Monday, January 14, 2013

Slavery, Trafficking, Epidemic, Books.

human_traffickingViveka the Swedish blogger of My Guilty Pleasures wrote a shocking blog on Saturday, Stolen People, Stolen Dreams which was principally about trafficking in human lives for slavery, particularly sex exploitation. She quotes some pretty horrifying statistics and because its one of those things we know about but push to the backs of our minds, I thought I would pass the link on so other people can read what she has to say. As she said, all kinds of euphemisms are used, but it is still slavery. Nor, as Viveka says, is this restricted to third world or non-Western countries. An estimated 2.5 million people are in forced labour (including sexual exploitation) at any given time. Do read what Viveka writes.

I am usually advocating preventing exotic animal trafficking. When it comes down to it, it doesn’t matter who or what is being trafficked, its wrong and we should do all we can to stop it. Viveka names some movies which give a good take on what is happening.

Its been raining or drizzling all weekend which has just about got ridflu of all our snow. It has been warm all over the place these last few days, but winter is due back soon. Not only is the weather miserable at the moment but there is a flu epidemic in the States. They are urging people to get the flu shot saying its not too late. At $25 a head, I suspect a lot of people can’t afford it. At least $25 is what they charge in the area of Emerald Isle, NC where we go on vacation. The shots were available last September I noticed. Luckily flu shots are free for us in Canada. I realise the picture is really about swine flu, but I thought it was rather cute.

I hCaptain Vorpatrilave just finished Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance by Lois McMaster Bujold. A recent addition to her Miles Vorkosigan stories. I enjoyed it. Miles doesn’t actually appear very much'; this book is basically about his cousin Ivan Vaz Vorpatril.  As with every book I have red by this author, its great and in some parts very funny. Ivan gets himself into some scrapes which are funny after the event. If you enjoy her books, I can certainly recommend this one. I actually think I missed the book before this one so have ordered it from the library. I have also ordered the first book of her new series which I haven’t tried yet. The Curse of Chalion. Now I see on Amazon there is another series, guess I am a bit behind on her writing.

Some of my cooking friends and I are planning to do a Dinner Around the World night on February 2. Our theme is going to be Italian. Its fun, whatever country we happen to be in, we will prepare more or less the same dishes on the same date and sometimes have friends to dine with us. We then post pictures. We have done this several times, but not for the last couple of years. Thinking of Italian dishes, I remembered this classic one which might sound an odd combination of flavours, but is quite delicious. The first time I ever ate this was at the christening of my goddaughter who’s father was an Italian chef and restaurateur.

Vitello Tonnato

By Kyle Phillips,

It takes a while to make but is well worth it. To serve 6-8 you will need:

  • 2 1/4 pounds(1 k) boned veal, cut from the rump.
  • 3/4 pound (320 g) tuna packed in oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 6 salted anchovies (the canned variety, sold by delicatessens)
  • A handful of pickled capers
  • 1/2 cup (approx.) olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • A bottle of dry white wine
  • The juice of a lemon
  • A rib of celery, thinly sliced crosswise
  • A few leaves of sage
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 cloves (some people omit these)
  • Salt
  • A few more perfect capers, some lemon slices, and sprigs of parsley for garnishing

Put the meat in a bowl with the bay leaves, cloves, sage and celery, and pour the wine over it. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 24 hours, turning the meat occasionally. The next day place the meat in a Dutch oven. Strain the wine and add it to the meat, then add enough water to cover. Lightly salt the pot and simmer the meat for an hour. In the meantime, wash, scale and bone the anchovies. When the hour is up add them to the pot and continue boiling for another half hour; the liquid should be reduced by half.
Hard boil the eggs, run them under cold water, peel them, and extract the yolks (you can discard or fill the whites as you prefer). Rinse, squeeze dry, and mince the capers.
When the meat is fork-tender remove it from the pot and strain the broth into a bowl. Transfer the fish filets to a clean strainer and press them through it, together with the tuna and the yolks, into another bowl. Stir in the minced capers, the vinegar, the lemon juice and the olive oil, and then dilute the sauce to your taste with some of the reserved broth.
When the veal has cooled slice it finely and lay the slices out on one or more platters (you want just one layer). Spread the sauce over the meat, garnish the platters with the lemon slices, capers and parsley. Cover them with plastic wrap and chill them in the refrigerator before serving.

Have a great day



  1. Dinner around the world sounds tasty.
    I need to check out that series.
    And haven't been sick! One of the few around here.

    1. DAW is tasty and fun to do.
      I am surprised you haven't read them already. They have been around a long time now.
      Glad you haven't been sick, flu isn't much fun although I'm pleased to say I haven't had it in years. Knock on wood

  2. Human trafficking is a scary issue. I've seen a few pretty good, and frightening, films about the topic and seen a number of reports on television. There is a lot of evil in the world.

    Tossing It Out

    1. So true Lee. Viveka mentions some films too. Its OK making films, but we need to actually do something about it, somehow, instead of spending money on wars and fighting.

  3. Already been through the flu thing. We only get sick once very five years so we never worry about the shots.

    1. Being ancient and because the shots are free, we always have them. Mostly neither of us get colds or flu, Matt not in more than 20 years, I have had a couple of colds in that time.

  4. Great recipe..tho it seems like a lot of work!

    1. Its not that bad, you just need to marinate it for a long time. The bit I don't understand is scaling and boning anchovies, the anchovies we get never need that. The end result is well worth any effort.