Monday, October 27, 2008
Books and Time, the Blind and the Overweight
Saturday I got hold of the latest book by Dick Francis who is one of my favourites. Matt says his stories are same ol' same ol' and in some ways that's true I guess, but I still enjoy them. I started the book at lunchtime and finished it before I went to bed. This time he is writing in conjunction with his son Felix Francis. Apparently Felix has assisted before, but is now co-writing. From the picture on the back inside cover, Dick is now using a cane, so, like the rest of us, he is getting older. The title comes from the silks jockeys wear when riding and the silks worn by Queen's Councillors (Barristers). If you like his books, it is a good read. Next I am going to read The Riven Kingdom by Karen Miller, I read the first book, Empress of Mijak and ended up absolutely hating the main protagonist, Hekat, but I am told, by Karen herself, that this book is quite different. Presumably Hekat will be dealt with in the third book of the trilogy. This current book had a good review in Specusphere read here which is a good source for information on current spec fic. if you are interested in the genre, I recommend Specusphere to you. I am now over half way through this book and Karen has introduced another very nasty character, she had better make sure they both get dealt with in the last book which I think is called Hammer of God. Something I was thinking about over the weekend was Time. How it rules our lives. I used to know a woman who always took off her watch when she went on vacation, I don't think I could do that, I wake up in the morning and the first thing I do is look at the clock before I decide whether to get up or try and go back to sleep. I can't make that decision without knowing what time it is!! Surely once you are wide awake you should get up otherwise you would still be asleep anyway. Primitive man was guided by the light, but our lives are only guided by what time it is. Yesterday I went to visit a woman who lives on our corridor, she is totally blind and has been all her life. She is incredible, she used to sing professionally and still sings in church. She lives alone and does a lot of caring for the sick and elderly (she is not young herself). She also visits old folks' homes to tell those who are becoming blind how to manage. When I told her I wrote this blog with recipes, she gave me a quick recipe. Take an instant Angel Food cake and a can of pineapple. Mix together and bake. Then top with Cool Whip. It amazes me she can do things like that. She has been married and did most of the cooking. Not only that, in his later life she used to pull her husband's golf cart for him. Marvellous woman. It makes me wonder what I complain about. A story I saw on the news this morning was of a couple, in Mexico, getting married, he used to be the heaviest man in the world at 1,200 lbs. However, since the love of his fiancée changed his life he has lost 500 lbs. He still travelled in his bed to church, the bed was carried to the wedding on a flat bed truck. However, he planned to stand up in church. Didn't say if he made it. What I often wonder, who keeps these people? They are unable to get out of bed, or obviously earn a living, so someone else has to buy their food and supply all their daily needs. Who pays for all this? I sure wouldn't. Here's a recipe we have enjoyed from Readers Digest's Great Recipes for Good Health. One thing about giving you recipes from Readers Digest books, they have been used so much the pages are loose which makes it really easy to scan the pictures. Chicken with Snow Peas and Peanut Sauce Serves 4 1/2 lb fresh snow peas, trimmed 1 Tbs peanut butter 2 Tbs reduced sodium soy sauce 1 Tbs cider vinegar 1 tsp sesame or peanut oil 1/2 tsp minced fresh ginger or 1/4 tsp ground ginger (doesn't tast the same) 1 clove garlic, minced 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper or to taste 2 cups cooked chicken cut into matchstick strips 1/2 cup sliced radishes 1/2 cup sliced water chestnuts 2 Tbs sliced green onion In a large saucepan, cook the snow peas in boiling unsalted water for 3 minutes or until the peas are tender but still crisp. Drain and arrange attractively on a medium sized platter. In a large bowl, whisk the peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar and sesame oil until smooth. Stir in the ginger, garlic and cayenne pepper. Add the chicken, radishes and waterchestnuts. Toss lightly to mix. Spoon the chicken mixture over the snow peas and sprinkle with the green onions. Have a great day.