Monday, October 15, 2012

Trash Island, Mamajuana, Endeavour, Kindle Tale.

We have been having a discussion on Facebook about the area in the Pacific which is twice the size of Texas, composed of human garbage, predominantly plastics which don’t biodegrade, it just breaks down into tinier pieces. Here is a video of a reporter who visited and dived in the area. That’s something you wouldn’t get me doing, diving in those waters, no thank you.

The discussion started when I shared a picture of a sperm whale which had been dead whalefound dead and when they did an autopsy they found 100 plastic shopping bags inside its stomach along with all kinds of other garbage. As they say in the video, some of this plastic is ingested by small sea creatures who are then eaten by larger fish etc. etc. until the fish are then eaten by humans introducing all kinds of chemicals into our bodies. The Japanese have been researching some of this and say these chemicals are affective reproduction and women are having problems carrying babies to term. They also talk about diabetes and other diseases which can be caused by these chemicals. If you are reading this, especially as a blogger, I do hope you will help spread the awareness and see if we can’t do something about it.

I’m not really sure what got me thinking about it other than that a friend’s daughter just spent a year in the Dominican Republic teaching and I was thinking about her. Then I suddenly thought of the drink we were given and later bought to bring home. MamajuanaIt is called Mamajuana and is a concoction of all kinds of herbs, rum, wine and sugar which is mixed in a demi john and ends up a pretty potent mixture. Its better the longer its stored according to Wikipedia. The Dominicans themselves claim it has all kinds of aphrodisiac and curative properties. I know we certainly enjoyed it whilst there and when we came home, having drunk a lot of the bottle we brought back tried to add more rum and ended up with a foul tasting product which we had to throw away. It sure looks very odd in the bottle with almost no room for liquid because of the twigs and leaves in it. Must admit I hadn’t thought about it in years. The main thing I think of, drink wise, in the Dominican is the proliferation of rum which is cheaper than water in that part of the world. When you stay in a tourist complex, you can have as much rum as you want, mixed with anything you want. Only trouble being, by the time you have drunk all those piña coladas and such, you will have gained so much weight, they probably won’t let you back on the plane.

Well the space shuttle Endeavour has finally reached its retirement home in Los Endeavouring to moveAngeles: The California Science Centre. It took a couple of days to move the shuttle along the streets of LA and they had to cut down a number of trees to get it through. The trees are being replaced I am pleased to hear. There are some interesting anecdotes and videos on the linked web page. I must admit I hadn’t realised just how huge this shuttle is. When one saw it being launched into space, it didn’t look nearly as big. I just wish the US hadn’t abandoned their space programme. I think it’s a big mistake, but I’m only one person. I think we humans really need to explore space because of of these days I truly believe earth is going to be so crowded we need to expand out there. At least there are some private enterprises planning to mine asteroids. I am a great reader of sci fi and one idea in a Peter F. Hamilton book is to turn such mined asteroids into human habitations.

Kindle CoverWell, hot damn, as they say in the south, having bought a newKindle Cover 2 one, I have managed to fix my old Kindle cover. The magnet for closing it had slipped and I couldn’t push it back in place, today I put extra effort into it and its all better. I am pleased because I am not too sure how long my new one will last as part of the area which holds the Kindle is elastic. Ve shall see.

The following recipe is from the South Beach Diet and sounds a good one for those of us who are heading into winter. Personally I wouldn’t use frozen cauliflower, I would cook from fresh.

Two-Mushroom Cauliflower Soup

This recipe makes 4 servings

Chef's View

Soak the porcini as long as possible to extract the maximum flavor. If you have an immersion blender, it works just fine for this recipe and will save you some time. A squeeze or two of lemon brings out the mushroomy flavor.chicken-mushroom-soup-article

  • 1/4 ounce(s) mushrooms, porcini, dried (about 1/3 cup)
  • 3 1/2 cup(s) broth, chicken, less sodium divided
  • 1 tablespoon oil, olive, extra virgin
  • 8 ounce(s) mushrooms, cremini quartered
  • 1 small onion(s) thinly sliced
  • 2 clove(s) garlic minced
  • 20 ounce(s) cauliflower, florets, frozen (1 package)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon peppercorns, black freshly ground
  • 4 tablespoon sour cream, reduced-fat
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, fresh freshly grated
  • 1 large lemon cut into 8 wedges
  • In a small saucepan, bring the porcini mushrooms and 1/2 cup of the broth to a simmer over high heat. Remove from the heat and set aside to allow the mushrooms to soften while you prepare and cook the vegetables.
  • In a medium nonstick saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the cremini mushrooms, onion, and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until softened, about 3 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, place the frozen cauliflower in a strainer and run under hot water to warm a bit.
  • Add the remaining 3 cups broth to the soup. Drain the porcini in a strainer held over the saucepan so the soaking liquid is added to the soup. Add the cauliflower, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for 1 minute to heat the cauliflower through.
  • Meanwhile, cut the porcini into slivers.
  • Transfer the hot soup in batches to a blender (or use an immersion blender) and purée until smooth. Whisk in 3 tablespoons of the sour cream and the nutmeg.
  • Ladle the soup into 4 bowls and top each with some slivered porcini and 1 scant teaspoon sour cream. Serve with lemon wedges for squeezing.

    Each serving is 1-3/4 cups

Have a great day



  1. Hi Jo .. I saw the shuttle struggle along the LA streets .. but it is the season for soups isn't it .. I love cauliflowers ... cheers Hilary

    1. It certainly is, I made chicken vegetable with barley for us last night. More tonight and another helping in the frezer. I have a cauli, don't know why I didn't add it.

  2. Makes me glad I don't eat seafood anymore.

  3. That's a lot of garbage.
    Sad the shuttle missions are over now.

    1. It is Alex and something should be done. Yes, I think its sad about the space programme.

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