Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Pocket Chair, Joke, Grrr, Amazing Animals.

Because of the car going in for work, Matt went down to the lab for his weekly bloodwork at 6:20 a.m. which is about the time I have to go for my diabetes bloodwork every three months because I have to pocket-chairfast. Matt was No. 2 and he told me about a woman who came immediately after him who took a lawn chair out of her trunk to wait in line. Great idea, they don’t open the doors til 7 a.m. and if you don’t get there really early, the place gets incredibly crowded and you could be there forever. Yesterday I saw an ad for a pocket chair (bit like we used to have years ago for fishing) which they say you can carry in your pocket or in a purse. I am seriously thinking of sending for one, I think it would be ideal for such queuing particularly as I have to do it regularly at the lab.

Heard a joke which made Matt and me laugh; Paddy walking down the street with his front door under his arm and a friend asks him why. Paddy says he lost his front door key so he is taking the door to the locksmith to get it opened. The friend says he’d better not lose the door or he won’t be able to get in. I thought of that, says Paddy, I left a window open!!!!

Yesterday we had two guys in to work on the balcony windows putting new caulking onto the window frames, etc. and checking the balcony itself. First of all they ground out the old which drove us into the computer room and was still way too noisy, eventually they finished and left. Matt could have done caulking better with his eyes shut and one arm behind his back. So this morning, we are sitting here and they are working on the apartment next to us, so now we have that bloody noise again. From the time they took to do our balcony, I guess they are going to be here a while.

Caught a fascinating programme, BBC for kids, about animal survival whale sharkadaptations. We learned a few things we didn’t know about animal behaviour, I just wish I knew what the programme was called as it was fascinating. I believe there will be more so we will have to watch out for them. One statistic that fascinated me, there is enough plankton in the oceans to sustain the world population for a year. That is one hell of a lot of plankton. We were shown a whale shark ingesting his daily tonnage of plankton. Its mouth is about 5 ft.  ne . Another fascinating item was about the Lammergeier which is a vulture type of bird and gets animal bones, takes them up to a vast height and then drops them on rock to crack them. It then eats great lumps of bone to get both the calcium and the marrow. One of the anacondalast creatures was an anaconda which is a giant constrictor snake which grows up to 21 ft. long. They were actually diving to photograph one of these things, what’s to stop it deciding to eat a human, damned if you would catch me anywhere near one of those.  Once they have crushed their prey, they can open their mouths a foot wide by unhinging their jaws the same as many snakes do, but if you actually see the pix its incredible.

A touch of Spain in the following recipe. Both the Spanish and the Portuguese seem to really know how to cook potatoes and this recipe is no exception. This serves 8-10 as tapas, the little snack foods which you will find all over Spain.

Patatas Bravas

Source Rick Stein

Patatas bravas as they should be: crisp, olive oil-fried potatoes topped with a tomato sauce, well-flavoured with hot pimentón and sharpened with a little vinegar.


For the salsa brava
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp pimentón picante (smoked hot Spanish paprika), plus extra for serving
½ tsp crushed dried chilli flakes
½ tsp Tabasco sauce
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
125ml/4fl oz tomato sauce (see Top recipe tip below)
For the potatoes
1.5kg/3lb 5oz floury potatoes, such as Maris Piper or King Edwards, peeled
180ml/6fl oz olive oil, for shallow frying

Preparation method

  1. For the salsa brava, heat the olive oil over a low heat, add the pimentón, chilli flakes, Tabasco and vinegar and mix together well. Stir in the tomato sauce and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper (thin the mixture with a little water if necessary).

  2. Cut the potatoes into small, even-sized pieces. Drop into a large pan of well-salted water and cook for 6-7 minutes, or until just tender. Drain well.

  3. Heat the olive oil in two large, non-stick frying pans, divide the potatoes between them and shallow-fry in a single layer for 10–12 minutes, turning them regularly, until crisp, golden-brown all over and sandy in texture.

  4. Spoon the potatoes into one large or small individual serving plates, drizzle over the sauce, sprinkle with a pinch of pimentón and serve with some toothpicks and napkins.

Have a great day


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