Monday, August 9, 2010

Getting Old, Pythons in Florida, Favourite Author

Ain’t life great? We have discovered this weekend we have a friend with pancreatic cancer and another with heart problems. Bette Davis said it right. Getting old ain’t for sissies.

This morning on Good Morning America they interviewed a young woman who travels all over the world looking for, and dealing with, all kinds of animals, working with National Geographic and similar organisations. Her recent project was checking on urban animals of which she found many. There are animals which have adapted to city burmese_python dwelling and which most of us never see. However, she mentioned having discovered a Burmese Python outside Miami, hunh? I then went to find this story on line and what I did find is that Burmese Pythons are not that uncommon in Florida. Watch the video clip here That is a rather scary thought; obviously their presence is caused by people who buy exotic pets and then for one reason or another release them. Burmese Pythons are NOT native to Florida although they seem to have adapted. it is all part of the illegal smuggling of exotic animals which I have talked about before. I guess if people were not stupid enough to buy them, the trade would drop. This is why I have a poster on this blog saying Tiger Parts Belong to Tigers. They too are part of the exotic animals smuggling trade.

Having nothing else to read this weekend I have been re-reading some of my Dick Francis books. A favourite author of mine, I think he tells a good tale (or did he is now deceased, February this year). Funnily enough I picked out two books which I didn’t really remember much about so it was like reading a new story. One was Straight and the other Under Orders which is a relatively new book as Francis books go. Although before he died he was writing the books with his son. There was a rumour that it was Mary Francis, his wife, who actually did the writing, be that as it may, the horse racing background came from him plus the love of racing and the despair when he could no long do so. That came over in the absolute longing felt by some of his characters who no longer were able to race for one reason or another.

This is what Matt cooked for supper on Saturday night. He did the rice pilaf and zucchini and tomatoes that we cooked a couple of weeks ago, I posted the recipes. Mind you, now I have no scanner, I took this photo from the book and the orange is obviously fresh slices whereas as you will see in the recipe, you actually cook them.

Orange Basil Chicken

Cooking Light Cookbook 1996

4 servingsChicken and Orange 001

Vegetable cooking spray

1 tsp olive oil

4 (4 oz.) skinned, boned chicken breast halves

3/4 cup fresh orange juice

1/4 cup dry white wine

1 Tbs chopped fresh basil

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper

12 (1/2 “ thick) wedges fresh orange

1 garlic clove, minced

2 tsp cornstarch

1 Tbs water

Fresh Basil sprigs for garnish

Coat a large nonstick skillet with coking spray; add oil. Place over med. heat until hot. Add chicken; cook 2 mins on each side or until browned. Add orange juice and next 6 ingredients; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 15 mins. or until chicken is done. Remove chicken and orange wedges from skillet, using a slotted spoon; set aside and keep warm.

Bring orange juice mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered, 10 mins or until mixture reduces to 3/4 cup. Combine cornstarch and water, stirring well. Add to juice mixture; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens.

Transfer chicken and orange wedges to individual serving plates. Spoon sauce over chicken. Garnish with basil sprigs if desired.

Have a great day


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