Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Trillions, Sailing Teens and Computers.

Governments toss around billions and trillions when talking money, it has become kind of commonplace and most of us don't really know how much that is. However, in Recipe du Jour yesterday there was a link to a visualisation which shows you comaprisons of what these figures really mean. The one that struck me was the visualisation of the US National Debt in March 2009 - it is shown in $1 bills and is absolutely mind boggling. And that is a year ago, a lot has happened since then to send the figures soaring. If you would like to see the rest of the visualisations, go to http://www.cnbc.com/id/30108264/?slide=1 and look at the slide show. Funnily enough, last night I watched Brewster's Millions starring Richard Pryor and John Candy. He had to dispose of $30 million in one month in order to inherit another $300 million. Seemed coincidental talking about the trillions governments spend without batting an eye.

Yesterday I wrote about Australian Jessica Watson planning to sail around the world and be the youngest to do so, a friend in Oz pointed out to me that there are actually two 16 yr. olds trying to gain that title, the other being a young American girl Abby Sunderland. I wish them luck, but I think their parents are nuts. I had had no idea there were two youngsters trying to do the same thing. Both young women have blog pages although Abby doesn't seem to have written anything since she set sail www.jessicawatson.com.au/ where you will find a link to Jessica's blog and http://soloround.blogspot.com/ for Abby's. Seems I got it all wrong, Jessica set sail in October whereas Abby has only recently left the States. There are some interesting pages on Jessica's blog with pictures of Cape Horn which can and did produce very violent storms and has sunk lots of ships - it can also produce total calms which can be a big problem for a sailing ship. Jessica apparently went through a pretty violent storm and makes for interesting reading. She must have been pretty shaken I would think.

Tickled me today, shades of modern life, our granddaughter was complaining she couldn't finish her homework because the printer wasn't working. In the days when I was doing homework, computers weren't available at all. I was going to say they hadn't been invented, but in fact the binary system was invented hundreds of years ago. The computer as we know it today was not invented though. I remember my first encounter with a computer was at work where everything was programmed with punch cards and such (don't ask me the details, I don't know them) and one of the staff assured me that I would never be able to use a computer because my math was no good. I am glad they changed them because he was probably right then. Now I spend a great deal of time on a computer.

I got my newsletter from Mushrooms Canada yesterday and I am surprised to discover that mushrooms are full of Vitamin D. They contain about 9% of an adult's required intake per day. I know Vitamin D is provided by sunshine, but a lot of people are too scared to spend time exposing their skin to sunlight so alternate sources are required. Mushrooms are apparently one of them.

Mushroom Stuffed Pizza Pockets Mushrooms Canada

A larger version of this Italian recipe is often called a calzone. Vary the fillings to your families liking and you will win raves at the table.

Ingredients 5-6 medium fresh white Mushrooms (about 3 oz/90g pre-sliced) 1/2 cup diced green pepper 125 mL 1/4 cup pre-cooked bacon pieces or pepperoni 50 mL 1/2 cup pizza or spaghetti sauce 125 mL 3/4 cup pre-shredded mozzarella or Italian cheese blend 175 mL 1 pkg (10 oz/283 g) refrigerated pizza dough 1 tbsp milk 15 mL 1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese 15 mL Method 1. Clean mushrooms with a damp paper towel or mushroom brush. On the cutting board with the sharp knife trim bottom of stems; coarsely chop the mushrooms to fill 1¼ cups (300 mL). 2. Place the mushrooms, diced green pepper, bacon, pizza sauce and cheese in the bowl; stir to mix well. Preheat oven to 425ºF (220ºC). 3. On a lightly floured counter or cutting board unroll the pizza dough according to package directions. Roll or press out to 12”(30 cm) x10” (25 cm) rectangle. With sharp knife cut into 4 equal pieces. 4. Using a pastry brush moisten edges of each piece of dough with water. Mound ¼ of mixture onto half of each piece of dough leaving a ½”(1 cm) border. Pull and stretch the other half of dough over the filling and press edges firmly together. 5. Lightly spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray and place pizza pockets about 2”(5 cm) apart on it. With the tines of a fork press edges firmly again to seal and prick a few holes in the top to allow steam to escape. 6. Brush top of pockets with milk and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. 7. Place baking sheet in middle of oven and bake for 13 –15 min until lightly browned and crisp on top. 8. Using oven mitts remove baking sheet from oven and place on cooling rack for 5 minutes. 9. With sharp knife cut in half diagonally to serve if desired. Makes 4 pizza pockets Tip: If rolling dough on a cutting board, place a damp dishcloth under the board to prevent it from moving around. Variations: Substitute broccoli for green pepper and ham for bacon.

Have a great day

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