Monday, June 23, 2014

Bloggers and Friends, Ravens, Homes.

Is it blogging I wonder, or is it me. I have met some wonderful people in cyberspace with whom I have made great friends; however, these friends include a Mexican Fire Dragon who lives in a cave and owns 150 dwarves, his dragon knight, a Ninja with a cloning machine, a guy who’s garden gnomes hold weddings and who’s dog writes many of his blogs; I have even become grandmother to the dragon. Every one of them goes out of his/her way to help people as much as they can and to encourage others, particularly those who are writers who seem to need lots of encouragement even when they have been published many times. It was the dragon who drew my signature picture which I have been using and gave me the Golden Scale Award. There are many other wonderful blogging people but not all of them have alter egos.

RavensI was writing about superstition the other day and Matt reminded me of one very important one in the annals of British History. There are ravens living in the Tower of London and legend has it that if they ever leave, the crown will fail and Britain with it. Naturally their wings are clipped to make sure this doesn’t happen. There have to be a minimum of 6 so they keep 7 just in case. They are looked after extremely well by an appointed Ravenmaster and his assistant. There are some interesting raven stories at the end of the Wiki article to which I have linked.

Another thing which came up over the weekend; because of a Great Lakescrossword clue, Matt asked me if I could name all of the five Great Lakes. Due to a trick passed on from his father, I could certainly do so, easily.
Superior – in other words, the first letters spell HOMES

In case you wondered, no, asparagus season is not yet over although it is fast drawing to a close. Here is a somewhat luxurious way of serving this, my favourite vegetable.

Asparagus and Lobster Crêpes with Fines Herbes Hollandaise Sauce

1 lb asparagus, ends trimmed
Cooked meat of 1 large lobster, or 2 lobster tails (about 1 1/2 lbs Asparagus Lobster Crepeslobster before cooking)
sprinkling of salt plus 1/2 tsp.
Fines Herbes
2 Tbs white wine vinegar
1/4 cup water
3 large egg yolks
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened and cubed
2 Tbs lemon juice
white pepper to taste
1 Tbs fresh tarragon, finely chopped
1 Tbs fresh chives, finely chopped
1 Tbs fresh chervil, finely chopped.

1. Preheat oven to 300°F.
2. In a large pot, steam or boil asparagus until just tender, about 10 mins, cool under cold water, drain and set aside.
3. Coarsely chop cooked lobster, set aside
4. Prepare crêpes.
5. Divide the asparagus into 8 separate bundles. Place a bundle in each of 8 crêpes, sprinkle with salt and roll to enclose. Place asparagus in a glass baking dish, top with lobster and cover with foil. Just before serving, and no sooner, place in heated oven for 15 mins to warm through.
6. In a small saucepan over medium high heat reduce (boil) vinegar, water and 1/2 tsp salt until approximately 3 tbs remains, remove from heat.
7. Lower heat to medium-low, add yolks to pan and return to heat, whisking constantly until foamy and lightly thickened. Make sure not to scramble eggs; if the eggs begin to cook too quickly pull off the heat and whisk vigorously to cool slightly before continuing.
8. Begin to whisk butter into pan 1 cube at a time. Once all the butter is incorporated, whisk in lemon juice, white pepper and fresh herbs. Use immediately.
9. Place two asparagus crêpes on each plate and top each with some of the warmed lobster. Spoon hollandaise overtop, serve immediately

Servings: 4

Source: Food and Drink Spring 2010

Author Notes
If preparing this for a dinner party, the asparagus, lobster, crêpes and vinegar reduction can all be prepared beforehand so that the only thing left to prepare is the hollandaise. Make sure to use a good quality butter so that the hollandaise has great flavour.

Have a great day


  1. In print, we sound like a weird bunch of friends, don't we? hey, supporting others is what it's all about.
    I've been to Tower of London and seen the ravens. They are well taken care of.

    1. Grin. Yes it does seem to be what it's all about. Great place to be.

      Me too. You have been around haven't you.

  2. There are so many supportive writers and bloggers out there.

    1. That's very true Diane. Wonderful people.

  3. Hey that's a cool mnemonic to remember the lakes!

  4. I took my kids to the Tower of London and they were fascinated by that legend when I told them. I'm not fussed on ravens... or crows. Another legend is that they're really witches spying on us. I love the sound of those bloggers you mentioned. Very eccentric and imaginative!

    1. It's an interesting legend. Not heard about the witches.

      You don't know our Ninja Captain or the Dragon? Alex J. Cavenaugh is the Ninja and his blog is linked on mine. For some reason, the Dragon's isn't, I will have to correct that.

  5. Oh yum that looks so good to me right now. Been doing a lot of asparagus lately. Hey, its good stuff. Next year I hope to be harvesting my own. Then I'm going to go back and look up all your recipes for it, lol!

    We do have a lot of great blogger friends out there and like you, I've made some great friends and some I've met.

    I heard the story about the Ravens. I think they're such clever birds. I've always loved them and of course they're great carrion birds, which given England's bloody past, explains why the tower was a popular abode for them. :-D

    Sia McKye Over Coffee

    1. Lucky you Sia, I had an asparagus bed for a few years in England. Wish I still had my own. Don't need to go back, I will be posting many of them again next season.

      It's great when you get to meet cyber friends f2f isn't it. Only met two blogging friends, but lots of friends from a Yahoo Group I belonged to. Cookery based would you believe.

      Well they did behead quite a lot of people in the tower didn't they?

  6. I love the number of topics you always manage to touch upon. I live right near Lake Erie, and the little memory trick has come in handy more than once.

    I didn't know about the ravens, but I think the care that goes into making sure they stay is terrific!

    And asparagus is definitely a favorite veggie of mine. We're finally growing some again after years of not having any.

    1. In my case, thanks to dad in law. They certainly get lots of attention.

      Lucky you too, wish I had my own. I used to use the fern in flower arrangements too, so pretty.

  7. I've never found an online community any better than this writing community of ours. Such remarkable folks. And yeah, that dragon and ninja and human-owning Jack Russel are cream of the crop. And there's this recipe-spouting Canadian out there that's tough to beat. ;-)

    1. They are wonderful and thanks for the compliment. You fit in real well Sir Jeff.

  8. Hi Jo,

    Ah yes, Father Dragon, on a um, scale of one to ten, he's an eleven. There is such support, such encouragement in the diversity of blogland.

    Judging by the state of things over here, the ravens have left, never to return.

    I was had a whole bunch of ants crawl up my leg on the shore of Lake Ontario.

    That recipe prepared for a dinner party would be great.



    1. Sure is Gary. Penny is up there too.

      I do hope that's not true.

      I wouldn't think that would be much fun, hope they weren't fire ants.

      I know, but lobster sure ain't cheap.