Friday, October 9, 2015

Elephants and Cancer, Bowling.

I learned on USA Today (Thursday) that elephants rarely get cancer although they should do so as they age, from everything we know about aging they are ripe for it, but it appears that they have 20 times as many copies of a key cancer-fighting gene as humans which is a possible reason for their relatively cancer free existence.. Bowhead whales have also found a way to defeat cancer and they live longer than elephants, up to 200 years (so long as they are not harpooned) - which is something I didn't know. It's quite an interesting article. Scientists are studying this phenomenon. But at the moment it is merely and interesting fact about elephants. The thing which scares me, elephants are already being slaughtered for their ivory, are people now going to slaughter them for their cancer fighting potential even though it hasn't been proved yet. Sharks are already killed and their cartilage sold as a cancer preventive when there is, in fact, no provable benefit from such cartilage. You know, I never thought about animals getting cancer, in my mind it was a totally human disease. I guess I never really considered it at all.

Bowling today, Matt got on OK although neither of us bowled particularly well. My last game was respectable I guess. However, at least Matt was able to enjoy the game which he hadn't expected to do for a while. We also got the appointment for the surgeon to fix his remnant cancer on his forehead, it will be done on the 22nd. I learnt one thing today I hadn't known. Ten pin pins are bigger than those for Five pin. Somebody asked how much the pins weighed but the owner didn't know, said he had never weighed them. Why would he?

This is a recipe Matt discovered some time ago, when we were living in North Carolina. We used to entertain a lot of people at either Christmas or Thanksgiving, and the first time he made it, as a side, one particular neighbour went nuts about it. Must have been at Thanksgiving as he made her a batch as a Christmas present that year. I believe she ate it all and didn't even share with her hubby LOL. I am not quite sure why we called it Spanish Stuffing, I am not even sure where Matt got the recipe from in the first place, but here it is. I have actually just made a half batch for our dinner on Saturday. These days I don't have access to country ham as such, so I used Prosciutto. I also bought 2 plantain so have one left over, gotta figure out what to do with it.

Spanish Stuffing

1/4 cup Chopped onion
3 Tbs Olive Oil
3 Med Garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 cup Country smoked ham, chopped
1/2 cup Green pepper, chopped
1/4 cup almonds, sliced
2 lbs ground pork
1/4 cup raisins
4 oz pimientos (jar)
3 tsp capers
2 med Plantain (ripe if possible but not essential)

1. Soften onions and garlic in oil. Add green pepper and ground pork. Stir fry until pork is cooked. Add remaining ingredients except plantain. Cook for approx 5 mins, on med/low heat. Add plantain (use ripe if possible but can be green) and cook for a further 5 mins.

2. Suggest serve separately. Reheat in microwave when ready to eat.

Servings: 10

Have a great day

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Surgeon Visit, Tiling and Roadworks.

Having gone to the surgeon's office Matt got the stitches removed from his forehead but not from his
leg for another week. It turns out that the cancer on his head was deeper than she thought and there was some she didn't get out so he has to go back again to have that removed although she assures us it is an in and out procedure and won't take long. Matt had the option of some time in the next couple of weeks at the hospital or in her office but not til December. He chose the hospital as it was sooner. Trouble is the parking isn't free there, apart from the fact that the hospital is in the next town. I really don't know why she didn't do it at the time? I asked about bowling and they got him to demonstrate how he does it and they have decided that, so long as he is careful, he can bowl again. He is a very happy camper.

We then decided to get the weekly shopping so headed to the store, had some meds to pick up for me
anyway. Only problem, which we knew before we went, our floor is closed off  so we ended up going to the floor above and unloading a couple of shopping bags from our trolley, and Matt bumped it down from step to step and I carried the bags behind him. You have to imagine that full of shopping bags and ours only has two wheels. What a pain and we are relatively healthy. What the heck other people do who are in wheel chairs and such, I can't imagine. At the moment they are laying the new tiles on various floors and we understand it will take 3 days. The one floor I looked at did look pretty good I must admit. Friends came to visit Matt yesterday afternoon (bringing some delicious creamy patissseries which, of course, I shouldn't eat) and I didn't even know that they were working in our hall. It also turns out that our road is closed at the bottom so they had to phone me for directions and then they had to work out about going to another floor and walking down. The whole of our town is involved in major roadworks anyway, it is a total pain.

A friend sent a link to the most complicated recipe I have seen for a while. Thought you might be interested to see it. It is a very elaborate recipe for eggs and soldiers. It includes duck and special breads. Some of you might be interested in trying it. Looks delicious mind you.

The following recipe might remind you that there was a recipe for Scotch Eggs provided by Melissa Maygrove when we had her book featured on my blog. This follows a similar food theme.

Scotch egg pie

BBC Good Food


Serves 8 - 10
Two picnic classics come together in this pastry pie, filled with sausagemeat and eggs - ideal for wrapping up and eating outside


  • cornichons, to serve (optional)
  • salad, to serve (optional)

For the pastry

  • 200g plain flour
  • 100g butter, cut into small cubes

For the filling

  • 7 medium eggs
  • good handful parsley
  • 1 tbsp thyme leaves
  • 1¼kg good-quality sausagemeat
  • 5 tbsp dried breadcrumbs (see tip)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil


  1. Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Tip the flour and butter into a food processor and process to fine crumbs. Add 2-3 tbsp cold water and pulse until it forms a firm dough. Tip out onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly to form a smooth ball. Roll out and line the base and sides of a 21-22cm deep flan tin or 20cm springform cake tin. Trim the edges and chill the tart case while you prepare the filling.
  2. Put the eggs in a small pan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 4 mins. Cool quickly under running cold water and peel off the shells.
  3. Chop the parsley and thyme. Tip the sausagemeat into a large bowl and add half the herbs, a little salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Press a third of the sausagemeat over the base of the pastry case and make a circular trench in the sausagemeat. Trim the ends off each egg and line them up to form a ring of egg, then cover with the remaining sausagemeat, forming a smooth dome and making sure the eggs are completely covered.
  4. Mix the remaining herbs with the breadcrumbs and oil, and sprinkle evenly over the pie. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hr until the pastry is golden, the filling cooked and the topping crisp and golden. If there are any juices bubbling around the edge of the pie, carefully tip them into a jug and discard. Leave the pie to cool in the tin. Will keep in the fridge for a few days. Take to the picnic still in the tin covered in foil or cling film, and serve cut into thick slices with cornichons and salad, if you like.

Have a great day