Monday, August 6, 2012

Civic Holiday, Olympics,Tree Genders, Malaria Breakthrough, Dinner. Shoulder.

Today is Civic Holiday in Canada, if you are Canadian I hope you have an enjoyable day off. We’ve had some rain in the last 48 hours, so, much as we need it, I hope it doesn’t spoil your day.
I was so thrilled to see Usain Bolt defend his Olympic title yesterday, with a new Murray & Federerrecord time of 9.63. At first it looked as though he wasn’t going to do it, he didn’t start very well, but he picked up and surged forward. What a sprinter. He seems like a nice man too, they had a bit of a background about him and he has done a lot for the schools and hospitals in his area of Jamaica. The British were particularly thrilled that Andy Murray won the Olympics gold for tennis yesterday too, beating Federer who is Matt’s favourite. Don’t quite understand why he is wearing a Swiss Olympic Team jacket. Seems a little odd. Maybe he swapped it with someone. Saw the winner of one 400m heat, Kirani James of Grenada swap his number with the South African runner Oscar Pistorius known as Blade Runner.

According to this article more male trees have been planted in urban areas than female treesUrban sycamore because Female Trees are Messy, dropping fruits and seeds all over the place. However, male trees tend to cause pollen allergies. It is not something I had ever thought about, one is aware of male and female plants, but I hadn’t thought about the same being true of treesycamore seeds. The picture shows sycamore trees, we have lots of sycamores at the front of our building which, as we get lots of seeds, I am now assuming must be female trees. I know these seeds do make one hell of a mess in season. It also says that if your neighbour has a male tree which is causing you allergies, plant a female of the same species in your own yard.

anophelesScientists claim a breakthrough in malaria research in as much as they have identified the protein which allows some people immunity from the bit of the female anopheles mosquito which carries the malaria disease. This is of major importance to some countries, I know when my father was stationed in what was Rhodesia, during WWII, he got malaria and had problems with it for the rest of his life. For those who don’t have access to modern medical facilities it can, apparently, be life threatening. I didn’t know malaria could be a killer disease, but I do remember my father having very sick turns when I was young. I don’t remember anything in later life so I assume it dissipated over the years or something. I honestly have no idea what happened.

For dinner on Saturday I did the Easy Chicken and Balsamic Peppers recipe tomato bruschettawhich I posted a few days ago. It was delicious, there were some peppers left over so I will be dreaming up a way to finish them. I can recommend this dish. I also did a Tomato Bruschetta for starters and suddenly woke up the fact that it is more or less a recipe I have been doing for many years. I make toast, rub it with garlic, add a teaspoon of olive oil and then slices of tomatoes, salt and pepper. Delicious. With a little more fancy (skinned tomatoes chopped plus basil) this was basically what the Bruschetta was. See, I didn’t know, I had been eating Bruschetta for years and just calling it tomato toast. Sometimes I would add a slice of Havarti and broil that until it melted. For dessert, because one of our guests was dieting, I made Vanilla Yoghurt Cheese which I decorated with raspberries and blueberries. I served some cream for those who wanted it.

If you have been with me for a long time, you will know I had a lot of pain and problems with my shoulder and arm last winter, seems to have started up again in the last 48 hours. What fun. Not much to be done, the specialist said there was basically nothing wrong, just have to pump pain pills into one’s system. Your tears will be appreciated, LOL
This is the latest recipe from Mushrooms Canada.

Mushrooms with Mediterranean Tuna Dip

1 cup ( 250 mL) packed Italian parsley leaves
1 cup (250 mL) light mayonnaise
1 can (170 g) flaked or chunk light tuna (packed in water), drained
3 tbsp (45 mL) lemon juice
3 tbsp (45 mL) drained capers
5 anchovies, chopped (or 2 tsp /10 mL anchovy paste)
1 clove garlic
1lb (500 g) fresh Mushrooms (thickly sliced, small whole or halved large )
Garnish: fresh parsley, minced
In food processor combine parsley, mayonnaise, tuna, lemon juice, capers, anchovies and garlic; process until
smooth. Transfer to serving dish, garnish with parsley, cover and chill until serving. Place on tray or in a basket and
surround with mushrooms for dipping.
Makes 1 ¾ cups (425 mL) or 10-12 servings
  • Add 1 tsp Dijon mustard and 2 hard cooked eggs.
Have a great day


  1. As a sufferer from sycamore trees in the gardens on either side of me I see enough of the mess they leave. I have to pull up what seems like hundreds of seedlings every year; and don't get me started on the bags of leaves I fill every autumn.
    Today is the 50th anniversary of Jamaica getting its independence so Bolt has a double reason today to be celebrating.

    1. That's a pain Bob, especially if they are not your trees. However, we need both sexes LOL.

      Yes, they have been saying its the 50th today. I think Bolt is incredible.

  2. That S. African runner is amazing. That takes such faith to run on those things, because it doesn't look like they would support his weight. I hope he does well.

    1. I don't think its faith on his part Diane, he has never had anything else right from childhood. Unfortunately he didn't do well yesterday. At least he was there that, in itself, is a great achievement.

  3. Ah ha! Finally - a male species that is neat!

    1. Sorry Alex, if you have ever lived in an area where there are pine trees shedding pollen, you wouldn't say that. I have seen blue cars turned green with pollen. It gets everywhere inside houses etc.

      Other than that, my husband is neat, I am the one who is not.

  4. Happy Civic Day to all my Canadian friends! Glad to hear of the malaria breakthrough. A missionary friend contracted it on a trip to Africa, then visited me while I was visiting family in Michigan. Fortunately, Michigan State University has an amazing department and dcotors that are working on malaria so I took him there for treatment.

    1. Thanks Stephen. No malaria is not a funny disease, but I hadn't realised it could be life threatening.

  5. My sympathy about the recurring pain, Jo. We think modern medicine can cure anything but anyone with untreatable chronic pain knows that's not so. Sometimes pills are the only way to get relief and let us live something like a normal life.

    1. Thanks Helen. You are right, we can be very disappointed that the doctors can't perform the miracles we expect.