Monday, October 31, 2016

Real Life Zombies, Hallelujah,

Well, it's Hallowe'en today and I received a Hallowe'en contribution from National Geographic. This is what National Geographic have to say:
Real-Life Zombies
Sometimes real life can be stranger—and scarier—than fiction. Such is the case with these “zombie snails.” The parasite Leucochloridium paradoxum infects snails through bird poop, turns their antennae into pulsating caterpillar doppelgängers , and then compels them to slime their way to the top of plants, where they are easily eaten by birds.

Thus the parasite is passed back to the bird, which completes the spooky cycle by pooping it out again—to the peril of the snails.

—Nick Lunn, editor

The video doesn't work from here but this link will show you the cycle of the snail eating the bird poop and becoming bird food once more. Delightful.

One of my friends, Australian blogger Helen V of Imagine Me posted a blog the other day talking about Pentatonix and their acapella version of Hallelujah which is on their recently released 'That's Christmas to Me' album. I finally got round to watching it and I thought it was fabulous. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Now I'm seriously thinking of getting their Christmas Album.

I always enjoyed vegetables especially broccoli and Brussels Sprouts, I know there are many people who don't. However, a few years ago I stopped enjoying them. I didn't know why. Then something I read or heard, made me rethink and I started cooking them in distilled water. Lo and behold I am enjoying them again. Turned out it was the softened water in the building which was giving them a taste I didn't like.  As I was serving broccoli on Saturday night and our meal was a relatively plain one, I found a way of dressing it up which appealed to me and it was good.

Broccoli with Garlic Butter and Cashews

"A new recipe a neighbor gave us. What a hit with my family. Just the right mixture of garlic and
cashews with our favorite side dish, broccoli. And, so very easy to make!! If in a pinch, you could probably use frozen broccoli too, but I haven't tried."

1 1/2 lbs fresh broccoli, cut into bite size pieces
1/3 cup butter
1 Tbs brown sugar
3 Tbs soy sauce
2 tsp white vinegar
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup chopped salted cashews

1. Place the broccoli into a large pot with about 1 inch of water in the bottom. Bring to a boil, and cook for 7 minutes, or until tender but still crisp. Drain, and arrange broccoli on a serving platter.

2. While the broccoli is cooking, melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Mix in the brown sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, pepper and garlic. Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat. Mix in the cashews, and pour the sauce over the broccoli. Serve immediately.

Servings: 6

Have a great day


  1. That is just disgusting.
    And zombies and Hallelujah in one post - well done.

    1. Pretty horrid isn't it Alex. Well if you listen to some of the words in the song, it could be very appropriate for today.

  2. I rad about someone in England who was asked to remove his Halloween decorations because the 'zombies' looked too real. I didn't know that anyone actually knew what they really looked like, LOL. I love Brussels sprouts and usually roast mine. I have heard about the differences in water quality and taste. Supposedly NYC water is what gives their pizza crust such a distinctive taste.

    1. How very true Denise. I got a laugh out of that, thanks. Never roast my veggies although I did try it with cauliflower once and didn't think much of it. I think it's the softened water which is my problem anyway.

  3. I'm glad you enjoyed the Pentatonix version of 'Hallelujah'. They really do sound amazing, don't they.
    Interesting about the broccoli taste. I'm very fond of broccoli - Brussels sprouts not so much - and often do a stir fry of it with cashews. This sounds like an interesting variation so I'll be trying it.
    I'm guessing you've noticed I'm trying not to think about zombie snails!

    1. Yup, I thought they were great Helen. I couldn't understand why I had turned against broccoli and sprouts until I tried the distilled water.

      They are pretty disgusting aren't they?

  4. Hi Jo - the snail cycle is just life I guess, but not nice - except I could do with the birds here to clean my car! Pentatonix have lovely voices don't they ... thanks for sharing Helen gave you a good link ...

    love Brussels (and broccoli occasionally) ... while this recipe sounds a good mix ... cheers Hilary

    1. You need the snails to clean your car Hilary. Yes, I was most impressed with Pentatonix.

      I love them again now although for a while I went right off them.

  5. Think I'll pass on the zombie snail video! lol Gross! Happy Halloween!

    1. It is gross JoJo, but interesting. Happy Hallowe'en to you too, I know you enjoy this time of year.