Friday, January 8, 2010
Bees Die and the South East Freezes.
At my age I am beginning to have thoughts like "I am glad I won't be here when that happens". The trouble is some of the things are beginning to happen already, like the disappearance of bees of all kinds and in particular honey bees. Millions of bees are dying all over the world. There was a programme on The Nature of Things tonight talking about this serious problem and what is being done about it. The value of bees is not just in honey, but in the fact that they pollinate plants and this is a basic function in the life cycle of this planet. Without plants there would be no food for some birds and animals, including the human animal, and life would alter dramatically. If you want to read more about it go to http://www.cbc.ca/documentaries/natureofthings/. I just hope they find the solution before there are no bees left at all. Something I learned in this programme was that bees are shipped all over the US to do a pollinating job where required. Such as in the vast almond fields/plantations, in California. Funny, I thought most almonds came from places like Spain. Just shows what I know. We had snow again last night, when I went to bed the road was white which is a pretty good indication of what its like outside. It will soon clear today no doubt by the time all the local traffic and a few buses have driven up and down it. However, its the south eastern States which are really in trouble this winter. Florida, for instance, is just not used to freezing cold temperatures which is what they have now, and they are consequently worried about their fruit crop - oranges, grapefruits, lemons. However, this cold snap covers a large area of the States and there is already talk of increased food prices because of it. One picture we saw on TV was lemons on the trees being sprayed with water which created a kind of igloo around the fruit which helped to preserve it? That surprised me. I wouldn't have thought that would work. I don't think I'll be bowling this afternoon, Matt certainly isn't up to it and what with one thing and another, I am too tired. We finally got the Christmas tree down yesterday, which is a fairly big job in itself although I had taken all the ornaments off. At the moment all the decorations are in the spare room. I will worry about getting them into storage later. Matt messed about with the string of lights which had stopped working but couldn't get them to work again so yet another string goes out. I think we spend more on Christmas tree lights than on anything else. om fact we discussed getting on of those trees with lights built in but with our luck with lights they wouldn't last a whole Christmas. On Good Morning America, Emeril Lagasse was making soups which were quick and easy. When its so cold in such a large section of North America, soup sounds like a really good idea to me. I was going to share his recipes but they are not on the website yet so I went to my favourite recipe source - Eating Well and found a good soup there for a cold winter day. Ravioli & Vegetable Soup From EatingWell: September/October 2009 Fresh or frozen ravioli cook in minutes and turn this light vegetable soup into a main course. Look for whole-wheat or whole-grain ravioli in the refrigerated or frozen section of the supermarket. Tortellini can be used instead of ravioli as well. 4 servings Ingredients •1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil •2 cups frozen bell pepper and onion mix, thawed and diced •2 cloves garlic, minced •1/4 teaspoon crushed crushed red pepper, or to taste (optional) •1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted •1 15-ounce can vegetable broth or reduced-sodium chicken broth •1 1/2 cups hot water •1 teaspoon dried basil or marjoram •1 6- to 9-ounce package fresh or frozen cheese (or meat) ravioli, preferably whole-wheat •2 cups diced zucchini, (about 2 medium) •Freshly ground pepper to taste Preparation 1.Heat oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add pepper-onion mix, garlic and crushed red pepper (if using) and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add tomatoes, broth, water and basil (or marjoram); bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Add ravioli and cook for 3 minutes less than the package directions. Add zucchini; return to a boil. Cook until the zucchini is crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Season with pepper. Tips & Notes •Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Thin with broth before reheating, if desired. Have a great day and keep warm if you are in the chilly part of the world.