Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Queen, Missing, $15 Challenge

Matt just came to me and said "The Queen is 83 today if you want to put it into your blog" so here you are. Today is her real birthday although her official birthday is in June. Probably too damned cold to troop the colours in April. It is also my cousin's birthday today. I can remember staying with them in 1952 on the morning of April 21 and hearing the anthem being played for the queen's birthday, for the first time and my cousins trying to convince me that it was being played for them. I wasn't that dumb a 14 yr. old although I am sure my cousins thought I was. To me they were muuuuch older. Missing children are very much in the news at the moment, although the body of the little girl, Sandra Cantu, in California was found. Linda Huckaby, a Sunday School Teacher, has been charged with the crime. It now appears that something similar happened to another little girl in the same vicinity a couple of months ago although no-one was ever charged with anything, they think it was Huckaby. That child came home safely. There is another little girl missing closer to home and so far there are no clues whatsoever as to what has happened to her. This time it is 8 yr old Victoria "Tori" Stafford who is missing from the Woodstock vicinity after having been seen on a video accompanying an unknown woman. There have been flyers and emails distributed about her, but so far absolutely nothing apart from thousands of leads which have all been useless to date. What the parents are going through I cannot imagine. I mentioned last week that top chefs were going to be challenged to produce a dinner for four from $15 worth of groceries. Yesterday it was Mario Batali and today it was Emeril Lagasse. The recipes they produced can all be found on the GMA website - this is the list of ingredients Sam Champion bought for Emeril
  • Fresh spinach
  • Red tomatoes on the vine
  • Yellow onions
  • Empire apples
  • Dry black beans
  • Dry pinto beans
  • Creme fraiche
  • Someone twittered to say how could you cook dry beans without soaking, which was my question too, but Emeril explains how to quick cook beans. As the chefs are working, they have someone there writing down the recipes as they go along. Each chef is also provided with a pantry and it seems a lot of use is being made of said pantry. This morning we got black bean soup, what looked like a south western bean salad and an apple bread pudding. There was lots of joking because Emeril had been given no meat of any kind. Jack Hanna, the Director Emeritus from the Columbia Zoo had rabbits with him today and someone joked that Emeril was after them for his meal. The recipes are not actually up for today yet. In fact I can't find the recipes for yesterday either. I know Mario made his white grape juice into a sangria and made a risotto with the chicken and rice which Diane bought. Maybe they will have all the recipes at the end of the challenge. I know there are people who don't enjoy cold soups, I happen to love them, even if its only opening a can of beef Consommé which has been in the fridge and got jellied. I always keep 4 cans as I love it. Once upon a time the only soup around seemed to be Vichysoisse, but these days you see more and more recipes for cold soup. When we were in David's the other day I picked up a booklet from them which included a recipe for Cool Cucumber Soup which came from the Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers web site. Cool Cucumber Soup Serves 6 This soup is simple to prepare and the ingredients are very easy to find year-round. Recommended with a glass of white wine. 4 Ontario Greenhouse seedless cucumbers 1 medium onion 1 small clove of garlic 1/2 Cup fresh parsley, stems removed 2 drops Worcestershire sauce Dash of lemon juice 1 Tbs each, thyme and oregano 2 Cups sour cream salt and pepper to taste In a blender or food processor, combine the cucumbers, onion, garlic and parsley in small batches. (Hint: pre-chopping makes the first 3 ingredients blend better). Add Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, herbs and sour cream. Purée and add salt and pepper to taste. Chill before serving. Garnish with a few chopped chives, parsley and/or a slice of lemon or cucumber. Have a great day.


    1. Happy birthday to the Queen then. I think she looks good for her age, although the Duke is rather worse for wear lately.

    2. Yes, he does look the worse for wear doesn't he. However it seems the women of the family wear very well, look at her mum.