Last night there was a telethon on TV (Hope for Haiti) to raise money for Haiti relief. Apparently Canadians coughed up to the tune of $9.4 million which is pretty incredible. Canadians are very good about such things, I remember they donated millions for the tsunami relief a few years ago. The government has already spent millions on shipping supplies to Haiti and is pledging a lot more help. In fact the incredible outpouring of assistance from so many parts of the world is very heartwarming. The problem is, a lot of people are still without water and food - there are many almost insurmountable problems on the ground which prevent distribution. Not least of which is the looting and fighting which is going on. I saw one programme which showed the hospitals of towns along the border in the Dominican Republic which are also overloaded with wounded refugees. Plane loads of orphaned children are being shipped into Canada to be adopted by generous Canadian people. There were a lot of Canadians working in Haiti, some of whom lost their lives in the earthquake. Many were there as ministers to help the Haitian people. I believe the latest total of Canadian deaths was 11 but there are still at least 1,000 unaccounted for. Of course out of 100,000 deaths, maybe 11 isn't that many unless its your child or spouse.
Meanwhile back at the ranch - we went to our usual bowling for Friday afternoon and I spent part of the time organising our team for a tournament which will take place in June. The same team took part last year and we bowled in New Hamburg, this year the bowling will take place at Towne Bowl which is just down the road from us. We have also decided to go to the banquet which, being in town, isn't too far to go. Its on Wabanaki Dr., where on earth did that name come from? I had never heard of it before and had to check it out on a Google Map. As for the bowling itself, I am pleased to say I beat my average in each game, not by a lot, but I was still over. I still have my Executive tournament at the end of February. I do hope it won't decide to start snowing hard again right then. So far we have had a pretty easy winter.
We watched Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles. It wasn't bad although the first movie was the best. Nowadays Susan and he have a youngster who is put into school whilst they are in LA (Los Angeles means Lost Angels according to Dundee) and then Mick Dundee proceeds to have adventures in town. We quite enjoyed the movie. There were some pretty funny scenes but Paul Hogan was looking old and the movie was made in 2001 so goodness knows what he looks like today. Funny, put a similar hat on Matt and he looks just like him. A friend in the States who had such a hat and fancied himself as a look alike was most put out when Matt put the hat on and everyone exclaimed at the likeness.
The guy who works at the bowling alley on Fridays is interested in cooking and he was telling me he had seen a recipe on TV the other day with lamb shanks and apple sauce. I came home and Googled it because it sounded so good. I couldn't seem to find anything similar with apple sauce, but the following has apple cider which sounds pretty good to me. I also found another by Jamie Oliver but it was a tad heavy on chillis for me. Chefs seem to have gone overboard on hot and spicy foods these days. Over here, what I would describe as hot would probably be described as spicy, I find this a tad confusing, so be assured I mean the foods are overly hot as in burn your mouth off.
Michael Smith's Braised Lamb Shanks Michael Smith Chef at Home Ease of Preparation: Easy A recipe is merely words on paper; a guideline, a starting point from which to improvise. It cannot pretend to replace the practiced hand and telling glance of a watchful cook. For that reason feel free to stir your own ideas into this dish. When you cook it once, it becomes yours, so personalize it a bit. Add more of an ingredient you like or less of something you don't like. Try substituting one ingredient for another. Remember words have no flavour, you have to add your own! Yield: 4
Ingredients 4 tablespoons vegetable oil 4 lamb shanks 4 carrots, peeled and chopped 4 celery stalks, chopped 2 onions, peeled and chopped 1 litre apple cider 2 cups raisins 1 tablespoon cinnamon 4 bay leaves 2 crisp apples, cored and chunked Salt and pepper 1 celery rib, sliced 1 carrot, peeled and sliced 1 apple, cored and chunked Directions 1.Heat a heavy bottomed stew pot over medium high heat and add oil. 2.When it begins to smoke, add lamb shanks and brown until they are a deep golden colour on all sides. 3.Remove from pan and rest on a plate. 4.Drain excess fat from pot, then return the shanks to the pot. 5.Add carrots, celery, onions, apple cider, raisins, cinnamon, bay leaves, and the apples. 6.Season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. 7.Cover tightly and braise for 1.5 to 2 hours, until meat is very tender and almost falling off the bone. 8.Add sliced celery, carrot and apple during the last 15 minutes of cooking.