Monday, July 7, 2008

Good Advice, Spicy Food, Lawnchair Balloons

As I mentioned, Matt had to check in with our doctor after his TIAs. We were already aware that the medics need to see you within 3 hours if they are going to have any chance of saving you if you have a stroke, however, something I hadn't thought of before, what if you retired to a desert island (that's extreme I know) or somewhere which was a long way from such medical help, it would be lights out for you. Our doctor mentioned this and it made me think. I am glad we decided to move where we are which is 15 minutes from our local stroke centre. We are about the same from our local cardiac care centre too. Who knew we were being so sensible. I guess doctors think of this kind of thing, we don't. Having posted a recipe for chili, I decided to make that for supper on Sunday night. I haven't actually made a chili in years. It turned out pretty good. The last time I remember making chili was many years ago and both Matt and a friend were complaining it was too spicy for them although they both had seconds. Later one of my German Shepherds, Zebedee, licked the pot and loved it. Dogs seem to really enjoy spicy foods, we had another dog, Chinook, who ate pickled peppers with delight when none of us could handle them. These days I find I can't eat food as spicy as I used to and mostly I avoid Mexican foods for that reason. I can still handle a pretty hot curry, but maybe not as hot as once upon a time. I remember a period when I used to eat pickled green chili peppers, very spicy or hot as we say in the UK, because I was told it was good for the complexion. It used to cause me some problems in the bathroom the next day!! I used to love Kimchee too (Korean fermented vegetables) not sure how I would get on with it today. A Marine friend of ours would visit us and often bring a jar, he and I would sit and pick at it for ages, Matt left it alone. You could obtain it a lot in North Carolina as there were Marine Corps bases in the area and a lot of the Marines had married Korean or Japanese girls, so oriental foods were readily available. Chili contests are another thing they do in the area of North Carolina where we lived. One friend of ours used to enter every year and his recipe was a big secret. He also used to enter a pig into the pig cooking contest. I don't think he ever won, I heard, from many sources, the results were fixed anyway. I wondered why people bothered to enter at all if this was the case. I never had our friend's chili, but ate several other dishes, as well as pigs, that he cooked and they were all excellent. He loved to cook and had taken lessons in Japanese cooking when he was stationed there (an ex Marine) as well as other cooking lessons in the States. Over the weekend Kent Couch achieved his goal and flew 320 Km in his lawnchair powered by balloons. If you are interested in reading about it click here. He said, on Good Morning America, that he would like to fly in Australia where they have lots of open spaces, but for now he is content with his trip in the States. Apparently he reached a height of 3 miles at one point, I thought you needed breathing equipment that high up, but I guess not. I admire his wife, I don't think I would be too happy if Matt tried a stunt like that. A friend of mine in Philadelphia has too many blueberries - here's an interesting recipe for her and anyone else with the same problem.

Silent Shade Blue Cobbler


5 cups fresh or frozen blueberries 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg ¼ teaspoon ground mace 3 cups sugar 1 cup whole milk 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened ½ teaspoon vanilla extract 2 tablespoons cornstarch 1½ cups boiling water


Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Spread the blueberries in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Drizzle the lemon juice over the berries and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, ½teaspoon of the salt, the nutmeg, mace, 1½ cups of the sugar, the milk, butter, and vanilla. Spoon over the berries and spread in an even layer.

In a small bowl, combine the remaining 1½ cups sugar, the remaining ½ teaspoon salt, and the cornstarch. Sprinkle this mixture over the batter. Pour the boiling water evenly over the top of the cobbler. Poke a few holes down in the batter with the handle of a wooden spoon. Bake for 1 hour or until the top is golden brown, frosted and shiny. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Yield: Serves 4 Recipe Courtesy Martha Hall Foose, Screen Doors and Sweet Tea, 2008

Have a great day.

No comments:

Post a Comment