Friday, October 23, 2015

Maggie Smith, Bowling, Sinkholes.

Today, Thursday, Matt's last skin cancer op was performed. Whilst waiting I went down for a coffee. Riding back up in the elevator a woman said to me
"you look like someone famous, Maggie Smith. I bet you get told that all the time" I replied 'not for a very long time'. In fact I was once told that about 50 years ago. I didn't think I looked much like her then and I don't think so now either. I guess she was a bit younger in this picture. Matt says her eyes are bigger than mine, but he is looking at my eyes today and not from a few years ago. I must admit my first reaction was to think of her in Downton Abbey when she does look pretty elderly. Turns out she is 80. I am not there yet although of course Matt is.

After the hospital we went straight to the bowling alley and had toasted cheese sandwiches for lunch. Do you know I have never had a toasted cheese sandwich. Not bad at all. We bowled Wednesday and now Thursday. I was bowling well both days but Matt leaves it to the third game to get a good one. My last one today was a bit puny. But overall, I just wish I could bowl like that for the league. Maybe I'm trying too hard or something.

After watching Nova on Wednesday night, I am never going to Florida again. I now understand about the sinkholes and why they happen. From what they explained, the whole of Florida is rife for sinkholes and a lot of them come without warning. It was a very interesting programme, but quite frightening. I feel very sorry for people who have bought retirement homes and such and then have found out they are liable to be caught by one because of where their homes have been built. So, sorry if you really want me to visit you, ain't gonna happen. Yes, sinkholes happen in other places, Canada is not excluded, but because of the construction of the rock which is mostly karst, Florida is particularly susceptible.

Ginger Beef Salad with Miso Vinaigrette

Skip the grated cheese and croutons and serve an Asian-inspired salad with homemade seven-ingredient vinaigrette. Serve with soba noodles, followed by dessert.
  • Yield: 4 servings


  • 1 (1-pound) flank steak, trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons white miso (soybean paste)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon chile paste with garlic
  • 6 cups torn Bibb lettuce (about 3 small heads)
  • 3/4 cup thinly sliced yellow bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/2 English cucumber, halved lengthwise and sliced


1. Preheat broiler.
2. Sprinkle steak evenly with ginger, salt, and garlic. Place on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray; broil 6 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Let stand 5 minutes. Cut steak diagonally across grain into thin slices.
3. Combine cilantro and next 6 ingredients (through chile paste) in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Combine lettuce and remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Drizzle half of miso mixture over lettuce mixture; toss to coat.
4. Place 1 1/2 cups lettuce mixture on each of 4 plates. Top each with 3 ounces steak; top with miso mixture.

Dessert: Heat 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup torn mint, and 1/4 cup water until sugar melts. Strain; cool. Stir in 4 cups halved strawberries.

Have a great day


  1. Florida is a dump anyway. I only want to see Epcot and Harry Potter at Universal. I don't like Florida at all. You never had a grilled cheese before now? Those are a staple here in the US. They are esp. good served with tomato soup.

    1. I don't think it's a dump JoJo, I have spent a lot of time there and always enjoyed it.

      Yes I know it's totally North American and yet I have never had one before. I will have to try it with tomato soup.

  2. Glad Matt is done with the treatments.
    You've never had a grilled cheese sandwich? Ever? I grew up on those.

    1. Me too Alex, although I was a bit concerned last night as the wound had obviously been bleeding quite a bit. Seems OK now.

      When I lived in England it wasn't something regularly served anywhere. Cheese on toast, but not grilled cheese sandwich. I guess I could have had one as a kid but I don't remember it. It was a long time after all.

  3. Love a grilled cheese sandwich, and yes, especially with tomato soup. A hearty meal that reminds me of childhood. :)
    Only visited Florida once, lovely, hot and humid, but wouldn't want to live there, sink holes or not!

    1. I certainly enjoyed it Yolanda.

      Son-in-law's dad had a house in Kissimmee and we stayed there quite a lot when the kids came over. Always enjoyed ourselves and liked the area very much. Visited other friends kind of on the other side too. But that programme we saw has frightened me away from the state entirely.

  4. Glad things went well and I love that you had your first cheese toasty.

  5. You may get sick of everyone saying.."You've never had a grilled cheese sandwich before?" It is actually amazing since they are such a staple here. I had heard about all the sink holes in Florida and why so i wouldn't want to ever live there but one day a visit to Harry Potter place etc.. would be fun...unless i go down in a sink hole

    1. I think it's possible Birgit. Considering I have lived here 40 years, I guess it is surprising. From the look of it, you don't have to live there, they can happen any time. Saw one pic of a woman walking on the sidewalk and one opened up as she stepped onto it.

  6. Woah the sink holes are insane. I didn't know they existed naturally.

    1. Most definitely naturally Proso. Caused by porous rock and water basically and most of the rock of Florida seems to be composed of that rock.

  7. Your first paragraph made me laugh out loud Jo. I'm guessing you mentioned Matt has reached eighty because of his comment about your eyes! Lol! I think you're much more finely boned and elegant than Maggie actually.

    1. Not sure how you know Pinky, have you ever seen a picture of me. Those are both Maggie Smith.

  8. Had to laugh at this one, Jo. I am leaving for Florida on Monday and searching for my winter home, once again. Every region has there pros and cons. Look at California... they said it would fall into the pacific decades ago... yet it is still there. Yes, sink holes are scary and horrible, but sadly they are a part of Florida, as earthquakes are to California. But the beauty of Florida is certainly worth seeing.

    And Birgit, Wizarding World is AMAZING! You must go!

    1. Well make damned sure where your new home has been built Michael. If it's near water (lakes) forget it. The lakes might have been sinkholes. Also investigate what kind of rock. We don't want you to end up in one.

  9. I love toasted cheese sandwiches. They're my staple lunch in winter.

    I watched a doco on the Florida sinkholes recently, too. It beggars belief that developers were allowed to build on such unstable land given we've known how potentially dangerous karst is for a very long time.

    1. I think I may make them for myself now and again Helen.

      I do so agree with you. Poor people buying retirement cottages only to find they have lost their investment because their house is sinking.