Thursday, October 10, 2019

TEACH, Biodiversity, ladydog and her Lady Dog, Cooking, Documentaries,

We have all agreed to meet up but unfortunately one of  the group wasn't there. Her hubby was sick. Asked for my number to be passed on to her. Those who were there have all given me their emails and phone numbers - so guess who has the job of coordinating?

We just watched a fascinating Nature documentary which explained the work of certain scientists starting with Bob Paine 60 years ago, when they discovered the existence of keystone animals in ecosystems - not necessarily, as they had first thought - predators only. By re-introducing such keystone animals or by not culling others, they have shown that ecosystems can recover dramatically.  Bob Paine started it all by removing starfish from tide pools and found that eventually there was no biodiversity in these pools, just mussels. It tickled me they showed pix of the starfish being hurled long distances into the sea away from certain tide pools. I thought it was funny and wondered what the starfish thought of being hurled through the air. It was all very important research. It made me think of another documentary which showed a man in a desert area in some part of Africa, who used termite mounds to accumulate rainwater and eventually turned a large area into a woodland and good land for growing his crops. Took 40 years, but if he could do it, it seems to me deserts could be turned into living land again. We can save the earth we have been destroying.

After my class this morning I went to the grocery store and then to Subway to get lunch for us. Back home and ladydog brought the groceries upstairs for me and then we fed ourselves. Zoey was attending to Matt the whole time because he had been feeding her the dog treats ladydog makes for her. Talk about cupboard love. She is a nosey hound though, wants to know what everyone is doing and what they are handling, be it food or something else. We will miss the pair of them whilst they are away.

One thing ladydog made me think of, cauliflower rice. I made it once before and remembered it as being difficult and not great. However, I made some to go with our supper tonight and it was dead easy. I  think I have a different machine now, not my big food processor but a small one which is part of my hand held blender and using that made it so very easy. More cauliflower rice on the horizon. I was getting tired of stuffing myself with rice all the time.

Just left to go see a programme about The Day the Dinosaurs Died. I had seen it before, but it was interesting to see it again.

Yesterday I cooked Brussels sprouts in chicken stock in the Instant Pot, they were delicious. Today I looked at this recipe and decided I should try it in the near future. Not enough liquid for the Instant Pot I don't think, but adaptation, adaptation, adaptation!!!

Caramelized Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta

The only thing better than a full plate of caramelized Brussels sprouts is a plate of Brussels sprouts
with pancetta.

3 lbs brussels sprouts
6 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
6 shallots, thinly sliced (1 1/2 cups)
2 oz thickly sliced pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch dice
Kosher salt
1/4 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped

1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the brussels sprouts until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and pat dry. Cut the brussels sprouts in half lengthwise.

2. In a large, deep skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the shallots and cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until lightly browned, 10 minutes; scrape into a bowl.

3. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of oil to the skillet. Add the brussels sprouts, cut side down, and the pancetta. Season with salt and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until the sprouts are browned and tender, 10 minutes. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and shallots and cook, stirring, until warm, 5 minutes. Season with salt, transfer to a bowl and serve.

Servings: 10

Source: Food & Wine

Have a great day


  1. Hi Jo - good to know you're going to continue to meet up ... should be helpful. Organising is a chore - but also very rewarding. Ladydog will enjoy herself and have lots of tales to tell on her return. I love Brussels Sprouts ... good winter veg ... cheers Hilary

    1. Yes Hilary, it will be helpful to all of us. She certainly will have lots to talk about when she returns. I love Brussels Sprouts too.

  2. We need deserts though - some creatures will only live in a desert. Plus deserts are beautiful. The desert around Albuquerque was gorgeous.

    1. Yes, I guess you are right Diane. But there are areas where the desert has crept up on what was once a cultivated area.

  3. There is no better person for keeping a group coordinated than you!

    All of my dogs are cupboard hounds. Mine are like my fan club. They follow me wherever I go, which proves I probably am eating way too often in far too many places.

  4. Thanks Liz. Not sure about that. I guess we have similar mindsets.

    I love the idea that your dogs are following you around because you eat in so many places LOL. Maybe you should commit yourself to only eating in one place, no matter what. Make it as formal as you can and promise yourself you will NOT eat anywhere else.