Monday, May 20, 2013

Victoria Day, Anteater Puzzle.

Today is Victoria Day in Canada. Canada celebrated Queen Victoria’s Victoria_Day_fireworks_Toronto_2010birthday long before Confederation and Canadians of the time gathered together on the occasion of her 35th birthday to cheer her. After her death in 1901 it became a law that Victoria Day should be marked. It seems from the history to have got muddled up with Empire Day and subsequent royal birthdays. However, today it is celebrated on the Monday before May 25th as a way to mark the present Queen’s birthday as well as celebrating Empire Day. Must be a bit muddling for Queen Elizabeth II, her actual birthday is April 21, her Canadian birthday is in May and her official birthday in the UK is in June. One bit of history I do recall is that Queen Victoria chose Ottawa as the capital of Canada.

Mind you people have been letting off fireworks round here since Friday night although the official displays will be tonight. From our balcony we get quite a good view of quite a lot of the rockets, but the two big displays locally are just out of sight for us.
Odd little story, officials at LEO Zoological Conservation Center in baby anteaterConnecticut, are puzzled at the birth of a baby anteater in an all female pen. The male was removed last August and an anteater needs 6 months gestation period, so the zoo is very puzzled. This is a picture of a baby anteater although not the one in question.

I started reading The Fall of Giants yesterday, what a depressing book, not sure I will be finishing it.

For those of you who are not besotted with asparagus as I am, I thought I would give you a chicken recipe today. I have never seen frozen artichoke hearts round here, so I guess I would us a jar of them. If you are unfamiliar with orzo, it is a pasta which is very small and looks a bit like rice.

Chicken and Sun-Dried Tomato Orzo

WebMD Recipe from

Sun-dried tomatoes and Romano cheese pack a flavourful punch along with the tantalizing aroma of fresh marjoram in this rustic Italian-inspired dish. Serve with sautéed fresh spinach or steamed broccolini.

8 ounces orzo, preferably whole-wheat
1 cup water
1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes, (not oil-packed), divided
1 plum tomato, diced
1 clove garlic, peeled
3 teaspoons chopped fresh marjoram, divided
1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
4  boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed (1-1 1/4 pounds)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon
freshly ground pepper
1 9-ounce package frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
1/2 cup finely shredded Romano cheese, divided

  1. Cook orzo in a large saucepan of boiling water until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes or according to package directions. Drain and rinse.
  2. Meanwhile, place 1 cup water, 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, plum tomato, garlic, 2 teaspoons marjoram, vinegar and 2 teaspoons oil in a blender. Blend until just a few chunks remain.
  3. Season chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook, adjusting the heat as necessary to prevent burning, until golden outside and no longer pink in the middle, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate; tent with foil to keep warm.
  4. Pour the tomato sauce into the pan and bring to a boil. Measure out 1/2 cup sauce to a small bowl. Add the remaining 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes to the pan along with the orzo, artichoke hearts and 6 tablespoons cheese. Cook, stirring, until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Divide among 4 plates.
  5. Slice the chicken. Top each portion of pasta with sliced chicken, 2 tablespoons of the reserved tomato sauce and a sprinkling of the remaining cheese and marjoram.
Have a great day


  1. Happy Victoria Day! Thanks for sharing the recipe. In my book chicken, cheese, and sun dried tomatoes are a perfect combination.

    1. Thanks. There were lots of fireworks last night, not sure if there will be any tonight.

  2. I could use veggie chicken for that recipe.

    Happy Victoria Day, Jo.

    1. You could. What's it made of, soy?

      Thanks Diane.

  3. The total chaos of which actual day is the birthday cracks me up, but happy celebration regardless! We used to have a Lincoln's birthday celebration, and a Washington's birthday celebration, but along with Martin Luther King also in February, we now have "President's Day" which is always a Monday, so rarely either's birthday. Keep in mind I could have referenced the wrong presidents...I'm that tired...
    That anteater mystery is indeed mystifying...
    Tina @ Life is Good

    1. Sorry you are so tired.

      Yes it is interesting.

  4. Are they SURE all of the anteaters are female???

  5. Happy Victoria Day! I do enjoy watching a good fireworks display. As for the anteater, maybe the male was sneaking in some visits after-hours to see the ladies? (;

    1. Thanks Elise. Last night they were getting a bit much as there were some young people letting off fire crackers right outside our windows However, much to my surprise, they quit at 11.

      Who knows what those anteaters get up to.

  6. We just bought some fireworks today, for the 4th of July. A ways away yet. But hubby was excited. I don't like the things, the big displays are fun to watch, but all those little ones going off through the night not so much fun. Patches doesn't like it either.

    Thanks for the new recipe -- I was wondering though, did you do a chocolate asparagus? :)

    1. He is an early bird isn't he. We used to let them off in the street (cul de sac) on the 4th. Fun. No, not much fun for the dogs, or for all the wild animals and birds, poor things.

      I had forgotten about chocolate asparagus, will have to check it out.

      If you check my blog tomorrow, I have tagged you.

  7. How funny about the various dates for the Queen to celebrate. It could get confusing as she ages. "Wait. It's my birthday AGAIN? I swear I just blew out those candles last month."

    I think that female anteater has been sneaking out at night.

    1. Yes, it must be difficult.

      I think you are maligning the female LOL

  8. you sure know how to make my mouth water!!