Thursday, November 12, 2020

Hi everyone, my name is Sue and I am a friend of Jo's.  I wanted to let you all know that Jo continues to recover at Freeport, and Matt is now with her.  Jo's email account will be deactivated within the next few days, and it appears that Jo will not be returning to blogging. I know that we had all hoped for a better outcome, but both she and Matt are safe and well cared for.  We visit with her regularly and pass on your best wishes.

Please keep Jo and  Matt in your thoughts, prayers and hearts in the coming days and months.  I am not much for blogging, but will do my best to check in here periodically to see if there are any messages.  If you would like to reach out to me directly, you can email me at  It may take me a while to get back to you, but I will do my best.  There is not much more information to share over what I have posted here.

Edited to add, be sure to use yahoo.CA, not .com.

Until next time, as Jo would say...
Have a great day, stay well, stay safe.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Jo update by ladydog

Jo is in Freeport hospital in Kitchener and Matt is in Grand River Hospital for safety. 

I don't want to post a lot here.  (This is the first time that I've managed to  get into her computer.)

She is in the rehab section for stroke recovery.  We will know more over the next few weeks. 

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Vascular Clinic, Again, Rides, Goodies, Late,

I was so annoyed on Friday morning to go check on my blog to discover it had disappeared into the wild blue yonder or cyber space. I don't pretend to understand why that happens.

Obviously I was telling you all about my visit to the Vascular surgeon. He asked me which leg was the worst and, I told him the left and so having looked at the CT scan report, he decided to start with the right leg. Apparently with all the calcium I have in my veins it appears it will be difficult to insert a big enough stent as the calcium is hard and doesn't stretch. I asked if there wasn't something to dissolve calcium and he said no. He also told me I could only expect 50% improvement once the operations were completed. I have to have 2. On roughly 2 months after the first depending on my recovery etc. No all I need is a date and then I have to arrange for Matt to go into a home. I hope they can take us both because I won't be able to look after myself.

Ladydog brought Subs today which I gobbled before I left and then she stayed with Matt whilst I was out. I was picked up by CSC and a different driver was assigned to bring me home. Turned out ot be Rick whom I got to know pretty well.

During the afternoon, our neighbour who is now our cleaner, knocked on our door with some goodies she had just cooked. She said Happy Birthday early. They were good. I called her later and said Matt thanked her, I thanked her bu my hips didn't. She said 2 out of 3 was pretty good.

Anyway, I slept late this morning. Only just got up in time to let the PSW in. So better go get myself respectable.

I had intended to cook the fillet of cod that I bought and looked for a recipe which I found as follows. Howver, the next day, I found an Instapot version, only I hadn't de-frosted the fillet and of course it wouldn't fit in my Instant Pot.

Mediterranean baked cod recipe with lemon and garlic

Best baked cod recipe out there! Prepared Greek style with a few spices and a mixture of lemon juice,
olive oil and lots of garlic. Bakes in 15 mins!

1.5 lb Cod fillet pieces (4–6 pieces)
5 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
Lemon Juice Mixture
5 Tbs fresh lemon juice
5 Tbs Private Reserve extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbs melted butter
For Coating
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp ground coriander
3/4 tsp sweet Spanish paprika
3/4 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

1. Mix lemon juice, olive oil, and melted butter in a shallow bowl. Set aside

2. In another shallow bowl, mix all-purpose flour, spices, salt and pepper. Set next to the lemon juice mixture.

3. Pat fish fillet dry. Dip fish in the lemon juice mixture then dip in the flour mixture. Shake off excess flour.

4. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat (watch the oil to be sure it is sizzling but not smoking). Add fish and sear on each side to give it some color, but do not fully cook (about a couple minutes on each side) Remove from heat.

5. To the remaining lemon juice mixture, add the minced garlic and mix. Drizzle all over the fish fillets.

6. Bake in the heated oven for until it begins to flake easily with a fork (10 minutes should do it, but begin checking earlier). Remove from heat and sprinkle chopped parsley.

Yield: 4

This recipe has been edited adding step #5 to achieve more color and a more crispy texture.

Source: The Mediterranean Dish

Author Notes
Serving suggestions: Serve immediately with Lebanese rice and this Mediterranean chickpea salad or this traditional Greek salad.

Have a great day, stay well, stay safe.

Friday, September 4, 2020

Vascular Clinic,

To put it mildly, I am very annoyed. I wrote a blog last night and it has totally disappeared.

Have a great day, stay well, stay safe.

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Errands, Debit Cards, Instant Pot Cake, Surgeon's Visit,

Just a quickie again I'm afraid. Had a lousy night last night so want to try and make up for it. At 6 a.m. I was in extreme pain with gout and couldn't sleep any more. Must talk to the doc about it as it seems to have got a lot worse lately.

I'm pleased to say I got the rest of my errands done today and the fizz is no longer stuck in the car. I went to Victoria St. Market first to get me some sausages and 2 bananas!! Also bought some of their pre-packed coleslaw and unfortunately bought some chips which I did NOT need.

Then went to Home Hardware where they sell the bags for my under sink garbage. When I got there I noticed they cut keys. Ladydog and I had discussed giving Kathy a key and she said she would get one cut. I phoned her when I was outside the hardware store and she had forgotten. Tut, tut. So I got one cut whilst there. Also got rid of some batteries there too.

Next the bank about our debit cards. They gave me a new one. Didn't both about Matt, he would have to go in and he never goes anywhere to spend anything anyway.

When I got home, I had lost the bill from VSM so went on line to get the total from the bank. Couldn't get in to the bank, have a new debit card number which I totally forgot, duuh.

I have an appointment to see the vascular surgeon on Thursday, don't know why I never thought of it, but one of the Geriatric Workers called me today and reminded me I could get a ride from Community Support connections. Thought I was too late, but they found me someone to give me a ride there and back. Much easier as it is always lousy parking there. Ladydog is kindly going to stay with Matt again. She is bringing lunch as well, she has forgiven Subways for now!!

Hm, wasn't so quick after all.

Found a recipe, which I haven't yet copied, for making a chocolate cake in the Instant Pot. Don't think I would be able to do so in my small pot though. Interesting.Of course, I love chocolate anything.

Instant Pot Chocolate Cake

¾ cup flour
¾ cup cocoa powder
½ cup white sugar
¾ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 pinch of salt
½ cup melted butter
½ cup milk
3 whisked eggs
Powdered sugar to decorate

1. Carefully line 6 inch cake form with parchment paper (also on its sides).

2. In a large bowl, mix together all dry ingredients: flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, salt.

3. Add melted butter, eggs, milk and vanilla extract and mix.

4. Pour the batter into your cake tin.

5. Cover with foil.

6. Pour water (1cup) into your Instant Pot and place the trivet correctly.

7. Place your cake tin onto the trivet.

8. Cook at high pressure for 30 minutes.

9. When cooking time ends, wait for a natural pressure release.

10. Remove the foil and let your cake cool for about 20 minutes before slicing it.

11. Sprinkle each slice with powdered sugar and enjoy!

Servings: 8

If you haven’t used the Instant Pot for baking before, make sure to check these tips out (in fact, I think that the more experienced IP bakers should also give these rules a peak):

Don’t forget the liquid – the rule remains the same – your pot needs liquid to build up pressure. Otherwise, you’ll either get an error message or you’ll wait forever to see the pot build pressure.

Use a 6-inch cake form lined with parchment paper – to get a fluffy and soft cake, it’s important to place the batter in a cake form that you previously lined with parchment paper. The form will be placed on the trivet (one of the IP standard accessories) which will be placed in the inner pot. The trivet is important because it keeps the cake form from touching the liquid and it will allow you to get the pan out once the cooking is done (without burning your fingers).

Let the pressure release naturally – I know it’s difficult to wait when you can already feel the smell of chocolate goodness but, believe me, it’s worth it! If you release the steam too quickly (using the Quick Release function), you may end up with a flat cake. This can happen because the pot uses steam to heat up and raise the batter.

Let the cake cool down – I’m sure you already know this, but I want to make sure. The cake needs to cool down before you can add frosting or any other topping.

You can add a dash of espresso powder to make the richness of the chocolate really pop. However, make sure to not overdo it if you’re baking this for kids.

Quick tip: if you don’t have a 6-inch cake form, you can find one in the nearest supermarket or online store.

Have a great day, stay well, stay safe.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Shopping, Errands, Il Volo,

Thought I had started this blog earlier on today, but obviously I hadn't. Been a fairly busy day especially because Kathy is away this week so I had to get my own shopping. Matt wouldn't come with me so I took his walker, bigger basket, and took the basket off mine as well. I was a bit teed off with the PC Express people today, I ordered a product which they said they didn't recognise. They then told me there was none in the store. I called the store and after being cut off 4 times, I finally got hold of the right department and discovered they had the product I wanted. Why the devil the PC Express people can't do what I did instead of just saying "we're out". Sheer blood laziness if you ask me. Not only that I discovered I only got 12 bananas instead of 14 and when I went to deal with the broccoli, I discovered it was wrapped up in what I always call a French Letter, and because it had been on the shelf and regularly sprayed, there was water inside the wrapping and the broccoli was rotten. I was not a happy camper. I have been promised a replacement broccoli and assured that not all of it is wrapped up.

I had called in at the liquor store as well so I managed to bring everything upstairs except my fizz. It won't hurt in the garage. However, I was really loaded down and by the time I got into the apartment I was in a lot of pain from both my legs and my gouty toes. Kathy, come home.

One thing I bought today was frozen black cherries, already de-pitted. I had a few at supper time and they were good. I let them partially defrost and they really worked well. I think I will invest in more of them. Although, for a while, if I can't get the fresh black cherries, I will get some cherry juice. Think it does help the gout. By the way, my skin problems, almost definitely not shingles, seem to be fading nicely.

I meant to do a few more things when I went out but just couldn't face it today. Have to go to the bank and to a hardware store where I can get the bags for my under-sink garbage collector. I can also drop off used batteries there. I also need to go to a glass place, can't remember what the local one is called, but like Apple Auto Glass, to find out about getting my wing mirror replaced. Mind you, I rarely use my right hand mirror anyway.

Just been watching Il Volo again, Matt really enjoys them, well so do I, but I enjoy other stuff too. I really should try and get another DVD of them singing, if there is one.

I love baked brie.

Baked Brie with Cranberry Sauce

  1. Lay the puff pastry out flat and place the brie onto it.
  2. Spread the cranberry sauce over the on the brie.
  3. Fold the pastry over the top of the brie.
  4. Bake in a preheated 350F/180C oven for 25 minutes.
Source: Closet Cooking
Author: Kevin Lynch

Have a great day, stay well, stay safe.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Sheet, Dryer, Cleaner and PSWs, Shopping, Soup,

After all that, it turned out that the mattress covder was just that, a cover, it went over the mattress like a fitted sheet. Easy peasy. I read that it was good for lots of things and was bed bug proof. Well for bedbugs it would HAVE to fit right round. However, we already have a bed bug cover so that's OK.

Happened to see the super this morning. Asked him about the dryer on our floor. It has been out of order for 3 weeks or more. He checked what the building manager had written him and said they should be fixing it on September 2nd. Fingers crossed. It is a damned nuisance only having one dryer especially when you want to do linen and towels at the same time as clothes.

Karen came to clean today. Matt really likes her, she was carrying on at him about not walking on a wet floor but in a while he could go dancing on it. She does a pretty good job. I had Hassan (PSW) and Karen today both talkers!! I also discovered, from Hassan, that the other guy's name is Deji I had been using a B instead of a D. Don't know how it is actually spelled. Will ask him tomorrow perhaps. I asked him when he called, he thought it was funny I had now found out his proper name. Deji is correct.

Of course Tuesday is shopping day and Kathy is away. I am hoping I can do it with the walkers again. Matt doesn't really want to go, so maybe what I will do is use his walker, bigger basket, and take the basket off mine as well. Might still have to do two journeys. I need to go to the bank too - I was teed off this morning, phoned, was told I had to wait for 10 minutes. Put it on speaker and after a while, it cut off. I couldn't be bothered to go through the whole rigmarole to get in line again.

Made some more leek and potato soup with leeks ladydog brought. Of course they were filthy again, but they are presumably straight out of the field. Make good soup though. It was good we had some for supper.

I think my rashes or whatever they are are being cured by the ointment. Thankfully it doesn't seem I have shingles. Been a bit itchy but nothing serious. Fingers still crossed.

I love cabbage and yet this is another dish I haven't tried. I must admit if I serve cabbage to 'company' it is often my favourite sautéed version which is delicious anyway.

Company Cabbage

This is especially pretty prepared with Savoy cabbage! Be sure not to overcook the greens so they

don’t turn mushy

2 tsp (10 mL) chicken bouillon
4 cups (1 L) coarsely shredded green or Savoy cabbage
½ cup (125 mL) shredded carrots
¼ cup (60 mL) chopped celery root or celery
¼ cup (60 mL) sliced green onions or chopped shallots
½ tsp (2 mL) dried dillweed (or 1 ½ tsp/7 mL fresh)
3 Tbs (45 mL) chopped pecans
1 Tbs (15 mL) melted butter
½ tsp (2 mL) prepared mustard
1/4 tsp (0.5 mL) pepper

1. In large saucepan, heat 1/2 cup/75 mL water over medium-high; add chicken bouillon, stirring until dissolved. Add cabbage, carrots, celery root, green onions and dillweed, stirring to combine. Cook, covered, for about 5 minutes, stirring slightly, until tender.

2. Stir together pecans, butter, mustard and pepper. Pour over cabbage mixture; tossing to combine.

Servings: 6

Source: Great Canadian Cookbook

Have a great day, stay well, stay safe.

Monday, August 31, 2020


I still don't know whether I have shingles or not. However, the cream the doc sent seems to be helping. I now have the problem in three places, under both breasts and in one groin. I haven't worn a bra for about a couple of weeks, but I can't very well go around without any underwear. We have some Large Depends, maybe I should wear those. The doctor said she would phone me during the week.

Only thing is, I have been referred to a doctor in town which means I will not have to drive all the way over to Cambridge which is some distance so I will have to tell her when I speak to her next. Ladydog reckons she will understand, I hope so. I also hope their parking is easy. I don't want to have to walk forever to get in the door. They are wheelchair accessible, that much I know.

This afternoon I zonked out, must have been at least 4 hours if not a bit longer. I did wake up now and again, read for a bit and dropped off, woke again, dropped off. Did that twice I think. Partly because I read late last night (Saturday).

Monday the cleaner comes and I am hoping between the PSW and her, they will get the mattress cover on. It's bed stripping day anyway. Lots of lovely laundry for me to do. Also I need to yell at the laundry machine operators. One of the dryers has been out of order for at least 2 weeks. I know the super has spoken to them but the more the merrier I hope.

Not only that, their machine for loading money onto our laundry cards wouldn't take my debit card for some reason. Said something about a limited amount??? $30 is a limited amount. So I had to use my credit card for which they charge 85¢. Not a lot I know, but I get cash back for my Visa expenditures and doing this, negates my cash back. Once, OK, regularly, no thanks. I was going to use Matt's debit card but couldn't find it. Guess that means I will have to go into the bank. I could phone but that takes forever and they cannot seem to sort out that I have Power of Attorney. I can't for the life of me imagine what has happened to his card, He never goes anywhere and never spends any money.

This looked like a good dish, something I know we would enjoy. However, I have added a paragraph about substitutes for the Muscat Wine in case you can't get hold of it.

Pork Loin Braised with Mushrooms and Wine

Fistsful of fresh herbs, fragrant strips of orange peel, and plenty of garlic perfume the wine-infused
braising liquid penetrates this essential Corsican comfort food. The resulting jus is vibrant and richly seasoned; ladle extra over the polenta on each plate.

Muscat = Moscatel = Muscatel = Muscadel = Moscato Notes: This is a sweet and fruity dessert wine made from Muscat grapes. Don't confuse it with Muscadet, which is a dry white wine. Substitutes: port OR Riesling OR Gewürztraminer OR 1C = 1/2 C white wine + 1/2 C water + 1/3 C sugar.

1 (2-pound) boneless center-cut pork loin, tied with kitchen twine
1 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
3 Tbs olive oil
1 lb white button mushrooms, quartered
8 small white spring onions (about 10 ounces), trimmed, white parts only
3 large garlic cloves, smashed
1/2 cup (4 ounces) Corsican Muscat wine
1 cup lower-sodium chicken stock
3 rosemary sprigs
6 thyme sprigs
8 (3-inch) orange peel strips
Cooked polenta, for serving

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Sprinkle pork evenly with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large ovenproof skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high.

2. Add pork to pan; cook over medium-high, undisturbed, until golden brown on one side, about 3 minutes. Turn pork. Repeat until each side is browned, about 12 minutes. Remove pork from skillet, and set aside.

3. Add mushrooms, onions, and garlic to pan; cook over medium-high, stirring often, until liquid from mushrooms has released and evaporated, about 8 minutes. Add wine; cook, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan, until wine is reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add stock, rosemary, and thyme; cook, undisturbed, 3 minutes. Return pork to pan. Cover, transfer to preheated oven, and roast until a thermometer inserted in thickest portion of meat registers 130°F, about 30 minutes.

4. Remove pan from oven. Transfer pork to a cutting board; let rest 5 minutes. Meanwhile, add orange peel strips to mushroom mixture in pan. Bring to a boil over medium-high; boil until sauce has slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Discard orange peel strips, rosemary, and thyme.

5. Remove and discard twine from pork. Slice pork against the grain. Serve over polenta with mushroom mixture.

Servings: 4

Tips: If you can’t find Corsican Muscat, you can substitute Moscato d’Asti.

 Source: FOOD & WINE

Have a great day, stay well, stay safe.

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Ambiguous Loss, Wash Day, Supper, River Dance,

Sue from Elephant's Child sent me a link to an article about grief in dementia. In North America this is known as Ambiguous Loss. It is an interesting article and one I wish you would read. It would enable you to understand anyone you might know who is struggling through this situation. It is, in my mind, so very important that more people reach out to families in this situation. It does appear, from reading the article, that we are luckier in Canada because the health services are co-ordinated under the LHIN umbrella, i.e. the Local Health Integrated Network. This is why I - and others - am able to get PSWs to come and help Matt to wash and dress in the mornings and why they will allow me another PSW on Monday afternoons to be with him whilst I go bowling in order to give me some respite. Mind you, I bought a new mattress cover and tried to get a PSW for half an hour to come at the same time as one of the regulars so that they could put the cover on the mattress. No go. However, I talked to the PSW who will be here on Monday as will my cleaner and I am hoping we can manage to do the job between us (not that I will be much help).

Tomorrow is wash day. I have such fun trotting up and down the corridor and then resting in considerable pain until the it wears off then doing it again when the next part needs doing. Three journeys there and back. It is not actually that far, but for my legs, more than enough. When I bowl, I don't have to be moving for very long and if I get a strike, I have no problem at all. A spare not bad, the problem begins when I have to bowl a third ball (maybe I should take up 10 pin, you only get two balls).

Of course, my next problem is "what shall I cook for supper?". I like to cook something special for Saturdays although lately I haven't been worrying about that as I don't think Matt notices any more, he enjoys whatever I cook, I'm pleased to say, but certainly doesn't know if it's anything out of the ordinary. If I am feeling up to it, I might pop up to VSM and buy a sirloin steak.

We just watched River Dance Celebrating 25 Years, think that's what it was called. Matt was thrilled with it so I have joined the PBS station in order to get a copy of it. I enjoyed it too of course. For those of you who remember the original River Dance, the star was Michael Flatley and he held a record for the speed of his feet. I was wondering what the current lead dancer clocked in at. He seemed to be able to dance very fast. I just Googled and found that the fastest feet, at the moment, belong to a young  man named James Devine who was clocked at 38 taps per second.

A Kevin Lynch dish I posted some time ago which is something I would really enjoy but haven't made yet. Simple enough. Not sure about the chicken thighs with skin on and boneless. Never seen those for sale. Guess one would have to do the boning oneself. Otherwise, simple enough to make.

Oyakodon (Japanese Chicken and Egg Rice Bowl)

A Japanese style rice bowl with tender chicken and egg in a sweet and savoury onion broth!

1 Tbs oil
4 chicken thighs, skin-on and boneless
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups dashi or chicken broth
2 onions, sliced
4 Tbs low sodium soy sauce
4 Tbs mirin
4 tsp sugar
4 eggs, lightly beaten
4 cups cooked short grain rice
2 green onions, sliced

1. Heat the oil in a pan over medium-high heat, add the chicken, seasoned with salt and pepper, skin side down, and cook until the skin is browned and crispy, flip and cook the other side before setting aside.

2. Add the broth, onions, soy sauce, mirin and sugar to the pan and simmer until the onions are tender.

3. Pour the eggs over the onions and broth, top with the chicken, and let sit until the eggs are just cooked, about 1-2 minutes.

4. Divide the rice between four bowls, top with the chicken and egg mixture and sprinkle on the green onions before enjoying!

Servings: 4

Tips: Add some extras like sliced shiitake mushrooms!

Author: Kevin Lynch
Source: Closet Kitchen

Have a great day, stay well, stay safe.

Friday, August 28, 2020

Another of those Days.

Today my legs, hips and rear end were all hurting so I took some Tylenol 3 - which I try not to take because they are going to be scarce in future as the doctors are running scared about Opiods. I had more or less decided not to go to the walk-in clinic because of getting to my car. When ladydog came she persuaded me to call my family doctor as she said her doctor was doing internet stuff these days. I did and they asked me to send pix so ladydog took a couple and we emailed them to the doc. They arranged for me to have a consult with the doctor later in the day between 2:30 and 3.

Poor ladydog, when she arrived, she was fuming. She had ordered Subways online and just before she got there, found out that they hadn't done the order because their internet was down. In the end we didn't have subs 'cos she was so mad with them for not letting her know earlier, by phone, if no other way. In the end we decided to have Thai/Viet food so we ordered it and she went to pick it up. I had ordered Pad Thai for Matt and I. We had enough noodles to feed an army. So did ladydog. I have saved a lot for future munching. I had just settled down to eat when the phone went. I forget who or what now, but eventually went back to my lunch when shortly after the phone went again. It went on like this for a while. Eventually people let me have lunch in peace. There was no way I could eat all my noodles and I didn't even give Matt all his, I had put his food on a plate. He then went to his lounge chair and shoved dog biscuits into Zoey. Then the phone went again, it was Purolator with the waterproof mattress cover I had ordered from Amazon. The courier wouldn't come upstairs even though I told him I was using a walker. Of course ladydog went down and let her temper go on the poor man. She told him her 83 yr. old neighbour was in tears and how dare they not come up and deliver to my door etc. etc. I felt quite sorry for  the poor guy.

I then got a phone call from the doctor, much earlier than they had said so ladydog decided to leave anyway, the doctor suggested my problem could be shingles. Something that had never occurred to me. She said I might have to go in to see her next week but she would send me some ointment meanwhile and call me next week. From what I know of shingles, I don't think it can be that. But what do I know.

Later I phoned Para Med who provide the PSWs and asked for a second guy for half an hour to help pout the mattress cover on. No way I can help. They said I had to call the LHIN co-ordinator. I did and she eventually called back. She said the PSWs are not allowed to lift anything heavy. Said she would talk to Para Med and call back. Putting a cover on a mattress is not really heavy work just awkward. Have done it in the past when we had bed bugs. So, will expect to hear from her tomorrow.

Of course, I forgot to mention I didn't get much sleep because I was so damned hot I had to get up and sit reading near the A/C so of course wanted to nap this aft. I had just dropped off when I got a phone call, bit later I had dropped off again and was woken by another phone call. Think I should unplug the bloody thing. Of course they are all basically important. But..... I don't even remember who called me now apart from Jamie from the bowling league and the ones I have mentioned above oh, and of course tomorrow's PSW. They always call and let me know they are coming.

I am told the convention will be over tonight so hopefully I will get my TV programmes back again. Mind you with no TV to watch, I get my blog written early. Not that that helps if I can't sleep anyway. I ordered a portable A/C but no idea when it will arrive. Hope they will bring it up when it comes! It it comes on a Thursday I will send ladydog down to tear a strip off them LOL.

Ostesibly tomorrow should be a quiet day, ha!

I keep coming across recipes I haven't tried yet.

Slow Cooker Thai Beef Curry

The challenge: The flavors are always too bland.

Our solution: It’s true that the long, slow cooking period mellows flavors. But bold spices, in bold amounts, will hold their own over time. Here, we start with big flavor from a good amount of curry
paste and fish sauce, and we finish with fresh touches of cilantro and lime juice that amplify the taste of everything. Serve over a bed of brown rice or brown rice noodles to catch all the sauce.

1 Tbs canola oil
2 lbs beef stew meat
1/2 cup unsalted beef stock
1/4 cup Thai red curry paste
2 Tbs fish sauce
1 Tbs light brown sugar
1 (10-oz.) yellow onion, sliced (about 2 1/2 cups)
3/4 cup well-shaken canned full-fat coconut milk
8 oz haricots verts (French green beans), halved crosswise
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
9 oz fresh spinach (about 9 cups)
3 Tbs fresh lime juice
Cilantro sprigs (optional)

1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high. Add oil; swirl to coat. Add beef, and cook in 2 batches, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, about 6 minutes. Place browned beef in a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker. Add stock to skillet, stirring and scraping to loosen browned bits from bottom of skillet; transfer mixture to slow cooker. Add curry paste, fish sauce, sugar, and onion; stir to loosely combine. Cover, and cook on low until beef is very tender, about 8 hours.

2. Add coconut milk and haricots verts to slow cooker. Increase heat to high; cook until haricots verts are tender, about 12 minutes. Turn off heat; add cilantro leaves, spinach, and lime juice. Stir gently until spinach starts to wilt. Garnish with cilantro sprigs, if desired

Servings: 8

Author: Ann Taylor Pittman
Source: Cooking Light

Have a great day, stay well, stay safe.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Super Sniffers, Visit, Doctor, TV,

Now that's a new one on me, in India they have been training dogs to sniff out illegal wildlife trade items. The dogs are trained to identify all kinds of scents "So far, 74 wildlife sniffer dog squads have been trained. They can detect tiger and leopard bone and skin, elephant tusk, bear bile, deer antlers and plant products like Red Sanders and Caterpillar Fungus. Thanks to this team of super sniffers there have been 350+ reported seizures of illegal wildlife parts" Although. the trade brings in so much money it is difficult to stamp out. Seems like a good idea.

Had a visit from a friend, this afternoon, whom I hadn't seen for quite a long time. She just lost her husband to cancer although he was suffering from dementia which must have made things very difficult. She came loaded with Depends which will be very useful.

I decided I was going to get some ground beef out to make stuffed peppers tomorrow and then I realised I was going to the doctor's tomorrow. Oh well, Friday. Being a walk in clinic, I am not sure how long I will be sitting there. Could be hours or I could be seen quickly. Fingers crossed its quickly.

I am totally fed up that for the last week and a half, probably longer, my local PBS station has "Convention" stuff scheduled. Considering there are a lot of Canadian customers, I think they should take us into account. I believe they have at least as many Canadians as US viewers. Not being interested in American politics, I have no idea how long this is going to go on. I don't remember it happening last time there was an election in the States. Covid-19 perhaps? I have no idea.

This recipe is for those of you who don't mind buying asparagus out of season although I am informed that in South America they have two asparagus seasons. I should move perhaps!

Creamy Asparagus and Pancetta Penne

This vibrantly colorful dish is chock full of amazing veggies. In taking advantage of produce that is

in season, this pasta dish truly shines.

2 Tbs all-purpose flour
2 Tbs butter, softened
1 tsp olive oil
2 oz chopped pancetta
1 (8-ounce) package sliced cremini mushrooms
1/4 cup white wine or
2 Tbs each lemon juice and water
1 tsp salt, divided
4 cups unsalted chicken stock
3 cups 1% low-fat milk, divided
12 oz uncooked whole-wheat penne (such as Barilla)
1 bay leaf
1 cup frozen green peas
12 oz asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 Tbs chopped fresh thyme
3 Tbs chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp grated lemon rind
3/4 tsp black pepper

1. Combine flour and butter in a bowl until a paste forms.

2. Place a large high-sided sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add pancetta; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add mushrooms; sauté 5 minutes or until browned and liquid evaporates. Add wine; cook 2 minutes or until liquid is absorbed, stirring to loosen browned bits. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt. Transfer mixture to a plate.

3. Add stock, 2 cups milk, penne, and bay leaf to pan; bring to a boil. Cook 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in peas, asparagus, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1 cup milk, and thyme; cook 2 minutes. Add butter-flour paste, in pieces, stirring constantly to combine and thicken. Remove from heat; stir in mushroom mixture, parsley, rind, and black pepper.

Servings: 6

Author: Maureen Callahan
Source: Cooking Light

Have a great day, stay well, stay safe.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Spouse's Meeting, Groceries, hairdresser, Supper, Visitor.

A busy day. This morning I had my Spouse's meeting moderated by the Alzheimer Society. It was nice talking to everyone. We have all agreed to exchange email addresses - in fact I already have quite a few - and I also volunteered to run Zoom meetings for the group from now on. Everyone seemed interested/

Once it ended I quickly made lunch for Matt and I. Shortly after, Kathy came with the groceries for us. She had also picked up some chicken thighs for me at Costco. She brought Oates with her too but forgot to bring any dog biscuits. Kathy is off up north for a week and Oates is probably going to school during that period. They have to assess whether she will be good for her intended working life.

Then, I am not quite sure what I was doing in the afternoon, a little reading and a little napping I think. I completely forgot the hairdresser would be here at 6 and therefore I had to get supper early. In fact I had bought some chicken tenders already cooked - just wanted to try them, so when they arrived they were warm. So when I realised I had goofed, I decided to have them for supper. Katy came and cut our hair. She is so very good to do this. I told her some of my Alzheimer spouses were interested and she said she would be prepared to go to their homes as well. She cleaned up the floor before she went.

I then took the chicken tenders and heated them in the air fryer and threw a salad together. Worked fine. Had some Tamarind sauce to dip the tenders in. Worked very well. Still more tenders for tomorrow.

Talking of tomorrow, i.e. Wednesday, a friend I haven't seen in a long time is coming for a visit. She just lost her husband who had dementia and then cancer. Very sad.

Haven't mentioned I have a problem with the skin under one breast and I want to try and get to the doctor on Thursday as it doesn't seem to be clearing up. Ladydog is prepared to sit with Matt meanwhile. She is also bringing Subway for lunch.

I forgot, I ordered some antiseptic wipes for today's shopping. First time I have seen any available for a while. When I got them, they are in a huge bucket. Not what I expected at all. I should have enough for a very long time.

I don't think you can go wrong with mushrooms and I also love Leeks and Spinach. This is a dish I will definitely give a go.

Spinach Polenta with Mushrooms, Leek & Poached Egg 

 This rich and flavourful polenta dish is perfect for a weekend brunch or weeknight meal. Creamy polenta is elevated with the addition
of umami-rich mushrooms. A poached egg on top completes the dish and adds another layer of texture.

Prep Time: 15 mins. | Cook Time: 30 mins. | Serves: 4




  • 4 cups (1L) water
  • 2 cups (500 mL) chopped spinach
  • 1 cup (250 mL) polenta
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) butter
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper


  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
  • 1 lb (500 g) fresh mixed mushrooms (portabella, shiitake, oyster), coarsely chopped
  • 1 large leek (white and light-green parts only), halved lengthwise, rinse and thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) butter
  • 1/2 tbsp (15 mL) white wine vinegar

Poached Eggs:

  • 4 large eggs
  • Water for poaching
  • 1 tbsp (7 mL) white vinegar
Optional Garnishes: 
  • Fresh chopped chives
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Parmesan cheese



1. In a large pot, over medium-high heat, bring water to a boil. Stir in chopped spinach. Slowly add polenta while whisking constantly. Continue to whisk until polenta is smooth, 5-6 minutes. Reduce heat to low, cook polenta 25-30 minutes. Whisk often. Remove from heat and add butter, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Set aside.


2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high. Add mushrooms and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Add leek and cook until softened, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and butter, heat until butter is melted. Add white wine vinegar and stir until the liquid evaporates, about 2-3 minutes. Set mushrooms aside.

Poached Egg:

3. In a large saucepan, bring 3 inches of water and a splash of white vinegar to a simmer over medium-low heat. Crack 1 egg into a small bowl. Gently stir the water in a circle, and then gently slip egg into water. Poach about 3-4 minutes, then remove egg with a slotted spoon and pat dry. Repeat with remaining eggs.


4. To assemble, spoon polenta into bowl, top with mushroom & leek mixture, and then poached egg. Add optional garnishes.

Have a great day, stay well, stay safe.

Busy Tuesday, Liquor Delivery, Basil,

Not much happening Monday. On the other hand, Tuesday starts with our final meeting of Alzheimer Spouses. In fact there is another get together organised for September, but it is not specifically the current group. Not quite sure what the difference is going to be.

Then in the afternoon, Kathy will be here with the shopping. Be the last time for a couple of weeks as she is off on vacation for the first week in September.  I must ask her if Oates is going too. In the evening our hairdresser is calling. Not sure how that is going to go as we haven't had Katy over before. We both need a hair cut at the moment.

Somewhat odd, we needed some booze but I was too achy, too tired, and too hot, to go so decided to get the delivery firm to pick it up. It never arrived. Must admit I forgot about it by supper time and then later realised they hadn't been. No idea why. Maybe I will be able to do it myself on Tuesday.

Decided to do the sausage dish I like so much for supper on Tuesday night - this does get confusing, I am typing on Monday but you will be reading on Tuesday, unless you are in Australia - anyway, sausage dish and I want to finish the basil I have had growing in water for a while and then get rid of it as it is on its last legs.

I recently remembered this recipe which Matt used to make. It was very good and maybe I should do something about it. I wonder if one could make the filling in the Instant Pot?

Chicken Burritos
Readers Digest Great Recipes
Serves: 4

1 Tbs corn or peanut oil
1 lb chicken meat cut into 1/2 in cubes
1 lge yellow onion finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbs flour
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 C chicken broth
1 C buttermilk
4 oz chopped green chilies, drained
2 tsp tomato paste
8 6 in flour tortillas

Preheat oven to 375F. In a heavy 10 in skillet heat the oil over moderate heat for 1 min. Add meat and cook, until no longer pink (unless using precooked meat) transfer meat to a bowl. Cook onion and garlic uncovered in same pan until soft. Blend in flour, chili powder and cumin and cook stirring constantly for about 2 mins.

Stir in chicken broth, buttermilk, chilies and tomato paste. Reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered for 4 to 5 mins or until slightly thickened. Return meat and stir.

Place a scant 1/4 C of the mixture on the lower third of each tortilla and roll it up like a cigar. Place seam side down in an ungreased baking plan and drizzle any remaining filling down the center.

Bake uncovered for 5 mins.

Have a great day, stay well, stay safe.

Monday, August 24, 2020

Dementia, Book, TV, Supper,

I guess I am an itch with a b in front.  Matt continuously says he loves me which is nice to hear, then he asks what I am going to do (this is supper time), work, I say, doing the dishes etc. etc. oh, he says, can I help you? Yes I say you can dry up (we don't have a dishwasher). Suddenly he is in agony again and crying because he "can't do it". Actually, he could, but he gives in to the muscle pain which is why he has it in the first place. He then starts to grizzle which annoys the hell out of me, and being the sweet tempered person I am (some hopes) it develops into a shouting match. I disappear for a while and sit here feeling guilty. When I go back into the living room, he has forgotten all about it. Wish I could. Just as well he can forget so easily otherwise I would never forgive myself.

I mentioned that I have been reading a book called Loving Someone with Dementia, one of the things they emphasize is how much alone caregivers can be and how they need  to build up a network of friends and/or family, whether actual or psychological - i.e. on the internet and such. It is great when I get support from my internet friends and I just wish some of them were closer. I have no close family. Although one cousin does keep in regular touch with me. I do have the support of a couple of close friends locally, as you know, ladydog in particular has been an extremely good friend.

Watched the end of season episode of Endeavour tonight, I find I really enjoy that series as well as Vera another cop show. Actually, thinking about it, I also watch Midsomer Murders, yet another cop show, didn't realise just how much I was into cop shows. Tonight there was also a programme about the Queen in War, which we both enjoyed. Matt doesn't watch a lot of TV any more. Don't think he understands a lot of what is going on. He does like music but that seems to be it mostly. I still don't know how to PVR programmes, I have to get in touch with Rogers. Probably find I have to pay extra to be able to do so.

I tried a new dish Sunday night, I was concerned about the water/liquid level but read the comments and it seems OK, however, one comment said it was tasteless. I agree, I ended up doctoring it with siracha, some sugar and a lot more salt. I also used garlic rather than garlic powder.

Instant Pot Pepper Chicken

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast chopped
2 Tbs olive oil
1 green bell pepper chopped
1 red bell pepper chopped
½ onion chopped
1 Tbs garlic powder
4 Tbs water
1 tsp cumin
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Cut the chicken in cubes

2. Add oil into your Instant Pot and sauté chicken for 5 minutes, add the onion and bell peppers add continue sauté for 2 minutes.

3. Add the garlic powder, the cumin and the water to the chicken. mix well to combine everything.

4. Close the lid and cook on high pressure for 8 minutes.

5. Quickly release the steam and serve.

6. Serve with rice if desired.

Servings: 3

Source: Corrie Cooks

Have a great day, stay well, stay safe.

Friday, August 21, 2020

Hairdresser, Mushrooms, Dentistry, Record High Temps,

As Matt has difficulty negotiating his way into the hairdressing salon and as I am about to start braiding both his hair and mine, I have arranged for our hairdresser to come here next week. Really nice of her. I, of course, can go there, but it is too difficult to get Matt there. Last time the hairdresser almost carried him into the salon.

I seem to have ended up with a plethora (love that word) of mushrooms so found a recipe for making Creamy Mushroom Soup in the Instant Pot, of course.

Matt complained of toothache on two separate occasions. I have asked him about it and so has ladydog but he denies any knowledge of toothache, so having booked a dental appointment, I have cancelled it again. Which, of course, means he will be complaining of toothache again soon. ladydog suggests Sensodyne toothpaste. Don't know if he will notice the change or not.

Just heard a report that the highest temperature ever recorded on earth was yesterday in Death Valley, "One of the hottest air temperatures recorded anywhere on the planet in at least a century, and possibly ever, was reached at Death Valley in California's Mojave Desert where it soared to 54.4° Celsius (130° Fahrenheit)." That's hot. I've been having trouble with the heat here, I can't imagine what I would do in temps like that. 

Yet another recipe I really should try.

Cabbage Lo Mein

2 Tbs plus 2 teaspoons sesame oil, divided
3 Tbs reduced-sodium soy sauce
¼ tsp crushed red pepper
12 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into ¼ -inch slices
8 oz lo mein noodles
1 tsp chile-garlic sauce
3 Tbs vegetable oil, divided
5 oz mushrooms, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbs chopped fresh ginger
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
2 cups small broccoli florets (about 1 large crown)
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 cup snow peas, halved
4 ½ cups thinly sliced napa cabbage ( ½ head)
¾ cup unsalted chicken broth
1 tsp cornstarch

1. Combine 2 tablespoons sesame oil, soy sauce and crushed red pepper in a large bowl. Add chicken, toss to coat, and set aside. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook noodles in the boiling water according to package directions. Drain, transfer to a large bowl and toss with the remaining 2 teaspoons sesame oil and chile-garlic sauce. Set aside. Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add mushrooms and cook until juices are released and the mushrooms are golden and tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, ginger and scallions and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil to the pan and heat over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add broccoli, bell pepper, and snow peas. Cook until tender-crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in cabbage and cook until wilted, 2 minutes. Transfer to the bowl with the mushroom mixture. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in the pan over medium-high heat. Add the reserved chicken, leaving the sauce in the bowl. Sauté the chicken until cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. Meanwhile, add broth and cornstarch to the reserved sauce and whisk to combine. Add the sauce to the pan with the chicken; simmer until thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the vegetable mixture to the pan and toss to combine. Transfer the chicken and vegetables to the bowl with the noodles and toss to combine.

Servings: 4

Author: Lauren Grant
Source: Diabetic Living Magazine

Have a great day, stay well, stay safe.

Quiet Day

This morning the PSW was supposed to be here at 9. Around 7:30 he said his client had cancelled and could he come at 8, I said sure. He came in and attended to Matt who was just about crawling out of bed, and after he had gone, Matt then ate his breakfast. Maybe 8 would be a good time, but usually 9 works too.

After that, the day was somewhat boring to say the least. I finished making calls on behalf of the bowling alley to see who was joining the Senior Winter League in September, surprisingly one or two are not, at the moment I don't know if it's because of Covid-19 or for other reasons. One woman asked me if I had any idea how many germs there were on a bowling ball, as I have my own, it doesn't particularly concern me but I know the owners are planning to disinfect everything before anyone arrives. Of course we will have to wear masks, but it won't be necessary to actually wear them when we are on the lanes - I think they would restrict breathing somewhat when you are actually bowling.

After lunch, I shot down to the grocery store to get more beefsteak tomatoes, they only gave me one the other day, and some artichokes. They only got baby artichokes this week. 8 little tiny ones to a pack. I can get all of them in the Instant Pot at once. We had some leftover leek and potato soup and then some Pakora which came with Tamarind Sauce - I tried the sauce with the artichokes, it was pretty good.

My only criticism here is that he leaves the tails on the shrimp That really annoys me when it is not for eating with the fingers. If there is an integral sauce, take the damned tail shells off.

Spinach Pesto, Feta and Shrimp Tortellini

A fresh spinach pesto and feta tortellini that is packed with all of the flavours of spinach and feta
pies, aka spanakopita.

For the spinach pesto:
1 cup baby spinach (packed)
2 Tbs dill
2 Tbs parley
1 green onion
1 clove garlic
2 Tbs walnuts, toasted
1/4 cup parmigiano reggiano (parmesan), grated
3 Tbs olive oil
1/2 lemon, juice and zest
salt and pepper to taste

For the shrimp souvlaki:
1 lb large shrimp, shelled and deviened
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 lemon, juice and zest
1 Tbs yogurt
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

For the spinach pesto, feta and shrimp tortellini:
1 lb cheese tortellini
1/2 cup feta, crumbled
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 Tbs dill, chopped
1 Tbs parley, chopped

1. For the spinach pesto:

2. Puree everything in a food processor until smooth.

3. For the shrimp:

4. Marinate the shrimp in the mixture of the remaining ingredients for 30 minutes to over night before cooking in a pan or grilling over medium-high heat until cooked, about 2-3 minutes per side.

5. For the spinach pesto, feta and shrimp tortellini:

6. Cook the tortellini as directed before tossing it with the pesto, feta and shrimp and herbs and enjoying!

Author: Kevin Lynch
Source: Closet Cooking

Have a great day, stay well, stay safe.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Nuclear Test. Fresh Corn, Dentist, Phone Calls,

Had a lovely day today. I am a tad annoyed because they told me hours and I ended up spending 5 hours there, I  was not happy.. Ladydog was sitting with Matt, but he still got very agitated because he was worried about what was happening to me. I don't know what he thinks was happening. I tried to explain it was just a test, but.... Of course I am now radioactive for a while - not sure how long it lasts. When I was finally allowed to eat, it turned out they had a picnic table outside and I sat in the . n although there was a cool breeze it was still pleasant/ When I got home, there was a vase full of gladioli which are absolutely lovely. Jan was kind enough to stay for the whole time so when I got home, she shot off home. I then got treated to almost tears.because he didn't know what was happening to me and if I was alright!!! Oh well.

Ladydog also brought a couple of corn cobs which I cooked for supper and they were delicious. We then had some of the leek and taties soup I made last night, it was delicious. I will share the recipe, but I didn't use the same measurements - or not exactly.

Whilst I was out, got a bunch of calls from the dentist to whom I sent an email last night. They called again once I was I have an appointment for Matt next week.

Not only that, Dr. Jahromi's office called, he is the vascular surgeon, so maybe they have a date for me. Of course, he won't have today's results by then I don't think.

This was the recipe I used for the soup. I used 4 leeks and maybe a tad more cream. I used the fish sauce but couldn't tell the difference, but the soup ended up being really delicious so maybe it was the fish sauce. We have some left for tomorrow, yum.

Instant Pot Potato Leek Soup

Make Creamy Instant Pot Potato Leek Soup under an hour! Healthy Pressure Cooker Leek Potato
Soup is super easy to make with simple ingredients. A satisfying bowl of comfort to warm your soul!

2 (1.5lb or 552g) Yukon gold potatoes, diced
2 (375g - trimmed & chopped) large leeks, chopped
1 Tbs (28g) unsalted butter
1 (0.5g) bay leaves
1/2 tsp (1.5g) dried thyme
1/2 cup (250ml) heavy cream
2 cups (1L) unsalted chicken stock
2 (13g) garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbs (30ml) fish sauce (or sub with regular soy sauce)
Salt and black pepper to taste

1. Sweat Leeks: Heat up Instant Pot using Sauté More function. Wait until it says HOT (~8 mins). Add 2 tbsp (28g) unsalted butter and chopped leeks in Instant Pot. Season with a pinch of salt, then cook leeks until softened (~4 mins). Once the leeks are softened, add in 2 bay leaves, 1 tsp (1.5g) dried thyme, and minced garlic. Saute for another 30 seconds.

2. Pressure Cook Potato Leek Soup: Pour in 4 cups (1L) unsalted chicken stock, 2 tbsp (30ml) fish sauce (or sub with regular soy sauce), and diced potatoes. Give everything a quick mix. Pressure cook at High Pressure for 5 minutes + 15 minutes Natural Release.

3. Season & Thicken: Add in 1 cup (250m) heavy cream. *Note: Some enjoy the potato leek soup without blending. Since we like a thicker soup, we blend the potato leek soup at this step with an Immersion Hand Blender. Taste and season with more salt if desired (for reference, we added 2 large pinches of salt at the end to season this properly).

4. Serve Leek Potato Soup: Garnish with finely sliced green onions, bacon bits, fried leeks, chives, or fresh herbs. Season with some freshly ground black pepper. Serve immediately.

Yield: 6 -8

Source: Amy and Jackie

Have a great day, stay well, stay safe.