Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Elephants, Doctors, Royal Baby.

Painted ElephantsElephant Painted were featured in the National Geographic website yesterday I found absolutely fascinating. What gorgeous looking elephants. It really is worth checking out the rest of the pictures. Apparently once, being a mahout was a family tradition but these days the mahouts don’t want their sons following in their footsteps. What a shame, I think its wonderful to see these elephants. They also use them for the groom to ride on when he goes to his wedding. What about the bride, guess she doesn’t get a look in. Be more difficult for her to get up onto the elephant I suppose, I presume she would be wearing skirts.

After our abortive trip to the doctors’ the other day, we decided to go to actually see the doc on Monday as Matt has a skin problem. Turns out to be a fungus. He has been given cream to plaster doctorshimself with. So I produced my list of medications that I needed refills for and was told I had to have my blood pressure taken before they could give me the BP medication. They took it and as usual it was quite high, it always is, and it is always higher when I go to a doctor’s. White coat syndrome. Whatever, this doctor decided to increase the dosage and I have to go back in a month to have it taken again. What a pain. I think this is one of the problems with having a whole bunch of different doctors so that you don’t see your personal physician every time, or even very often. OK they have your records on computer, but in the old days your own doctor knew you and your problems. Matt took quite a dislike to the one we saw today.

I have just signed up on Kshar’s Kitchen, seems like there are  Persian recipes to be enjoyed. A friend sent me the link on Facebook.

royal easelOh great news, I have just seen the Duchess of Cambridge gave birth to a bouncing baby boy, 8 lb. 6 oz. that’s quite a big baby . The Prince of Cambridge, I didn’t know that, I didn’t think there was such a title, but there have been princes with that title over the years. I bet the Brits are going wild. I wouldn’t like to have been one of those reporters on duty all this time, especially as London has been suffering a heat wave. Next thing to wait for is a glimpse of the baby plus the announcement of the baby’s name. There are all kinds of welcome messages on Facebook – the birth seems to have generated a lot of excitement.

The following recipe was another one carried by WebMD and I thought these rolls looked delicious. Sadly I know Matt wouldn’t eat them as he is not too keen on figs. I, on the other hand would devour them, so its just as well if I don’t make them. They are 191 calories each.

Fig-Anise Rolls

WebMD Recipe from EatingWell.com

The early American yeast bread, anadama bread, made with molasses and cornmeal, inspired these delicious dinner rolls. We think the sweet figs and floral aniseeds enhance the rich molasses flavour and make the rolls extra festive. Any type of cornmeal works fig_anise_rollsin this recipe, but we especially like how stone-ground cornmeal looks on top of the rolls.


1 1/4 cups low-fat milk

1/3 cup molasses

3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon canola oil, divided

3/4 cup yellow cornmeal, plus more for sprinkling

1/2 cup warm water, (110-115°F)

1 package active dry yeast, (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more if needed

2 cups whole-wheat flour

1 cup chopped dried figs

1 1/2 teaspoons aniseeds, plus more for sprinkling

1 1/4 teaspoons salt

1  large egg white, beaten, for brushing


  1. Combine milk, molasses and 3 tablespoons oil in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and transfer to a large bowl; stir in 3/4 cup cornmeal. Let stand until an instant-read thermometer registers between 115°F and 120°F, 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. Place water in a small bowl and sprinkle yeast on top. Let stand until the yeast dissolves and looks foamy, about 5 minutes. Stir the yeast into the cornmeal mixture.
  3. Using a wooden spoon, gradually stir all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, figs, 1 1/2 teaspoons aniseed and salt into the cornmeal mixture until the dough begins to come together but still looks dry. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, adding more all-purpose flour by the tablespoonful if needed to prevent sticking, about 10 minutes.
  4. Form the dough into a ball. Coat another large bowl with the remaining 1 teaspoon oil. Add the dough and turn to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free place until almost doubled, about 1 1/2 hours. Gently punch the dough down.
  5. Coat two 9-inch round cake pans or a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Shape the dough into an 18-inch-long log and cut into 18 equal pieces. Working with one piece at a time, gather and pinch the edges together, shaping it into a rough ball. Place each ball, pinched-side down, on a clean work surface. To shape the dough into a tighter ball, slightly cup your hand over it and move the ball around with a circular motion, keeping the bottom in place while tucking the loose edges into it and stretching the surface of the dough tight. (If the outer skin breaks, set the roll aside and let it rest while rounding the remaining rolls. Reroll once the dough relaxes.) Place the rolls in the prepared pans (or pan). Cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until almost doubled, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours.
  6. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  7. Brush the tops of the rolls with egg white (you’ll have some left over). Sprinkle with cornmeal and aniseeds, if desired. Place the rolls in the oven and immediately reduce heat to 350°. Bake until golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack and let cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Have a great day



  1. Hi Jo - I guess the announcement came at a good time for the world's press .. thankfully all is well - and it looks like a healthy birth .. and bouncing boy ...

    Sorry about the challenges re the doctor and various niggles (or worse) getting to you both - good luck ..

    The Persian recipes sound good .. and the bread rolls make interesting reading ...

    Cheers to you .. Hilary

    1. Quite a big baby too. The TV is all about "what's the baby's name" this morning. One suggestion was Arthur, wouldn't it be fun to have a King Arthur.

      I haven't really checked the Persian recipes yet, no time. Will do so soon though.

  2. That purple elephant might cause someone to give up drinking.

    1. Grin. In the yacht club bar (UK) we had a pink elephant from a beer supplier. We could switch on power and it would nod its head, quite funny if someone was pretty looped.

  3. Replies
    1. George seems to be high in the ratings. I would love them to choose Arthur. Just have to wait though I guess.

  4. White coat syndrome - LOL!

    I wonder what they use to paint the elephants? Hopefully it's not toxic.

    1. It's a fact, my BP is never as high at home.

      No idea of course, but I presume it isn't or they would have sick elephants on their hands.

  5. Love the painted elephants! What fun!

    I hate when doctors change too, but my doctor still doesn't recognize me, too busy - in - out only so many minutes and never, never get the question answered. HATE doctors - of is it the need for them?

    I don't understand the hype around royalty - but hearing of her news makes more sense than the Kard's baby news - that was so not necessary!

    1. These doctors all work together, we could insist on seeing our personal physician but it could take forever to get in to see her.

      I love the elephants too.

      I enjoy the hype around royalty although I know lots don''t.