Friday, October 21, 2011

Lunch, Gadhafi, BB Guns? Cell Bill.

As I mentioned, today we are off to Paris, Ontario (be nice if it was Paris, France) for lunch with a group of work colleagues and friends whom I haven’t seen since 1988. I really wanted to contribute something to the meal but was told it wasn’t necessary so I will be going empty handed. I am looking forward to seeing everyone, we used to enjoy each other’s company away from work too.

So they finally got Moammar Gadhafi. Not much onegadhafi can say about it that hasn’t been said in the news already. One up to revolution, but so often revolutionary governments turn out to be just as bad as the government they overthrew. I guess in the west we are fairly lucky in as much as they don’t end up killing us (unless they send us to war that is).

A report that caught my eye, apparently thousands of replica AK-47 BB guns have been imported into replicagun-Canada from China and the RCMP are racing to track them all because they fear they could be so easily converted into the real thing, a prohibited weapon. Just what we need in our virtually gun free society. Its funny the difference in attitudes, our neighbours defend the right to bear arms with vigour, here we don’t want them at all. Matt and I did have a shot gun when we lived in the States, for snakes, of which there were many in our development for a while because it was newly cleared land. Later we rarely ever saw one.

Sort of funny story, a woman ended up with a NYC Subway Cellphones$201,00 cell phone bill. It was no mistake. Turns out her brothers are on her phone plan and during a trip to Canada, because they are deaf and cannot speak, they texted some 2,000 messages plus downloading videos and she had forgotten to switch to an international plan. She managed to get some relief, but what a shock.

I have added a new banner, fro Pedigree Adoption Drive. This is a UK drive, but is very worthwhile I dogsthink. If you click on the banner you can take Ripley for a virtual walk by clicking on a few buttons. Once you have done the whole walk, which only takes a few minutes, Pedigree with donate £1 to help abandoned dogs.

What are the odds, I just heard Dan Joseph on CKWR telling some stories including one about a woman who was cooking up some moose entrails for her dogs when she noticed a gold ring amongst them, on fishing it out she found it was her ring which she lost 3 years before, it dropped off when she was helping her husband push the car out of some snow. Not only that, it was her husband who bagged the moose from which the entrails were taken.

I cannot imagine the following recipe so when I came across it, I had to post it. A shepherd’s pie should include lamb although a lot of places make it with beef, but with no meat at all??? I just might try this one day although I will be changing a couple of the ingredients

Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie

By The Gluten Free Goddess
WebMD Recipe from

Veggie lovers, if you like your vegetable pie less vegetarian_shepherds_piespicy, use regular diced tomatoes and leave out the red chili flakes . But if you want a killer combo of heat, tang, and sweet, try my version. It's not your mother's shepherd's pie.

This recipe makes 6 servings.


For the mashed potato crust:

3-4 large gold or white potatoes, peeled, cut up
Vegetable broth or your favorite non-dairy milk or cream, as needed
Vegan buttery spread or olive oil, to taste
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
Chopped fresh chives, to taste

For the filling:

1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin or mild curry spice
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups cauliflower florets (about half a smallish head), cut to bite size
3 medium-large carrots, peeled and sliced into coins
1 zucchini squash, sliced and cut into quarter moons
1 yellow summer squash, sliced, cut into quarter moons
1 heaping cup shredded cabbage or slaw mix
1 14-oz. can Muir Glen Organic Diced Tomatoes with Green Chiles, with juice
2 tablespoons chopped roasted Hatch chilies or jalapenos -- whatever you like
1 cup vegetable broth
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1-2 tablespoons low-sugar apricot jam, to taste -- to balance the heat
1 tablespoon rubbed sage
Hot red pepper chili flakes, to taste (or use hot pepper sauce)
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
1 14-oz. can butter beans, drained and set aside

Place the cut potatoes in a large pot and cover with salted cold water; bring to a boil and simmer until the potatoes are fork tender, about twenty minutes.

In the meantime, heat the olive oil in a large deep skillet and add the cumin or curry, and garlic. Stir one minute and add the fresh chopped vegetables. Stir and cook about five minutes or so.

Add the canned diced tomatoes with green chili, the chopped Hatch chilies or jalapenos, vegetable broth, balsamic vinegar, apricot jam, sage, pepper flakes, sea salt, and pepper, and stir to combine.

Bring to a simmer and cook until the sauce begins to reduce. You want the vegetables to be tender-crisp, not too done, and the sauce to be thickened and not too thin. (If, by chance, you need a little more liquid to cook the veggies, add a splash more broth or water). When this has been achieved, taste-test the sauce for seasoning adjustments; then remove from heat and gently add in the butter beans. Set aside.

Mash the cooked potatoes with a little liquid and olive oil.

Season the mixture with sea salt and pepper. Add chives if you like. Taste-test. Don't add too much liquid or over mix the potatoes or they'll get gluey. Gluey spuds = not so good.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Assemble your pie:

Spoon the vegetables into a casserole dish . Top with mounds of mashed potato. I like to leave a few peaks (they get a bit golden). Sprinkle with chopped chives or parsley. Bake in a moderate oven for 35 to 40 minutes, until the pie is bubbling and heated through.

Total Servings: 6

Nutritional Information Per Serving

Calories: 311
Carbohydrates: 60.6
Cholesterol: 0mg
Fat: 3.9g
Saturated Fat: 0.6g
Fiber: 11.0g
Sodium: 382mg
Protein: 10.7g

Have a great day



  1. Sorry to have been missing in reading your blog. So much going on here I have hardly been online.

    While I live in the country --as in a mile from the nearest neighbor and 7 from the nearest town, having a a couple of rifles and shotguns are necessary. But I'm not a big proponent of "toys" that look like real guns. Personally, I don't think there should be toy guns at all. guns are not toys.

    I don't have an objection to water blaster/soakers. They don't look like guns and I love having water battles with them in the summer. Even my 74 year old mom gets into the action with those. Lots of fun.

    Enjoy your visit. :-)

    Sia McKye's Thoughts...OVER COFFEE

  2. I think these toys are very scary, even without modification, I wouldn't risk facing one in case it was the real thing.

    Hope nothing too serious happening in your life.

  3. The USA is the only English speaking country in which civilians are allowed to carry weapons, and look what a mess it's got them into! If you have a gun for hunting or sport here in Oz, it must be licensed and has to be kept under lock and key.

    Shepherd's pie? When, for heaven's sake, did any English shepherding family cook without mutton and with chillies?