Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Knives, Death, XL Foods

I mentioned that I had bought a video by Jacques Pépin which contained all kinds of kitchen tips. One of the most important, to me, is this one shown below which shows how to sharpen knives properly. Knives are one of the most important tools in a cooks arsenal and there is nothing worse than trying to prep food with a blunt one. So, if you are a cook or an aspiring cook, here is the video which I found on the internet. I am actually wondering if I needed to buy the DVD as I have been finding a lot of the information on the net. The video I have is somewhat different in as much as he uses mineral oil on the sharpening stone and he certainly doesn’t mention knife sharpeners.

Watching the ABC World News yesterday they were talking about A Conversation which they are endeavouring to encourage families to have. They mean a discussion of the end of life and what people want to be done and what they want to happen if there is an accident and someone is unable to make their own decisions etc. I don’t understand why so many people in this part of the world are so afraid of death. There is not one single one of us that can get away with not dying so face up to that fact and treat it as a normal part of living however much we don’t want to die. Make your arrangements, discuss it with your family, make living wills and powers of attorney so that everything is covered in the event you become, or someone in your family becomes, incompetent. Matt and I have all this kind of thing which I have been amending as and when necessary with an executrix appointed and so on. If you haven’t done it, I don’t care how old/young you are, do so, and talk to your family about dying. Not passing or any other euphemism, but dying. I worked in a funeral home in recent years and they use all the euphemisms with their clients, it is supposed to soften the blow. Personally I think it just postpones the realistic acceptance of what has occurred. If you are a religious person, you never hear “Christ passed on the cross” but that “Christ died on the cross”. I might also say that we have also got our funeral arrangements made and paid for. I highly recommend doing this so your family don’t have to do all this when they are grieving at the same time. It sometimes happens that they get persuaded to spend more money than they really need to just because they are not thinking straight.

Sorry to be so morbid, but having seen the programme, I had to express my opinion.

I saw, in the news last night, that XL Foods says the problems at their plant have been fixed. The plant is presently being inspected to see if they have complied with all the necessary rules and regulations. I would imagine it will take a while for buyers to trust their beef again though. I personally would be very leery of any meat from that source.

I usually enjoy stuffed peppers and these looked most attractive in the picture. I might well give them a go any day now. Always looking for new things with lots of taste.  

Stuffed Peppers With Ground Turkey

Recipe and Picture by The Gluten Free Goddess
WebMD Recipe from

My flavors are closer to Southwestern than Italian here, so if you prefer more traditional flavors, add Italian herbs instead of the smoked chili and cumin (but stuffed_peppers_with_ground_turkeyDear Reader, the smoky addition of chipotle gives these babies a serious kick in the backside).


  • 1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, as needed
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 1 cup corn kernels, roasted (you can pan-toast frozen kernels in a pinch)
  • 2 rounded tablespoons pine nuts or toasted sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup or so cooked brown rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon paprika or smoked paprika
  • 2-3 tablespoons cilantro or parsley, fresh chopped
  • 3 large bell peppers, 1 orange, 1 yellow, 1 green, halved and seeded
  • 6 spoonsful of your favorite prepared salsa, spicy or mild
  • 6 slices fresh goat cheese, omit for dairy free
  • sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • chipotle powder, to taste or other favorite chili spice


  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Put a kettle of water on to boil.
  2. Heat a little olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and cook the ground turkey till browned; drain off any liquid, if you need to.
  3. Add a dash more olive oil; heat; add the chopped garlic, onion, corn, and pine nuts; stir and heat through.
  4. Add a cup of cooked brown rice, stir and lightly mix. Add a dash more olive oil, if needed, to moisten. Add chipotle, cumin and paprika. Season mixture with sea salt and pepper. Stir well to combine the flavors. Remove from heat. Add in the chopped cilantro. If you need a little more rice to fill large peppers- add some in and toss.
  5. Choose a shallow baking dish that will fit the halved peppers. Stuff the halved peppers with the brown rice mixture, pressing in firmly; use as much stuffing as you can. Place the stuffed peppers in the baking dish.
  6. Top each pepper with a spoonful of salsa, and a slice of goat cheese, if using.
  7. Pour about an inch of hot boiled water into the bottom of the baking pan, around the peppers, and loosely cover the pan with a foil tent. This helps to cook the peppers. Bake in a 375 degree F oven for about 30-40 minutes, until the peppers are fork tender.
  8. These colorful stuffed peppers can be served as a side dish or a main dish.
  9. Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro.

Have a great day



  1. You can't get away from death, you are right. It will come to all of us. My husband knows I want to be cremated and kept in a nice vase in the closet until he is ready to sprinkle me on our favorite lake.

    1. Why bother with the nice vase if you are going to be in a closet and then sprinkled? At least he knows, I assume you know what he wants, and what about before that? If you become incompetent or he does.

  2. I just had the what to do discussion with my Dad a day ago.Not that I hadn't already been given all the information before but at nearly 93 I guess he's feeling he wants to be sure everything's covered. It isn't something I've been shy of discussing and I want to sort out our funerals now too. Husband has been somewhat resistant but I think he's coming around to it. I hope so. I certainly don't want my children to have to deal with everything. Grief is hard enough without having to sort out funeral arrangements from scratch.

    1. I do so agree with you about making funeral arrangements ahead of time. Tried getting friends to do so but they say they will leave it to their kids. I wonder if they have discussed it with their kids?