Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Olympics, Medals and Nosegays.

Watching the 100 m sprint on Sunday I thought I heard a reporter say something Bottle on fieldabout a bottle on the track, Monday they was a report that a man had been arrested for throwing a plastic bottle. A Dutch judo competitor says she thumped him because she was so annoyed. Nothing more of the story at the time of writing however. You can just see the bottle behind the middle runner. What a weird thing to do. Luckily it didn’t interrupt the race and of course it was wonderful to see Bolt streak to the winning post.

According to the news, lots of Canadians have reached semi finals or even finalsvan-koeverden-adam in 1,100 metre kayaking for Adam van Koeverden so hopefully we might see some more medals for Canada soon. A friend is lucky because she will be going to see the semi finals of the Canada-US women’s soccer match in Manchester, she already went to Old Trafford for one game. As an ex pat English woman I am delighted to see the UK doing so well. Being the host nation certainly seems to give athletes a boost. I would also be delighted to see Canada get a few more golds.

Gold MedalTalking of medals, Hilary Melton-Butcher described them in her blog yesterday – she said that in the original games the winners would get wreaths and amphorae of olive oil. Today the medals weigh the same as a can of baked beans. I know which I would rather have. Admittedly the medals last longer, but the olive oil would be of more use to me. The golds are not, of course, solid gold and haven’t been since the 1900 games but, as I wrote a day or two ago, they have to be plated in a minimum of 9 grams of gold. Hilary describes them in more detail.

Sadly the Canadian team did not beat the US in the semi final soccer match yesterday. The match went into overtime and the final result was 4-3 a very good effort on the part of the Canadians.

I was going to talk about the Olympic Bouquet but Hilary Melton-Butcher got Olympic Bouquetthere before me. I had been thinking what an attractive posy of flowers, but it never occurred to me that there was significance in the construction of the whole bouquet, or, as Hilary points out, nosegay. Do read her blog about this delightful presentation which is being given to every winning athlete. From the herbs which are being used as well as the flowers themselves, it must smell absolutely delightful, hence the term nosegay being a delight to the nose. Of course nosegays were once used to disguise the smells which were prevalent in the streets of the city in those days. In Charles II time oranges were used for the same purpose frequently stuck with cloves. Pomanders were often carried by the well to do; they hung around their necks and could be sniffed any time there was an offensive odour. Aren’t the bouquets beautiful though? I wouldn’t mind having one of them.

I am not, I must confess, a big fan of Mexican food, but I do like Guacamole and this recipe sounded a good one, plus it can be used in several different ways.

Guacamole with Charred Jalapeño and Scallions

Contributed by Grace Parisi at Food and Wine


F&W's Grace Parisi invented this smoky guacamole, then presented three guacamole1ingenious ways to use it: in a soup, an hors d'oeuvre and a salad dressing. 

  1. 3 medium scallions, white and tender green parts only
  2. 2 medium garlic cloves, unpeeled
  3. 1 jalapeño, seeded and quartered lengthwise
  4. 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  5. 3 Hass avocados, halved and pitted
  6. 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro leaves
  7. 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  8. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  1. Preheat a grill pan. In a small bowl, toss the scallions, garlic and jalapeño with the vegetable oil. Grill over moderately high heat, turning occasionally, until charred all over, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a work surface and let cool.
  2. Finely chop the scallions and jalapeño and transfer to a medium bowl. Peel the garlic cloves, mash them to a paste and add them to the bowl. Scoop the avocado flesh into the bowl and coarsely mash with a fork. Fold the cilantro and lime juice into the guacamole, season with salt and pepper and serve.

Make Ahead: Press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the guacamole and refrigerate overnight.

Notes Variation: For a brighter, crunchier guacamole, finely chop the scallions, garlic and jalapeño and stir them in raw.

Have a great day



  1. It was cool to see Bolt win. Recipe sounds good!

    1. Yes, wasn't it? Incredible man.

      Yup, gotta try it. Love avocado, love guacamole, what's not to like?

  2. Hey Jo,
    Thanks for stopping by today. I will be posting a few more pictures, but I'm trying to not brag too much or have it be Alaska week at the blog...but I do have two more posts in the can.
    Upon my return, I got to see the women's vault finals. Too bad that "sure thing winner" whose name escapes me fell on her butt...amazing that she was .1 off the gold. I'm a former gymnast (you can put gymnastics in my search box if you want to read any of the stories) so that's always my favorite part of the summer olympics. In the winter, I like the ice skating (very gymnastics like) and the scary things like bobsled and luge.
    I know Hilary and will have to check out her post with your excellent recommendation.
    Tina @ Life is Good
    Post A-Z Road trip!

    1. Hi Tina, I wasn't too sorry for the American girl, she looked a bit too sure of herself for me. Was glad to see the Rumanian girl win. Hubby was a gymnast once but he always says what they do today is impossible, especially on the rings. We enjoy most of it although find the cycling the least interesting.

  3. We do love avocados in this house! I jys had a half in my egg ham and cheese omelette this morning. And interesting you had a childhood monster that was also afraid of you.

    1. Me too, love avocados.

      Pinky was a friend for many years. As I said, my mother was a great psychologist. She used to tell me, if I was good, she would take me to the dentist. I never had any fear of a dentist til much later in life.

  4. I'm an avocado fan too. Had one mashed with French dressing and heaped on wholemeal toast for lunch today. Very yum.
    Interesting about the flowers in the Olympic bouquets. I hope they've made freeze drying of them available to the medalists.

    1. Never tried that Helen, usually eat them just as they are - sometimes with a little dressing.

      I never thought of freeze drying, would be a great thing to do. Not sure how much it would preserve the bouquets though.

  5. Hi Jo .. thanks so much for mentioning my posts - and I know Tina came over and commented on my medals post ... and I'm so glad I researched the bouquets/ nosegays .. it was a fascinating look around ... and then post.

    I love avocado .. in fact have been eating some delicious ones from South Africa recently - that I found at the farm shop - just like the old days ... avo and vinaigrette! Good lunch ... cheers Hilary

    1. I have really enjoyed your Olympic posts Hilary.

      Yes, vinaigrette makes a wonderful sauce for avocado. I think all our avocados come from the States or further south.