Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Richard III, Bowling, Mandarin for New Year.

“Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious summer by the richard_IIIson of York”. Famous lines from Shakespeare’s Richard III. Richard the hunchback who is supposed to have ordered the smothering of the princes in the tower. Now is the winter of our discoveries, they have apparently found him buried under a parking lot, would you believe? There is a plan afoot to bury him properly instead of in a hurried grave after the Battle of Bosworth Field 500 years ago. They found a descendent of Richard’s, a Canadian carpenter who happened to be living in London at the time, and managed to match the DNA of both so that they can say, beyond a reasonable doubt that the remains were Richard III. The remains were found a year ago, I wonder why I have never heard about it before? The hunched back of the skeleton proves that he actually suffered from scoliosis which causes curvature of the spine. It seems a rather sad sort of life reading the article in which they say he was actually quite a good king although reviled by his contemporaries. His remains show marks of battle and of humiliation of the dead body which was buried in haste without a shroud or coffin in a church in Leicester which was subsequently destroyed during Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries and then the site was eventually forgotten.  I didn’t know he was lost or that they were looking for him. Don’t remember what I learned in school about him, I was never a good scholar whilst actually at school. I know we studied the Shakespearean play, but I don’t believe it is historically that accurate.

Bowling was a disaster for me today, I swore I would quit never to return but somehow nobody believed me. Everyone keeps telling me I am having fun, ha. Matt, on the other hand, had some good games and our team captain had one of the best games she has had in a long while. They will be throwing me off the team in disgrace soon, the way I am bowling.

This morning a doctor visit for Matt and then we are meeting friends 1,000 Eggat the Mandarin, our favourite Chinese restaurant. I fervently hope they are still doing the specials for Chinese New Year, (the year of the Snake) I’ll be right teed off if they are not. Dumplings, dumplings, dumplings. They say they have 1,000 yr old eggs too which I would love to try. In point of fact, they are not 1,000 yrs old but usually not more than 100 days old, here is a description of the process. I will certainly try a piece if only to say I have. I mentioned before they have ginger ice cream, I am hoping they will also have moon cakes which they had last year and are really an essential element of Chinese New Year. There is also Goji Berry and Crysanthemum Jello, I just found their email and the New Year offerings are on til February 24, woo hoo.

I got this recipe from Cooking.com and blow me, on the same page was a recipe for cannoli. I think I have eaten enough of those for a while. I suppose going back to Italian after yapping about Chinese is illogical, but then I like being illogical.

Chocolate Biscotti

Source: Casual Cuisines of the World - Pizzeria

Makes 18 cookies

Although it would be unlikely to find biscotti served in a traditional pizzeria in the historic center of Naples, they are common in the pizzerias popular today. These delicious cookies are rich with Chocolate Biscottichocolaty flavor and not too sweet and have the perfect consistency for dipping. The almonds add extra crunch.

1/4 cup whole blanched almonds

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sifted Dutch-process cocoa

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon baking soda

2 oz semisweet chocolate or bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped


Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F.
Spread the almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet. Place in the oven until lightly toasted and fragrant, about 7 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.

Line the bottom of a large baking sheet with parchment (baking) paper or aluminum foil. Nest the paper-lined sheet in a second baking sheet of the same size; this will prevent the bottoms of the cookies from scorching.

In a large bowl, using a wooden spoon, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat well. Set aside.

In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder and baking soda. Pulse briefly to combine, then add the chopped chocolate. Process continuously until the chocolate is finely and evenly chopped. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and blend just until combined. The mixture should come together into a soft dough. Add the almonds and mix until evenly distributed.

On a lightly floured work surface, use your hands to shape the dough into a log about 13 inches long and 2 1/2 inches in diameter. Place the log on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until the edges are firm (the center will not seem done yet), 30-35 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let cool until lukewarm, about 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F. Slice the log crosswise on a slight diagonal into pieces 3/4 inch (2 cm) wide and return to the baking sheet, cut sides down. Bake for 10 minutes. Turn the cookies over and bake until lightly toasted, about 10 minutes longer. Remove from the oven, transfer to a rack and let cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 month. The biscotti can actually be stored for up to 6 months, if you can keep your hands out of the container. If they have become soft, recrisp them in a 350 degree F. oven for 5-6 minutes


  1. Hi Jo .. I watched the programme last night and it was very interesting ... amazing that they've found him and can give him a proper burial. I loved the BBC cold cases on ancient burial sites .. and they used similar techniques for this Leicester discovery .. especially the Professor who rebuilt Richard's head ...

    All the best - Hilary

    1. I hope they show the programme over here, I think its incredible that they did find him and that they were able to check the DNA of a descendent. Didn't realise it was a BBC cold case. 500 years certainly is cold, LOL.

  2. I was so intrigued by the News on King Richard!

    And biscottis? my fave.

    1. Yes so was I, I am hoping the BBC programme about it all will be shown over here.

      These look particularly good.