Friday, December 11, 2009

Snow, Crossroads, Bowling and More Snow

We went to Elmira to bowl yesterday with me grumbling the whole way. The roads were not good and the snow was still coming down, the wind was blowing making the snow, already down, fly across the country roads so it was like driving through whiteouts and the windshield wipers got somewhat iced up. We got to the restaurant which is our meeting place and everyone else was there, so we are all nuts. Several of them were shopping in the store attached to the restaurant which is filled with lots of wonderful goodies, particularly for Christmas; very attractive but also very expensive in my opinion. One of our number, another ex pat Englishman, found a tea cosy which he bought. I haven't used one of those in years. In case you don't know, they are for keeping the teapot warm when its full of tea. He apparently has a lady visit him regularly and she loves a cuppa. People are always surprised we don't drink tea, but I drink decaf coffee by the gallon and Matt mostly drinks water. Of course being ex pat English, we do imbibe alcohol now and again!!! I saw some very pretty coffee mugs there with roses all over them. Also some gold balls for the Christmas tree which were very attractive but at $25 each I resisted. For lunch I had soup which tasted OK, but to me soup should be liquid not a virtual stew. I then had a BLT (bacon, lettuce, tomato) sandwich which was chock full of bacon. Matt had a BLT as well. One of the best things we have had at that restaurant Not a place of which we are enamoured, but we are in the minority. They do a buffet which is 'all you can eat' and everyone goes wild. Not our cup of tea (which I have just told you we don't drink anyway *g*), we don't enjoy most of the food available. The owner of the alley was surprised to see us because of the weather, none of his own people had turned up - he figured because they were out of town - and we weren't? However, we enjoyed ourselves although I didn't bowl worth a damn, I had allergies and my nose was alternately running like a tap or causing me to sneeze my head off, so that was my excuse. The owner, Karl, had got us some donuts and muffins; they were from a local store and were very good, well the donut I had and the muffin I took for later both were. The drive home wasn't so bad as it had stopped snowing. However, there was lots more during the night and it still hasn't stopped blowing a gale. We understand that in New York State, south of Buffalo, there were places which got 20 ft of snow, 20 ft. that's unbelievable. They must have ended up like this picture. Traffic was snarled up - I should say so. I think anyone dumb enough to be driving in that kind of snow wanted their heads examined. The plows wouldn't achieve much while it was still coming down. According to Eating Well this following recipe is supposed to be a healthy snack for the holidays. I have left the nutrition information in so you can make up your own mind. In the UK I used to be able to buy pistachios already shelled, never seen them here. Chocolate Bark with Pistachios and Dried Cherries From EatingWell: Fall 2003 With the news that dark chocolate contains some healthful properties, there is a better excuse than ever to indulge during the holiday season. Specks of green pistachios and red dried cherries in this chocolate confection make for a festive holiday gift. About 4 dozen pieces Ingredients * 3/4 cup roasted, shelled pistachios, (3 ounces), coarsely chopped * 3/4 cup dried cherries, or dried cranberries * 1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest * 24 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped, divided Preparation 1. Line the bottom and sides of a jelly-roll pan or baking sheet with foil. (Take care to avoid wrinkles.) Toss pistachios with cherries (or cranberries) in a medium bowl. Divide the mixture in half; stir orange zest into 1 portion. 2. Melt 18 ounces chocolate in a double boiler over hot water. (Alternatively, microwave on low in 30-second bursts.) Stir often with a rubber spatula so it melts evenly. 3. Remove the top pan and wipe dry (or remove the bowl from the microwave). Stir in the remaining 6 ounces chocolate, in 2 additions, until thoroughly melted and smooth. 4. Add the pistachio mixture containing the orange zest to the chocolate; stir to mix well. Working quickly, scrape the chocolate onto the prepared pan, spreading it to an even 1/4-inch thickness with a rubber spatula. Sprinkle the remaining pistachio mixture on top; gently press it into the chocolate with your fingertips. Refrigerate, uncovered, just until set, about 20 minutes. 5. Invert the pan onto a large cutting board. Remove the pan and peel off the foil. Using the tip of a sharp knife, score the chocolate lengthwise with 6 parallel lines. Break bark along the score lines. Break the strips of bark into 2- to 3-inch chunks. Nutrition Per piece : 79 Calories; 5 g Fat; 2 g Sat; 0 g Mono; 0 mg Cholesterol; 11 g Carbohydrates; 1 g Protein; 2 g Fiber; 0 mg Sodium; 26 mg Potassium 1 Carbohydrate Serving Exchanges: 1/2 fruit, 1 fat Tips & Notes * Make Ahead Tip: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Have a great day

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