vegetable.

Curried Turkey Kabobs

Source: National Turkey Federation
5 servings
Yogurt and onion give this marinade a Middle Eastern flair, while tenderizing the meat. Brilliant.Curried Turkey Kabobs
6 Ounces plain low fat yogurt
2 Tablespoons grated onion
1 Clove garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1-1/2 Teaspoons curry powder
1/4 Teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 Teaspoon ground cloves
1-1/2 Pounds turkey breast medallions, cut into 1-1/2-inch pieces
As needed nonstick cooking spray

Combine yogurt, onion, garlic, lemon juice, curry powder, salt and cloves in large bowl; mix well. Add turkey pieces; stir to coat. Refrigerate 20 minutes.
Spray cold grate of outdoor grill with grilling spray. Prepare grill for medium heat.
If using wood skewers, soak in water at least 30 minutes before using to prevent them from burning. Thread turkey evenly onto 5 wood or metal skewers, leaving a small space between each piece.
Grill kabobs 25 minutes, or until no longer pink in the centers and food thermometer, inserted in centers, reaches 165 degrees F, turning once or twice.

Have a great day

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

REM Sleep, Shellfish, Asparagus.

I phoned the Sleep Management Group and asked them about the lack of dreams. Apparently I was wrong, you can have dreams when you are not soundly asleep. You can also have them whilst in REM sleep (in case you don’t know, that is Rapid Eyelid Movement) but not remembeCPAPring them doesn’t mean you are not getting your REM sleep. The best way to determine this, apparently, is by the level of tiredness each day. They also informed me that it does take a while for the level to noticeably decrease. In my case the pressure was turned up to 10 on the 22nd so I may not yet be feeling the benefit, or, of course, I may need it even higher. The results of the last sleepover at the sleep clinic will determine this I believe, but we won’t get those until some time in July. It is a tad confusing as the Sleep Management Group are not the same as the sleep clinic. I might say, I still seem to need a nap in the afternoon unless I am bowling.

Talking to a friend the other day and discussing he and his wife coming to dinner and I scampiwas astounded that he doesn’t like lobster or shrimp but yet he does like fish. Now I personally would sell my soul for lobster as most people are aware. Second comes King crab and third shrimp. I love scampi too, but they are not really shrimpavailable in this part of the world. There is a rock shrimp which I tasted in North Carolina once and I think it is the same thing, but am not totally sure. Over here you will come across a recipe, Shrimp Scampi, but basically all that is is shrimp cooked in garlic butter, nothing to do with scampi at all. The top pic is a scampi I think they are a bit bigger than the average shrimp too.

I have been toying with the idea of canning some asparagus before Gusthe week is up. I have a recipe from the farm for a pickled asparagus which is canned. I buy their jars sometimes, but its not the cheapest way to go. This is the recipe posted by Barrie’s:

Pickled Asparagus

BY gus | POSTED November 28, 2012

Using 5 lbs of Ontario asparagus, wash well and soak in ice water while you are preparing the 6 pint jars. Place 1/2 clove of garlic, 1 tsp dill seed, 1 tsp mustard seed, and 6 peppercorns in the bottom of each jar. Place asparagus, tips up in jar. Don’t waste tender ends. Can them also for bite size treats. Bring 8 cups water, 2-1/2 cups white vinegar, 3 tbsp pickling salt, 1/2 cup white sugar to a boil and pour over asparagus. Process in hot bath for 5 to 6 minutes.

Only problem is I don’t have a proper hot water bath although I have a huge stockpot which I am sure could be used. The picture, by the way, is the farm’s new mascot GUS. You can buy mugs and T shirts with this logo on.

The other day I posted a recipe for asparagus and almond soup. Yesterday I made my own version of it. This is immediately after adding the ground almonds. I guess I am not a very good photographer, the soup should, and does, look green, honestly Alex. However, it tastes delicious.

Asparagus and Almond Soup

1 lb asparagus (if shop bought you will need more because you 002cannot use the ends)
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 small onion, chopped
1/2 cup ground almonds.
Toasted almonds for garnish

Wash the asparagus and chop into pieces. Put in a pan with the chicken broth and the onion. Cook til tender. Blend. Add the ground almonds. and cook a few minutes longer.
To serve ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle with a few toasted almonds.

To do toasted almonds, put them in a dry nonstick pan and sauté until they begin to colour slightly.

Have a great day

Monday, June 24, 2013

Menopause, Dreams, Lost Pigeon

A Daft Scots Lass was talking about perimenopausal symptoms on Hot flashesher blog yesterday. I do so sympathise with her. These are not funny, neither for the woman experiencing them nor for the people living with them. I see there are all kinds of treatments offered these days which guarantee that you will sail through the whole experience with ease. I think if I were at that age I would be inclined to try them. Anything for help. These symptoms can come at any age, I have known people start menopause in their 30s, and some of the symptoms can carry on for many years. I still have hot flashes at my age. Some of the worst problems are the emotional ones and these varying emotions many husbands have trouble coping with. I think this is often when men start looking around elsewhere. Nature was not very kind to us females; in order to procreate the species we have to put up with a lot of hassle all our lives.

Back to my all consuming CPAP machine, I realised over the dreamsweekend that I don’t recall having had any dreams since I started using the machine. I hope that doesn’t mean I am not getting any REM sleep as that would be really serious. It may, of course, just be that I am not recalling them, but all my life I have had vivid dreams and have often thought, if I could remember enough when I wake, I probably could write a book.

japanese pigeonIn May I wrote about a racing pigeon fetching $400,000 now there is a story of a racing pigeon, from Nanaimo, Japan having ended up on Vancouver Island. At least it wasn’t the one which fetched so much money the other day as that one went to China. Somebody cracked that the pigeon must have been using Apple maps. Nevertheless, the pigeon had to have flown some 8,000 kilometers.

I have hesitated to use this recipe because of the quail eggs. I certainly have no idea if I can obtain them in my area, but I assume they are obtainable in some places in North America. Nor am I quite sure what British wasabi is, but see no reason why one can’t use regular wasabi. I then Googled it and have linked it in the recipe.

Asparagus with Peppered Soft Boiled Quails’ Eggs, Watercress and British Wasabi Dressing.
Marcus Bean – British Asparagus

"I love this as it’s one of the first asparagus dishes I put on the menu at the pub. We use wild asparagus from a local stream across the field from the pub, soft poached Shropshire quails’ eggs and some punchy wasabi. It’s a firm favourite on our menu during the season Pam Lloyd PR Asparagus Recipes (23rd & 25th November 2011)because it’s a great combination of flavours."

Serves: 2
You'll need:
8 stems of asparagus (4 per person)
2 quails’ eggs
2 tbsp of freshly cracked black pepper
1 tsp of freshly grated British wasabi
1 tsp honey
50ml of olive oil
1 tsp white wine vinegar
½ tsp of Dijon mustard
100g fresh watercress
What to do:
To cook the asparagus place in a steamer until just cooked then place in ice water to stop cooking and allow the asparagus to keep that lovely green colour. Put a small pan of water on the hob, bring to the boil then add your quails’ eggs and cook for 2 minutes 15 seconds then put into ice water for 5 minutes, After 5 minutes peel the eggs in the water for ease.
For the dressing mix the olive oil, white wine vinegar, honey, mustard and fresh wasabi until combined, then set aside.
Once the quail eggs are peeled, grab your freshly cracked black pepper and roll the eggs in it until the white is covered. Put your watercress in a bowl, slice your asparagus into 3 pieces per stem, now drizzle the watercress and asparagus with the wasabi dressing and then lightly season. Very carefully slice your quail eggs in half, then add them to the plate with the asparagus and watercress.

Have a great day

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Momo the Cat, Asparagus Farm, CPAP Report.

WEA Alta Flooding 20130620In my blog yesterday I showed a picture of a cat swimming away from a truck. Alex J. Cavanaugh asked me if the cat survived, I didn’t know. Then I came across an article all about Momo the cat and her owner Kevan Yates, describing how they were caught unawares and how Kevan had to smash the back window of his truck to enable them both to get out. There are lots of pictures of them both swimming and of them finally getting to safety. A lot of the article is devoted to the fact that cats are perfectly good swimmers if they have to be. Meanwhile there are other reports on the floods which are getting worse and there are reports of three bodies having been found.

Went to the Asparagus Farm yesterday and ended up getting asparagus for three other people as well as us. Bought us some strawberries too. They were good. I anticipate only one more visit to the farm and that will be it for this year.

That's the second time my scheduled blog hasn't posted. If it's not one thing, it's another.

Think I mentioned that my CPAP machine has a USB port and that I had to insert the flash drive which came with it into the computer to get an increase in pressure. Yesterday, having inserted it a second time to be sure I had the pressure increase, I got a report on my usage to date. I needed interpretation – it turns out that things are improving but there is still room for more improvement.

Tried a new chicken dish I found on Facebook today. It looked good, but I was a mite disappointed. Of course, I don’t eat the chicken skin where a lot of the flavour would have ended up. I love chicken skin if its good and crispy, but I haven’t allowed myself to eat it in years.

Garlic and Lemon chicken

6 Tbs olive oilGarlic & Lemon Chicken
2 lemons, 1 thinly sliced, 1 juiced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3/4 lb trimmed green beans
8 small red potatoes, quartered
4 chicken breasts (bones left in, with skin, about 3 1/4 pounds)

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a large baking dish or cast-iron skillet with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Arrange the lemon slices in a single layer in the bottom of the dish or skillet.
2. In a large bowl, combine the remaining oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper; add the green beans and toss to coat. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, remove the green beans and arrange them on top of the lemon slices. Add the potatoes to the same olive-oil mixture and toss to coat. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, arrange the potatoes along the inside edge of the dish or skillet on top of the green beans. Place the chicken in the same bowl with the olive-oil mixture and coat thoroughly. Place the chicken, skin-side up, in the dish or skillet. Pour any of the remaining olive-oil mixture over the chicken.
3. Roast for 50 minutes. Remove the chicken from the dish or skillet. Place the beans and potatoes back in oven for 10 minutes more or until the potatoes are tender. Place a chicken breast on each of 4 serving plates; divide the green beans and potatoes equally. Serve warm.

Have a great weekend

Friday, June 21, 2013

Burmese Python, Floods in Alberta.

I actually sat out on our balcony yesterday. First time in weeks. Tomorrow it is supposed to rain once again.

Item in the news yesterday, an albino Burmese python was python-chilliwack-vetdiscovered dumped in Chilliwack, BC. I don’t believe such animals should be sold as pets in the first place, but having acquired one, I cannot understand people just dumping it – presumably so they didn’t get into trouble not having a license. The snake was not in very good shape, and would, no doubt, have perished in our Canadian winter. It is currently being cared for by a vet and they are looking for a good home. Wouldn’t be mine, I am not into reptiles. There is a video on the site which gives a better picture of the python.

Calgary is suffering badly from flooding as well as its calgary-flooding-swimming-cat-4colneighbourhood.  It is being predicted the floods will be worse than in 2005  which were pretty bad. This picture is of a guy swimming after his cat which was being swept away. His truck is also disappearing in the flood waters. The article is full of videos of the flooded areas. Emergency services are being deployed to give what assistance they can. This seems to be quite a year for disasters if you consider all the tornadoes in the States which have caused such devastation.

I found a delightful salad yesterday on Food For Rabbits which I made for us for supper last night. I don’t keep red wine vinegar so I used a little Balsamic instead. It was very good. I actually thought it would have been better without the tomato but Matt didn't agree.

Spring Asparagus Salad w/ Hearts of Palm and Cherry Tomatoes
Food for Rabbits

Asparagus Hearts of Palm
1 bunch of asparagus, steamed
1 can of hearts of palm
1/2 pint of cherry tomatoes, cut in half
2 green onions, sliced
1 small shallot, diced
1/2 lemon, juiced
1.5 Tbs red wine vinegar
1.5 Tbs white wine vinegar
1 tsp gluten free dijon mustard
6 Tbs olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

1. Cook asparagus til al dente. Chill in ice bath or cold water. Chop into bite sized pieces cut diagonally. Place in large bowl. Cut each stalk of hearts of palm into 4 pieces and then each into 1 inch pieces at a diagonal.  Add to bowl, then your halved cherry tomatoes.  Add in sliced green onions and finally the chopped shallots.
2. In a separate bowl, add in vinegars, mustard and a pinch of salt. Slowly pour in olive oil and whisk to emulsify.  Add in pepper and adjust ingredients to desired taste. Pour dressing over salad and mix.  Add lemon juice as desired.
3. Serve into bowls and enjoy!
4. This recipe would go great with some anchovies on top!  Also, if you can find jarred hearts of palm, please use those instead of canned!  Unless labeled, cans can be lined with BPA (toxic!!).  But some brands, like Native Forest, guarantee that their cans are BPA free so do some research before buying your canned foods.  Can also substitute hearts of palm with artichoke hearts!

Servings: 3

Have a great day

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Lupins, Bowling, Asparagus.

LupinsThat’s a new one on me. I have just discovered the seeds of lupins are made into a flour which is used in baking bread and pastry. Not yer every day pastries and breads mind you. I also understand it is a staple in Portugal where they eat it as a snack, the seeds I am guessing. I discovered all this because a friend in the UK has an allergy to it and it took the medics a while to find out what it was she was allergic to. Always thought it a pretty flower, but I had no idea its seeds were used for food in any way.

I thought of a new reason for my lousy bowling lately, I have been My Balllosing weight and am too weak to bowl well. Only trouble is everyone laughed when I told them. It seemed like an excellent reason to me. Matt isn’t doing much better so I am presuming its the change of alleys. Not quite sure why. It would appear that our winter league will definitely be at Towne Bowl this year as there is no hope any more of a new bowling alley this winter. I think they are still pursuing a venue, but from scratch, it is going to require one heck of a lot of money. A new bowling alley has been opened quite close to us, but it’s 10 pin unfortunately and we prefer the Canadian game of 5 pin.

I introduced a bowling buddy to fresh asparagus the other day and was interested Asparagus & Endive Saladto know what he thought about it, he is totally sold and wants me to get him some more next time I go. I also gave a spear to the woman who cleans for us once a month, she too was sold and wants me to get some for her. It really is a totally different vegetable from the stuff you buy in the grocery store. Last night we had Asparagus and Endive Salad for supper. We both like it a lot. Especially with the orange taste from the dressing.

Here is another British asparagus recipe. I see it calls for 8 spears of asparagus, seems a bit skimpy to me, I think I would use quite a bit more. For double cream, you can use whipping cream or Double Devon Cream if you can find it.

Asparagus, Pancetta and Parmesan Linguine with Chive Cream

British Asparagus – Marcus Bean.
I really like spaghetti carbonara, so this is the perfect dish to combine two things I love, creamy pancetta, good quality linguine, the crunch of the asparagus all finished with a good grating of Pam Lloyd PR Asparagus Recipes (23rd & 25th November 2011)parmesan. Great for a quick meal for family and friends!"

Serves: 2
You'll need:
8 stems of asparagus
50g of thick cut pancetta (diced)
50ml of double cream
50ml of vegetable stock
150g linguine
2 tbsp chopped chives
2 tbsp grated parmesan
Salt and pepper
What to do:
Start by cooking the pasta in a pan of slightly salted boiling water until cooked, make sure the pasta is still slightly al dente, drain and drizzle with a little olive oil to stop from sticking together.
Put a medium sized frying pan on the heat add a drizzle of oil, finely slice six stems of asparagus, with the other two stems cut into four pieces. Put them all in the pan and sauté on a medium heat, now add the diced pancetta and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the cream, vegetable stock and parmesan, then add the cooked pasta and the chopped chives, cook on a medium heat for 2-3 minutes, if the sauce gets a little thick add a touch of water.
Once cooked serve with a grating of fresh parmesan and a little seasoning.

Have a great day

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Our Wedding Breakfast, More Strawberries.

Elise Fallson madeJust hitched a comment on my last blog which reminded me of a funny story. When Matt and I got married we catered for our reception ourselves as there were just a few of us. Some friends, his parents (mine were living in Spain) and his kids. We had cold roast meats and a couple of desserts. Matt had made an orange dessert which used liquor in the sauce, quite delicious. The party was in full swing. Matt had permitted the girls to have a sip of champagne to help celebrate the occasion. Everyone had eaten from the buffet although the food was still available if anyone wanted more. Then we discovered, to our horror, the two girls aged 5 and 10, sitting up at the table, calmly spooning up the juice from the oranges and thoroughly enjoying it. When Matt took them back to their mother, she was not too pleased to receive two tipsy kids.

This picture is approximate, not actual. The actual recipe has a black and white picture
Orange Salad

Mediterranean Cooking for Pleasure – Spain
Serves 6

Spanish Oranges
6 oranges
6 oz castor sugar
½ pt (US 2/3 cup) water
1 Tbs seedless raisins
2 liqueur glasses brandy or rum

Peel the rind off one orange and shred it very finely, julienne. Put it in a saucepan with the sugar, raisins and water and cook to make a thick – but not brown – syrup. Peel the oranges so as to remove all the pith as well as the skin. Cut them in thin slices, removing the pips and put them in a glass dish. Pour over the syrup (including the rind) and chill. Sprinkle on the brandy or rum (or Kirsch or Maschino).

Going back to strawberries, I remembered a very simple recipe for using fresh berries, I call it Strawberry Cloud. A friend made it for a cook out one year and I enjoyed it.

Strawberry Cloud

Strawberry Cloud
1 pack strawberry jello
1 carton strawberries
1 tub coolwhip
1. Make jello according to instructions, when almost set, fold in the berries and then chill till set. Then gently fold in the coolwhip
Servings: 8

Have a great day

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Summer Produce. Award

Monday I002 (2) was out of fresh asparagus so obviously we had to go and get some. Whilst there I mentioned to Tim Barrie that the chive flowers on their plants were delicious, and pretty, in salads so he said I should help myself. I did take a few. Actually – not that I am much of a gardener – but if you do have chives you are supposed to pick off the flowers any003way and really they do look great in a salad plus adding an oniony tang. These weren’t really fresh enough, but I was popping them into my mouth anyway. In between eating spears of raw asparagus of course. This was my latest asparagus haul and of course I had some, so did Matt, for supper last night. Forgot I also bought some strawberries so they too were consumed. With Double Devon Cream although I strawberrieshad to be very careful not to eat too much of that, it is not exactly low in calories and I am on a diet after all. They were pretty good berries, but the best I have ever had in North America were at one particular farm in Morehead City, North Carolina. I showed my purchases to a neighbour in the elevator and she said her husband wouldn’t eat asparagus, he said he used to have asparagus in his back yard and used to spray it to kill it. Horrors. However, I found that one of the sales girls at the farm eats as much asparagus as I do.

I was sent an Inspiration Liebster Award today, but its going to take me a bit to sort it all out and answer the questions.

I love Strawberries Romanoff but I have had trouble finding a genuine recipe. A lot of them add ice cream, definitely not original. Sour cream is also not original. Even this is not quite right but sounds as though it would be good and close to the real thing.Copyright © 2013 The FOURnet Information Network. All rights reserved. Obtain the thickest cream you can find, if you are able to buy Double Devon Cream nothing could be better - I would blend it with whipping cream prior to whipping it. I then found I had posted a recipe two years ago.

Strawberries Romanoff

Servings: 4-6 Romanoff


2 pints fresh strawberries or 2 pints sliced strawberries
1/2 C brown sugar
1/4 cup Grand Marnier (orange liqueur)
1/4 cup orange juice, no pulp
2 cups thick cream


Mix the sugar, liqueur and orange juice together and marinate (actually I think the correct term is macerate) the berries . Meanwhile whip up the cream. Just prior to service, fold the marinated berries into the cream.

Have a great day


Monday, June 17, 2013

Wipers, CPAP, Statins.

Headlight wipersMaybe we are behind the times, but we went to the store on Saturday and on walking back to the car Matt spotted a Volvo with wipers on its headlights. We had neither of us ever seen that before, however, Googling I found lots of pictures of cars with headlight wipers. I wonder how they work in the snow.

When I went to the Sleep Management Group it turned out they didn’t have a nasal pillow similar to the one I had seen atCPAP2 the clinic. Although they stock the same brand name, they don’t have that particular one. I ended up getting a different full mask and after discussion, she decided to up the level of pressure from 9 to 10. When I got home I put the flash drive into my computer and she did whatever they do in order to increase it. My friend can do that for himself, but I can’t and have to rely on them to do it for me. The USB port is on the left of the machine – small slot at the side. I had trouble figuring how it went into the computer, it doesn’t look like a regular flash drive. I am providing all this information as there appear to be a number of bloggers out there who have to go through this procedure. I finally spent some time working with the ‘clock’ face figuring out how to set alarms, change times, change humidity, etc.

I have been taking a statin, Lipitor, for a number of years. Because Heart Surgeonone is diabetic, reasonable levels of cholesterol become too high. I don’t tolerate any kind of cholesterol medication too well and get the most terrible cramps even though I am on a very low dose. I also take several other pills to help with cramp, makes it better, but doesn’t fix it. Now I am beginning to hear/read/see reports which say that cholesterol isn’t the big problem that it has been touted as being.  This article quotes a world renowned heart surgeon and his current thinking. Dr. Dwight Lundell is the past Chief of Staff and Chief of Surgery at Banner Heart Hospital , Mesa , AZ. His private practice, Cardiac Care Center was in Mesa, AZ. Recently Dr. Lundell left surgery to focus on the nutritional treatment of heart disease. He is the founder of Healthy Humans Foundation that promotes human health with a focus on helping large corporations promote wellness. He is also the author of The Cure for Heart Disease and The Great Cholesterol Lie. This is, by no means, the only source of this kind of information. I might say that I have been saying, for years, eat real food, full fat creams and cheeses, etc. except eat them in moderation. Most low fat products, apart from being full of chemicals, taste pretty awful as well IMHOP.

For me, only two weeks left before asparagus season is all over for another year.  You'll hear me crying wherever you live. Here is another recipe from The Guardian.

Hungarian-style asparagus

Sparga siitve is a very tasty dish which can be served with vegetables and salads or with bread or a pilaf. Hungarian asparagus Hungarian-style-baked-asparagusis long, thick and white, but the green British variety will do just as well. You can also use yoghurt instead of sour cream.

Serves 4-6
900g asparagus, trimmed
(and scraped if using white asparagus)
½ tsp sugar
300ml sour cream or yoghurt
1 tsp plain flour
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp sugar
25g fresh breadcrumbs
25g unsalted butter

1 Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. Wash and drain the asparagus thoroughly. Simmer for 5 minutes in boiling water and drain. Pat dry with kitchen paper and arrange in a large, greased ovenproof dish.
2 In a small bowl, mix together thoroughly the sour cream or yoghurt, flour, egg yolk, salt, paprika and sugar. Pour this evenly over the asparagus. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the top and then dot with small knobs of the butter. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes or until the top is golden.

Have a great day