Monday, February 22, 2010

Books, Library, Roast Beef and Lapland.

Not having the best memory in the world any more, I can't remember if I told you about the short story I read the other day by Tanya Huff called Nothing Better to Do which was one of the funniest tales I have read in a long time. I had previously not read anything by this author so I am busy getting hold of her books. I just finished one called Stealing Magic which was a collection of tales about a wizard and a thief. The wizard stories were priceless with a young woman, Magdalene, who is the "best wizard in the world" just living quite casually and refusing to wear wizard robes but nevertheless doing all kinds of incredible things as well as taking to bed all the handsome men she comes across in her many years of living. I loved these stories. The ones about the thief, Terazin, were also enjoyable but I loved Magdalene more. I just saw a review which called the stories charming and funny which is a very apt description. Turns out Tanya Huff is a Canadian author, I wonder why I haven't come across her before?
For my treadmill walking, I have a new set of CDs from The Cat Who series, this time The Cat Who Ate Danish Modern and I have just started book six of the Codex Alera series by Jim Butcher. I have been very much enjoying these stories along with his Harry Dresden tales. The book I am now reading is called First Lord's Fury and from what I have read so far, appears to be up to par with all his previous books in this series. I am glad I started writing about this because I have just discovered another Harry Dresden book I haven't read, Changes. I am now on the list to get it from the library.
I having nothing but praise for the local library system. They really do make a terrific effort to get what I am asking for if they don't happen to have it in house. They do inter-library loans and will occasionally buy a book for me if they don't happen to have it although mostly they can get it from another library system.
I cooked a roast of beef (English style) on Saturday evening which made a nice change, we don't have roast beef very often. However, I discovered my gravy doesn't freeze, unfortunately it separated. Maybe we could have whisked it back into the correct emulsion, but I didn't know until it was too late. The beef was great though. We followed it with some Borgonzola cheese which is a favourite of ours. I have talked about it before, it is kind of an amalgum between Brie and blue cheese. The original was a German cheese called Cambazola but this is a Canadian copy and we like it better. The picture doesn't pick up the blue that well - it is not heavily veined, but enough to give it a good flavour. Sunday night was cold roast beef and more Borgonzola which has now all gone sadly although I think we have another meal of beef yet.
An English friend just posted pictures of their trip to Lapland, looks like they had a great time, however, I thought you could have transposed a lot of the pictures to Canadian ones (well normally, we haven't had much snow this winter) but I was fascinated by the huskies pulling their sleds, they don't look a bit like the dogs we have in North America and I'm not talking about Malamuts. We used to have a dog, Chinook, who was part husky and looked just like the dogs from up north. My friends got to 'mush' in other words drive their own sleds. Must be great fun although I think I would prefer to sit there all wrapped up whilst someone else did the work. Lazy? Me??
I had never really heard of cheese soups before I came to Canada, now I have come across one called Dutch Cheese Soup so maybe the Dutch were making them and I just didn't know.
Dutch Cheese Soup Source: Burt Wolf's Table
Published by Doubleday
Makes 8 servings INGREDIENTS 2 tablespoons butter 1 cup sliced leeks 2 cups peeled, cubed new potatoes 1 bunch broccoli, stalks sliced and florets kept separate from the stalks 6 cups chicken stock or broth 1 cup milk 1 cup grated Gouda cheese or Edam cheese, plus extra grated cheese, for garnish DIRECTIONS In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the leeks, potatoes, broccoli stalks, and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir in the broccoli florets and cook for 3 minutes. Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender or food processor. Return the soup to the saucepan. Add the milk and reheat the soup until hot. Add the cheese and stir until the cheese melts, about 1 minute. Serve hot, garnished with extra cheese.
Have a great day


  1. I've always wanted to go see Lapland. Sorry about the roast beef gravy ... Maybe you should just leave it out on the terrace ...

  2. Well, as I mentined, it doesn't look a lot different to Canada - when we have snow. However, the people would be very different of course.

    I had had that gravy frozen since around Christmas time. Obviously doesn't work. Will know another time. It still tasted OK but was separated.