A friend of mine linked to this video on Facebook over the weekend. It is a song of prayer particularly sung at Rosh Hashanah – this version is sung by Barbra Streisand whom Matt thinks is fabulous but whom I normally don’t like too much – only certain songs, although I like her as an actress. This, in my opinion, is one of the most beautiful things she has ever done, Aveinu Malkeinu and when I first listened to it I was in tears. I can’t stop playing it. If you enjoy music, do listen. I very much enjoyed her singing in Yentl which didn’t make it as a popular movie although both Matt and I enjoyed it. I think my favourite movie of hers is Nuts which didn’t include singing at all.
We had our Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday night and decided to begin with a Shrimp cocktail as we have all this lovely fresh shrimp which we brought back. You might not believe it but there is lettuce under all that shrimp. We ate a whole bag of shrimp between us. Then we went on to the turkey which was served with roast potatoes, bread sauce, Brussels sprouts and gravy and was delicious. The bread sauce was made with whole wheat bread so actually turned out to be somewhat dark, but it still tasted pretty good with lots of butter and cream in it. Matt, by that time was full up, however, I finished up with some frozen yoghurt.
Sitting at the table on Saturday night, I started thinking about cutlery. To eat the shrimp cocktail, we took out forks specifically intended for seafood or fish. Maybe I don’t move in the right circles, but I have never seen such a thing in North America. The majority of people here use cutlery it a totally different manner to the English anyway, cutting their food and then laying down their knives and eating with a fork. I do tend to do that myself a lot these days, but Matt has never changed from the original knife and fork method. If you do see people using both, frequently they seem to be holding the implements in (what to me is) the most peculiar manner, the meat is stabbed by the fork which is held upright and the knife is used to saw round it. Another thing you never see is soup spoons, not as I think of soup spoons anyway, although I did buy a kitchen set at some point (don’t remember when and where) so presumably some people must use them. There is also lots of confusion when people encounter a table set with a number of implements to cover several courses. When in doubt work from the outside in. I guess not everyone has all the things they need anyway. I was lucky in that I was given a canteen of Oneida silver cutlery as a present for my first wedding. It was not complete, but I built it up over the years. This is similar, I tried taking a picture of mine, but not being the best camera person in the world, couldn’t get a satisfactory result. I have a number of piggy banks on top of it and they came out fine, LOL.
Sunday afternoon, went to see the doc as she had called me in. Joke, sat there for 1 1/2 hrs. before I got to see her. When I did get in, she told me that my back had degenerated considerably due to age, no kidding, but that my fall had aggravated everything. She said wearing a neck brace for a few hours every day might help me. Matt got a prescription for pain killers and we two cripples headed off to see two other cripples. Our friends who were supposed to have come to NC with us are in possibly worse case than we are at the moment. She has been given a walker and a gadget to increase the height of a toilet seat together with something to help her out of bed in the morning. He still has major back problems which is what stopped him going to NC with us. If any of you are young, reading this, be warned. I said to our doc, who is very young, you must get very depressed treating older people with all their problems, she said she does and is glad she presently isn’t an old woman, guess what, you can’t escape.
As you may have noticed, I have gone a bit nutty on pilaf lately, this one came from Mushrooms Canada when they sent me my apron.
Mushroom, Walnut and Barley Pilaf
Makes 6 side serving or 4 main course servings.
2 Tbs olive oil
3/4 cup chopped onions
12 oz sliced fresh mixed Mushrooms (white, crimini, portabella, shiitake)
1 Tbs chopped fresh thyme
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup pearl barley
2 cups chicken, vegetable or beef broth
1/2 cup toasted walnut pieces or pine nuts
2 Tbs. grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
In a large skillet or sauce pan heat oil over medium heat; add onion and sauté 3-4 minutes or until softened. Add mushrooms and sauté 5-7 minutes or until starting to brown. Stir in thyme, garlic and barley and cook 1 minute. Add broth and bring to boil; reduce heat to simmer. Cover and cook for 35-40 minutes or until liquid is almost absorbed and barley is tender. Stir in nuts and cheese. Stir in parsley just before serving.
Substituting barley for rice in a pilaf is great way to add more fibre to your diet. Serve it as a flavourful vegetarian meal or serve as side dish with your favorite meat. For a deep, robust dish use the portabella mushrooms and beef broth.
Have a great Thanksgiving Day.