Friday, January 15, 2010

Haiti. My Treadmill.

The earthquake in Haiti still tops the news here of course, but one incredible thing - to me - what a religious leader called Pat Robinson said. He stated that the Haitians had made a pact with the devil to get rid of the French (200 years ago or so) and that God is now punishing them by inflicting disasters of all kinds culminating in the current earthquake. What a load of codswallop. There is a great piece of video which you can access by going to the GMA page at and looking on the right hand side for Top ABC News and then 'Whoopi blasts Pat Robinson's Devil Remark'. I do like Whoopi Goldberg, she really does tell it like it is. I was discussing with Matt yesterday - how come North America throws up some of these religious leaders - there have been many of them who, even when discovered to be committing felonies or ripping off their congregations, are still followed by their devoted public. Maybe I am out of touch, but I don't remember having such religious fanatics in Europe. Rev. Jim Jones is one who springs to mind, people actually drank poison on his say so. Another group (Heaven's Gate) were persuaded to comit suicide when the Halebopp comet passed because they believed their souls would go to heaven on the comet. Orville Roberts, the Bakers, all evangelical religious people who's followers still believe in them. There was a great song by Ray Stevens which had a line "Would Jesus Wear a Rolex on his Television Show?" which I think says it all.
I finally got to use my treadmill yesterday, we ended up having the help of Bob the salesman who sold us the machine. Just as well because we hadn't been able to get hold of the manufacturer which is what we were supposed to do. We couldn't get the treadmill to power up, it turned out there was an on/off button hidden right underneath the motor housing - Matt had to lie on the floor to find the stupid thing and there was no real reference to it in the instructions. To be fair, the manufacturer finally called about 4:30 yesterday afternoon!! I didn't walk for very long as it is a while since I have used one and I will have to build up my stamina once again. It is such fun being old!!!!!! My doc once said to me 'the only thing golden about the golden age is your pee!".
Once again it is a bowling day and I have just received forms for a tournament several of us took part in last year. I will have to see if the rest of our team wants to participate again.
Eating Well have just published a bunch of 'skinny' soups of which the following is one. I love soups as you know and I thought this one sounded interesting and particularly good. Oh, I forgot to mention I bought avocados for the Avocado Soup I published the other day, but right now they are like bullets, so I will have to wait a day or two.
Thai Bouillabaisse
From EatingWell: January/February 2009
This flavorful seafood soup combines elements of the famous French bouillabaisse with the distinct Thai flavors of lemongrass, lime, ginger and hot chiles. Use two chile peppers if you like heat. Be sure to simmer, not boil, the soup or the seafood will be overcooked. Serve with a crusty whole-grain baguette to soak up the broth. 8 servings,
Ingredients •3 tablespoons canola oil •1 cup diced shallots, (5-6 large) •4 large cloves garlic, minced •2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger •1 5-inch piece lemongrass, (see Note), cut into 3/4-inch pieces, or zest of 1 lime •1-2 small chile peppers, such as serranos or jalapeƱos, seeded and thinly sliced •3 tablespoons all-purpose flour •4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth •4 cups fish or seafood stock, or bottled clam juice •12 ounces Pacific cod, or halibut, cut into 2-inch pieces •12 ounces raw shrimp, (see Note), peeled, deveined and cut into 1-inch pieces •8 ounces dry sea scallops, (see Note), tough muscle removed, cut in half crosswise •16 mussels, scrubbed well (see Tip) •10 large shiitake mushrooms caps, cut into 1-inch pieces •Juice of 1 large lime •1 ripe avocado, peeled and diced •1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
Preparation 1.Heat oil in a large heavy casserole or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add shallots, garlic, ginger, lemongrass (or lime zest) and chile pepper to taste; cook, stirring, until very soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add flour; stir well to combine. Add chicken broth and fish or seafood stock (or clam juice). Bring to a simmer; reduce heat and gently simmer for 15 minutes. 2.Carefully submerge fish, shrimp, scallops, mussels and mushrooms in the broth. Return to a gentle simmer and cook until just cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in lime juice. Serve garnished with avocado and cilantro.
Nutrition Per serving : 293 Calories; 12 g Fat; 2 g Sat; 6 g Mono; 99 mg Cholesterol; 13 g Carbohydrates; 33 g Protein; 2 g Fiber; 344 mg Sodium; 708 mg Potassium 1 Carbohydrate Serving Exchanges: 4 lean meat, 1 fat Tips & Notes •Ingredient notes: Lemongrass is an aromatic tropical grass used to add a pungent, lemony flavor to Asian dishes. It is available fresh at large supermarkets and Asian groceries. •Shrimp is usually sold by the number needed to make one pound. For example, “21-25 count” means there will be 21 to 25 shrimp in a pound. Size names, such as “large” or “extra large,” are not standardized. In recipes calling for a specific count, order by the count (or number) per pound to be sure you're getting the size you want. •To peel shrimp, grasp the legs and hold onto the tail while you twist off the shell. Save the shells to make a tasty stock: Simmer, in enough water to cover, for 10 minutes, then strain. The “vein” running along a shrimp's back (technically the dorsal surface, opposite the legs) under a thin layer of flesh is really its digestive tract. •To devein shrimp, use a paring knife to make a slit along the length of the shrimp. Under running water, remove the tract with the knife tip. •Be sure to buy “dry” sea scallops (scallops that have not been treated with sodium tripolyphosphate, or STP). Scallops that have been treated with STP (“wet” scallops) have been subjected to a chemical bath and mushy and less flavorful. •Tip: To scrub mussels, hold under running water and use a stiff brush to remove any barnacles. Discard any mussels with broken shells or any whose shell remains open after you tap it lightly.
Have a great day

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