Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Latest Books, Food Inc., Jonas Bros.
I have to tell you about a delightful story I have just read, it is called The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen. It really was a magical little tale and I am very impressed with it. Matt, who is no reader, decided to buy a Reader's Digest Select Editions (i.e. 4 novels pared down) and this was one of the books. I also read Blue Heaven by C.J. Box and The First Patient by Michael Palmer both of which were very good stories. The fourth book is Dead Heat by both Dick and Felix Francis which I have already read. I have in fact read everything Dick Francis has written. This morning on Good Morning America there was a segment about the food we eat and a new film and book called Food Inc. which tells us all about where our food comes from. The article itself is pretty frightening with the video of Chris Cuomo talking to the producers of the film, I am not sure where one gets hold of the movie but I would like to see it. It is mainly talking about the States, but I think the information is very applicable to Canada and a lot of the rest of the world. They are basically saying the food we eat is unhealthy - there is an excerpt from the book here as well as the video clip. Do at least watch the clip, it will get you thinking. They mention one of my biggest grouses about tomatoes being pretty but tasteless. So much food is mass produced in unnatural conditions which is why a lot of it doesn't taste great. Organic food and produce from local farms is so much better but unfortunately more expensive. As was pointed out, subsidies go to the mass farms and not to the local farmers so people have trouble paying for local food. It is all very horrifying. At least I am doing the right thing by buying local asparagus. By rights, once Tim Barrie's farm has closed for the season, I should NOT buy any more asparagus for a year. I mostly don't but once in a while I get tempted. Maybe not any more. GMA runs summer concerts, this year they are staging them in Central Park which holds a lot of people. On Friday they are featuring the Jonas Brothers. Tickets were available on line and sold out within 9 minutes. I ask you? A very popular group with teenagers. Amazing how many people can take Friday off. Another asparagus recipe from the Ontario Asparagus Growers' Marketing Board. I love egg dishes and if you add asparagus, what better. The picture comes from Barrie's Asparagus farm. It tickled me in the recipe both on line and in the leaflet I have, that Worcestershire Sauce was mis-spelled. North Americans have so much trouble with that word. It is pronounced Wustersheer. Asparagus-Ham-Cheese Strata 1 lb fresh Ontario asparagus, cut into 1 inch diagonal pieces 6 slices bread, lightly buttered 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese 1 cup cooked ham, chopped 5 eggs 2 tbsp instant minced onion 1/2 tsp EACH dry mustard and Worcestershire sauce 1/4 tsp EACH salt and garlic powder Dash cayenne 1-3/4 cups milk Cook asparagus in salted water about 4 minutes. Drain well and blot with paper towels. Trim crusts from bread and fit into a lightly buttered 7 x 11-inch dish. Sprinkle 1-1/4 cups shredded cheese over bread and cover with even layers of ham and cooked asparagus. In a mixing bowl, stir together the eggs, onion, mustard, Worchestershire sauce, salt, garlic powder and cayenne. Add the milk and beat until the mixture is well blended. Pour over layered casserole. Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight. Bake, uncovered, in 350º F oven for 30 minutes. Top with the remaining 3/4 cup shredded cheese. Continue baking for another 10 minutes or until center appears firm when dish is gently shaken. Allow to stand for about 5 minutes before cutting into squares to serve. Yield: 6 to 8 servings Have a great day.