Monday, June 22, 2009

Fans, etc., Father's Day, Ministry of Food, Foodscapes.

Poor Matt has spent the greater part of the last four days trying to install a ceiling fan. The first fan we bought he got as far as installing the paddles and discovered the fan housing was bent. That was Friday. Saturday he went back and exchanged it and then installed the new fan successfully although with great difficulty. It was not well built and there were screws in such inaccessible spots that he needed a magnetic screwdriver. In the end, he gouged a piece of soap with the screw head and that worked. He also had to re-wire one part which was not threaded through a hole. (He was an electrician many years ago, so knows what he's doing) after all that, it didn't work. Sunday morning he returned it and got a tower fan. Originally there was a light in the bedroom, we saved everything when we put up the first fan, unfortunately that was close to 10 years ago and Matt is not a fit 30 yr old any more - I think he was pretty exhausted by the time he got to the light and so didn't manage it. He has given up and is going to get the super to do it. Some Father's Day. This did not help his feet problems either so today he is in even more pain. However, on Saturday at dinner, Matt gave me a delightfully romantic card with pictures by a Dutch artist Marjolein Bastin, I thought she might be English because one of the pictures includes an English Robin. Question for Mike, are Robins only in the UK or do they spread over Europe? The card was for no special reason, just to say he loved me. Aaaaah. He also called both his daughters so was really happy to talk to them. If you are a dad, I hope you had a good day yesterday. We watched Jamie Oliver's Ministry of Food series last night, I am very impressed with that young man, it's all be costing him a pretty penny. In last night's programme they ended up with his first 10 students learning another recipe then passing it on to 5 more students each who then "passed it on" to more students, this went on all day with workers from different companies around Rotherham ending up with 1,000 people being taught the same recipe. Once they had cooked they got to eat the results and everyone seemed very enthusiastic. Unfortunately, not all the companies ended up backing Jamie's ideas. He has opened a Food Centre in Rotherham which he is hoping the town will take over once he has gone - from what I have read on his web site, these Food Centres seem to be working. If you are interested go to Jamie's Ministry of Food where you can also get some of his "Pass It On" recipes. Another interesting website this morning is Foodscapes by Carl Warner, there is a Daily Telegraph (UK) site with 14 of his pictures made from all kinds of foodstuffs. I am particularly fascinated with this one where the sea is made from salmon click here. Do go look at the other pictures, they are quite incredible. Mind you it does seem a bit of a waste of food. I thought I would share Blueberry Ginger Pie with you from Food and Drink (LCBO) it looks absolutely delicious to me and would make a lovely dessert for my next dinner party perhaps. Blueberry Ginger Pie Ginger goes well with blueberries and this easy pie is a great summer standby. If you do not like ginger, substitute a cookie you prefer or use all shortbread. Pastry 1 cup ginger cookie crumbs 1 cup shortbread cookie crumbs 1/2 cup butter, cut into cubes 2 oz chopped white chocolate melted. Filling 5 cups wild blueberries 1/2 cup granulated sugar (in the UK use caster sugar) 1/2 cup water 1 1/2 tsp grated lemon rind 1/4 cup lemon juice 2 tbs cornstarch (cornflour) 1 tbs water 1 tbs butter 2 tbs crème de cassis Garnish 1 cup shaved white chocolate Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Place cookie crumbs and butter in a food processor and pulse until well combined. Press crumbs into a 9 inch pie or tart pan. Freeze 15 minutes or until firm. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until sides are lightly browned and bottom is not quite set. It sets as it cools. Brush melted white chocolate over cooled crumbs. Combine 2 cups blueberries, sugar, water, lemon rind and juice in a pot over medium heat and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until blueberries are cooked and liquidy. Combine cornstarch and water. Add this and the buter to the pot and bring to boil, stirring. Remove from heat. Add cassis and cool to lukewarm. Fold in remaining blueberries, pile into pie shell. Refrigerate until serving time. Garnish tart with white chocolate shavings before serving. Serves 6. Have a great day.


  1. Robins range right across Europe and down past the Med into North Africa I think. Not the same bird as the US robin though.

  2. Knew you would know the answer, thanks. Yes I knew it was a different critter to the American Robin.

    I was surprised when Gynie posted a picture of a Canada Goose. I wasn't aware they were in Europe either until I googled.

  3. Interesting pictures Hsinchu.

  4. I can never watch anything about food on tv because it makes me too hungry.

    It was Father's Day here in France too on Sunday. Seeing I am not a father it was not something that I celebrated.

    It's not yet been hot enough for me to set up my fans. I have one for every room in my apartment and usually the one in my bedroom goes all night.

  5. Its pretty hot here now, around 29°C today. We have the a/c on in the living room and our new fan on in the bedroom.