Friday afternoon we had our usual bowling so we decided to take a dozen donuts to be shared when we had our break - a birthday celebration. Bad girl, I had two. I do love good fresh Tim Horton Donuts. My favourite, a Walnut Crunch, is not shown in the picture. Tim Hortons are also famous for their coffee - I don't often buy coffee out but I do enjoy theirs on occasion. I really don't know if they go in for all the weird and wonderful coffee you can get at other places, such as Starbucks. An American company, Krispy Creme Donuts, opened locally a few years ago, but it seems to have disappeared, I never tried their donuts so have no idea whether they were good competition or not. In the States you are more likely to hear of Dunkin' Donuts than Tim Hortons although there are certainly Tim Hortons coffee shops in some of the areas around Buffalo.
Had a bit of a shock yesterday morning, sudden large charge on my Visa, then I realised it was for the 5 Pin Bowlers Association. The hotel and banquet fees for the tournament at the end of the month. I get one night's hotel fee paid by the local bowling association, but we decided to stay two nights. Looks like a big hotel. I know they have several dining rooms - Matt was concerned whether we would be able to get an early breakfast before registering to bowl at 8 a.m. but they appear to start serving at 6:30 a.m. in a couple of their dining areas.
I see in the news that our NDP leader, Jack Layton, has prostate cancer. I don't agree with his politics (National Democrating Party) but I sympathise with anyone who has cancer in any form although prostate does seem to be one of the easiest to cure if it is caught in time. There has been a lot of debate about the Premier of Newfoundland, Danny Williams, who went for cardiac surgery somewhere in the States, details undisclosed.There is an article here at Sympatico where his deputy is mad at the furore which had been caused. The picture is Danny Williams.
I heard two songs on the radio last night which were unbelievable, one was the artist, Blossom Dearie, singing the 8 times table and the other she was singing about adjectives!!! I ask you. I couldn't believe it.
I have discovered that the latest version of Firefox doesn't seem to work with WindowsXP although it does with Vista. So now I am writing my blog on the desktop and sorting out the spacing and other stuff on the laptop. Quicker typing on a regular keyboard.
The east coast of the States is being socked by a nor'easter right now and are expecting up to 3 ft. of snow in some places. I gather the capitol, Washington, is virtually shut down with the stores all empty because people have bought provisions. A snow storm is good business in those parts of the world. The trouble is, they are not used to such weather, up here it would be more or less taken in our strides, but not dahn sahth where they do not have the equipment to deal with it, nor are their powerlines underground with the result that many people are without power and goodness knows when their power will be repaired. Reminds me of the time we got 18 inches of snow on the coast of North Carolina, we didn't get mail for a week. The airports have virtually closed too and flights are cancelled. A friend in Philadelphia is making Blueberry Muffins to cope with their weather. I must say I am always staggered at the reaction in the warmer parts of the States when they get snow. Why do they empty the stores I wonder, we could certainly survived for a week on what we have in house. Are they not similarly provided for? This storm has received several names such as Snowpocalypse and Snowzilla. It is expected to dump more snow than previously recorded in Washington, DC.
Now, if I were going to be socked in, it wouldn't be Blueberry muffins, it would be soup. Not that I don't like muffins, but soup is a real comfort food to me. I watched Jamie Oliver make English Onion Soup the other day, so here is his recipe.
English Onion Soup with Sage and Cheddar
Jamie: "There's something so incredibly humble about onion soup. It's absolutely one of my favourites but unfortunately I only ever get to make it in the restaurant or for myself as the missus thinks she's allergic to onions. (She's not, because I whiz them up into loads of dishes without her knowing!) If you have the opportunity, get hold of as many different types of onion for this soup as you can - you need about 1kg in total. Sweat them gently and you'll be amazed at all the flavours going on" Serves 8 Ingredients A good knob of butter Olive oil A good handful of fresh sage leaves, 8 leaves reserved for serving 6 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed 5 red onions, peeled and sliced 3 large white onions, peeled and sliced 3 banana shallots, peeled and sliced 300g of leeks, trimmed, washed and sliced Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 2 litres of good-quality hot beef, chicken or vegetable stock 8 slices of good-quality stale bread, 2cm thick 200g freshly grated cheddar cheese Worcestershire sauce
Method: 1. Put the butter, 2 glugs of olive oil, the sage and garlic into a thick-bottomed, non-stick pan. Stir everything round and add the onions, shallots and leeks. Season with salt and pepper. Place a lid on the pan, leaving it slightly ajar, and cook slowly for 50 minutes, without colouring the vegetables too much. Remove the lid for the last 20 minutes - your onions will become soft and golden. Stir occasionally so that nothing catches on the bottom. Having the patience to cook the onions slowly, slowly, gives you an incredible sweetness and an awesome flavour, so don't be tempted to speed this bit up. 2. When your onions and leeks are lovely and silky, add the stock. Bring to the boil, turn the heat down and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. You can skim any fat off the surface if you like, but I prefer to leave it because it adds good flavour. 3. Preheat the oven or grill to maximum. Toast your bread on both sides. Correct the seasoning of the soup. When it's perfect, ladle it into individual heatproof serving bowls and place them on a baking tray. Tear toasted bread over each bowl to fit it like a lid. Feel free to push and dunk the bread into the soup a bit. Sprinkle with some grated Cheddar and drizzle over a little Worcestershire sauce. 4. Dress your reserved sage leaves with some olive oil and place one on top of each slice of bread. Put the baking tray into the preheated oven or under the grill to melt the cheese until bubbling and golden. Keep an eye on it and make sure it doesn't burn! When the cheese is bubbling, very carefully lift out the tray and carry it to the table. Enjoy. Have a great day