Monday, March 30, 2009
Earth Hour, Ruby Anniversary, A Couple of Rants
Earth Hour was apparently very successful once again. The Phillippines were the best participants apparently and Canada was fifth on the list. I am delighted to hear it although looking out of our windows, there didn't seem to be that many with lights turned out. Maybe we will get them next year. It occurred to me, too late, to run a campaign in our apartment building. Will make a note of that for next year too. Had a delightful afternoon on Sunday, some friends were celebrating their 40th (Ruby) Wedding Anniversary. They had a lot of visitors and everyone seemed to be having fun. Good food, good wine, good folks. Interesting looking at their wedding albums, lovely pictures; how we all change in 40 years! I guess its only 3 1/2 years before Matt and I celebrate our Ruby Wedding Anniversary. Glenda Larke of Tropic Temper (see link this page) was asking about what turns people off about book covers: right now I am thinking what turns me off about books themselves. Basically it is a preponderance of religion or history especially when its invented anyway. The book I am presently reading has a good story if you can find it under all the pseudo religious information and the presence of so many religious leaders all with pseudo titles like biscops and fraters. If I want to read a religious book I will do so, same with a history book. I know some stories need some historical background or their particular religious observances are important to the story, but enough is enough. Endless descriptions of towns which don't exist drive me up the wall too. There again, it can be done properly as part of the story, or it can be very much overdone. I have read lyrical descriptions of towns built by elves which were extremely well done and displayed contrast to human towns, but to go on and on about an area without any real need as far as the story is concerned, is totally unnecessary and can be very boring. Whilst I am complaining, an over abundance of 'foreign language' used to convey the otherness of characters is another thing which irritates me. These things spoil the flow of the story and tend to make one stop reading with a jolt and you then have to get back into the flow. I started by talking about Glenda Larke, her books flow beautifully and having read six of them, I was not brought up with a jerk at any time. I thoroughly enjoyed them all and am looking forward to her next trilogy, currently known as Stormlord Rising. I have another peeve which I was reminded of this morning. Peter, Paul and Mary, the singers, have had to issue a statement that the song Puff the Magic Dragon was about a little boy's (Jackie Paper) transition to adulthood. People have been saying its about drug use - they just have to spoil it don't they? There are a number of things like that, another being the implications read into the relationship of Lewis Carroll with young Alice for whom he wrote the stories Alice in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass. Some people have such nasty minds, or they think they are being clever I suppose. Something slightly different today, another recipe picked up from the LCBO's Food and Drink. These would be good nibbles to serve at a party. I have only tried edamame once and didn't know you were not supposed to eat the pods - no wonder I wasn't so keen. However, I have a number of friends in the UK who rave about them, so I will try them again. Sesame Ginger Edamame These hands-on nibbles are zesty, flavourful and healthy too. Edamame are the whole pods of young soybeans and are often found frozen in health food or Asian grocery stores. The trick to eating them is to use your teeth to squeeze the tender beans out of the pods into your mouth while getting all of the sensation of the seasoning from the outer, inedible pod. Be sure to place an empty bowl beside the serving dish or hand out small plates for the empty pods. 1 lb edamame in the pod (fresh or frozen) 1 Tbs canola oil 1 tsp dark sesame oil 1 tsp packed brown sugar 1 tsp grated ginger 1 Tbs sesame seeds Coarse sea salt or kosher salt. Add edamame to a pot of boiling salted water and return to a boil. Boil for 3 to 4 minutes or until pods are easy to split and beans are tender. Drain and rinse under cold running water. Cover with cold water and let stand, refreshing water as necessary, until beans are chilled. Drain well and spread onto a towel-lined baking sheet. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve, for up to 1 day. Heat canola and sesame oil over medium high heat in a large skillet. Add sugar and ginger and sauté for 30 seconds. Add edamame pods and sesame seeds and sauté for about 5 minutes or until beans are heated through and starting to brown. Sprinkle with salt and serve hot or warm. Serves 6 Have a great day.