Thursday, May 15, 2008

More American Wonders, Polar Bears, Rhubarb

Viewers of Good Morning America were invited to vote for places they considered to be Wonders of America and the final choice on TV this morning was Yosemite National Park which is famous for its geyser, Old Faithful, which gushes to a regular timetable and for its proliferation of wildlife. It was one of the first areas of preservation in the US and is a place I would love to visit. I gather quite spectacular. I have seen Old Faithful featured in a number of movies, seems to be a favourite site of producers especially when the bad guys are chasing the good guys.

If you go to Good Morning America's website which is here they have 17 great pictures of viewers' suggestions for Eighth Wonders - one lovely picture being the Snoqualmie Falls in Washington State shown on the left. I am not sure I am so impressed with the chewing gum wall, only in America!!!!

There are so many places tucked away in parts of countries that we never see, my friend, Glenda Larke who's blog site is Tropic Temper, see this page, has been posting some fantastic photos of parts of Western Australia which rival any of the pictures of tropical islands with gorgeous beaches and pristine waters. Not to mention the lack of people. Then if you look at the 17 posted pictures on GMA, who knew of these corners of their worlds that were so wonderful?

Unfortunately, if you go to the GMA website, you will find some more terrible pictures from China which are so horrifying, we see them on TV from both China and Myanmar. The junta is still claiming they don't need help, but there have been pictures smuggled out which prove that they do. That is the biggest disaster, the lack of help for these victims.

One piece of very good news yesterday, the US has declared the Polar Bear to be on the endangered species list. It is a pity that Canada (where the largest population of these bears live) hasn't done the same thing. I am not sure what can be done to protect them, not drilling oil in arctic areas is a big measure, but due to global warming, the ice cap is shrinking badly which will have a disasterous effect on polar bear feeding and habitat.

Yesterday I went and bought some more asparagus, well, I had eaten all I bought on Friday. Matt did have some but he is 'asparagussed' out for a while. A friend asked me to pick up some fresh rhubarb whilst there, so I decided to pick up a pound for myself. Matt does NOT like rhubarb because it makes his teeth fuzzy. I have been reluctant to buy myself some for both that reason and the fact that it takes so much sugar to cook just plain stewed rhubarb. However, a very good friend in Texas, discovered a recipe from Delia Smith where the rhubarb is cooked with Splenda giving a quantity of 2 tbs to 1 lb of fruit. So next I needed Splenda. I happened to mention it to another friend, in the building where I live, to whom I was talking on the phone and she offered to give me some which had been bought when her husband was alive but was no longer needed. I went to get it, expecting a small packet and ended up with a box with two 275 gram bags inside, enough Splenda to last me for years. She also very kindly gave me a Splenda cookbook which has some interesting recipes I might try.

For now, I will give you the Rhubarb Fool recipe from Delia Smith.

Rhubarb & Yoghurt Fool

500 g
1/2 cup
orange juice
1 tsp
grated orange zest
2 Tbs
artificial sweetener

A rhubarb and yoghurt dessert is easy to make. Simply trim and thinly slice rhubarb. Place in a medium saucepan with ½ cup fresh orange juice, 1 tsp finely grated orange zest and 2 tbs artificial sweetener. Cover and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low, uncover and simmer, stirring occasionally until thick and the liquid has mostly evaporated. Set aside to cool. Spoon cold rhubarb mixture into the base of 4 serving glasses and top each serve with 125g low-fat vanilla yoghurt. Cover and refrigerate until chilled and set. Serves 4 with a POINTS value of 2 per serve.

Have a great day.

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