Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Down with Small Print, Tastes, More Shopping, Jewellery Heist,

I am sick of receiving newsletters from companies where the font is so damned small that I can't read them. It isn't necessary, I get lots more emails or newsletters where the print is a normal size, like this blog and can be read quite easily. Canadian Diabetes seems to be one of the offenders, but there are lots more. Maybe if I were 16 I could read them, but I'm way past that and I cannot do so without difficulty. OK the picture's font is really, really small, but nevertheless, I am going to campaign for larger fonts. Matt was watching a programme last night and I caught a couple of points from it although I was reading. The programme was basically about food and tastes and it mentioned that young children do not like vegetables because they taste bitter which is an inbuilt reaction, most poisonous things taste bitter. They don't like sour things (e.g. grapefruit) because that is an inbuilt reaction to spoiled food which would taste sour. They love sugar because of energy and salt because it replaces that lost in perspiration, etc. none of which I had realised before. I found it interesting. The only thing I remember disliking as a child was ham and stews, maybe there were other things, but I don't know about them. Ham I soon changed my mind about, but although I eat and cook various stews, casseroles, etc. it is still not my most favourite way of eating food. It has to be chock full of flavour. There was a segment on GMA about getting new clothing for your daughter's back to school wardrobe for free. Basically what they did was to clean out their wardrobes and then take them to a consignment store and then buy new (to them) outfits with their credit. The only problem was, at least one of the girls was throwing out shirts with the price tags still on them and other things which were really good quality and virtually unworn and then getting pennies for these clothes. Seemed bad to me. Another idea was to get ten of your friends (the daughters of course) to bring 10 of things they want to exchange and run a swap shop in your own home. Did you hear about the record breaking jewellery heist at Graff Jewellers in London, England yesterday, thieves stole $65 million in jewels and watches; the getaway was captured on a camera phone. If you would like to see the video click here and also read the article. The whole thing was over in two minutes. The story says two well dressed men walked into the store in broad daylight - they were armed and when they left the store they fired two shots in the air. Then got into a car and escaped. One of the things that amazes me about all this, they didn't get held up in the appalling traffic in London. In their latest newsletter, Eating Well are promoting no fuss cooking in packets. I like cooking in packets, it is so very easy and you can get wonderful flavours with little effort. Here is a salmon recipe cooked this way. Salmon and Escarole Packets with Lemon-Tarragon Butter Makes 4 servings Ingredients 2 tablespoons butter 2 lemons 2 tablespoons minced fresh tarragon or 1 teaspoon dried 2 cloves garlic, minced 6 cups chopped escarole, romaine lettuce or spinach 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced ¾ teaspoon salt, divided ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided 1-1 ¼ pounds skinned salmon fillet, preferably wild Pacific (see Note), cut into 4 portions 1. Preheat oven to 400°F (or see Grill Variation, below). 2. To prepare packets, start with four 20- to 24-inch-long pieces of parchment paper or foil. Fold in half crosswise. With the parchment or foil folded, draw half a heart shape on one side as you would if you were making a Valentine. Use scissors to cut out the heart shape. Open up the heart. 3. Combine butter with the juice of 1 lemon in a small pan; melt over low heat. Remove from the heat and stir in tarragon and garlic. Reserve 2 tablespoons for the fish. Combine the rest of the sauce in a large bowl with escarole (or lettuce or spinach), scallions, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; toss to coat. 4. Place one-fourth of the greens mixture (about 11/4 cups) on one side of each open heart fairly close to the crease and leaving at least a 1-inch boarder around the edges for folding. Place 1 piece of fish on top of each portion of greens. Season with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Brush the reserved sauce on the fish. Slice the remaining lemon and top the fish with the lemon slices. 5. Close the packet to cover the ingredients. Starting at the top, seal the packet by folding the edges together in a series of small, tight folds. Twist the tip of the packet and tuck it underneath to help keep the packet closed. Place the packets on a large rimmed baking sheet (packets may overlap slightly). Bake until the fish is just cooked through and the greens are wilted, about 15 minutes. (Carefully open one package to check for doneness be cautious of the steam.) Let the packets rest unopened for 5 minutes before serving. Equipment: Parchment paper or foil Ingredient Note: Wild-caught salmon from the Pacific (Alaska and Washington) are more sustainably fished and have a larger, more stable population. For more information, visit Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch ( Grill Variation: Cooking in packets is great for the grill, but it�s not safe to put parchment paper over an open flame, so use foil. To prepare packets for grilling, start with eight 20- to 24-inch-long pieces of foil. Layer two sheets for each of four packets (the double layers will help protect the contents from burning). Arrange the ingredients on one half of each double layer. Fold the foil over the ingredients and tightly seal the packets by crimping and folding the edges together. Grill over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, rotating the packets to another spot on the grill about halfway through to ensure even cooking. Have a great day.


  1. I'm with you on the small print, Jo. With the population aging so fast you'd think they'd have thought of using larger type already. Maybe a campaign is needed!

  2. Right, that's you and I to start with. Lets get campaigning.