Thursday, February 2, 2017

Bowling, Groundhog Day, Candlemas, Tough Meat,

Decided to go bowling on Wed. afternoon, what a disaster. I could not get my ball to go where I wanted. You would have  thought I had never bowled before in my life. Thanks goodness it wasn't a league day. By the way, we have moved from 7th to 5th place this week. Long may it continue. We were playing in a lane next to 3 ladies who go every Wednesday but are not actually members of the Wednesday league. They had some goodies to eat and kindly offered us a chocolate chip cookie which one of them had baked. They tasted good, but I nearly broke my teeth trying to eat one. I guess I should have dunked it. Nice of them though. Thought I would choose the leprechaun instead of a bowling animation for a change.

Groundhog Day, but I can't remember if we are hoping it does see it's shadow or doesn't. OK I just
looked it up, we don't want him to see his shadow if we want an early spring. That especially applies to yours truly, spring means fresh asparagus to me. Apparently in Europe it is actually Candlemas Day which is where the tradition began I suppose. I just found these little rhymes.
From England, the poem:
If Candlemas be fair and bright,
Winter has another flight.
If Candlemas brings clouds and rain,
Winter will not come again. 
From Scotland, the poem:
If Candlemas Day is bright and clear,
There'll be two winters in the year. 
From Germany, the poem:
For as the sun shines on Candlemas Day,
So far will the snow swirl until May.
For as the snow blows on Candlemas Day,
So far will the sun shine before May. 
So here's hoping. We haven't had a bad winter here really, although in some parts of North America their snow falls have not been funny. I cannot imagine getting several feet in one snowfall.

Well more bowling today of course so I do hope things go better. I actually had a painful day yesterday and had to take a few Tylenol 3 to cope. Fingers crossed.

I am planning to do a Portuguese type Pork casserole for Saturday. Matt is still having problems with meat toughness so I am avoiding giving him meat of any kind which hasn't been well cooked in some way. I even made Portuguese Style Chicken the other day and he found the thicker pieces of chicken to be tough. The NY Times came up with some Pressure Cooker recipes which would do the job,  trouble is, I don't have a pressure cooker and am not about to buy one at this stage. Pity, they look good. I remember my mother saying my cousin used to wield her pressure cooker like the rest of us used a fry pan.

I often see baby bok choy in our store and wondered about recipes. This recipe doesn't specifically say baby, but I think it would work really well.

Stir-Fried Bok Choy or Sturdy Greens

This recipe works equally well with bok choy or sturdy greens, both of which have tough ribs and leaves that have a cruciferous flavor. I steam them for a minute before stir-frying so the leaves won’t be too tough.

12 to 16 oz bok choy or sturdy greens, like collards, or packaged Southern greens mix
¼ cup chicken broth, vegetable broth or water
1 Tbs Shao Hsing rice wine or dry sherry
2 tsp soy sauce
¼ tsp cornstarch
1 Tbs peanut or canola oil
3 garlic cloves, smashed with the flat side of a chef’s knife or minced
1 slice ginger, smashed with the flat side of a chef’s knife or minced
Salt to taste
¼ tsp sugar
1 to 2 tsp sesame seeds, to taste

1. If using bok choy, trim off the bottoms and separate into stalks. Rinse if necessary and drain on paper towels. Cut crosswise into 2-inch pieces. If using collard greens, stem, discard stems and chop the leaves coarsely. Bring an inch of water to a boil in the bottom of a steamer, and place the bok choy or greens in the steamer basket. Steam 1 minute, remove from the heat and rinse with cold water. Squeeze out excess water and drain on a kitchen towel.

2. Combine the broth or water, rice wine or sherry, soy sauce and cornstarch in a small bowl and place within arm’s reach of your pan. Have the remaining ingredients measured out and near the pan.

3. Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok or a 12-inch skillet over high heat until a drop of water evaporates within a second or two when added to the pan. Swirl in the oil by adding it to the sides of the pan and swirling the pan, then add the garlic and ginger and stir-fry for 10 seconds, until fragrant. Add the bok choy or greens, sprinkle with salt and the sugar, and stir-fry for about 30 seconds. Stir the cornstarch mixture and swirl into the wok, then stir-fry 1 minute, or until the greens are just tender. Sprinkle on the sesame seeds. Remove from the heat and serve.

Servings: 4

Source: The New York Times

Have a great day


  1. Hi Jo - Groundhog - a lot rests on him. We do have some sun - but it's going, a few storms are rolling in from the Atlantic - can't say I'm looking forward to those ... Spring will unfold in its inimitable way ... enjoy the pork - cut it up much smaller that should help Matt ... cheers Hilary

    1. It sure does Hilary. Especially when you think how many of them are involved over here. Our most local one, Wiarton Willie, hasn't made his prediction yet. No storms like that are not fun. You're right, I should cut it up smaller.

  2. I was thinking of doing a post on my groundhog troubles but that is more depressing than six more weeks of winter. Though I must say I have not had them back in my yard in years after we eliminated access to all their nesting places. I was just thinking I should get rid of my pressure cooker that I bought when I got married, in 1970. Haven't used it in many years. The new ones are nice, but not worth the expense since I would rarely need it.

    1. Well I'm pleased you don't still have trouble with them Denise. I never did have a Pressure Cooker, think I was a bit scared of them. I remember the first one I ever saw in 1956 in a Britain Can Make it exhibition.

  3. I'd be fine with a little more winter. It's been rather warm for January here. We do plan on watching Groundhog Day tonight though.

    1. You would Alex? I would prefer an early spring personally.

      Wonder if that movie is on here tonight?

  4. I would have preferred it if the groundhog had predicted an early spring but sadly he did not.

    1. JoJo I'm pleased to say that our local one, Wiarton Willie, has predicted an early spring.

  5. Sorry to hear about your problems at the bowling alley yesterday. Hopefully, today's a different story. I used to bowl on three leagues every week, and a fourth single short-season one. At one time, I was a pretty good bowler, but it's been so many years since I bowled, I'm afraid to even try. Besides, we recently gave away our bowling shoes and all of our balls. (sigh) Too bad there aren't any duckpin lanes around here. That, I'm sure we could still do.

    Thanks for the info about Candlemas. When we were watching the news early this morning, I was wondering how the whole watch-a-rodent nonsense got started. Now I have a better idea. Plenty of sun here, so I suppose that's supposed to mean more winter. I kinda doubt it, because we haven't had much in the way of winter up 'til now. Lots of days in the 70s during January, and it's supposed to be even warmer this month. The flowers and trees seem to think it's already spring.

    1. Yes, it was a bit different today Susan, thanks. I assume you used to play 10 pin? Duck pin is only played in Nova Scotia so never seen or heard of it. 5 pin, which we play, is great.

      I hope the flowers and trees aren't making a mistake.

    2. Yes, we played ten-pin. Duck pins are big in Baltimore, where we grew up, and it's a lot of fun. The balls are much smaller... and no holes. The pins are smaller, too, kinda short and squat. (Like me!) But the game is also very challenging, too, because the ball is small enough to pass between two side-by-side pins without hitting either one of them.

    3. I have played 10 and 5 pin and much prefer 5. Not sure about the pins in 10, but the 5 pins are 18 inches apart in a V shape so the ball can definitely pop through there, doesn't happen often, luckily. And, of course, the balls are lighter in 5 pin too.

  6. I hope you're feeling and bowling better.

    My grandma used her pressure cooker all the time. I think growing up hearing the clatter and whistle of it combined with her constant reminders to steer clear of it because they have been know to blow their tops always made me afraid to use one.

    I use the crock pot instead. Set the meat on to cook on low and leave it all day.

    1. Yes I am, thanks Liz.

      Guess I was the same, although my mother did use one.

      My problem with a crock pot is ours is rather large. Used to have a smaller one - wish I still had it.

  7. My mother had a pressure cooker when we were kids and cooked all our vegetables in it every night. We had a VERY healthy diet. No fried food at all. Groundhogs are so cute. I love the idea of that superstition. I've never heard of Candlemas. Thanks for the information.

    1. Wish I had learned to use one many years ago Pinky. Couldn't be bothered now. Do you even have groundhogs in Oz?

  8. Phil saw his shadow. You know what that means. It was a sunny day in Penn.

    1. Willie didn't see his Diane I'm pleased to say. Seems the wrong way round to me - you'd think a sunny day would be a sign of spring.

  9. Amazing how much we, so-called, highly intelligent humans place so much on a rodent. I always find that funny myself. I watched Groundhog day last night again...always funny. If it actually did happen, it would be a nightmare. I hear you about the Tylenol 3 but at least they keep the pain down a little so you can bowl:)

    1. Funny really Birgit. I always like the pix of a groundhog carrying a notice saying "I am not a meteorologist". Didn't catch the movie last night. Must have been on a channel with ads so I avoid them. Yes Tylenol 3 is very useful.