Monday, February 16, 2009

Holidays, Books and Language

Today in Ontario is Family Day which is a relatively new holiday. In fact I hadn't even registered its existence until it was announced that there would be bowling today. Such holidays don't mean a lot to us any more, its just another day. In the States, today is President's Day. On GMA this morning they had Dr. Rosen talking about the aging of Presidents. Its not just that they mostly end up with white hair and wrinkles, but many of them get pretty sick too due to all the stress and the fact that they don't get much in the way of downtime or even family time. They showed a lot of before and after photos and it is quite incredible the appearance changes. It was pointed out that although most Presidents are pretty active, jogging or playing various sports, etc. they don't have a lot of time for friends or even their families. However, he seemed to think Obama would 'sneak' friends in and have a baseball court set up. I must say, I don't know why there is so much desire to be President, I wouldn't want the job. Anyway, to all my North American readers, happy Family/President's Day. Talking of holidays, I hope you all had a good Valentine's Day. We certainly enjoyed our dinner on Saturday night, the recipe for Cuban Pork Tenderloin, which I posted on the 11th, was very good as was everything else we ate starting with the smoked salmon. Mind you smoked salmon is one of the foods I am nuts about. We used to have a local restaurant where the owner smoked his own salmon, he also smoked Arctic Char in the same way. He let me have a taster one time and it was equally as good, if not better, than the Smoked Salmon. Unfortunately, after some 30 years, they closed down a couple of years ago. Horrors, I have run out of books. I am presently doing some re-reading. I haven't had time to go down to the library and although I have several books on hold, they haven't yet come through. When we moved back to Canada from the States, I disposed of hundreds of books and just kept my all time favourites. Mind you that still made a lot of books to carry back. Not to mention all the cookbooks we have. We have 5 large bookshelves absolutely stacked with novels and cookbooks. Quite a few reference books too which include several language dictionaries, Greek and Spanish to name a couple. I also have several language CDs as well. Talking of language CDs, have you come across the language series called Rosetta Stone? Its great. On their website I went through a little demo and found the system extremely easy and efficient. Unfortunatley they are not cheap so I won't be buying them, but I would if I could. Brilliant series. Check them out at there is probably a .com site too. They guarantee you can learn a language in 6 months. From what I saw, I would say you could be very familiar with the language in a lot less time. I have just come across a couple of Chinese type recipes in The Best Four and Five Ingredient Cookbook. I have never cooked ribs because Matt wasn't keen, although recently he has eaten some which are really meaty. His main complaint was its "just chewing bones" which he doesn't like. There is also a good pork chop recipe which I give you below. Chinese Spiced Pork Chops Five-spice powder is a fantastic ingredient for perking up dishes and adding a good depth of flavour. The five different spices - Szechuan pepper, cinnamon, cloves, fennel seeds and star anise - are perfectly balanced, with the aniseed flavour of star anise predominating. Serve the chops with lightly steamed pak choi (bok choy) and plain boiled rice. Serves 4 4 large pork chops about 7 oz. each 1 Tbs Chinese five-spice powder 2 Tbs soy sauce From the store cupboard 2 Tbs garlic infused olive oil Arrange the pork chops in a single layer in a non-metalic roasting pan or baking dish. Sprinkle the five-spice powder over the chops, then drizzle over the soy sauce and garlic infused oil. (Alternatively, mix together the oil, soy sauce and spice powder and pour over the chops) Using your hands, rub the mixture into the meat. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours. Preheat the oven to 160°C/325°F. Uncover the dish and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the pork is cooked through and tender. Serve immediately. Have a great day.


  1. miam ! I like pork chops !
    I've been trying the rosetta demo, it looks quite cool excepting no one is here to correct the pronunciation that is not replaceable ^^

    I don't know really how many shelves of books and music and film we have, as we can't get much more than one shelve in the lounge ^^ they are most of them in boxes !

  2. When you get yourselves a house you will be able to unpack them all and show the world what you read. I am lucky because we live in a big apartment and I have one bedroom which has been turned into an office/computer room/library and anything else you can think of.

  3. Jo --

    That pork chop looks very 'western'. I always think of Chinese food as chopped up ... and quick to eat and even quicker to be hungry again.