Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Books, Bowling, Wines, Medical Discounts.

I have now finished Palimpsest which I enjoyed, I think, a very odd sort of book but a thought provoking read I would say. Then I started The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo which I am finding to be a very good story. Apparently the author, Stieg Larsson, wrote two more books in his Millenium trilogy, I will have to get hold of those too. What a tragedy that he died so young and so suddenly of a heart attack. He was 50 which these days is not considered to be very old at all. I have ordered his other two books from the library.

We went bowling again yesterday. I bowled really well for me. Only trouble is, I am pushing my average up too high which makes a problem when one is going in for a tournament. Much better to enter with a low average, but I haven’t been bowling that way. I guess I shouldn’t complain should I? At least I have been bowling well. Can’t win. Matt was bowling to the average he set last time (before we went away).

Dancing Bull Canada On the way home we picked up a bottle of Dancing Bull Zinfandel. For some reason they no longer sell that at our local LCBO. We found the same wine in the US but with quite a different label. Last week we had to go to the docs and on the way, we pass a wine store run by Magnotta, a Toro Nero well known winery in Canada, they have a very good wine called Toro Nero of which we are very fond, so we picked up a couple of bottles on the way past. It is not the cheapest wine (well to us) so we usually save it for special occasions. In earlier years we have bought it by the case as one saves a bundle, but these days we are not flush enough to do so. A good rich and robust Zinfandel is one of my favourites, but there is one, Rosenblum, we haven’t been able to get for a long while unfortunately. We keep trying. For those of you who don’t know a lot about wines, I am NOT talking about White Zinfandel (which is actually pink) a sweet whitish wine made from the Zinfandel grape. Not that I have ever tasted one of the classic sweet wines, Chateau d’Yquem, but basically we don’t like sweet wines although I did once try a particular ice wine produced by Peller Estates, one of the Ontario wineries, which I thought was delicious. Reminded me a bit of drinking mead.

For t hose of you who live in the States and have little or no medical insurance, Dr. Oz did a programme last night showing how to get medical treatment at a much lower cost and in many cases where and how to get free treatments such as pap smears. If you want to see the segment go to http://www.doctoroz.com/ and see what he has to say. Luckily in Canada and in the UK we don’t have to worry about such things thank God. I would hate to be in the position of some people who either eat or take medicine. Pay rent or go to the doctor and so on.

I have been making Pumpkin Soup for years – something which is considered strange by many North Americans who only think of Pumpkin in pies. The following recipe from Eating Well is a different take on this soup and sounds like something Matt and I would enjoy.

Roasted Pumpkin-Apple Soup

From EatingWell: November/December 2009

Apples add just a hint of sweetness to this velvety pumpkin soup. Try it as a delightful first course for a special meal or for dinner with grilled sharp Cheddar sandwiches.

12 servings, about 1 cup each Active Time: 30 minutes Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

IngredientsRoasted Pumpkin and Apple Soup

4 pounds pie pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 2-inch chunks (see Tip)

4 large sweet-tart apples, such as Empire, Cameo or Braeburn, unpeeled, cored and cut into eighths

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage

6 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth

1/3 cup chopped hazelnuts, toasted (see Tip)

2 tablespoons hazelnut oil

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Toss pumpkin (or squash), apples, olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper in a large bowl. Spread evenly on a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast, stirring once, for 30 minutes. Stir in sage and continue roasting until very tender and starting to brown, 15 to 20 minutes more.
  3. Transfer about one-third of the pumpkin (or squash) and apples to a blender along with 2 cups broth. Puree until smooth. Transfer to a Dutch oven and repeat for two more batches. Season with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and heat through over medium-low heat, stirring constantly to prevent splattering, for about 6 minutes. Serve each portion topped with hazelnuts and a drizzle of hazelnut oil.
180 Calories; 9 g Fat; 1 g Sat; 7 g Mono; 0 mg Cholesterol; 25 g Carbohydrates; 3 g Protein; 6 g Fiber; 525 mg Sodium; 569 mg Potassium

1 Carbohydrate Serving

Exchanges: 1 starch, 1/2 fruit, 2 fat

Nutrition Note: Vitamin A (290% daily value), Vitamin C (40% dv), Potassium (16% dv).

Tips & Notes
  • Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave on High, covered, stirring frequently, or on the stovetop over medium heat.
  • Tips: Make it easier to cut a pumpkin, acorn squash or other winter squash: pierce in several places with a fork; microwave on High for 45 to 60 seconds. Use a large sharp knife to cut in half. Remove the seeds and stringy fibers with a spoon.
  • To toast chopped nuts, small nuts and seeds, place in a small dry skillet and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes.

Have a great day.



  1. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is already a movie. Very confusing movie.

    Pumpkin soup sounds good.

  2. I haven't seen the movie but the book is excellent. Not sure why it should be confusing. Maybe the screen writer screwed it up.