Monday, March 2, 2009
Aging, Catch That Wave, Nor' Easter
I have been pondering about age lately; it is staggering to me when people in their 40s and 50s talk about their ages with such distress. Today, age is nothing, other than a state of mind. Around a 100 years ago, you could figure on your life nearing its end at that kind of age, but not today. There is so much better health care and we know how to look after ourselves too. There is no longer any need to retire if you don't want to and if you do, there is such a lot out there for one to do. Not all of it cost prohibitive. When we first came to Canada and then visited in the States, we were particularly struck by the much healthier attitude of older people here than we had seen in the UK. There's a lot of senior citizens around thoroughly enjoying themselves and projecting a very positive image. I have written before about longevity and the increasing numbers of people living into their 100s nowadays. We have a good friend in his 80s who is out on the golf course all the time, another woman at our bowling group who is 93 and who bowls twice a week, plays table tennis and line dances. She also drives. There is a man on our own team who is 90 and has just passed his driving test again. Every one of us on the Monday Seniors league is just that, a senior. We are a minimum of 55 with the oldest at 93 as I just said. Most are in the 60's to 80's range. On Good Morning America today, they interviewed a photographer who lies around in the water and takes incredible photos inside waves. Unfortunately there is nothing on the web site at the moment but the photos were really fantastic. He has a camera which takes 9 shots a second which has enabled him to get some wonderful pictures. Some of his pictures taken at dawn or sunset turn the water to all kinds of wonderful shades of red and orange. Really something to see. The East Coast is being hammered at the moment by a Nor' Easter which is bearing snow. It is, apparently, quite a storm. On the news there were pictures of Boston, Mass. with lots of snow in the streets and people having difficulty moving around. Nor' Easters aren't funny at any time, but they don't always have snow. This one is travelling up the coast and dropping snow as it goes. I don't think we will get much effect as we are pretty well inland but on the other hand Buffalo has received snow today and they are just south of us. Boone, NC has 4 inches of snow and that is pretty well inland too. To read the report click here and watch the video too. I had my regular email from Mushrooms Canada yesterday and it included this recipe which I thought looked particularly good. I especially liked the rice paper wrappers which I enjoy. Crunchy Peanut & Mushroom Spring Rolls Recipe featured in March 2008 Right Choice Recipe Booklet www.canadianliving.com. 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts 2 2 cups fresh Shiitake Mushrooms 500 mL 1 tbsp margarine 15 mL 2 tsp minced fresh gingerroot 10 mL 2 cloves garlic, minced 2 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper 2 mL 3/4 cup chopped unsalted peanuts 175 mL 16 rice paper wrappers 16 (8 ½ in/21 cm diameter) 3 cups lightly packed baby spinach 750 mL or spring mix 1½ cups shredded carrots 375 mL plum sauce 1. Slice the chicken crosswise into very thin strips. Slice mushroom caps and discard stems. In a nonstick skillet, melt margarine over high heat; cook chicken and mushrooms, stirring, until browned. Stir in ginger, garlic, salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium; cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink inside. Let cool and stir in peanuts. 2. Dip each rice paper wrapper into warm water for 20 seconds or until pliable. Lay flat on a clean, damp towel. Place a band of the chicken mixture in the centre of the upper two-thirds of each wrapper. Top with an even amount of greens and carrots. Fold up bottom of wrapper over the filling; starting at one side, roll up tightly, leaving the remaining end open. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Serve with plum sauce for dipping. Makes 16 spring rolls.