Friday, November 14, 2008

Black Squirrels, Movies,

Black Squirrels have always appealed to me and I love to see them scampering around. I decided to write about them and of course looked them up on Google, I now discover that they are basically the same as a grey squirrel but with extra pigmentation which turns them black, rather like no pigmentation would turn them white. I had always assumed, wrongly it turns out, that they were more or less exclusive to Canada, but they appear to be around the whole of the North American continent. I haven't seen them anywhere else, we certainly didn't see them in North Carolina. If you would like to read what Wikipedia has to say click here As you can see, there are also white squirrels, I think they are few and far between though, I certainly have never seen those. I guess they would be pretty in their own way as the black ones are. Much more attractive than the grey.

Last night I watched Kung Fu Panda, Matt disappeared, but I enjoyed it. I found the first bit a little silly, but once I got into the film, I liked it. As Matt will tell you, he thinks I am a big kid anyway. The film was PG rated mind you. This morning on TV we saw yet another segment about the new movie Australia which looks like it is going to be an absolutely superb film. The snippet they showed us this morning had me in tears as it was about a young man who said he wasn't "a black fella or a white fella" being, as we would call it, a half cast. There is a lot in the story about such youngsters being taken away from the people who loved them. He used a very aboriginal phrase "I will sing you to me". It stars Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman, both Australians and apparently conveys the story of the country and their love for it. I really want to see the movie when I get the chance as it sounds absolutely wonderful. Another movie talked about this morning was Bolt, John Travolta, who plays the main part, was interviewed and was very funny. It is an animated film and Bolt is a little white dog. Another movie I shall be sure to see. especially after the excerpt they showed which was funny. You should have heard John Travolta barking. He was very good at it. He had everyone laughing. He also told us he is in high credit with his daughter because he sang a song with Miley Cyrus who is, of course, all the rage with the youngsters today.

I was talking about the Food and Drink magazine yesterday and will share their recipe for Devilled Eggs. Most of the devilled eggs one comes across don't really seem to be devilled at all, they should be fiery to the taste along with anything else which is devilled, that's what it means after all. This recipe looks as though it might be good and spicy hot, depending on how much wasabi you use of course.

Devilled Eggs

Devilled eggs are a favourite for many people. These eggs have a slightly Japanese undertone and the cucumber salad that accompanies them also has an Asian feel. Blanching the cucumbers gives them a vivid colour that they do not lose as they sit. Older eggs peel better than really fresh ones. Try peeling under cold running water if you are having problems with the white tearing.

6 eggs
1/2 tsp Wasabi paste or to taste (go on be a devil)
1 Tbs finely chopped pickled ginger
2 Tbs chopped chives
salt and freshly ground pepper

1 Seedless (English) Cucumber, thinly sliced (preferably using a mandolin as shown in the picture)
1 Tbs soy sauce
2 Tbs seasoned rice vinegar
1 Tbs sugar
1/2 tsp wasabi paste
2 Tbs chopped chives

 Place eggs in a pot of cold salted water. Bring to a boil and boil for 2 minutes. Remove pot from heat, cover and let sit for 10 minutes. Drain and run eggs under cold water to cool. Peel. Cut eggs in half lengthwise. Carefully scoop yolk into a small bowl, reserving the whites on a plate. Mash yolks with a fork, stir in mayonnaise, wasabi, ginger and chives. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Place yolk mix in a piping bag and pipe filling back into whites, or spoon them in. Cover and chill until ready to serve. Bring a pot of water to boil. Add cucumbers, bring back to a boil and drain at once. Run cucumbers under cold water to stop the cooking and maintain the colour. Leave cucumber to sit in strainer for 30 minutes, then blot with paper towel to remove moisture and place in a bowl. Stir soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar and wasabi together in a bowl. Pour mixture over the cucumber and toss to coat. Place cucumbers on a platter or divide between individual serving plates and top with eggs. Sprinkle with chives. Serves 4 to 6.

 Have a great day.


  1. When I was in Thailand in the mid-nineties, the hotel I stayed at had a little black and white animal in a cage on the desk. I didn't know what it was and when I asked, the girl told me it was a "schooler". It took me a while to realise she was trying to say "squirrel"! Indeed, having seen only red and grey squirrels before, and that not for forty-five years, I would not have recognised it as a squirrel at all.

    When I went to live in America, though, I saw squirrels a-plenty:-) And, of course, chipmunks.

  2. Yes, we do get lots of the little perishers here. We once chopped a branch off a tree (in NC) to prevent one doing a huge jump onto our bird feeder. Matt wanted to catch it and enter it into the Olympics. It really was a stupendous jump. Never heard of black and white ones though and red are few and far between unfortunately.

  3. Yes, when I was in England last year I saw a few squirrels and they were nearly all grey. They seem to interbreed as some of the grey ones had some reddish blotches, but maybe that's natural to the grey ones as I think I saw some like that in America, and as AFAIK they don't have red squirrels there.

  4. I love squirrels too ^^ I used to watch them and dream about them when a kid, as they were very acrobatics in the very high pine trees.

    I disagree with you about the film Australia, i'm disliking already the teasers as it is supposed staring everything i dislike, but let's see the film may be ^^

  5. No, Satima, as far as I know there aren't any reds here. I understood, years ago, that the grey squirrel was killing off the red squirrel, not sure how true that is.

    Matt, who never goes to the movies, has agreed to come see Australia with me, so he too thinks it is going to be marvellous. We shall see, I hope you enjoy it when you see it Gynie.