Saturday, May 18, 2013

Wallpaper, All Shook Up.

I get an email regularly from National Geographic showing me pictures of the month. Some of these can be used as wallpapers (backgrounds) on one’s computer. The latest one I thought was great so I have done just that, and now it sits on my laptop screen.
ENTRY ID: 202869
It is an Eastern Screech Owl. When I first saw it, I thought it was a carving in a tree.

Friday morning I was sitting in my lounge chair (a rocker/recliner) with my laptop and suddenly felt my chair shaking, I don’t know if the building was shaking or if we had a tremor or what. Matt didn’t feel a thing. Quite scary, jut as if there was a ghost shaking my chair. Maybe this apartment is haunted and I didn’t know it before!! I have no doubt that in the 38 years since the place was built, people have died in this apartment, so maybe there is a revenant here. Turns out it wasn’t my imagination and we did get a quake. 4.8 on the Richter scale. Here’s a link. They say Ottawa to Toronto but we are south east of Toronto so the shock was felt further afield than that. In fact it must have covered a vast area.

I forgot it was Victoria Day on Monday and therefore a holiday weekend. Friday night we were treated to fireworks. The main ones will be on Monday, but it's supposed to rain. What on earth happened to our spring weather, we got a few days and now its disappeared completely.

One of my favourite asparagus dishes is a risotto. I love risotto anyway, but with the asparagus it makes it delicious.

Asparagus Risotto
WW Points 6

Asparagus Risotto
1 lb fresh asparagus, trimmed
sea salt
4 cups cooking liquid combined with beef, poultry or vegetable broth
3 Tbs butter
2 Tbs organic extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbs minced onion
1 cup Arborio Rice
fresh-cracked black pepper
1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated

1. Braise asparagus in large pan filled with about 2 inches of water (asparagus should fit in one layer across bottom of pan), covered, about 5 minutes. Remove asparagus (reserve water) and rinse with cool water to prevent further cooking. Cut asparagus into 1-inch pieces and set spear tips aside to add to dish once it is cooked. Pour cooking water into large pot and add enough beef broth to make 4 cups of liquid. Keep water simmering over low heat, as you'll be adding this to the rice throughout its cooking.

2. In large heavy pot, add 1 tablespoon butter, olive oil and minced onion. Cook onion until nearly translucent over medium-high heat. Add asparagus stalks (not the spear tips) and stir well. Add rice, stirring quickly. Add 1/2 cup simmering broth and cook, stirring constantly, until water is absorbed. Repeat process till rice is tender, about 20 minutes.

3. Final consistency should be creamy and the rice tender but slightly firm at the center. Turn off heat and stir in asparagus spear tips, pepper, 2 TB butter and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. Adjust seasonings if necessary. Add a little white wine if desired.

4. Serve immediately

Servings: 4

Have a great weekend.


  1. Love the Owl, awesome photo, and it does look like a carving.

    I felt the trembler that happened in Virgina and hit the capital. Shook my chair too, so odd, I knew what it was, but still a surprise here in PA. Used to get them all the time in Alaska and WA state, but here unusual.

    1. It was a most peculiar sensation, although I knew what it was, I still thought it was something else.

      Have a cousin living in the San Francisco area, he has been thrown out of bed by quakes. I wouldn't want to live there.

  2. What owl?
    If Matt was up moving around, he probably didn't feel a quake of that size.

  3. LOL

    I shook my chair so much I would have thought he would feel it, but he didn't, he was shaving at the time, so I guess he was on his feet.

  4. Yeah, quakes along the eastern seaboard, though rare, rattle on for miles. I've felt two memorable ones here in NC, including the one from a year or two ago that damaged the Washington Monument. I was on 5th of 18 floors. Needless to say there were some spooked folks in the building.

    1. Never felt one in NC when we lived there. Was pretty familiar with hurricanes though LOL.

  5. We had an earthquake north of us last year and I didn't feel a thing but my husband did.

    1. Odd isn't it? That's twice I have felt one and Matt hasn't

  6. I was in Tokyo (business) years ago when they experienced one of their many quakes/tremors. Luckily their hotels and houses are built to withstand the shocks but it was a weird experience watching the ceiling light swaying and feeling the tremor.

    We love risotto but have never tried it with asparagus - prawns/shrimps are favourite with us I think

    1. Always wanted to go to Japan, too late now I think.

      How about risotto with prawns and asparagus, sounds good to me.

  7. Hi Jo .. quakes or earth tremors always give me an odd feeling .. we used to get them in Jo'burg with the old mine shafts quivering!

    Love asparagus and love risotto .. cheers Hilary

    1. I didn't realise we got quakes in Britain until I was researching a few years ago. Did you know the Lincoln cathedral was damaged/destroyed by a quake many years ago? I never remember any quakes when we lived there.

      Me too.