Monday, June 30, 2014

Air Show, Books.

SnowbirdsWe live close to a small airport, they cannot handle jumbo jets or anything, but they do fly small planes to the Caribbean and business people all round the continent. This weekend (it’s Canada Day on Tuesday) they have had an air show. We don’t go as a) we don’t do crowds and b) I can’t stand for any length of time. However, the Canadian Snowbirds were present and we got some of the benefit of their performance. Couple of times they came really, really closeSnowbirds2 and the noise was tremendous and it amused me that when this happened I ducked. Totally automatic reflex. Couldn’t stop myself. I wondered if it was normal or shades of 9/11. Didn’t see much of their performance of course, but certainly saw them formation flying past our windows. The planes looked really pretty glinting in the sunlight.

Been doing a lot of reading lately I started with Juliet Marillier’s Crown of RenewalSevenwaters books which took place in old Ireland and were loosely based on Irish legends. I then discovered that one of my favourite authors Mercedes Lackey had a series about the Elemental Masters which for some reason I had missed. I have now read two of those and have another on order. Of course some of these books I have been waiting for forever and they are all coming in at once. I am now reading Elizabeth Moon’s Crown of Renewal which is the last of her Paladin’s Legacy series but Words of Radiancethere have been several offshoots from these books so there may be more. My two favourite books of Elizabeth Moon’s are stand alones, Remnant Population and The Speed of Dark. Then I had an email from the library telling me that Brandon Sanderson’s Words of Radiance was ready for pick up. This is the second book in his Stormlight Archive series. The first book The Way of Kings was published in 2010 so been waiting a long time. Admittedly he finished the Wheel of Time series and did a wonderful job, but he has written other things in those 4 years too. I hope I can remember everything that happened in the first book.

I thought this salad which I found on Food and Wine sounded good but then realised it was using chicken instead of seafood. Obviously you can make it with seafood if you like and I probably would. Not sure if I would use rice or orzo, I have both and orzo cooks more quickly.

Paella Salad

Contributed by Quick From Scratch Soups and Salads
We've based this salad very loosely on paella, the Spanish rice dish—Paella Saladand you can actually make it with rice if you like. Our choice, though, is orzo, the tiny rice-shaped pasta. The cooking instructions are the same whichever you choose.

  1. 3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  2. 1 onion, chopped
  3. 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  4. 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  5. 6 ounces dried chorizo or other firm spicy sausage such as pepperoni, quartered lengthwise and sliced thin crosswise
  6. 1/4 teaspoon dried red-pepper flakes
  7. 1 teaspoon paprika
  8. 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 3), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  9. 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  10. 1/2 pound orzo (about 1 cup)
  11. 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  12. 1 tomato, diced
  13. 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  1. In a large frying pan, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of the oil over moderately low heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables start to soften, about 10 minutes.
  2. Increase the heat to moderately high. Add the chorizo and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Stir in the red-pepper flakes, paprika, chicken, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and the black pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until the chicken is almost done, about 3 minutes. Cover the pan and remove from the heat. Steam the chicken for 2 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a large glass or stainless-steel bowl to cool.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the orzo until done, about 12 minutes. Drain. Rinse with cold water and drain thoroughly.
  4. Add the drained orzo to the chicken mixture. Toss with the lemon juice, the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt, the tomato, and the parsley.

Suggested Pairing

Paella's Iberian roots lead us to Spain for a red Ribera del Duero. The name, literally translated as the "slopes along the Duero River," describes an area that is now the source of some of Spain's greatest red wines. Ribera del Duero's wild-cherry, herb, and spice flavours will be superb with this salad.

Have a great day


  1. Hi Jo - our air show with the Red Arrows happens in seven weeks or so .. and they are noisy aren't they .. but fun to watch - though I rarely go ... if it's possible to grab a piece of Beachy Head ... it is done and bagged well before Show Days ...

    Glad your'e getting time to read ... and enjoying the books ...

    Paella salad - I do sometimes .. but love the seafood version ... cheers Hilary

  2. One of the best I ever saw was sitting in a boat on the water which was right at the end of the runway of Cherry Point air base in North Carolina. Great view.

    I always spend lots of time reading.

    It's only loosely based on the real paella.

  3. I've been to a lot of air shows in my lifetime. Now I just watch them practice from my backyard.

    1. You have done and seen so much Alex, I begin to think either you really do have clones or you are over 100 years old.

  4. We've been to the air show twice here, but it's always so hot and such a hassle getting off base when it ends.

    1. The one we watched from the water was at Cherry Point. You are right it is always hot and I can imagine getting off base would be appalling.

  5. I never liked it when the blue angels would practice right over downtown SF for Fleet Week each October. The sound of the jets just grated on my nerves and I was always afraid they would hit one of the skyscrapers.

    1. Dunno where they were practicing but we only saw the offshoot of the performance. I thought they were going to hit us and we are only 9 floors high.

  6. I enjoy many of the books from Mercedes Lackey and Elizabeth Moon. I discovered them by way of Anne MaCafferey. I haven't read them all. Going to have to check out some of the series I've missed. They are reads I have to be in the mood for.

    I haven't gone to an airshow in ages. I think the next thing we're doing is going to the Army post to watch the fireworks. I don't do crowds much either. :-)

    Sia McKye Over Coffee

    1. I loved Anne MacCaffery books, I was so sorry to lose her. Her son's Pern books were not nearly as good. I think I have read just about everything from Elizabeth Moon and Mercedes Lackey except for these I mentioned above.

      We get fireworks outside our windows every time there is a holiday. Lots last night although Canada Day isn't until Tuesday.

  7. We have an airshow here once a year. I hate crowds too and don't go but we can see them in the distance. They're truly awesome but I can't help but think of the huge amounts of wasted fuel they must be using in a world where we are supposed to be cutting down.

    1. So true Pinky, I must admit I had never thought of that.

      I was talking to hubby about you today, I was wondering if you live near the sea as you are a pescatarian (sp) here it would be cost prohibitive as we are so far away from the source.