Monday, October 12, 2009

Brigadoon, GMA, Bowling, Chicken & Spinach Soup.

First and foremost, let me tell you, I really, really enjoyed Brigadoon. It was very well done and made me cry in the sad scenes. I don't ever remember crying during the film. The tragedy portrayed on the face of the father who lost his son was absolutely heart wrenching. The whole performance was very much better than I expected and I have learnt to expect a lot from the Drayton Festival group. No Matt, it wasn't Gene Kelly et al, but it was still good. On Good Morning America today they interviewed Dr. Sanjay Gupta who has written a book about Cheating Death. Click here to read an excerpt on the web site. One thing which caught my notice, and I was only half listening, was the use of ice in a heart attack situation which, by lowering the temperature, helps the body decrease its requirement for oxygen. Apparently some response teams in the larger cities are now carrying ice. It makes sense I must say. Bowling today and we have some new shirts, guess I need to take a photo of Matt wearing his. They are for the Grand River 5 pin Bowling Association, Waterloo Lanes. We have some nice shirts from our previous bowling house, but as its no longer there, its a bit outdated wearing them although that hasn't stopped us, as I said, they are nice shirts to wear. I just snapped Matt sitting in a chair cleaning our bowling balls. Cooked a turkey yesterday, for Thanksgiving, and I am pleased to report it turned out beautifully. I always agonise over a turkey because I don't do it very often. My bread sauce came out very well even though I had to improvise. The way my mother used to do it was to sweat a small onion, stuck with cloves, in milk for several hours. Eventually, remove the onion and add the breadcrumbs, some butter and some cream. The only breadcrumbs I had were from wholewheat bread which is what we eat (its usually white bread) and I didn't have any cream to use, however, it was just as delicious as always. To me, turkey without bread sauce is as bad as without cranberry would be to most North Americans. A friend even made three kinds of cranberry sauce she said!! Of course, Oktoberfest is well under way this week in Kitchener. They "tap the keg" on Friday and beer flows constantly all week. A lot of people tell us its great fun, but we have also heard lots of adverse reports, so we have never attempted to join in the gem├╝tlichkheit. You won't be able to get a hotel room for miles around this area and the price of a schnitzel has likely doubled in most places. A lot of locals wear dirndls and lederhosen too, to get into the spirit. I thought this looked an interesting soup and might be something I could do with my turkey soup when I have stewed up the bones for a while. Chicken & Spinach Soup with Fresh Pesto From EatingWell: September/October 2009 This fragrant, Italian-flavored soup takes advantage of quick-cooking ingredients—boneless, skinless chicken breast, bagged baby spinach and canned beans. It features a simple homemade basil pesto swirled in at the end to add a fresh herb flavor. If you are very pressed for time, you can substitute 3 to 4 tablespoons of a store-bought basil pesto. 5 servings Ingredients * 2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided * 1/2 cup carrot or diced red bell pepper * 1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 8 ounces), cut into quarters * 1 large clove garlic, minced * 5 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth * 1 1/2 teaspoons dried marjoram * 6 ounces baby spinach, coarsely chopped * 1 15-ounce can cannellini beans or great northern beans, rinsed * 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese * 1/3 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves * Freshly ground pepper to taste * 3/4 cup plain or herbed multigrain croutons for garnish (optional) Preparation 1. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add carrot (or bell pepper) and chicken; cook, turning the chicken and stirring frequently, until the chicken begins to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute more. Stir in broth and marjoram; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes. 2. With a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken pieces to a clean cutting board to cool. Add spinach and beans to the pot and bring to a gentle boil. Cook for 5 minutes to blend the flavors. 3. Combine the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, Parmesan and basil in a food processor (a mini processor works well). Process until a coarse paste forms, adding a little water and scraping down the sides as necessary. 4. Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces. Stir the chicken and pesto into the pot. Season with pepper. Heat until hot. Garnish with croutons, if desired. Have a great day.


  1. So, you did a turkey, Jo. Will you be doing another for Cmas?

    The gov here is trying to get the French to go for first aid lessons. That sounds an interesting book. Will read the extract.

  2. Not sure if I will do a whole turkey or one of the turkey breasts I got in the States. Depends on the price. Couldn't resist this one at 99¢/lb.

    I did a first aid course some years ago and Matt has done several because of his job, not sure if either of us would be any good these days. One thing always have aspirin on hand for a possible heart attack.