Friday, January 7, 2011

Hips, Mug Rugs, Illegal Books,

This morning Matt has to go see our Orthopædic surgeon, i.e. the guy who did Matt’s hips and knee and also my hip. (Makes us sound like a couple of old crocks). He has been having considerable pain in his right hip – actually the second he had done – so we are wondering if it needs replacing. We hope not, but….. so please keep your fingers crossed.

We took down our decorations yesterday and somehow I lost my regular mug rugs (similar to those in thiMug Rugss picture). I have three Christmas ones which I have been using for a few weeks now and several which I use all during the year. I don’t know where I put them, I have hunted absolutely everywhere, I think I am going bonkers!!! The friend who made them originally has offered to make some more, which is great, but it shouldn’t be necessary.

There has been some discussion on Facebook about people illegally downloading books. I didn’t actually know it was possible, but I agree with my author friends that it is stealing. Their work is sold in book stores and every freebie means a little less money earned for their hard work. It is one of the disadvantages of the internet that if someone puts anything on the web, the rest consider its OK to download. To a certain extent I agree with this philosophy, but of course in many cases, such as novels, these things are not put there by the authors or publishers, but by someone unconnected with them. Most of us wouldn’t break into the author’s homes and steal their work, but we are quite happy to do so if its on the web. There doesn’t seem to be any way you can stop it either. I am not quite sure why people put books on the web for others to get free, they aren’t making any money either, or am I wrong? Seems a lot of effort for nothing.

We are still getting Christmas cards. I had not considered that the bad weather in Europe which grounded so many planes also prevented mail getting through. Never even thought of it. I’ve heard that mail in the UK didn’t get to other parts of the UK for weeks either, let alone from the UK to Canada.

Oh, forgot to mention, we have booked our vacation Burke Cottagein North Carolina again. The rent for the cottage we stayed in last year has increased, however, a couple of friends have decided to go with us, so that will make for a somewhat cheaper rental. This year all linens are included which saves us packing sheets and towels etc. although is probably the reason for the increase in fees.

Here is a version of a very old soup, Scotch Broth, which can be done in a slow cooker. In this hemisphere, good, warming, comfort soups are just right for our winter weather. Of course most of us wouldn’t have lamb or mutton stock, so we would have to adapt with beef bouillon. Pearl Barley is one of those rarely eaten foods (here at least) which is very good for you.

Scotch Broth

Source BBC Food
250g/8oz carrots, peeled, diced
250g/8oz turnips, diced
2 onions, peeled, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 leek, white part only, sliced
75-125g/3-4oz pearl barley
125g/4oz dried peas, soaked in water for 4-5 hours, drained
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2.3litres/4 pints lamb or mutton stock
85g/3oz kale, chopped (optional)
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation method
1. Heat all of the ingredients, except the kale, in a large saucepan until boiling.
2. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for a 2-3 hours, or until the peas and pearl barley are soft.
3. Stir in the kale and cook for a further 10-12 minutes, or until the kale is tender. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper

Have a great day


No comments:

Post a Comment