Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Tournament, Reality TV, Flight 447,

I am not sure, but there may not be a blog from me in the morning as we are bowling in New Hamburg at 9:30 a.m. in the Senior Summer Games tournament (a good distance away) we have to check in about 9 a.m. which means we will be getting up pretty early for us. Not that we are slugabeds but even so, we don't usually get up at 6 a.m. Keep your fingers crossed for us. Maybe, despite our recent record of not bowling very well, we will be able to pull something out of the bag tomorrow morning. There seems to be a lot of controversy, particularly in Britain, about Susan Boyle and whether or not she should have been allowed to perform at the finals - I think that would really have upset the poor woman. Not to mention whether the show producers gave her enough emotional support. Marilyn of French Marilyn's Blog (see link this page) steered me to an article in Britain's Daily Mail on line click here to read which details the whole situation. I don't think its the fault of the show that their participants can't handle the pressure it is more the fault of the media in general for applying such unbearable pressure. As I said a couple of days ago, they already killed a princess. I personally feel very sorry for Susan Boyle who, coming from a small Scottish village, would never have been exposed to anything remotely like this. I do hope she manages to feel well enough to go on and make her record deals. I guess we are all contributing to the pressure by writing about her although somehow, I don't think Susan will be reading my little blog. Coincidentally, or maybe not, there was a programme on TV last night about Paul Potts who won a couple of years ago and went through the same kind of pressures. He appears to have handled it OK, but maybe he was better adjusted. Since he won, he has met the Queen and Britain's Prime Minister who presented him with a 2 million record plaque and gave him a cuppa. He has travelled all over the world and been #1 on the charts of many countries. It may help that he has the support of a wife although Susan Boyle does have brothers to support her. On the programme we saw, I got the impression Paul is thoroughly enjoying his fame and fortune although he has some very strong opponents in the opera critic field who say he wouldn't get past the first interview with Covent Garden or La Scala. Maybe not but he is still introducing operatic songs to the masses much as Russell Watson did a year or two ago. A lot of people are listening to music which would never have come their way without people like these two. Not much news on the missing plane today, I am not sure how they are going to find out what happened as where they think it went down it is extremely deep water - I don't know if they will go as far as sending down deep diving machines to try and locate the wreckage. Some of it will eventually float of course. There are all kinds of people with all kinds of theories as to what may have happened but no-one really knows. I must say, some of the speculations as to what happened make you wonder about flying again. Nobody, so far, has thought there could have been a bomb. I wonder why this has not come into the equations so far. If they do find any wreckage, it will take a year or two before they can piece together any kind of a result. I don't know if you realise, but I like chocolate *g* I also like meringues, so when I saw the following recipe in Eating Well, I couldn't resist it. I haven't made these yet, but I will. They are not to high in calories either although they do, of course, contain sugar. Dark Chocolate Meringue Drops Makes about 40 (2-inch) cookies 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate (60-75% cacao), divided 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process), sifted after measuring if lumpy 3 tablespoons cocoa nibs (see Shopping Tip), optional ⅓ cup egg whites (about 3 large), at room temperature ½ teaspoon cream of tartar ½ cup sugar, divided (use 1 ½ teaspoons less if cocoa nibs are omitted) ½ teaspoon vanilla extract 1. Position racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and coat the paper with cooking spray. 2. Coarsely chop 3 ounces of chocolate and place it in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on Medium for 1 minute. Stir, then continue microwaving on Medium, stirring every 20 seconds, until mostly melted. Stir until the remaining chocolate melts completely. 3. Chop the remaining 2 ounces chocolate into pieces the size of mini chocolate chips. Combine in a small bowl with cocoa and cocoa nibs (if using). 4. Combine egg whites and cream of tartar in a clean medium mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on low for 30 seconds, then at medium speed until soft peaks start to form. Immediately add about 2 tablespoons sugar; beat for 1 minute. Slowly, about a tablespoon at a time, add the remaining sugar, then vanilla, continuing to beat on medium speed until the mixture is smooth, opaque, glossy and thickened, about 2 minutes longer. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, raise the speed to high, and beat for 30 seconds more. Lightly fold in the chocolate-cocoa mixture and the melted chocolate just until evenly incorporated and no streaks remain; do not overmix. Immediately drop the batter by rounded teaspoonfuls about 1 inch apart onto the prepared baking sheets. 5. Bake the cookies, switching the pans back to front and top to bottom halfway through, until just firm when gently pressed on top but still soft inside, 8 to 12 minutes. Transfer the pans to wire racks and let stand for 1 to 2 minutes. Then slide the paper from the pans to a flat surface and let the cookies cool completely, about 15 minutes. Gently lift the cookies from the parchment paper using a wide-bladed spatula. Tips These are best enjoyed fresh, but can be stored flat with wax paper between layers in an airtight container for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 weeks. Thaw before serving. Tip: If you add the optional cocoa nibs to the batter, the flavor-texture combination will be even more interesting and complex. Nibs, which are bits of roasted and hulled cocoa beans, are crunchy and have a pure (unsweetened) chocolate taste. Some brands of nibs are coarser than others. For these cookies, the nibs should be the size of finely chopped nuts. If necessary, simply chop them to obtain the right consistency. Have a great day.


  1. Oh,you giving us this recipe is absolutely wicked of you, Jo!

    Yes, the media should control itself. Now whether they killed Diana, now there I will not agree with you.

    But you're right about the plane, we won't know (if ever) what went wrong. As I wrote on my comment that got itself lost, Air France's previous crash was the Concorde at Charles de Gaulle airport 9 years ago. So the airline has a good reputation. May you remember when this was not so and Air France was called Air Chance?

  2. No I can't say I do remember Air Chance. I haven't flown on French airplanes for many a long year, not since I was around 18 or so, and I don't remember what they were like then or even if I flew on French or British planes.

    Trouble is, the media don't control themselves do they?