Thursday, February 4, 2010

Secret, Gold Party, Swiss Banks and Haiti.

Today is Matt's 75th birthday - by the time you read this, he will know that I have got some friends to pick us up this evening and we are taking him to a local Portuguese/Brazilian restaurant for dinner. I asked the friends to accompany us for two reasons, a) they don't drink so Matt could have a couple of drinks if he wanted without worrying, and b) its more fun to have a foursome. We are going to the Boa Nova Rodizio which I have visited before, but Matt never has. I hope he will be pleased. I am never very good at secrets, but I have managed it this time. Yesterday, shopping, we bought a couple of expensive fillets for dinner tonight (I figured we could freeze them for Valentine's Day) so he thought we were eating at home. He still doesn't know where we are going tonight.
I meant to mention, yesterday, that a friend had gone to a gold party at someone's house and was tickled pink about the money she received. I hadn't heard of gold parties, but I wonder what rate they actually give you for your gold. I gather the hostess gets money to pay for refreshments and a commission on whatever is sold. I would be somewhat wary bearing in mind the research that has gone into mail in gold. I guess it doesn't really matter who you go to, unless you really know what you are doing, you could be ripped off. The best thing to do is, I imagine, to take your gold to different purchases and see who is going to give you the best price for it. That being said, I am thinking of having a gold part for the commission LOL. I see this company talks about 80% of spot gold prices for the day. I guess that's not too bad. I'm not sure I could guarantee 15 people though.
Well, well, well, it seems that the Swiss banks are holding $4.6 million dollars on behalf of the Duvalier family from Haiti. It seems this money might have been misappropriated from the Haitian people by Papa Doc Duvalier and salted away in Switzerland. I was interested to read that the secrecy laws have been changed so that the Swiss no longer protect such criminals stashing ill gotten gains in their banks. If the government could release this for the aid of the Haitian people from whom it was stolen, this would be a good thing I think. If you click on the link below it will take you to the Wall Street Journal article where I found this information, having heard it originally on the radio today. I am not totally surprised about the Duvalier family, from all I have heard about them over the years, but I was surprised to hear the name connected with the Swiss bank and I had no idea the Swiss laws had been changed. I also discovered that our Governor of Canada, Michaelle Jean, fled, with her family, from Duvalier's regime.
On the way back from bowling the other day, we called in to the LCBO which isn't far from the alley. It is one of the most well stocked stores around. Having purchased our wine, we went to pay and they gave us two recipe cards. The following is one of the recipes we got.
Seared Steak and Brie Sandwiches Food and Drink, Nicole Young
Simple and decadent enough to suit all palates, this lunch entrĂ©e combines the savoury flavours of steak, creamy brie and zesty caramelized onions, rounded out with peppery greens and served on rustic ciabatta buns. 2 tsp (10 ml) olive oil ½ tsp (2 mL) each coarse salt and freshly cracked pepper 1 clove finely minced garlic 2 well marbled strip loin steaks, 8 oz (225 g) trimmed 1 tbsp (15 mL) butter 2 large onions, peeled and sliced 2 tsp (10 mL) fresh chopped thyme 1 tbsp (15 mL) balsamic vinegar 6 ciabatta buns 2 tbsp grainy Dijon mustard 6 cups (1.5 L) loosely packed arugula 8 oz (250 g) brie, chilled and cut into ¼ inch (5 mm) slices 1. In a small bowl, whisk together oil, salt, pepper and garlic. Rub all over steaks and leave out at room temperature for 30 minutes. 2. In a large heavy skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onions and thyme and cook until onions are golden, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are extremely soft and creamy, about 15 minutes. Stir in vinegar. Remove from heat. 3. Meanwhile, heat ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. When pan is hot, add steaks and sear on both sides until well browned, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to oven and cook until desired doneness, about 5 minutes for medium-rare. Let rest for 10 minutes before thinly slicing. 4. Slice buns lengthwise and spread mustard over bottom cut side of each. Divide steak over each bottom bun and top with onions, brie and arugula. Cover with bun tops and slice. Serves 6
Have a great day

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