What a Christmas, the headline on the news page of CBC on Christmas Day was “Tens of Thousands of Canadians Without Power” as a result of the ice storm of course. Then Christmas Eve night, Matt went into the bedroom to retire and the heating system was making one hell of a noise. It is a hot water system and what we could hear was like rushing water. That stopped eventually, I had called the Super who said he couldn’t do much about it, especially at Christmas!!! Then it started making some really weird noises, with my CPAP machine I could drop off, but Matt couldn’t. Just about then there was a loud knocking on our door, Super’s wife wanting to know if we had any flooding as a pipe had broken in the heating system and in the floors above us people were quite badly flooded. Lucky for us, we were OK. Of course the heat was off now too, however, whoever they called to fix it, this morning the heat was OK again. There was at least one more place flooded on our floor but we escaped. That doesn’t take into account all the poor people in disaster areas who are in even more trouble.
However, on Christmas morning everything seemed to be OK so we had breakfast, cleaned up, and started cooking moves. Around 11 Matt poured me a Kir Royale which is Cassis and sparkling wine. Cassis is a French liqueur made from blackcurrents and in champagne, absolutely delicious. The Cassis was a presie today too. Then as has been traditional in my family for as long as I can remember, we had slices of ham and Coleman’s Mustard (very hot). Unfortunately the ham was a bit dry and Matt figured tasteless. I didn’t think it was too bad and ate mine. We buy a fully cooked ham and eat it without heating it in any way. If I want to cook ham I buy it uncooked. However, I do prefer ham with fat round the edges but sadly those kinds of hams are usually way too big for just the pair of us. We would be eating it for a month.
We actually got a white Christmas and it snowed a bit during the day too which made everywhere look really pretty. Yesterday there were some wonderful sights with trees covered with ice sparkling in the sunshine – I wanted to take pix but the sun was wrong for me. This is one I copied from CBC News although with the sun it looked great. There are more ice pix there if you want to check them out. This picture is one I took from one of the bedroom windows. Shows the white street too. I was going to edit out the windows, but I wanted to point out how clean they are and we have had them for quite a few months now. Those trees were covered in ice yesterday (24th)
Here’s something to counteract all that rich food we have been eating lately.
From EatingWell: January/February 2013
This vegetable-packed minestrone soup recipe is inspired by a popular Weight Watchers vegetable soup recipe. It makes a big pot of soup, so keep some in the refrigerator for up to 5 days and freeze the rest of the vegetable minestrone soup in single-serve portions. That way you always have an easy, delicious vegetable soup to start your meal or to eat for lunch. Think of this vegetable minestrone recipe as a starting point for other healthy soup variations, too: toss in leftover chopped cooked chicken or whole-wheat pasta or brown rice to make it more satisfying.
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cups chopped onions (2 medium)
- 2 cups chopped celery (4 medium stalks)
- 1 cup chopped green bell pepper (1 medium)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 cups chopped cabbage
- 3 cups chopped cauliflower (about 1/2 medium)
- 2 cups chopped carrots (4 medium)
- 2 cups green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces, or frozen, thawed
- 8 cups low-sodium vegetable broth or chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
- 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 15-ounce can kidney or pinto beans, rinsed
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 cups chopped fresh spinach or one 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
- 10 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Heat oil in a large soup pot or Dutch oven (8-quart or larger) over medium heat. Add onions, celery, bell pepper and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 13 to 15 minutes. Add cabbage, cauliflower, carrots and green beans; cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, about 10 minutes more.
- Add broth, water, tomato sauce, tomatoes, beans and bay leaf; cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until the vegetables are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Stir in spinach and simmer for 10 minutes more.
- Discard the bay leaf. Stir in basil. Top each portion with 1 tablespoon cheese.
Have a great Boxing Day to my English, Canadian and Australian friends. To everyone else, have a great day.