Saturday, October 15, 2011

Asian Ladybug, HMS Pinafore.

It appears we have problems with a multicoloured Asian ladybug again, they are swarming, and at present looking for warm places to live. These bugs were originally imported Ladybugsto control other insect problems (aphids in soy crops in the US) and at the moment are a problem of their own. Luckily the problem doesn’t last (they were swarming a few years ago I remember) however, the damned things bite. They also cause a problem with wine production listen to the report, having listened to this report, I am somewhat horrified to think that a lot of 2001 wine production was polluted by the odour from these bugs in such a way that one can taste it in certain wines. The industry claims they disposed of a million litres of bug infected wine from that season. Double checking, the report was aired in 2003, but if the bugs are infesting the vineyards once again, presumably the same thing will happen. Matt has persuaded me that the leaves, branches and other stuff collected during harvest would be disposed of along with insects. I wonder?

Last night I watched a production of H.M.S. Pinafore by Gilbert and Sullivan. I know a couple of the songs as does any devotee of G & S, but I had never seen it performed before. I didn’t think a whole hell of a lot of the performance, quite frankly, and I’m not sure I thought much of the operetta although if one saw it done by the d’Oyly Carte Opera Company it might be better, I can’t say. The production was aired by WNED which is the Buffalo public broadcasting system and was performed by the Guthrie Theater Company. It tickled me to see a bunch of Americans singing the well known song He is an Englishman.

We are definitely heading into that time of year when soups are welcome and this one from Eating Well appealed to me.

Creamy Hungarian Mushroom Soup

From EatingWell: January/February 2011

Mushroom-soup lovers, this soup is for you! Russet Hungarian Mushroom Souppotatoes make it hearty, and dill and paprika add plenty of flavor. We skip the generous amount of full-fat sour cream and butter typically used in creamy mushroom soups. Serve with a green salad and warm pumpernickel bread.

6 servings, about 1 1/2 cups each | 


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons paprika, preferably Hungarian (see Note)
  • 2 tablespoons dried dill
  • 4 cups mushroom broth or reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 2 cups low-fat milk
  • 1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid evaporates, 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms are very soft, about 3 minutes more. Add flour, paprika and dill and cook, stirring, for 15 seconds. Add broth, milk and potatoes; cover and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to maintain a lively simmer and cook, uncovered, until the potatoes are tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in sour cream and salt.

Per serving :232 Calories; 6 g Fat; 2 g Sat; 3 g Mono; 37 mg Cholesterol; 37 g Carbohydrates; 10 g Protein; 4 g Fiber; 703 mg Sodium; 971 mg Potassium

2 1/2 Carbohydrate Serving

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

Tips & Notes
  • Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days; reheat over low.
  • Note: Paprika labeled “Hungarian” is worth seeking out for this soup because it delivers a fuller, richer flavor than regular paprika. Find it at well-stocked supermarkets, specialty-foods stores or online at

Have a great weekend


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