Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Technology and Bathrooms.

It always staggers me how much things have changed in the cyber world. Yesterday Worldstart were offering an 8 Gig flash drive for sale. My first computer didn't even have a hard drive so I had one installed which was 500 Mgb; I remember a man coming to work on my PC for some reason and commenting about the new 1 Gig hard drives and being so astounded about them. This was only around 20 years ago. I was re-reading a book which includes a resurrected computer and the system is beginning to sound old fashioned by today's standards and yet the PC was supposed to have been created far into our future. No wireless connections for instance. Whoopee, Stormlord Rising by Glenda Larke (see Tropic Temper, this page) has now been proofed and will soon be on its way to the printers I think. I can't wait. Well I have to, of course, but you know what I mean. Now and again, during the night, if my body knows I need to get up and go to the bathroom, I start dreaming about toilets of all kinds. When I finally woke up the other night after such dreams I began to think about some of the different toilets I have encountered in my lifetime. Not least of which are the French (although not exclusively French I believe) squatter variety which I have come across in some public toilets and which I found very hard to use as a young woman let alone these days. I also remembered a French café we were in one time and being guided to a gulley outside at the back with a piece of sacking across it. I am not sure what happened if one wanted to do something more serious! Conditions of toilets is always a big issue too, especially for a woman. We once were taken to a bar in North Carolina where even Matt wouldn't use the facilities let alone me. I tend to judge restaurants by their washrooms too, if they aren't clean, can you imagine what the kitchens are like? We came across a few horrifying examples in the Dominican Republic although the resort bathrooms were kept spotless. One public convenience had a woman sitting outside handing out a few sheets of toilet paper as you went in. I asked for more. There was an older facility in the area which we went to first by mistake. It had been abandoned but it was revolting. I guess, in the Western World we are very lucky.

Following Eating Well's recommendations for healthy eating, here is another of their recipes. I am not sure I personally would use the hot peppers, I get a little tired of all this spiciness added to dishes these days, it seems you can't turn round without finding spicy dishes. I like spicy, but I think it is being overdone lately.

Pecan-Crusted Chicken From EatingWell: May/June 2007, EatingWell for a Healthy Heart Cookbook

This recipe coats tender chicken breasts with a buttery pecans flavored with spicy chipotle and zesty orange. Serve with a spinach salad. 4 servings

Ingredients •4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, (1-1 1/4 pounds), trimmed (see Tip) •1/2 cup pecan halves or pieces •1/4 cup plain dry breadcrumbs •1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest •1/2 teaspoon salt •1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper, (see Note) •1 large eggwhite •2 tablespoons water •1 tablespoon canola oil, divided

Preparation 1.Working with one piece of chicken at a time, place between sheets of plastic wrap and pound with a meat mallet or heavy skillet until flattened to an even 1/4-inch thickness. 2.Place pecans, breadcrumbs, orange zest, salt and ground chipotle in a food processor and pulse until the pecans are finely ground. Transfer the mixture to a shallow dish. Whisk egg white and water in a shallow dish until combined. Dip each chicken breast in the egg-white mixture, then dredge both sides in the pecan mixture. 3.Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add half the chicken and cook until browned on the outside and no longer pink in the middle, 2 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm. Carefully wipe out the pan with a paper towel and add the remaining oil. Cook the remaining chicken, adjusting the heat as needed to prevent scorching. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Per serving : 281 Calories; 15 g Fat; 2 g Sat; 8 g Mono; 66 mg Cholesterol; 7 g Carbohydrates; 29 g Protein; 2 g Fiber; 430 mg Sodium; 376 mg Potassium 1/2 Carbohydrate Serving Exchanges: 1/2 starch, 4 lean meat, 1/2 fat Tips & Notes •Tip: It can be hard to find individual chicken breasts small enough for our recommended 4-ounce (uncooked) portion size. If yours are closer to 5 ounces each, remove the tender (about 1 ounce) from the underside to get the correct portion size. Wrap and freeze the leftover tenders; when you have gathered enough, use them in a stir-fry, for chicken fingers or in soups. •Note: Chipotle peppers are dried, smoked jalapeño peppers. Ground chipotle can be found in the specialty spice section of most supermarkets. Have a great day


  1. Jo, I am happy to report that the squat toilet has become something of the past here in France, though often ladies and gents still have to share the same conveniences in restos, bistros and the likes. Do you remember the 'vespasien'? - generally called a pissoire - the metal structure in the street which was open both at the top and the bottom so that one could see the head/face and the feet of the guy who was using it?

    By the way,the poshest wc is on the Champs-Elysees (where else? I can ask). One has a choice of scent one wants circulating in the air of one's cubicle, and there is a choice of toilet paper - color, design on it etc.

  2. Yes I do remember the pissoires, always thought they were so funny. I am glad the squatty is disappearing, I hated them.

    As for the one on the Champs-Elysées, height of luxury I guess.