Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Stranded Dolphins, Asparagus, Bees.

This is an incredible piece of footage. I had to share it in case you haven’t seen it. I can’t believe some of those people who were just standing about and watching.

As you will have noticed, I am always rabbiting oAsparagus_thumb1n about asparagus and how much I love it. Not only that, it’s good for you, really good for you. It has been used since ancient times to detoxify the body and today we know there is science behind this ancient practice. If you read this article in National Health Sherpa you will discover that asparagus is a real power house of nutritional benefits. It is full of vitamins and I quote:

"There’s no doubt about it: Asparagus is one of nature’s healthiest vegetables.  Along with potassium, it’s also an excellent source of many other vitamins and minerals necessary for optimal health.”

That’s just part of it, if you check the article there is so much more to be obtained by eating asparagus. It includes antioxidants, it is an anti inflammatory, a cancer prevention ingredient, a good digestive and so on and so on. Plus, IMHOP, it’s delicious.

I have been doing a lot of worrying about bees lately which is why I have the sign on the right.  Bees are such cute little critters, especially bumble bees, and generally putter about gathering nectar from all kinds of sources and pollinating at the same time. One of the things I find somewhat irritating is the confusion in North America Bee-Flowerbetween bees and wasps. There is actually a lot of difference, but so many people persist in calling wasps bees. Just saw something on TV where they were talking about bee stings, or yellow jackets. They were wasp stings. One thing with a bee, if it stings you, it leaves waspits stinger in you and then the poor bee goes off and dies. You should be sure to remove the stinger from the site. The wasp on the other hand goes off to sting again. Personally I like bees, to me they are working really hard pollinating plants and making honey. Without them (they are dying off in droves) we will be in serious trouble. I realise I have addressed this topic four times in my blogging life. Maybe I should address it more often. SAVE THE BEES and save our future. 

 Once upon a time we used to watch Giada di Laurentis’ TV show every day without fail. and I have cooked many of her recipes. This one came from Food and Wine and I thought it was worth sharing. Not only that, it is a fast and simple recipe to prepare. Never tried fried capers, but love capers.

Lemon Spaghetti with Shrimp

Contributed by Giada De Laurentiis

Lemon Spaghetti with Shrimp
  • •FAST
Fried capers add a crisp, pungent hit to De Laurentiis's lovely seafood pasta. The sauce that coats the spaghetti is a simple mix of olive oil, Parmesan and lemon.

  1. Vegetable oil, for frying
  2. 1/4 cup capers, rinsed, drained and patted dry
  3. 1 pound spaghetti
  4. 2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  5. 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  6. 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  7. 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (from 3 lemons)
  8. 1 pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined
  9. Salt
  10. Pepper
  11. 1/2 cup chopped basil, plus more for garnish
  1. In a skillet, heat 1/4 inch of vegetable oil until shimmering. Add the capers and fry over moderately high heat, stirring, until browned and crisp, 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the capers to paper towels to drain.
  2. In a saucepan of salted boiling water, cook the spaghetti until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water.
  3. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk 2/3 cup of the olive oil with the grated cheese, lemon zest and lemon juice.
  4. In a very large skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil until shimmering. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper, add to the skillet and cook over moderately high heat, turning once, until just opaque, 4 minutes. Reduce the heat to moderate and add the pasta, lemon sauce, half of the reserved pasta water and the 1/2 cup of basil. Cook, tossing, until the pasta and shrimp are coated, 2 minutes, adding more of the pasta water if the spaghetti is dry; transfer to shallow bowls, garnish with basil and the fried capers and serve.
Have a great day


  1. Bees have some fuzz on them, that's the easiest way to tell the difference. I will get right up to a bee to take it's picture, with them flying all around me, and they never bother me. Wasps on the other hand are nasty things. I killed one in my craft room last week. The price of asparagus is starting to go up again. That bums me out. It makes me sad that all the healthy food costs a ton of money but you can get 10 boxes of Kraft dinner for $10.

    1. Yup, fluffy bees. Mind you I remember a plague of wasps in England and my mother cooking, rolling pastry, with wasps sitting on her hands. She never got stung, I on the other hand, got stung lots of times that year. Sitting on them didn't help.

      I pay $3/lb at the farm so I guess that does become expensive for people with a large family. Such a pity as it is such a healthy food.

  2. Since I'm highly allergic to wasps, I certainly know the difference!
    I admire you for advocating for the creatures you care about, Jo. Write about bees as many times as you want. I certainly appreciate the pollinating our garden and our flower beds!
    You keep loading me up with good recipes! Now I just need to get well enough to cook. This one sounds so good for a hot summer night! I've never tried fried capers either, though I love the salty/briny accent they give to dishes.
    Tina @ Life is Good
    On the Open Road! @ Join us for the 4th Annual Post-Challenge Road Trip!

    1. Not funny if you are allergic to wasps. Bees, however, do such a great job even if it is only accidentally. Maybe I should ask all of my blogging buddies to display the bee logo on their blogs too.

      I love capers on smoked salmon in particular although there is a lemon and chicken dish we do which includes capers. I have blogged the recipe a couple of times I think.

  3. I don't really understand what's happening in that video, and how the dolphins got so close to shore. I wouldn't have known what to do either, but I'm glad people started helping out when the officials did.

    Asparagus is high in potassium? I always learn from you. I like asparagus. I also like lemon with anything fishy.

    1. Apparently that can happen to dolphins and whales too. Something happens and they lose direction and beach themselves. I have heard it said it's something to do with the pollution in the waters. I was complaining about the people who just stood watching whilst people were pulling the dolphins back almost as though it was a show put on for them. Grr.

      If you read the article I link to Robyn, it's high in a heck of a lot of other stuff. A real health powerhouse.

  4. I planted cat mint and checking the blooms the last few days attracted two bees. Yea! I have more blue flowers that will bloom later. But two are much fewer than the last summer. I am a "lover of bees" as well, Jo.

    1. You're right, two bees is not too many. I hope you get more bees soon. It really is a big worry. Maybe you could take the bee logo and post it on your blog too. Everything we can do to spread the word.

  5. Wow, Jo, that stranded dolphin video is amazing. Makes you wonder why dolphins and whales come to shore like that, poor creatures. I love asparagus, but don't eat it enough I confess. My husband is from a bee-keeping family, so know all about the dangers to bees long term. Crazy government decisions to allow imports from countries with fatal bee diseases is the biggest threat to both the bees and our future.

    1. It is very odd isn't it? I can't get enough asparagus at this time of year knowing I will be without the fresh for the majority of the year.

      Didn't know about the fatal bee diseases. Seems a bit short sighted.