There’s a Wendy’s ad currently running on the radio for poutine which is a dish invented in Quebec and which has subsequently spread to the rest of Canada. The ad runs “let’s make Canada’s favourite dish our national dish”. If that really is Canada’s favourite dish, god help us. It is, to me, a nauseating concoction of French fries, covered with cheese curds and gravy. Yuk. When we first landed in Canada I was asked if I wanted gravy on my French fries which I couldn’t believe. I like my fries dry and preferably crispy, not soggy. Then to go a step further and put the curds on as well, words fail me. Sorry if you think this is the world’s greatest food, you will gather, I do not.
Hanging around in the hospital yesterday, we were opposite two emergency wards for pediatric patients. In 12 hours there were a few changes. At one point a mother came in with her 2 month old baby. We were able to see a lot of what was happening. They really got to me, the mother was crying quite a bit. The baby was relatively quiet until they did things to him. He then squalled in protest. At one point they took him away and brought him back with an IV attached. Then another nurse came to take blood from the poor little mite. Finally he was put in what looked like an incubator (I don’t know if I am right about that) and then moved to another hospital an hour or more away. Most of the time the mother was alone, then she was joined by an older woman (grandmother?) no sign of a husband. I don’t know what was wrong but the whole thing got me bawling. I felt so sorry for the poor frightened little mite who would have had no idea what was happening and who presumably was feeling ill. Unknown beings poking things into him which probably hurt. Then he is finally taken away from mom or grandma and put in this covered box all on his own. He was whimpering when they left. Matt says at that age they know very little. That doesn’t make it any better, it would be the more terrifying. Matt couldn’t believe my reaction and I am still tearful writing this. Our nurse said he was going to be alright, I do hope so, trouble is I will never know.
Yesterday, I ran out of asparagus, horrors, so off we went to the farm to get some. I discovered it is called Cedardale Farm, I never knew that before. I’ve never thought of it as anything but Barries Asparagus farm. My bowling friend was going to come with us, but for various reasons couldn’t but asked us to get some more for her. She has become a real convert. I love it when I can help someone appreciate one of my favourite foods. The spears are still quite short, but I guess they are plentiful and they are certainly flavourful. I also bought some baby organic beets yesterday, they are quite small, but I enjoy beets now and again. I thought, being baby beets, they would take a lot less time to cook, I even checked on line and it said 30 mins. In fact they took at least as long as full sized beets and then still ended up being somewhat difficult to skin. I have tasted a couple though and they were pretty good. I have mentioned it before, but it wasn’t until I came to Canada that I knew one could eat the leaves from beetroot. I love them, they remind me very much of spinach in taste.
I have been asked to take part in some drug trials – a 7 year test on how a specific drug will affect people with diabetes. I don’t know if I am going to do it yet, but I have some 30 pages of paperwork to read before I can sign the consent. It details everything I can expect and any remotely possible side effects. Of course it will be a double blind trial so I could end up with the placebo and nobody will know well at least until any effects of any kind show up. From what they tell me, the drug is already available in the UK and other countries, but Canada is super cautious. It also sounds like a drug I would like because a side effect is that it helps people lose weight, now that I would like. Matt isn’t too keen on my doing this, so I will have to consider very carefully. One other thing, it is a stomach injection!!!
It being asparagus season, I like to post lots of asparagus recipes – I apologise if you are among those who don’t like asparagus, but there are a lot of us who do, and anyone who knows me is aware that I am nutty about the stuff. This simple little recipe from Paula Deen is one of my favourites unless I am just steaming the asparagus and dousing it with melted butter. Obviously you can make as many of these bundles as you need.
For one roll:
Phyllo - 1/2 sheet for 2 asparagus
2 stalks asparagus
Brush phyllo with butter, sprinkle with Parmesan, place 2 asparagus in middle and roll. Place in baking dish, sprinkle more Parmesan and put in oven 375 F for 15 mins.
Have a great day