Saturday, May 30, 2009

Lumosity, Weather, Market, M& Ms,

I have been meaning to mention a site I have found where they have brain puzzles. I have at least three relative who had senile dementia at the end of their lives, one my grandmother so in the direct line and it is something I have been scared about for a long time. The site I have found is called Lumosity and they have all kinds of brain puzzles to improve your brain functions. You can try the site out free for a week and then you can join if you wish, either on a week by week basis or by the year. To reach their website click here and give their puzzles a try. However old you are, it is always worth stimulating your brain. The games are quite fun although one is math and as I have mentioned, I am a mathematical dummy. May still isn't really keeping her promises, we have had lots of rain over the last three days. A week or so ago I was wearing shorts, now I am back in long pants again. Come on already, I want lots of sunshine please. I think I am suffering from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). It seems to have been a very long winter and although spring has certainly sprung and there are lots of new leaves and green grass, we are short of sunny warm weather. Of course, in a week or two I will be complaining that it is too warm!!! OK, I am off to market this morning - will add a recipe to this later. Well, it is now about an hour later and I had no idea we would be in and out of the market so quickly. I mainly went for lamb's kidneys which you cannot buy anywhere else that I know of, there is a company, Charles' Meats, that specialise in lamb. I also bought some neck chops to make a hot pot which is something we love and again, I can't find that meat easily elsewhere. I was interested to see the asparagus was about the same price as Tim Barrie's although we saw red and yellow bell peppers at about $4 each. They sell practically everything at the market, however, I still miss the old market where they had places you could stop for a coffee and maybe a crêpe filled with paté or jam, or an Octoberfest sausage on a bun. I used to love watching the cooks making Black Forest Cakes, I think they brought the cakes in ready made, but they added fillings, icings and decorations at the market, used to be fascinating. Something I saw today was a pink loaf. I asked about it, it was just regular white bread with a die which people buy for fancy sandwiches etc. Wish I'd taken a picture now, I could have done with my new camera, didn't think of it at the time. I wanted to wander a bit more, but Matt didn't so we came home. On the way we stopped at M & M Meats and got some of their teriyaki marinated pork tenderloins and some more Chateaubriands. We were given a sample of some mini quiches. I liked the double cheese one, but not the spinach one, it was very bland. With our purchase we were given a free Chocolate Fudge Cake - I hadn't realised that was on just for today, Matt said it was the only reason we went there, ridiculous!!! Having talked about lamb's kidneys, here is a Spanish recipe for Riñones al Jerez pronounced 'rinyoness al hereth', or kidneys in sherry sauce which is one of our favourite ways to prepare lamb's kidneys unless we have a good old fry up for breakfast with eggs, bacon, sausages and kidneys etc. No - not baked beans - to me those are not a breakfast food. Riñones al Jerez Time Life Foods of the World Serves 6 5 Tbs olive oil 4 oz finely chopped onions 1 tsp finely chopped garlic 1 small bay leaf 1/2 oz flour 6 Tbs beef or chicken stock 2 Tbs finely chopped parsley 2 lb lamb's or calf kidneys, split lengthways in half, trimmed of all fat and cut into 1 inch cubes salt Freshly ground black pepper 6 Tbs pale dry sherry Heat 3 Tbs oil over a moderate heat in a medium sized frying pan until a light haze forms above it. Add the onions, garlic and bay leaf. Cook for about 5 mins., stirring frequently, until the onions are soft and transparent but not brown. Add the flour and mix thoroughly. Pour in the stock and stirring constantly, cook over a high heat until the mixture thickens heavily and comes to the boil. Add the parsley, reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 3 minutes. Set aside. Heat the rest of the oil in a large frying pan. Sprinkle the kidneys liberally with salt and a few grindings of pepper. Then cook them in the hot oil for 4 or 5 mins. turning them about with a large spoon and regulating the heat so that they brown quickly on all sides without burning. Transfer the kidneys to a plate and pour the sherry into the pan. Bring to the boil over a high heat, meanwhile scraping in any brown particles clinging to the bottom and sides of the pan. Return the kidneys to the pan, stir in the reserved onion sauce and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer a minute or two. Taste for seasoning. Serve the kidneys at once, accompanied by saffron rice and garnished with strips of pimiento. Have a great day.


  1. Brain quizzes leave me feeling like an idiot.

    Meat? I've become vegetarian.

  2. The idea is to use the quizzes until you don't feel like an idiot.

    Vegetarian, not me, I enjoy meat way too much.

  3. A recent important study shows that it's not our brain cells and lack of exercise of brain cells that leads to dementia - it's the connections *between* the brain cells that become dysfunctional.

    So whilst exercising our brains and memories is a good thing, it won't stave off rusting bridges :-(

    I recently heard an example of a woman with quite severe dementia who is still able, on the days she feels like it, to complete crosswords.

  4. Interesting Lou, everything I have seen says it is possible to repair the bridges if you can get your brain working again. That is why these brain games are supposedly designed to get the synapses to work again and to reform their connections. There was an excellent programme on a public TV broadcast which I have seen twice. I do believe crosswords aren't nearly enough. I hope the report you saw isn't the final answer.