Saturday, April 16, 2011

More on Pink Slime, News, Zoo Elephants, Rent a Country.

I seem to have attracted a lot of attention this week talking about Pink Slime. I was telling some of my team at bowling and I was very surprised that they Hamburgerhad never heard of Jamie Oliver. I know I’m a Brit originally and he is still one, but I was under the impression he had made his mark on this side of the pond to a great extent. I know the people of Huntington, VA know who he is LOL. I have a feeling the people in LA will have found out too at the end of his current Food Revolution programme. I wonder how many Americans have heard about the Pink Slime now and will cease earing hamburger (I mistyped “harmburger'”, maybe I was right). I will certainly not have a burger in the States any more, not, I must admit, that we eat burgers very often.

What a morning of doom and gloom on the news today, a bunch of tornadoes in the States with consequent damage and up to now 16 deaths. Most, but not all, of the tornadoes were centered on Oklahoma. Then there are fires, floods and more snow and a story of a young woman abducted from her home. Not forgetting a suicide bomber in Afghanistan. Its enough to depress you all day.

There is a lot on the Canadian news about the elephants in Toronto’s Zoo. Bob Barker, a former Bob Barkergame show host (The Price is Right), considers it to be far too cold here for elephants and has offered to pay for their removal to a sanctuary down south. I don’t quite understand this. The Rockton Safari Park (just down the road from us) has a very successful herd of elephants which don’t have any “cold” problems, they are not on view in the winter of course and I assume their shed is well heated. Why, I wonder, couldn’t Toronto just move their elephants there for the winter and then bring them back in the warmer weather? To lose elephants altogether would be a big downer for any zoo I think and the Rockton elephant herd is one of the best breeding herds in captivity.

LiechtensteinThere is now a new idea for a vacation, you can rent a country. Liechtenstein can be rented and they will name streets for you or after you. It’s a delightful little country bordered by Switzerland and Austria and full of fairy tale castles, quaint cottages and inns. When we were young, they had a very good radio station which all the youngsters used to listen to, don’t know if that is still true. Apparently Snoop Dog (a rapper I think) tried to rent the country last year, but they rejected his offer. If you would like to rent the place for a birthday party or a wedding, you can do so for $70,000 a night. Not unreasonable, you can pay that kind of money for suites in Las Vegas.

We have dinner guests this evening, so I guess I should get on with it.

As mentioned, I have been getting some really good recipes through WebMD, here is a soup which I certainly want to try. Mind you it is from Eating Well which always has great recipes.

Spicy Vegetable Soup

WebMD Recipe from

Fresh basil adds a bright spark to this vinegary, Spicy_Vegetable_Soupvegetable-stuffed soup, full of the traditional flavors of the Mediterranean. Alternatively, pesto adds a nutty richness to the soup.

Servings: 4

Yield: 4 servings, 

To Make Ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Recipe Ingredients:
  1. 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  2. 1 large onion, diced
  3. 1-3 teaspoons hot paprika, or to taste
  4. 2 14-ounce cans vegetable broth
  5. 4 medium plum tomatoes, diced
  6. 1 medium yellow summer squash, diced
  7. 2 cups diced cooked potatoes (see Ingredient note)
  8. 1 1/2 cups green beans, cut into 2-inch pieces
  9. 2 cups frozen spinach (5 ounces)
  10. 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or red-wine vinegar
  11. 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil or prepared pesto
Recipe Steps:
  1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, about 6 minutes. Add paprika and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add broth, tomatoes, squash, potatoes and beans; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are just tender, about 12 minutes. Stir in spinach and vinegar; continue cooking until heated through, 2 to 4 minutes more. Ladle soup into bowls and top with fresh basil or a dollop of pesto.
Recipe Tips & Notes:
  1. Ingredient Note: Convenient cooked and diced potatoes can be found in the refrigerated section of the produce and/or dairy department of the supermarket.

Have a great weekend


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