Friday, March 20, 2009

Hip, Natasha Richardson, Fruit and Food

After my bone scan a couple of weeks ago, I spoke to the surgeon yesterday and he told me that there didn't seem to be much wrong looking at the new pictures either. He now thinks its probably bursitis and wants me to have an injection (cortisone I assume) next Wednesday - not something I am looking forward to as I had a similar injection in my hand once, many years ago and it was excessively painful and I do mean EXCESSIVELY. Just to add insult to injury I have to be at the hospital at 8 a.m. and as it is a good 3/4 of an hour away, that means I will be up before the crack of dawn. Sigh. What a tragedy - the death of Natasha Richardson. On the news report last night they explained that a doctor might have been able to recognise the symptoms right away. Apparently she laughed off her fall at the beginning and only later complained of a headache. One thing that puzzles me, the accident took place in Qu├ębec, I am not sure why she was flown to an American hospital. There was quite a segment about wearing protective helmets, in particular they talked to skate boarders who do the most dangerous things without wearing them. Heads are so fragile. Even if an accident doesn't kill you, you can have severe mental illnesses caused by trauma to the head. Today we were tossing up about going to bowl or not because the bowling alley is likely to be very crowded with people on holiday this week, particularly kids, who tend to be somewhat noisy and inconsiderate. I think we have decided to go. Monday was better as we bowled in the morning for the same reasons. This may surprise you, but I have discovered mangoes. It is not a fruit I was familiar with in the UK although my father used to talk about eating them when he was in, what was then, Rhodesia and I have been eating Mango Chutney for years. However, recently a friend, who had received fruit baskets, had more fruit than they could manage and kindly shared some with us, including a mango. I have seen mangoes in the stores but was never sure what to do with them. Some seemed to be green skinned with a touch of blush and others were orange. This was an orange one, so I decided to give it a go. I peeled it and ate it, I wasn't sure about peeling but after much Googling, I discover the skin can be an irritant and should NOT be eaten. Bliss, nectar, you name it, what a delicious fruit. I am now crazy about mangoes and bought some more when shopping this week. I just came across a video how to cut a mango on YouTube. I also discovered that, like peaches, there are cling free and clingstone varieties. However, I am still not sure about the green fruit. In the grocery store, they have Dragon Fruit or Pitaya which is another exotic I am interested to try. I hear they are somewhat similar to pears to taste. There was a very interesting programme on TV in The Doc Zone last night about food and marketing in grocery stores. I learned a lot I didn't know. It was partly a dissertation on how people (North Americans anyway) had progressed from meat and potatoes to more exotic food. Dragon Fruit was mentioned incidentally. One thing I didn't know, companies pay grocery stores for shelf space and the amount is a closely guarded secret. I had never heard that before. I knew the profit margin on groceries was very small, around 2%, which I was told many years ago, it makes you wonder why they bother. Of course it is a trade that never runs out of customers, people always have to buy food. Apparently it is an extremely competitive trade. There was a fascinating section on our local food company Loblaws (owners of many well known grocery chains) and how they devise new foods to be sold under their own label. Another section showed the awarding of Michelin stars to a Chinese restaurant in Hong Kong. There was a lot about chefs and their training in various ways and it mentioned a lot of TV stars such as Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsay and others. There is supposed to be another episode, I shall be sure to watch. Grilled Shrimp and Mango Salad By Diana Rattray, About.com Serve this grilled shrimp salad on a bed of mixed greens. Ingredients: * 2 large firm mangoes, peeled & shredded * 3 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions * 1/3 cup lime juice * 2 tablespoons fish sauce, or use soy sauce if necessary * 1 teaspoon sugar * 1 small clove garlic, minced * 1 small hot chile, such as serrano, seeded, minced * 1 pound shrimp, (25 to 30 per pound) * 2 cups greens * lime slices, for garnish Preparation: Combine green onions, lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, garlic, and chile in a bowl. Mix in shredded mango. Chill while preparing shrimp. Shell and devein shrimp and rinse well; divide into 4 portions. Thread 1 portion onto a slender metal skewer. Run a second skewer through shrimp 1/2 to 1 inch from the first skewer, to keep them flat. Repeat with remaining shrimp. Grill shrimp on a medium hot grill, covered, for about 3 minutes on each side, or until opaque but still a bit moist in the center of thickest parts. Place greens on a platter; mound mango mixture onto the greens using a slotted spoon. Place shrimp over the mango salad and garnish with lime slices, if desired. Serves 4. Have a great day.

9 comments:

  1. Jo -- Grilled shrimp and mango salad. Now that sounds interesting. I also grew up with mangoes - mangoes, figs, guavas ... bobotie, milk tart and biltong. Somehow the texture of mango has changed. Once it was stringy and it was a very messy thing to eat and the bits got stuck between one's teeth. It was said in my old homeland that it should be eaten in only one place - the bath!

    But I buy mangoes quite regularly seeing it's available here all year round and in all our supermarkets. I also drink mango juice; I've got a bottle in the fridge right now.

    ReplyDelete
  2. That's what my father used to say, mangoes should be eaten in the bath. The mangoes I have been eating are certainly not stringy. More like a peach in texture.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Marilyn, you have mentioned Biltong a couple of times, apparently I can get it in Toronto, here is an article I just found, as I really didn't know what it was.

    http://www.markblumberg.com/biltong.html

    ReplyDelete
  4. You've just reminded me, Jo, that I have two mangoes in the fruit bowl. I'm off to tackle one right now!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Mangoes are soo good ^^ did you taste the dragon fruits? i like them but not so much, on the contrary ma mother is delighted with this fruit. I'd rather eat mangoustan, ramboutan or so.

    What is tasting like pitaya ? i don't know this

    ReplyDelete
  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  7. sorry i've been checking out, and i realised pitaya and dragon fruit are the same thing ^^ lol

    ReplyDelete
  8. Pitaya is another name for dragon fruit - probably the proper name.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Jo - There is quite a South African diaspora now, so, yes, biltong's everywhere. Not in Paris yet though and probably won't ever be because there can't be very many South Africans living here. I did once make my own biltong, but I can buy it in London these days and this I do often when I'm over there. It's really just dried meat. You should try it, Jo, and let me know what you think -- but be warned it can be awfully salty.

    ReplyDelete