Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Dust Devil, Bowling, Carmen Jones.

dust devilSomething I have been meaning to mention and keep forgetting, we turned into a road on our way to Cambridge the other day and saw a small dust devil at the side of the road. It really wasn’t very big at all, but fascinating to watch, it didn’t last very long and disappeared up into the air. No idea what caused it. I tried to find a picture but all the ones I can see are huge monsters. This one is still too big. I guess you could say it was a  baby devil. Even if I had been carrying a camera, I wouldn’t have been quick enough to take a picture.

Bowling yesterday was fairly mediocre, but I have pushed my average up pretty high for me over the last two weeks so I guess I won't be sorry to see it come down, not that it will decrease much, I wasn't that bad yesterday. Matt, of course, can't wait for the doc's all clear to start bowling himself.

Last night we decided to start watching Carmen Jones which was made in Carmen Jonesthe ‘50s. Its based on the opera Carmen by Bizet. However, I got bored (had seen it years ago) because there wasn’t enough music which is what the original was all about after all. Apparently Dorothy Dandridge, who was the lead, was the first black woman ever to be nominated for an Oscar for her performance in the movie. The male lead was Harry Belafonte. I didn’t know until last night that neither of them sang but were dubbed as the quality needed was opera standard. I wandered off for a while and then went back and ended up blubbering at the end. It really is a sad story but I do love the music. I had forgotten how they had changed the story for Carmen Jones, originally the story is based round a cigar factory and a toreador. This movie is a parachute factory and a famous boxer. Pearl Bailey is also in the movie and she does sing her own songs.

I found this recipe some years ago and thought I would repeat it as it is a delicious way of serving asparagus.

Asparagus Strudel

Asparagus Strudel
Ontario Asparagus Growers

12 oz (375 g) Ontario asparagus, trimmed 
1 tbsp (15 mL) canola oil 
2 shallots, finely chopped 
2 cloves garlic, minced 
3 oz (90 g) Swiss cheese, shredded 
1/4 cup (50 mL) sour cream 
salt and pepper 
1/4 cup (50 mL) dry bread crumbs 
1 tbsp (15 mL) freshly grated Parmesan cheese 
6 sheets phyllo pastry 
1/2 cup (125 mL) unsalted butter, melted 

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce 
2 large roasted red peppers, seeded and peeled 
1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped fresh basil 

Cut asparagus into 1/2-inch (1.25 cm) pieces; steam or simmer just until tender-crisp, about 3 minutes. Drain and pat dry. Place in large bowl. Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat; cook shallots and garlic until softened, about 3 minutes. Cool slightly. Add to bowl. Add cheese, sour cream and salt and pepper to taste to bowl; mix well.
In small bowl, combine bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese; set aside. 
Preheat oven to 350º F (180º C). Lightly grease baking sheet. Place one sheet of phyllo on clean work surface with long side closest to you, keeping remaining sheets covered with waxed paper and damp tea towel. Brush with melted butter; sprinkle with about 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the bread crumb mixture. Cover with another sheet of phyllo, butter and bread crumbs. Top with third sheet of phyllo; butter sheet. Cut in half crosswise to make 2 stacks. Place one-quarter of the filling along one short end of stack, leaving about 1 inch (2.5 cm) uncovered at each end. Roll phyllo up and over filling to completely enclose it. Fold long ends over toward filling; continue rolling strudel. Brush all over with butter. Transfer to prepared baking sheet; brush with butter. 
Repeat with remaining stack. Make 2 more strudels with remaining ingredients. (The strudels may be prepared to this point and frozen for up to 1 month; bake frozen.) Bake strudels for 30 to 35 minutes or until filling is heated through and pastry is golden brown. 

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce:
In food processor or blender, combine red peppers, basil and 1/4 cup (50 mL) of the vinegar; process until smooth. Taste and add more vinegar if desired. Pour into small saucepan and bring to simmer over low heat. Serve under or beside strudels. 

Yield: Serves 4 

Have a great day


  1. Hi Jo .. this strudel looks very interesting .. for another year I think, but I'll remember - thanks for posting for us .. cheers Hilary

  2. Oh, Yum. I love this recipe. I'l have to give this a try.

    As for older movies, I remember my parents watching that. Harry Belafonte has a fabulous voice. Pure magic. I read somewhere that many of the older musicals had original singing but if the quality was less than what the producers wanted they went back and dubbed in the musicians music from a different recording.


    1. I reckon that's what they did, Matt, who knows about singing, says they were definitely singing not just mouthing it because of the way their necks were moving etc. etc. so I guess they dubbed it after as you said. As mentioned, they needed opera quality voices, not quite sure as they were not actually filming the opera.