Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Winter? Pie Makers and Tigers.

Sadly the snow had just about disappeared by the time I had eaten breakfast yesterday. This morning all we got was a heavy frost. I have heard talk of flurries but nothing about a real snowfall yet. Amazing isn't it? This time last year we were up to our eyes in the white stuff. This morning, on Joe Barkson's World Wide Recipes, there was mention of a gadget they called a Mountain Pie Maker, I call them toasted sandwich makers, but it reminded me I have one which my parents bought in 1956 at the Britain Can Make It exhibition in London. I have bought others since, none of them work nearly as well as my original one which makes perfect sandwiches. Our favourites were always eggs, or cheese and onion - you lay in a couple of slices of bread, buttered side out, drop an egg in the middle of one slice or a slice of cheese and some sliced onion, season it and then close the gadget. The crusts will get cut off as you close it. You then put it over a heat source, a camp fire is great, but they work on the stove too, turning it occasionally until its done - no I don't remember how long, depends how hot your heat source is I guess. I just open mine occasionally to check. Once done, they are really delicious. Talking about it makes me feel hungry for one, I will have to roust mine out and make some. I think the last time we used them was in North Carolina over the fire in the back yard; we often had such fires and would sit for ages gazing dreamily into the flames whilst toasting our sandwiches. Apparently sell these gadgets for around $20. I assume you have heard all the hoo ha about Tiger Woods' accident the other day. Nobody knows what happened and the Woods themselves decline to say, however, he has been charged with dangerous driving. Sounds very odd to me and Matt and I have been making all kinds of speculations about it, the papparazzi have certainly come up with a number of stories about the whole thing. I used to pooh pooh them until they started with the stories about Diana and Charles which I thought was malicious gossip and subsequently turned out to be true, so I am not sure how much truth there is in what they are currently saying about Tiger. I do hope his marriage isn't in trouble, but it does seem people who become rich and famous end up doing the stupidest things. Maybe everybody does them, but most of us are not in the limelight. There is a video on GMA of Tiger's alleged mistress arriving at LA and being hounded by the press. Poor woman. Went to Sobeys, one of our local supermarkets, yesterday and ordered the leg of pork roast I want to cook on Boxing Day (December 26th if you are not Canadian or British) for friends. In some ways, I wish this store was nearer as they sell one or two things we cannot get at Zehrs, our usual store. One of them, I have mentioned before, is Borgonzola cheese. No that is not a mis-spelling. There is a cheese made in Germany called Carambazola and Borgonzola is a Canadian copy. We prefer it and can only get it at Sobeys so when we go there we usually indulge ourselves. We also happened to see some Lindt Truffles which we couldn't resist. Matt won't let me open those til closer to Christmas. As I told him though, you eat these things leading up to Christmas, not after the holiday. I also bought him a bottle of Strega an Italian liqueur which is one of his favourites. His main present was the kimono which I bought him earlier in the year, but I wanted him to have something for 'the day'. Of course with my new laptop (new I've had it since September!!) I am told I have had it for presents for the next 10 years - we shall see. Eating Well have come up with some easily prepared shrimp recipes and this is one of them. I have never understood why people need to eat bread of any kind with pasta though. However, if that's what you are used to.... Linguine with Escarole and Shrimp From EatingWell: January/February 2008 Lots of tangy lemon, fresh tomatoes, escarole and shrimp create an incredible sauce for whole-wheat pasta. Serve with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc and whole-grain bread. 6 servings Ingredients * 8 ounces whole-wheat linguine * 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided * 1 pound peeled and deveined raw shrimp, (16-20 per pound) * 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided * 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, plus more to taste * 2 tablespoons minced garlic * 1/2 cup white wine * 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved * 16 cups thinly sliced escarole, (2-3 heads) or chard leaves * 1/4 cup clam juice, or water (see Shopping Tip) * 1 teaspoon cornstarch * 1 tablespoon lemon juice * 6 lemon wedges, for garnish Preparation 1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook linguine until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes or according to package directions. 2. Meanwhile, heat 3 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shrimp, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook until pink and curled, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate. 3. Add garlic and the remaining 1 teaspoon oil to the pan and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add wine and cook until reduced by half, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes. Add escarole (or chard) in handfuls, stirring until it wilts before adding more; cook, stirring occasionally, until the greens are tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Whisk clam juice (or water) and cornstarch in a small bowl then add to the pan; simmer until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Return the shrimp and any accumulated juices to the pan, add lemon juice, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper and cook until heated through, about 1 minute. 4. Drain the linguine and return it to the pot. Add the sauce; toss to coat. Serve with lemon wedges. Tips & Notes * Shopping Tip: Some bottled clam juices are very high in sodium, so salt the recipe accordingly. We like the Bar Harbor brand (120 mg sodium per 2-ounce serving). Look for it with the canned fish or in the seafood department of your supermarket. Have a great day.


  1. Yep, there is much speculation about the Tiger Woods marriage. He should rather come out and say what had happened, but then also, it is his business and not ours, though having no private life is the curse of fame.

    I am sure that few women would be back in the kitchen on Boxing Day if they'd been in there for most of Christmas Day. But I know, Jo, that you love cooking.

  2. And of course, we both cook so I will not be alone. There won't be so much cooking on Christmas Day as there are just the two of us. We have invited a friend for Christmas Eve though.

  3. Forgot to say that the sandwich maker looks like the kind of thing I could do with. Though it does rather look like the scoop that our street sweepers use to pick up doggie poo.

  4. The sandwich maker is great.

    As for doggie poo, that's one thing we really have over Europe, if you walk your dog you have to take a plastic bag with you to pick up the dog's leavings. Its very rare to see doggie poo on the streets or sidewalks which is a very good thing.