Friday, July 28, 2017

Book, Bowling, Zoos and Safari Parks, Balconies,

I am now well into The English Assassin by Daniel Silva which was the first of his books I could get hold of. I am enjoying the book very much thanks to Denise Hammond of My Life in Retirement. I have ordered a couple more of his books from the library. If you like spies and thrillers you would like these too.

Thursday afternoon Matt got his own back for last week and thrashed me over three games. I couldn't bowl worth a damn although I bowled quite well on Wednesday.

The TV was on in the bowling alley and I saw an announcement that this was the
Basil standing and Onyx
last summer to visit the Panda exhibition in Toronto zoo. Presumably they are going back to China at the end of the year. I would love to go but it is such a vast zoo, I understand, that I could never manage to walk around and last time I asked,, they didn't have motorized carts one could drive around in. Grocery stores do, why not zoos. They do have wheelchairs but that means someone has to push you. I was telling the grandson at the alley about the Pandas and he was unaware that they were only on loan. He said he
Basil and I
had been looking into visiting the African Lion Safari (not very far from here) but that it was close on $40 these days. We used to go there a lot when we first came to Canada and then after we returned from the States, Matt took on part time security work for something to do and was stationed at the Safari Park for a while. At night of course, but he did get to see a lot of the animals and it was during this period that they allowed Matt and I to visit the cheetah orphans that they were "socialising" and we went into the cages with them. Like big pussy cats even though one nipped me in the bum. They were less than a year old.

I've just discovered that, according to Avon, it is National Lipstick Day on the 29th!!! Needless to say they have a special on lipsticks. Never heard of this, have you?

They are tearing up roads near us, we pass by on the way to the bowling alley. Both Wednesday and Thursday there didn't seem to be anybody working there. Very odd. Torn up half of a very busy road and then have abandoned it.  Which reminds me, the construction crew have now fenced off the area below us which presumably means they are planning to start on our balconies any time. They have dug a trench underneath our tier and I have no idea why. They don't seem to have done that anywhere else. Of course this means that I will be moaning and groaning about the noise and everything else - dreading it. Our balcony door will be sealed shut until they have finished. We have two tiny little windows which won't let in a lot of air. The guy who installed our new a/c said it would be OK to run it in the evening when they had gone, but not, of course, whilst they are drilling out all the walls.

I thought these sounded rather tasty although I haven't a clue what Peppadew peppers are, in or out of brine. Will have to do some googling. I have included a link.

Chicken Spiedie Skewers with Italian Dressing

Central New York State is known for sandwiches stuffed with juicy skewered meat marinated in Italian dressing; these are tasty enough to serve straight up, but we wouldn’t stop you from putting
them on soft Italian bread, either.

1 garlic clove, finely grated
5 Tbs white wine vinegar
2 Tbs chopped Peppadew peppers in brine
1 Tbs mayonnaise
1 Tbs sugar
1 ½ tsp dried oregano
½ cup olive oil, plus more
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
1 ½ lbs skinless, boneless chicken thighs (about 6)
1 large sweet onion, sliced ½ inch thick
2 beefsteak tomatoes (about 1 pound), sliced ¼ inch thick
Oregano leaves and lemon wedges (for serving)

Six to nine 8-inch metal skewers, or wooden skewers soaked 30 minutes in water

Whisk garlic, vinegar, peppers, mayonnaise, sugar, dried oregano, and ½ cup oil in a medium bowl; season with salt and pepper. Transfer half of dressing to a small bowl; cover and chill until ready to serve.

Cut chicken thighs lengthwise into long strips, about 1"–1½" wide (you should get 2–3 pieces per thigh). Combine chicken and remaining dressing in a large resealable plastic bag. Seal bag, pressing out any air. Turn to coat and chill at least 20 minutes and up to 1 day.

Prepare a grill for medium-high heat; oil grate. Remove chicken from dressing; discard dressing. Thread 2 pieces of chicken onto each skewer. Season chicken lightly with salt and grill, turning occasionally, until golden brown and cooked through, 8–10 minutes.

Meanwhile, drizzle onion with oil; season with salt. Grill until browned on both sides but still firm in center, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a large bowl and add tomatoes and a couple splashes of reserved dressing. Toss to coat; season salad with salt and pepper. Top salad and chicken with oregano leaves.

Serve chicken with salad, reserved dressing, and lemon wedges for squeezing over.

Servings: 4

Author: Chris Morocco
Source: Bon App├ętit

Have a great day


  1. Glad you are enjoying the book. I think my favorite is The English Girl, number 13 of the series. I saw the pandas at the National Zoo in D.C. I went by bus from my Georgetown Hotel, walked the entire length of the zoo, and then realized that I had to walk all the way back to get to the closest bus stop. Ugh. They have two main roads torn up by me too. I have to time any trips to avoid traffic.

    1. Got a long way to go before I get there Denise. Lucky you to see the Pandas. Funny about walking the zoo. I just know I couldn't of course. Road works are a pain in this area. Have been for a couple of years or more now.

  2. That's wonderful you got to be in the pen with the young cheetahs. Oregon has Wildlife Safari and we used to visit it all the time. I had my photo taken with a full grown cheetah, his head in my lap. After the picture, I heard this low growl. The park employee leaned in close and chuckled - "He's snoring!"

    1. Yes, there were quite a few of them Diane. That is funny about the cheetah going to sleep.

  3. I'm surprised they don't have motorized carts at the zoo, unless the battery charge won't last long enough.

    1. It is possible they do now JoJo, it's a year or two since I asked them. I should phone and see. Golf carts would work and their batteries last a good long time.

  4. I'd love to get to cuddle a baby wild cat. It nipped you in the bum! That's funny :)

    1. You think so?? No, it was funny afterwards Pinky but a bit startling at the time. Their tongues are like sandpaper and their purrs are extremely loud.

  5. I actually used my air miles to go to the zoo and African Lion Safari so we'll be using these before the end of the season and see the pandas. I saw them 2 years ago but it will be fun to see them again. It is a huge place to cover but if you want to see the pandas, they are the closest to the gate. You will see the polar bears and the arctic area first. The next closest area are the apes and tigers and the South American animals. I did venture further to the African area and the. I made the dreaded trek to the North American animals to see the wolves...there were none! I was done for physically and the following week was horrible. You are so lucky to have been with these 2 cats. I'm so glad you shared some pics here. I am looking forward to going as I have not been there since I was a teen but we will not drive through since the monkeys can trash a car...I have seen it

    1. You can bypass where the monkeys are Birgit. Means you miss the bears, but you can see everything else at your leisure. One time we went on the bus and the glass is tinted so pictures didn't work.