Saturday, September 5, 2009

More About Elephants, Latest Book.

Last year, I think, I read Water for Elephants, which was a great book. A major part of the story was that the elephant had killed one of her trainers who was cruel to her. This morning there was a news story about Pittsburg zoo having hired a horse trainer to teach them to train elephants with kindness instead of making the elephants fear the trainers. They had a trainer stomped on by one of the elephants. I must say, I didn't know any elephant trainers used cruelty any more, I thought people in the animal training business had all "wised up". Naive of me I guess. You can view the video on GMA Weekend here together with some lovely pictures from Pittsburg Zoo. I wrote before about the breeding programme at Rockton African Lion Safari in Ontario, not that far from us. In fact Matt worked security there for a while a few years ago. I asked him about it and he says the elephants all appeared happy and got on well with their handlers there. This is a not very clear picture of the elephants at Rockton going for their twice daily swim. If you would like to know more about African Lion Safari click here we have enjoyed going there ever since we emigrated to Canada, its a great place to visit and they have one of the best elephant breeding programmes in the world. I know I mentioned Dollie the sheep dog who herds the elephants and lives in the barn with them. Matt made great friends with her. I have just finished reading The Prodigal Mage by Karen Miller. I didn't think it was as good as the original books in the Kingmaker, Kingbreaker Series there was too much fratching; if you don't know what that means, read the book. Nevertheless I am chomping at the bit for the next book which she hasn't even started, unfortunately. Karen is an incredibly prolific writer and last year wrote 5 books, don't know how many she has achieved this year - among them are a number of Star Wars books plus another trilogy which she is working on at the moment, Witches Inc being the next in that series. Hard to keep up with her. I love Crêpes whether they are for dessert or savoury. This is a really nice sounding recipe from Eating Well. Summer Vegetable Crêpes From EatingWell: July/August 2008 Crêpes aren't just for dessert—they make a quick and savory weeknight dinner. Here they're filled with ricotta cheese, green beans, zucchini and corn and topped with a chive-cream sauce. Don't skip the step of placing a piece of parchment or wax paper under each crêpe as you fill it—without it, the crêpes are tricky to roll. Serve with: A tossed salad. 4 servings 1/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream 1/2 cup chopped fresh chives, divided, plus more for garnish 3 tablespoons low-fat milk 2 teaspoons lemon juice 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 2 cups chopped zucchini 1 1/4 cups chopped green beans 1 cup fresh corn kernels, (from 1 large ear; see Tip) 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper 4 9-inch “ready-to-use” crêpes, (see Tip) Preparation 1. Stir sour cream, 1/4 cup chives, milk, lemon juice and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl until combined. Set aside. 2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add zucchini, green beans and corn and cook, stirring, until beginning to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Reduce heat to low; stir in ricotta, Monterey Jack, the remaining 1/4 cup chives, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Cook, stirring gently, until the cheese is melted, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. 3. To roll crêpes, place one on a piece of parchment or wax paper (or leave it on the piece of plastic separating the crêpes in the package). Spoon one-fourth of the vegetable-cheese mixture (about 3/4 cup) down the center of the crêpe. Use the paper (or plastic) to help you gently roll the crêpe around the filling. Place the crêpe seam-side down on a dinner plate. Repeat with the remaining crêpes and filling. Serve each crêpe topped with 2 tablespoons of the reserved sauce and more chives, if desired. * Tips: To remove kernels, stand a cob on its stem end in a bowl and slice them off with a sharp, thin-bladed knife. * “Ready-to-use” crèpes are fast and convenient. Look for them in the produce section of the market or near refrigerated tortillas. Have a great weekend.

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