Saturday, July 3, 2010

Aging Gene, Glorious Fourth

To my US friends, Happy Independence Day for tomorrow, I hope you have a good day.

The other day, on TV, there was an interesting segment on aging. They are now saying that people who make it to the 100s have a particular gene which others don’t have. It was also stated that this gene seemed to prevent a lot of age related problems such as senility and Alzheimer’s. Obviously they are now working with this gene to see if they can reproduce it and/or introduce it into people who are not born with it. They can also now tell if a person is going to live to a very ripe old age by checking on the presence of this gene in their makeup.

We are expecting pretty hot temps this weekend, but I understand that in some places in the south, particularly Philadelphia, it is going to be sweltering. In Philly they will be very much involved in celebrations for the 4th of July, according to an interview with the major on GMA today, the celebrations last all week. They had Benjamin Franklin and Martha Washington on TV this morning too!!

Tomorrow we are going to a friend’s for a barbecue at lunchtime. Not particularly to do with the US holiday or even a belated Canada Day celebration. Just the date when we were all free.

I have finally got hold of a copy of Jim Butcher’s latest Dresden Files book Changes. I love these books, full of ghosts and ghoulies and things that go bump in the night. Harry Dresden is a wizard and his job is protecting his part of the US (Chicago) which of course he does very well. The books are written in an almost tongue in cheek style and can be very funny and great reads. I remember one book in which they needed transport and ended running around on a T Rex skeleton from a museum which had been bespelled to convey Harry to where he had to go. He has a half brother who is a white vampire too. Do read them if you never have.

Another email I receive is called Ten Thousand Villages and they have some fascinating information and pictures. This time they also came up with this recipe which I also found very interesting and somewhat different from the usual potato cake. I have also come across one for a Pumpkin Chocolate Chili.

Llapingachos (Ecuador)

Llapingachos (Potato Cakes with Peanut Sauce) (Ecuador)

Serves 6

Sample recipe from Vegetarian Main Dishes From Around the World. Visit your nearest Ten Thousand Villages store or shop online to purchase your own copy. (Photo by Kam & Co, Denmark.)


2 onions, finely chopped

2 pounds (1kg) potatoes, mashed

2 Tbsp fresh parsely, chopped

2 cups (200g) cheddar or monterrey jack cheese, grated

1/2 cup (110g) peanut butter

1/2 cup (120ml) stock or water

6 eggs

lemon juice

a few lettuce leaves

2 Tbsp margarine


salt and pepper

  1. Melt the margarine and cook the onions until they are soft.
  2. Transfer them to a bowl when ready and combine them with the mashed potatoes, parsley and cheese, adding salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Now shape this potato mixture into cakes about 1 inch (2.5cm) thick. Heat a little oil in a frying pan or use a griddle. When it is very hot, cook the cakes until they are golden on one side and then turn them over to brown the other side. Keep the potato cakes warm.
  4. Spoon the peanut butter into a small saucepan and add the stock, stirring well so that it is evenly absorbed. Heat gently.
  5. Now poach the eggs in a little water. To serve, place the potato cakes on a dish lined with lettuce leaves, slide the eggs on top and pass the peanut sauce round separately.

Have a great weekend



  1. Someday soon now we will all live forever ... Can you imagine a serial killer living forever? Or some of the so-called *stars* living forever and having to read about them forever?

  2. Trust you to think of that. But with any luck, with such advances, we will be able to alter the brain chemistry with serial killers by then.