Wednesday, December 17, 2008

White or Green, Thai or Greek, Tiger Temple

So there I've been nittering on about a green Christmas for the last couple of days either in the blog or the comments and last night it snowed. Quite a lot of the stuff too. A bit too much, as I was supposed to go for my quarterly blood tests at the crack of dawn this morning and decided, because of the roads, to postpone it. Yes, I could have driven in it, but when it wasn't absolutely necessary, why do so? Matt tells me the weather forecast is more snow for the next couple of days, so maybe it will still be around in a week's time. The snowy tree is outside the apartment building and looks like a Christmas tree to me even without lights. Of course all this snow will delight the kids who toboggan on the slope behind our building. No problem with that, but their parents tend to park in the apartment parking lot and that can be a problem for the tenants. I finally got to Canadian Diabetes again yesterday after not being able to make it for one reason or another in the last two or three weeks. Just seems that everything has cropped up on Tuesdays lately. We (the administrator and I) discussed going to Boa Nova Rodizio one of these days, maybe some time early in the New Year. Matt hasn't been either and I am sure he would enjoy it. We also want to go back to Cameron's for dim sum. It was so good. Apparently the staff at the Kitchener office are being taken out for a Christmas lunch today - pity not the volunteers, especially as they are going for Thai food. I hope the roads have cleared up for them by then. Actually their office is right by a pretty good Greek restaurant The Three Kretans, so they could go there if driving isn't good. Matt just called me in to see something on Good Morning America. It seems that a Buddhist temple in Thailand is rescuing tiger cubs and there were the most gorgeous pictures of cubs running around the temple. However, a lot of the cubs are now grown animals having had cubs of their own and tourists visit to have their pictures taken with the animals. Now there is dissension; is it a conservation place or a zoo. Read here where it talks about re-introducing tigers to the wilderness; socialised animals would not settle in the wild I don't think. The conservationists are not happy about the situation. There is more on the news programmes tonight, I will have to try and catch it. I must say it was cute to see all these cubs trotting around loose in the temple and its grounds. Also to see grown tigers lying on the ground and people cuddling up to them to have their pictures taken. When I got home from working, Matt had been making things in the kitchen and we ended up with mini burgers stuffed with feta and other things, what people are calling sliders these days, not quite sure why. They were pretty good and we have some more for this evening. The recipe originally calls for Mozzarella, but as we didn't have any, he improvised. Hamburgers Stuffed with Mozzarella and Red Peppers Reader's Digest Live Longer Cookbook. Cheeseburger lovers rejoice! Creamy mozzarella oozes from the center of this very special burger, giving you a calcium boost with your protein. Serves 4. 1/4 cup diced roasted red pepper, patted dry 1/4 cup diced, part-skimmed mozzarella cheese (1 oz.) 4 black olives, pitted and coarsely chopped 1 tbs minced fresh basil, or 1 tsp dried 1 tsp balsamic or red wine vinegar 1 lb. lean ground beef 2 cloves garlic, minced 1/4 tsp each salt and black pepper. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the red pepper, cheese, olives, basil and vinegar. In another medium sized bowl, combine the beef, garlic, salt and black pepper. Using your hands, shape beef mixture into 8 thin patties about 3 1/2 inches in diameter. (It is easier to shape the patties if you wet your hands first.) Spread the cheese mixture on top of 4 patties, dividing the amount equally. Place the 4 remaining patties on top and pinch the edges to seal. preheat the boriler, setting the rack 6 inches from the heat. Arrange the stuffed burgers on a broiler pan and broil for 3 - 4 minutes on each side for medium rare, 4 - 5 minutes for medium or 5 - 6 minutes for well done. Serve on whole wheat English muffins accompanied by carrot and cucumber sticks. Have a great day.

11 comments:

  1. I'm so glad you got snow, even if it did mean missing an appointment. I hope it lasts until Christmas! It used to amuse me when I lived in Massachusetts to look out of the window when the snow had gone. The grass was brown and the sun shone bright in a cloudless sky, looking for all the world like an Australian summer - but looks are deceiving. Outside it was several degrees below freezing.

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  2. I haven't stuck my nose outside today, but I think it was pretty chilly. Right this minute it is -3°C which isn't devastating but I wouldn't like to stand around. It may drop during the night.

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  3. Because of the American penchant for central heating (I hated it - it was set to 25 degrees! Fortunately the controls for our floor were in my room so I gradually sneaked it down to 20 and no one even noticed!) we used to wear T-shirts indoors. I found I could go outside in the T as long as I kept moving, down to about -4. I loved the crisp freshness of it and found it very invigorating, but of course after 10 minutes it started to feel cold and I would have to go back inside for a coat and all the trimmings:-)

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  4. 25°C is a tad warm I would think. One thing about this apartment building, we all have our own temp controls. Of course if you are used to living indoors at those kind of temps, it would seem too hot for people who didn't live with central heating. Matt's kids always hated the central air and I used to sneak it down during the night 'cos I was dying (Florida gets very hot).

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  5. Very few Australians - I'd say less than 10% - have central heating or cooling. Most would have some kind of heating in the living room and possibly a small in-the-window air conditioning unit for summer, but by and large, the expense of heating or cooling large areas puts most people off. Of course, southern Oz has a fairly temperate climate, so it's not impossible to live without such luxuries.

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  6. These days we don't consider them luxuries. I cannot imagine living in Canada without efficient heating although when I first got here, we didn't have a/c then we bought a small unit for our bedroom. In North Carolina it would have been impossible, for me anyway, to be without a/c especially as we lived in a mobile home, they get very hot.

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  7. Yes, I often think our ancestors must've been a lot tougher than we are. How the early settlers in Oz copes with the heat I can't begin to imagine. Living in an unlined timber shack in an Aussie summer doesn't bear thinking about, and I suppose the early settlers in the Americas would have had the opposite problem. Of course, children and old people would have died like flies. These days we expect to live liong and rear all our children.

    I've lived in a mobile home too and I agree - living in one in summer with no aircon would be well-nigh impossible. But when we lived in ours it was over twenty years ago, when electricity was a smaller part of the budget than it is now. These days we are paying about 18 cents per unit here in South Oz. It's cheaper in Perth, but the way things are looking it will be going up still more everywhere.

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  8. Don't forget we get a lot of heat in the Americas too, although not as hot as I hear from Oz. Annalou just purrs at 42° whereas I would die. I assume its drier though.

    Not sure what electricity costs here now as ours is included in the rent.

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  9. Yes, even in New England it got hot; up to about 95 Farenheit which is well over 30 Celsius - and very humid with it. And buggy. We get a lot of flies here but apart from mosquitos when you're near water there aren't many biting insects. By and large, the heat in Southern Australia is relatively dry, and I can cope with that. I detest WET of any kind, be it hot or cold:-)Perth has turned more humid in recent years, which is why I'm glad to get away for the summer.

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  10. With regards to the notorious Tiger Temple in Kanchanaburi, Thailand:
    Following repeated complaints from tourists and volunteers working at the temple about tigers being shockingly mistreated there, Care for the Wild International (CWI) undertook an intensive two year investigation. The resulting CWI report reveals illegal wildlife trade, animal cruelty, false conservation claims and visitor safety risks at the Temple.

    You can read the report at: http://www.careforthewild.com/projects.asp?detail=true&I_ID=580&mypage=Reports

    You can view the letter sent by the International Tiger Coalition to the Thai authorities protesting about the Tiger Temple here:

    http://www.careforthewild.com/files/itc_letter_oct_08.pdf

    This issue has widespread media coverage:

    CWI's press release - "Illegal tiger trade, cruelty and human health hazards at famous tourist destination":
    http://www.careforthewild.com/files/tt_news_release%2020-06-08.pdf

    "Black market tigers linked to Thai Temple, Reports says"
    National Geographic News, 20 June 2008:
    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/06/080620-tiger-temple.html

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  11. Thanks for this information Jane, I will definitely check it out. What a shame, the concept seemed to be so great.

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