Thursday, June 30, 2016

Palladium, Making of North America, Bowling, Canada Day.

Just watched a programme on PBS about the formation of North America. They were explaining what a geological history record was formed by the Grand Canyon. However, they explained something I had heard before, but never checked out, some of the oldest rock in the world is found in Ontario - part of what we call the Canadian Shield. What I didn't know though, there is a large Palladium mine in Ontario. The Lac des Iles Palladium Mine. Apparently palladium is worth a heck of a lot more than gold although not as much as white gold or platinum. In case you don't know, and I must admit I didn't know much about it, I have just copied this from Wiki:  Palladium is used to make springs for watches, surgical instruments, electrical contacts and dental fillings and crowns. Finely divided palladium acts as a catalyst and is used in hydrogenation and dehydrogenation processes. They also mentioned something about cars but I don't remember what it was. The programme about the formation of North America was quite fascinating and covered geological history from the beginning of earth. Apparently once there were mountains where New York City is. There are two more episodes so we must remember to watch them. It was on Nova if you are interested.

Of course today, Wednesday, was our Summer League bowling and for once, all four of us, on our
team, were bowling pretty well. My scores weren't brilliant, but they were acceptable, and much to our delight we took all 7 points against the other team which turned out to be the number 2 team. Didn't realise that. This means we have crept up another notch and are now in 8th place. (Out of 10). Not brilliant but not on the bottom. 

At this time of year, we have Canada Day on July 1 and Independence Day on July 4. We are inundated with red white and blue recipes but this year there are some red and white recipes to choose from for Canada day. This is one which appealed to me.

Canadian No-Bake Cheesecake Bars
Food Network


Happy Birthday Canada! Celebrate July 1st by proudly showing off our beautiful maple leaf on the
top of this creamy no-bake cheesecake. The addition of a red graham cracker base makes it even more patriotic. The best part of this luscious dessert is that it is make ahead leaving you more time for celebrating!


½ cup butter, melted

1 Tbsp red food colouring

2 cups graham crackers crumbsFilling

1 ½ tsp powdered gelatin

2 Tbsp Water

⅓ cup 35% cream

16 oz cream cheese, softened

½ cup granulated sugar

¼ cup sour cream

1 ½ tsp vanillaTopping

½ cup coarse red sugar


1. In a small bowl, whisk together butter and food colouring. In a medium bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and butter mixture. Mix until butter mixture is evenly distributed. Pour into prepared pan and press evenly; set aside.

2. Line a 9-inch square metal baking pan with foil leaving a 2-inch overhang; set aside.Filling

1. In a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over water. Microwave on medium heat until dissolved, 20 seconds.

2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl and using an electric mixer, whip cream; set aside.

3. In a separate bowl and using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese until light. Add sugar, sour cream and vanilla and beat until combined. Stir into cream cheese mixture. Fold in whipped cream. Pour over crust, smoothing top. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set, at least 3 hours or up to overnight.

4. Using foil overhang as handles, remove cheesecake from pan and transfer from foil to serving plate.

5. Cut cheesecake into 12 pieces.


1. Place 1¾-inch maple leaf cookie cutter in centre of each cheesecake piece. Spoon rounded ¼ tsp coarse red sugar into centre of cutter. Using tip of knife, gently spread sugar to fill cutter. Remove cutter being careful not to disturb sugar.

2. Serve.

Have a great day


  1. I watched that show too. Palladium is used in the catalytic converters for cars. I have been to those falls in Minnesota but had no idea of their origins. The show was quite fascinating.

    1. I could NOT remember catalytic converters Denise, thanks for reminding me. Fascinating about those falls and the incredible changes over the millenia. Seen similar programmes about Europe too. We enjoy programmes like that.

  2. So I can thank Canada for the crown in my mouth?

    1. I'd like to think so Alex, but I assume we are not the only source.

  3. Learned something new, I hadn't heard about palladium before. Very interesting :) Those cheesecake bars could work here in the states with a star cookie cutter :)


    1. I knew of it's existence, but didn't know much about it Betty.

      Yeah, but you need something blue too.

  4. Congratulations on being number 8! I love the recipe, Jo.

    1. Thanks, we were all pleased Dixie. Hope we can improve on that next week. Mind you the way I bowled this afternoon, not so sure.

  5. I thought all rocks in the world were the same age because they're recycled. I love programs like that too. I've never heard of palladium. Very interesting.

    1. I didn't know much about Palladium either Pinky.

  6. I didn't see this show on PBS but happy we have this rich lot in Ontario. This cheesecake recipe sounds good

    1. It was pretty interesting Birgit. Hubby is a big cheesecake fan