Tuesday, December 21, 2010

TVO, Air Travel, Royal Engagement.

We caught a programme – kind of by accident – on TVO2 (Canadian Public Broadcasting) last night. It was called The Age of Power, hosted by David Dimbleby. A fascinating look at how the Tudors used art as an instrument of power. It particularly showed paintings of Holbein who painted Henry VIII, his wives and his ministers. A fascinating programme. Not sure how many we have missed butHolbein's Henry VIII we will certainly plan to catch the rest of them. I just googled, it appears we have missed two episodes. I hope they show them again. Will have to watch out for them, the previous ones were The Age of Worship and The Age of Conquest and the series is called The Seven Ages of Britain. What I thought was particularly funny was the painting of Henry VIII which now hangs in Cambridge university and his armour which was made towards the end of his life. Both were made or painted with large codpieces to emphasise the power of the man. In this copy you can’t see his legs of which Henry was particularly proud apparently. The armour was too heavy for him and he had to wear a special corset in order to support it. By this time he had a suppurating sore on his leg and was not a very well man. I was surprised to be reminded he died at 57, not, to us, very old. The programme went on to show how his daughter, Elizabeth, emphasised her power in a much different way but still very much through art.

It appears the air services between Europe and London Airportanywhere are thoroughly choked up. I think anyone planning to fly anywhere for Christmas might as well go home and give it up as a bad job. The European airports are totally clogged with snow which, of course, they are unused to and the backlog of flights is almost impossible for them to deal with from all reports. The odd plane is getting through, but not many. From Pearson Airport in Toronto they are flying one a day to Europe at the moment. Reports are of more snow and then clearing, but they don’t seem to think they will get the backlog dealt with before Christmas and there will be lots of cancellations. There are people camped out all over the terminals at Heath Row. We contemplated a trip to the UK, I am glad that’s all we did. Glenda Larke is presently at Kuala Lumpur airport hoping to fly to Scotland. I think she is totally out of luck.

On the news this morning, Prince William’s cousin has announced an engagement too. Zara Phillips, the Queen’s granddaughter who will also get married in 2011. She is Princess Anne’s daughter. Her wedding will be somewhat later than William and Katherine’s. I notice, by the way, that although she requested that the media and everyone call her Katherine, nobody is bothering to do so.

Its probably a bit late for baking cookies now, but just in case, here is a healthy recipe from Eating Well.

Pecan-Cinnamon Wafers

From EatingWell:  November/December 2010

These healthier pecan butter cookies are made with whole-wheat pastry flour and plenty of nuts.

4 dozen cookies 


1/2 cup unsalted butter Pecan Cinnamon Wafers

3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups whole-wheat pastry flour (see Note)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup finely chopped pecans

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

  1. Beat butter, 1/2 cup granulated sugar and brown sugar in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high until creamy. Add egg and vanilla and beat well. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and add to the butter mixture. Beat on low speed until combined. Stir in pecans.
  2. Divide the dough in half and use lightly floured hands to shape each portion into a 6-inch round log. Wrap each log in wax paper and freeze until firm, at least 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  4. Unwrap the dough and let stand at room temperature for 5 minutes. Combine the remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar and cinnamon on a shallow plate. Roll the logs in the sugar mixture, then slice each into 24 (1/4-inch-thick) cookies. Place the cookies about 2 1/2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.
  5. Bake, one batch at a time, until lightly browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool.

Per cookie : 63 Calories; 4 g Fat; 1 g Sat; 1 g Mono; 9 mg Cholesterol; 7 g Carbohydrates; 1 g Protein; 1 g Fiber; 26 mg Sodium; 13 mg Potassium

1/2 Carbohydrate Serving

Exchanges: 1/2 carbohydrate (other), 1 fat

Tips & Notes
  • Make Ahead Tip: Wrap dough in wax paper and plastic wrap and freeze for up to 3 months. Store cookies airtight for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
  • Note: Whole-wheat pastry flour is milled from soft wheat. It contains less gluten-forming potential than regular whole-wheat flour and helps ensure a tender result in delicate baked goods while providing the nutritional benefits of whole grains. Both are available in large supermarkets or natural-foods stores (or online from www.bobsredmill.com or www.kingarthurflour.com). Store in an airtight container in the freezer.

Have a great day.



  1. A day later and Paris' airports are still not operating normally. I think unless one wants to ski it's best to stay at home for Cmas.