Thursday, January 11, 2018

Yosemite, CARP, Driving, Health Card,

Just watched an interesting Nature programme on Yosemite and was particularly interested in the Sequoia which seem to be surviving well despite the drought in Yosemite and the warming trend. They theorise there are water sources under the trees themselves. It is such a beautiful place it is sad to know that the lack of snow is affecting the park and will, of course, continue to do so. When you see the rushing rivers and all the lovely falls, it is hard to believe in eventual water shortage but with global warming that is what's happening. Started watching an interesting programme about Black Holes but then Matt decided to go to bed. so I went to assist.

I recently renewed my subscription to CARP (Canadian Association for Retired Persons) this year there seem to be lots of benefits to doing so. Also they sent me a Tim Horton's card (coffee and donuts) but I have no idea what it is worth, one coffee, or a coffee and donut or a full lunch?? I will have to go in and ask. I can also go to the Swiss Chalet and get a meal for 2 for $25.  That is a shared started, 1/4 chicken dinner as shown and a beverage each. Not a bad deal. The link is to one which is just up the road from us. There are all kinds of deals on other things too for health, entertainment, etc. etc. etc. I can also save 10% off funeral costs. However, as we paid ours years ago, guess I can't cash in on that. We watch Wheel and Jeopardy on a channel which advertises stairlifts - they can give you $500 off on those too. Not that we would need one. The ads for these things drive us nuts, they go on for ever and ever. 

Had forms from the Ministry of Transport saying Matt's license had been suspended. I knew that anyway although I don't think he registered the fact. Have to return the license asap so will drop it in tomorrow. I had hidden it anyway. He is supposed to go for an assessment at some time or other, at which time it will be decided if he can continue to drive. The trouble is this accident thing did shake up his brain considerably. He was driving fine before it happened and had passed all his cognition tests at the driver's place earlier this year. No I guess I mean last year.

Oh yes, the health card, I suddenly thought the hospital would be sending us bills for various things so I phoned Patient Accounts (spoke to them before mind you) and said maybe they had included it with a bill. It turned out the woman I was talking to had just received the card that morning (it had instructions on it NOT to send it to Patient Accounts!! but to leave it in triage for me to collect) anyway, I asked her to mail it to us anyway.

Planning to bowl a couple of games this aft, if I can get away. Fingers crossed.

Here's a dish for those of you who like fire in their food. Not only that it is vegetarian. Did you know hibiscus were edible? I certainly didn't. I think the stuffed chiles look delicious.

Hibiscus-Stuffed Chiles with Walnut Sauce

Traditional chiles en nogada use a pork filling, but hibiscus flowers--typically used in a tart drink--make a surprisingly hearty filling. You can find them at Mexican grocers and specialty stores like Trader Joe's. Mexican cooks often use fresh green walnuts, briefly available in autumn, which have a
creamier texture and less bitterness; standard walnuts work well, too. We add a touch of sugar to the sauce here to balance the slight bitterness of the nuts.

1 1/4 cups roasted unsalted walnut halves
3 oz goat cheese or fresh ricotta cheese (about 3/4 cup)
1 Tbs white wine vinegar
1 1/2 tsp dry sherry
1 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/3 cup plus
2 Tbs nonfat milk, divided

8 large poblano chiles
Cooking spray
1 cup dried hibiscus flowers (also known as Jamaica), rinsed and drained
1 1/2 tsp olive oil
2 cups chopped white onion
1 Tbs dried Mexican oregano leaves, crumbled
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups chopped tomato
2 cups grated peeled jicama
1/2 cup grated peeled carrot
1 Tbs chopped canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
1/2 tsp kosher salt Dash of ground cinnamon
3 1/2 cups cooked long-grain white rice, at room temperature
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
2 Tbs pomegranate arils

1. To make sauce, place walnuts in a bowl; cover with boiling water. Let walnuts soak 15 minutes. Drain, and rub walnuts with a clean dish towel to remove as much walnut skin as possible. Discard skins.

2. Place walnuts, cheese, vinegar, sherry, sugar, salt, and 1/3 cup milk in a blender; process until smooth. (Sauce will be very thick, more scoopable than pourable.) Stir in remaining milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, to thin sauce, if desired.

3. To make chiles, preheat broiler to high with oven rack 6 inches from heat. Place chiles on a baking sheet; coat chiles with cooking spray. Broil for 10 minutes or until blistered on all sides, but not completely charred, turning after 5 minutes. Place blistered chiles in a bowl; cover tightly with plastic wrap. Reduce oven to 400°F.

4. Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil over high. Add hibiscus flowers; remove from heat. Let stand 30 minutes. Drain flowers well; coarsely chop.

5. Heat oil in a large skillet over high. Add onion; sauté 2 minutes or until lightly browned. Reduce heat to medium-high. Add oregano and garlic; sauté 5 minutes. Increase heat to high; stir in tomato, jicama, carrot, chipotle, salt, and cinnamon. Bring to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is absorbed, about 2 minutes. Place tomato mixture in a large bowl; cool 10 minutes. Stir in chopped hibiscus and rice. Cool to room temperature.

6. Remove chiles from bowl. Peel; discard skins. Using scissors, cut a slit lengthwise in each chile. (Do not cut through the opposite side of the chile.) Remove and discard seeds.

7. Stuff each chile with about 1 cup rice mixture. Place stuffed chiles, cut sides up, on an aluminum foil–lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400°F for 15 minutes or until filling is heated through. Place 1 stuffed poblano on each of 8 plates. Top each with about 2 tablespoons walnut sauce. Sprinkle evenly with cilantro and pomegranate arils.

Servings: 8

Source: Cooking Light

Have a great day


  1. Sorry that accident may have started the whole problem for Matt.

    1. It is going to take a long time to resolve Alex.

  2. I did not realize Matt had had a car accident. Sorry about that. My friend who has been taking care of her husband just had a stairlift put in. But he needs help getting into it. Well, he needs help with just about anything. They have long-term care insurance but he will not leave his home. Seems to me they have wasted their money on it. He did finally quit driving - thank goodness. I have had AARP for years and other than use the hotels discounts on occasion, I have never used the food discounts. Most of them are for places I would not eat at anyway.

    1. No, he didn't have a car accident Denise. He fell down the stairs at the bowling alley. However, it seems to have knocked his brain silly and the hospital reported his confusion to the Min. of Transport who have now suspended his driving license. I have used hotel discounts over the years, but they seem to have a lot more going than they ever did before.

    2. My friend who fell and ended up in ICU seems to also have some loss of awareness. He is certainly less alert than he was just a few montgs ago.

    3. Seems to do that Denise. Must shake them up a bit.

  3. Yosemite is absolutely beautiful. But redwood and sequoia roots don't actually go that deep. They've survived many a drought period over the thousands of years they've been growing. I remember going to Yosemite w/ my dad in August of 1988. The waterfalls were just about nonexistent.

    1. It looks it JoJo. Would love to go there. Don't know about how deep the roots go, but the experts have figured there is some source of water underneath the trees. Plenty of waterfalls in the pix.

  4. Hi Jo - oh I'm glad you clarified re the stair fall being the cause of Matt's confusion ... I sure hope he heals - not easy for you. Lots going on too by the sounds of it ... all the best Hilary

    1. He had a little cognition problem before because of all the mini strokes he had had, but he wasn't too bad. I just hope this settles down again. Thanks Hilary.

  5. I would love to see Yosemite..we must have been watching the same thing. id you watch The Nature of Things about Jumbo the elephant? Poor elephant...I felt bad for him because they didn't know enough about elephants and what troubles they may have been having. The Dr's always say keeping the head safe is most important and since my mom suffered a major head trauma when she was 21, the Dr's feel this was the main reason for her dementia. Every person is different but I am sorry that it speeded things up for Matt. Now that you must do the driving, it just creates more stress on your shoulders.

    1. Beautiful place isn't it Birgit? Glad I didn't see the Jumbo film it would have distressed me. I still think Matt bumped his head when he fell but they did scan it and say it is OK. One thing I don't really mind is doing the driving but it is still something extra. When you promise "in sickness and in health" you don't know just what you are letting yourself in for do you?

  6. .
    Jo! I'm very sorry that you guys have to go through this mess. Sending you all the hugs and love.

  7. I knew you could eat hibiscus flowers but I just read something a few minutes ago that shocked me. There are lions in India. I thought there were only tigers in India. You are a wildlife fan, did you know there were lions roaming free in India?

    1. Yes I did know Pinky, but only found out in the last year or two. There was a BBC programme about the wilderness areas of India and Pakistan which is where you will find them. Before that I thought lions were strictly African.

  8. I’m so sorry to hear Matt is struggling after his fall. It must be hard for you both. Seems as we get older even relatively small health problems can have a big impact on our general well being.

    1. Thanks Helen. It is hard. Not much one can do about it though.