Thursday, April 30, 2009

Voyage of the Courtesans, Rollovers and Spring.

Last night we watched a fascinating programme called Voyage of the Courtesans. Part of Public Television's series called Secrets of the Dead, it detailed the known histories of the ship The Lady Juliana which transported some 200 women to Sydney in 1789 to assist in the establishment of the colony which had been begun a few years earlier. All these women were either thieves, prostitutes or con artists. Their story is absolutely fascinating and they were the saviours of that early colony. If you would like to read the full story and see a video click here and see how the women turned the whole thing around and became successful business women both on the ship and in their new country. Many of the details of their histories have been unearthed by the descendants of these women. One 11 yr old child who was deported on the Lady Juliana died at 84 being the ancestor of 300 people, so was a real pioneer. Funnily enough there is a story in Matt's ancestry of a female (Annie I think) criminal shipped to Australia and who was married to an ancestor of his. She never had children though; her husband didn't get a divorce but lived with another woman for many years until he heard Annie had died - he then married his mistress. I have heard, in the past, that having a criminal in your background has become something of a cachet for Australians. I just heard a frightening statistic, apparently there is a car roll over every hour in the States. Not sure if that applies to Canada as well. They were talking about strengthening the laws regarding how strong the roof of a car is, many are so flimsy that in a roll over they crush easily killing the occupants. I remember someone we knew doing this when we were in Spain many years ago, they were young friends of my parents and we had all been out to dinner and having a few drinks, he had had too many and we tried to stop him driving, even getting his keys and giving them to his wife, unfortunately she gave them back to him. Luckily they ended up with bumps and bruises, but it could have been much worse. The best safety tip on this was "don't get into a rollover". Although the weather isn't very warm or particularly sunny yet, spring has certainly sprung around here. Looking at all the trees at the front of our building, I can see new growth appearing and the grass is now very green once more after being buried under snow for so long. I love that delicate, soft green which appears only at this time of year. There is lots of Forsythia in flower too; on one street when we drive to the store, there are several bushes and it looks so lovely driving past. However, Tim Barrie of Barrie's Asparagus says they need some more warm days before the asparagus will be ready, so I have my fingers crossed for the sun to put in a more regular appearance. We got a new Food and Drink magazine yesterday and there are some good recipes which I will share later, right now, time is somewhat limited as I have a busy day, Travel League bowling this afternoon and then a bowling banquet this evening. However, I got an ezine from Hershey's yesterday and saw a recipe which appealed to me. Easy Butter and Peanut Chip Pie Ingredients:
  • 1 package (3 oz.) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1-2/3 cups (10-oz. pkg.) REESE'S Peanut Butter Chips, divided
  • 2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)
  • 1 cup (1/2 pt.)cold whipping cream, divided
  • 1 packaged chocolate or graham cracker crumb crust (6 oz.)
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions: 1. Beat cream cheese and lemon juice in medium bowl until fluffy, about 2 minutes; set aside. 2. Place 1 cup peanut butter chips and sweetened condensed milk in medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at MEDIUM (50%) 45 seconds; stir. If necessary, microwave an additional 15 seconds at a time, stirring after each heating, until chips are melted and mixture is smooth when stirred. 3. Add warm peanut butter mixture to cream cheese mixture. Beat on medium speed until blended, about 1 minute. Beat 1/2 cup whipping cream in small bowl until stiff; fold into peanut butter mixture. Pour into crust. Cover; refrigerate several hours or overnight until firm. 4. Just before serving, combine remaining 1/2 cup whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla in small bowl. Beat until stiff; spread over filling. Garnish with remaining peanut butter chips. Cover; refrigerate leftover pie. 6 to 8 servings.

Have a great day.

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