Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Half a Century, Books,

I forgot to mention yesterday that Matt's oldest daughter hit her half century. Makes him feel old. They were talking on the phone and she is moaning because her baby reaches his quarter century this year, Matt's response was "now you know how I feel". These days, 50 is nothing; once upon a time you could figure your life was almost over at that age, thanks to medical science and health knowledge, 50 is really nothing much any more. Mind you there are times when Matt and I both feel we are about to topple into our graves. They say age is a state of mind and I do believe that to be true. When I was young, older people believed they were old and acted accordingly. They didn't do very much to counteract the affects of aging. It is a very different case today. Also, when we first came to North America I found the attitude towards age to be very different. We soon met people in their 70s who were at least as active as we were in our 30s and who travelled all over the place camping and exploring. At that time people in the UK were not like that. Today I don't know, I don't live there any more. Throughout time people have been trying to reverse the aging trend and to find the elixir of youth. We certainly are a lot closer to it today than when I was a youngster. I know many people a lot older than I who are very active, some well into their 90s. Matt has yet another doctor's appointment this morning to see a urologist for the results of his tests to ensure no damage was done to his kidneys during his recent problems. Trouble is, not being able to take Warfarin, he is still at risk for TIAs so that will involve more appointments. I have just finished a trilogy of books by Trudi Canavan - it was called The Age of the Five. I enjoyed them. The first book was called Priestess of the White, followed by Last of the Wilds and Voice of the Gods. Another series of hers doesn't seem to be available in my library so I have requested it. I started reading her books because she beat one of my favourites, Glenda Larke, for the Aurealis Awards. I have not yet read the book which won her the award, not sure if its available over here yet. After the first trilogy, I personally prefer Glenda, but its all a matter of choice. I have another of her books to start, Magician's Apprentice, plus I also have J.D. Robb's latest Death series, Fantasy in Death. I have nearly finished listening to The Cat Who Went Bananas and have the sequel to The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins to keep me company when I use the treadmill. That is a very good story and I am looking forward to hearing the next book. I must say it does make half an hour on the treadmill pass very quickly. The following recipe came from Food TV Canada this morning. I am assuming it is an adaptation of a classic dish from Portugal which is made from salt cod which is something you don't see a lot of in North America although, because there are lots of Portuguese in Cambridge, you can buy salt cod fairly easily. Cambridge is "next door" to us and a fairly short drive. Portuguese Cod Casserole Ricardo Larivée Yield: 6 Ingredients 2 onions, thinly sliced 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 clove garlic, finely chopped 4 cups potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced on a mandolin 3 plum tomatoes (such as Roma tomatoes), sliced 1/4 cup oil-cured black olives, drained, pitted and finely chopped 2 pounds fresh cod fillets 1 cup chicken broth salt and pepper Directions 1.Soak a 3-litre (3-quart) terracotta baking dish and its cover in water for about 15 minutes. If you are not using a terracotta dish, preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) with the rack in the middle position (see note). 2.In a skillet over medium heat, caramelize the onions in oil. Season with salt and pepper. Add the garlic and continue cooking for 1 minute. Set aside. 3.Remove the terracotta dish and cover from the water. 4.Cover the bottom of the dish with one quarter of the potato slices. Add half the tomatoes and olives. Season with salt and pepper. Cover with another quarter of the potatoes. Cover with the onion and garlic mixture. Cover with another quarter of the potatoes, and then lay the fish on top. Season with salt and pepper. Cover with the remaining potatoes, tomatoes and olives. Add the broth. Adjust the seasoning. 5.Cover the dish and place it in the centre of the oven. Turn the oven on to 200°C (400°F). Bake until the potatoes are tender, about 1 1/4 hours. Let stand for 15 minutes and serve. 6.*Note: If you do not have a terracotta dish, you can use any ovenproof covered baking dish. In that case, preheat the oven and reduce the cooking time to about 1 hour. Have a great day