Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Earthquake, Snow, Productive Day,

The lead headline over here this morning is the devastating 7.0 earthquake in Haiti and all the problems sending help. Not only have schools and hospitals, etc. collapsed but so had the control tower at the airport which is now closed and makes it difficult to send in planes with help. There is a hospital ship on the way they say, but that doesn't help anyone right away which is so very sad. They are talking millions injured or dead but at the moment no-one really knows. Such an earthquake would cause enough problems in The Dominican Republic (part of the same island, if you don't know, on the map here, the purple part is Haiti and the yellow is The Dominican Replublic) but Haiti is much less developed I understand apart from being war torn. There were a lot of very primitive dwellings in the DR so I am sure the case is very much the same in Haiti. My sympathies go out to them.
This is a pretty fantastic picture by NASA of Britain in the deep freeze. It has been shown in several places and I thought it was worth sharing. It has been in newspapers and magazines in both the UK and Canada - maybe elsewhere, I don't know. For a country which, certainly in the southern area, is unused to snow and such cold temps, they have been well socked in. As has a lot of Europe. Even as far south as Bordeaux in France they have had snow which is most unusual.
I was talking about the differences between places unused and unprepared and here. It isn't usually a big inconvenience, the snow clearing crews do an excellent job - OK if your car is parked outside constantly, it can be a nuisance to have to clean it off when you go somewhere, but it is great stuff to play in whether it be downhill or cross country skiing, snow shoeing or skidooning. So long as you show some sense about the latter. Some people are stupid enough to kill themselves on their snowmobiles by driving across lakes which are not really frozen at all. When I cross country skiied, I wouldn't even ski across a lake even when I knew it was frozen solid. Official warnings are broadcast, but I have heard of a couple of deaths at least this winter with people sinking their machines into a lake. This morning I heard a story from a friend in the UK who couldn't drive her car to the train station to take her daughter to school because of fresh snow on the hill where they live. Said daughter walked to the bus which, when it eventually came, ended up stopping and disbarking all the passengers because of health and safety concerns. Daughter walked to the station, falling several times, only to discover on arrival that the trains were cancelled. This took three hours and she wasn't yet home. We are so used to dealing with snow here, we don't think just how crippling it can be in countries without snow clearing facilities.
We had a very productive day yesterday, first the doc. for Matt, everything is all clear as far as the tests he had in the hospital and he is certainly improving. She (the doc) said she had never come across anyone shaking so badly with what, eventually, turned out to be a urine infection or what most women would recognise as a UTI of which lots of us have had lots of. Nor did she expect such an extreme reaction from Matt for the pills she prescribed for the shakes. Then, after lunch, we went to get me a haircut, did I ever need it, I was getting to the Rapunzel stage, but just hadn't had time. We then went to a local branch of Canadian Tire to check on treadmills. Turned out this store was too small to carry much stock, but the treadmill I was interested in is on sale and he suggested I went to another story. Bearing in mind where that is, I ended up going to Staples (stationary) for more supplies for my blog2print books, the optomotrist's to get my glasses straightened out and then to another Canadian Tire where they had several different treadmills all drastically reduced - I have no idea why. Most of them were 50% off and the one we ended up buying saved us $600 - I tried it out and it works just like the very expensive ones they have in sports facilities. Only problem, we couldn't carry it in our car. Paid for it and went home and asked a friend if he would be kind enough to carry it in his van, at his convenience, turned out it was convenient then and there, so off he and Matt went and picked up the huge box. Such box is presently sitting in our hallway until we have re-arranged the spare room to take the machine. As I said, a most productive day for us. I have actually wanted a treadmill for a long time, I am unable to walk on a sidewalk or something, or at least not for very long, but I can walk on a treamill for ever. Unfortunately this building doesn't have sports equipment like so many do. We have a sauna which they won't allow people to use but that's it. Our friends have a swimming pool, a hot tub and exercise machines at their place. Anyway, now I am a happy camper, or I will be once we have it set up.
Last but not least, I got my Susan Boyle CD. Listened last night, its very good.
Here is another good recipe from Eating Well. I love ginger and this sounds as though it would be delicious. It is certainly being added to my 'soon to be tried' list. Hawaiian Ginger-Chicken Stew From EatingWell: March/April 2009
This chicken stew has a bold ginger-flavored broth and provides a whole serving of dark leafy greens in each bowl. We tried it with frozen chopped mustard greens (available in large supermarkets) and it was even quicker to prepare and just as delicious. Serve with brown rice. 4 servings
Ingredients •1 tablespoon sesame oil, or canola oil •1 pound chicken tenders, cut into 1-inch pieces •1 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into matchsticks or minced •4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced •1/2 cup dry sherry, (see Tip) •1 14-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth •1 1/2 cups water •2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce •1 teaspoon Asian red chile sauce, such as sriracha, or to taste •1 bunch mustard greens, or chard, stemmed and chopped (6-7 cups), or 2 cups frozen chopped mustard greens
Preparation 1.Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until just cooked through, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a plate with tongs. 2.Add ginger and garlic to the pot and cook until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Add sherry and cook until mostly evaporated, scraping up any browned bits, 1 1/2 to 3 minutes. Add broth and water, increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes. Add soy sauce, chile sauce and mustard greens (or chard) and cook until the greens are tender, about 3 minutes. Return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the pot and cook until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Tips & Notes •Tip: “Cooking sherry” can be high in sodium. Instead, look for dry sherry with other fortified wines in your wine or liquor store. Have a great day


  1. Yes, I agree, today's recipe will make a delicious dish.

    Terrible about the earthquake, yes.

  2. See on the news it talks about 10,000 dead at the moment.