Monday, October 20, 2008

Calais, Allergies, Book

I was looking at some pictures on my bedroom wall the other day - you know how you suddenly "see" things which have been there for ever. They are of scenes painted in Paris, France and I was remembering how I bought them. We were in Calais, France at the time and wandering around a market and fairground when I saw them and decided to buy. I had to have them framed and whilst we were waiting I remember riding a chairoplane (I don't suppose there are such things these days, way too tame); the friends I was with were all trying to scare the Bejasus out of me by grabbing my chair from behind. I certainly wouldn't ride on one today, I would be scared the thing would break. The prints were from paintings by, I believe, a fairly well known French artist. Strangely enough, I saw one of them on the wall of a bedroom in a scene in our favourite English comedy "As Time Goes By" and I saw another of them in something else from the UK recently, don't remember what it was. This is one of the pictures and as you can see, I couldn't manage to take it without the flash, it came out black, and with the flash you lose some of the river. But you can see what the picture is about. Well, what a lousy day Sunday turned out to be. As I said, we were going out for a dim sum lunch. About 6 a.m. I started sneezing and snuffling and by the time I got up I had a full blown allergy attack and was feeling pretty rough. At 10 I had a phone call from the friends that we were going with and they were in the same boat. So, no dim sum this weekend. I was told by someone, many years ago, that Ontario was the allergy capital of the world. These days I believe it. I never used to have allergy attacks like this, I used to feel superior to those who did and think it was nonsense. Did I ever get my punishment for that. I forgot to mention I am reading the rest of Marcus Herniman's Trilogy, the one I am reading now is The Treason of Dortrean and it is a good book. It is even signed "To Jo from Marcus" which is really nice to have. I was annoyed I couldn't read last night, but my eyes were streaming so badly I couldn't see. I am still suffering a bit today, but not nearly as much as I was. I thought I might not be able to bowl, but I should be OK by the afternoon. Because I thought we were going out for lunch, I just threw a few things in the crockpot for supper. Lots of veg and some stewing beef with appropriate seasonings. It wasn't bad, Matt enjoyed it, by then I would have enjoyed a plate of carboard as much. Here is another recipe from my Hot and Spicy Cookbook. We get catfish in this part of the world, if you don't get it where you live, I have no doubt you could substitute with other fish. Fried Catfish Fillets with Piquant Sauce Spicty fillets of catfish are fried in a herby batter and served with a wonderfully tasty sauce to create this excellent supper dish. Serves 4 1 egg 1/4 C olive oil squeeze of lemon juice 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh dill 4 catfish fillets (cod or haddock would be good) 1/2 C flour 2 Tbs butter salt and freshly ground black pepper For the sauce: 1 egg yolk 2 Tbs Dijon mustard 2 Tbs white wine vinegar 2 tsp paprika 1 1/4 C olive oil 2 Tbs prepared horseradish 1/2 tsp chopped garlic 1 celery stick, chopped 2 Tbs tomato ketchup 1/2 tsp ground black pepper 1/2 tsp salt. For the sauce, combine the egg yolk, mustard, vinegar and paprika in a mixing bowl. Add the oil in a thin stream, beating vigorously with a wire whisk to blnd in. When the mixture is smooth and thick, beat in all the other sauce ingredients. Cover and chill until ready to serve. Combine the egg, 1 tbs olive oil, the lemon juice, dill and a little salt and pepper in a shallow dish. Beat until well combined. Dip both sides of the fish in the egg and herb mixture, then coat lightly with flour, shaking off any excess. Heat the butter with the remaining olive oil in a large heavy based frying pan. Add the fish and fry until they are golden brown on both sides and cooked, for about 8-10 minutes. To test they are done, insert the point of a sharp knife into the fish - the flesh should be opaque in the centre. Serve the fried fish hot, accompanied by the piquant sauce in a dish. Have a great day.


  1. Shame you're suffering an allergy attack ... must be wretched not to be able to eat or read. :(

    I recognise the painting, but really have no idea now where I would have seeen it.

  2. It is one of three I have by de la Rue. I think he was fairly well known from what I can find out on the net. But the prints do seem to turn up all over the place.