Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Storm, Triathlon, Hot and Sour Soup

It was just about 8 p.m. last night when we suddenly saw black clouds forming in the sky. It was really quite frightening, I was certainly thinking of tornadoes. I took a couple of pictures to share with you. In the end, the black clouds seemed to descend over everything and we then got rain, lightening and lots of long rolling thunder. We never did see the lighter sky again, by the time it was all over, it was well and truly dark. We actually didn't get as much rain as we thought, it kept stopping and starting. Most peculiar weather. The whole landscape was just completely blacked out. This afternoon I am off to Canadian Diabetes again, they now have me properly set up on their computer so I can work away without interfering with anyone else's access. Needless to say, we were watching more Olympics yesterday, Usain Bolt ran his heat in the 200 metre as though he were out on a Sunday afternoon jog. One of the Canadian runners said he thought Bolt came from another planet, he also said Bolt could turn cartwheels and still win. I think the final is run today. Canada was excited to pick up two more silvers yesterday, one in equestrian and one in trampoline. The picture is from CBC showing Canada's Karen Cockburn the trampoline silver medalist. We also watched the individual performances on the rings and Matt was oohing in pain, I think. He knows that what they do these days just cannot be done even while he is watching them do it. The Chinese are very good. We watched the women on the uneven bars and I do so agree, I don't think the Chinese girl who won can have been much above 12. She sure didn't look even vaguely like a 16 yr. old. The TV programme introductions have a super dragon in them, you know me and dragons. I wish I could get a copy of it. It swirls and swoops on the screen as the programme starts. Canada, by the way, seems to be doing pretty well in rowing and kayaking although these events haven't finished yet. Then, there was the triathlon. One of the best finishes I have ever seen, I was jumping up and down in my seat. The Canadian, Simon Whitfield, was keeping up with the pack the whole way through, but never seemed to be really in medal contention. A young British guy was also well up in the pack too, his first ever triathlon and he ended up in 12th place. Very good. He was even leading the pack for a while. Right at the end, Whitfield dropped back a little, then caught up, then dropped back a bit more and still caught up. Finally he dropped back so far we figured he was out of it but suddenly he started to sprint, talk about exciting. He passed everyone and was almost at the finish line when the German Jan Frodeno sprinted past him and took the gold. What a finish though. One of the best I've seen. Picture taken from the CBC Olympics pages. CBC called it a furious rally. It certainly was. If you would enjoy the video, it is here Matt, right now, is watching gymnastics and I am waiting for the men's 200 metre as I want to see what Bolt does in the finals. Don't know if its this morning or we will see it tonight. I thought I would give you another Chinese recipe. Hot and Sour Soup, which is one of my favourites. The local Mandarins (a chain of restaurants here) does an absolutely wonderful one. I decided to find one on the internet and came across this one which is a heart healthy version from the Heart and Stroke Foundation. I've even included their nutritional information. Obviously I have no idea what this recipe tastes like, I might give it a go later this week.

Chinese Hot and Sour Soup

Chinese hot and sour soupMakes 6 servings

This traditional soup usually contains a lot of salt. Try this low-sodium version at your Chinese New Year celebration.


  • ¼ cup (50 mL) dried shiitaki mushrooms
  • ¼ cup (50 mL) dried oyster mushrooms
  • 2 cups (500 mL) boiling water
  • 8 oz (250 g) uncooked pork tenderloin, cut into thin strips, 2” (5 cm) long
  • 1 cup (250 mL) extra firm tofu, cubed
  • 2 cups (500 mL) sodium reduced chicken stock
  • 4 cups (1 L) water
  • 1 inch cube of fresh ginger root, peeled
  • 1 can (8 oz/227 mL) sliced bamboo shoots, drained and rinsed
  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) sodium-reduced soy sauce
  • ½ tsp (2 mL) Chinese 5 Spice (available in most grocery stores)
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) black pepper
  • 3 green onions, finely sliced
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) sesame oil
  • 2 egg whites
  • ½ tsp (2 mL) chili oil (optional) * this makes it hot


  1. Place dried mushrooms in a small bowl and add 2 cups of boiling water. Let soak for 15 minutes. Remove mushrooms and add the water to the soup pot. Finely dice the mushrooms and add to the soup pot.
  2. Add pork, tofu, stock, water, ginger root, bamboo shoots, vinegar, soy sauce, Chinese 5 Spice and black pepper to the soup pot. Cook over medium heat for 25 minutes.
  3. Reduce heat to low. Discard the ginger root and add the green onions and sesame oil.
  4. Slowly add the egg whites while stirring. Add chili oil (if using) and serve immediately.

Nutritional information per serving (1 ½ cup/375 mL)

  • Calories: 150
  • Protein: 17 g
  • Fat: 6 g
    • Saturated fat: 1 g
    • Dietary cholesterol: 21 mg
  • Carbohydrate: 9 g
    • Dietary fibre: 2 g
  • Sodium: 251 mg
  • Potassium: 388 mg

Developed by Nadine Day. ©The Heart and Stroke Foundation.

Have a great day.


  1. Gee, that storm looks seriously scary, Jo! I don't think I've ever seen as sky anywhere near that dark in my whole life!

    Oh dear, I hope the Chinese aren't on the old Soviet bloc trick of feeding their gymnasts hormone suppressants to make them stay pre-pubescent. (I shouldn't be mean. They are probably just forging their birth certs.)

  2. It was scary. I have just been looking at pictures of Hurricane Katrina (New Orleans) and there were very similar skies. Of course you get a warning with a hurricane.

    The suspicion is that the passports are not genuine, but there doesn't seem to be any way of proving it one way or the other. I didn't remember the hormone suppressants, they could do that too I suppose.

  3. Haven't seen the dragon for the olympics, just the monkey.

    I love watching storms, even though I know they can be dangerous. Same goes for dragons, polar bears, etc. - I love the magnificence, and forget about my own safety. No brain, no sense ... :D

  4. You said it, not me Ru!!!

    Actually the dragon is part of the CBC intro. It is a really good one, genuine Chinese dragon.

    Sounds like you should be a storm chaser. I think they are nuts, but they do get some good information and pictures. The Disney Tornado exhibit in Disney World is the nearest I really want to come to any storms thanks although I have experience a whole bunch of hurricanes in NC.